I was really torn between giving this book 3 and 4 stars--call it 3.5 :-)
The book follows Charlie, a 9th grader who has some mental issues, as he ente...moreI was really torn between giving this book 3 and 4 stars--call it 3.5 :-)
The book follows Charlie, a 9th grader who has some mental issues, as he enters high school. He hears about someone in the community who is a good listener and proceeds to send this person letters detailing what happens during the school year. The events cover his life, his family's lives, and those of his friends.
Charlie is of above-average intelligence, so I don't know if that is to blame for the somewhat stilted language or if the age is to do with the kind of general weirdness of this kid. For a while I even entertained the possibility that he was delayed or autistic.
In all, it was a pretty decent read, very quick. I like that the copy of the book I got had writing in it from its original owner who wrote her thoughts in it. Niki Winning, if you're out there, I've got your book.(less)
This book was definitely not set in the US, a fact I didn't not fully realize or appreciate until partway through when the girls and their parents wer...moreThis book was definitely not set in the US, a fact I didn't not fully realize or appreciate until partway through when the girls and their parents were openly discussing their alcohol consumption. I was further clued in by the places--the main being New South Wales.
So here we have a sweet novel of teenage girls in Australia forced into contact with boys at a rival school. As you can imagine, all manner of mayhem, romance, and so forth break out.
It was a fun and quick read, taking the form of letters, diary and notebook entries, emails, and school notices. Somewhat predictable, there were a few surprises thrown in to make it not totally formulaic in its inevitable formulaicness, if that makes sense.
Still, you found yourself rooting for these girls (in particular) and satisfied with the ending.(less)
This is the most hilarious book I've read in ages. Seriously, I was reading it and laughing so hard, my sister was coming to see if I was having an at...moreThis is the most hilarious book I've read in ages. Seriously, I was reading it and laughing so hard, my sister was coming to see if I was having an attack.
Mortified is a book containing diary entries, letters, and homework assignments from real people describing their love lives, camp, fights, bff's, etc. as teenagers.
Oddly, I saw myself in a few of these entries, and there was something strangely comforting that I wasn't so out to lunch as a kid.
It's an amazing, quick read, fun, funny, moving, and sweet. Even the introduction is laugh-out-loud funny. Enjoy!(less)
This was not as good as the original, but it was still laugh-out-loud funny.
This book contains teen angst centered around love and sex, boys and girl...moreThis was not as good as the original, but it was still laugh-out-loud funny.
This book contains teen angst centered around love and sex, boys and girls, older men, rebellious love. The nice thing about it was that it contained more "historical" diary entries, those being from the 60's, and it's nice to know the craziness extended back even that far.
There's no doubt of the depth of feeling and passion these kids are feeling. It makes for some great reading. I particularly enjoyed the notes passed back and forth between two lovebirds who were home alone, no parents, and they hopped into bed and wrote notes to each other. I'm sure in some teen fantasy, that was romantic as all get-out, but as a grown up (?), I laughed my butt off.
Reading Katie Maxwell's The Year My Life Went Down the Loo, which was recommended to me by a friend, I initially thought, "What a self-absorbed little...moreReading Katie Maxwell's The Year My Life Went Down the Loo, which was recommended to me by a friend, I initially thought, "What a self-absorbed little snot this girl is!"
Emily is 16 and her parents have just ruined her life by moving her to England while her father serves as an adjunct professor for a year in Oxford. Queen of hyperbole, Emily sees everything as uber-coolio or the worst thing to ever happen to her. The book is a series of emails mainly from her to her friend, Dru, who is still back in Seattle, nursing a broken leg and a broken heart.
Emily regales Dru with stories of her stormy relationships with hunky Aidan, dreamy Devon, and the patient and sweet Fang. She is also friends with Holly, a fellow fifth year, Peg, and Lalla.
The book spans about 3 months, and I gather is the first in a series.
To be honest, I kind of hated Emily in the beginning. She is so centered on her own inner angst and the turmoil of starting a new school that she can't see the forest for the trees.
However, as the book progresses, you realize that she is actually quite an intelligent and moral young woman who is meeting head on the problems that she faces either as a result of her family's decision to move or as a result of her own actions. I began to actually root for her about halfway through the book, and I'm hoping that if I can get my hands on the others in the series, I'll continue to feel the same "rah, rah, Emily!" spirit as her journey progresses.(less)
I really enjoyed this diary of Margaret Sartor's, her memoirs of growing up in the 70's. She was a smart and moral and interesting young woman and her...moreI really enjoyed this diary of Margaret Sartor's, her memoirs of growing up in the 70's. She was a smart and moral and interesting young woman and her presentation of her diary is interesting--not the usual "poor nerdy me" or high and mighty Christian, Sartor was homecoming queen and faced very real issues relating to sex, boys, parents, mental health, religion, etc.
It was a refreshing read--she made her choices with the best convictions she could and was honest and self-depracating and earnest all at once.
The book was fun, funny, and poignant. A great and quick read--some diary entries are only a sentence long.(less)
This is the best book I've read this year, and one of my top 5 favorite books ever.
The story centers around Joey Margolis, a quick talking, too-smart-...moreThis is the best book I've read this year, and one of my top 5 favorite books ever.
The story centers around Joey Margolis, a quick talking, too-smart-for-his-own-good kid in Brooklyn who idolizes one Charles Banks, a third baseman for the NY Giants. Through letters, report cards, interviews, newspaper clippings, and more, Joey and Charlie's relationship grows and develops and the book is at turns laugh-out-loud hilarious and move-you-to-tears poignant. Relationships develop amongst many "minor" characters as well, including Joey's principal and teacher, Joey's mother and aunt, Charlie's teammate Stuke and girlfriend Hazel, and even the Press Secretary of the White House and FDR.
I emailed the author after reading it and he got right back to me, which is always a good sign. I have given the book to several people as gifts and they have enjoyed it (my dad stole my copy!).
Covering an exciting and scary time for many Americans, the era after the Depression and of World War II, the book encompasses a time of hope, a time of sorrow, and a time of joy. Read it and be transported.(less)
I found this book at the Wilderness Library and very nearly didn't buy it. Just looking at the title, the words didn't exactly compute and I thought,...moreI found this book at the Wilderness Library and very nearly didn't buy it. Just looking at the title, the words didn't exactly compute and I thought, "hmmm, this book seems kind of silly." Then I read "A Novel in Letters" and my shameless snoop side came out. I love, love, love reading books that are comprised of letters, I feel like I'm really snooping in someone's mail or diaries, and it makes it so interesting. So I picked up Ella and on my way to the car, said the title out loud and the light went on.
The story is one of letters, literally, written in letters between various people. The fictional town of Nollop is facing a crisis: Named after Nevin Nollop who famously coined the phrase "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog", a statue to its founder in town is falling to pieces. Specifically, letters on tiles comprising the famous sentence are falling off the statue, and the town council has taken that as a sign. The citizenry is officially banned from using any letter which falls off the sign. Failure to restrict use of those letters results first in lashing, and then in banishment from the island. They may neither speak nor write the offending letters. It starts out fairly simply, with the letter Z, but eventually more and more letters drop and it becomes harder and harder to write and speak.
I won't reveal how it is resolved, but it was an excellent story and one that I only wish I had had the cleverness to invent myself. It's a fairly short book as well, so you could read it pretty quickly if you wanted to! Fun and funny, definitely a book for people who love words. Take up the town's challenge yourself and see if you can come up with a sentence...? (less)