Here’s my story about how I didn’t discover The Princess Bride until I was an adult. When I was a kid (I’m guessing I was 11 at the time), I was at a friend’s house and we wanted to watch something. She wanted to watch The Princess Bride and I wanted to watch Kratt’s Creatures. I can’t remember what we ended up watching, but it wasn’t The Princess Bride or Kratt’s Creatures. I heard off and on about the movie, but never ended up seeing it until I was 22. Another friend was talking about it and I decided that it was necessary for me to watch the movie. So I did. And I loved it.
I’ve probably only seen the movie all the way through 6 or 7 times total, but my family and I join in with the rest of the lovers of The Princess Bride in quoting various lines that have become iconic. Of course, my watching it only those little over a handful of times limits my quoting ability. It just means I need to watch the movie more.
But I digress… This is supposed to be about the book. And my thoughts on the book: FREAKING AMAZING. Even though I knew what was coming, I still got sucked into the world of Florin and the love of Buttercup and Westley. The lines and scenes not included in the movie were splendid. At one point early on, I found myself laughing out loud and running to the computer to post a quote on Facebook. Here it is:
"I am your Prince and you will marry me," Humperdinck said. Buttercup whispered, "I am your servant and I refuse." "I am your Prince and you cannot refuse." "I am your loyal servant and I just did."
Throughout the whole thing, you can’t help but fall in love with everything. William Goldman was actually the person who wrote the screenplay and he did a fantastical job at it. A lot of the lines from the book are word for word in the movie. It was all the necessary ones, I can’t think of much that was left out that should have been there to tell the story. And the story really was an epic tale of everything that makes a good book all rolled into one: action and love and honesty and humor.
The Princess Bride is by far one of the best books written. While William Goldman didn’t pen the original story (it was written by S. Morganstern in an enormous volume had so much back story, as Goldman states in the foreword), he did an amazing job putting together the “good parts” version. Which is what writers have to do sometimes--omit all the extensive details that aren’t pertinent to the story and keep it interesting. The bottom line with this book is that it is a must read. If you don’t think you can handle the book and haven’t seen the movie, at the very least watch the movie. After you do, you probably will want to read the book.
Now I’m not sure if it was after loving this book that got me into reading books in vSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
Now I’m not sure if it was after loving this book that got me into reading books in verse (stories told in poetry form), or if it was after reading Burned by Ellen Hopkins that I searched for more and found Sonya Sones. In any case, I simply adore books in verse. I love almost every one I come across. All of the books by Sonya Sones are superb.
The following is from the back cover:
“My name is Sophie. This book is about me. It tells the heart-stoppingly riveting story of my first love. And also my second. And, okay, my third love too.
It’s not that I’m boy crazy. It’s just that even though I’m almost fifteen it’s like my mind and my body and my heart just don’t seem to be able to agree on anything.”
The story follows Sophie and what she encounters and discovers in her adolescence. We hear about her boys and boyfriends, her best friends, her family, and her views on everything. Sones touches the deepest of subjects to the lighthearted moments of growing up. The word pictures used paint vivid details that often spark memories for those of us who aren’t teenagers anymore.
Sophie’s take on the world is thoroughly funny and true to life. Her ability to balance maturity and silliness epitomizes being in the middle teens. The whole falling in love aspect--the questioning of what one doesn’t know, how much it tears us up trying to get and answer, and those moments of truth when you know what it is--just great. Sophie contends with several issues: parental arguing, boyfriends and ex-boyfriends and potential boyfriends, and her own personal fears and feelings. The weird thing is, there doesn’t even seem to be any sort of plot. Yet when you finish it, you see how it all ties together beginning to end in more ways than one.
All in all, a very worthwhile read. Being written in poems makes it even better, and a very quick read as well. Sones gets you to feel the experience yourself through the descriptive wording.
This story is multi-faceted. It not only has a boy likes girl, girl likes boy storyliSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
This story is multi-faceted. It not only has a boy likes girl, girl likes boy storyline going. There’s also her family dealing with the tension after her father’s choice to cash in his retirement fund to sell vitamins at the mall instead of sticking to his job at Corpus Software. And facing her former best friend Anna every day at school, the one who suddenly ditched her for the popular crowd and the boy she’s always wanted.
Of course, there is a boy/girl story here too. Kate and Will go to school together during the day, work at the mall at night. Kate helps her dad with his vitamin stand, and Will works at the Sports Shack. Kate has always had a problem with him for his reputation of hooking up with several girls, and he’s got the “I know I’m cute” attitude. They get to talking to each other while at work and eventually something more than irritation develops.
I really love the way their relationship progresses throughout the story. And then add on to that the other situations playing out in the background. All of them intricately woven into a wonderful coming of age tale. This is one of the handful of books I constantly pull down when I need a fix. I love reading my favorite scenes over and over. It’s my favorite Elizabeth Scott novel....more
I chose to reread Charlotte's Web for Banned Books Week this year mostly because I haven't read it in probably more than 15 years. I did read it numerous times growing up, so I remembered a lot of it. What I took away this time around was probably more than I ever took away back then though. Most of you already know the story, so I won't go into that. What I will talk about is how the book made me feel.
One of those things was Fern. She was loving and caring and full of life. She knew what was going on with the animals and she talked about it all the time. There was something extra special about her. I think what got to me was how much she just enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. Sitting on the stool by Wilbur's pen, taking in the sights and sounds. How many of us get to do that anymore? How many of us wish we could do that right now?
Of course, there was also Charlotte. Wonderful and amazing Charlotte. Her outlook on life and her wisdom are amazing. The way she and Wilbur interacted touched my heart. Wilbur learned a lot about life from Charlotte, and in the end he became the terrific pig she always knew he could be. The absolute best thing about their friendship can be summed up in this conversation between the two of them:
"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing."
