Monday, December 5, 2011

Run at Destruction by Lynda Drews

I think this is my second true crime book.  I don't know what made me pick Run at Destruction.  Of course it probably had something to do with my obsession with the Nancy Cooper trial.  She was a runner.  And a love triangle sounded scandalous and would probably make for a good story.

The book is written by the victim's best friend over 20 years after the incident.  It is a story about a case back in the 80s.  A woman dies from a combination or carbon monoxide poisoning and drowning in her bathtub (sounds like something that might happen to me on one of my bad Ambien nights.  I could probably accidentally kill myself on that stuff.)

The woman's husband was having an affair with one of his co-workers.  All of them are teachers.  All of them are runners and very involved with the local running community.

The book takes you through the events of that day, flashes back to things that happened in the past and takes you through the trial.  But the best part of the book I thought was the last chapter that talks about what has happened to all the main players in the story since the trial.  I felt like there was too little in that last chapter and too much in the rest of the book.  I felt like it could have been condensed a little more and was a little slow at times.

It was a very interesting case though.  And the way it is left, it still leaves the question on if Pam's death was suicide, murder, or accidental death.  I think based on what I read it was murder, but I guess only the husband and God know the truth.

I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

Heaven is for Real for Kids by Colton Burpo

I had heard a lot about the adult version of this book Heaven is for Real.  So when I saw the opportunity to get a copy of this book free to review I was excited.  I was hoping this kid's version would summaize what was in the adult version.

The story is basically about a 3 year-old boy Colton who is really sick and breifly dies, goes to heaven, but is eventually revived.  When he comes back he tells his parents about what happened while he was "dead".  It is a true story. 

Apparently he meets his sister that he never met (his mom had had a miscarriage that he never knew about it).  He also tells his parents of other things he had no prior knowledge of.  He meets Jesus and experiences different aspects of heaven that for the most part line up with what scripture says.

This book is written by Colton (now 11) for kids.  The language used is simple and easy to understand and there are illustrations to show the story he tells.

I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't.  I don't have kids so I don't know for sure, but I feel like this book would raise more questions than it would answer.  And it is just a little boy's story of heaven, not necessarily truth (which I believe can only be found in the Bible and will never be fully known until we get to heaven).  I also thought some of the illustrations were kind of creepy.

I don't know that I would read this book to my kids (if I had kids).  I am going to show it to my friend to see if she wants it for her 5 year old though. 

I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

I generally love Jennifer Weiner books.  I loved Good in Bed, In Her Shoes and Certain GirlsBest Friends Forever did not disappoint.  It was not a life changing book, but it was a good, quick, enjoyable Chick Lit read.

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler became best friends when Valerie moved across the street from Addie when they were just little girls.  Valerie was the skinny, pretty, outgoing, eccentric one and Addie was the down-to-earth, too nice, stable, overweight one.  Valerie envied Addie's perfect family and Addie envied Valerie's seemingly exciting, easy life. 

Something happens in high school that drives Valerie and Addie apart, but 20 years later Valerie shows up on Addie's doorstep needing help.  Addie drops everything to help her old friend.

As the story unfolds we see flashbacks to their childhood friendship, how their lives have changed over the years, and the incident that drove a wedge in their friendship.

It was a really enjoyable story with a sweet ending.  I especially liked the flashbacks to their childhood friendship.  It made me remember being 10 and riding bikes and going on vacations with friends.  I miss being a kid.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I LOVED this book.  I fell in love with it from the first page when I realized it was written from the point of view of the dog!!  I am so head over heels in love with my dog and often wonder what he is thinking.  Now thanks to this book I now wonder how Cam would tell my story.  What would he have to say about our life together?

The Art of Racing in the Rain is written from Enzo's perspective.  Enzo is Denny's dog.  It tells the story of how Eve, Denny's wife, enters the picture.  It tells the story of how their daughter Zoe joins the family.  It tells the story of Eve's tragic and unexpected death.  And it tells the story of how Denny fights for his family all through Enzo's eyes.

