Maybe I'm cheating a bit with this one since it's been my all time favorite since childhood, but at the same time, it's probably been a good decade or...moreMaybe I'm cheating a bit with this one since it's been my all time favorite since childhood, but at the same time, it's probably been a good decade or more since I'd reread it. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a girl/woman who didn't love this book, idenify with Maragret, or at least the issues she went through. What struck me this time was the whole narration with God. It saddens me to think this book might have a hard time being published today b/c of the religious exploration in it. Seems like now if you mention God it's almost a blacklist for you. I love the simpleness of what Margaret asks God for, but at the same time, the deeper quest that she's on to find a great power in her life. I had tears in my eyes at the very end(yeah, I might be a bit empotional right now) when she gets her period,starts talking to God again, and she realizes he never left her.
Everything is spot on in this novel with starting a new school, growing up, wanting to be older, "first" like dances and kisses, reputation, puberty, etc. When you're reading, it never feels like this is a book written in the 70's, and Blume is a master of making her novels have a timeless quality.
Srsly, I wanted to hug the book like an old friend when I finsihed. (less)
**spoiler alert** So, I'm total Tudor history nerd, and I love anything about Henry VIII and his wife, especially Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth I. I...more**spoiler alert** So, I'm total Tudor history nerd, and I love anything about Henry VIII and his wife, especially Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth I. I found this book at the library and was immediately smitten b/c I loved seeing a new take on Anne's life. The more I got into it the more I was amazed. Instead of the scheming, conniving, seducer of a king, here was a woman educated in the French court who was really more interested in her faith(moving along Lutheranism) than she was becoming queen. In this book, Anne is portrayed as someone at first not keen on the King's interest in her, especially since Henry had tossed her sister aside after tiring of her. At times, Anne even saw herself as somewhat of a Esther sent to deliver her people from the clutches of a corrupt religion. After time, she did fall somewhat in love with Henry, but it was never about seducing him or using "witchcraft". If she was ever power hungry, it wasn't for the crown, but it was about religion. I found this new view of her very cool, especially as she found herself a born again Christian.
So, basically, anti-Protestant men like Chapyus helped rewrite history against Anne almost to the extent of the trumped up charges that sent her to the Tower and had her beheaded.
This was a very different view of a lot of what I have read about Anne. I also checked out the mammoth David Starkey's Six Wives of Henry VIII, so we'll see if the same evidence is presented, or if it's the same tried and true blackening of Anne's name and character. (less)
Even though I have almost two shelves full of "inspriational" books, I picked this one up the other day. Why? Because right now my life is still a ser...moreEven though I have almost two shelves full of "inspriational" books, I picked this one up the other day. Why? Because right now my life is still a series of question marks. And to be 30 and still have question marks along the major pathways is difficult. Will my book(s) sell? When will they sell? When will I finally find the right guy and get married? When will I become a mom? I'm totally searching for answers to these questions and to understand what's going on in my life.
The really cool thing about this book is how he talked as a writer about getting the idea, the process of writing, being ready to give up on his writing career entirely, and then boom, he gets a godwink. A small pub takes him out and through the power of God's plan he ultimately lands at a major publishing house. I loved the story about how he soo wanted to be on Oprah to talk about Godwinks. For some reason, it always seemed to come close and fall through(the book had been passed to an assistant, etc.) Then one day he gets a phone call that as Oprah was doing a televised tour of her home, she picked up HIS book off her nightstand. Things went from there.
Great stories of Godwinks from everyone from Billy Grahm to Diane Lane to Tim Conway. However, the stories I enjoyed the most were the real life people and how Godwinks effected their lives. Overall, it really made me realize how much God is working in my life, even when I don't think he is. I'm just waiting to raise my eyes to the heavens and nod, fully realizing how the plan has unfolded. (less)
OMG, i can't believe this book has been out so long and I haven't read it. I love, love, loved Georgia's voice. She totally captured the essence that...moreOMG, i can't believe this book has been out so long and I haven't read it. I love, love, loved Georgia's voice. She totally captured the essence that is the roller coaster of teenage momens: one moment euphoria, the next despair. The story of her shaving her eyebrows off made me lol---there were soooo many LOL moments. Even though Georgia was living in Scotland, I felt like she was the perfect epitome of a teenage girl. I loved the introduction of Robbie aka The Sex God. The dynamic with him and Georgia was really cool and totally believable that one mintue she was crushing on him and then the next minute she wanted to crush his head in!
