I would describe this as a coming of age story. The book primarily revolves around nineteen year old Ruth and her slightly older brother, David.
The s...moreI would describe this as a coming of age story. The book primarily revolves around nineteen year old Ruth and her slightly older brother, David.
The story takes place one hot summer in Alabama, while both siblings are home on college break. They spend their time lifeguarding and coaching at the local summer pool. Ruth, insecure and suffering from low self esteem, finds herself finally acknowledged and popular after a drastic weight loss. David, meanwhile, has always been the popular, smart, soccer star who earned a full scholarship to attend school. However, David returns home that summer, moody and quiet, with some secret he seems to be unable to talk about. Adding to the mix is the fact that they are one of the very few Jewish families in a very southern, Baptist community.
One day, while at the pool, a young, black girl nearly drowns on David and Ruth's watch. Ruth and David finally must confront hidden racism in their town, issues with their family and acknowledging flaws within themselves before the summer ends.
I enjoyed this book and at approximately 279 pages, it is a pretty quick read. I loved the mix of family dynamics, religion and location. It did focus a lot of Ruth's anorexia. Also, at some points,I found myself reading really quickly through some of the dialogue between Ruth and her friends due to it going on and on with her weight...however, I would say this book was very realistic and takes a good look at some important issues. There is not a lot of action and drama as I originally thought, it focuses more on Ruth moving towards becoming the adult she wants to be. I think adults and older teens would enjoy this book and would have no issues recommending it to others.
The Sometimes Daughter is a story highlighting the bond between mother and daughter. In this case, it is the mother who is irresponsible, afraid of co...moreThe Sometimes Daughter is a story highlighting the bond between mother and daughter. In this case, it is the mother who is irresponsible, afraid of commitment and brazenly forgoing rules in search of freedom and fun. The book begins with Cassie and Kirk, at Woodstock. Sweet Judy Blues Eyes, as she was named by her mother, is born in a tent. Kirk, eventually is pulled toward a more conventional life and returns to law school to create a secure household for his family. However, Cassie is unable to shake her hippie ways. She craves an unconventional life by cheating on her husband and eventually sneaking off with Judy to a commune in the Midwest. This is the last straw for Kirk. He eventually finds Judy and Cassie and files for divorce. The book focuses on Judy and her on and off relationship to her mom. She is raised by her grandparents and her dad, Kirk. Dad is a great character, patient, hardworking and committed to creating the best home-life for Judy. In contrast, Cassie is such an immature, errant mother who seems weak-willed and naive. Cassie calls and writes, occasionally entering Judy's life just long enough to disrupt it. But little by little, Judy is growing up. She is dealing with all the normal childhood dilemas, and finally teenage issues, and it affects her greatly not to have a mom to gain insight and advice. This book is about Judy and how she carries on with a mom who only occasionally appears. She finally must decide if Cassie really deserves a place in her heart at all. I loved reading this book. It was interesting throughout. A great read for older teenagers and all adults. Highly recommend. I received this book as part of the Goodreads First reads program. (less)
This is the author's debut novel and I certainly hope she continues writing. I loved the story, the writing style, the characters.... I highly recommen...moreThis is the author's debut novel and I certainly hope she continues writing. I loved the story, the writing style, the characters.... I highly recommend this book! The story begins almost immediately with the death of Ella's husband Joe. Ella has been married to Joe for 3 years and in that time has become a stepmother to his two young children. In fact, Ella is really the only mother the children have known, since their birth mother abandoned them 3 years earlier. But suddenly, Paige, the children's birth mother, returns after Joe's death and wants custody of the her two children. She claims she left for their own good, and attempted to contact Joe through out the years. Ella denies that Paige ever tried to contact Joe. But as she hears more of Paige's story, she begins to try and understand why Paige left, why Joe never talked about their relationship and what keeping secrets can do to a child. Ella loves these children as though they are her own. I felt Ella's pain and despair. This book was written so well and towards the end of the story, I could not put it down and stayed up late just to find out how it all would end. The story takes place in the Redwood forests of California in a family oriented small community. I loved the setting, the story idea and the character of Ella and her Italian family members. I can't wait to see what this author comes out with next!
You must read this book. The author has taken a fairytale/folk tale of The Snow Child and created an amazing story. The setting is 1920s Alaska, Jack...moreYou must read this book. The author has taken a fairytale/folk tale of The Snow Child and created an amazing story. The setting is 1920s Alaska, Jack and Mabel, a middle-aged couple who seem just on the verge of surviving their new life in the Alaska woods. It seems that many times Mabel is ready to give up the will to live. Mabel longs for a child, but her and her husband remain childless and escape the east coast for the Alaska wilderness to lose themselves.
Then Faina, a beautiful, feral child, slowly enters their lives. Mabel believes that she is a snow child that her and Jack created one night out of snow. The story happens in the winter and during snowfall.
Jack and Mabel are changed by Faina's presence. But no one else has ever seen Faina or heard of a girl being able to survive the harsh Alaskan winters on her own. So who is she? I don't want to write more for fear of ruining this beautiful story.
What makes this novel most remarkable is the quality of its writing. The descriptions are vibrant. The characters want love and happiness. Life on the farm seems real, with the dialogue kept to a minimum. What I liked the best was that even though the book seemed like a fairytale, I believed every bit of it. (less)
What I liked the most about this book was the setting at a New England boarding school for wealthy, privileged teenagers. Just reading about the advan...moreWhat I liked the most about this book was the setting at a New England boarding school for wealthy, privileged teenagers. Just reading about the advantages these students had due to wealth and their family name was pretty fascinating reading. However, we soon learn that no amount of money can protect you from dangers.