You are probably wondering where the title comes from.  Denny is a race car driver.  Not like NASCAR race car, but like fancy Italian cars racing.  Enzo has learned a lot about racing from Denny and watching races with Denny, and even riding in the race car with Denny.

Oh and did I mention that Enzo likes TV and learned on a documentary that when dogs die they come back as a man?  And Enzo can not wait to come back as a man!

I laughed, I cried, I flew through this book.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars!  A great read!!

Here is a trailer for the book:

It apparently is also in development to become a movie.

And the book is very well written and filled with great quotes.  Here is one of my favorites:

“Here is why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own.

...I beg of you, pretend you are a dog like me and LISTEN to other people rather than steal their stories.” 

And go here for a lot more great quotes from the book!

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

You should read this book.  Seriously.  If you have not read it, you should put it on your "to-read" list.  Same Kind of Different as Me is the true story of a wealthy art dealer and a homeless man and the unlikely friendship they find.

The book alternates between Denver, a former plantation sharecropper who jumps a train to escape his bleak future and ends up living his life as a homeless man for years, and Ron, a wealthy art dealer whose wife convinces him to serve the community at a homeless shelter.  That homeless shelter is where their paths cross and God moves in both of their lives.

This story really did make me view homeless people and serving others differently.  If you really want to make a difference in someone's life it doesn't happen in a day. 

It was inspiring to watch how God worked in both of these men's lives to change them and each other.

The book is very well written and will suck you in.  It is open and honest and tells their imperfect and inspiring story beautifully.  Not only is it a good story, but it may change your life- read it!

I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

It looks like it is in production to become a movie.

Here's a good interview with Ron and Denver about their story:

Mistaken Identity

You may remember this story from the news a few years ago.  Two girls, Laura Van Ryns and Whitney Cerak,  were in a van that was in a wreck.  One girl died, the other lived, but the authorities had mistaken the identities and gotten the two girls mixed up.  For weeks the Van Ryns had thought they were in the hospital with their daughter/sister, while the Ceraks thought they buried their daughter/sister.  They did look very similar, but how could you go weeks not knowing the girl you were caring for was someone else?

I remember hearing about this story on the news and then seeing the two families on Oprah.  It is a really crazy story.  How does something like that happen?

This book is written by the two families together and they flip-flop between the two families to show you what was going on in each of their lives as story unfolds.

I really can't imagine being on either side of the story.  And you think they would all be mad about the whole thing.  I mean can you imagine being told your daughter was dead and then a month later them saying "Oh sorry we made a mistake. She's actually alive and another family has been by her side this whole time."?  Or could you imagine praying for your daughter/sister's recovery and being by her side for weeks only to discover it wasn't her and another family had actually buried your real daughter/sister?

But these were two families of great faith.  They worshiped God through it all.  No matter what the circumstance,  they prayed, they hoped, they trusted God.  It is a truly incredible story.

I listened to this one on audiobook and I found myself driving with tears in my eyes several times throughout the story.

One of the best parts of the book is towards the end when Whitney is talking about her thoughts in the months after the accident.  She feels all this pressure and guilt of "Why me? Why did I live?" and she felt like people expected great things of her because her life had been spared.  But she finally has to shrug off all that guilt and pressure and just live her life.  I loved that.

There were times I felt it might come across as them pushing their faith on the reader too much instead of just telling the story, but that is why they wrote the book in the first place- to share their faith and hopefully share The Gospel with others.  They didn't want to profit from what happened and didn't want to write a book about it, but the opportunity to share Christ with others is what drove them to do so.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finding It by Valerie Bertinelli

I got this audiobook on sale at Border's going out of business sale.  I read Valerie's first book Losing It and enjoyed it, so why not try this one?

