Normally when I read books I cycle through about five or so until I find one that really consumes me. I will then focus on that book until I have exhaNormally when I read books I cycle through about five or so until I find one that really consumes me. I will then focus on that book until I have exhausted its pages and digested the plot. With this novel, it took me a while to finally admit to myself that I was engrossed in the story. Such is the subtlety of this brilliant novel that you are pulled in immediately and only later does it hit you that you have been invested all along.
Alex is a quiet boy who shatters his family's complacent security with a single act during a back-to-school house party. From this moment, his old life unravels. James is Alex's popular athlete brother who is the most thrown by Alex's actions. He begins to question his brothers motives and is mostly confused about where they stand, causing them to drift further apart. Meanwhile Alex is trying to come to terms with himself and put his past behind him when he meets Henry, the young son of the new female neighbor across the way. Both brothers befriend Henry and bond over the odd visitors across the street and the boy's situation. Alex really starts to grow when he begins to run again and gains encouragement from James' close friend Nathen. Things move beyond friendship and throughout the year Alex regains his happiness and finds a newfound confidence.
The magic is in the familiarity of the stressful situations of both brothers who have to adapt to new challenges at school and breaching the walls that have grown between them. The novel has a fluid pacing, my heartbeat often quickening near the end of a chapter as I looked for more information, anticipating the next page....more
I struggled with reading Ally Condie's "Matched" when it was released. It had all the right elements for success: it was riding the Dystopian young adI struggled with reading Ally Condie's "Matched" when it was released. It had all the right elements for success: it was riding the Dystopian young adult bandwagon after all The Hunger Games hype put focus back on the genre, it was the first book from a new author, and a female protagonist who was coming of age and learning too much about her world. But somehow it failed to capture my attention.
Most of what I liked about the first book in the series was gone from this book so I had nothing to anchor me. I felt like this book was boring and I am not really interested in what will happen in the final installment, even though I know typing this that I will buy it and I will read it and complain afterwards....more
There are moments when you pull back and recognize you are experiencing a magnectic moment of bliss. Often, these moments are benign and seemingly thrThere are moments when you pull back and recognize you are experiencing a magnectic moment of bliss. Often, these moments are benign and seemingly throwaway to most people, but signify a real turning point in your life. Nick experiences this revelation during a summer day spent with his two moms.
Nick is the product of Erin and Jo, a lesbian couple composed of an ambitious lawyer and an untethered handy-woman. Nick loves his two moms, considering his family a happy unit as they navigate alcholism, cancer, and falling out with parents. Everything changes for Nick when his moms announce their seperation, and a new partner emerges for his biological mother. At first Nick tries to keep the status quo by visiting Jo, his other mother, but is forbidden to continue this. Nick spirals into depression after his countless attempts to keep contact with Jo are thwarted. He begins to lash out at his mother and her new partner, testing the limits of self control.
Between Mom and Jo was a heartbreaking snapshot of a child who comes to terms with not only the true meaning of a mother, but endures the pain and responsibility attached to it. Peters is a simple writer, but she crafts strong characters and creates universal messages of love and family in this beautiful novel....more