Interesting history of an interesting family. I really loved seeing the dynamics of the family relationship and especially finding out more about theiInteresting history of an interesting family. I really loved seeing the dynamics of the family relationship and especially finding out more about their sister....more
This books reminds me of many books I have read and enjoyed including, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, WhistlinThis books reminds me of many books I have read and enjoyed including, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman, Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall and Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. For people who love those books, this will be a good choice. I enjoyed the relationship that was building between the two main characters, 89 year-old Isabell and her hairdresser Dorrie. I loved the flashbacks to the late 1930s and early 1940s when Isabelle described growing up and falling in love. The book even included a road trip. Overall this was an enjoyable book....more
A good book, but a little slow in the beginning. This book has definite appeal to those who like their books to be literary; well written and appealinA good book, but a little slow in the beginning. This book has definite appeal to those who like their books to be literary; well written and appealing, but a little deeper in symbolism than most books. Well worth the read, but be prepared to devote some time to this novel....more
The author's experiences are the things nightmares are made of! Thank you to Ms. Telgemeier for sharing her story and for finding humor in a tough sitThe author's experiences are the things nightmares are made of! Thank you to Ms. Telgemeier for sharing her story and for finding humor in a tough situation. Great graphic novel! Highly recommended....more
Cute book with lots of stories where animals are heroes. Stories are short enough that you could read some of them aloud to students or children. SomeCute book with lots of stories where animals are heroes. Stories are short enough that you could read some of them aloud to students or children. Some may not be appropriate for all audiences, but what a great book to share with kids....more
Sydney has always felt invisible in her family next to her charming and attention getting older brother Peyton. After Peyton is arrested for a drunk dSydney has always felt invisible in her family next to her charming and attention getting older brother Peyton. After Peyton is arrested for a drunk driving accident that injures a pedestrian, Sydney becomes even more invisible. Searching for a way to escape her brother's shadow Sydney starts a new school and begins making friends that are separate from her past. With a new start can Sydney finally come to terms what has happened and finally make herself be seen.
I love Sarah Dessen's novels, but this particular novel is much darker than her others. In fact I found the whole first part of the novel depressing. Sydney was so invisible and neglected. I kept wanting her to stand up and shout at her parents--I wanted her to remind them that she was still there and that the entire world didn't revolve around Peyton.
The characters in the novel are extremely well drawn--I wouldn't expect less from Sarah Dessen. The story unfolds gradually, sometimes a bit slow at the beginning, but it keeps the reader interested.
Overall this is an interesting novel. A bit darker than Dessen's usual fare, but well worth the read. I recommend this book to those who like Dessen's other books, especially those who won't mind a novel with a little more depth. Another great book by Dessen!...more
Gross, funny, scientific, interesting, and unusual are all terms that can be used to describe this work by Mary Roach. I never thought I would find thGross, funny, scientific, interesting, and unusual are all terms that can be used to describe this work by Mary Roach. I never thought I would find the digestive system so interesting--or learn so much. This is a great read for those who want to know their bodies a little better and for those who are just plain curious about a process we go though every day, but discuss so little. Very interesting!...more
Jam was head over heels in love with her British exchange student boyfriend Reeve. That is until he died, leaving her in so much pain she coulSummary:
Jam was head over heels in love with her British exchange student boyfriend Reeve. That is until he died, leaving her in so much pain she couldn’t cope with the rest of the world. Not knowing what else to do, her parents send her away to the Wooden Barn, a boarding school for teens who have difficulties or are dealing with trauma. At the Wooden Barn, Jam finds herself assigned to a most unusual English class, Special Topics in English. In the class they will spend the entire semester studying the writings of Sylvia Plath, and writing in a red leather journal. When she starts writing in her journal, Jam finds herself transported to Belzhar, a magical place where Reeve is alive again and they can be together. Unfortunately, each trip uses up pages in the journal and Jam’s trips are limited. Reliving the times with Reeve also bring Jam closer to facing the truth.
Wow. Where do I start?
This book made it to the top of my reading list because I really didn’t have a choice. It was chosen by my book group as an interesting new title. I don’t think I would have read it otherwise. Let me say, it was a great pick. There is so much to discuss about this book I really can’t wait until our next meeting.
Jam is a sympathetic character. She is in pain and suffering from the loss of her boyfriend. Then she is forced to go to this boarding school where she doesn’t want to go. It is only in the Special Topics in English class where she begins to open up and connect with other students.
The pacing of the novel is good, and while the other characters begin to open up about their stories, Jam keeps hers hidden and keep you wondering about what really happened.