I've got to hunt down the sequel b/c this was just too cute. A nice, quick, humorous read! (less)
Really enjoyed this one! I love, love, loved Dexter, and the way he was able to get under Remy's skin to make her believe in love! Also enjoyed Scarle...moreReally enjoyed this one! I love, love, loved Dexter, and the way he was able to get under Remy's skin to make her believe in love! Also enjoyed Scarlett's cameo from Someone Like You.
This is probably ties with Just Listen for my favorite Dessen YA!(less)
The case of the West Memphis 3 is probably one of the worst cases of a witch hunt since the actual Salem Witch Trials. Three young men were sentenced...moreThe case of the West Memphis 3 is probably one of the worst cases of a witch hunt since the actual Salem Witch Trials. Three young men were sentenced to life in prison--Damien to death--without any concrete evidence. I had became reaquainted with the case upon the release of Damien, Jesse, and Jason this year. I watched the HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Robin Hood Hills murders as well as the sequel. And as I watched, I couldn't believe the prosecution's lack of evidence or the overwhelming shadiness of Chris Byers's stepfather, John Mark Byers. 3 eight year old boys were murdered, but the evidence against them amounted to a forced confession by Jesse Miskelley, who scored a mentally retarded IQ, along with a cloud of suspicion about interest in the occult and satanic rituals.
While the documentary went into great detail even including crime scene photos, Devil's Knot went a step further and more indepth. Anyone who has an interest in the case will enjoy the book. Now that they are free, I look forward to reading a book my Damien Ecols or Jason Baldwin.(less)
Can I just say how much I wanna be Laurie Halse Anderson when I grow up? LOL I mean, the mastery that was Speak and Wintergirls is one thing....but th...moreCan I just say how much I wanna be Laurie Halse Anderson when I grow up? LOL I mean, the mastery that was Speak and Wintergirls is one thing....but then after reading Chains and Forge, I'm even more in awe of her writing range. I found myself immersed in Mattie's world, and I have a fever(bad pun) for more historical YA's, especially by the masterful LHA!
Fever 1793 is about Mathilda, or Mattie, growing up in Philadelphia. Mattie's mother and grandfather run a coffeehouse, which is quite profitable. Her father had died years before after falling off a ladder.
Life is going along when their servant girl, Polly, dies from a fever. In the hottest months of the summer, fevers ran rampant in the cities....many fled to the country or praye for the first frost. However, this is to be no ordinary fever.....it is the Yellow Fever Epidemic. In history, thousands die from the richest to the poorest. Mattie's mother is the first to succumb to the illness. She begs for Mattie to be taken out of the city. She gets her wish only to have Mattie's grandfather's heart condition mimic the fever, leaving them abandoned on the road side. Mattie contracts the fever, but is strong enough to overcome. She wakes up in a mansion converted into a sick house. Once she and her grandfather leave, they return to the coffeehouse which has been broken into and ransacked. Fortunately, their moneybox is still there. Mattie hopes her mother recovered and is absent from the house b/c she fled to the country. When buglars attacks, Maddie overwhelms them, but her grandfathers heart gives out and he dies. She is left alone until she is able to find her 2nd mother and the Coffeehouse Cook, Eliza. Through Eliza, she comes across an orphaned toddler named Nell, and she decides to care for her. After the first frost, Mattie asks Eliza to become a partner with her in the coffeehouse. She does and they reopen. Mattie's mother comes home, although she is very weakened from having recovered from the fever only to collapse after going looking for Mattie.
Great things were Mattie's relationship withh her grandfather, Mattie mothering the orphan Elle, the subtle relationship between Nathaniel and Mattie, Mattie's strength and courage under fire like with the robbers, surviving after her grandfather's death......so many I can't name them all! LOL
Anyway, I would highly recommend this book to anyone!!! (less)
**spoiler alert** Wow, this book was amazing. The use of both verse and then the arragement of words blew my mind as well as all the figurative langua...more**spoiler alert** Wow, this book was amazing. The use of both verse and then the arragement of words blew my mind as well as all the figurative language. Just a very powerful book. I was glad I read this one right after I was floored not in a good way by Tricks.
