Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More


Jorie’s Store – The Moon and More By Sarah Dessen

 
Title and Author(s):  Sarah Dessen’s The Moon and More
Release Date: June 04, 2013

Publisher:
ISBN: 0670785601

Source: Harris County Public Library

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Reasons for Reading: It’s Sarah Dessen’s latest book – need I saw more? It’s even set in the beach town of Colby.

Summary: In the last summer before college, Colby native Emaline has her future set for her. She has Luke, the perfect high school sweetheart, a full-ride at a state school, a loving if not dysfunctional family, and a ticket out of Colby. Emaline thinks she’ll be able to kick back and relax before driving off to college. Soon, those plans change when her mostly absentee biological father and half-brother come in for the summer. Also, a cultured, sophisticated college guy named Theo muddles things on the Luke front. Now, Emaline faces the pulls of familiar Colby and the draw of something new. She wants it all but she must decide what she wants most.

One Thing I Learned from reading this book: I think I want to try a shrimp burger!

What I Liked: Emaline’s best friends, Morris and Daisy, were very interesting. Their appearance in the story was a very pleasant surprise. As always, characters from other Dessen books resurface – Clyde, Auden, Heidi, Maggie, and Colie Sparks!

What I Disliked: There was too much going on in this book. I think Morris and Daisy could’ve had their own book (hint, hint Ms. Dessen!)

RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

Song: Cruel Summer – Bananarama (Official Promo Video) High Quality

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Sarah Dessen’s Infinity


Infinity (Pocket Money Puffin) by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

(Written 19 January 2013)

Dessen, S. (2010). Infinity. London: Puffin. 9780141330778

Title and Author(s): Infinity by Sarah Dessen
Release Date:
May 6, 2010
Publisher:
Pocket Money Puffin
ISBN: 0743496728 
Pages: 33
Source: Inter-Library Loan (ILL)

Reasons for Reading: Going through Sarah Dessen withdrawals, I happened to see the title Infinity. When I saw that I could request the book through Inter-Library Loan, I did so.

Summary: A nameless heroine talks of going in circles. She now faces two daunting teen rites of passages. She can now drive. Will she be like her father and take on the town roundabout that long ago scared her mother? Also, Anthony, her boyfriend of six months, wants to make a home run. So, our heroine must decide when she wants to stop and when she wants to go on these endless lines.

One Thing I Learned from reading Sarah Dessen’s Infinity: This book was written in “British English” which made me wonder if Dessen wrote it that way or that the editor(s) added the extra “u” to certain words. 🙂

What I Liked: I liked that Dessen quickly drew me into the story. This sympathetic teenage girl faces these challenges. Also, she loves her mother even if she thinks the woman’s been silly about avoiding the roundabout. She’s sympathetic and likeable.

What I Disliked: This was way too short! I wanted to know more about the narrator. A name would have been most excellent! Come on, the silly boyfriend gets a name but she doesn’t? I also missed the references to characters from other Dessen books.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Make New Friends – YouTube

Setting : Unnamed College Town (Lakeview?)

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Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer’s Between the Lines


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer | LibraryThing

Picoult, J., & Leer, S. . (2012). Between the lines. New York: Simon Pulse/Emily Bestler Books/Atria. 9781451635751

Reasons for Reading: I attended the American Library Association Annual Conference last summer where I saw authors Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. This mother and daughter team wrote a book called Between the Lines which sounded very different from any other Picoult book I knew. When I returned to Houston, my mom and I requested this book from HCPL.

Summary: Quiet high school loner Delilah would rather read than contend with her fellow students. This is how she becomes immersed in the fairy tale “Between the Lines.” Delilah falls in love with the valiant hero, Prince Oliver. It’s as though he’s real!

Then, Prince Oliver DOES speak to Delilah. He’s a teenage actor confined to a storybook. More than anything, Prince Oliver wants to escape and live in the very real world of living, breathing love  – Delilah.  

So, these two work together so they can exist in the same world.

 What I Liked: The concept was awesomely original! I liked reading the pieces of “Between the Lines” as well as the perspectives of Delilah and Prince Oliver.  I appreciated the collaboration of the authors as well as the characters within the book. Lastly, the illustrations were beautiful.

What I Disliked: Without spoiling the end, I felt it was a little rushed. On the whole, I was satisfied with the conclusion but I found it bittersweet.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Plain White T’s – “Hey There Delilah” – YouTube

Places : United States

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Sarah Dessen’s This Lullaby


This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

Dessen, S. (2002). This lullaby: A novel. New York: Viking. 9781101175613

Reasons for Reading: When I discovered Sarah Dessen after seeing How to Deal back in 2005, I read all of her published books. I’ve kept an eye out for her books as they hit the bookstores and request them at the library. I read This Lullaby during this period. During Summer 2012, thanks to the wonderful Friends of Freeman Library’s support, I attended the American Library Association (ALA) Conference and entered my name into many drawings. I became the lucky owner of a Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet (compliments of ALA, Ebsco, and Barnes & Noble. Then, I perused  HCPL’s Digital Media Catalog and saw Dessen’s This Lullaby available for checkout. Thus, I reread it on my brand new Nook.

