Ok, I know. I not only owe you reviews for one book, but now two. Truth be told, I have been writing, just for my own book and now with revision, my time is spent. But, here I am, better late than never. So let's jump in:
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
I really don't know what to say about this book. It's a story about siblings falling in love. Lochan and Maya only have each other to rely on and in doing so, they go down this path that can never return from. The book club was at a lost for words. We felt that the story could have been done much better than it was and had so much potential that just fell flat. We wanted something different from the cliche of a broken home. Would this relationship have been the same if both parents were around and active in the kids lives? I remember reading this story going "what!?" It was just unbelievable for me and while I do realize it can happen, I wanted something more from the writer who took the risk in writing this story.
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
This story was split down the middle: two of us really liked it while the other two had some concerns with it. How can three teenagers drive cross country with no repercussions besides grounding? And how could they afford the money for hotels? I guess that's the magic of fiction. Some of the girls thought that Harper was kind of a brat. As for me, I came out thinking that the author did a good job with the grieving that comes from loss. Everyone handles it differently and no one way is better than another. We've all suddenly lost someone and I remember reading it thinking "yup, I remember feeling like that." I think if I can relate to a book in someone, then in my mind the writer did accomplish at least that.
Our next book is Winter Town by Stephen Emond. We meet Thursday, Feb 21st. I will keep you posted (at least I will try).
In all honesty, we reviewed this book 2 weeks ago. I know, I was supposed to post our review sooner, but I'm finding it harder to write these days. I'm no longer training it to work and it's kind of hard to do any writing while driving. But enough excuses, here's our review.
We were split down the middle on this one: two of us loved the book while the other two liked the book but had some concerns with it. First of all, we all loved the writing of it. We thought it was well written and considering the story line, we also thought it was handled tastefully.
Once concern we had was the ending. We found it hard to believe that Deanna would be able to get away with kissing her best friend's boyfriend without some kind of reprimand. It was almost like "new school year, new start." kind of mentality when really we felt something should have happened in that regard.
We did like some of the realistic approaches Zarr took, like Deanna falling into her old traps again when it came to Tommy. Sometimes old habits do die hard and lord knows we are not perfect. I think it's definitely one thing we all liked about the book, the honesty of it.
For our next meeting, we are reviewing Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I just picked up my copy yesterday. This time, I will try my damnedest to keep you posted.
After some vacation time, the book club met two weeks ago to review Lisa Schroeder's Far from You. I know what you're thinking, "what happened to my status posts?" I couldn't help it. I've been doing a lot of personal writing with my book. It's been an up and down ride, where the ups had me writing nonstop for two months straight. But enough about me, I'm here to tell you about the book club's thoughts.
We didn't mind the book too much. We had a hard time believing the snow storm and the fact that no one found them in the 5 days. We also thought it was a little like Dessen's Along for the Ride with the girl going to stay with her dad and his new wife and new baby . . . only in verse. Speaking of the verse, it didn't hinder anything. For me, I found myself still being able to picture the scene in my head without the need for detailed paragraphs.
Next up, Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl. I'll try to keep you informed this time. I promise.
As we started talking about this month's book, we realized we're unlike some other book clubs. When we meet, it's not all about the book. In truth, we probably use about 15 minutes talking about the book and the other 75 minutes just catching up. We talk about other books we're reading and recommend for each other, TV shows or movies that are coming out based on books, and just our lives (one of the girls is getting married, the other applied to grad school). I like this about us. We generally like each other and like hanging out talking about books.
We did talk about Marcello in the Real World. It was a short conversation which usually means it's a book we liked but wasn't obsessed with either way. When a book is awful or amazing to us, we usually spend more time talking about it. It's the in-between books that don't hold our attention for long and this was one of those books. We liked Marcello and liked how the book got started, but from there, not so much. We didn't get the connection between Marcello and Jasmine. We were certain it would be Ixtel he ends up with after the feelings he got just by seeing her photograph. We were a bit confused by that.
Our next book is Far From You by Lisa Schroeder. It's our first book written in verse. I chose it for that reason and am interested to see how it's received.
So apparently, I wasn't the only one who didn't really care for this book. For starters, we all expected a different kind of story. This just shows to go you how important the blurb in the back of the book is. Here's what it said:
I’d like to say something clever, but my tongue is paralyzed. This guy is tall and built and—okay, maybe he’s not
exactly handsome. Wait, that’s not true. He is exactly handsome. From ten feet away I can see the electric blue of his
eyes. All of that put together makes him the Superman of redheads.
After a year in rural Cottonwood Creek, Iowa, city girl Laurel is still adjusting to a place where parties take place in
barns, guys ride around in pickup trucks, and a killer senior prank involves getting pigs into the principal’s office.
Fortunately, she has her best friend Aspen, an Iowa native, to show her around. The real problem is that neither the
country girl nor the city slicker have boyfriends—or any prospects for getting them. Clearly, they need to raise their
profile—and they have a summer to do so.
