Friday, February 2, 2018

Little Fires Everywhere (336 Pages)

This is a must read book! It is about family, and family expectations. It is about an Ohio town thought to be an Eden- a place of perfection. The family on which the plot is focused, is perfect. Mother ( a semi journalist), Father ( a lawyer) and four children: two boys and two girls. The secondary family isn't perfect. The mother, Mia, is a single mom with exceptional photography skills. Her daughter, Pearl, a bright high school achiever. Mia and Pearl have spent years vagabonding across the country in an old VW Bug. The reader learns about Mia's family, which I will not discuss here, but it is interesting and key to the book. The characters are wonderfully described. You will enjoy this read!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Picture Me Gone (239 PGS)

I really love the way Meg Rosoff writes. Her characters are so real. Mila and her Dad leave for a trip to the U.S. to visit his best friend, Mathew. Mila's mom is a concert violinist and has gone to Holland for a concert. Mila is a delightful young girl who has a funny BFF living in the same town outside of London. So, throughout the book there is delightful commentaries of typical teenage angst. Mila and her dad, Gil, arrive in America only to find Mathew has disappeared. There is a mystery running along, and it is about the tension between Mathew and his wife, Suzanne. They had a son who died in an automobile accident in which Mathew was driving. Mathew and Suzanne have since had another child. Mila is determined to find Mathew. She and her dad set off on a road trip to try to find him. The trip ends up, at Suzanne's suggestion, at a cabin that Mathew has used for hunting. There they discover, not Mathew, but an old girlfriend of both men. She's living there with her son. Son is a hottie and this is appreciated by Mila! It's a fun book to read; I enjoyed Mila's humor etc.!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The One Memory of Flora Banks (302 Pages)

Emily Barr is a British author who has written a book similar to Everything Everything. It took me a while to understand that Flora had suffered from a brain tumor at age ten, and this caused her  to have severe memory problems. She can remember things that relate to experiences/ people/ places before her illness, however,  she has real difficulty remembering what happened this morning- or an hour ago---- that is until Drake kissed her. Her brother Jacob has moved to Paris, France, and apparently is seriously ill. Her mom and dad fly to France to be with him, but they leave Flora in the hands of her best friend, Paige, and with hundreds of yellow post-it notes to remind her of everything. The reader finds out that Paige has dumped Flora because Drake WAS Paige's boyfriend. This is an interesting read, however, and one which captured my attention especially as I realized what a jerk Drake really turned out to be. AND THEN,  to find out how manipulating Flora's mother is....well, it is a shocking turn of events.!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Girl In Pieces (398 Pages)

I haven't finished this book, but I'm flying through it. Kathleen Glasgow has written a gem! Charlotte, nicknamed Charlie, has had a horrible life. Her mother should probably never become a parent. She was forced to live on the streets, became involved with drugs and alcohol, and ended up in a mental hospital after being found bleeding to death. Charlie has become a cutter. She is constantly cutting her arms and legs. While in the hospital, she begins the healing process, thanks to a wonderful therapist and her own desire to live. The reader sees her improving as she begins to talk, ending her silence. The importance of communicating, of talking about her problems, is part of the healing process. When she discovers she must leave the hospital because insurance can no longer cover her, and her mother lets her know she can't stay with her, Charlie is given money, an I.D. and a bus ticket to Arizona. There her friend Mike lives and lets her know she can get a fresh start. And she does. She gets a job washing dishes, finds a place to live and meets a young man who is someone with great potential, but is allowing life to mistreat him. I cannot put this book down, and yet, I don't want it to end!

We Are the Ants (451 Pages)

This is NOT the kind of book I would usually choose to read. However, I became really interested in the characters, and I am particularly drawn to character driven books! Henry Denton's family is struggling. His dad left - Henry thinks it was because of himself. His grandmother is slipping away from Alzheimer's. His brother (who constantly picks on him) has dropped out of college and has a pregnant girlfriend. Henry's mom is trying to cope with family expenses as she chain smokes her way to the grave. She is a talented cook, but gave up cooking and became a waitress after Henry's dad left. top it all off, Henry has been abducted by aliens. Thanks to his brother, students at his school call him Space Boy as they bully him. These aliens have communicated that Henry has 144 days to keep the world from ending.There is a red button, and he needs to decide whether or not the world is worth saving. Woven throughout is Henry's coming to terms with his own sexuality. With all of this information, I still enjoyed this book and cared for what happens to this family!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Hate U Give (444 Pages)

This is Angie Thomas's first novel. She has given white readers a taste of what is all too familiar to black kids. She has also presented parents who are struggling to make their children have a better life than they ever dreamed of having. Starr is sixteen years old. Her mom is a nurse, her dad an ex-com. She has a confusing family, including an uncle who stood in for her dad while he was in jail, and two brothers- one older and one younger. Her mom is one strong woman, or as Starr calls her- the dictator! Starr's family lives in a poor neighborhood where her dad owns a grocery store. But Starr and her brothers are sent to a prep school in the suburbs. So Starr has to juggle between her black self from the slums and her slightly less black self at her prep school. Early in the book, the reader is introduced to her best friend from when she was little. His name is Kahlil. One night they are driving away from a party when they're pulled over by a policeman. Kahlil is shot in the back and killed. He dies in Starr's arms, and the book deals with her decision whether to keep silent or to speak out about what happened. it is a stunning story, gutsy, violent, yet filled with love. The language is rough, but then so is the message!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Scythe (435 Pages)

Neal Shusterman has written a book filled with horrible violence, and yet it is a book that has many redeeming features. Shusterman's world sounds as though it should be perfect. It is a world without hunger, wars, disease, and no misery. What could be wrong? Population! There is nothing in perfection to control population growth. Therefore, scythes were selected with the task of controlling this growth. This means they were given the job of selecting specific people to kill. There were moments when I wondered about promoting this, and yet I kept reading and was pulled in to rooting for the characters. I would really love to hear from anyone who reads this blog and get their thinking!