He cheats on her. That's why they broke up. There. Now you don't have to struggle through this book like I did. I thought t**spoiler alert** *SPOILER*
He cheats on her. That's why they broke up. There. Now you don't have to struggle through this book like I did. I thought this book had a solid premise, and I have adored Maira Kalman's illustrations since she did Strunke and White's Elements of Style. Too many things got in the way of my enjoying this book, though:
1. The stream-of-consciousness writing hurts my brain, along with all the run-ons and fragments. I get that the narrator is supposed to be a teenage girl breaking up with her jerk of a boyfriend, but I was distracted by all the weird syntax. At times, she even sounds like Yoda.
2. The premise, for me, fell apart when I realize how long this break-up letter was. It's the longest break-up letter EVER. Get to the point already!
3. All the other random reasons in the book pale in comparison to real reason of "why we broke up." No, it was not because you never developed the photos (page 65), it was because he was CHEATING ON YOU with Annette (page 329).
Who will even like this book? I think girls, mainly. They might get swept up in the romance/relationship, which is why I tagged this book as chick lit. But I'm not sure I completely buy Daniel Handler writing in a female voice. I think I also have lingering bitterness about the unanswered questions he left in the Series of Unfortunate Events series. I've learned my lesson: Never again will I read something by Daniel Handler / Lemony Snicket....more
Mindy Kaling (full last name: Chokalingam!...tucked away on the last page of the book) absolutely kills it in her hilarious memoir-ish/essay-ish book.Mindy Kaling (full last name: Chokalingam!...tucked away on the last page of the book) absolutely kills it in her hilarious memoir-ish/essay-ish book. I laughed out loud reading this while in the presence of my high school students and while propped up in bed, way past my bedtime.
You see, Mindy Kaling is not afraid to make fun of herself. She tells stories of her childhood, like learning how to ride a bike at age 12 or hurting herself when forced to jump off a high dive or getting made fun of for her weight. She even includes non-flattering pictures of herself, like when she looked like an androgynous preschooler or when she was wearing a hideous Cosby-style sweater (caption: Cosby sweater on, lovin' life) or when she developed and then popped a pimple on her forehead on the way to a taping of The Late Late Show. Plus, she also dispenses some really sound advice to teens. No, really.
Mindy also includes her thoughts on love and romance, her experiences that led her from New York to LA, and a smorgasbord of other delightful tales and treatises (such as the day she stopped eating cupcakes or why men should keep their chest hair).
I'm categorizing this book as chick lit because I had to read too much about make up and clothes (and by "too much," I mean about 5% of the book. ha!), and I'm tagging "taught" as well because I'm going to use her "Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real" essay (which appeared as "Flick Chicks" in the New Yorker) as a model of a classifying/expository essay for my sophomore English students.
I will close this review by saying that I have developed a crush on Mindy by reading her book. She is just so funny and down to earth (please see her picture of how she actually writes on page 141)....more
My first experience with this poet was reading her poem "Mrs Darwin" (from this collection) in Billy Collins' "180 More Extraordinary Poems for EveryMy first experience with this poet was reading her poem "Mrs Darwin" (from this collection) in Billy Collins' "180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day." I found the poem to be very clever, even though it was only 4 lines long. The premise of this Duffy collection is to hear from the female counterparts from famous men from history, literature, and mythology. (And sometimes just from famous women like Medusa or Eurydice.) The poems are insightful, hilarious, scathing, surprising, and overall, just fun to read. Some of my favorites include Queen Herod, Mrs Midas, Pilot's Wife, Delilah, Anne Hathaway (Shakespeare's wife--this poem starts with a wonderful epigraph from Shakespeare's will), Mrs Quasimodo, Mrs Lazarus, and Elvis's Twin Sister. Duffy does great work with internal rhyme and slant rhyme. I look forward to reading more of her poetry....more
Evie's life is normal in New York. Her dad is back from WWII, and families no longer have to maintain Victory Gardens. One night her father gets a phoEvie's life is normal in New York. Her dad is back from WWII, and families no longer have to maintain Victory Gardens. One night her father gets a phone call, and suddenly their family is on the road, headed to Florida for a much-needed vacation. But Evie (and the reader) can't help wondering from who or what her father is fleeing. And why is he so surprised when one of his war buddies, a 23-year-old with the looks of a Hollywood star, arrives at their hotel? Evie's world suddenly comes into focus after a hurricane blows through, revealing the lies that had been surrounding her. Told from Evie's first person point of view, this National Book Award-winning novel is hard to put down, even though it is predictable at times. I'd give it a 3.5 instead of a 4, if I could. This is one of the first mystery books I've read in a long time....more
The truth will always find a way to make itself known. Anna, Emma, and Mariah learn this lesson the hard way. One lie turns into another, and their woThe truth will always find a way to make itself known. Anna, Emma, and Mariah learn this lesson the hard way. One lie turns into another, and their worlds slowly crumble. The author narrates this story from all three girls' perspectives, and quite successfully. Each girl changes throughout the course of this story, which can be categorized as both a mystery and chick lit. I think most teenage girls will enjoy this book, and even a few guys. A quick, easy, rewarding read....more
Another book about a teenage girl with problems: a shameful history that everyone knows about (she got caught having**spoiler alert** SOME SPOILERS...
Another book about a teenage girl with problems: a shameful history that everyone knows about (she got caught having sex with her brother's best friend when she was 13 and he was in high school), a crazy family, and a boy she likes who happens to be dating her best friend. I feel for Deanna because her family is so nuts, but she brings a lot of problems on herself, and that is maddening to me. (Makes me think of Bella from Twilight, for some reason.) Some of the plot elements in this book seemed just a little too convenient: her ex just happens to be working at the only place where she can get a job, for one. The prose moved along quickly enough, and there were a few nice moments in this book, but I am amazed that it was a National Book Award Finalist....more