The Scent of Rain and Lightning is my first venture into the world of adult fiction for 2012. And it was…Originally reviewed on Rather Be Reading Blog
The Scent of Rain and Lightning is my first venture into the world of adult fiction for 2012. And it was… okay. Honestly, I probably haven’t read a “crime book” since I was in middle school reading Mary Higgins Clark novels at Yankees baseball games. (True story.) I’m actually not even sure if Nancy Pickard and Mary Higgins Clark fall into the same crime writing category but none of the less, I sort of grew out of them after a few years.
The bottom line is this: The Scent of Rain and Lightning was an intriguing story. The main character, Jody, and I are the same age. She lived her entire life in the same small farm town where her parents were killed. In fact, she went to school with the murderer’s son, Collin. Later, she even moves into the same house where the act was committed. It was all so unbelievable to me especially because there is so much uncertainty when it comes to the day of the murder.
The author basically gives us a small peek into present day Jody’s life and for a good remainder of the novel, we are sucked back in time to when her father and mother were still living and the events leading up to and following their demises. The structure was uneven for me. I would have preferred to learn more about Jody as a grown-up because even once we shift back to now, I never get a sense of who she is. Sure, she’s scared, affected, and curious – but she never becomes a fully developed character to me.
As far as the extra mystery goes (even if I think the back story was a bit dragged out), I can honestly tell you that the resolution was like nothing I could have imagined. I had my suspicions along the way but never came to this particular conclusion. That did feel nice for a change, playing my own private game of “what exactly went down here”. Something I don’t normally do while reading my regular stash of books.
I know a lot of people may not comprehend why I love YA novels, but, especially in recent years, they have come to represent realism in books for me. The good ones at least. (And there are so many of those.) The feelings they elicit, the psyche of these characters, the situations they are placed in. I wasn’t feeling that in The Scent. In fact, I feel like Jody could have definitely been a more engaging character in so many ways. Even her acts toward the end of the book were so typical and cookie cutter. I was a bit bored with them. (This is in reference to the “connection” teased about in many of the descriptions of this book.)
While The Scent of Rain and Lightning didn’t blow me away, it may still provide a good read for someone who likes this particular genre or is even hoping to read their first adult crime book. I don’t want to totally dissuade you. But I am coming to realize that for me as a reader in particular, structure and character development are everything. ...more
Hear me out. Let it Snow is dubbed as “three HOLIDAY romances” and as my husband keeps telling meReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog --
Hear me out. Let it Snow is dubbed as “three HOLIDAY romances” and as my husband keeps telling me, the holiday is over. I’m still giving it another week. But really, who cares? We read summer books when it’s not summer so why not read holiday books when the holidays are over? I’m kind of impressed with how I justified that one.
If you live in a place like I do (New York) that is known to get a lot of snow (so excited we have been spared so far), you know the evil of these storms. The sore backs, the badly iced roads, the slipping, the sliding. Sure, it’s pretty and sometimes you get a school day or are able to stay home from work. But it can be downright awful. In Let It Snow, it is one of these annoying storms that creates complications for its characters but also causes them to meet new people, better understand themselves, and discover love.
Each short has been written by an author I’ve read previously – Maureen Johnson (13 Blue Envelopes), John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson) and Lauren Myracle (Love, Peace & Baby Ducks). For the most part, I thought each story was well developed (even though they run about 100 pages each) and did a clever job of expanding on some of the details in the other stories. I loved Maureen’s Jubilee Express and John’s A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle best and felt that Lauren’s The Patron Saint of Pigs fell short. There, the main character, Addie, was reeling from a breakup with her boyfriend Jeb (who we first meet in Jubilee Express). The story was set up like a modern day Christmas Carol where the main character has to undergo some kind of personality change. To me, the transformation was just not believable. I didn’t see her work for it.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a short story, and I think this might be my first time reading YA short stories. I was just completely impressed with how much was packed into 100 pages, and best of all, how real the characters were. Each story managed to feature many different characters yet I never felt like someone was left out or that I didn’t understand why they were there. Plus I never knew so much excitement could take place in proximity of a Waffle House.
