Lita's Blog











{March 20, 2011}   Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Best Quote: pg 241

“I mentally try to add up all the things I’ve done in my life, but no clear picture emerges, nothing that will tell me what kind of person I am – just a lot of haziness and blurred edges, indistinct memories of laughing and driving around.  I feel like I’m trying to take a picture into the sun: all of the people in my memories are coming back featureless and interchangeable.”

And I ask you.  Isn’t this what we all do?

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver captures your attention immediately through its cover.  The close up of a girl’s face with eyes staring, beckoning reader’s to open the book and read her story.

Samantha Kingston takes your on a 7-day journey, except it’s the same day over and over – Cupid Day – where getting the most roses determines your popularity and getting no roses is worse than death.  Or so Sam thought until she actually died.  As Sam relives the same day, she learns two of life’s hardest questions: Who am I? And what is my purpose?  The repeating days is alarming at first then annoying, but Sam realizes life’s not only about ourselves.  It’s about who we meet and how we grow better from them.

I worried at first reading the same day 7x would be boring; however, it was strangely exciting.  Each day there were more details about the “watery” morning sun, and more insight into Sam’s beautiful mind.  Each day there were more questions and self examinations as Sam learned who her friends really were, why she would love them despite their flaws, and what’s really important in life and being yourself.

The book relates to everyone as Sam directly speaks to the reader the truth we all know: “You’re just like me.  You would’ve done the same thing.”

If you’re thinking this is just a written form of the movie The Butterfly Effect, you’re gravely mistaken.  This character is 10x more believable, and it is apparent Lauren Oliver wrote from her heart.

***

Age Recommendation: 16 and up

Why? Because of teenage drug usage, sex, and cursing (for all parents concerned about potty mouths like my mom T.T)

Like music and this book review? Check out “For Good” from Wicked

Grade: B+

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“It is about 8 o’clock and I am back on the front stoop.  We’ve seen this show before, but I keep coming back for an encore [mentioning fireflies].  Maybe I think the show will end differently, but isn’t that what they say about crazy people?  Only crazy people do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.”

Pg 131

This book looks at things we know and talk about but rarely experience with such brutality.  We see the harsh reality of a mom in her prime and being left for another woman.  We watch as she breaks emotionally and all the effects it has on her daughters.  You hate her; but part of you understands and pities her, and you hate those feelings too.  The mom has reverted back to her selfish, childish self.  She cries over lost boys, becomes angry over petty things, takes revenge on her daughters, and hit whenever something doesn’t go her way.

But The Possibility of Fireflies written by first time author Dominique Paul isn’t about her.  Oh no.  It’s about the two daughters she’s suffocating.  Gwen is crawling out of this childish stage (or at least trying to), while Ellie is still trying to play by the rules.  This 14 year-old still uses words like “sissy” and “mommy” as regular vocabulary as if she can still hold onto those happier memories before her own mother started blaming her unhappiness on her children.

Ellie meets 20 year-old aspiring musician, Leo, who finally points Ellie down a road.  And she starts down her journey to find who she is, how she wants to live her life, and how she wants to shine like a firefly.

This book isn’t only a story about a girl, but a story about transformation.  You can see this theme through the cover with its baby pink of childhood, and its elegantly beautiful calligraphy of what represents hope in the book as if she finally obtains to hope to grow up and mature.  There is also a sudden, almost impulsive, looking splatter of lighter pink on the cover as well, which says to me, “This might…no…this will most likely get messy.”

This story will always have a special place with me because I have experienced verbal abuse off and on for almost 9 years no.  I know the feeling of being put down and feeling unloved.  But this book gives hope.  It shares hope.  It is hope.

***

Things to know about the book – it is a little random and sporadic, but still awesome for a first time writer.  There’s hope for everyone else!

Pet Peeves:

  1. Leo is 20 in the book, but 21 in the synopsis on the inside cover
  2. Why is this story set in 1987?  Time doesn’t matter.  This stuff is still going on, and I would’ve been confused why someone was making a big deal out of blue M&Ms if I hadn’t read the synopsis and figured out that was the year blue M&Ms came out.  (If there is another reason why it was set in this time period, then please enlighten me.)

