Friday, February 26, 2010

Beachglass by Wendy Blackburn

Front Flap: When Delia entered treatment for drug and alcohol addiction at age seventeen in Los Angeles, her life changed completely: She became immersed in AA, began to heal old family wounds, and developed a whole new perspective on herself, on spirituality, on relationships. Out of the rubble, she built a life that any recovering woman would be proud of, with a loving husband, a beautiful daughter, and her own brand of hard-won wisdom. But her long-term sobriety is put to the test when she receives a phone call from her gay best friend, Timothy. Fulfilling a pact they made a decade prior, Delia tears herself away from her new life in Seattle and rushes to Los Angles, to Timothy's bedside. There she must face the one thing she fears her sobriety cannot survive- losing him. Back in Los Angeles, Delia beings to encounter familar people, places, and temptations- a barrage of memories that makes her stop and sort through her past, looking for the courage she knows she needs now more than ever. As her past catches up with her present, she sees that she has not merely survied her losses and mistakes, but she has been made stronger because of them. This understanding comes to her in full as she holds a piece of beachglass in her hand and realizes that its scuffs and scrapes give it its quiet splendor, its immperfections give it its beauty and individuality, and it is from being tossed and tumbled that it no longer shatters. She knows the same goes for her, too. Wow this took me quite a while to finish! Amazing , like the longest space between blogging on a book before I think lol. Anyways, this was a beautiful book, full of despair but also hope. It was one of those, once again, where the narrator is in a present situation, while most of the book is them telling the story of how they got to that point. And Delia was a teenager who had a serious problem, but when she met Tim they went through everything together. But Tim has AIDS, at very sadly at the end of the book he passes away, as well as Joan, her mentor did earlier on in the book, both from AIDS. It was heart wrenching to hear about how everyda his T-Cell count just kept getting lower and lower. So many people have to face this, I can't imagine my best friend having to go through that while I watched. I would be there for her 100% but to know everyday it's getting worse. But at least it wasn't as painful as it could have been in the book. But it was so real. And it says the author is some type of counselor for that type of thing with drugs and so I wonder if her story is based off of a person she counseled or parts of it. The thing is it was so raw. It was beautiful too at the same time. And it had everything in it. It was a book with real emotions and of serious problems, but also true friendship and family. And the cover is also pretty. But this was amazing. It was very sad and made me want to cry, but in the end Timothy got to be with Joan and Delia had the best time ever with her best friend, so she knows she did everything she could and there are so many memories between them. I think it was a good ending too, even though Timothy died, it was kind of expected how the book prgressed, but she just realized who she was and how she didn't have a perfect life, she had rough spots but it made her pretty and she got there because of Timothy. So I loved it and everything should read it! :]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Back Cover: First published pseudonymously in 1764, The Castle of Otranto purported to be a translation of an Italian story of the time of the crusades. In it Walpole attempted, as he declared in the Preface to the second edition, 'to blend the two kinds of romance: the ancient and the modern'. He gives us a series of catastrophes, ghostly interventions, revelations of identity, and exciting contests. Crammed with invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's favourite among his numerous works. His friend, the power Thomas Gray, wrote that he and his family, having read Otranto, were now 'afraid to go to bed o' nights'. So, I had to read this book for Women's Lit. I must say it was actually good! Not that I doubted it would be, but ya know, it's a class! It is kinda weird how there aren't any quotation marks, but after a while I got used to it. Most of the times I could see who was saying what, but the way the book is layed out, it's supposed to be like small events being big and hectic and lots of action. Basically, it's kinda like an old school type of drama or soap opera! Manfred's son, Conrad, dies by a gaint helmet. His fiancee, Isabella, is who Manfred wants. Isabella then escapes with help from Theodore. Matilda, Manfred's daughter, also meets Theodore. Theodore then falls in love with Matilda, but Manfred think Isabella and Theodore are an item. And etc, haha. But it was good and very short!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham

Front Flap: Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses, her partner, Phillip, has troubles at work, and the whole family wants a break. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain. Perfect. Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife, Amanda, seems more interested in her new kitchen than in him, and he works to hard to pay for it, he barely has time for his children. Maybe he'll have the chance to bond with them on holiday. His old friend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain. Perfect. When both families arrive at the villa, they realize the awful truth: Gerard has double-booked them for the same week. What no one else realizes is that Chloe and Hugh have a history, and it seems that Gerard's "accidental" double-booking may not have been so accidental after all. Soon an unexpected romance begins to seriously heat up this holiday, and it isn't long before long-buried secrets and fiery passions erupt. With her trademark style of keen insight and razor-sharp wit, Madeleine Wickham will keep you on the edge of your seat. So sit back, grab a cool drink, and get ready for a wonderfully wicked trip you'll not soon forget. This was an amazing story. I was like what. It was like a soap opera, but way more juicier and intense and realistic. But I must say, I HATE when a character in a book cheats, it just makes me sooo pissed off. arg. Because I'm like why the heck are you doing that? Hugh and Chloe both cheated, and at the end of the day, yeah Jenna found out, but nothing happened with the truth, so it's like this huge secret and lieing like they didn't know each other. It's just crazy. But it was def intense, with the two jobs ending up colliding with each other because one was bulldozing the other. It's sad, the story of Hugh not knowing his two little girls. I know there are many families out there like that. And wow, Phillip and Chloe have been together for a freaking long time. I'd say that's like me and my boyfriend haha, which will be 5 years in March, but hopefully we'll be married in 5 or more years. Anyways, this was a great book and was nothing like the shopaholic series, which I liked because one of her others kinda sounded like Rebecca Bloomwood. But this was just great. The irony and everything of it. It made me think. And I like that. It was a fun read, but also something to think about your relationship with someone, and hopefully they're ex won't come back to haunt your relationship!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel

Back Cover: Welcome to Laguna Beach, California, where the beach is hot, the teens are beautiful, and there's always time for surfing. Anne's new life in Laguna Beach feels more like a death sentence than a vacation. The local high school is the exact opposite of her former Connecticut prep school, and the social scene is completely foreign; it's all about hanging at the beach and surfing. But when Anne finally makes friends at one of her dad's show-biz parties, she decides to give California a chance. There's wild child Lola; laid-back, free-spirited Jade; and beautiful, competitive Ellie. And, of course, Chris, the gorgeous guy who teaches Anne how to surf. Anne becomes fast friends with Jade and Lola, but no mattwe how hard she tries. Ellie won't give her a chance. And the closer Anne grows to Chris, and the better she gets at surfing, the more Ellie seems to hate her. But now thatAnne has worked so hard to find her place, she's not about to budge- especially since she plans to enter the aunnual surf competition, where she'll really give Ellie a run for her money. This was a pretty good book, right away I gotta say I didn't really like the ending thoug. Becaus the surf competition was like a major thing and it didn't really last that long, and then all of a sudden Ellie is helping Anne and then she says she's ok with Chris liking her, just seems weird to all of a sudden say that. And you never find out what happens with Chris and Anne or Ellie or maybe even Duncan? Or who wins or nothing! But besides that, I pretty much loved it. I thought maybe the guy that Lola was dating was like a married guy or something, but hey, it ended up being Ellie's older brother, hmm. And it's so funny but pretty saring that Lola and Diego are pretending to like each other so much! ha. And poor Jade, I don't think she should've been punished like she was! At least she got to go to the surfing thing. but overall it was a good book, and reminded me of course, of the show Laguna Beach! And I sooo wanna go there!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