I definitely think Let It Snow is a must-read. It’s also a great chance for readers who haven’t experienced these authors yet to be introduced to them. It’s heartwarming without being corny and cheesy, and it’s pretty telling when you care so much about characters that you don’t spend a full novel with. ...more
There’s nothing I love more than New York City and Christmas time. (Except maybe Walt Disney World.)Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
There’s nothing I love more than New York City and Christmas time. (Except maybe Walt Disney World.) Add in a bookstore and moleskin notebooks and I am pretty much in my element. Dash & Lily reminds me of a younger, less intense version of one of my favorite movies, Serendipity. Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack meet days before Christmas in a New York department store. Unfortunately they are both in other relationships and decide to leave their next meeting to chance.
While Dash & Lily’s premise is entirely different it is the back and forth, the sense of adventure, and mystery that is so familiar to me. The book is not overly romantic, but more about discovery. It is more goofy and over-the-top than some epic love story. But its innocence is part of its charm.
Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a book that has garnered such high praise from other readers; you don’t want to be disappointed. But I’m happy to say I grew pretty addicted to Dash and Lily’s story. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that each of the characters were more developed than I had expected. I loved the details of their family backstories and all the supporting characters who contributed to the story.
Still, the end just snuck up on me and many elements that contributed to the character development were forgotten. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers but part of me wondered if the book would have felt more complete if the beginning was shorter.
As the second book I’ve read where two authors alternate chapters (first was Will Grayson, Will Grayson), Rachel Cohn and David Levithan did a great job. I actually had trouble believing it was actually written by two different authors. I also suspect one of them is a huge Muppet fan and that’s pretty awesome in my book.
This also may have been the first book I’ve read in awhile where I felt more connected to the male lead character. Dash is independent and more grounded while Lily’s enthusiasm and the fact she is so sheltered makes her feel very young to me. Yet I am totally on the same page with her love of baking, Christmas lights, and carols (although I guarantee she is a better singer than I). Not to be a negative Nelly, but I did wonder (quite a bit) about how compatible these two would be.
See? This is why I need to start a campaign for a sequel because I really want to know what happens next!
If you want a book that is just plain fun, gives you an incredible tour of New York, and teaches you a slew of vocabulary words, what are you waiting for? It’s just about perfect for this time of year. ...more
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume many of you reading this aren’t accomplished bridge playerReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog:
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume many of you reading this aren’t accomplished bridge players or know a whole lot about bridge to begin with. If you are like me, my familiarity with bridge is limited to the hands they put in the newspaper. (Have you seen those?) I’m not even sure where I got the idea where bridge was a game that “old people played” but hey the stereotype is there and it’s not an unpopular one because well, it’s all over this book.
When I first saw The Cardturner in the bookstore, I was just interested in reading about what Louis Sachar was up to. As a kid, I was a huge fan of his Wayside School series, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, and in college again, when I read Holes. (Don’t miss that one!) Like all of those stories, The Cardturner has real heart. Even when it feels a little long and slips into long explanations about bridge. (Sachar is genius though – he begins his diatribes about bridge with a whale icon. If you aren’t all that interested in the teeny tiny details, just skip ahead to the box where there is a small summary of what Sachar is trying to get at.) It is not a book that is obsessing over the hierarchy of high school or sex or a love triangle. This feels like an old school YA book with a unique background story.
The major highlight is the narrator – Alton, a high school kid who is roped into helping his blind uncle play bridge. I don’t read many books with male narrators so this was refreshing. Alton is funny. He talks to the audience, makes it known that HE is the one writing his story down. He’s also sort of a pushover, and not exactly the big man on campus. But I liked that about him. He had feelings. Even if he wasn’t so good at expressing them. It can’t be easy for your best friend to be dating your ex-girlfriend and see he is also kind of interested in your new crush.
He also seems to be searching for some kind of acceptance from his uncle. Alton is able to pick up on bridge pretty quickly, and his uncle makes him feel like a total idiot sometimes and underestimates him completely. These are some of the funniest moments in the book when he is expressing his frustration over knowing what was going on, and pretending like he doesn’t really care.
Bridge is what brings change into Alton’s life, for sure. Throughout the book, we see him steadily learn the ins and outs of this game, establish a connection with this uncle he never really knew, and make friends with a lot of other people. I also loved the dynamic between him and his younger sister, Leslie. She was probably one of the sanest people in this book since Alton’s parents were so obnoxiously annoying and only cared about one thing – money.