That quote... typing it out is bringing the tears to my eyes. It's such a beautiful quote.
Reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White again brought back so many memories and caused me to have a brighter outlook on life. Friends are important, helping each other is important, enjoying the simple things in life is important. If you haven't read this one since you were a kid, I strongly recommend that you read it again sometime. It will warm your heart just as it did before. I am certainly glad I took the time to.
Persuasion is one of my favorite movie adaptations in the world. I could watch the Masterpiece Theater version over and over without getting sick of it. That’s how much I love it. Since I had never read a Jane Austen book before, I decided to go with that one for my Summer Romance Challenge. I have to admit it was not easy at first. The very beginning with the details on the family and friends of the family was a struggle to get through. I think the reason why is because I know the story so well from the movie. Once more dialogue came about, it became very enjoyable.
Anne Elliot was once engaged to Frederick Wentworth when she was very young. Since her friend Lady Russell didn’t approve of the match, she persuaded Anne to break off the engagement. Fast forward eight years later. Anne’s father Sir Walter and sister Elizabeth have nearly brought the family to bankruptcy. They have to let the house to someone while they get things back to where it should be financially. The person who takes up residency is Admiral and Mrs. Croft. And guess who happens to be the brother of Mrs. Croft? You guessed it--Frederick, now Captain Wentworth.
So now Anne is forced into being around him often, watching him from afar, imagining him as not wanting anything to do with her. Especially when it seems he is preferring the company of another. As time goes on, he gets to see a different side of her, how selfless she is. And when it seems he is attentive to her, Mr. Elliot, her cousin, seems to be very interested in Anne. But where does Anne stand? Does she have a chance with Frederick again?
Like I said, this is one of my favorite movie adaptations. Reading the book was like icing on the cake, completely put it all into perspective, getting into the mind of the characters. Jane Austen really is an amazing author. I wish I hadn’t taken so long to read one of her novels. Definitely one of the best classics I’ve read so far.
What can I say, this story was pretty amazing. It was so vivid and compelling, and it had gorgeous storytelling and background detailing. Cassandra, our narrator and guide to her life, is charming and sweet. She was so likable, I don’t know how someone could not like her. She so… REAL. Her speed writing book, novel, journal (or whatever you’d like to call it) is brilliant.
I loved the way she would tell the story. It would always be so humorous and serious all at the same time. The chapters were long though… very long. That’s the one thing that made it a little harder for me to read, especially when I needed to find a spot to stop. There’s so much going on you don’t want to lose your place and get confused.
There are numerous stories contained in this one novel. It’s one big story, of course, but the side stories make the whole thing even better. I wish I could talk about some of them but it would give away too much.
Cassandra’s dealings with her family and friends, and new-found friends, are very interesting. She and her sister, Rose, have this imaginary friend (a mannequin they call Miss Blossom that they pretend is real) that they have talk to each other. It’s pretty cute. The potential love part of the story is intriguing. I know that I was guessing and second guessing who would be with who, who should be with who, who the author would probably put together. It was a whirlwind. In the end, I believe it turned out as I expected. And it wasn’t bad how it ended. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was the way you would think it should end, given the circumstances.
I Capture The Castle definitely captured my heart. Cassandra’s story us one I will not soon forget. It was filled with all sorts of charms and character. Dodie Smith knows how to tell a story. She also wrote 101 Dalmatians (the book behind the movie, which is VERY different in detail compared to the movie), and I adored that story too. I’m glad I took the time to read this, even though it took me longer to read.
I checked this book out when I first started reading YA, but never got the chance to finish it. Back then I was into the easier to read stories, simple and formulaic, boy meets girl, girl meets boy, something something something, they fall in love, the end. I ended up seeing the movie on TV and was blown away. I had to read the book. So I did. And I was not disappointed.
This is the story of Melinda Sordino starting high school as an outcast. Why is she an outcast? She called the police at a party, her friends freaked out, and now nobody talks to her. She had a reason why she called. Something happened to her. Something she doesn’t tell anyone about. Something she keeps bottled up inside of her. She stops talking. To everyone. Why should she speak? Her old friends have their own cliques now, and the new girl doesn’t stick around too long before getting a clique of her own. Melinda finds solace in art, where she is given the project of creating art from the word “tree”. As the school year progresses, she progresses slowly, learning to deal with school and her classmates and trying to deal with what happened to her.
I don’t want to say more, give away details or how it ends. Let me tell you this--the end and everything leading up to it goes to show that there’s always a way out. It may take months or years, but it’s there. You’ll never forget but you can continue. Melinda received help from people who care about her. There have been a lot of attempts at banning this book. There’s no reason to. NONE. Read this book. It will change your life....more
This was stated on a synopsis from Goodreads and I thought it was interesting: "One of Lucy Maud Montgomery's only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance."
As a lover of Anne Of Green Gables since the moment I first saw the movie and then bought the book at school and read it at least six times during my childhood, I’ve been curious about the standalones by L.M. Montgomery. As iconic as Anne Shirley is, could Valancy Stirling win me over? I have to admit, I didn’t think it was possible to come close, but she did.
Valancy in the beginning was always being walked over and taunted. The way she was treated by her family was atrocious. Is that really how people viewed unmarried twenty-nine year old women back then? If it is, thank goodness I don’t live back then! In any case, when Valancy finds something out about her health, she comes to the conclusion that she’s done with it. Done with being treated horribly and going along with everything she’s told to do.
This is when I fell in love with the story. Valancy starts to talk back and say things she shouldn’t. And it was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. I kept giggling every time she said something out of turn. Then she makes a choice that causes her entire family to wonder where her mind is.
