Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Holding up the Universe

A charming, hard to put down young adult book that is sure to garner lots of teen fans. Told from alternating perspectives of two extraordinarily different teenagers; Libby Strout was once so fat she had to be cut out of her house, Jack Masselin on the other hand is a popular jock with a hidden secret, he can't see or remember faces. When his friends dare him to try out this game they dubbed, "fat rodeo" he jumps on the back of Libby to see how long he can hang on. She punches him in the face and they both end up in detention. Together they realize they have more in common then they thought and build a beautiful friendship that hints at something more. Wonderfully told, you can't help but feeling for Libby and Jack and cringing when life throws them curve-balls. A wonderful read that kept me hooked.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Grownup

Super quick, super weird, and super fun. I read this lil' baby book over my lunch break and i thoroughly enjoyed it. Upgraded from giving hand jobs in the back of the psychic/tarot reading/palmistry shop our protagonist becomes an aura interpreter making up stuff about people's "auras." It may not be glamorous but it pays the bills and it's saving her from the carpel tunnel setting in from years of handies. One day a smart, wealthy woman comes in with a real dilemma. The house is haunted, her stepson is acting weird and please oh please would she come look at it and see if she can fix the houses' aura?  The story takes some unexpected turns and leaves the reader wondering, where does the evil really lie? A fun read.

Look

The first poetry collection I've read this year, or maybe even longer than that. Wonderfully haunting and evocative, this collection of poems by Solmaz Sharif sticks to your soul like bubblegum on a sneaker. The words wound and pierce; mimicking the war in the Middle East which she writes so passionately about. Sharif proves that sometimes the pen can be mightier than the sword in this brutal, emotional, must read poetry collection. A must read for everyone, not just poetry buffs.

I Was a Bitch

What happens when two years of your life are erased? Lacey Jones emerges from a coma with no recollection of the last two years of her life. Last time she checked she was your normal sixteen year old teenager. Now she's the hot eighteen year old queen bee of her high school. She hardly recognizes herself or her friends and when a smoking hot football player comes into the hospital to give her a smooch she's even more confused. She's dating that sexy jock? How in the world did she achieve all this? What happened to her old friends? And what about this sexy boy named Finn who keeps showing up? Is he an ex boyfriend? Refusing to admit to anyone other then her doctor and family that she has selective amnesia, Lacey plods along trying to pick up the pieces of her past on her own. To her horror, she discovers the awful truth, that she was a bitch. A spiteful, cheating, conniving bitch. Filled with humor, outlandish situations, high school drama, and budding romance, this 500+ page young adult book asks readers what they would do if they could get a second chance.

Around the World in 80 Days

Jim Dale (narrator of the Harry Potter series) really helped bring to life this classic adventure novel. Admittedly, I've never read the book or seen any of the movie adaptations, so I didn't know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there was no hot air balloon scene?! The most iconic book covers and images have always portrayed Phileas Fogg in a hot air balloon traveling around the world but, spoiler alert, that is not one of the methods used for transportation. While at his gentleman's club Fogg takes a bet that he can go round the world in 80 days. A precise, mathematical, and intelligent man, Fogg has no doubt that it can be done so he bets his life savings. Armed with only a small travel sack and his trusty French manservant, the two of them depart on the biggest adventure of their lives. Exotic adventures await them in China, India, Hong Kong, crossing the oceans, and America. Can Fogg really pull it off? And why is there a British man tailing him on this journey? A fun read for all ages. Admittedly, a little outdated in terms of racism and stereotypes of other religions and cultures, but it must be remembered that Jules Verne was viewing the world the British lens of imperialism at the time.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A History of American Sports in 100 Objects

I found this book to be fascinating, well written, and utterly engrossing. I thought it would be all about football, baseball, and men but I was pleasantly surprised to see that all sports were represented and there was a good number of women present too. Items ranged from the modern football, the nike waffle iron, the gold club used on the moon, CTE brain scans, Immaculata's basketball uniforms and more. Each item gave an overview of the sport, player or players, pertinent history, and how it helped define American sports. I enjoyed this book so much that I want to buy it. I learned soo  much about so many different things. A great read for sports fans, history buff, and Jeapordy afficianados.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Fortunes

Davies, Peter Ho. The Fortunes. 9 CDs. unabridged. 2016. 10 3/4 hrs. Brilliance Audio. ISBN. 9781531824365. $29.99. 

Davies (The Welsh Girl) deftly weaves together four stories of the Chinese American experience to create a rich tapestry of what it takes to find acceptance in oneself and in one's country. A nineteenth century laundry worker, a Chinese film star, a friend of someone killed in a hate crime, and a half-Chinese man looking to adopt a Chinese baby; tell their stories of life in America and how their "Chinese-ness" has helped defined their American experience. Their stories are all uniquely different, yet uniquely the same; racism, questions of identity, the need for acceptance, the need to be "all-American" surface in all four stories. Raw, witty, honest, and unflinching, The Fortunes manages to capture the heart of  growing up Chinese American in this powerful novel. Impressively narrated by the talented, James Chen, who brings an authenticity to the story with his numerous accents and reserved, yet powerful telling of the story. Davies proves that he's a masterful storyteller in this emotionally gripping novel. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN