2 – I miss my sidewalk.
Also? I miss the absence of jack-hammering and pounding.
3 - Last weekend I flew to San Francisco to surprise my sister for her 40th birthday. It was so much fun! She said it was the biggest and best surprise she’s ever gotten. Even though the round-trip travel time door to door was about twelve hours, and the entire trip lasted less than forty-eight hours, it was sooo worth it! I was sitting on her couch when she came home from running some errands. She started screaming and laughing. Luckily, my toddler nephew is accustomed to her effusiveness, so he wasn’t frightened. Actually, I wanted to see my nephew as much as I wanted to surprise her. He’s 21 months old, a beaming, blue-eyed, amazing little person. We read There’s A Wocket In My Pocket at least six times. In fact, when I called them last night, I recited the lines to him over the phone while he turned the pages 600 miles away. (The only thing to mar my visit was the Cheney on my chin, but happily, my sister was sporting a Cheney on her 40-year-old face, too!)
I’ve been doing lots of reading, so the rest of my Friday Ten are book reviews:
4 - Tyrell, by Coe Booth
Okay, I’m a middle-aged white woman … what could Tyrell possibly have to say to me? The answer is, “So much that I can’t get his voice out of my head.” I LOVED getting to know Ty, and worrying about him, and cheering for him. He’s a street-smart kid … a survivor. But not one who will damage others in his struggle to survive … he’s an ethical and perceptive kid. If I may be allowed a totally nerdy English major observation, when Ty slams the door near the end of the book … that act resonates throughout literature all the way back to Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler.
5 - Dramarama, by E. Lockhart
You’re always in good hands when you’re reading an E. Lockhart book. You know you’ll laugh, you know you’ll stay riveted to the story from the first page to the last, and you’ll always wish the book didn’t have to end. As a former theatre geek and occasional drama queen, I ate this one up with a spoon! You don’t have to be a theatre geek, however, to adore this story about two best friends who are accepted into a competitive summer camp for the performing arts.
6 - Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This is the story of what happens after an asteroid strikes the moon, shifting it closer to Earth. The resulting tsunamis, weather disasters, and pandemic illnesses cause “life as we knew it” to change forever. We see the impact of global disaster on a small scale through the eyes of 16-year-old Miranda, who maintains a diary of her daily life, even after she begins to fear there will be no one left to read it. This book made me want buy a woodstove and start stockpiling supplies for some future catastrophic event.
7 - The Year of Secret Assignments, by Jaclyn Moriarty
This is the “companion book” to The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, in that they both take place during the same time and setting. But this book was published first. It’s dense and layered and satisfying, just like Bindy. Although it’s told entirely in letters, emails, and journal entries, each character feels very distinct. The “boy voices” are fantastic, too! There’s not a drop of treacle to be found here, and in fact, there are some hilarious observations dropped into the story like random Sweetarts.
8 - Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend, by Carrie Jones
I feel shy about reviewing Carrie’s book, because she sometimes reads this blog, unlike the writers of the other books I have listed above. I think I will just say that the book is full of humor and heart, which is the kind of writing I aspire to. You should read it!
9 and 10 are books I did not enjoy, and thus will not review. I mention them because I gain perspective every time I read a book that I find, er, lacking. I tell myself, “If they got published, there’s hope for my book!”