As I said in this post, I got a lot of reading done during my unintentional blog break due to hurting my right wrist. So much so that I have quite the backlog of things to talk about but don’t feel like trying to squeeze in a bunch of individual posts about! So let’s get to some of these:
About In A Sentence (ish): It’s about the ever changing friendship between Lila and Elena as they grow up in Naples, Italy in the 195o’s. (That’s totally simplifying it but there’s so much!!)
Thoughts: One of the ugliest covers I’ve ever seen. Truly. When I went to go read this I hadn’t heard much about it — it was a pick for a book club a new friend invited me to join! I went to get it from the library and there were like 140 something holds for it and I’m like WUT — I have NEVER heard of this book and it came out years ago. Come to find out it has become super popular recently! Anyways, this one was sooo slow to start and it was hard to follow at times — because it jumps around from stories from the girls’ childhoods and there are A LOT of people referenced and sometimes not a lot is actually happening. But then slowly I realized I was SOOO immersed in their story and couldn’t put it down…it just happened without me realizing how much I was falling in love with the story and these girls. The writing is incredible and her ability to construct these characters just impressed me so much. Their friendship is complicated (the competitiveness, the way they would come and go with each other at periods of time, the loyalty) and kind of toxic but I found myself fascinated by it and fascinated by where it will go. I was fascinated (and saddened often) by all the dynamics working in their poverty-filled neighborhood in 1950’s Naples — which was a GREAT setting by the way! I definitely plan on getting to the next one because this one ends when they are 16 and I know A LOT is going to happen throughout the years…especially based on HOW the novel started. It’s honestly just such a smart book about A LOT of things, not solely a friendship, and I wish I could properly talk about it. It’s just such a masterpiece of a book that it’s so hard to explain what exactly makes it so great because it’s a lot of things!
About In A Sentence-ish: Sienna hasn’t flown since her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean so she reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father’s team that plans to treat the PTSD of orphan children after the devastating tsunami. She meets a boy named Deni who finds out his father could be alive back where he used to live in the epicenter of the destruction and she decides to help him reunite with him.
Thoughts: This book had just come out around the time when I started blogging in June 2010 and I have meant to read it all these years so finally I grabbed it from my library! I liked it a whole lot though I feel as though maybe I would have LOVED it had I read it way back before I read a whole lot of contemporary YA because certain things about it didn’t really stand out to me…though certain things really did.
One of those things was the setting — so much so that the country of Indonesia FELT like a character to me. It was truly one of those transporting kind of reads. I loved the bits of culture and the armchair adventure we got to experience. The other thing that stood out for me was that it took place after a natural disaster — my heart just broke for all the orphans we met and how they were affected by the tsunami. My heart broke as the devastation was described. I loved the work that her father’s team was doing over there and I wish there would have been even more exploration of that than the instalove that happened. I didn’t really love the romance (everything with Deni was just so unbelievably fast for me and Spider was kind of underdeveloped) but I really loved the ending!!! The voice was a little young than I tend to like in YA these days and certain things I had wished to go DEEPER but it was a really beautiful novel that seems to be pretty underrated.
About In A Sentence-ish: A road trip to a math competition brings together single mom Jess who is struggling to keep it together and provide for her two children whose father has pulled a disappearing act and a millionaire named Ed who owns a tech company and finds himself in some hot water.
Thoughts: After hearing SO MUCH about Jojo Moyes I’ve finally read my first of hers! I really liked it! It made me cry a bit for sure because it was just such a beautiful and messy book about family and that’s totally my kind of book. It was funny and tender in all the right places and I really grew to care about these characters a lot. I loved the opposites attract romance because they had so much to learn from each other and I loved watching them get to know each other and respect the other in a time when they both experiencing troubling times — Ed with his situation and Jess with keeping it all together. Their romance was just so sweet. Jess is a fierce character who worked her ass off to do what she could for her kids and I loved the hell out of her — her determination reminded me of my mom. Nick, though, NICK was honestly my favorite character when it came down to it. His character BROKE me. Just broke me. But really all of the main characters made me fall in love with them so much because Moyes clearly just knows how to write these searingly authentic characters that make you feel ALL THE THINGS. Really enjoyed it and definitely recommend!
Have you read any of these? What did you think?!