August 31, 2016

Books I've Been Reading

I've been on a bit of a reading binge lately. According to my husband, I've been ignoring him.


So sad. are a few of the books I've had in my hands lately...

Notes From The Dog by Gary Paulson...It's a super short read. Something like 150 pages. I read it in two days. It is super sweet and funny and touching and definitely worth the read.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead...The most recent book from a favorite author of mine. Her book When You Reach Me is one of my favorites of all time and I adored her book First Light (and enjoyed Liar and Spy). They're all middle grade novels, but worth the read for adults too. And this one was good as well. A touching story that expertly captures some of the perils of early adolescence with main characters you'll root for.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell...It's no secret that Rainbow Rowell has written one of my all time favorite books, Eleanor and Park, plus another fave, Fangirl. And I really enjoyed her most recent book, a fun romp titled Carry On. Landline is her first foray from YA into adult books and I had put off reading it for just that reason. I wasn't sure I'd like the switch. And while I'll say that it didn't capture and hold me the way that Eleanor and Park or Fangirl did, I did like it. It took a little longer for me to get invested in the main characters. I didn't really love or identify with Georgie early on...but then I did. I found the story moving and totally relatable. The book definitely got me thinking and it proved an excellent reminder that we all must remember to invest time and energy in the most important relationships in our lives.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play by Jack Thorne (and the gang)...I was hesitant about this book too. I, like many people, absolutely love the Harry Potter series. And while I will always want more of it, I'm worried about reading something that is supposed to be a part of that story but doesn't really measure up. Plus, this is a play, not a novel, which makes it a different reading experience (and not one I'm typically a fan of). But a man at a bookstore told me, as a Harry Potter lover, it was my duty to read it. So I did. All that said, the book turned out to be an interesting, fun read. It is decidedly not a JK Rowling novel. It doesn't paint the pictures for you the way she does in her novels (but, in Jack Thorne's defense, it is a play, so the picture-painting tends to happen on stage). Anyway, after reading all of the HP books and seeing all of the movies, it's easy enough to paint the pictures yourself. Honestly, the book felt more like reading well-done fan-fiction than anything else. Regardless, it was fun to read along with someone's idea of what might have happened in the world of Harry Potter 20 year later. And it was just nice to revisit that whole world again. So I agree with the bookseller...worth the read!

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen...I won't say much about this as it was our book club read for the month and we haven't yet met to discuss it. But I will say that it provided a similar reading experience to the other Dessen book I've read, Along for the Ride. A nice, easy, enjoyable read. Perfect for a little light escapism.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer...this is book two in The Lunar Chronicles series. I read book one, Cinder, a few months back and am finally getting around to book two. I'm only about 150 pages in, but so far, it's proving to be similar to book one...a fun, fast-paced, dystopian future read with a unique fairytale twist.

So that's what I've been up to. How about you? Read anything good lately? If so, let me know. I haven't decided what I'm reading next, so I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Until next time, happy reading!

August 15, 2016

Book Love: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I love this book so much that I want to eat it so that I can keep its words forever with me. (Is that weird?)

I love this book so much I oscillate between it making me want to be a better writer and it making me want to admit defeat, for I will never write characters that come alive on the page the way Noah and Jude do.

I love this book so much that I want to share it with you. So, here we go...

I put I'll Give You The Sun on my list of absolute favorite character-driven YA & MG books. It's right up there with Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park and David Arnold's Mosquitoland, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Wonder by RJ Palacio. (All amazing books...if you haven't read them yet, go do it now!)

These are books that sucked me in from page one, with characters that captured my heart, and held me until the sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, end. These are books that are extremely well written, with interesting stories that keep you engaged and guessing. But they are ultimately all about the characters--the three-dimensional, quirky, realistic, lovable, amazing characters.

In the case of I'll Give You The Sun, that means it's all about Noah and Jude. Noah and Jude are twin brother and sister who've been inseparable since birth. That is until something comes between them...something called puberty. The book alternates between Noah's point of view beginning at age 13 and Jude's beginning at age 16, and tells the story of how they fall apart and how, eventually, they find their way back to each other.

A lot happens in between. A lot of big life stuff. And a lot of little life stuff. It's all the stuff of finding yourself and finding your way, and the painfully amazing stuff of growing up. And love. It's about love, too.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter what it's about. You don't need to know any of that. All you need to know is that it's amazing and you should read it.

So there.

For a list of more books that I've loved over the years, check out the Books Worth Reading tab at the top of this page.

And, until next time, happy reading.

P.S. Thanks to my niece, Katie, for loaning me the book. :-)