I liked this book, but I didn't LOVE this book. Having read The Hunger Games Series and the first two in the Divergent Series, this book felt like a mI liked this book, but I didn't LOVE this book. Having read The Hunger Games Series and the first two in the Divergent Series, this book felt like a mishmash of the two books - but without as much character development or detail.
The Testing is the story of a girl named Cia who, at the beginning of the book, reaches the appropriate age to graduate from school and become an adult. The United States is a wasteland with pockets of communities throughout the land and as students graduate, students from each community are chosen, based on their academic skills, to go to Tosu City to take The Testing and possibly go on to University or a good career. So of course Cia and a couple of other students get chosen to go to the testing. Now the story becomes a little like Divergent. There are 4 parts to the testing: written exams, hands-on exams, teamwork abilities, and "decision-making and leadership abilities". Throughout each section students are eliminated. Without going into details, of course she makes it through all of the first 3 exams (with much drama throughout). Then, the "decision-making and leadership abilities" exam is very much like The Hunger Games. All of the remaining students are dropped off at some unknown location (former Chicago) and are told to travel within this large fenced off area back to Tosu City.
I liked the book well enough; I read it in one day. However, I felt like it was lacking in the development of some key characters. I wanted to know each character better so that when/if they left I felt more compassion for them. I feel like I also wanted to know a bit more about the second and third parts of the tests. There were some things that happened within them of course, but I didn't quite feel like I was there and understanding the full picture. As with most dystopian novels lately, the first third-half of the book just seems to be stuff which leads up to the big action part. However, I want more information from the first third-half of the story.
Also, this book, like Divergent and Hunger Games, is a trilogy. I was hoping to have a dystopian YA novel that could be all wrapped up in one fell swoop. Will I read the next two books, sure I will, but I'll probably borrow them from the library. ...more
This book was amazing! I laughed, I cried, I felt connected to Kristine.
I have read quite a few memoirs about Autism - family members of children withThis book was amazing! I laughed, I cried, I felt connected to Kristine.
I have read quite a few memoirs about Autism - family members of children with Autism and some written by people who have some form of Autism. This one, I think, is the best one I've read to date.
Kristine is a passionate and caring woman. She makes me want to be a better woman and therapist. I am a speech-language pathologist and work (not exclusively) with children who have Autism. This book makes me want to be a better therapist overall.
This story is about her son, Jacob and the struggles and celebrations she and her family have gone through raising him thus far. He is your classic Autism story in the first couple of years; good development the first couple of years, starts losing skills around 3-yrs-old and is diagnosed with Autism. Then the therapies begin. Therapies help, but not always well or as fast as we want.
Well, after all of those initial therapies came school aged special education programs. Kristine was told, in not so many words by the teacher, that they didn't believe Jacob would ever be able to read. They were essentially tracking him toward a vocational program from the age of 4! Now, I have worked with some good special education teachers and some not so good ones. I know I would never say something so negative and disrespectful to a family, especially when the child is so young and has so much time to learn. Well, after that meeting, Kristine pulled him out of school to home-school him until Kindergarten.
This begins the real story of her book. At the time she ran a daycare. While she was home-schooling Jacob, she also began an after-daycare "Little Light" school for families who had children with autism to teach them the skills for going into Kindergarten as well. Everything blossomed from there.
Kristine is a dreamer at heart I think. She is a dreamer and a doer. She comes up with a big idea of what she wants to do to help her family, then she makes it happen - or at least starts the process right away. Some of the stories Kristine tells are unbelievable, and I've already seen some reviews that criticize this. I say, this is a memoir, and as such, these are her stories told from her perspective and they are true until proven otherwise.
She is a big believer in play. Children need to play to learn. They need to play with peers and outside and experience the world in whatever way they are comfortable with. I agree with this 100%. Children do need to play; and not just with video games and not just with their siblings. They need to get outside and experience the world. They need to go to museums and experience sports. And if those activities are not available to them for some reason, then they need to find a way to experience them where they are, like Kristine did with the Saturday sports group.
