Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recent Reads

Here's my 5 latest:

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and LoveTwo Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've read Matt Logelin's blog a few times, and enjoyed his writing. I enjoyed this book because it told so much more back story of his life with Liz. I found myself insanely hoping that her childbirth would end differently - which, obviously, it didn't. Anyway, I enjoyed reading about their love story and more about her, but it's not really a book I'd necessarily recommend to anyone who didn't know his story or enjoy the blog.

View all my reviews Okay for NowOkay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Usually for me, a 5-star review is one where I honestly think that ANYBODY would enjoy the book - it's that good. I can't say that's the case here, but here are the reasons I had to rate it 5 stars anyway:
1. On page 3, Gary Schmidt was already describing Doug and his life so perfectly, I had to log back onto Goodreads to see if this book was a memoir. That's how well he captured this character.
2. It's not unusual for me to read late into the night, feeling guilty about it and knowing I'll be tired but it'll be worth it, blah blah blah. The difference last night is that I realized with a jolt at 1:30am that I was a separate person apart from this book - I was so completely immersed in Marysville, New York, circa 1968, that I literally forgot that I was even reading.

It did meet my other 5-star requirement of "not being able to stop talking about it." I wanted to discuss this book with everyone I encountered tonight after finishing it.

Gary Schmidt writes amazing characters. They're unique, they're lovable, they're vulnerable. I was so invested in these characters, that I found myself gasping out loud or breaking into ridiculously huge grins - not normal for me. Anyway, loved this book. Great read.

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  The ConfessionThe Confession by John Grisham
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I didn't enjoy this book at all. I used to love John Grisham novels, but this one was just boring to me. I felt like I'd met his characters before in other books, and, without revealing any spoilers, I didn't like the direction of the plot. I actually didn't even finish it, which is very unusual, but I did read most of it.

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  The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It's never a good sign when I can't remember what book I'm reading, or if I can put it down for several days without coming back to it. This is a story about a high school girl at a wealthy boarding school, who tries to infiltrate her boyfriend's secret society. But I kept wondering why she was even with her boyfriend, as she never seemed to have any particular attachment to him, and I guess some part of me was hoping for a romantic storyline elsewhere in the book. And, I mean, it had a lot of good observations about gender roles, particularly within high school relationships, but it just didn't feel very relevant to me at this point in my life. I think I really would have enjoyed it when I was in high school though. This book also may have suffered a little bit coming right on the heels of Okay For Now, another coming-of-age, YA novel that was just far-and-away better than this one.

View all my reviews Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a cute, light read - fast-moving, funny, and enjoyable. It chronicles a family living in Seattle, and their adventures with each other, and the uppity families they live around. The only thing I found strange was that the plot sort of made it sound like Bernadette's disappearance was the main event of the book, and it didn't even happen until it was nearly over. When I kept expecting her to disappear "any page now," it sort of made it drag out. But I thought the plot was fresh and funny - I actually laughed out loud several times as I was reading it. Good family dynamics, flawed and lovable at the same time. Not a life-changing novel or anything, but I wholly enjoyed it.

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