I never had to deal with the idea of moving to college and living with a stranger. When I went away to school, I roomed with one of my best friends froI never had to deal with the idea of moving to college and living with a stranger. When I went away to school, I roomed with one of my best friends from home. Years of sleepovers and shared lockers ensured that we each already knew how the other person lived and what their habits were. We didn't have to become friends, because we already were. I always wondered what it was like for those who did have to get that letter in the mail with their potential new best friend or loathed enemy's name on it.
Roomies examines that story. What it's like to take two young women from opposite sides of the country, and create a friendship that will form the foundation for their first years away at school.
At first glance, Roomies seemed like a traditional "Odd Couple" scenario, where the perfect is forced to share a room with the slob, but it quickly proved itself to be so much more. EB, the high-spirited Jersey girl receives her room assignment from Berkley and decides that it would be smart to reach out to her potential new roommate Lauren. Being an only child, and moving clear across the country for school, it seems like a good idea and will help get all the weirdness out of the way. When Lauren, oldest of a baseball team of siblings receives her letter, she's quite disappointed. She'd wanted a single. And who was this over-eager roommate anyway, and why was she so excruciatingly friendly?
Through back and forth emails, EB and Lauren share their final summer at home with an openness that only seems to come from the safety of being behind computer screens. As they both change and grow, they find comfort in being able to write honest thoughts that they no longer can share with friends at home, or parents who they're each growing independent from.
So much is packed in this summer, that it's almost hard to believe they'll have much to get into when they finally start school, but those who've been there know that this is only the beginning.
This was a real and refreshing read that made me think a lot about my final summer before college. The feeling of being somewhere between ecstatic and terrified, compounded by the friends and lovers possibly being left behind are all emotional journeys that dictate how we handle being away. This is a nice title for anyone looking to build on the "new adult" genre, but fits snugly in any YA collection. I listened to the audio, and EB's voice was a little annoying for a while, but not unbearable. ...more
There is so much I could say about why I loved this book, but it's hard to put it into words. Cather was such a great reflection of us nerd girls, thaThere is so much I could say about why I loved this book, but it's hard to put it into words. Cather was such a great reflection of us nerd girls, that I can't accurately deal with her just yet. She was the perfect example of how kickass we are in our fandoms, our online forums, our geek, our inner world, and how flawed, nervous, and observant we are in the strange world everyone else considers to be real.
And hats off to Rainbow Rowell for writing not one, but THREE novels at once here. Because the stories of Simon & Baz, both written by Cath and Gemma were amazing. I knew that world. As a Harry Potter nut, there's no way to not know it. From the moment she begins describing it, you see McGonnagal and Hogwarts and yet...something completely different....more
Ann's parents have started two separate families, neither of which she feels truly a party of. Her older brother has gone away to college and seeminglAnn's parents have started two separate families, neither of which she feels truly a party of. Her older brother has gone away to college and seemingly disowned them all. Her best friend Cassie has found new best friends while Ann wasn't watching. But food hasn't moved an inch. Or rather it has, but those inches have been on her waistline.
Food is a welcome friend. It's something she can control, and something soothing. Something that makes the pain go away.
That is, until she's shopping with her super-skinny mom and nothing fits. She's resolved to just give up, and continue to swallow her sorrow (pun intended), until her Aunt Jackie announces that she and her partner Chris are getting married. Worse yet, she wants Ann to participate in a choreographed dance with the family during the reception AND she wants her oldest niece to stand up for her as a bridesmaid. Even worse still, they're getting married in two months.
As happy as Ann is for her aunts wedding, she can't help but to focus on the huge elephant in the room. Herself. She immediately decides that she needs to lose about 45 pounds, for her to feel and look her best at the wedding. No matter what.
Step one: Order the S2S Weight Loss System Step two: Get a job to pay for the S2S Weight Loss System Step three: Tell no one, let no one see you cry, and find out the name of the cute boy who keeps appearing.
As a plus-sized girl myself, I was really in tune with a lot of Ann's feelings in this funny, quick read. Her descriptions of self-consciousness and nerves were almost painful to read they were so very familiar; from fear of saying the wrong thing during a phone call, to dancing in public, Ann was a relate-able and real character. I was also impressed with the author's ability to amplify the very real every-day weight remarks that many of us wade through without realizing.
Ann's tepid family life was beautifully dysfunctional and not in so much of a predictable way that it got boring. There were also some pretty cool nods to stores like Torrid(SnapZ in the book), where the clothes function on a sliding size scale, and programs like Nutri-System(S2S) and Weight Watchers.
The very real issue of stress eating was captured realistically and weight esteem issues in general were seen from a lot of different angles. I also really liked the love story that emerged pretty sweetly and that it showed just how much when someone really likes you, they don't care about the extra things YOU may be obsessing about for yourself.
I enjoyed this book a lot. Even more so because it gently conveyed that while the weight struggle is real, the self-love struggle is even more vital. ...more
If I don't know WHO I am, I cannot allow the rest of the world to decide WHAT I am. Astrid Jones and her family are transplants to Unity Valley; a perIf I don't know WHO I am, I cannot allow the rest of the world to decide WHAT I am. Astrid Jones and her family are transplants to Unity Valley; a perfect northeastern town full of perfect people. Living with perfect people makes it extremely hard to accept the fact that her newest love interest is a girl.
I'm reminded of how perfect my love for A.S. King is through this amazing story.
Do you deserve to survive a disaster when not 24 hours ago, you planned to commit suicide? Is death as welcome when it becomes the new life? These are tDo you deserve to survive a disaster when not 24 hours ago, you planned to commit suicide? Is death as welcome when it becomes the new life? These are the questions that start Courtney Summers engaging entry into the Zombie Apocalypse genre.