I think this book is wonderful and inspiring. I think it is a great read for anyone who is a parent to or works with children who have any kind of special need. ...more
I do not have children nor am I currently pregnant, however I am interested in topics related to pregnancy and babies and hope to one day be pregnant.I do not have children nor am I currently pregnant, however I am interested in topics related to pregnancy and babies and hope to one day be pregnant. I read this book from cover to cover, which may not be how most people read this book.
I found this book to be very thorough and informative. This book is obviously about birth plans but seems to cover so much more than simply what one is and what to write, or not write, on a birth plan. Mothers today in the US have a lot more choices of what their labor and birth can be like than what may be presented to them by their doctors or the nurses in the hospital.
The table of contents alone is ten pages, which can give you an indication as to the thoroughness of this book. There is also an extensive 13 page index in the back to quickly reference topics. There are also icons used throughout the book for things you may want to remember, tips, things to try before labor, and warnings for things that may be harmful or risky.
This book is written by two woman, both have children of their own. One woman has been an RN for 25+ years, mostly in maternal-child health and the other is a freelance health writer and author. These women, while putting together a very informational book, also throw in their own experiences from time to time which help make the book information seem more "real".
At times I felt like this book may come off to some people as one that is pro-natural birth and anti-cesarian section. Personally, I'm for natural birth and researching all of my options before pregnancy and labor happens, but, I guess I wouldn't have chosen this book if I didn't feel that way. I just want potential readers to know that it may feel like it has that bias, even though I think the authors were trying to go for a presentation of all choices there may be and pros and cons for each choice.
Also, having read the book from cover to cover, the book became a bit redundant at times. This is probably due to its primary use as a reference book and having information available in multiple places for easy availability.
Overall I thought this was an excellent reference book for anyone interested in the choices they will face when pregnant. I learned a lot of information I wasn't aware of and they gave websites and references for further information when available. I would recommend this to anyone having a baby and interested in how to prepare for the actual birth....more
This book was just okay for me. I'm a speech-language pathologist and I enjoy young adult fiction, so I thought a book about a girl who cannot speak bThis book was just okay for me. I'm a speech-language pathologist and I enjoy young adult fiction, so I thought a book about a girl who cannot speak but instead uses a computerized voice box might appeal to me.
This book felt like it had too many stories going on. It felt like part teen love story, part mystery, part psych session and that none of those stories were fleshed out as well as they could have been. Sasha is not a very likable character at first. She is hurt and sarcastic and a "bad girl". She has a wonderful best friend, Jules, who has stuck with her through the tragedy of her family's death and for the past 4 years since then of Sasha's mutism. Then Sasha meets Ben and the story plays out like Twilight for a little while. He's perfect, beautiful, gentlemanly, and has a supernatural power; he can read minds. Then after a little while of lovely perfectness, he pulls away from her and she spends the rest of the book trying to heal herself to win him back.
It's typical teenage story/behavior where the teens find a problem and decide that they have to solve the mystery themselves rather than telling any adults about it. So, it's full of situations that aren't entirely believable (aside from the mind reading) of things teens would be able to get away with on their own.
The ending wasn't anything spectacular to me. I didn't find it to be any big twist and wasn't surprised by anything. I didn't predict all of the details per se, but I didn't find any of them very surprising or intriguing either.
When it ended, I felt like I was missing some details still, like there were some unanswered questions. Ben's mom, for example, was never fleshed out more. We know that Ben comes from a "unique family" and that she also has some kind of "special power" but we never learn what it is. Also, the scene where Ben was home with his parents and acting like a jerk to them and also said later that he didn't want to talk about his mom, we never find out why. Why would the author even bring those things up if they weren't going to add to the mystery/story at all? It didn't make him seem like a "normal teenager" at all. I don't know, I just feel like I want to know more about his family and his sixth sense.
