Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On my bookshelf

On my bookshelf lately:

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarity

Buy this! Read it!
Here's the blurb:

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. 
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, , she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It stuck with me for so long. The story itself is riveting but cheery, despite the down-in-the-dumps events. Alice is endearing and lovable. She recognizes who she has evidently become and decides she doesn't want to be that person anymore. (love that gumption!)

I love this book because not only was the story really well done, it was a message that clung to me. How do we get to where we are, and become the person we are? There's a Pinterest quote I saw once that said something to the effect of "If who you were as a child could see adult-you, would they be happy with who you are?" (I butchered that, but you get the idea) This book speaks to that idea. What if who you find yourself to be is ugly and not at all who you thought you'd become? Can you change it, or is it too late? 

A fantastic read. GO GET IT and be transformed!

Ok, moving along to Defy, by Sara Larson

via Barnes and Noble

First of all, is that not a gorgeous cover?
Here's the blurb for this:

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.
The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Ok, so I was a little hesitant about this one. The girl warrior profile is a bit overdone in YA in my opinion. But this was good. Best love triangle I think I've read in YA. It felt very authentic (and heavens, there is a sequel so all sorts of mess will happen with that I am sure.)

The girl warrior thing is interesting to me. You have some girls who are more warrior than girl (Katniss, Tris). Some girls who are more girl than warrior (I think Alexa qualifies for this; she never felt not-girlish to me). And some that are half and half (Celeana from Throne of Glass best shows this--and heavens, if you haven't read that book, run and redeem yourself and shred your heart by doing so.)

Anywho, this was good. I didn't fall head over heels in love with it. (I don't think I would buy it, which is the "This book is too fantastic for words" standard for me). But it was good. I liked the jungle setting, because that was different, and I like that at first Alexa has to hide the fact that she's a girl.

Then finally, I read The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth LaBan.

Nice cover

One of the blurbs online said that this was perfect for fans of Looking for Alaska and 13 Reasons Why, and that's so true. This book is a great blend of those two. 

It follows the story of Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.
Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.

This was interesting. Very "Dead Poet's Society." I think it would be a great book to discuss in a high school class. It brings up a lot of themes that I think could lead to some amazing discussion about life and choices and what happens when we become too fixated on things.

Reading has been hard to fit in this month. We've been traveling and busy with new dogs and I have writing projects coming out of my ears (most get better at not having writer ADD and FOCUS!!). Hopefully I can get around to reading more as the summer continues. 

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