Really more of a 4.5 star read, so I may change my rating to 5 stars later.
So, have you ever read one of "those" books? The ones that you finish and c...moreReally more of a 4.5 star read, so I may change my rating to 5 stars later.
So, have you ever read one of "those" books? The ones that you finish and can't stop thinking about? The ones that make you forget that you have a real life and that things, and people, and places all exist outside of the story? The ones that you've chosen to pour through relentlessly in order to underline favorite passages and lines of dialogue? Well, for me, Invincible Summer was one of those books. Having brought this with me as a vacation read, I devoured it before even arriving at my destination, and spent the entire duration of my vacation thinking about it.
The novel follows Chase, a teenager caught in a dysfunctional family situation, across four summers at his family's beach house as he learns many very different but equally important life-lessons. This book deals with achingly real, breathtakingly portrayed subject matter that may or may not leave you shedding a few tears. Don't get me wrong- Moskowitz does include some healthy doses of humor into her story (some passages even had me laughing out loud); but at the same time it deals with other heavier elements not often touched upon in YA literature, something that makes it very unique in it's own right and probably more suitable for mature teens.
So many emotions are running rampant in this novel, it's hard not to get caught up in the lives of the characters. Moskowitz's writing is positively gorgeous; for example, I was floored when I came across this paragraph on page 48:
"It's not really that we're old, so much as that we've existed forever. We're in a black-and-white photo. The only color comes from the Ferris wheel lights and her skirt. We're eternalized in the film. Forever kids. We are our forefathers today."
I mean... Wow. Just gorgeous! So, I can tell if I try to progress with this review any more I will just start rambling, but this is definitely a read I recommend. I'm happy to say that I discovered this book through the review of another favorite author of mine, Lauren DeStefano, and will therefore continue to faithfully stalk the other books and authors that she gives good reviews to, as well as adding Hannah Moskowitz to my list of favorite authors.
Speaking of which, after hearing the premise of the author's upcoming novel Gone, Gone, Gone and immediately becoming intrigued by it, I think I may be well on my way to becoming a real Hannah Moskowitz fangirl.
EDIT: It may also be worth mentioning that on my vacation, the day after finishing this book, I walked into a trendy Quebec cupcake shop that's walls were decorated with Camus quotes in their original French format.
Okay, I must say that I have always been a fan of creepy short stories, ever since I was a kid. I was hoping that this book would be a valuable addit...more Okay, I must say that I have always been a fan of creepy short stories, ever since I was a kid. I was hoping that this book would be a valuable addition to my collection. I was not disappointed. This book, which was said to range from "light and funny", to "dark and creepy" did just that, and I loved almost every second of it.
The first story, "Crusin'", did not seem very promising at first, because I thought that it seemed too predictable. Two girls alone on a cruise ship who hear rumors of strange disappearances. I soon found out I was wrong. This is one of those stories that looks like it has one obvious outcome but, at the very last second, throws something totally jaw-dropping at you. I actually had some trouble getting to sleep right away, after reading it. I have never before read anything from Sarah Mlynowski, but if this is any indication to her typical style, I may just start.
The second story, "I Don't Like Your Girlfriend" was definitely the "light and funny" story of the book, about a girl who is jealous of her childhood enemy's seemingly perfect boyfriend. The twist? Both girls are witches, and some sinister magic may be involved. I laughed at this story's outcome, and I think that I may want to look into some of Claudia Gray's work after this.
Ah, "The Law of Suspects". This story was the main reason I bought this book in the first place, in my insane quest to read every published story from Maureen Johnson. I was expecting a lot from it, and was not even slightly disappointed. This is by far my favorite story in the book, if not one of my favorite short stories ever, and I have gone back to re-read it several times. I have told many of my friends about the book, just to get them to read this story, about teenage Charlie who accompanies her psychologist-in-training sister on vacation to a remote cabin somewhere in France. It is deliciously creepy and twisted in all the right ways, and at a few points, it even made me go as far as to gasp in shock, scream in terror, and drop the book in a state of sheer panic. Wonderful.
"The Mirror House" is the fourth story in this collection, and was the only one that I did not immediately fall in love with. About a girl who hates her new stepfather and feels a burning attraction towards her new step-brother. Although I liked this one, it did not have the wow-factor I was hoping for, but then again, that always seems to happen with me, when I pick up one of Cassandra Clare's books. However, if you are a fan of Clare, then this story would probably be worth checking out.
"Nowhere is Safe", is most definitely the most "dark and creepy" story that this book has to offer. It`s the kind of story that can cause paranoia and nightmares in even the bravest individual. It also holds a special meaning to me, because of something my father told me once: "The world around you is as safe as you make it. If you rely on your gut instinct, your first intuition, and get out of any place or situation that your intuition is telling you feels wrong, you will probably lead a pretty safe life. Always listen to you instincts, no matter what." That is essentially what Poe, the main character of this story, tells you. He and his friends went against their instincts, and traveled into a tiny, secluded village in the middle of nowhere, and may just end up paying the ultimate price. This story is very dark, as to be expected from Libba Bray, author of "A Great and Terrible Beauty", which I had had the pleasure of reading about a month or two before I found this book. However, this story also contains some elements that may be seen as disturbing by some, so if you don`t like something that is hardcore freaky, then you may want to skip this one. I, however, enjoyed it immensely.
So basically, I think that all the stories in this book are pretty worthwhile. Unfortunately, my family never travels, so I did not get a chance to read this while away on vacation, but if the opportunity presents itself to you... Well, don`t miss out. Also, if you are like me and stuck at home wishing for some kind of getaway, then this book is an excellent escape to a creepy vacation adventure. I hope that you found this review helpful!
This book amazed me. I was first drawn to "Spin" one day, when in the teen section of my local bookstore. Next to all the vampire romance and other suc...moreThis book amazed me. I was first drawn to "Spin" one day, when in the teen section of my local bookstore. Next to all the vampire romance and other such teen trends of the moment, a realistic, unique novel like this jumped right out at me. I HAD to read it, no exceptions. Because of where I bought this book from, I was somewhat surprised by the thirty-year-old heroine, but quickly became grateful that this book could focus on adult characters, and yet have a voice so familiar to all readers. We all struggle with problems in life, and we all have goals that we would do anything to reach. Even if our stories aren't quite as crazy as Kate Sanford's, I think that we can all relate to her in some way or another. The characters in the book were memorable and fun, and I enjoyed every page of this book, right down to the bonus chapter song playlist in the back. Catherine McKenzie is an incredibly talented new Canadian author, and I look forward to reading any other books she may write in the future.