Overall, it was a light, fluff teen fiction. This book was a quick read - I read it in 2 days, but I'm sure someone else could read it in one day. Interesting premise, but not fleshed out enough for me....more
I like this book as a resource. Unfortunately, I have a 2nd generation Kindle, so the links do not work as efficiently as I'm sure they do on Kindle FI like this book as a resource. Unfortunately, I have a 2nd generation Kindle, so the links do not work as efficiently as I'm sure they do on Kindle Fire or even when reading the book through a Kindle app or on a computer.
I am a speech-language pathologist and from what I read of the book (again, without actually following the links) this looks like an excellent resource to give to parents to encourage their children to read. It goes through alphabet books as well as phonological awareness parts (such as rhyming) which are all precursors to reading. I really enjoyed the lists that she had toward the end that were listed by genre. I wish they could have been categorized a bit more by age range within the genres, but I'm sure a quick Amazon search (or simply following the link to the book) would let someone know if it was appropriate for their child or not.
I actually thought this book would be a bit more informational reading, but it is mostly links to resources. Well organized and put together. I'd be interested to see how her paperback book looks since this one had so many links to outside sources....more
I really enjoyed this book! I read this book on a recommendation from a friend and honestly wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it, however, I thought thisI really enjoyed this book! I read this book on a recommendation from a friend and honestly wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it, however, I thought this was a great children's/young adult book. I am a speech-language pathologist who works with children of all ages and I think this is a great book for language purposes as well as an interesting story that I think would engage all kinds of children. I also can see this book as being one that children/young adults read in their youth and then pick up again as adults and appreciate more of the language, humor, and moral of the story as they're older.
This is the story of a young boy who doesn't do anything, is bored by anything, and basically lazy. One day he comes home and there is a tollbooth in a package waiting for him. He gets in his little car (also in his room) and drives through the tollbooth, instantly taken to another land ruled by two rulers; one who lives for words and everyone in his part of the kingdom is ruled by words, and the other who lives for numbers and all of his people think about things in numbers. Along the way, the boy meets up with interesting characters who help to explain this crazy, mixed up world he has landed in and his mission is to bring Rhyme and Reason (two princesses) back to the land.
I thought this book was wonderful and cleaver. The line drawings add just enough information to keep a young reader interested and to focus an adult's imagination. The book I had also had a map of the kingdom in the front cover, which was very helpful when trying to picture/imagine where the boy was throughout his quest. With the figurative language and simple line drawings it kind of reminded me of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland or even Winnie the Pooh.
Yes, I'm in love with Downton Abbey and yes I bought this for myself because I have the other book.
This book was much better than the first book. ThisYes, I'm in love with Downton Abbey and yes I bought this for myself because I have the other book.
This book was much better than the first book. This book has information about each of the characters individually up through about the middle of the third season. There is even a section about Mrs. Isidore Levinson (Martha - Cora's mother) who isn't introduced until season 3.
I loved this book. Yes, it had many photos which were great. It also had a lot of background information about each of the characters and the time periods explaining why some of the characters may have acted certain ways.
There are interviews with each of the actors which then give a little more information about the characters on screen which we may not have know about. For example, Joanne Froggett's (Anna) perspective on what Anna's upbringing must have been like to make her such a level-headed and confident person, and yet very protective and closed off about her past.
This book was wonderful. I read it in just over a day. Anyone who enjoys the series and wants to know more about the characters and the time period, this is for you....more
I listened to this book as an audio-book, so my experience may be different than those who read a printed copy.
The narrator for the audio-book (I cannI listened to this book as an audio-book, so my experience may be different than those who read a printed copy.
The narrator for the audio-book (I cannot find his name right now) did an excellent job. I listen to a lot of audio books and therefore get annoyed easily when someone does a sub-par reading. This man had a lot of voices to carry out which he did a wonderful job at. He also had a unique perspective and main character to bring to life and was brilliant. 5/5 stars!
This is an interesting book. Initially, it sounds a bit silly, right? A story told from the perspective of an imaginary friend? How insightful, interesting, or even entertaining could that really be? To me it sounded like a knock off of the book "Room" by Emma Donoghue, told from the perspective of a 5-year-old (which I also read).