You have A-student, good girl Kristina who goes to visit her dead beat of a druggie father for three weeks. There are already cracks in her perfection as she likes to refer to the darker side of herself as Bree. While at her father's seedy apartment complex, she takes a leap into destructive decisions by letting a guy introduce her to the "monster" or crank aka crystal meth. Although not entirely addicted yet when she comes home, she does yearn for the monster, and ends up finding, Chase, a guy she never really talked to much in school, who will supply her with more crank. At first, Chase seems kinda shady, but as the book goes on, we see he does have his usage somewhat undercontrol when Kristina/Bree moves from snorting to smoking the crank. She throws herself into destructive relationship with a lifeguard and user named Brendan, who ends up taking her virginity through rape while also supplying her with meth. Her usage continues to spiral out of control when she hooks up with cheerleader who can get her drugs. Her parents start noticing something is wrong, but they're powerless as the monster continues to consume her. After taking her relationship with Chase to the next level, she discovers she's preganant. However, she is horrified when she learns how far along she is and realizes that it can only be Brendan who is the father. THis is especially devastating since Chase had offered to marry her and make a life for them. She manages not to use while she's pregnant, and she decides to keep the baby with help from her parents. However, the book doesn't leave us with too much a high note, and knowing the sequels to come, we realize that Kristina/Bree is still using and still a hopeless addict.
If I were to sum this up in one word, it would have to be SIZZLING!!! The kind of read where you lean forward and grip your kindle tighter and tighter...moreIf I were to sum this up in one word, it would have to be SIZZLING!!! The kind of read where you lean forward and grip your kindle tighter and tighter bc you really want to be gripping Merrick tighter and tighter!!
It's tantalizing and teasing, and it leaves you unfilled and desperate for the next book!!
And talk about a cliff hanger of the non smexy kind at the end!! (less)
**spoiler alert** Wow, it's hard to believe that this book is a nonfiction book. It reads so much like fiction. There were a lot of times I simply cou...more**spoiler alert** Wow, it's hard to believe that this book is a nonfiction book. It reads so much like fiction. There were a lot of times I simply couldn't put it down, and I end up reading way late into the night. I loved the account of Savannnah, a city I've visited several times. But Berendt totally brings it alive to a point that it is a character just as Jim Williams, Danny H, Chablis, and Joe are characters. I just love the culture of Savannah, and I want it to be the setting of my next YA. And now I totally want to see the movie. I have seen bits and pieces of the movie. It's usually on late when I should be in bed for work. It's now in my Netflix cue.
I enjoyed the set-up of meeting many of the characters that would play a part in the murder and the trial. Seeing Berendt interact with Jim Williams and the other characters really hightened the emotion leading up to the murder and trial. Jim was a very complex and intresting character. I loved the drag queen character of Chablis. She tells things exactly like they are and in a hilariously way. I also loved the voodoo scenes where Jim tried to bind Danny from effecting the trial. I found it interesting that those scenes took place in Beaufort, which I go by when I go to Hilton Head, SC.
It's crazy believing it took 4 trials to finally acquit Jim Williams. And when it all comes down to it, I'm still not sure if I believe it was self-defense. I do know how violent a person that Danny was, so it is very plausible it happened like he said it did.
In the end though, it was an awesome book that I devoured very quickly!(less)
AWESOME!!! Fabulous summer lovin' read. Great and inventive premise. Loved the romance at Turtle Tear Island, but most of all Merrick!! :) A great, to...moreAWESOME!!! Fabulous summer lovin' read. Great and inventive premise. Loved the romance at Turtle Tear Island, but most of all Merrick!! :) A great, tortured LI, and he meets his match in Rachael, who is a tough and strong MC who deserves some happiness in her life.
**spoiler alert** Rape Girl is one of those books you dread to read as a woman and as a teacher of young women. You know the statistics of how every m...more**spoiler alert** Rape Girl is one of those books you dread to read as a woman and as a teacher of young women. You know the statistics of how every minute of every day a woman is violated. You feel powerless to stop the violence and to ease the suffering of the victims. But it's also a book that just by the title, you realize the importance and relevance in society. Ninety plus years after receiving the vote, women and their rights are under attack now more than they have been in recent years. Rape Girl is an important book to read and to talk about with young women--especially teenagers who cling to the mentality of "it could never happen to me"
One aspect I really enjoyed about Rape Girl is how it occurs in Before and After vignettes. It opens with police officers at Valerie's home, interviewing her after her mother called the police to report rape. We then fast forward to the moments before the infamous party that Valerie is throwing at her house.
In many ways, Valerie is your average teenage girl. After her father's death, she lives with her mom and younger sister while her older brother is away at college. She decides to be a little rebellious and throw a party while her mom is out of town. All the while she feels guilt and fear at what she is doing--she even wishes for simpler times when she could just be giggling and watching movies with her bff Mimi. She's a good girl at heart and doesn't want to do anything to get herself in trouble.
The repercussions of throwing this party will haunt her the rest of her life--as well as the other members of her family....