Two things I learned from this book:

1. Almost all women struggle with body issues and we are very similar in this struggle.

2. Celebrities live a very different life.

In one sense listening to Valerie's book was like listening to myself or my best friend complain about weight frustrations.  On the other hand, she has Jillian Michael's trainer whipping her in to shape and her job was pretty much to get in shape for this commercial, so she had a lot more time than the everyday person has to devote to it.  She says she didn't and complains about her lack of time, but I doubt she understands what a "normal" person's life is like just how I don't understand what a "celebrity's" life is like.

But I do love how she focuses on how hard maintenance is and why it is important.  I'm glad she doesn't make it seem easy.  I'm glad to know she has a lot of the same struggles we all face.  Overall I enjoyed it.  It wasn't life changing or anything, but it was enjoyable.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mommywood by Tori Spelling

I got Mommywood by Tori Spelling on CD at the Border's going out of business sale for like $3!  I am loving some audio-books right now. And to get one for that cheap was awesome!  I listened to it on my way to and from the beach Labor Day weekend and it made the drive just fly by!

I liked Tori's first book Storitelling.  This one was ok, but not as good as the first one in my opinion.  Tori just basically tells stories from her life as a (semi)famous mom.  There are some funny stories in there like the one about Liam pooping at the pool and her making a big mess while changing his diaper or how she got invited to P-Diddy's twin's birthday party and she totally got their age wrong. 

Tori is completely out of touch with reality and completely wrapped up in Hollywood life and this book solidifies that.  As much as she says she would like to be normal, she is completely fooling herself.  She talks about having to leave a $300 stroller (that she got for free) in a parking garage because she could not get it to fold up.  Seriously?  Who does that?

She is completely self-centered.  (But aren't we all at times?) She talks about her relationship with her mom a lot and how everything with her mom turned in to a competition and how she doesn't want to repeat that with Stella.  She is going to really have to work at that before Stella gets any older because I can so see her doing the same thing. 

Speaking of the relationship with her mom, she tries to act like the lack of relationship there is all her mom's fault.  She obviously has not forgiven her mom for a lot of things and continues to talk bad about her in her books.  I can't imagine the hurt she has caused her mom.  Obviously her mom isn't completely innocent in the whole situation either, but Tori needs to realize that neither is she.

I like Tori.  I really do.  I think she is witty and funny and it feels like she could be one of your best girl friends.  She is a good story telller too.  We all have our flaws and she is not immune to that.  But at times during this book you just wanted to say "Really girl?  you have no idea what the real world is like.  Take off your fame-goggles and get a grip."

I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Mystically Wired by Ken Wilson

Sometime last year I heard about this site called Book Sneeze.  If you are a blogger and interested in Christian literature, this is a great site.  You get a book for free in exchange for a review.

The first book I selected was Mystically Wired by Ken Wilson.  I picked this book because as you know if you read my blog, I have a really hard time praying out loud.  Even just praying in general.  Maybe this book could help?

It took me a long time to get through this book.  I just could not get into it.  It wasn't engaging.  It didn't capture my attention.  And I found myself reading whole paragraphs and then thinking "Wait, what did I just read?"  I ended up skimming most of it.

In Part 1 of the book, he talks about how we are all wired to talk to and crave a connection with God.  I believe that.  Most people I know even if they aren't religious or have any kind of defined "faith" have probably talked to God in their mind before.  I didn't agree with everything the author said, but I do agree that we are all wired to have a connection to God.

In Part 2 of the book, the author goes in to "Exploring New Realms in Prayer".  This was more practial advice and guidance towards deepening your relationship with God and enhancing your prayer life, but I still found it difficult to get in to. 

I was disappointed with the book overall, just because I found it so difficult to get in to.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

If you are interested in a good book on prayer, I really enjoyed A Praying Life by Paul Miller.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Specials (Uglies, Book 3) by Scott Westerfeld

I liked this series.  I really did.  But it took me forever to get through this book!  I wasn't as in love with the whole thing by this point I guess.  Or maybe I just don't like when Tally turns in to someone other than herself.