What do you get from this? First we thought the book would be about Laurel, from her point of view and perspectives. It wasn't. It was about Aspen. Second, we thought it would be a summer-love-hang-out-at-the-beach story. Two girls who laze about summer going to beach parties and meeting cute boys. Not the case. Instead, it's about two girls who find themselves mixed up in usual situations, being bullied by the town thugs and wishing the summer was better than it was. Yup, not at all what we expected.
Unfortunately, it wasn't like the unexpected was better. We had a hard time believing that the thugs would have gotten away with what they did, feeling someone would have been on their trail at some point. We didn't like the fact that the love interests settled for the slutty girls just because Laurel and Aspen were in trouble and grounded. As a hopeless romantic who likes to feel like a teenager, I have to believe that if a boy wants to see you, he'll do whatever he can like come walking with you as you stroll around with a skunk in a baby carriage.
This book did have some funny moments. We did like the skunk story line. But at the end of the day, we were no impressed. Next on the docket, Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork. As always, I'll keep you posted.
Last Wednesday the Book Club met to not only review The Clearing by Heather Davis, but to also watch and review The Hunger Games Movie. Something we were all looking forward to seeing. So here are the details for you.
First, we had one girl call in sick. But thankfully, she reviewed the book on her Goodreads account which you can view here. In the end, she had an okay feeling about it. The rest of us quickly reviewed the book as we sat in the theater watching the commercials (does anyone else miss the quizzes?). Generally, we liked it finding ourselves enthralled enough to move from page to page. We wondered about the ending and the fog rolling in on the farm again. Does this mean Amy was now doomed to repeat Henry's mistake?
We did feel that Amy's back story of why she needed to relocate was powerful enough without having to bring Matt in at the end. And that it was just a bit overkill. I did have a problem believing the sudden relationship of Amy and Henry. After everything that happened with her and Matt and her insistence she was done with boys, I felt the whole Henry thing was just too sudden. It might have been better if it remained in a friendship manner instead of a romantic nature. I think the two of them providing the comfort of a friend that they both needed would have been more believable.
Then the lights dimmed and the previews began. The movie was upon us as we sat there silently taking it all in. When the light came back on and we processed our thoughts from the time it took us to leave the theater, I kept feeling like something about the movie was off. I soon realized I was the only one who felt that way. It happens from time to time when one of us is felling the total opposite from the others and this time it was me. The other girls liked the movie and I found myself disappointed. I'm still working on that full review and will post it on this site this weekend.
Our next book on deck: A & L Do Summer by Jan Blazanin. I'll keep you posted.
First off, let me say, I love it when we mix our book with drinks. We normally meet on a Wednesday but occasionally, when one of us can't make a Wednesday, we will meet on Friday instead and make it an after work hours type of meeting which not only includes dinner but drinks as well. It's awesome. Anyway, now on to our review.
The girls had a hard time picturing the story in Boston. There are part of the book where the character explains the part of Boston she's in and trying to picture it in their heads with a dystopian setting was a bit difficult. I don't know. It didn't bother me as much. Sometimes, I don't even picture a setting. I see the characters in my head as bright as day doing whatever it is the plot calls for, but the setting is just blank. Unless the setting is meant to play a huge part in the plot line, I sometime find myself ignoring it. I guess it help me with this book.
We liked it, we read it, but in the end, we didn't really have much of an opinion of it. We liked Tommy and wished he wasn't killed so early in the movie. We had a hard time with the whole virtual life thing and felt it didn't match the dystopian plot the author put forth. And, last, we really didn't like Allison very much. I guess in the end, we couldn't understand her and her ways, but I guess that's what the book was about. The outside world trying to understand the gladiator life.
Next on the docket: The Clearing by Heather Davis. It's sort of a Lake House story with teenagers. Two kids meet in a clearing both from different eras, one from the 1940s and the other from present time. It should be interesting. As always, I will keep you posted.
No surprise, we didn't really have much to say about the book. We liked it enough to read it and agreed there were funny moments in the story (our favorite character was Freddie), but overall it was what it was and we didn't have any comments about it.
Our next book is Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines. Keep watch of my progress. Funny enough, I've already read the prologue.
I know, I know. I never did a Matched = Read post. Man, I'm a slacker.
I apologize. As it turned out, my review pretty much stayed the same from my half-way point blog post and the girls of the book club pretty much agreed. We met last Wednesday, October 26th and while it may have taken us almost an hour to get seated, it didn't take us that long to discuss the book.
In short, we were all expecting more. We had a hard time relating to the characters in this story versus other dystopian stories. We also hard a hard time believing everyone would just go with it: Cassia and Ky and help her to find him. As if it was everyday that someone would defying the Society. I expected more of a fight especially from Xander. We liked the plot well enough to read through it and keep going with it page after page. For me, I had a hard time seeing Cassia as our heroin, but then again, maybe that was the point.
Next on the docket: The Accidental Genius of Weasel High by Rick Detorie. I just got the book in the mail today and from what I can see, it different from anything else we've read. This ought to be interesting.
The girls of my book club had just about the same feelings as I did about this book. We all liked it, but we all wanted more from it. It seemed kind of simply done and we felt that the author had room to play with and didn't.
Our next book: Matched by Ally Condie. We've been waiting to read this book until it came out in paperback and now it's here. No date yet, but watch for my progress.
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