The Blue Castle was a brilliant piece of literature. The love story (which I would touch on, but I’d rather not give away everything) was perfectly arranged, and the ending was everything I wanted it to be. Valancy is one of those protagonists not many people will come to know, but I’m glad that I did. L.M. Montgomery wrote such amazing stories. I believe I’ll be picking up another standalone next year!
If Jessica’s Guide To Dating On The Dark Side is a 7 out of 10, I would consider thisSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
If Jessica’s Guide To Dating On The Dark Side is a 7 out of 10, I would consider this book to be a 9 out of 10 (not that I have any sort of rating system or anything, lol, it's just to show how good it is). It is told in alternating points of view between Jill Jekel and Tristen Hyde. I’m not usually a fan of that type of writing, but it worked very well for this story.
It opens with the funeral of Jill’s father, where Tristen shows up and comforts her. They barely know each other at this time. Then senior year starts, choosing partners for chemistry labs, and the opportunity to win a $30,000 scholarship. Her teacher mentions how interesting a “Jekel-Hyde” team would be. Jill thinks about the box of her father’s that she’s been forbidden to touch--one that holds the experiments from, you guessed it, The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So Jill asks Tristen to partner up with her for the scholarship to test the experiments.
Both Jill and Tristen are likable characters and Beth Fantaskey does an amazing job keeping the mystery alive and the wondering in each of their thoughts vivid and intriguing. The intensity of her feelings, his feelings, the pain her mother is going through, and the slow build to the experiment and the aftereffects all lead to a powerful end. A must, must, must read!...more
Hannah’s life isn’t very normal. Her mom, Candy Madison, is the star of her own websiSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
Hannah’s life isn’t very normal. Her mom, Candy Madison, is the star of her own website, her fame stemming from the short lived sitcom Cowboy Dad which she starred in with Hannah’s father, Jackson James. Hannah believes Josh is her soul mate. But she can’t stop thinking about Finn.
Hannah works for the drive thru answering service for BurgerTown USA with both Josh and Finn. Which proves quite an amusing situation with the constant commentary and comments directed at and about Josh from both Hannah and Finn. As if she wasn’t dealing with enough with the two boys, her father wants her back in his life. She’s unsure how to feel about this, since it’s been a confusing life with him. He’s there, but always seems more interested in his tawdry life. Her father announces that his daughter will be visiting him, and of course, everyone at school knows about it.
As every story by Elizabeth Scott, the multiple story lines converging and merging make it so much better. Hannah learns how to come to terms with the boys and her unusual family after facing several realities. I can’t really elaborate any more without giving away spoilers. The whole thing is funny, Hannah’s thoughts and the conversations with Josh and Finn and Teagan, her best friend. Life lessons galore among the humor. Must read....more
I am a huge Jessica Darling fan. In Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, I was introduced to his amazingly hilarious girl with… a lot of drama going on. I remember when Charmed Thirds came out and the excitement I had to read it since I loved the first two books. For some reason, I didn’t enjoy it much back then. I liked it, but it didn’t give me the same feeling as before. This time around, it was a lot better. I don’t know if it was because I am older now, or maybe I’m viewing it in a different perspective, but it was good.
I think my main issue with the story was our protagonist. Jessica is very frustrating, she sort of loses a bit of her loveable angst. There were times she was still very much like the Jessica I remember and adored, but she kept doing a lot of super off the wall things. These things, while crazy, make a lot more sense reading with new eyes. She grows a lot in her perspective on life, on money, on family, on college, on love. Sure, she makes some poor choices, but they were mistakes she had to make. She had to learn.
Another reason why I was a bit annoyed with the book before was the whole Marcus is away and they aren’t together part. I can see now how important that was to the story. It may have proven to be a frustration to Jessica, but neither one of them could become who they needed to be without the time apart.
One thing I thoroughly appreciated more was the pointing out of the little things. There were a couple of instances where Jessica had said or done something in the first two books that tied into the third. I won’t specify what, but essentially the key point was that there are times when we can create a positive impact on somebody’s life without realizing it. And that impact is caused by just a few words or a small action, and we may never have contact with the person ever again. But it still happens. It showed me the importance of the little things we do, how one word can help somebody else move mountains. It’s pretty remarkable.
There’s so much going on in Charmed Thirds, it’s hard to narrow down a story. It’s Jessica’s journey. A five book journey. A great journey. Megan McCafferty has a great ability to tap into human feeling and senses of humor untouched by a lot of authors. While the third book isn’t my favorite, it does mean a lot more to me now than it used to. So I am very glad I’m rereading the series. Long live Jessica Darling in all her hilarious awesomeness!
When I picked this book out for the Summer Romance Challenge, I was under the assumption that it was a romance type book. Don’t get me wrong, there are romantic elements all over in it. Just not how I expected them to be.
Haven’s dad is getting remarried… to the local television weather girl, Lorna. Her sister Ashley is marrying Lewis, this guy that Haven doesn’t think is right for her. Her mother is still dealing with the aftermath of the divorce. And Haven--well she’s in the middle of everything and doesn’t know who she is or what’s going on. Then Ashley’s ex-boyfriend Sumner Lee shows up and Haven is reminded of the summer they all spent together. All the good times, and happy memories. As she recalls these, she doesn’t understand how her sister could have stopped being with him.
The journey that Haven takes in the current summer (when she’s fifteen) is a pretty amazing one. There is a lot of reminiscing of times past, which I think adds a sweet family and friends childhood type element to the story. Haven is going through one of those adolescent moments, unsure of everything you used to be so sure of. By the end of the story, she’s coming to terms with things, and she grows up a little bit more.
I thought it was a very cute story, even though it wasn’t the type of story I am used to from Sarah Dessen. It’s one of those simple books with a good lesson.