Basically this book picks up where book two left off.  But now Tally has been turned in to a Special.  And not just any Special, but one of the elite new Cutters within the Special Circumstances.  The Specials are enhanced even more than the Pretties to the point of looking harsh and cruel, but still beautiful.  The best part is all your physical abilities and senses are enhanced and optimized.  You are pretty much invincible.  And you are programmed to think you are better than everyone else.

Tally is teamed back up with her BFF or "frennimie" Shay.  They have wild adventures trying to stop the New Smoke and help her ex-lover Zane.  It's all very "icy" and "bubbly".

But part of me started to get annoyed with these books.  The main characters value being pretty above everything and think they are better than everyone and now they are cutting themselves to get "icy"??  Not the best example.  It all turns out with a good moral story in the end, but I don't know...I just didn't love them.  Something was off about the storyline to me.  They just didn't sit right with me in the end.

I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

I'm going to stop my journey with these books here for now.  I have the last book Extras, but I need a break for now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

I listened to this one on CD driving to and from work every day.  I loved it!  It is the story of Carrie Bradshaw (of Sex and the City) when she was in high school.  Most of it is centered around boy drama, but it touches on her passion for writing and early struggles with that as well.

I loved all the stories and her drama with Donna Ladonna and her friends.  I even loved how they did the different voices of the characters.

Here is a synopsis fro the authors website:
The Carrie Diaries is the coming-of-age story of one of the most iconic characters of our generation.

Before Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was a small town girl who knew she wanted more. She’s ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture, and a friend’s betrayal makes her question everything.

With an unforgettable cast of characters, The Carrie Diaries is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself, and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. Readers will learn about her family background, how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, we’ll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins.

I think she has a follow-up book to this one called Summer and the City that I'm going to have to read now.

I've read all of Candace Bushnell's books and enjoyed them all so I highly recommend this one if you've read her other stuff and liked it.

I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

This is the second book in The Uglies series.  This one was really annoying to read at first because of all the “pretty talk”.  Basically the pretties talk like stupid 18-year old valley girls.  “Like this is totally pretty-making and the book has the Crims trying to stay totally bubbly.”   

In this book you get to see the world of the pretties.  And it isn’t all pretty.  Of course I couldn't help but thinking how I would love to wake up beautiful every day with my biggest coneren being what I was going to wear to the party that night.  And having a closet I could just order whatever I wanted out of!

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say once you finish the first book you will have to read this one and once you finish this one, you’ll want to see what happens in the third one.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

It took me a few chapters to really get in to this book, but once I did I was hooked.  Uglies is the story of a world sometime in the future where on your 16th birthday everyone gets plastic surgery to become a “pretty”.  When you are a teenager, before you turn 16 and have the surgery you are known as an ugly.  Everyone on their 16th birthday gets to turn into a supermodel, move in to “new pretty town”, and go to lavish parties and just enjoy being fabulous.

The main character Tally is getting ready to turn 16, but she starts to discover some things no one ever talks about.  Things the people in charge want to keep a secret.  Tally makes friends with a girl named Shay and she introduces her to a whole new world outside of the pretties.  But Tally is torn because she has always wanted to be a pretty so she gets put in a very bad position and may have to betray her friend.

This is the first book of a trilogy.  I am currently on the last book and can’t wait to see how it ends for Tally and her friends.  If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, you would probably enjoy these too as they have very similar themes.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

I kept seeing this book everywhere and saw it got some good reviews so I thought I’d give it a shot. I like books about a bunch of best friends a la Sex and the City because you get a little bit of everything.

When I first started reading this book I thought I would have liked to go to an all female college. There is one in Raleigh- Meredith College, and I just love the idea of all those traditions and like it is one big sorority.

This book made me re-think that. In the book everything was so focused around lesbianism that it was not appealing to me. And they were all sooo feminist. Too liberal for me.