However, this book has an interesting twist...or couple of twists actually. Firstly, Budo, the imaginary friend has a mind of his own. Throughout the story you meet other "imaginary friends" and realize/think about how different and limited imaginary friends can be, depending on who/what their "person" needed when they were "thought up". Also, Max (8-years-old), Budo's "person" who imagined him, has Autism Spectrum Disorder. For anyone who has interacted with a child around this age who has ASD, you can gain some probable insight into the mind of someone with ASD. Their interactions make you think about what it must be like to not only be that age, but be that age with ASD.
But this book is not just about Max and his ASD. This is ultimately Budo's story, and Budo is an independent "being". You learn that Budo can do his own thing and make his own friends. This ability to leave Max is ultimately what saves Max in the end.
As the book description explains, "Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo's very existence." This is kind of the other twist of the book. Yes, Max gets kidnapped and we have to wonder what will happen to him. I thought the idea of kidnapping was rather clever and played out well and realistically. But also, there is a lot of discussion with Budo and friends about their existence and dying and what it all truly means.
This book is for adults - maybe teens/YA at the youngest. Yes, the narration of Budo can get repetitive at times - but you have to think that he has only been around for 6 years and he is hanging out with an 8-year-old with very limited social skills - as is the nature of ASD. At times Budo does repeat himself, but he does it just as much for himself, as you or I would repeat something in our minds to remind ourselves, as he does it for the reader to follow along.
When I started this book I probably would have given it 4/5 stars. In the middle I might have dropped it to 3/5 stars, just because it seemed to lose a bit of steam and I was ready for more action. But the last third to half of the book is definitely 5/5 stars. There were moments that made me giggle to myself and a few misty eyed moments. And there were moments that really made you think about what it means to exist. The author made you care about the characters, no matter how briefly you knew them.
A very interesting read for anyone who works with children who have ASD (teachers, therapists, parents, friends) or anyone who works with children in general. Well done....more
Full disclosure, I did not choose this book on my own - my book club did. Also, upon first reading about this book, I was not sure if I would like itFull disclosure, I did not choose this book on my own - my book club did. Also, upon first reading about this book, I was not sure if I would like it or not because it sounded like it would be a bit too random and not cohesive enough to make sense; and it sounded like it just might be a bunch of bitching and whining. But, I'm a team player, I was promised it was funny and I would laugh, so I read it.
This. Book. Is. Hilarious.
It took me a little while to get used to Jenny's (I feel as if I can call her Jenny after having read this book) writing style with many asides and ramblings with a few footnotes thrown in. However, I finished the last half of it in the past two days while reading at coffee shops and got many stares and glares as I repeatedly snickered/laughed/guffawed out loud while reading.
This book is kind of about the life of Jenny. Toward the beginning she talks about some of her growing up years which are a bit off the beaten path and a lot strange. Let's just say she had a childhood that most of us would not imagine possible in a wild animal/taxidermy kind of way. Not scary/horrible, just interesting and "thank goodness that wasn't me". Then she talks about some of her adult life, meeting her husband, getting married, having a baby. Great. Funny. The part where I really started to understand Jenny was when she really talked about her anxiety disorder and what it means to her; an inability to stop talking about inappropriate things at parties/to strangers (in a hilariously written way), the amount of time it takes her to write an e-mail because of all of the random things she initially writes, but then analyzes and decides that "normal" people would not write that, and having days so full of anxiety that she doesn't come out of the house. After that realization in my mind of where she was coming from, I found the book more hilarious! This was not because I was laughing at her and her disorder, but because I understood how some of her ramblings and random asides played not only into a funny book but into her everyday thought process. I enjoy learning about fellow human beings and their strengths and weaknesses, especially mentally/emotionally, and how they use them in their everyday lives. This is why I enjoy memoirs so much.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm really glad it was recommended to me. If you liked Tina Fey's book, you will certainly enjoy this. I really want to look up her blog and read it, but I might start reading backwards to get more back stories that I've missed all these years, and that would take a long time to get through those! Excellent, light read. Some swearing, if you're easily offended....more