This isn’t the most fast paced book. In fact, it took me a lot longer to read it than I thought it would. I wasn’t addicted to it like I normally get with others. I was reeled in more at the halfway point when I got to know the characters more and things got a little bit exciting and somewhat, suspenseful. (Yes! For real.) I even shed a tear at one point. So The Cardturner is certainly worth sticking with if you can be patient. You may even find bridge to be interesting. (Honestly, it’s still hard for me to grasp the game without actually seeing people playing it but I’m curious enough to watch some videos on YouTube.)
But Louis Sachar has a way of taking a realistic story and making it feel like a fairy tale. Not necessarily with the ending you envisioned. But there are wacky characters, a blind uncle who can impressively memorize his own cards and the hands of the other players, and a “scandalous” family history mystery. It has a little bit for everyone....more
It’s difficult to read a book about 9/11 without thinking about where I was when it happened. I feelReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
It’s difficult to read a book about 9/11 without thinking about where I was when it happened. I feel kind of shameful about it now, to be honest. I don’t think I ever really took the time to understand what all of it meant. I was a junior in high school, sitting in my English class when someone walked in to tell us a plane hit the Twin Towers. School was pretty much over as we knew it. No one was doing much in class. Everyone was on their cell phones. Rules had zero effect. I remember going home all day and being unable to get in touch with the boy I had been talking to because signals were down. I lived 10 minutes away from New York City, and many of my friends had parents who commuted. One of them waited all day and all night until her dad finally made it home. From one of the main roads in my hometown, you could see the skyline – suddenly filled with smoke that didn’t lift for a long, long time.
I originally thought I would include a snippet from my journal during that time but there was nothing that really stood out to me to share. A few days later, I did include this quote from The Green Mile (I loved that book!):
I’m rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I’m tired of being on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never having no buddy to go on with or tell me where we’s comin from or goin to or why. I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I’m tired of all these times I wanted to help and couldn’t.. I’m tired of being in the dark. Mostly it’s the pain. There’s too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can’t.
They are not my own words but I could see how I felt they were so relevant at the time.
Sometimes I feel so outside of the events of 9/11. I didn’t personally know anyone that died. But it did make my mother reconsider my dream of going to school in the city. It did make me realize how something can happen on any given day and even though you realize that, you can’t let it stop you from living your life. I think this is why I really liked the premise of Love is the Higher Law. Most of the books/movies, etc. were focused on people who had loved ones die during the attacks, and this was a story about three people who lived in New York and were affected by it in other ways.
Now I’ve only read David Levithan’s work in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which I loved. One of my favorite reads of 2011. But I was so enamored by his poetic writing. He was able to evoke such emotion without unnecessarily over-hyping everyone’s feelings. It felt rightfully organic and there were so many times I felt so touched by the pain Claire felt or the detachment that Jasper was experiencing. One of the most beautiful scenes I have probably ever read was during one of Claire’s sleepless nights when she wanders into Union Square, where people had started a makeshift memorial for all the missing. It’s raining out, and all the candles are burnt out. But Claire and another woman work together to light every single candle standing out there. They didn’t speak more than a few words to one another, and Claire worked so diligently to feel like she was doing something.
Then you have Peter and Jasper. Two people who are flirty and free at a party before 9/11 and – two days after the world completely changes – are anything but, resulting in a disaster of a date (although Liza Minnelli is involved). I think it’s interesting to read their perceptions of one another as the chapters switch from person to person, just because these two people are experiencing the same moment so differently, and with Claire, we basically just see Claire. One of my favorite details about Peter is how much he relates music to how he is feeling. There’s a huge emotional moment towards the end of the book at a concert that had tears rolling down my face too. I didn’t even need to know the band or the song they were singing. It’s just amazing the things in life that make us connect and feel other people’s feelings.
That’s what this book is all about. Connection, disconnection, hope, fears, and the unknown. I was reading a review of Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud a few weeks ago and the critic started by saying that 9/11 isn’t something he is over or something he is ever going to be over. And it’s true… 11 years later, I feel the same way. Even if I was only 16 years old when it happened and the only World Trade Center I knew was from when Kevin visited them in Home Alone 2.