While she gets drunk at the party and escapes to the den with her crush Adam, nothing progresses because she gets sick and throws up on his shoes. It is the next morning that Adam returns to "finish what they started" as he says. Valerie is too afraid to scream to have her little sister Ainsley come in and see what is happening. All the while the rape is occurring, she can hear Ainsley laughing with the neighbor Ella.
We experience then the horrors of post rape with Valerie--from going to the clinic to endure the rape kit, to trying to tell her bff Mimi what happened, to returning to school for the first time and being shunned by classmates and even some teachers. I don't know if I would have had Valerie's strength at that age after experiencing what she did. She certainly gives young women someone to aspire to be--to stand up and say that it was rape, not consensual, and not to let the idiots get her down.
There were many times during Rape Girl I felt enraged at the way Valerie was treated. It isn't just rage over the way a character was treated, but I know that many rape victims are treated the same way. The aggressor is protected while they are continuously victimized. The whole way the situation of the Trig class was treated---where to keep Adam and Valerie apart, they had her do private tutoring. Once again making the victim feel that they did something wrong. And then when all the boys tried to come to Adam's defense and swear that they had had sex with Valerie! I wanted to drop kick them in the balls!!! Of course, I wish her mom had interjected the rape exams results of Valerie being a virgin before hand to get back at the principal.
I also wanted to smack Mimi repeatedly! The way she dropped Valerie was totally heartless and cruel--even going so far as to delete her off of Facebook. At first, Mimi's voice echoes what a lot of young women would say to their friend, "Do you really want to go through with this?" "You were leading him on?" etc.
I loved Sandrina's character. She's such a 180 to Valerie--going to far as to have a past where Sandrina threatened Mimi and Valerie saved her. She's willing to stick her neck out and offer Valerie a friend and a shoulder to lean on. And then there's Wes--a potential love interest, barrista at the coffeehouse, the image of a nice guy that Valerie so desperately needs to see is still out there so she can trust again.
The counseling scenes were very important as well because they helped to give a different rape scenario and voice to other young women as well as making Valerie questioned what happened to her. I loved when she finally is challenged to speak up in group for the first time.
I think Rape Girl does a good job of showing the guilt family members experience when a rape happens. Valerie's mom can't get over the fact she left home to go to a conference while Sam, her older brother, wishes he had come home that weekend like he was supposed to. Even Ainsley feels guilty that she let Adam in that morning.
The only issue I had with Rape Girl is I felt it was too short. I really would have like to have seen more of Valerie's recovery and building her life back. (less)
**spoiler alert** Wow, what can I say about this book and subsequent series? I was a great admirerer of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Wintergirls,...more**spoiler alert** Wow, what can I say about this book and subsequent series? I was a great admirerer of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Wintergirls, but I didn't know she could bring so much to Historical Fiction as well. I found myself sucked into the story immediately....I found myself horrified at the world that Isabel found herself in--how unfair and unscrupulous the times were for for slaves and even for children. I saw how easily I take my own freedom today for granted.
The opening of the novel is hopeful. Upon the death of Isabel and her sister Ruth's master, Miss Finch, the girls were to be freed. However, a selfish nephew refuses to honor his late aunt's wishes, and he decides to sell the girls. Ruth doesn't speak much and suffers from sezuires, which at the time were called fits and were much misunderstood. They are sold to Lockton's and move to live in NY. Mr. Lockton is a British loyalist who pretends to be a sympathizer for the patriots. Mrs. Lockton is a spoiled rich woman who is a cruel mistress of the house. After one of Ruth's seizures, Mrs. Lockton is convinced that Ruth is possessed by the devil and she ends up selling Ruth off in the middle of the night. Isabel is devastated. She realizes that if the colonials win, then she might have freedom. This notion is egged on by Curzon, a young black boy whom she befriends as she's carrying water. So, Isabel decides to spy for the colonials. However, this only leads to problems, and she gets in serious trouble with Madam Lockton, which results in her face being branded with an I for insolence.
After a while, Isabel starts going to the prison where the patriots are being held. Her good friend Curzon is being held, so she brings scraps to the prisoners and tries to shuttle messages. The only decent person to Isabel is Mr. Lockton's aunt. It is through her help, or her illness and Isabel watching her, that she is able to forge papers, steal money, and break Curzon out of jail where they row to freedom.
It was really hard reading about the treatment that Isabel received and how completely unfeeling and unhumane slave owners could be when separating families, parents, children, brothers and sisters. It's hard to imagine how those people were able to sleep at night. Eesh.
I really admire Halse Anderson for being able to bring history alive so much and being a stickler for historical accuracy. (less)