David Levithan might be my soul-mate author. When I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down and read it in one night. I recently read Miss Peregri...moreDavid Levithan might be my soul-mate author. When I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down and read it in one night. I recently read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which is another story that came out this year that uses photos to help drive the story, and it was interesting to compare the two. In Miss Peregrine I felt like the story was forced around great images. In Every You, Every Me the story and photos had a perfect marriage and complimented each other throughout the story. Nothing felt forced, it just felt real.
The best part of the book was the striketext throughout the story. We are all so afraid to say what we really think and feel that we censor ourselves all the time. Evan may have censored himself to tell the story he was willing to share with the world, but we were also able to read what he wanted to keep private.
I could not put this book down once I started reading it. It's not often that stories set in a dystopian future leave your faith in humanity intact, b...moreI could not put this book down once I started reading it. It's not often that stories set in a dystopian future leave your faith in humanity intact, but The Hunger Games manages to do just that. Don't let the "Young Adult" label fool you, this book adeptly handles heavy subjects, such as starvation, brutality, survival and death.
The protagonist Katniss Everdeen is an amazingly strong character who struggles throughout the novel to balance her pragmatism and will to survive with the empathy and compassion she feels for her fellow tributes. Read this book! It is awesome and you will spend days thinking about it after you finish it.
Prodigy is the second installment of Marie Lu's Legend series. It follows the escape of June and Day, The Republic's most famous solider and criminal...moreProdigy is the second installment of Marie Lu's Legend series. It follows the escape of June and Day, The Republic's most famous solider and criminal respectively. In the hopes of making it out of the rebellion alive they join forces with The Republic's opposition to help start a revolution. Plans start unraveling and June and Day can only rely on each other.
This is one of my favorite dystopian series out today. Jumping between June and Day's points of view is constantly giving the reader a fresh perspective on the current events. The battle between fascism and capitalism is very interesting but it isn't overwhelming to the readers.
I’ve loved Russo’s novels forever, and noticed that a lot of them had absent or flaky fathers, so I always wondered if this was part of his past. Else...moreI’ve loved Russo’s novels forever, and noticed that a lot of them had absent or flaky fathers, so I always wondered if this was part of his past. Elsewhere cleared that up: Russo’s father did leave when Richard was a child. But we also learn one of the main reasons: his mother’s mental illness. As an only child, Russo spent all of his childhood, as well a huge chunk of his adult life trying to make things all right for her. As with many families affected by mental illness, the family members are in a constant state of triage, dealing with the fallout, without acknowledging (or in some cases even fully realizing) that the illness exists. This was definitely the case with Russo. Drawn into a two-person pact with his mother, he admits that his marriage only survived because his wife didn’t make him choose between his wife and his mom. Subject to obsessions, compulsions, and drastic mood swings, she enlisted her son into a futile, lifelong search for happiness. It always seemed to hinge on where she was living: if she could only get out of Gloversville, maybe she could find the independent, adventurous life she deserved. But once she arrived in her new home — most notably clear across the country, in Arizona, where she followed Russo when he left for college — it almost always disappointed, leading to the dreaded refrain “What a terrible, terrible place!” Within a short period of time, she converted her hatred of Gloversville into memories of perfection: her family had been so kind to let her live with them — why, oh why had she ever left? For anyone with empathy, this is an intensely sad book, for Russo as well as for his mother. And if anyone you’re close to has been held hostage by mental illness, either as a sufferer or a close family member of one, this book will ring agonizingly true for you. Fortunately, Russo’s sense of humor relieves the bleakness. Here, he is making his way cross country in two vehicles with his wife, facilitating yet another move for Mom: Our second day on the road, around dawn, we were awakened by a call from the motel’s front desk. During the night somebody had broken into my car, smashing in the windshield with a tire iron. Nothing was stolen, but we couldn’t get back on the road until we spent the morning getting the windshield replaced. The front seat and floor were vacuumed, but tiny glass shards had worked their way into the fabric of the seat cushions, and by the time I drove back to the motel where my family anxiously awaited, my undershorts were pink. My mother would now have to ride in the other vehicle. “Which car do you want to drive?” I asked Barbara. That is, would you rather have my mother in your car for the next seven hours or bleed from the ass in mine? After twenty-five years, she was used to such choices. Still, she seemed to debate this one for a long time.