Age Recommendations: 14 and up

Why? Slight Language, drugs, sex (but not outright with details)

Grade: A+



{March 14, 2011}   I’m Sorry

Just ignore time stamps please >.>



{January 28, 2010}   Undiluted Minds – Danae Ayusso

The story is simple.

Depressed boy meets crazy, possibly legally insane, girl at therapy and a whirl wind adventure starts including attending mass dressed as a pregnant nun whose water breaks on the altar, the Gnome Liberation Project which
involves stealing regular garden gnomes and replacing them with ones that got a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makeover to look like either the biker from the Village People or the Gimp from Pulp Fiction the verdict is still out on that one Korin dressing in drag as a candy stripper in order to bust Micha out of the hospital and in the process gets felt up by an old pervert going to x-ray, and so much more!

That first meeting in therapy changed Micha and Korin lives for the better.
What therapy cant fix they fix in each other. Micha helps Korin to be less
introverted and cynical and Korin teaches Micha how to be more grounded.
An intense love builds between the polar opposites that rivals that of Romeo
and Juliet…..minus the whole suicide ending.

Wow!!! I couldn’t stop reading this story! Micha is an easy character to relate with, seeming to represent the hurt and insanity of people and this world. She is fun and crazy and makes me want to jump up and switch out some gnomes. There was a nice amount of insecurity, kinkyness, and craziness. The recurring theme is death and that’s how Micha and Korin relate. The ending is strangely satisfying with a feelings of nostalgia and content. I would eagerly read a sequel of the story or another story from this author.
Recommended!!!!!
Best part: chapter 20
Age: 14+
Grade: A+

Undiluted Minds



The book, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, on my phone was only 43 pages!!!!!! It was so short!!! I was amazed since the movie was 3 gourde long. It was a cute short story. I really enjoyed the plot line and the character Ben. It was so easy to follow how Ben felt when he became younger and his wife was becoming older. His discontent was believable and I followed Ben’s maturity to immaturity with ease.
It’s a great, easy, SHORT story!
Recommended!!!!
Best part: his college days
Age: any age
Grade: A



{January 4, 2010}   Book Reviews

I’ve always had respect for books and the authors who wrote them. It takes bravery, skill, and experince to write a book, so I’d like to give something back to the authors who have worked hard on his/her book. I am not qualified as others may be in book reviewing, but I don’t want to look at a book as critically as some do. I want to read it as a whole, savour that, and then point out what I think makes it a good book (or bad).
Most of my posts will be through my iPhone, so please forgive my spelling errors and or grammar. I will not be consistent with posts, but I will try to do one a month (minimum).
These are a list of books I plan on reading so it’s safe to assume a review on them:
• Thr Line of Love (James Branch Cabell)
• The Luxe (Anna Godbersen)
• The Devouring (Simon Holt)
• Need (Carrie Jones)
• The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
• To Catch a Pirate (Jade Parker)
• Going Bovine (Libba Bray)
• Chasing Windmills (Catherine Ryan Hyde)
• A Circle of Souls (Preetham Grandhi)
• Distant Waves (Suzanne Weyn)
• Going Too Far (Jennifer Echols)
• If I Stay (Gayle Forman)
• Willow (Julia Hoban)
• Shelter Me (Alex McAulay)
• Cracked Up To Be (Courtney Summers)
• And More!

Please understand that it will not be in this order and not immediate. Please give me your comments after my reviews on what you think I should include in the reviews and your own thoughts on the story.
Thanks ^-^



For Christmas I asked for an old, hardback of Alice in Wonderland. Instead, I received a greater gift. It was an old, hardback of  The Line of Love. Its pages are yellow and torn, and the pictures have onion paper over it. It’s publication date is September 1905 by Harper & Brothers. Each page looks like is has been illuminated with the border around each page, and the books holds the love stories/tragedies of every generation of a family. How a book looks heightens interest!

The culture of this time was different. It says “love was only the man’s folly, the woman’s diversion.”
They believe in destiny because twice it says, ” Fate grinned and went on with her weaving.”
I loved reading these stories right before bed. They were like longer fairy tales and although not all of them were happy, I still loved the stories. The details were mostly about the beauty of the girl or the roses in the garden.
Recommended!!!!
Best part: story of Adalais
Age: 14+
Grade: B+



et cetera