Friday, May 27, 2016

Everything I Never Told You

Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Beautifully written, but too much for my heart. I felt as though Everything I Never Told You forced the reader to suffer just for suffering sake. I do love myself a good heart wrenching novel but this one wrenched and pulled and twisted. I found myself in a bad mood after reading it. I had to force myself to turn the pages. I didn't want to know what happened next.

The characters were beautifully done. I connected with Lydia on a level only introverts can but I still couldn't enjoy this book.

I give it a three because it is beautiful and Ng clearly does a great job emoting feeling in the reader, but I just couldn't take it.

My heart hurts thinking about Hannah holding her sister's broken locket. I just can't.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Five Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

1. The Giver

This was one of the first books that really made an impact on me. I read it first as an 8 year old and then again recently as an adult. There were so many things I missed the first time around. I knew I loved this book, but as time has passed, I discovered it is part of who I have become. This is part of what saddens me when students tell me they hate reading, you're missing out on part of your identity. 

2. Fahrenheit 451

"It was a pleasure to burn." This is the part I did not fully understand years ago as a high school freshman. I did not get what was "pleasurable." But after reading it again, I now understand how easy it is to see something evil as pleasurable. 

3. The Great Gatsby

I know, I talk about this book a lot. Who can blame me? Fitzgerald writes prose like none other. Every time I read it (I've read it about 5 times) I notice something I didn't before. Most recently, I was filled with sorrow for Daisy's children more than ever before. They are trophies, just like Daisy. As Daisy describes, their best hope in this world is to be "beautiful fools." 

4.. The Alchemist

It is simply not possible for someone to grasp this book completely on the first read. In fact, it is not possible to grasp it entirely, ever. Coelho fills this book with such wisdom and peace that can never be fully understood. Like the Bible, it can be interpreted in hundreds of ways. When I first read it, I thought it was well written but a little dry. Upon reading it a second time, I discovered it is not at all dry! It is full of sweet, juicy prose. 

5. The Chronicles of Narnia

At first, Narnia was a fictional world full of fantasy and imagination. But after I have grown and re-read it, I have learned that it is a story of faith. When characters are tempted and fail, we see them redeemed. When faith is tested, it shines out all the clearer. Yes, this book is for children. But that is only the starting point. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. FikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved every minute of this book. It was written simply yet large themes could be found throughout. I found myself loving AJ and Maya and everything they go through. This was one of those books that I wish went on forever. I could never get enough.

Zevin's simplistic tone emoted feelings to the very core of the reader. As I learned about Maya's mother and read her creative story, I couldn't help but feel as though I were on the beach as well with my toes touching the cold, damp sand.

This is the perfect lazy Sunday book.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

What Alice Forgot

What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a tale of a 29 year old trapped in the body of 40 year old...well sort of. Alice hits her head in spin class and forgets 10 years of her life.

Moriarty's writing style was catchy and fun. This story really makes you think about what you value in life and how your maturity and age has such a strong influence on relationships and perspectives.

I particularly enjoyed that the story followed her memory loss more than it did the love story between her and Nick. There were snippets of ooey-gooeyness but not an unbearable amount.

I would suggest this as an easy vacation read.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Childhood Characters I'd Love to Revisit

Everyone is nostalgic about books they read as a child, what characters do you wish you could revisit as adults? For more Top Ten lists, visit

1. Ramona

I used to pretend Ramona Quimby was my best friend. I read all the books and Beverly Cleary sure knows how to make an 8 year old laugh! It would be fun to know if Ramona went to college, if she grew out of her awkward phases, etc. 

2. Junie B. Jones

What a character, right? She's loud, obnoxious and sweet in her own sort of way. This really kind of describes all kindergartners though. Did she ever become less disgusting? Is she still extremely violent? I hope so. 

3. Magic Tree House Kids

Oh my gosh, I love this series. Did the magic fade as the kids grew up? Did they become anthropologists? 

4. Brian from The Hatchet

I really like to think Brian became the scruffy yet attractive star of a survival show. 

5. Baudelaire family

The Baudelaire children all had great potential, if they were real, one of them would rule the world by now. 

6. Stanley Yelnats

We all know him and Zero became rich, but what did they spend all their money on? Was he able to live off of it for his whole life? Did he help other troubled youth? 

7. Island of the Blue Dolphins

I would love to know more about Karana. I also think it would be interesting to know how the story compares to the actual story of Juana Maria. 

8. Tuck Everlasting

Guys, this book was only alright. But I would love a modern remake, I think I might like that more. 


I just want another book. Not one that shows Stellaluna grown up, but just another adventure of hers as a baby bat.

10. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Surely living in a museum helps create pretty interesting adults.