If you’re a Russo fan, this memoir is every bit as enjoyable as his novels. And if you’re not — this could make you one.
What does it mean to truly love the person on the inside? Can you love the person if every day the change? A wakes up in a different body every mornin...moreWhat does it mean to truly love the person on the inside? Can you love the person if every day the change? A wakes up in a different body every morning. With the strike of midnight, A changes from a boy to a girl, to a nerd, to a drug addict to a bad boyfriend, to an awesome girlfriend. A's life gets thrown for an even bigger loop when Rhianna becomes a love worth holding on to.
Can Rhianna love A in any body type? Any Gender? How can they sustain a relationship when A never knows where where the morning will bring?
This is a fascinating read that will stay with you long after the last page. I have never read anything like it before. It is a new fresh take on a young adult romance novel.
Harry Bosch is a senior detective with the LAPD working in the Open-Unsolved Division. Bosch is one of my favorite serial-mystery detectives because o...moreHarry Bosch is a senior detective with the LAPD working in the Open-Unsolved Division. Bosch is one of my favorite serial-mystery detectives because of his strong ethics code and his kick ass approach to taking down perps. Unlike most characters that stay around for many years, Connelly's Bosch never repeats or gets stale. The stories are always fresh and evolving.
This story has Bosch caught up in an unsolved murder from the 80s, sexual assailants, and the death of his political rival's son.
This was a book that I felt I HAD to read instead of a book I WANTED to read, but it turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year. Schrefer's...moreThis was a book that I felt I HAD to read instead of a book I WANTED to read, but it turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year. Schrefer's writing transplanted me right into the jungles of the Congo. Even safe on my couch I felt the anxiety and torment that Sophia and Otto felt as they fight for their lives as war breaks out in the country yet again.
Sophia is a courageous character and in the end you happy to know there are people out there in the world who are really like her fighting the good fight.
The prospect of a fat new Michael Chabon novel always makes me clear the reading decks for action. Telegraph Avenue sounded especially appealing, with...moreThe prospect of a fat new Michael Chabon novel always makes me clear the reading decks for action. Telegraph Avenue sounded especially appealing, with its Bay Area setting, musical subject matter (two of the four main characters are co-owners of a vintage record store), and Chabon’s established track record for skillful yet affectionate mockery of a certain brand of East Bay liberal orthodoxy (see his Manhood for Amateurs, 2009). This one did not disappoint: great characters, a labyrinthine plot to keep them in action, and enough wit to make you want to ration out the chapters, so as not to finish it too fast.
The story has two closely linked families as its main characters, one black, one white. Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe have co-owned Brokeland Records for decades; their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are partners in a midwifery practice. Nat and Aviva have a son, Julius, and Gwen and Archy are expecting. Two families with multiple entanglements in every possible direction: what could go wrong? Well, to start with, ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode (aka G Bad) announces plans to build a music megastore in the neighborhood, sure to kill what’s left of Brokeland Records. The offspring of a long-ago affair of Archy’s shows up, and attaches himself to Nat’s son Julius. Mix in Archy’s dad Luther’s shady past and his burning need to revive his career in martial arts/blaxploitation film, and his old-time running buddy, Chan Flowers, owner of Flowers & Sons Funeral Home, who has unfinished business with Luther, factor in an all-black blimp owned by the aforementioned NFL quarterback… and you have sketched out a very rough outline of the tragicomic possibilities. This book delivered on my almost impossibly high expectations for Michael Chabon. I have a feeling I’ll need to read it a second time in a few years.
I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book! As a history nerd and a lover of all things from the 1960s (especially the music) I was ready to dive in...moreI couldn't wait to get my hands on this book! As a history nerd and a lover of all things from the 1960s (especially the music) I was ready to dive into this story. I quickly learned that the only way I was going to get through the book was to have my iPad close at hand so I could play every song mentioned as I was reading along. As far as I am concerned the da-dum-da-das are great but there is nothing better then reading about Hal Blaine's drum fills or Carol Kaye's bass work and actually listening to them!
