Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Know I Am, But What Are You? by Samantha Bee

Okay, so I just couldn't do it.  I picked this book up in the bargain bin at Walmart for $2.98.  I didn't take that to be much indication because I've bought lots of books for cheap that I have loved.  This one, not so much.  I Know I Am, But What Are You by Samantha Bee was just not what I had hoped it would be.  I honestly only made it through three chapters.  I love Samantha Bee when she appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart  so I was really hoping I would enjoy her book.  It felt disorganized and a little like a road trip without an actual destination.  I just didn't get it.  Am I wrong?  If I am please let me know.  Since I didn't read much of it, I won't even add it to my "What I've Read" list.  Have you picked this one up?  What are your thoughts?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

My latest read is another great find at my local library book store.  I just love that place.  Impossible by Nancy Werlin is a young adult novel based on the song "Scarborough Fair."  Lucy is a seventeen-year-old young woman who discovers her very own family curse.  All of the women in her family for generations have been forced to attempt the three impossible tasks listed in the song.  All before her have failed, but now it is Lucy's turn.  Lucy has one advantage none of her ancestresses have had.  She has a wonderful pair of foster parents who have raised her and loved her.  Her birth mother has also left behind clues hidden until they are needed.  Lucy will attempt the impossible and will not give up without a fight. 

I could not put this book down.  It moved at such a quick, almost fervent pace.  Lucy's urgency became my urgency.  This book is a puzzle, a mystery and I had no idea how it could be solved.  The song speaks of true love and this book contains that love in it's many different forms.  Each of these strengthen Lucy and make all the difference in the world. 

If you are looking for books to share with your daughter, it might be advisable to save this for an older teen.  At the very least, read it yourself first so that the two of you can have a meaningful discussion of some of the plot points.  I won't give away here the specifics, but I feel like these are important topics to be discussed with our children as they become young adults.  I am pleased that Lucy is not a wallflower, subject to the actions of others.  She is a strong female character who stands up for herself and trusts her instincts.  We live in a society that expects young ladies to behave politely, but that is not always what is best for the young lady herself.  It is important that we teach our daughters that it is acceptable, vital even, to forget manners and trust one's self above all.  Lucy even remembers one of the mother-figures in the book sitting her down "at the age of twelve for a long talk on how important it was for girls to express themselves strongly and not be too quite and shy."  What a difference a lesson like that can make in the life of a young woman.

This book kept me up late in to the night and then it infiltrated my dreams.  At one point it was necessary to verbally tell myself to slow down.  I was reading too quickly and I was worried I might miss something.  I just couldn't wait to find out what would happen.  I just love books like that, don't you?

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

Our book club selection for May was The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler.  I know I have mentioned my book club numerous times.  It is such a wonderful group.  We all read the book, we actually discuss the book and we always leave room for each member's opinion.  That is what makes a great book club.  It has been very rare that I haven't really enjoyed our book club book, but this one just didn't do it for me.

It was fine.  That pretty much sums it up.  The Beginner's Goodbye is about a man who loses his wife in an accident.  Months later she appears to him and he must deal with her loss in a new way.  There just wasn't a lot of meat to this story.  It felt a bit rambly (what do you mean that's not a word?) to me and I was never quite sure when we were going to get past the exposition and in to the real story.  There were some interesting discussion points about the loss of a spouse, but nothing truly profound.  Also, we all felt we couldn't help but picture the characters much older than the ages the author lists.  Everyone in the book just seemed so much older.  The main character, Aaron, is said to be 36-year-old, yet I continually pictured a man in his fifties. 

I bought this book on my Kindle because I could not find it in the library or in a used book store because it is a new release.  Now if only I could give it away like I would with a hard copy since I know I'll never read it again.  Ah...the one drawback of the Kindle.