LDS Ladies Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 50 comments I finally got it from my Library. I had a hold on it and I looked it up on line, guess what!? My hold was still there(waiting) but they had a copy on the shelf! so I just went in and got that one.
I'm 68 pages in and I am really liking it so far. Is anyone else reading right now?

message 2: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments I'm hoping to start it soon. I have some other books I'm trying to finish. I need a week off just to read!

message 3: by Amber G., Group Creator (new)

Amber G. (lavenderbutterfly) | 288 comments Mod
I have read this and did enjoy it. It wasn't the best writing, and was slow in parts, but overall it was entertaining.

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments I read Uglies and the other two books in the trilogy last month. Since they are young adult fiction they were very clean, fast reads. I enjoyed the characters and the sci-fi story line. The writing doesn't qualify for classic standing in my book but I think Westerfeld is a decent story teller and creates interesting characters.

message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 50 comments I like Uglies better than I liked the Pretties. I haven't read the last one yet there a around 100 holds on it at the library. I also think the author did a descent job. I really enjoyed the story line.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments I would agree that Uglies is better than Pretties and I would add that it is the best of the trilogy - not that the others are bad, just that it is better. I would love to recommend Uglies as a stand alone read except for the cliff hanger ending. I STRONGLY recommend having Pretties standing by so you can pick it up as soon as you finish Uglies - library queues permitting. You will thank me later :)

message 7: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments I think I'll go request Pretties from the library.

Thanks Heather

message 8: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments I started Uglies last night. At first it was whiny and I thought I might not like it, but I quickly got into the story.

message 9: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments I've finished Uglies and started Pretties. It's an interesting story.

message 10: by Kristelle (new)

Kristelle Out of the original trilogy I feel Uglies is the best but then I have to say that I actually liked "Extras" the most. It was an interseting story and I liked that it made me aware of what is really important in life.

message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments That's good to know. I skipped Extras to move on to other books because, in spite of myself, I had become a little attached to Tally and didn't want to read a book without her as a main character. I think enough time has passed that I should revisit the idea of reading Extras. I'm glad to hear that someone else liked it and recommends it.

message 12: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments I thought this was a trilogy. There's another one? Oh, well, sometimes the story never ends.

I finished with Pretties and it's another cliffhanger, so now I'm waiting on Specials on the library hold list.

message 13: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments Oops! Forgot to warn you about that one too! I understand Estras to be more of a postscript to the original Trilogy. Although it is set in the same society it's not a continuation of the same story line. I imagine that Kristelle can comment more specifically.

message 14: by Kristelle (new)

Kristelle Yep Extras takes place about ten years after the original trilogy. Tally is mentioned but isn't a character in this book. I just found the story line more interesting than the trilogy.

message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 50 comments I am STILL waiting on "Specials" from my library. It is taking forever!

message 16: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (kathyhabel) | 26 comments I read this series last year and enjoyed it. I then read his series The Midnighters and enjoyed those also.

message 17: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 50 comments Which did you like better? I have the Midnighters on my to read list.

message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (kathyhabel) | 26 comments Personally I liked the Midnighters better. I think most people I know said they liked the Uglies better.

message 19: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 50 comments I'll probably like midnighters better, I always seem to like the ones that everyone else thinks aren't that good!

message 20: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments Now that I have finished Specials I have some questions for everyone.

1. What did you think about the alcohol use and cohabitation mentioned in Pretties? Remember Tally was just over 16 at the time.

2. Did you feel that the issue of "Cutting" was handled appropriately in Specials?

Since the target audience for this book is teenage girls I think these questions are important.

message 21: by Amber G., Group Creator (new)

Amber G. (lavenderbutterfly) | 288 comments Mod
You hit the nail on the head with those questions. I don't think I would suggest these books to my kids, or any teen for that matter, since it did seem to glorify these things without adequate "right and wrong". I kept waiting for him to write in a epiphany and for Tally to make a better choice. I also think there was WAY too much drinking. I'm glad I read the books. I try to pre-read things before my kids read them, but I don't think they are appropriate for teens.