Tassie Keltjin, the heroine of A Gate at the Stairs, is a farm girl, closet musician, babysitter and college student in Wisconsin. Tassie’s story alte...moreTassie Keltjin, the heroine of A Gate at the Stairs, is a farm girl, closet musician, babysitter and college student in Wisconsin. Tassie’s story alternates between her parents’ farm and her life in a fictional midwestern college town.
It’s packed with multiple subplots — in fact, some friends I’ve pressed the book on said it would have worked better as a collection of linked short stories than as a novel, but I respectfully disagree. I experienced the novel first as an audiobook, and then read it old-style a couple of years later, and I’d forgotten how many elements Moore works in (interracial adoption, tragically bad parenting, crumbling marriage, college romance, struggling restaurant with overly precious food, suspected terrorist cell, 9/11, on and on) in this bulging suitcase of a story. There are shocking developments that are hard to read, butting up against collegiate humor, colliding with wordplay between Tassie and her dad. For me, it all seems to work. The characters are real, flawed, and believable. Tassie in particular is a great heroine. Here’s a sample of what goes on in her head:
I didn’t know anything about adoption. I’d known only one adopted girl when I was growing up, Becky Sussluch, spoiled and beautiful and at sixteen having an affair with a mussed and handsome student teacher that I myself had a crush on. In general I thought of adoption much as I thought of most things in life: uneasily. Adoption seemed both a cruel joke and a lovely daydream — a nice way of avoiding the blood and pain of giving birth, or, from a child’s perspective, a realized fantasy of your parents not really being your parents. Your genes could thrust one arm in the air and pump up and down. YES! You were not actually related to Them!
This is an earlier novel by Walter, who wrote Beautiful Ruins. Ruins jumped from Italy to Edinburgh to Hollywood, from the 60s to the present. This on...moreThis is an earlier novel by Walter, who wrote Beautiful Ruins. Ruins jumped from Italy to Edinburgh to Hollywood, from the 60s to the present. This one is solidly American in setting and themes, but no less entertaining The main character, Matt Prior, has given up his day job as a reporter to pursue a venture that sounds like a joke: a financial journalism website composed entirely in blank verse. Unfortunately for Matt, his wife, their two sons, and their mortgage (with its upcoming balloon payment), this works about as well as it sounds like it would.
But this isn’t a book of blank verse; it’s one of this funniest suburban nightmare novels I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Once the website fizzles, Matt goes back to the newspaper, only to get laid off a few months later. Now he suspects his wife is having an affair, his dementia-addled dad is living with them (after losing his life savings to a twenty-something stripper, of which he remembers nothing), he’s within days of losing the house (which he hasn’t told his wife), and his kids may have to leave their private school and attend what Matt thinks of as Alcatraz Elementary, where he fears the most crucial thing they’ll learn will be how to make a plastic spork into a shiv. So when a couple of stoned boys in a 7-11 offer him a hit of their killer weed, he starts thinking of a quick entrepreneurial fix to all his problems.
This book has always been on my "to-read" list, and I only wish that I would have made the time to read it sooner. This is one of the best reads I hav...moreThis book has always been on my "to-read" list, and I only wish that I would have made the time to read it sooner. This is one of the best reads I have experienced in a long time. It fascinates me that it was written about 26 years ago and there is still relevant themes of an anti-feminist, anti-women establishment that is still alive today. This book isn't a fast read, but it's worth taking the time to hear how these events unfolded and the slippery slope that caused the women of The Handmaid's Tale to become slaves in a man's world.
Whether you read this book from A to Z/cover to cover (like I did) or you periodically flip open a page to enjoy a quick love anecdote this book is a...moreWhether you read this book from A to Z/cover to cover (like I did) or you periodically flip open a page to enjoy a quick love anecdote this book is a must read. Levithan takes his readers on an emotional roller coaster with every turn and shares tales of heartache and hope, falling in and out of love and everything in between.
If you enjoyed the movie Love Actually or any other of Levithan's books, this should be your next read!