Front Flap: With fierce intelligence and emotional intensity, Alice Sebold brings us a searing portrait of a mother-daughter bond that descends into murder. Clair and Helen Knightly are a parent and child locked in a relationship so unrelenting that they have become the center of each other's worlds. But as this electrifying novel opens up, Helen crosses a boundary she never thought she would approach. And while her act is almost unconscious, it somehow seems like the fulfillment of a lifetime's unspoken wishes. Over the next twenty-four hours, Helen's life rushes in at her as she is forced to confront the choices that have brought her to this one riveting crossroad. As a woman who spent years trying to win the love of someone who had none to spare, she now faces an uncertain and dangerous freedom. With her unflinching ability to confront the violence and danger that lurk beneath life's everyday surface, Sebold explores the complex tie within families, the meaning of devotion, and the thin line that separates us from our most haunting impulses. The Almost Moon is unforgettable, a raw and powerful story of passion and redemption written with the strength of voice only Alice Sebold can bring to the page. This was just powerful and creepy and intense and passionate and crazy as it gets! MAN! When I first started reading it, I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue. It kinda freaked me out. I mean all the moments of after she killed her mother, like cleaning her and freezing her and cutting off her braid. It was really weird. But yet it was what she always wanted to do, and it came so easy to her. Most of the book was memories, kinda like the book I read a few ones back, and it made me like the style a little bit more. The memories are what makes the present story real, because you have to know all the history of the characters to understand what's going on. But after a while, I must say I did get into it, especially at the end, I wasn't quite sure what she was gonna do, but I had a feeling that she wasn't gonna kill herself, because she couldn't put her daughters through that. And also there was Jake, who flew all the way there to help her out, and even lied to the police for her. Endings like that always make you want to know what happened after! I guess that's what also makes the book how it is, you don't know the ending! So it's up to your imagination to make it up for you, or to kinda guess what happened. I would say this is a kind of difficult read, because it is pretty gruesome in spots, but it's worth it. I can tell it's she who wrote it, because I've read Lovely Bones, which I need to go see in the theaters btw. So it was def a great novel and I want to read her other one too, Lucky I think it's called.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bittersweet Sixteen by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman

Front Flap: A brand-new wardrobe from Saks. A private jet to Holland to select the perfect tulip. A guest list that rivals red-carpet after-parties. And a birthday bash that blows all others completely out of the water. Okay, it's not your average birthday wish list, but Whitney Blake and Sophie Mitchum are anything but average. I'm Laura Finnegan- thrift-store junkie and scholarship student at Tate, our posh all-girls high school in Manhattan. Needless to say, I'm not like Whit and Soph- gorgeous, popular, and filthy rich- but that doesn't stop us from being BFFs, until they started turning in to the all-Sweet Sixteen, all-the-time channel. Now tempers are flaring, Prada bags are flying, and guys are being tossed around in vicious tug-of-war battles. All this, just to see whose Sweet Sixteen reigns supreme? I'd have to say I really liked this book, although it is really superficial and crazy for my taste, I liked Laura, who seemed like she could be similar to how I am. A scholarship student and not rich, but her parents love her and take time to know what happens in my life. This was alot like the show Sweet Sixteen, where they want this and that, but for them it seemed like they got everything they wanted, there was no daddy I want this and temper tantrum because he said no, it was just all out! And I know I read this book and enjoyed it, but sometimes those type of people make me so mad, because they could be spending money on something way worthy like helping poor people, I mean whats like $1,000 to them? nothing, but to a country who needs it, it's alot. That's one of the first things I'd do if I win like the lottery is give it to charities fro my heart, not for publicity or anything, like that matters I'm not famous! lol But anyways, I did like the book and Laura was a great character. It shows how sometimes all those material things get in the way of important friendships! But I love the cover, of course I love pink, but it's cute like a giftbag. But overall it was goo and I enjoyed it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Pearson