message 22: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments My daughter is just 4 so we're not yet at the stage of discussing these types of themes. However, even at this young age we encounter things in life or different media that prompt discussions about how our family makes different choices because Heavenly Father has taught us that these choices will make us happy. I plan on having an expanded version of this conversation with my daughter as we go from seeing others smoking or dressing immodestly to encountering sex or drug use. I would feel comfortable reading this with a high school aged teen and talking about the the themes of alcohol use, purge pills, cohabitation, pleasure gardens, 'tricking', partying and cutting. I think that this book is an interesting catalyst for discussing these themes because i didn't feel like it presented alcohol or sex as a means to titillate but as an illustration. First of all, we learn that the alcohol, partying and the pleasure gardens are ways of encouraging pretty thinking. I would liken pretty thinking to "worldly" thinking as well as "following the crowd" thinking. Tally is able to avoid pretty thinking and cutting and offers a good example of how sports (hover boarding), work, caring for others and other activities help her achieve clear headedness. This leads into cutting. Shay used it to achieve her version of clear headedness. I would talk to my teenager about why this behavior is contrary to our plan of happiness and brainstorm alternatives with them probably using Tally's example as a starting point. I also think the book also offers opportunities to discuss agency, choice, forced obedience and appropriate use of power as I really thought that Westerfelds' futuristic society could be used as an example of what earth life might be like if we had followed Satan's plan. Of course I always try to use the Spirit to help me discern what my child needs or is ready for but, generally speaking, I would be glad to read a book with my teen that explores how these themes and choices play out just as I use books now to discuss themes of lying, not playing nicely, etc.

message 23: by Amber G., Group Creator (new)

Amber G. (lavenderbutterfly) | 288 comments Mod
I think that's great. I like your comments. If my child was dying to read this, and begged, and I would choose to take your approach. I will however not choose to introduce this to my kids or encourage it. There are far better books to spend time on. I am hoping we can have a happy medium in our home with books and movies. I think we do a fairly good job at it so far. My oldest is 13 (boy) and we chose not to let him watch any PG13 movies until this birthday. Even then he knows he can't watch ANY PG13 movie, except the ones we deem appropriate. He likes his new found freedom, but we are careful about what we choose to have on our home shelves, along with why some movies are not appropriate. We also discuss why he wasn't allowed to watch these until now and what is in them that is contrary to our beliefs. Books haven't been an issue yet But we'll cross that bridge as it comes.

message 24: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments Ok, that was long winded but I still want to add something else. I try to talk to my daughter about how not everyone makes the same choices we do because they don't know Heavenly Father's plan or don't believe in Jesus but we love them like Jesus would. This comes up in our daily life at the library, grocery store or whatever and also sometimes in books. I think that with an older child or especially a teen we can have the conversation that not all authors believe the way we do and so we may encounter themes in a book that are contrary to our values. I would talk to my teen about how the the theme or incident was used in relation to the story. Did it support the story or illustrate a point or was it gratuitous? How would you write the story differently to make the same point but leave out something you find objectionable? I think most teens can answer these types of questions and talk about what is objectionable and why. It is my hope that open discussions will help my daughter feel comfortable talking to me about anything she encounters.

message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments Amber, I really like that approach! I think you made an important point when you said that you talk about why he has to wait until a certain age. I also liked your point about not encouraging certain books but being open to discussing them if a child wants too. I agree that there are other books more worthwhile and even better books to illustrate some of the themes we are discussing. I remember reading a book in high school by Gerald Lund (I think) about a futuristic society where they had an operation that forced them to be "good". Since it was by an LDS author it didn't have sex or alcohol and offered a great
book about agency, choice, etc. Unfortunately I forget the title.

message 26: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) | 120 comments First of all, I’m not saying I think we should ban these books. But I wouldn’t bring them home as suggested reading for my teenager either. Like you both said, if my child was reading these books, I would discuss these ideas with them. I do, however think books can have a very strong media influence. Probably because I spend a lot of my time reading, I notice how much it affects my thinking.

I agree with Amber, these books lacked a “right and wrong”. Tally didn’t seem to consider what would be right or wrong, but made decisions based on what she wanted.

