Monday, March 22, 2010

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I have turned in to a huge Jodi Picoult fan. Her books are always about topics with grey areas between what you typically think of as right or wrong and always make me stretch outside of my normal thinking about situations. They are the kind of books you can't put down and have you talking about the topics of the book with anyone who will listen.

I don't ever remember being a bully or getting bullied in school. But apparently it happens often. In Jodi Picoult's book Nineteen Minutes, Peter is terrorized by bullies from the moment he steps on the school bus on his first day of school. Throughout elementary school he has his one and only friend Josie. But when Josie finds popularity, she feels it is so precarious a status and is so afraid of losing it, that she stops being friends with Peter. Peter endures the physical and mental abusive throughout high school until one final event sends him over the edge and he commits an act of violence that can't be taken back.

The book follows Peter, his parents, Josie, her mother, and basically the whole town through the aftermath, investigation, and trial. It is so interesting to see how the different characters in the book react and cope with what has happened and there is a twist in the end that you might not see coming.

Again it was another great book from Jodi Picolt and one of my all time favorites.

I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Monday, March 8, 2010

sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling

I read this book in 3 days. I like Tori Spelling. I liked her on 90210 and I like her on her newest reality shows Inn Love and Home Sweet Hollywood. So I liked getting this inside peek at her life.

She talks a lot about her feud with her mother on TV and I never really knew what it was about. The book gave me a little more insight into that. Basically they just aren't really close. Her mom does seem controlling and the money issues seem to be a lot of what the feud is about. But honestly I think Tori isn't all innocent in the situation either. I think she wants that super close mother/daughter relationship you see on TV and a lot of people just don't have that but it is no reason to be so petty about the whole thing.

I learned that she has been trying to work this whole time since 90210, but she just kept catching bad breaks. I was disturbed at how her and Dean hooked up. I get it, you both fell head over heels for each other, but you were both married but still slept together on the first night you meet?

She does come off as a little bit spoiled and I think she blames a lot of things on bad luck, that really could be blamed on bad decision making, but overall I like her. The book is funny and it is really cool to get a behind the scenes in Hollywood perspective from a non-tabloid source. She is open and honest and frank throughout the book and I really appreciate that.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to be Single by Liz Tuccillo

I went to Boarders last week to get an educational audio book because the no music in the car thing for Lent was killing me. I needed something especially for my long drive last weekend to see my mom.

I limited my search to the Bargain audiobooks. The selection was slim and there didn't seem to be many educational books, or even good books for that matter. But then I found this hidden gem for $9.99. It wasn't listed as educational, but it had "How to" in the title and it was written by the co-author of "He's Just Not That Into You" and that one is educational right? I decided this was the best it was going to get and bought it.

In the book Julie is tired of the most annoying and unanswerable question ever "Why are you still single?" Julie is 38 and single as most of her friends are. She decides to leave New York on a journey around the world to see how other single women live their lives and then write a book about it.

Even though this was a novel it was very educational. She visits France, Italy, Brazil, Australia, India, Bali, China, and Sweden (or Iceland, or somewhere like that) and everywhere she goes the women have different views. It was just so interesting to see how women in different parts of the world view relationships.

There are also several subplots of her friends struggles and even Julie falls in love during her journey. It was so interesting!

One of my favorite parts of the book was towards the end where Julie and her friends have an impromptu ritual where they write all their past hopes and dreams for their lives on a napkin and then burn them. Whether it was dreams of getting married young and having the perfect family or a blank napkin because you have so lost your hopes and dreams in the process of just living; they all burned these dreams saying it's ok to let go. We are not these women, but what we are is just as good.

I loved it. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Driving Sideways by Jess Riley

I put this book on my wish list after a recommendation from Jen Lancaster on her blog about it. The story is about Leigh. In her early twenties, she was diagnosed with PKD and put an dialysis. The book opens right after she has finally received a new kidney and she is setting out on a road trip from Wisconsin to California by herself. Along the way she plans to meet up with her ex-boyfriend, meet her kidney donor's family, visit her best friend, and find her mother who abandoned them at a young age.

Sounds like a pretty packed agenda right? Well it gets even more crazy when she picks up a teenage runaway along the way who seems to have her own secrets. Her ex-boyfriend turns out to be almost unrecognizable. She finds out probably more than she wanted to know about her kidney donor. Deals with her older brother fretting about her health and safety. Her friend has her own drama and joins them for the last leg of the road trip.

As with any road trip they have some grand adventures along the way. They stop and see various landmarks and sights, meet some interesting people, and have more than a few mishaps.

I loved the concept of the book because it was like this girl trying to take her newly given life back before her 30th birthday. I mean I haven't been through half of what she has been through and that 30th year mark is stressing me out. And of course I loved the road trip aspect of the story (this is so going on my next list!).

It was a good book with lots of plot twists and turns and the characters were really relateable. However it took me a while to get through it. I wasn't pumped to read it every night and her writing style didn't excite me. But the storyline was enough to make it a good read.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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