YA Contemporary (+touch of magic)
Review copy obtained via NetGalley.
Being a math genius is not exactly a ticket to popularity for seventeen-year-old Eva. Even worse, whenever she touches another person or their belongings, she gets glimpses of their emotions, secrets and insecurities, making her keep her distance from everyone. So when Eva realizes she can touch Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist, without getting visions–only sparks–she finds herself drawing closer to him.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Trigger Warnings: Suicide/Depression
In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was–that I couldn’t stick around–and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.
Maybe one day he’ll believe that being different is okay, important even.
But not today.
Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.
Surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.
I’m obviously not the target audience for this novel, but I’ve read several of Forman’s YA novels, and I was curious to see how she tackled the adult audience. Also, as I’ve moved on from college and begun to establish my identity as an adult woman, I’ve become fascinated with studying the (real or fictional) stories of women in many stages of life. I think that doing so makes me more prepared for life transitions and helps me identify what I want out of my life.
And Leave Me addresses a common problem for women: feeling overworked and underappreciated. Most women don’t resort to literally running away from their homes, but they rebel in other ways. I’m scared of that feeling. I’m scared of feeling trapped by what should be a dream. I think maybe a lot of young women are.
So, how does Leave Me handle that nightmare Continue reading
Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession
Julie Powell thought cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was the craziest thing she’d ever do–until she embarked on the voyage recounted in her new memoir, CLEAVING.
Her marriage challenged by an insane, irresistible love affair, Julie decides to leave town and immerse herself in a new obsession: butchery. She finds her way to Fleischer’s, a butcher shop where she buries herself in the details of food. She learns how to break down a side of beef and French a rack of ribs–tough, physical work that only sometimes distracts her from thoughts of afternoon trysts.
The camaraderie at Fleischer’s leads Julie to search out fellow butchers around the world–from South America to Europe to Africa. At the end of her odyssey, she has learned a new art and perhaps even mastered her unruly heart.
A Perfect Storm
On the surface, Cleaving looked like a perfect book. I love reading about marriages and also extreme challenges. Julie Powell’s writing is often hilarious, as evidenced by the wild success of Julie and Julia.
But Cleaving is Continue reading
Thick as Thieves
Megan Whalen Turner
Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission.
I’m a raving fan of the Queen’s Thief books. I read all four in a breathless rush several summers ago and I’ve since Continue reading
From Ant to Eagle
Review copy obtained via NetGalley
It’s the summer before grade six and Calvin Sinclair is bored to tears. He’s recently moved from a big city to a small town and there’s nothing to do. It’s hot, he has no friends and the only kid around is his six-year-old brother, Sammy, who can barely throw a basketball as high as the hoop. Cal occupies his time by getting his brother to do almost anything: from collecting ants to doing Calvin’s chores. And Sammy is all too eager – as long as it means getting a “Level” and moving one step closer to his brother’s Eagle status. When Calvin meets Aleta Alvarado, a new girl who shares his love for Goosebumps books and adventure, Sammy is pushed aside. Cal feels guilty, but not enough to change. At least not until a diagnosis causes things at home to fall apart and he’s left wondering whether Sammy will ever complete his own journey from Ant to Eagle.
I read From Ant to Eagle back to back with Running Full Tilt, another book about brothers. The authors both had personal Continue reading
Running Full Tilt
Publishes September 5, 2017
Review copy via publisher on NetGalley.
Like most siblings, Leo and Caleb have a complicated relationship. But Caleb’s violent outbursts literally send Leo running. When the family is forced to relocate due to Caleb’s uncontrollable behavior, Leo tries to settle into a new school, joining the cross-country team and discovering his talent for racing and endurance for distance. Things even begin to look up for Leo when he befriends Curtis, a potential state champion who teaches Leo strategy and introduces him to would-be girlfriend, Mary. But Leo’s stability is short-lived as Caleb escalates his attacks on his brother, resentful of his sport successes and new friendships.
Leo can’t keep running away from his problems. But, with a little help from Curtis and Mary, he can appreciate his worth as a brother and his own capacity for growth, both on and off the field.