Since their mother's death, Sloane and her older sister Lilly have lived in fear and peril with their physically abusive father. The girls have a plan though. Lilly will save up the money she makes from her small grocery store job, so that when the time is right, the two of them can escape the danger and restraint of their father. All they have to do is wait for the perfect time.
But Lilly doesn't wait.
She packs up her things, and leaves. Without Sloane. And things become unbearable. Furious, their father takes out his frustration on Sloane. Sad and alone, Sloane decides that she can leave too. Just differently. She writes out a note, and begins planning her own death.
The morning of the attempt, she's prepared to end it all, just as she's sure her father is about to have a blowout of major proportions. But before she can do anything, chaos erupts outside their window. Looking out at the street, cars are crashing, neighbors are lunging for neighbors, wives are EATING husbands. Wait, eating? Realizing what she thinks she's seeing, Sloan turns and runs back into the house, just as a zombie launches itself through their front window. Finally her dad's aggressiveness pays off as he quickly deals with their undead intruder. Not sure what she's seeing, but knowing that she does not want to endure it with her father, she takes off.
When we next see Sloane, she's a part of a group of six, hiding out in what used to be their high school. We find out fairly quickly that the group of six was very recently a group of eight. What's left are her classmates Cary: a former boyfriend of Lilly's and the school slacker, Rhys: An upperclassmen who seems to know a lot more about Sloane than she thought anyone cared to, Harrison: A freshman who had yet to make himself known, Grace: Student Body President and former friend of Sloane's, and Trace: Grace's twin brother, a jock who blames Cary for allowing the undead to overtake his parents on their way to the school.
The most intriguing part of this book was the tension. There is constant tension between Cary and Trace. Nervous, weepy tension from Harrison frustrates the group. Then there is the inner turmoil we get from Sloane, who wrestles heavily with how very much she misses her sister, and whether or not she even wants to survive since she was seconds away from ending her world when the world itself came to an end.
There are moments where I hated each and every character. There were moments where each and every character was my absolute favorite. The zombies themselves were scarce until necessary for the story. The entire concept was thoughtfully fleshed out.
Fans of Zombie stories that are about the human condition rather than the undead condition, such as The Walking Dead, would enjoy this one, especially once they got past the slow angsty teen pace. ...more
Sometimes the smiles on an illustration can make your own face light up. I found that was definitely the case with "One Love". Cedella Marley takes thSometimes the smiles on an illustration can make your own face light up. I found that was definitely the case with "One Love". Cedella Marley takes the basic lyrics of her father's well-known song and put together a short and endearing little book.
A happy little brown girl with dreadlock pigtails is joining along with her family and neighborhood to build "One Love Park", while she remarks on how she find love throughout her world. Small nods to Bob Marley are found within the pages as his likeness is found on coffee mugs and posters.
When the little girl goes out to play with friends, they notice that someone has left garbage and debris all over the ground. The children then begin picking up the trash, and then asking that the adults and community members pitch in. Beyond that, the book has a very clear focus on "green living", and each character takes part in building the park.Some neighbors carry new plants and greenery, while others wear shirts that say "Live Green".
All of this story is carried out through the illustrations, as there is very few lines of actual dialogue. I would have liked for the words to be more cohesive, rather than so abstract, but they were sweet ideas of loving family, community and nature. The only repetition found here is in the "One Love, one heart,Let's get together and feel alright" that is found on almost every other page. At times, I found it hard to find a rhythm in the book, which was unfortunate for a book based on a song, and was a minor thing that made it perhaps not as great as it could have been in my opinion.
Like I said though, the illustrations are inviting and happy, and feature a multi-ethnic character group. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a simple, easy addition to their collection. A storytime based on love, recycling, or families, would find this book right at home. ...more
Lottie Paris is a busy young lady today. She and Papa Pete have to visit the park, Lottie has to build a castle in her room, host a tea party, secretlLottie Paris is a busy young lady today. She and Papa Pete have to visit the park, Lottie has to build a castle in her room, host a tea party, secretly steal Papa Pete's phone to play with, etc. You know, normal busy little girl stuff!
Readers of other Angela Johnson stories will love Lottie Paris just as much. Through the picture on their wall, it's clear that Papa Pete is a single father or maybe even an adoptive dad. Readers never see his face, so the story takes on a very Muppet Babies feel (Nanny's legs), but he's got just as much personality . LOL
Lottie ends up in the quiet chair a couple times, and she's busier than a bee, but she's also cute as a button and very loving. Little girls will love the cute and colorful pictures while adults will chuckle at the similarities to Lottie Paris and perhaps a similar girl in their life. The illustrations are bright and cheery, and Lottie Paris is a serious cutie....more
Totally and unexpectedly awesome. I have to say that the actual Gotham villain plot was not the greatest. Kate Kane aka Batwoman battles against Alice,Totally and unexpectedly awesome. I have to say that the actual Gotham villain plot was not the greatest. Kate Kane aka Batwoman battles against Alice, new leader of the Religion of Crime and in my opinion a poorly constructed mash-up of original Gotham super-villains The Mad Hatter, The Joker, and The Riddler.
Beyond the wonky "ooh we're out to get Gotham" plot, the backstory of how Kate becomes the Batwoman was amazing. "Separated" from of the military after a personal Don't Ask Don't Tell event, Kate finds herself lost and seeking a way to still serve when a chance encounter with the BatMAN tells her just what to do next. When her father discovers her vigilantism and that she won't quit, he decides to help her, even in developing the suit and colors. The red and black suit becomes just as feared in Gotham as the black and gold. And with good reason.