Books I Read in March 2014


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This was another of the many Printz honor books I've been trying to catch up on, and it was pretty compelling, albeit dark, material (the protagonist is dealing with having been raped). It really called to mind the feelings of isolation most teens feel at some point in their lives (at least I did), and the author does an amazing job of putting you in Melinda's shoes in a very real and visceral way; certainly not uplifting, but very worthwhile.  Incidentally, it's the 15 year anniversary of this book and Book Riot just did an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson on their blog.


The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

This was another one of those 'not exactly uplifting, but very worthwhile' novels, as any written about slavery in the South are bound to be. In some ways it felt a little soap opera-like, with person X not knowing that person Y was someone's relation, etc., and love triangle misunderstandings. But the story was absolutely riveting and I could barely put it down, it was so suspenseful - in a very ominous way. The characters were all fully realized and I fell in love with every each one in Lavinia's family.


Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

I just don't know about my affinity for self-help type books.  It's just a re-hashed version of a lot of common sense to me.  It's like someone went on Pinterest for inspirational quotes and then extrapolated it into a book.  I wholeheartedly agree with all of her sentiments and would love to hear her speak, but my eyes totally glaze over with these types of books.


The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith

A friend of mine suggested I read this and another friend of mine had told me she loved the movie, and I thought I'd better read it before seeing it.  This was absolutely heartbreaking and riveting material.  It exposes the history of Irish adoptions to the United States in the 1950s by following one remarkable story.  I was especially engrossed because my late father in law was adopted around the same time, born to an unwed Irish Catholic mother.  I will say that although I really loved this book, I wish there was more of Philomena's story included.  We follow her for the first quarter of the book or so, and then don't hear from her again until the very end.  Now to watch the film... 


As They Slip Away (a novella prequel to Across the Universe) by Beth Revis

Thanks to Bookriot, I learned that Beth Revis wrote a novella prequel to Across the Universe, which is my favorite YA dystopian trilogy as a whole (Meaning, each book was great and the last one didn't fall off the rails like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, Matched, etc etc etc - all fantastic, all they all fall apart IMHO.)  As They Slip Away was a rather melancholy story of one of the peripheral characters and how she chose to become a drone on Godspeed (the spaceship where the story takes place).  If you have 30 minutes and read this series, it's worth checking out.

Speaking of YA dystopian stuff, I saw Divergent last week and thought it was great!  Although, I'm conflicted, as The Fault in Our Stars is coming out and it's really weird to have Ansel Elgort as Shailene Woodley's brother Caleb in Divergent and then play Gus to her Hazel in the most heartbreaking romantic story.  I suppose there's only a handful of actors that can play YA roles, and the all obviously keep overlapping.  Sigh.  I shudder in fear of what they might do to Eleanor and Park.  For my third link to Book Riot, I think they hit the nail on the head on why casting the film adaptation will be very important and have the potential for great change...

Linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy's awesome 'Twitterature' book posts roundup!


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