Monday, December 13, 2010

Read-a-thon update, cold-a-thon update

I've added 2 more book to my read-a-thon total, making it six! I'm fighting a cold and hoping to get all my exams graded this week!!! So I may not be around much.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman.

Ooooh, such good books. Totally different, but each delightful in its own way.

Before I fall
Tiny synopsis: mean girls meets groundhog day.

Wow! This book was a stunner. Talk about your redemptive storytelling! I have heard scuttlebutt on the web that people hate this MC, and it's no wonder: she and her friends are beyond mean. They are horrid, horrid people. The cruelest of any mean girl that I've seen in movies or books.

Sam and her friends are in a car wreck on a cold Friday night, but Sam keeps waking up to relive her final day. This experience breaks her from her comfortable position at the top of the school's social ladder. She starts to take notice of what's really happening around her, what the consequences of her cruel actions might be. The themes in this book could easily be treated in a "back to school special" kind of way. Mean girl + drinking and driving = a lesson for everyone about making better decisions.

What I love about it, is that Oliver never goes for the easy answers or the pat conclusions. What happens to Sam is incredibly complex. Every day she takes a different tack and sometimes learns from her mistakes, but she also gets stuck on paths and follows them through, even though it's clear to everyone, including Sam, that she's making terrible mistakes. She is reckless and human in a way that seems very honest.


This book will break your heart, and if you aren't swooning over Kent by the end of it, you have no soul.



And Then Everything Unraveled could not be more different.

Tiny synopsis: Delia's mom is missing and believed dead when her ship disappears while on an Antarctic expedition. Delia is forced to leave Silicon Valley to be raised by her aunts in New York. Her finances are ruled by her mom's Uptown sister, and she lives with her mom's funky Downtown sister. The thing is, Delia doesn't believe her mom is dead. She's certain she's alive, all she has to do is prove it.

I adored this book. It was a light and fun read, the character was spot-on, with a smart and funny voice. Delia is such a delight-- her aunts are perfect counterpoints and keep the plot entertaining. I am a sucker for a mystery, and this has mystery in droves. There is even a little romance, with the dashing Quinn.

The one down side is that they leave off with only about half your questions answered. The rest you have to get from the sequel. As I read I could tell I was reaching the end. You know that feeling: you can tell there are not enough pages left, and you're wondering how the author will wrap up the story! In that way it wasn't a total surprise to find it cut off without answering everything... but still a little disappointing. I will definitely read the sequel!

10 comments:

  1. I like both these too - completely ADORE Jennifer Sturman's book (you used the perfect word) I'm waiting for the sequel to come out in paperback...

    love your insightful thoughts and enthusiasm!

    x

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  2. Great reviews! I plan on squeezing in Before I Fall during my holiday vacation. I met the author before and she's quite lovely. :)

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  3. Before I fall has been on the TBR for a while now. Thanks for the review!

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  4. thanks Nomes and Holly, always nice to see you stop by!


    Pam and Alicia, you are going to love it. It's a doozy.

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  5. Before I Fall has been on a TON of lists. I need to read this. (but after I read another book called the Insect Collector.)

    :-)

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  6. Thank you thank you! I've heard a lot about Before I Fall, but embarassingly, didn't actually know what it was about. This sounds fascinating -- I'd love to read it. And Then Everything Unravelled has been on my radar for a while -- I'm after stuff with good voice at the moment, so thank you!

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  7. I'll be the judge of wether Ken is 'swoon worthy' or not! :) Seriously, these sound like some great reads!

    EJW

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