Anyway, the book is about four friends who are all VERY different. They end up on the same floor in their dorm freshman year and develop a friendship that follows long after graduation. Bree is the beautiful, southern girl who is engaged when she comes to college, but ends up in a relationship with a woman. Sally is Miss Perfectionist who wants to go to med school but ends up to be the first to settle down and get married at 25. Celia is the bubbly, outgoing peacemaker of the group. She’s the kind of girl who gets along with just about anyone. And April is your hard core, radical feminist who joins all the radical organizations and fights for equal rights and causes she believes in.

The book starts with the girls meeting on their first day in their dorm. It follows them through college and then meets up with them a few years later for Sally’s wedding. The main portion of the book centers on what happens at and after the wedding with flashbacks to their college days.

Each chapter is written from the perspectives of one of the girls. I enjoy that layout for a book.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the ending. It walks you up to the end of the cliff and then you step off and then nothing. I wanted to see their reactions and know what happens, but the book just ends. That was frustrating.

But overall I really enjoyed this book and give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

I borrowed this book from a friend. She liked it a lot and I wanted to read it before I watched the movie on DVD. Plus I have been really into crime/law stuff ever since that stupid Brad Cooper trial.

I really enjoyed this book. It is the story of a defense attorney who lands a very wealthy client who is accused of attempted rape and murder. I am really bad at knowing how much or how little to reveal about a story in my reviews, so here is a synopsis from

Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller's father was a legendary lawyer whose clients included gangster Mickey Cohen. But Dad also passed on an important piece of advice that's especially relevant when Mickey takes the case of a wealthy Los Angeles realtor accused of attempted murder: "The scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you [screw] up and he goes to prison, it'll scar you for life."

Louis Roulet, Mickey's "franchise client" (so-called becaue he's able and willing to pay whatever his defense costs) seems to be the one his father warned him against, as well as being a few rungs higher on the socio-economic ladder than the drug dealers, homeboys, and motorcycle thugs who comprise Mickey's regular case load. But as the holes in Roulet's story tear Mickey's theory of the case to shreds, his thoughts turn more to Jesus Menendez, a former client convicted of a similar crime who's now languishing in San Quentin. Connelly tellingly delineates the code of legal ethics Mickey lives by: "It didn't matter...whether the defendant 'did it' or not. What mattered was the evidence against him--the proof--and if and how it could be neutralized. My job was to bury the proof, to color the proof a shade of gray. Gray was the color of reasonable doubt." But by the time his client goes to trial, Mickey's feeling a few very reasonable doubts of his own

The book keeps you on your toes trying to figure things out from what really happened with the crimes and how it is going to play out for Mickey and his clients in court.

If I had read this book before seeing the trailers for the movie, I would have never ever envisioned Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. But it was nice to picture that hottie as I was reading the book. I can’t wait to see the movie now!

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

A good friend of mine and fellow book lover recommended Sarah's Key to me.  I freaking loved this book! Ever since I went to the Holocaust museum in DC I have been somewhat obsessed with stories involving it.

Here is a synopsis:

A New York Times bestseller. Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

I read this book in less than 24 hours. I loved seeing Sarah’s story unfold and following Julia through her discoveries of Sarah’s story and the connection it had to her own life. I highly recommend this book!

I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

It’s also going to be a movie coming out July 22. Here’s a preview:

A Slaying in the Suburbs

This was my first true crime book! When I became so obsessed with that Brad Cooper trial I thought hmmm maybe I should read a true crime book because all I could think about during the trial is how awesome a book would be based on that story. I picked this one because it had good reviews and an interesting plot.

Tara Grant was a successful woman earning a six figure salary and getting to travel the world. Until the day she came home from a business trip and her husband killed her and cut up her body.

There were a lot of similarities to the Brad Cooper case. A wealthy family with two kids. An affair- only this one was with the nanny. Tara started out as a missing person case. She was strangled to death. Her sister got custody of the kids and hated the husband. The prosecution even wrapped up their closing argument very similarly to the prosecution in the Brad Cooper trial.