There’s a constant struggle to make sense out of these enormously horrid things that happen during our everyday lives. (Even the smaller atrocities too.) I think Love of the Higher Law is a true representation of our generation, one that has seen the effects of an event like 9/11 and how it has changed our perception of the world around us. It pinpoints hard-to-swallow and hard-to-work-through problems without being preachy or over-dramatic or pretentious or pompous. We can be strong even when we lack the understanding of certain events and the reasons behind them. ...more
As soon as I finished this book, I texted Magan: “I think I wrote this book my senior year of high sReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
As soon as I finished this book, I texted Magan: “I think I wrote this book my senior year of high school.” I’m serious. I was feeling lukewarm about Scott after reading Stealing Heaven a few months ago, and I’m so glad I decided to read Bloom next. I was not disappointed. Not at all.
Here’s the thing. You are in a relationship. It is deemed perfect on the outside. The person seems perfect on the outside and you just feel stuck. Your needs are not getting met. You meet someone else, or reunite with them in Lauren’s case and bam. You just cannot deny you are unhappy with your current situation anymore and you just want to be swept away.
Immediately I thought of:
1. Jo Dee Messina lyric: “Oh, one day you get what you want / But it’s not what you think / Then you get what you need." 2. When Dawson’s super cool aunt tells Joey about meeting someone that makes her feel alive and making a hard decision. (Yes, I take Dawson’s Creek lessons to heart.)
I feel pretty bad for Lauren. She likes to read and play the clarinet in jazz band but she feels the need to keep both of these a secret because of the group that she is involved with in school. That’s a lot of pressure. Not to mention, pretending everything is perfect in your relationship and at home when you dad is never even around to have dinner with.
Bloom does a great job of accurately painting Lauren’s insecurities (even though I wish she would just admit who she is and what she likes); even the development of the secondary characters is well done. At times when Scott could have ventured into cliches, she didn’t. All I can say is: yay. The chemistry between Lauren and Evan is intense and all- encompassing.
Most of all, I liked how Scott wrote Lauren as a character who was concerned she was repeating the mistakes of her parents. It’s the reason she sort of stayed still and didn’t make any rash moves. She played it safe. It’s amazing how much pressure she put on herself, even without the help of her parents.
I was left wondering though: did Evan really have to be a character from her past? One way or another, they were sort of siblings at some point. Would the story have progressed any differently if he was just some new guy in class?
You tell me. Add this book to your to-read list. Please? ...more
I know you aren’t supposed to choose a book by its cover but How to Say Goodbye in Robot is probablReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog:
I know you aren’t supposed to choose a book by its cover but How to Say Goodbye in Robot is probably the best-looking book I’ve picked up all year. Brilliant hot pink pages pinpoint each month that goes by during Beatrice’s senior year at a new high school. At this point, Beatrice is used to moving around a lot as her dad finds better and better teaching positions at colleges but her mom comes off a little bi-polar and obsessed with chickens. This is where the title comes in — Beatrice’s mom calls her a robot when she fails to feel anything for a dead gerbil. She starts to question whether her mom is right — is she detached from her emotions?
At school, Beatrice strikes up an unlikely friendship with Jonah, dubbed as Ghost Boy by the rest of his graduating class. While this move is not the best for her social standing at school, Bea and Jonah begin to depend on each other. They also listen to a late-night radio show filled with some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever come across. In no way is this your typical high school YA and I think that’s why I loved it so much. Instead of being obsessed with clothes, the popular crowd, or falling for each other, both of these characters are struggling with real problems and seeking solace in each other. Kind of. Jonah likes to push Bea away, and she has trouble dealing with that. He gets jealous when she goes on dates, ignores her for a long periods of time, and then jumps back into her life.
It’s not healthy. Not even close. But I could relate to the hope that Bea clinged to. That Jonah would realize how much he needed her, how much their friendship meant in the grand scheme of things… this novel is very well-written. From start to finish, it’s better than a lot of the adult fiction I’ve been reading. (Although, unfortunately, this seems like a growing trend.) The tone is melancholy yet down-to-earth. I felt Jonah and Bea were some of the more relatable YA characters I’ve come across, at least when it came to my own middle school and high school experiences.