Back Cover: Seventeen-year-old Kaitlin Malone was born to hate the Crutchfields. The hatred her family has harbored for generations is the one thing Kaitlin knows she can count on. But with her life turned upside down as she starts her senior year among strangers at a public high school, Kaitlin discovers that even her family's hateful legacy can't steady her- and that hatred and love are sometimes separated by nothing more than a heartbeat. It's young Bram Crutchfield, a gentle and compassionate artist, who wins Kaitlin's heart. And when she tells one lie and then another to conceal her identity to protect their love, Kaitlin is quickly caught up in a web of deceit that threatens to destroy everything she knows and values. In a riveting contemporary love story, Mary E. Pearson explores the strong ties that can bind or break families- and the brave choice that can signal hope for a fresh start. WOW! This was def an amazing and heartbreaking story. Of course it kinda reminds me of Romeo and Juliet but contemporary and also with many more different twists. When I first started reading and Kaitlin met Bram, I had a feeling he was going to be a Crutchfield. But all of her lies, although not good, showed her that the Crutchfields aren't evil, that they share the same pain as her and her family. Sometimes because of thee hatred you feel for someone, you don't look into their lives or their families and see how they have pain too. It was so sad that they hated each other and for what? Kaitlin needed to change that, but her parents wouldn't let her. It was horrible when Rick was at that party. And the feelings she experienced when Bram no longer wanted nothing to do with her felt so strong and realistic. But I'm glad that he decided in the end to try to change for her! This was just an amazing book that tells a story about a young woman who is trying to change, and that change is hard.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Front Flap: It's been seventy five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault. Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was- and the present deserves a chance too. Well, I liked it, but I liked some of her other novels better. This was the book where there was a big event or something happened that you don't know about, except for little bits and pieces, and that the main character, in this case Amy, has changed and been affected by it in a major way. Finally like in the middleish of the book Amy tells the story of what happened that night and that she thinks she's a murderer. Her counselor thinks otherwise, and talks to her about choices. Yeah she told Julia to get in the car and drive, but she chose to do it. She didn't have to listen. Amy is going through a time where it's like she's so confused and trying to hold onto the past. But the title fits perfectly. She loved her best friend, who was the only one who didn't care about her tallness, who actually called it being like a model. She hated her because she was what she couldn't be. And now she misses her because she was her best friend and they did everything together, and there are so many memories going through her head. This book, I dunno, there's some like the way it's written isn't so straight forward, it's more based on emotions and moments. I like it, but sometimes I kinda don't? I don't know if I explained that right, but that's how it feels to me! But Elizabeth Scott is def an excellent writer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Notes From a Spinning Planet: Mexico by Melody Carlson

Back Cover: Madison Chase's holiday break is drawing to a close and she's eager to leave the gray Washington winter and join her Aunt Sid on a warm vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Maddie is pleasantly surprised when her good friend Ryan McIntire shows up to enjoy the trip with them. But when Ryan runs into his high school crush- the beautiful Shelby Wagner- Maddie's jealously threatens to spoil their sun-drenched days. Unsure of her relationship with Ryan; Maddie distracts herself by befriending a local girl, Francesca Tarrago, who is both intelligent and hardworking, but lives in deep poverty. As Maddie does what she can to help Francesca, she discovers a secret that Shelby has been keeping from all of them. Can Maddie put aside her conflicted feelings and love Shelby enough to help her? Follow Maddie to the romantic beaches of Mexico as she explores a love deeper than simple affection- and discovers the beauty of true sacrifice. Hmm, this was pretty good. I didn't know it was the same girl as the Ireland one, and of course the other one I have from the library too but I got it later on haha. Anyways, it did sound nice to be in Mexico right now, especially with the pina coladas, although I know Shelby def didn't need any more of those. this reminds me of a book I just read! With the alcoholic and they're like on vacation, oh sheezy what book was that. See how fast I forget these things? Ha. Short term memory for me I guess! The cover is really pretty too. I like the suitcase that has the other book titles on it like cut off but you can see what it is basically. Cute idea. Like all the books and travels together on the cover. And Maddie was a great person. She felt what all girls feel! jealousy is a biatch! Hate it, gone through it. Dang it sux. But just gotta be confident and love yourself, no comparing! So she was 20 though, like me! So that was cool. Overall, nice book to read and relax.