It was a really interesting story and at least with this one you know he did it. I definitely think I’ll read some more true crime books in the future.

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin

I loved Emily Griffin’s first 3 books- Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof.  I also liked Love the One You’re With.  But Heart of the Matter quite frankly sucked.  It was so slow.  I did not like the storyline and I did not connect with any of the characters.

It is basically the story of Valerie, a single mom, whose son falls in to a fire at a friend’s birthday party while roasting marshmallows.  He gets badly burned on his face and hands.  Valerie starts falling for her son’s doctor who happens to be Tessa’s husband.  Tessa is the other main character of the book and a large portion of the book is spent exploring Tessa and Nick’s marriage.

The only interesting aspect of the book was the cameos by Rachel and Dex (Tessa is Dex’s sister.)

I didn’t want to give up on the book and was just curious enough to see how things ended to finish the book, but I would not recommend wasting your time with this one.  It is a controversial subject with the affair aspect and all, but not worth reading it for that.

I give this one 2 out of 5 stars simply because I was at least able to finish it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The first chapter of this book I had to read out loud. It made me want to go out and sit on a font porch and sip sweet tea (even though I am probably one of the only Southerner's that hates sweet tea).

The first character you will meet in The Help is Aibeleen and her point of view is written in a very strong southern dialect. So much so that it was hard to read at first- thus the reading it out loud in my own strong southern accent.

The book is written from three different points of view- Aibeleen her best friend Minny and "the white lady" Skeeter. Aibeleen works as a maid for one of Skeeter's best friends and Minny was just fired as a maid by another one of Skeeter's best friends.

Basically the book takes you back to the 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi and gives you a glimpse into the world of the elite Junior League women and the "help" they have. It is right at the start of the civil rights movement and as the tensions rise regarding segregation, Skeeter gets the help of Aibeleen and Minny to write a book from the point of the view of the maids.

I LOVED it! It had me laughing out loud, tearing up, and open mouthed in shock throughout the book. Each chapter left enough suspense to make it hard to put the book down.

I can't believe that people lived like that so recently! I never had to experience segregation, so it is just so hard for me to imagine. I mean I do live in the South and I do know some racist people, but I can't believe it was ever like this!  It made me wonder if one day our children will read a book and be shocked that we were ever so anti-gay.

My only disappointment was with Miss Celia Foote's storyline. She was one of my favorites and I felt like her storyline fell flat in the end.  But my absolute favorite character was Aibeleen and I also loved to hate that Miss Hilly Hollbrook!

I loved it and would totally recommend this book to everyone!

I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Here is the preview for the movie. I have to say I was a little disappointed when I saw this in the theater last week because it looks like the movie might not live up to the book (at least for me). But I will definitely be going to see it though!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

This book had been on my list for a LONG time.  I had it on my wish list at for years, and had tried to find it at the book store unsuccessfully last summer.  Right before the ski trip though I got up the courage to ask the guy at Barnes and Nobel if they carried it after not being able to locate it on my own.  Wouldn't you know it was in the Young Adult section?  Yeah, I am that pathetic 30 year old that still enjoys books written for teens!

Here's a little summary of the book from the author's website:

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

Of course I was drawn to it because my high school boyfriend was killed in a car crash and I thought I'd be able to relate to Anna.  But even if that hadn't happened to me I still think I would be intrigued by the plot of this book.

The story was really good.  I didn't relate as much as I thought I would to the character of Anna because our stories were very different.  But I did enjoy her and Frankie's story of their summer on Zanzibar Bay.  It wasn't as light as a "beach book" normally is, nor was it too "teenager-ish" for me.  I loved seeing the dynamics between Anna and Frankie, hearing about their adventures with the boys, the stories of long days on the beach, and the emotions Frankie, her family, and Anna have to process over Matt's death.  And the stories of Anna and Frankie as they start to explore more intimate relationships with boys for the first(?) time.

If you are looking for a good summer read, I'd highly reccommend this book.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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