For the Bones fans in the blogosphere, I would like to tell you about the book that gSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
For the Bones fans in the blogosphere, I would like to tell you about the book that got it all started. Now, the TV show and the book aren’t similar personal detail wise. The only similarities are the following: the name “Temperance Brennan” and the forensic anthropology. Tempe on the TV show has been said to be more alike in personality to Kathy Reichs herself. Tempe in the book is a divorced mom of one daughter, she’s a recovering alcoholic, and the book takes place in Canada.
This novel is truly an amazing piece. It is beyond full of detail on everything, but especially the forensics. It’s actually a good thing for the reader to be familiar with the TV show because the references and medical terminology could be hard to follow (unless of course you work in the medical/forensics field). I know I catch a lot more detail on other programs since I’ve picked up so much from Bones.
This particular story is about a girl being found in a plastic bag: decomposed and cut up. Tempe needs to identify the victim to find some answers. This crime scene is strangely familiar though. It reminds her of another girl who was found in almost the same way. She is convinced that the two cases are related, yet the detectives (especially one of them) refuse to believe in the possibility. She will not give up on provint that they are linked. So she searches (often by herself and not safely either, which is reminiscent of Tempe on Bones at times) to find the truth.
The pace of the book was a bit frustrating in the beginning (this is the first novel of this kind I have ever read), but then I had to realize that this wasn’t an episode of a TV show. Everything that takes place in real life with homicides takes hours upon days upon weeks upon months to get results and answers. As you get to the middle, things start to pick up with the little clues and ideas and details that surface. Reichs describes all the processes of identifying weapons used, identifying victims, etc. She discusses Tempe’s thoughts and fears and opinions, not only relating to the case, but also her own personal life, which is significant to understanding the way she is.
My opinion (without spoiling the details) is that this is a very compelling and well written book. For anyone who’s a Bones fan (or anyone who is a crime show or CSI like show fan), this book is a must read. The ending is powerful, and it certainly makes you want to watch her solve another case. And you’re in luck, because there are more Temperance Brennan novels (currently 13 are published, with #14 coming out soon) and there’s a Young Adult companion series called Virals by her as well. I started reading it and it sounds good so far.
Bottom line, pick up this book. You’ll love it....more
I’m not accustomed to reading novels told by male protagonists, so it was slightly difficult to get into Miles’ head. Not that’s he’s unlikable because I did like him. Sometimes reading a book told in the point of view of the opposite sex can be harder to get into. I found that with the first twenty or so pages. It was dull, just setting up the scenario of Miles going to a boarding school for the first time. He becomes friends with his roommate Chip (The Colonel), who nicknames him Pudge (playing on the fact that he really is the opposite). Then Miles meets more people through him, including Alaska.
Alaska. Now she’s one of those girls that bring out the side of ourselves that is hiding underneath the proper exterior we portray to the world. Her view of life and people can be contagious and upsetting at the same time. Miles is drawn to her, even though she has a boyfriend already. The scene that is quite possibly the foundation of the whole novel is when the two of them were alone and talking about Simón Bolívar’s last words: “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!”
That was a staple throughout the book--Miles and his memorization of famous last words. The reason he went to boarding school was based on François Rabelais’ last words: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” After reading many of the last words quotes, it made me want to read more. You know a book is good when it inspires you to do something yourself, even though it’s unoriginal.
It’s funny. I recently complained about not understanding boys, and this book was actually very eye-opening. The boys in here (Miles and Chip) are deep, deeper than you expect to ever find in some boys. So often are there male characters that are less likeable and undesirable, it was nice to see a new kind of smart boys. Not just smart, but that they have emotions, and show their emotions. At several points, I wanted to scoop them up and hold them in my arms.
There are certain books and certain words in these books that resonate in you. You take them and carefully place them into your pocket and carry them the rest of your life. I finished Looking For Alaska with a sense of understanding. Not necessarily that I knew exactly how to explain what I understood, just that I had this feeling of completion that felt like it altered my outlook slightly.
Although I enjoyed this, some may not. I can’t say why. That’s a big spoiler. Let’s just say I almost hated it when I figured out what was going to happen. However, it felt reminiscent of those books that seem awful but have a deeper meaning. John Green wrote an amazing novel here. Whether you like the story or where it ends somehow doesn’t matter. It’s the journey that counts. At least, that’s what I got out of it.
The story is told in alternating points of view by Grace and Sam. Grace spent years sSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
The story is told in alternating points of view by Grace and Sam. Grace spent years seeing Sam in the distance, him watching her as a wolf. She felt safe with him there. The intimacy shared between the two that happens through those years is put into a new perspective when he becomes human. But of course, time is running out for them, he can only stay human for so long. And there are other wolves who aren’t too happy about what is going on in the area. What will they do? Can they keep him human?
My favorite part (and in case you haven’t read the book yet, stop reading this paragraph and skip to the next one, not quite a spoiler, but just to be safe…) is when she goes up to him while he’s a wolf, before she sees him human. There was something so touching about it, intense and deeply emotional.
The whole book was well written. You are aware of their feelings, the depth of them, from beginning to end. I can’t wait to read the next book!...more
When I first heard of this book, I knew it would be intense. Anytime I had to set theSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
When I first heard of this book, I knew it would be intense. Anytime I had to set the book down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. I wanted to understand, as the title suggests, why. Why did Hannah kill herself? Why does anyone want to kill themselves?
The story surrounds clay Jensen as he listens to 7 cassette tapes. What’s on the tapes? Hannah Baker’s story of the 13 reasons why she killed herself just 2 weeks before. Thirteen reasons… thirteen people. Hannah has them sent to all of them, in order, else the things said on the tapes be made public. Considering the things that happened to her, all would comply.