My problem with the alcohol was that it was treated as so normal that it wasn’t worth noticing. Even Uglies (so 15, 14?) were partying. The cutting really bothered me. They talked repeatedly about how “Icy” it was, but she only quit because it was repugnant to Zane.

Heather, I think you have a very good point… I also think the book also offers opportunities to discuss agency, choice, forced obedience and appropriate use of power as I really thought that Westerfelds' futuristic society could be used as an example of what earth life might be like if we had followed Satan's plan.

The Lund book you mentioned is Alliance, and another good book about this topic is The Giver.

I guess the real important thing is that we know what our kids are reading/watching/listening to and teach them how to challenge the ideas they are exposed to rather than accept them without thought.

message 27: by Heather (new)

Heather | 83 comments Beth, I think you said more eloquently and succinctly what I tried to ramble on about; that it's important to teach our kids how to think about and challenge what they encounter. Well said.

message 28: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 50 comments Ok I'm am going to throw my two cents in here. These books seem to me to be for teens in the 16 and up range, and really whats in these books that your kid isn't going to have a really good chance of encountering in high school? You can't hide sins from your kids it just won't work. In my opinion it's better for them to read it in a book then to join friends to see what its about with out you ever knowing. (I knew(was a friend of a cousin) a girl who cut for over a year before her friends went to her parents while she wasn't home and told them about. They never even knew.)

message 29: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 1 comments the book is really good! i bought specials at barnes&noble-they were overstocked so it didnt come out to that much! as for the plot-i couldnt stop reading it i really loved it!-but on another note-the book ended kinda happy ending sort of thing-it was a bit a way i expected more-but at the same time i was a bit bothered with the fact that zane and tally were so close to be together-but she was a special and that would never happen-besides that-specials all changed except tally.

--as for the drinking and cutting- im 19
and i went to high school and middle school-i feel that only because a book describes that-it doesnt mean that 'your children' will be doing that- honestly i feel that the influences that make your child into a cutting drinking machine are based on how the surroundings are- if you provide your teen with a safe comfortable environment why would the reason be in doing that?
i.e. harry potter is based on magic- how many teens and kids do you see running around with hats and doing witch craft?

honestly people stop thinking your child will do something because of a book-if you dont agree that perfectly fine-but if a person really wants to do something no matter what you do-that person will do it.

a book is a book its to enjoy the story and distract your mind...

message 30: by Allison (last edited Feb 02, 2010 01:14PM) (new)

Allison | 3 comments I just finished Specials tonight and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series. Lots of societal conflicts to think about, with all the liberal, tree-huggers facing off again your typical Big Brother totalitarianism regime.
If I had a teenage daughter, I probably would allow her to read the books, as I found them quite thought provoking. I think they at least open up opportunities for dialogue (obviously we don't cut ourselves, what do you think of abandoning agency for the good of society?, etc.)
These days, it's pretty tough to find reads that can be this thought-provoking and yet are as clean as this series. I'll recommend it.

message 31: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 18 comments Allison, did you know there are actually two more books in the series. There is one called Extras and one called From Bogus to Bubbly. I haven't read them, but I saw them at my kids' book fair. I have only read the first two, but I quite liked them. My 14 year old daughter read those two as well. We sometimes like to "pretty" talk. It's very bubbly-making.

message 32: by Allison (new)

Allison | 3 comments That's so bubbly, it's nearly icy (minus the self-inflicted pain, of course). I'm sure your daughter loves it! One of my friends read the entire series and said that she preferred the Uglies through Specials books, since they deal specifically with Tally.

I just started another YA series called Graceling and am on the second book, which is called Fire. I am enjoying the series, although I think I would rank the Uglies series a little better so far.

message 33: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 18 comments My neighbor recommended the Graceling series to me as well. She also recommended another series by Maggie Stiefvater. The first one is Lament and the second is Ballad. I need more time for all of these recommendations.

message 34: by Allison (new)

Allison | 3 comments I am really liking Fire, but I do have to warn you. The main character becomes "involved" with someone, and I had to skip a few paragraphs when I was reading it aloud. Honestly, its only one or two paragraphs in a 500 page book, but I thought I should divulge so they don't surprise you.

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