I can’t sit here and psych all of you up for a happy ending. The way things went down may have been the best thing for both characters but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.
By the way, any book that opens with Truman Capote quote — it’s got the goods. ...more
Right of the bat you know that The Murderer’s Daughters is not going to be a laugh a minute. In fReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog --
Right of the bat you know that The Murderer’s Daughters is not going to be a laugh a minute. In fact, I think I cracked a smile maybe twice throughout the whole book. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Meyers does a great job of building depth in these two characters. Lulu and Merry can’t be any more different but their bond is inexplicable. Sure, a majority of that bond has to do with what they went through in their apartment that day and their dedication to concealing their past from everyone around them. It’s a tough thing to do especially when one can’t control when certain memories or thoughts pop up. It’s like the black cloud that never disappears.
Most interesting to me were the paths these women took in their life. Every decision, every choice was almost a reaction to their father’s crime. As a reader, I sometimes felt frustrated and annoyed with their actions but it was only because I cared about them and wanted each girl to catch a break. I can’t even imagine having to deal with a tragedy like this in my life but I can only say that Meyers’ depiction of the events feels pretty on the mark for me.
It’s well-written, engrossing, and psychologically intriguing. ...more
While many can’t relate to being an accomplice to robberies since she was five years old, there is aReview originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog
While many can’t relate to being an accomplice to robberies since she was five years old, there is a level of truth in Stealing Heaven. The pressure of parents as well as the hardship of having someone in your life who always does things impeccably. The difficulty in standing up to your parents and feeling free to discover life on your own. Danielle struggles with all of these issues one way or another throughout this novel.
Her desire to feel settled and have a place to call home are so strong when her and her mother reach Heaven. She starts to make a friend, Allison, who actually wants to know about her and her feelings. She even meets a guy named Greg who wants nothing more than to spend time with her. But of course, he is a cop.
While normal to most teenagers, Danielle doesn’t know what to do with these newfound experiences because even though she is enjoying them, she is betraying her mother, who has planted them there to steal silver from Allison’s family. Her own morals and future are constantly being tested as she slowly begins to break away from the life her mother built for her.
While the book was riveting, I did think that it wrapped up too soon and I wasn’t too satisfied with the developments in Danielle’s mom’s life. Or the lack of development in her situation with Greg. But you are rooting for Danielle to make the right decision and realize just how much unhealthy power her mother has had over every aspect of her life.
A quick and entertaining read, I couldn’t put it down. (I also think this would make a great movie with a few changes, of course.) I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of Elizabeth’s work. ...more
Once in awhile I am lucky enough to read a book I cannot stop thinking about. I want to send carrier pigeOriginally reviewed on Rather Be Reading Blog
Once in awhile I am lucky enough to read a book I cannot stop thinking about. I want to send carrier pigeons and take out an ad on TV just to inform people of its pure genius. After reading over 90 books so far this year, The Gap Year easily fits in my Top 5 of 2011.
First, writing style – Bird alternates chapters between Mom (Cam) at present day and daughter (Aubrey) exactly a year before. The imagery is crisp and the sentence structure flows perfectly in its simplicity. (While this book is description heavy — something I normally don’t love, it is engrossing here.)
Second, the mystery of how these two stories will end remains until the very end. It doesn’t seem like the kind of book that would remain predictable for so long but Bird has carefully created these characters and their histories so much that the drive to discover them is always existent.
Mother and daughter relationships are never easy, and to watch Cam obsess over the navigation of her daughter’s life – and for Aubrey to have some major life epiphany during her senior year of high school – is completely intense. From start to finish. As a reader, I could relate to both on many levels and at the same time I was frustrated by their actions.
And regret. Many write it. It can easily fall into the realm of cliché. But both of these women (and the other characters we meet throughout the course of the novel) have their own unique responses to it. That’s what makes The Gap Year so real: Bird is able to take the complexities of this trying year in this particular household and consistently express them in such a down-to-earth manner.
