This book made me happy. From start to finish, there was a smile on my face that grew wider as the story progressed. I was sad, honestly, sad when theThis book made me happy. From start to finish, there was a smile on my face that grew wider as the story progressed. I was sad, honestly, sad when the book came to an end, because I knew I would be exiting a world where whimsy and magic reigned. It's a book for young adults, but it made me hopeful that there will come a day when everyone is able to freely love who they want, when they want, the way they want. The reason why I loved this book is because David Levithan has a way with words that hypnotizes. He moves them in unexpected ways that convinces the reader he was born to write. Looking forward to diving into more....more
I have never been more happy to mark a book completed. Not because it was great and I wanted to share it with friends, but because it seem to never enI have never been more happy to mark a book completed. Not because it was great and I wanted to share it with friends, but because it seem to never end. I've accrued more than enough library fines and have carried this book with me to far too many places and I am exhaling a great sigh of relief that it did not conquer me.
Allow me to explain:
I picked up a copy of this book at Barnes and Nobel over 2 years ago. While sipping a cup of coffee, I read the first chapter and laughed out loud. The cover art had me hooked and I loved her sense of humor in the beginning. However, something prevented me from purchasing it that day. Later, I read a number of mixed reviews of it and decided to wait until it came to my public library. (Thank god.)
When the book arrived, over a year later, I rushed to the library to pick up my copy. And found myself laughing again at the first chapter. She has a great sense of humor and it was a unique cultural spin on living life in lower middle class America. Mishna Wolff comes of age with white skin that matches both her divorced mother and father. However, she quickly learns one of the cracks in the foundation of her parent's marriage is her father's deep belief that he is black. He has black friends and moves the family into a black neighborhood. From the moment she learns to talk, her father tries to get Mishna to be "down".
The stories unfold of Mishna's failed attempts to meet her dad's expectations, especially in the shadows of her younger sister who seems to fit in the skin she's in -- meaning, whether it's white people or black people, her sister is "down".
But after a few chapters, it seems as if Mishna is stuck telling the same tale in varying situations. Her sister's cool, she's not. Her dad's "black" and she's not. Her mom's "white" but she's not quite that either. On and on and on and on. I kept carrying the book around with me thinking, it's going to get funny again, but it never did. I read it feeling like I was a Lewis Black groupie. First time around, you'll get a couple of chuckles out of me, but then I begin to realize, it's the same routine in a different comedy club. I just couldn't take it.
I don't think I got over my initial interest in the book. I was so excited about reading it, that once I started, it felt like a colossal let down. It's good for a few laughs, but it's about 16 chapters too long. The laughs the book establishes in the beginning are the reason why I kept this book at 3 stars.
I can't honestly recommend this book to anyone else. My sister shared with me the same feelings. She saw me carrying it around a few weeks ago and mentioned that she read it as well. She said she really enjoyed the laughs when they came, but after awhile, the story dragged. I felt relief in knowing I wasn't the only one who felt this way.
Pushing through the last chapter today, I know I'm not eager to read another book by Mishna Wolff, but I would be open to someone else sharing with me the highlights of her next attempt....more
As we all know, this is a sequel to the novel/movie, Waiting to Exhale. We know these characters. The real question remains: do you care to reconnectAs we all know, this is a sequel to the novel/movie, Waiting to Exhale. We know these characters. The real question remains: do you care to reconnect with them? Having dived in and got reacquainted with Bernadine, Savannah, Gloria and Robin, I quickly came to the conclusion: I’ve out grown them. In a literal sense, these women are older than me, but I can’t relate to them. Savannah is immature and petty and I couldn’t fully understand why everyone sustains a friendship with her. Robin’s still ditzy, only difference is, she’s a mom. Gloria’s still a plus-sized sweetheart. And Bernadine remains a pushover that doesn’t deserve what she gets. Much of the book felt like a gab-fest, and I desired to fake a stomach flu and exit swiftly. I was much younger when these women were first introduced to me. My girlfriends and I were just discovering life; living it for the first time on our terms. These characters were OUR “Sex in the City”. Having grown up since our introduction, it seemed as if they were having the same problems – some with the same men, others with the same issues. Why haven’t they grown up? Now they feel like OUR “Sex that we Pity”. Why couldn’t this have been a better sequel? Nevertheless, here’s what I also know, I most likely will see this movie when it comes out (maybe not in the theater, but probably by video rental). I’ll see it, not because I enjoyed the book, but mainly because there aren’t enough characters that resemble me on our big screens. I will see this, and wish. I will acknowledge them and continue to hope that other books (like those written by Pearl Cleage or J. California Cooper) will be made into movies with characters that come closer to the images of black women I’ve grown up with and whose company I enjoy....more
I think this is a sensitive book to share with young people in your life who make be experiencing cancer indirectly -- through family or another lovedI think this is a sensitive book to share with young people in your life who make be experiencing cancer indirectly -- through family or another loved one. While I believe wrapping it in a nice bow doesn't always work, this book handles it with hope. I suggest you pick up a copy. ...more
I wanted so badly to like this book but I just didn't. The poems are mediocre and I just kept thinking if this was a young girl's first introduction tI wanted so badly to like this book but I just didn't. The poems are mediocre and I just kept thinking if this was a young girl's first introduction to poetry, she may not grow to love the artform & that's a crime in my mind. ...more
Do you have a young child in your life who doesn't love books as much as you'd like? If so, share this book with him/her. It's adorable. It's focus isDo you have a young child in your life who doesn't love books as much as you'd like? If so, share this book with him/her. It's adorable. It's focus is a young girl who doesn't share the enthusiasm for books that bubbles from her librarian/first grade teacher. She shares criticism of each book, "it's too this...that one's too that..." On and on she doesn't believe she'll find a book she'll love, but, the determination shown by both her mother and the librarian leads her to a book she adores.
I think it's an important lesson for children to learn. We're not going to love everything we read, but it's a delicious feeling to connect with a book that really sparks our interest. Perhaps it will encourage the children in your life to continue their search for the perfect book. ...more
I believe this book is a soft introduction to a parent's depression. I wouldn't share this with a child without first settling aside time to discuss iI believe this book is a soft introduction to a parent's depression. I wouldn't share this with a child without first settling aside time to discuss it's contents. It lightly touches a serious subject. Best shared with a child by a village member who can offer consistent support. ...more
This is a sweet collection of both poetry and black and white photography. Because of it's age, it may be harder to find, but I found this gem in my pThis is a sweet collection of both poetry and black and white photography. Because of it's age, it may be harder to find, but I found this gem in my public library. I wish I could add it to my personal collection.
I want to be sure to acknowledge that this is NOT a book of children's poetry. Instead, it an intriguing glimpse of life in the early 70's. ...more