As you read Hannah’s words, your heart aches. The actions (and sometimes ignorance, which in itself is an action) of people are seemingly harmless, at least to them they are. It’s okay to spread rumors (it’s just words), it’s okay to feel somebody up (it’s all in good fun), it’s high school, it’s expected. Is it? Is it really? I won’t deny that it happens, and I won’t say that some can’t handle the pressures and walk away with few scars and move on with their life. Because some can. For Hannah, it was the culmination of every moment, one on top of the other. Snowballing. Nobody knew what was happening to her on the inside. Sadly, most don’t notice when someone is heading down that road…
Some people make it obvious--isolation and depression. Others pretend everything’s fine, go through the motions, they’ve learned to tell people what they want to hear. There are subtle signs too, and often we have to remind ourselves to trust our instincts. If something is out of place in a room, we notice. When somebody is contemplating whether or not to take their life, they drop hints… “The signs were all there, all over, for anyone willing to notice.” … but nobody stopped her.
This book strikes a chord with me, since I know people who are bipolar or have major depression. I’ve never wanted to kill myself, but after reading what goes through the mind of somebody who wants to, I can empathize. One spot in the book summarizes the feeling well: “If you hear a song that a makes you cry and you don’t want to cry anymore, you don’t listen to that song anymore. But you can‘t get away from yourself. You can‘t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can‘t decide to turn off the noise in your head.” You can’t escape you.
You may think, Why read this if it’s just going to upset me? We already know she’s dead and nothing can change that. True. But this book can change YOU. This book can help YOU. You may not realize it yet, but after you finish it, you have hope. For you, for a loved one, a friend, a family member.
As a side note here--to anyone who is contemplating suicide or knows someone who is, please ask for help. You are an important person who is loved. Don’t give up.
“Katie Ellison is not a liar. It‘s just that telling the truth is so… tricky.” ~from inside cover
Katie has spent years not admitting how she really feels about things. Why? Because doing that would cause the life she’s created to crumble. She continues to date Seth, the football-player she always wanted, even though she doesn’t have feelings for him, and she’s making out with Eric from the Drama Club behind his back. She’s running for Quahog Princess in the Quahog festival in her hometown, even though she can’t stand eating quahogs (which are clams). After all, this is what she’s always wanted, right?
Then Tommy Sullivan returns. He left town four years ago when somebody spray painted “Tommy Sullivan is a freak” on the outside wall of the Junior High Gymnasium. Katie thinks he’s back for revenge, and she doesn’t want her perfect life to disappear. So what does she do? Tell more lies than ever before.
Following Katie through the mess she’s making (or continuing) is actually much more amusing than irritating (as I normally get with some situations similar to this). From trying to keep people from figuring her out to trying to figure out what is up with Tommy’s return, it’s a pretty funny read. I can relate to Katie in a way--it’s hard to admit when you’re wrong about something or that you’ve made a mistake. Yet it’s worse when you don’t because you can hurt others and yourself if you let it go on any longer. As time goes on, Katie begins to realize the folly of her choices.
I’ve read several of Meg Cabot’s books, but somehow find this one a favorite. It was one of the first Y.A. novels I bought for myself. If you’re looking for an easy to read funny book, this is the one for you....more
A tearjerker, yes. But well worth it. The book was originally published in 1995, re-rSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
A tearjerker, yes. But well worth it. The book was originally published in 1995, re-released in 2002. It’s one of those books that is everlasting and any generation can relate to, like Judy Blume’s Forever…
The book opens with Alison and Sam meeting on a trail after he wrecks his motorcycle. She helps him. Then she finds out her best friend Isabella has brain cancer and only 6 months left to live. Then she find out that Sam likes her. And that she likes Sam. And that Izzy likes Sam too. So Alison decides to share. And as always, love complicates everything.
I really enjoyed this one. I remember reading it the first time, up into the wee hours of the night because I was so entranced by it. It definitely stays with you for days. The story is solidified by the emotions surrounding the true to life characters. It makes you think, really think, of how self-sacrificing you are. How much would you be willing to give up, knowing that it was possibly going to break your own heart in more ways than one....more
Madeline Sinclaire’s parents allow her to stay home while they go to Napa Valley for the summer. Her parents end up coming back early and catch her throwing a party at the house. They are infuriated and sentence her to spend the rest of her summer with them at their vineyard. This means she’ll be away from her friends and away from her boyfriend, Brian. She’s reluctant to enjoy the two months there. The place is unlike what she’s accustomed to in San Francisco.
She gets commissioned by her father to fix up a wine tasting room with David, his business partner’s very gorgeous son. David is more enthusiastic about the job that Maddie is. At first they get off on the wrong foot (of course). They go around to other places for ideas on how to decorate and design the place. They spend a lot of time together working. She actually begins to enjoy being up at the vineyard. And she’s enjoying the time with David. Will summer turn out better than she thought?
I’ve read several Hailey Abbott books over the years. They have all been nice light reads. This one was very cute. Very cute. I liked all the characters and the way that Maddie grew along the way. I could go back and read this one again.
I have to admit, I was irritated at first. It’s a strange concept, but still interesting at the very least. I think it was mostly the writing--flow of the story and the odd way things would happen that made it irritating. That seems ambiguous, I know. An easier way to explain it would be that it felt like more of a middle grade novel than a young adult novel. It had simpler explanations and sentences seemed constructed with a younger reader in mind. Which by it’s own right isn’t that bad, just unexpected and a bit different.
Liz dies at 15 and is not allowed to go back to her former life. Instead of getting older, she gets younger. Imagine all that’s missed out on--I’m 26 and so much has happened in 11 years. She finds it hard to adjust to being dead (and reverse aging). She gets to be around her grandma, Betty, whom she never met on account that she died while her mom was pregnant with her. Betty tries to reason with her to get her to accept what has happened to her.