Easily a favorite for life, I’m looking forward to reading more of Bird’s work, as well as urging everyone I pass on the street to pick it up n o w! ...more
My third official Dessen read. Another one I could not put down (yes, I was sneaking it under my desk atOriginally reviewed on Rather Be Reading Blog
My third official Dessen read. Another one I could not put down (yes, I was sneaking it under my desk at work!) but I was surprised to find myself a little bit disappointed by this one. I’m seeing by now that Dessen likes to write about girls who are battling with their own definitions of love and accepting it into their lives. No, that that’s a poor storyline. It never is, but I wanted more exploration into the secondary characters. In particular, Dexter. While I adored him, he remained very one-dimensional to me and I wished we could have learned more about what made him tick.
Don’t get me wrong, The Lullaby is still worth reading but I enjoyed Playing with the Moon and Lock & Key more. There are some telling moments with Remy’s mom in the book that are intriguing and touching, and actually become a huge part of Remy’s growth throughout the pages. What I like about her is that Dessen doesn’t make a boy the answer to all of Remy’s problems. Each of these young leading ladies need to figure out their own issues, and because that takes times, all the answers are not found out by the time you reach the end.
I applaud Dessen for never taking the easy way out and tying a pretty bow on the plotline. ...more
This book started a little slow for me, but managed to pick up and become pretty intriguing. While I'm not into medieval history and the storyline isThis book started a little slow for me, but managed to pick up and become pretty intriguing. While I'm not into medieval history and the storyline is pretty far fetched but I liked the main character Ellie. She was funny, strong, and super intelligent (I guess it helps that both of her parents were professors). I really enjoyed her relationship with Will was fun to read, and I think Cabot built up their chemistry very well. I should say that this is the first book I've read by Cabot and while it wasn't life altering, I wouldn't be averse to checking out another. Actually hoping there would be a sequel to AH but it seems they was a Manga comic trilogy afterwards? Weird.
Definitely a light read, but a fun fairy tale too....more
You go into this book knowing it is going to be an emotional rollercoaster. I really don't think the little synopsis prepared me for the intense storyYou go into this book knowing it is going to be an emotional rollercoaster. I really don't think the little synopsis prepared me for the intense story that would unfold. I sped through this book despite the serious situations, and really felt for the main character, Clay. I liked this was a thoughtful, sensitive man as a lead character. Hannah, the girl who sends a series of tapes to the few people in her life who caused her to commit suicide, is someone I very much sympathized with. I went through the story wishing one moment would have changed and she could have been saved. I'll even admit I was hoping for a surprise ending. Instead, I enjoyed the style of the writing but felt the end pretty much appeared out of nowhere and I would have liked a fuller resolution. I understand what Asher was going for but I felt like after we spent all night on this journey with Clay, I wanted something more.
I also have to question the realism of a story like this one. I'm not sure someone who so focused on committing suicide would go to the lengths that Hannah did. I could be wrong. Perhaps Asher is just driving the point that Hannah had the time to intricately plan her death and no one even noticed. I'm not sure. You be the judge....more
All I can say is my god, high school is rough and I’m glad to be out of there. Magan warned me in advancOriginally reviewed at Rather Be Reading Blog.
All I can say is my god, high school is rough and I’m glad to be out of there. Magan warned me in advance that this book was disturbing and I think that’s why it took me a little longer than normal to finish it. But I am so glad that I did.
Lani isn’t into being defined. And Claire may show off a positive outlook on life, but it’s as fake as the smiles in her pictures. They are an unlikely pair, and even though their friendship is short-lived, it’s like they have known each other for years.
Claire is dealing with an alcoholic mother, the possibility of having a cancer relapse, starving herself, and a somewhat absent father. Her “friends” are just not the kind you confide it. Instead they are the ones who play “chicken” and get her into dangerous pickles. Her friendship with Lani puts her reputation on the line, and Lani can’t stand clear of multiple forms of harassment.
While this book is difficult to read, Claire’s character development is worth it. Lani teaches her that life gets worse before it gets better, and the strength that Claire finds is truly remarkable. Lani teaches her volumes about herself, actually. ...more
Another one of those books where I find myself caring more for the character once the story is half over. I really enjoyed Craig when he was interactiAnother one of those books where I find myself caring more for the character once the story is half over. I really enjoyed Craig when he was interacting with others more than when he was inside his head. It's a heavy book, and sometimes frustrating because you can't figure out why he is feeling the way he is. But maybe that is just reflective of how frustrated the character is too. A book worth picking up, but one to be read carefully....more