Set in the 1980's, this is the story of Jason Prosper. He transfers to Bellingham Academy after the suicide of his close friend and sailing partner, Cal. Blaming himself for his death, Jason is unable to forgive himself or move forward. Despite being unsure about his sexuality, Jason begins a relationship with Aiden, a mysterious and troubled girl who also attends Bellingham. With her he slowly begins to deal with Cal's death.
However, Jason soon faces another tragedy which pretty much leaves him questioning everything he knows. Meanwhile he is surrounded by irresponsible, often mean spirited students who have never really had limits. This added mix of "no consequences" due to the power of class privilege makes for one great read.
I really enjoyed this book, this is a gifted writer. It all felt very authentic and look forward to more from this author. I received this book as part of the Goodreads FirstReads program. (less)
I liked this story. Maya is almost 30 years old, Indian and not yet married. This causes lots of stress and worry for her family who wants to see her...moreI liked this story. Maya is almost 30 years old, Indian and not yet married. This causes lots of stress and worry for her family who wants to see her settled. When Maya's dad returns from India saying a curse has been put on their family, Maya pays little attention to it. However, after several bad luck incidents, Maya begins to believe in the power of the curse. She returns to India for a wedding, with the hope that while there, she can have the curse taken back. I thought the story would revolve around the curse and removing it, etc, but the story is basically about Maya and her finding the strength to move on to the next step in her life. After ending one relationship with a non-Indian boy, Maya starts one with a man that her family will approve of. This was a good book. I found it very real and even though the ending seems to just end, it worked for me. It described very real relationship issues that don't always have the happy, fairy tale ending. I won this book as part of the Goodreads giveaway program.(less)
First off I have to say I debated between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. I really liked so many parts of the book, but sometimes I felt like the main...moreFirst off I have to say I debated between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. I really liked so many parts of the book, but sometimes I felt like the main character rambled on and on and I wanted to give the book only a 3 star rating then. The story is about Alice, a 39 year old, who suffers a head injury at the gym and when she wakes up, she has lost 10 years of her life. She does not remember her children, her busy, high maintenance life, her fancy house or the fact that she is now separated from the love of her life-her husband Nick. Alice discovers that she does not really like who she has become. While she struggles to remember the past 10 years of her life, she realizes that the name Gina keeps coming up. Slowly Alice attempts to piece together her memories and wonders how her life ended up the way it did. Interwoven into Alice's story, is also the story of Alice's sister Elisabeth and her numerous attempts to conceive over the course of 10 years and her how she nearly destroyed her herself and her marriage in the process. We also get to read love letters between Elisabeth's and Alice's very dear friend Francine who is as close to them as a surrogate mother. I thought the story was humorous and I was so interested to keep reading to see if Alice ever regained her memory, won back Nick and discovered how to find balance between her younger self and who she had become. The negative to this book was that is did sometimes feel like it rambled and on and the story could have had some parts left out without affecting the storyline. But I really liked it quite a bit. Thanks to the Goodreads First Reads program for this giveaway. (less)
I was not very impressed with this book. It was an okay read and I would give it 2.5 stars. Maybe I was not in the mood, but I found myself really rus...moreI was not very impressed with this book. It was an okay read and I would give it 2.5 stars. Maybe I was not in the mood, but I found myself really rushing through the pages to get to the ending. The story is about three sisters, Lulu, Sophie and Emma. These three sisters live in London. Emma, the sensible, older sister is getting ready to be married. Sophie, the youngest, is starting an acting career and is pretty flighty. Lulu, the smart, middle child, has finished university with a degree in biochemistry and then decided she wanted nothing to do with a scientific degree and is pretty much working at one dead end job after another. Early on in the novel, Lulu discovers a collection of letters in her parent's attic written by her great-great-great grandmother Josephine March. In the letters, she writes about love, life and her sisters. Lulu bonds with her great grandmother through these letters and in a way, they help guide her through her daily life. The idea of the story really appealed to me, but I just had a hard time getting into it. Although the sisters are portrayed as all being very different from each other, I found myself constantly mixing up who was who. Mostly Lulu, Sophie and Emma seemed a bit too sarcastic with each other and the bickering sometimes seemed to go on and on. Lulu decides to keep the discovery of the letters to herself until the very end of the story. The book is all about Lulu, Sophie and Emma's lives and their parents and close relationships. But nothing really grabbed my attention in the book and I found myself pretty disinterested. I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.(less)
I won this book through the goodreads giveaway program and was really excited about reading it. I was not disappointed. Soul Mate is the story of a fo...moreI won this book through the goodreads giveaway program and was really excited about reading it. I was not disappointed. Soul Mate is the story of a forbidden love affair that develops between Claudia, a 26 year old high school teacher and her 18 year old student, Lance. Claudia comes from a small town in the Midwest. She arrives in the glamour laced world of Beverly Hills, CA, perhaps a bit naive. After assigning her class to write in diaries, Claudia is instantly attracted to Lance's literary talent, good looks and personality. After meeting his high powered family, Claudia realizes that a relationship is impossible with Lance. Or is it? Claudia and Lance believe themselves to be soulmates, but find they may have trouble convincing their family, friends and the rest of the world. I had fun reading this book and found myself rooting for this unlikely couple rather than against them. This book is much more than a steamy love affair between a teacher and student. The story may be a bit unrealistic towards the end, but I really liked all the characters, and was riveted to the plot. Definitely worth a read! (less)
This is one of my favorite books. It was creepy scary sometimes, but I loved the different locations the characters traveled to and I was interested f...moreThis is one of my favorite books. It was creepy scary sometimes, but I loved the different locations the characters traveled to and I was interested from the beginning to the very end.(less)