Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Synopsis in a Sentence: This is the real-life story of Jodee Blanco, who was ridiculed and bullied for years at school.

My Thoughts:
This was such an inspirational book, and one that I feel all parents should read, regardless if their children are being picked on at school or not. If your child is not being bullied, this book might help give you some information and resources on what to do if it does start happening.

Jodee is truly a heroine for what she had to endure during her teenage years, and she did it with a lot of grace!

My favorite part of the book is where she and her family take a trip to Greece (where their ancestors are from) and Jodee begins to finally come into her own. She realizes that their is this whole other world out there, filled with people who will treat her with dignity.

My least favorite part of the book is obviously all of the heart wrenching scenes of what the bullies did to her. Hard to read, but gives you a realistic portrait of how cruel some teenagers can be.

Sorry such a short review today...it's been a busy week! :) Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ode to Nicholas Sparks

Hi dear followers...I first would like to say again that I haven't forgotten about any of you or about my book blog...I've just been really busy with "life" lately. As soon as things settle down some, I will definitely be going to your blogs for updates and to read your awesome reviews!

So lately, I've re-read two Nick Sparks favorites (A Walk to Remember and The Notebook). I've also read two of his newer ones (The Last Song and Dear John). They all seemed like summery type reads! I have always loved A Walk to Remember for its old-fashioned ambiance and the sweet story of love and hope over disease. However, I remember liking The Notebook more than I did this time around. It is a quick read, but I forgot about how totally sappy it is haha. I do enjoy the perspective of how Noah is an old man reflecting back on how he and Allie fell in love, but I found myself realizing that I actually like the movie version a lot better than the novel! In the film, their love story is fleshed out and given detail...for example, the scenes where Allie smashes ice-cream into Noah's face and when they eat pancakes for dinner at Noah's dads house. With poignant moments like this, we are able to understand how Noah pines for Allie after all the years. In the book, Sparks seems to "tell" rather than "show" how they fell in love. I was actually a little shocked even when I realized how he simply skips over their entire courtship and instead focuses on them getting back together years and years later. This is one of the only cases where I like the movie better than the book! I can still appreciate some of the romance and the ideal of life-long love depicted in the novel, however :).

The cover of The Last Song is haunting and beautiful and I actually read this book on a beach vacation! There is real sand in the book now as well as the sand depicted on the cover! Despite the cover, I found this book to be extremely dull to be honest. The sappy teenage romance is sort of cute, but it feels forced. I found out later that Sparks actually only wrote this book so that a movie could be adapted from it for Miley Cyrus to star in...this just kind of took the charm out of it for me. I did love the side story of the turtles hatching and being so fragile, trying to find their way to the sea. Also, the relationship between Ronnie, her brother and their father is a realistic and poignant one. I could have done without the teenage angst and silly romance, and been left with a great book about a father's relationship with his changing kids.

Dear John was actually a little bit of an exciting read. I read it pretty quickly because I wanted to see if John and Savannah ended up together. I found it hard to believe, though, how Savannah seemed so in love with John and he was like this massively hunky solider and then she suddenly decides she can't wait for him any longer. It just didn't seem to fit the personality Sparks initially gave her. Even though the ending is bittersweet, I found myself actually being moved by John's sacrifice, which I didn't expect to feel. Once again, I liked the movie version better than the book!

Overall, I loved A Walk to Remember, but I could have done without reading the others. It's a little sad because I really want to like his books, but they always just end up seeming a little too sappy, underdeveloped and unbelievable for my taste. I don't think I will read anything more by him for a long time unless I hear somewhere about a fantastic new one. Sad, but true! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

While my town dries out of record-setting, epic flooding from Hurricane Irene, let me ask you:
What’s your book with weather events? Hurricanes? Tornadoes? Blizzards? Real? Fiction? Doesn’t matter … weather comes up a lot in books, so there’s got to be a favorite somewhere, huh?

My answer:

Interesting question! I actually do seem to crave certain genres/books during various seasons or even weather patterns during the year! In the summer, I lean toward chick lit, and other light, happy books...for example, I just re-read the entire Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. It was great re-visiting Anne and all of her spiritedness and adventures...it just seemed an appropriate series for the summer! However, when it's raining outside and during the fall and winter, I seem to crave deeper and more complex reads. For instance, I hope to really delve into some good fantasy books this upcoming winter. Thanks for the question!