A la "Clementine", "Piper Reed", "Ramona", etc. Not my favorite of that group but certainly laugh out loud in plenty of places and a great run of a seA la "Clementine", "Piper Reed", "Ramona", etc. Not my favorite of that group but certainly laugh out loud in plenty of places and a great run of a series to be able to recommend on the floor. Great narrative voice for kids to get into with a kind of DWK illustration humor. Good go to for 2nd-3rd grade girls esp....more
Debating between 3 and 4 stars. It is an objectively great book - great themes throughout between the loon watching and the photography and hits all tDebating between 3 and 4 stars. It is an objectively great book - great themes throughout between the loon watching and the photography and hits all the points on what it is like to try to make friends (how insecure and vulnerable one feels) in a new place, especially at that age. But not sure how well it would go over with many kids. Personally, I found myself pretty annoyed with the father in the story which I know was part of the conflict but Lucy's relationship with him got darker and sadder to me than I think was intended and that never seemed resolved for me at the end - more just chalked up as bad communication or something. Still, Lord can do little wrong in her books. She's such a solid writer for realistic fiction for this age that I can hardly complain - probably just have a higher standard for her. Though this is a slim novel (bordering on novella size) it is a pretty meditative piece and I think may be a hard sell for a lot of kids. It may take a parent or teacher processing some of the ideas in this book but I could see great application in the classroom for art projects like "framing a scene" or for science projects like learning about endangered animals, etc. ...more
Who am I to rate and review a Steinbeck? This may have been the first time though that a book club has made me wonder how much I actually loved the boWho am I to rate and review a Steinbeck? This may have been the first time though that a book club has made me wonder how much I actually loved the book. By all means, this is an amazing read - will sweep you off your feet! The landscape, the setting, the generations of characters and family dynamics. I was also amazed at how compelling I found the story, what would "malformed soul" Cathy do next? How will Lee help the family process all of this? I think the thing that got close to letting me down a couple times was how incohesive some of the plot elements were - like the Hamilton family anecdotes that were interesting but didn't not really end up relating much to other parts of the story. I felt like pieces of those stories were used to foil the Trask family dynamics but not all of them felt that way. I know this book was semi-autobiographical based on Steinbeck's family history but at times it felt like stuff kind of floated in the story and didn't connect to much. Again, who I am to say any of this? And I still stand by a solid 5 star rating. I think I may just be comparing it to the tightly woven poignancy in "Grapes of Wrath" or even "The Pearl". So my let down only is compared to other Steinbeck books and not to other books I have read. Okay, I think I've been pretentious enough for one review so I'll leave it at that......more
Trying to decide how much I liked this one or how well it worked for me. I thought the premise was interesting - revolving around Klein Levin SyndromeTrying to decide how much I liked this one or how well it worked for me. I thought the premise was interesting - revolving around Klein Levin Syndrome and all the bizarre kind of grief that would come from missing out on your life because you were literally sleeping through it. The middle dragged a lot though and the conflict between the Althea and Oliver was hard for me to grasp half of the time. The end tied things up better and I understood it more through their conversations in the last chapters but during most of the book I couldn't wrap my head around each of their personalities, their strengths, flaws, chemistry, etc. It was just wildly inconsistent at times and I felt like I was being told more than shown who they were as individuals. That got tiresome and made me wonder if I cared to finish the book. I'm glad I did but I am not entirely sure how many people I will be able to recommend this to......more
I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars on this and probably won't be able to decide until after my book club next week and also seeing how long this storyI'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars on this and probably won't be able to decide until after my book club next week and also seeing how long this story and writing sticks with me. The setting was totally entrancing and the narrative voice really held me. The whole story struck me as something between "Stand By Me" and "Peace Like a River" - coming of age summer with death(s)/murder(s) during a nostalgic era on the brink of change. I really enjoyed the process of reading this book but wonder if I didn't maybe expect something a little more profound or a plot twist a little less predictable. The last few pages were particularly moving and beautiful and I like where the plot went with Frank's family dynamics. Should make for a fun book club meeting next week. I imagine it was a crowd pleaser - which is saying a lot with this crowd! ;)...more
This had an interesting enough premise and the start of the story kept me really interested in the world building and the small mix of characters. TheThis had an interesting enough premise and the start of the story kept me really interested in the world building and the small mix of characters. There were just so many odd named things in the story that it was hard to keep track of what/who was being talked about and I felt like not enough happened over the course of the story - I feel defeated in saying I just couldn't quite finish it. I just felt like I was running in place after a while. I did really enjoy the concept of Eva Nine looking for someone who was like her - a race of people she had never known. I was also interested in her relationship with "Mother" and was increasingly curious about her becoming less cyborg and more human. So a handful of cool elements at play but when every creature and object in a new world is a mess of consonants that give me no reference point, I find myself getting irritated with the writing and less interested in the story. Funny hang up to have I know but I couldn't shake it after a while. ...more
What an unusual story. Some parts more believable than others but as a whole a great contribution to the often to angsty YA arena. This is sort of a MWhat an unusual story. Some parts more believable than others but as a whole a great contribution to the often to angsty YA arena. This is sort of a Mean Girls meets A Little Princess. It had the tragic emotions of a Frances Hodgson Burnett with an understated humor of a African bush raised child trying to navigate the social construct of a British all girls prep school. While reading it, it seemed nothing could be more different from those two worlds. I both felt deeply for Will but also became frustrated with how she refused to be tamed even in the most reasonable ways. I wasn't sure how the ending was going to bring things together but it totally worked for me.
The writing style was one of the most unusual qualities to the story and though I wasn't sure about it at first, I ended up becoming very engaged and moved by it. This will be a great book to recommend to the girls who come into the library with a high reading skills but are too young or sensitive for a lot of the content heavy books in the YA - which is something I need more and more these days....more