Liz is reluctant to move on, so she spends a lot of time watching people in her life back on earth. She finally reaches the point where she realizes she needs to choose to live (or whatever it should be called in Elsewhere) this new “life”. She picks an avocation (yep, you get a job) where she speaks to dogs (literally, she speaks Canine, which is very interesting) and earns Eternims (what they call money in Elsewhere). There is a romantic element involved as well, but I won’t go into it here as it’s not really the focal point of the story.
All in all, it was a decent story. The part that turned it around for me was a scene that described what Elsewhere was like. Someone described it like a tree: the Earth being the branches and Elsewhere being the roots. It was quite poetic. As I was nearing the end, I didn’t think I’d consider it a great book. But then the last bit actually made me tear up. Would a not so good book make me connect with the characters enough to nearly cry? I don’t think so.
Yes, this backwards growing thing was odd. The way it was written was odd. The things you can do in Elsewhere are odd. But it was still a very fascinating idea. And the way Liz lives her life (and her friends and family live theirs) in reverse gets increasingly engaging as it plays out in ways you may or may not anticipate. It does have the same feel as Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac (also by Gabrielle Zevin). I’d recommend it for people who like dystopian societies (that sometimes slack on rules).
This one’s been on my radar since I first heard of it. I had read Major Crush and TheSee more of my reviews on my blog Thoughts At One In The Morning.
This one’s been on my radar since I first heard of it. I had read Major Crush and The Boys Next Door and out of all the Simon Romantic Comedies (most of which are quite cheesy), hers were my faves.
Meg’s a bad girl, and at the beginning of the book she gets caught, along with three friends, trespassing on a dangerous bridge by the police. Instead of going to court or jail, she gets to spend a week on the night shift with the cop that arrested her. The point being for her and her friends to learn their lesson of what poor choices can lead to. So she spends spring break with Officer John After (who’s a year and a half older than her), driving around town dealing with the local riff raff.
At first, Meg thinks he’s a jerk, and he thinks she’s an idiot. As the story progresses, a somewhat friendship develops. The back and forth between Meg and Officer After is very amusing and interesting. And not all of it is conversation--some is facial expressions and looks exchanged. Meg tries to piece them together so that she can understand what it is about John After. Why is he so obsessed with that bridge? Does he--CAN he--like her, even with the fact that she has blue hair and is practically a criminal? Even if he does like her, he wants to stay there and she wants nothing more than to get out of there. She doesn’t like to be tied down in any way. The two of them are so set in their ways. But they question each other in conversations, finding flaws in the other’s views, causing them to question themselves, to open up.
There are so many more details I could get into, but that would take away from the greatness of discovering them while you read it....more
I read this back when I was still in school and it was, by far, one of my favorite childhood reads. I read it multiple times. Before I even reread it this year, I could remember the story like it was yesterday. It's amazing how certain things just stick with you like that.
The story of the rats of NIMH, their journey past and present, is one that cannot be matched. The world building alone is phenomenal. Like the synopsis says, it is an unusual novel, but that's what makes it so amazing. A group of rats that escaped the National Institute of Mental Health with exceptional intelligence? Insane. And how Mrs. Frisby fits into the story of the rats is nothing short of brilliantly played. I felt as if I was walking through it as Mrs. Frisby herself. Learning all these things about her late husband's ties to the rats and learning how to find the strength within herself to do what needs to be done.
The details contained within describing the surroundings were so vivid. I could picture all the different rooms and halls the rats built in my mind. The background of the rats gets told by Nicodemus to Mrs. Frisby to explain how they knew her husband and how it was possible for them to do what they do. I always loved that part of the story. And Justin, one of the rats. How is it possible that his personality is just so lovable?
Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH is, in my opinion, one of the greatest stories written. I absolutely adored it, even more so now. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but feel like I was transported back to my childhood, sitting there with my eyes glued to the page in wonder and joy. What's amazing is that it's not just the story itself, it's also the emotions tied to it that make it all the more powerful. The book is much better than the movie, even though I still love the movie). If you're ever in the need for a great chapter book to make you feel like a kid again, this is absolutely the one you need to pick up.
This is a true story told from the point of view of a psychiatrist who gets stalked by one of her patients. Fran Nightingale believes she’s in a relationship with Dr. Orion, even though there was never any suggestion of one. For eight long years Dr. Orion struggles to protect herself and her fiancée/husband Tim (they got married in the midst of all this). She attempts to get into Fran’s mind to understand how to get her to let go of this silly notion that something was going on between them. The problem is that Fran has erotomania, which means she becomes obsessed with someone and believes they are in love with her. These delusions often lead to stalking the person they are in love with, despite being told directly to their face and indirectly by the person’s actions that they are not interested in a relationship.
The reason why I even picked this book up to begin with is due to the fact that I knew someone who had these tendencies. I wanted to understand what was going on in their mind, why they were so fixated on one person and wouldn’t believe that there was nothing between them. It was a pretty eye opening tale of what happens to a person when they end up being the one an erotomaniac sets their mind on.
I ended up learning a lot about not only erotomania but one of the things that happens to someone who is obsessively attached: stalking. I’ve seen portrayals on television before but had no idea the lengths some people go to. Dr. Orion talks about the stories of countless others who suffered at the hands of their stalkers. Some of the stories can even scare you. Even when these victims get restraining orders, it still doesn’t stop the stalker from following them or even finding them when they try to move.
What really got to me is how little the law could do to help a person when they are being stalked by an erotomaniac. At the time of this novel being written, laws had not caught up with this mental illness. While some states had passed laws that protected the ones being stalked, many of them were behind. People had the false notion that a stalker is only dangerous when they threaten their victim. This is not always the case. Once the stalker/erotomaniac gets triggered by something life changing (loss of employment, loss of a loved one, their victim getting married, etc.), something inside may snap. In one deadly instance, Laura Black’s stalker Richard Farley came into her place of work with nearly a hundred pounds of guns and ammunition. He killed seven of her coworkers and injured four, including Laura.