Belzhar is a unique construct in this novel, and learning the rules is the fun part. I loved how Wolitzer described this magical place. Each student in Special Topics has their own version of Belzhar where they can experience their life before the trauma that sent the to the Wooden Barn happened.
The audio version of this novel is roughly 8 hours. It is read by Jorjeana Marie and produced by Random House/Listening Library. The production is really well done and free of flaws. Jorjeana Marie does a fabulous job with the narration and making Jam a believable character. If you like audiobooks this would be a good way to experience this novel.
Overall: When I first started reading this novel I wasn’t sure what to expect. It is one of those genre bending books that is difficult to classify. So much of the story is realistic fiction, but the story couldn’t happen without the fantasy elements of Belzhar. In the end this novel was an engrossing read. You want to know what really happened to Reeve and why Jam won’t talk about it. Once you get into the novel, you won’t want to put it down.
Summary: Maddie is a cheerleader, dating the star football player, pretty, popular, and so afraid that people will find out the truth…she is really a nSummary: Maddie is a cheerleader, dating the star football player, pretty, popular, and so afraid that people will find out the truth…she is really a nerd. She loves comic books and even keeps a comic book journal, but she is terrified that her friends will find out and then shun her. Then she meets Logan, the son of the owner of the local comic shop. As she gets to know him, and share her inner geek, she wants more. If her friends find out they will reject her. Her only choice is to keep her love of comics and Logan a secret, and lead a double life.
Review: This is the perfect summer read; light, entertaining, and funny. Maddie struggles with the age old problem of accepting herself. She is so worried about what other people think that she forgets to be true to herself. Although her dilemmas and escapades are quite predictable, you can’t help but enjoy the journey.
Maddie is a likable, though somewhat frustrating character. I say frustrating because you spend the entire novel yelling at her to be herself. Realistically, being yourself isn’t always easy, as Maddie finds out as she tries to juggle her two lives. Despite this, I did find Maddie likable.
The supporting cast of characters are a lot of fun as well including Logan’s best friend Dan. I love how these characters complimented the story and made things more interesting—or in Dan’s case, bluntly told Maddie what he thought she was messing up.
Overall: This light fun read is entertaining and enjoyable. While the reader will figure out the solution to Maddie’s problems long before she does, they will still enjoy Maddie’s journey.
Cautions for Sensitive Readers: Sex: None Drugs: None Alcohol: None Violence: None Profanity: Mild. Dan’s vocabulary tends to be a bit vulgar, and he is periodically reminded to watch his language. The language does not offend or affect the reader’s enjoyment of the novel....more
Summary: Theodore Finch, aka Theodore Freak, is obsessed with death. Violet Markey blames herself for the death of her sister Eleanor. They meet in theSummary: Theodore Finch, aka Theodore Freak, is obsessed with death. Violet Markey blames herself for the death of her sister Eleanor. They meet in the school bell tower, one becomes the hero who saved the other, but no one knows the real truth about who saved whom. Suddenly assigned to be partners in a “Wander Indiana” project for their class, they discover who they really are, and both begin to see beneath the surface.
Review: This isn’t an easy book to read or review. This is a book that tackles the serious subjects of suicide and mental disorders. Nothing about that is easy, and I suspect it wasn’t an easy subject for the author either.
Theodore Finch is a remarkable young man, yet he doesn’t see it himself. Smart, witty, thoughtful, loving, but ultimately suffering in silence. Violet Markey is suffering herself. She hasn’t been the same since the auto accident that spared her and took her sister. She has lost interest in her passion of writing, and doesn’t care about school anymore. Both of these characters are so thoughtfully and carefully depicted in this story. You could know these kids, walk the school halls with them, sit beside them in class…
This is a story that begs to be read, and told and discussed. I believe that a lot could come from sitting down with someone and discussing this novel. It discusses labels and how easy it is to write someone off because of their label, and fail to see the beating human heart beneath the label.
Audiobook Review: The audiobook is produced by Listening Library and read by Kirby Heyborne and Ariadne Meyers. Both readers do an amazing job making you believe that these are the voices of these two characters. Their narration draws you into the story and will keep you listening. The book on CD has nine discs and is 11 hours and 4 minutes long. The production is well done, and definitely a good way to get through this novel.
Overall: This book is one that will leave you thinking. While at times the pacing may slow a trifle, the author does a superb job of keeping the reader invested in the lives of these two individuals. You will know these teens and they will become your friends, and with them you will share their sorrow and pain. This is a book that should be read, reread, and discussed.
Cautions for Sensitive Readers: Drugs: Mild references to prescription medications not being used being used as directed. Alcohol: Mild references Sex: Yes Explicit Language: Some Violence: Some abuse. ...more