Anew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan A...moreAnew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan Archer. We meet Scarlet when she wakes up in the woods outside of Avalon, Georgia. She's fifteen and she knows her name, but nothing else. Not how she got there or where she came from. Skip ahead two years and Scarlet's been taken in by her guardian, Laura and goes to high school with her best friend Heather like any other teen girl. She meets the smart, handsome, funny, endearing, mysterious etc Gabriel at Avalon's annual Kissing Festival (!) and the two strike up a relationship. Gabriel has secrets, though, including a twin brother that might hold the key to Scarlet's missing memories and her life before Avalon. However, the closer she gets to Gabriel and Tristan and the closer she gets to unlocking her memories, she finds herself in more and more danger with less and less time.
There are aspects of this book that I genuinely enjoyed and other aspects left me looking for a bridge from which to suspend my disbelief.
Several years ago I read Jill Smolinski's The Next Thing on My List and really enjoyed it, and I have to say I loved Objects of My Affection even more...moreSeveral years ago I read Jill Smolinski's The Next Thing on My List and really enjoyed it, and I have to say I loved Objects of My Affection even more.
Lucy's a little down on her luck - recently single, recently unemployed, and her son's just started drug rehab. Not a magical place to be in at the age of thirty-nine. She's sold everything she owns except for her car in order to fund her son's rehab, and in an attempt to get back on her feet she takes a job organizing the home of a well known artist. More of a challenge than she bargained for, when taking into account the artist's steely son, the sheer volume of things to be organized, and the fact that Marva, the artist, doesn't want to let any of it go. Pressed to accomplish her goal before the project deadline, Lucy has to learn a little about other people and a lot about herself to get it done.
If the idea of reading about a hoarder panics or depresses you, fear not. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments in Objects of My Affection. It's easy to relate to Lucy, especially if you've ever felt like you should have it all together at any given point in your life and been forced to realize you really don't have it together at all. At more than one point I found myself thinking, "Hello, Lucy, jump on the clue boat," but I think that's pretty realistic. Sometimes people don't see the obvious in themselves (or in others).
Marva is also hilarious, and it was fun seeing the layers of her character develop. Think Dorothy from the Golden Girls, attitude wise, although I think Marva could give even Dorothy a run for her money.
I also really enjoy Jill Smolinski's male characters. I wasn't crazy about Nico in this one, but Daniel was fantastic and Will definitely endeared himself to me by the end of things.
Objects of My Affection is a fun story with great characters and is a very enjoyable read.
I received Objects of My Affection through Goodreads First Reads.(less)
Pure Love, Pure Life: Exploring God's Heart on Purity is a non-fiction title for young teens and up regarding the Biblical aspects of remaining sexual...morePure Love, Pure Life: Exploring God's Heart on Purity is a non-fiction title for young teens and up regarding the Biblical aspects of remaining sexually pure until marriage.
I was really impressed by the way Elsa Colopy tackles the subject, and the voice she presents in her text. She comes across as very open and approachable, but not too buddy-buddy and not too parental. I think this is a very fine line to walk, especially if you're an adult trying to speak to teens about anything regarding sex. She presents everything with scripture and anecdotes to back up what she's saying, but she's not preachy which I also think is important.
This is a great book for Christian teens who want to better understand why the choices they make about sex impacts their walk with God. It's also a great book for non-Christian teens who maybe want to understand why their Christian friends are (hopefully) making decisions to save themselves sexually until marriage. I think young adult women (college and post-college) would also be able to get quite a bit from this as well. It's also great for parents who don't know how to bring up things like sexting, or for small Bible study groups. Each chapter has between three and five questions at the end to consider.
Thoughtful without being heavy, calling to action without making the reader feel crowded, Pure Love, Pure Life is an excellent, encouraging read for anyone interested or pursuing this topic.
I received this title free through GoodReads Giveaways/First Reads. (less)
Madeline Miller's writing is absolutely stunning. The way she crafts her words brings you to be standing alongside her characters, almost perfectly vi...moreMadeline Miller's writing is absolutely stunning. The way she crafts her words brings you to be standing alongside her characters, almost perfectly visualizing what the age of the Greek gods was like. From the castles to the mountains to the wall of Troy, Miller paints a most incredible picture. My love of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey drew to read this story and it was a good read. You very much feel for Patroclus as he by turns stumbles and is thrown into situations that would make most give up or at least weep. I thought his characterization was excellent. It would have been nice to spend a little more time with him as he explores his interest in medicine later on.
Thetis, Achilles' mother, drove me a little crazy. She just pops up out of nowhere every single time she appears, all snarly and toothy and after awhile I felt like saying, "Okay, okay! She hates everything, especially Patroclus. We get it. Sheesh."
I only gave it three stars because of Thetis and because the last forty pages (maybe not even that many) really threw me off. The descriptive language was still lovely, but for me the tone change didn't have the emotional impact I think Miller was going for. It just left me wishing I could have ended with the feeling I had before a certain event. If you wish to know which event, here's a spoiler: (view spoiler)[ Specifically, after Patroclus has died but the reader is with Achilles for two or so paragraphs before going back to Patroclus, but as a spirit and Miller goes for the ghost effect. I did appreciate Patroclus and Thetis having their begrudging goodbyes and what she does for him, but Ghost Patroclus didn't do it for me. (hide spoiler)]
Miller's writing was beautiful and I thought she did excellent characterizations for the most part. If you like Greek mythology, the Iliad/Odyssey, or the Patroclus/Achilles story, you'll probably enjoy The Song of Achilles. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Lyrical is the first word that came to mind when I tried to think of how to describe this story. It's beautiful but grounded at the same time. Sáenz d...moreLyrical is the first word that came to mind when I tried to think of how to describe this story. It's beautiful but grounded at the same time. Sáenz does a really fantastic job of presenting real people with real issues who still have and work toward healthy relationships. The narrative has a fantastic flow, you'll feel like you're sitting down with a comfortable acquaintance for coffee and when you finish you'll feel like you're leaving as friends. (less)
A brief, deftly crafted foray into Sherlock Holmes' view of events that we both did and didn't see in The Beekeeper's Apprentice. It was very interest...moreA brief, deftly crafted foray into Sherlock Holmes' view of events that we both did and didn't see in The Beekeeper's Apprentice. It was very interesting to read it from Holmes' side and see a tid-bit that Russell was entirely unaware of. A quick read and a must if you read the Russell/Holmes books, or if you've been curious as to what they're about. (less)