Due to cases like that (including some celebrities that have been stalked and killed), laws have been changed to protect people from getting hurt. This includes stiffer sentences for repeat offenders to prevent them from getting away with their pursuits for years, like in the case of Dr. Orion with Fran.
I don’t know what current laws are (this book was published in 1997), but I’m sure that due to Doreen Orion and many other victims speaking out like this, a lot of the loopholes were taken care of since. Of course, there’s no way you can change a person who has erotomania, but after reading this many can find ways to protect themselves and their families and friends. This isn’t necessarily an easy read, it is pretty intense and can even frighten you. I found it more absorbing due to a personal desire to understand. If anyone is dealing with a stalker or an erotomaniac, this is definitely one of those books you want to read.
Jennifer Echols delivers again! The Boys Next Door and Major Crush are great reads with the dynamic pairing of two people that stems from dislike or distraction. In The Ex Games, Nick and Hayden end up in an argument, which leads to a standoff competition to see who is the better snowboarder. It’s the girls against the boys. It’s heating up, and I’m not just talking about the competition.
They had dated years before and he humiliated her. She hasn’t forgiven him since. He still calls her “Hoyden” instead of Hayden to make her mad. Then the day before Winter Break, he’s flirting with her, which confuses her. A few days later on the night after she wins the girls division in a boarding comp, the two have a very sexy scene in the sauna. It’s right after this that the fight and the boys versus the girls standoff begins. As the tensions rise, they realize they have pent up desires from sauna night that got interrupted. Can a relationship happen again between them, or will the past just keep coming up and getting in the way?
You know I love a good built up romance. And I especially love sexual tension. It’s like getting that fluttery feeling all over again--the first time hands touch or his leg touches her leg when they’re sitting next to each other. This book is the best one I’ve read so far for that. Nick and Hayden are intense and entertaining.
I haven’t met a Jennifer Echols book that I didn’t like. When it comes to the Simon Romantic comedies, they can be hit or miss for a truly good book (since they're written by multiple authors). Every one by Echols has been a GREAT story that kept me hooked. The Ex-Games is a must read for any Jennifer Echols fan. Haven’t read a Jennifer Echols book? Well, what are you waiting for?!
Danielle’s life has been spent stealing things with her mom. They run from town to town taking advantage of people and move on before they can even begin to settle down. Dani is now eighteen and has never really had any sort of friend or a real life. When they get to the town of Heaven, things are a little different. Dani meets some great people--Allison and James, who just happen to be the family her mom wants to go after in this town. She also meets Greg, a local policeman who just won’t leave her alone. Dani shouldn’t be getting close to these people considering what she’s going to do and that she’ll be leaving soon after. But she keeps staying around them. When her mom finds out and she has to choose, what choice will she make?
This story had a lot going on. It really makes you think of how it would be to be in Danielle’s shoes. You’ve spent your whole life stealing to survive. Your MOM showed you how. Your mom is all you have. And then you actually get to know some people outside of family and like them. You know that what you’re doing is wrong, yet you still do it for your mom and yourself. For someone like me who’s never stolen anything, it’s just hard to picture life like that. But I can understand the moral dilemma. If you’re not taught right, you do what you’re taught.
Something I really enjoyed was the banter between Greg and Dani. It was so cute and hilarious. Watching Danielle face her future and the hard decisions she needs to make when a serious situation arises is remarkable. I love stories when the main character has to deal with life changing situations. It gives you that feeling of growing up again.
Even though this isn’t completely like other Elizabeth Scott novels I’ve read, I still enjoyed it just the same. It does have a good lesson and gives perspective into a life most of us don’t live. I recommend it to those who want to read about a different life.
Pretty Good... Stay up until your bedtime. :)...more
At first, I had trouble getting into this story. I found myself highly irritated at the start of Patch and Nora. Then during Teaser Tuesday I write out the line in the scene that was the turning point for me. It started to get better and better. I love a good love story and watch it develop over time. The many circumstances Patch and Nora are put in, or more like she’s in and then he shows up, slowly unfold the reasons why he’s there and what he is. When it is discovered as to what he is, the connections different people have come to the fore. Then the pace picks up quite a bit with action and fight scenes.
I have to make a comparison to Twilight when it comes to the rollercoaster incident. And can I say holy sexual tension batman! That scene when the two are alone in the kitchen. I think it’s one of the best I’ve read. I love it when authors write them well, and Becca Fitzpatrick delivers it like no other.
The mysteriousness of Patch, his obsession with Nora, the sexual tension (oh boy), the action… it all adds up to a pretty good read.
Allow me to expand on this. When I bought this book, my initial thoughts were that it would be a good read. Since Speak is such an amazing book, how can I expect anything less by Laurie Halse Anderson? I didn’t expect it to reach the amazingness of Speak. But man, I was wrong. So wrong. Wintergirls pulled through and, as much as I have a special place for what Speak stands for, I believe I loved it equally as much.
I need to be honest. I don’t understand the desire to be skinny to the point of anorexia and bulimia and starving oneself (I understand wanting to be skinny in general, but not to the extreme). It’s not something I’ve dealt with, so I feared I wouldn’t be able to relate or care for a character that has that view of themselves. And I admit, listening to Lia speak of her weight the way she did, I sometimes wanted to punch her back to reality. BUT. I kept in mind the fact that when someone has body dysmorphic disorder, they can’t view themselves in any way except bigger than they really are. Hence the constant need to lose weight. I began to be pulled into Lia’s world of misconstrued views on her appearance. I could see the imperfections from her eyes. I could feel the illusions playing tricks on my mind.
The anorexia wasn’t enough though. Lia also cut. Which is another thing I cannot relate to. With good reason because when she cut, I felt sick to my stomach and I wanted to escape and get out of her head. But I couldn’t put the book down. I had to keep reading. The thought of the cutting caused me to have that achy feeling spread through my body. I couldn’t stop imagining the times I’ve gotten cut on something, that initial feeling just kept repeating. It was so disturbing and scary to see how far people go to feel something.
Lia’s journey is one that takes on more than just the anorexia and the cutting. Her best friend Cassie is dead. The one who was just as obsessive about staying skinny. The one who half cheered her on and half wanted to be the skinniest. She can’t stop thinking about Cassie. She can’t stop seeing her everywhere she goes. Her family is trying to save her, but Lia doesn’t want to be saved. She wants to be thinner. She doesn’t want to get to the weight the doctors tell her is healthy. She wants to be less than the skinny she already is. Over 100 pounds is not what she wants. She wants 95. She wants 85. But where will it end?
I was overcome with many emotions throughout this book. Writing out this review was like reliving the emotions all over again. Yes, I don’t have the desire to be extremely skinny. Yes, I don’t have the desire to cut myself in an attempt to feel. But I have come to understand more about those who have those desires through the words Laurie Halse Anderson has penned in this novel. Wintergirls is one of those books that will not go away, just like Speak. Lia will stay with you a long time.
Brooklyn and Nico have lost somebody very important to them, Lucca. He was Nico’s brother, and Brooklyn’s boyfriend. He was killed in a car accident. Gabe was in the accident too, but he survived… only to die of a drug overdose a year later. Brooklyn is constantly writing letters to Lucca in a notebook. Nico runs, literally.
In the midst of all this pain from losing the two boys, Brooklyn and Nico are visited by their ghosts. Lucca tells Nico to help Brooklyn, while Gabe chases Brooklyn in her dreams. Nico reaches out to Brooklyn, trying to do what Lucca is asking him to do, but it’s not easy to reach her. Eventually Nico convinces Brooklyn to join him in a triathlon, and the two train together.
You can’t help but be connected to Nico and Brooklyn as they express their thoughts. You want to see them learn to move on with life. The fact that it’s written is verse keeps the emotions palpable. You empathize with their feelings and their pain and their strength. Another beautifully touching read from Lisa Schroeder.
Exceptional... Stay up until at least 1 AM!...more
Lennie Walker lost her sister Bailey. She lives with Gram (mom’s mom) and Big, her uncle. They share in the grieving of Bailey, along with Bailey’s boyfriend Toby, who’s always around. In the midst of the pain and sadness, Lennie and Toby get drawn together into something more. While this is going on, she meets Joe, the new guy who is an amazing clarinet player (just like Lennie is). He starts to take an interest in her, visiting with her and her family. She finds this secretly thrilling.
Of course, two guys and one girl is not a good thing to have going on. With both Toby and Joe showing up all the time, their paths are bound to cross.
Lennie deals with losing Bailey by smelling her clothes, calling her cell phone and leaving messages, and she writes poems and scatters them everywhere. She faces it and doesn’t at the same time. She holds back on her potential as a clarinetist. Upon reaching the moment of truth at the end of Part One, my heart had a real life reaction, guilt washing over. In Part Two everything comes together--new chapters open in Lennie’s life and her heart opens and she lets people in again.
The Sky Is Everywhere is an absolutely potent read. You can sense it upon reading the first few pages how much it’s going to make you hurt and then glue you back together in the end. The love Lennie feels, you can feel it breathe inside yourself. It’s purely amazing. AMAZING. The poems getting scattered is the coolest thing. Jandy Nelson definitely makes a strong and wonderfully beautiful debut in this novel. It’s impact will change your life and thinking. This goes on a list of MUST reads, along with novels like Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
Exceptional... Stay up until AT LEAST 1 AM!...more
I wanted to like this book, I really did… but I didn’t. The girl is so young (and I mean YOUNG) and she makes really dumb choices for no reason whatsoever. Or maybe the reason got lost in the book or lost on me somehow.
Cassie chooses the wrong people to be around, these people do wrong things, and she allows herself to be okay with it. Why?! It’s like, hey look, let’s do acid, okay, that sounds like fun! I mean, really? REALLY?! She wasn’t entirely a bad person, deep down she is still a girl and wants to be a little girl still. She loves her family and wants to hang out with her mom. She also wanted to help her BFF Alex’s sister Sarah, which was honorable.
I have to be honest, I skimmed in several spots because I wanted to drop kick the book so bad (maybe that could have something to do with why the story made no sense, but I had little patience with it). I was hoping it would redeem itself eventually. It didn’t. Some of her was redeemed by something she wanted to do near the end. But the ending? Horrible. I was so irritated and utterly pissed off. The last chapter doesn’t really resolve anything, it’s just… there. I wish I knew where it all came from.
Maybe if Cassie was older and I had a reason for her choice to go off the deep end (WAY off the deep end), I could empathize. The only thing I liked was the secondary story with Sarah. Her life and background, I thought it was a story that needed to be told. Often children don’t get protected and they live day to day in terror. Cassie caring about her like she did was the only part worth reading. That’s the only reason I gave it two stars on Goodreads.
Beautiful is one of those books that’s supposed to show the bad choices a person can make. It just took a thirteen year old girl and threw her into the ‘drug and sex’ crowd like it was a normal transition to make. There’s a blurb from Ellen Hopkins on the cover of the book praising it, which made me think of her book Crank. Beautiful and Crank have many similarities, dealing with drug use and bad crowds and the path it leads you down, but there was something better about Crank. The MC was older and she had different circumstances. Maybe if Cassie was older or the background that led her where she went made more sense. But, like I said, it didn’t.