Summary:  Remy Starr gained much from her parents. From her late father, she was honored in the pop hit “This Lullaby” which she detests. She has also learned from her mother’s mistakes. As Remy plans her mother’s wedding to husband number five, she’s also plotting a clean break from her current boyfriend before she heads to Stanford University in the fall. Remy lives by the creed that relationships should be short-lived. As she pines for a fun last summer before college with her friends Jess, Lissa, and Chloe, sloppy musician Dexter doggedly pursues Remy. He’s sloppy, clumsy, and a musician – definitely not Remy’s Mr. Right. So, why can’t she get rid of this guy?

What I Liked: I liked the rich, dimensional characters Dessen creates. Imagining Dexter’s band, The Truth Squad, was simple. Even some of the over the top character such as Remy’s mother, romance novelist Barbara Starr, seemed natural. Also, it was nice getting to see Scarlett Thomas from Dessen’s Someone Like You.

What I Disliked: Both times I read This Lullaby, I had a hard time warming up to Remy. I thought she was a bit rough on people in general. Also, she was cynical enough to make me flinch. However, I appreciated her realizations by the end of the book.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Shawn Mullins – Lullaby – YouTube

Setting : Lakeview North Carolina, Palo Alto California

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Judy Blume’s Forever. . .


Blume, J. (1975). Forever: A novel. Scarsdale, N.Y: Bradbury Press 9780027110302

Reasons for Reading : I remember loving all the Judy Blume books I read as a child – Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Just As Long As We’re Together, etc. As I grew, I read Deenie and It’s Not the End of the World. When I read Wifey as a high school senior, the book scandalized me. From what everyone told me about Forever…, I decided not to try it until November 2011. I requested and checked it out from HCPL.

Summary: When Katherine meets Michael at a New Year’s Eve party thrown by best friend Erica’s cousin, she immediately catches his eye. Soon, the two high school seniors are dating and can’t get enough of each other. Michael wants to “go all the way” with Katherine. Ready for true love, Katherine agrees that their love is a “forever thing” . . . but is it really?

What I Liked : I wish Judy Blume had been my Life Science teacher. She doesn’t back away from the pros and cons of teen sex. The book even began with a note from Blume on how Forever… was published before HIV prevalence. The characters were identifiable, especially narrator Katherine.

What I Disliked : I didn’t care for Michael. I thought he pushed Katherine around the proverbial baseball diamond. Simply put, he pressured her into having sex with him.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: The Shirelles – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Setting : New Jersey

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Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation (Uncorrected Proof)


Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok | LibraryThing

Kwok, J. (2010). Girl in translation. (Uncorrected Proof).  New York: Riverhead Books. 9781594487569

When I attended a meeting at HCPL’s Administrative Office, many uncorrected proofs awaited new readers. I picked up half a dozen that day, including Girl in Translation. As I didn’t want to lose a library book between here and England, I took Girl in Translation with me.

Kimberly Chang and her mother leave behind Hong Kong to pursue the American Dream sometime in the 1980s. Since they know very little English, the Changs depend on Kimberly’s Aunt Paula. Aunt Paula installs them in a Brooklyn slum and in her sweatshop. Soon, Kimberly leads two lives – stellar student by day and Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. She struggles through squalor, deprivation, and a crushing crush on an underachieving boy at the factory; Kimberly also navigates the social strata in a preppy white world. Bridging cultural and generational gaps, Kimberly must be strong to “make it.”

Kwok clearly draws her characters, especially Kimberly and her mother. My favorite character was Mrs. Chang because she was an empathetic person. I despised Aunt Paula. Another amusing thing Kwok writes is how Kimberly hears certain English words. I won’t remark on what Kimberly actually asked her teacher for when she needed an eraser.

What I didn’t like about this story was the ending. Most of all, what happened to Kimberly’s best friend Annette in the conclusion? I missed Annette because I considered her an impetus in Kimberly’s education. While I found the deprivation believable, I couldn’t buy some of the other things. I’m sad to say I really didn’t enjoy this book.

Two Out of Five Pearls

Song: Spin Doctors – Two Princes – YouTube

Places : Hong Kong, New York City,

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Ann Brashares’ Sisterhood Everlasting


Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares | LibraryThing

Brashares, A. (2011). Sisterhood everlasting: A novel. New York: Random House. 9780385521222

A few years ago, I read all four of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books. Later, I read 3 Willows, perhaps an extension of the aforementioned series. When I recently stumbled upon Sisterhood Everlasting on Amazon, I quickly requested the book through HCPL.

Warning: This review is meant for those who have read all the previous novels ONLY.

Brashares picks up the story of the four best friends – Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget, ten years later. They’re all grown up and leading seperate lives. Carmen plays a character on a TV show and lives with her producer fiancé. Lena teaches art at RISD and wonders about what life would’ve been like had she been with Kostos. Bridget lives with her boyfriend Eric in San Francisco. When Tibby invites Lena, Carmen, and Bridget to a reunion in Greece, all the sisters are estatic. However, this is a moment which changes their lives irrevocably.   

While I found the climax of this book devastating, I read the whole book. When I made it to the last pages, I felt relieved. Still, I’m not crazy about some of things which took place. Perhaps I’m too fond of happy endings sans tragedy.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song : These are Days – YouTube (Natalie Merchant)

Places : New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Greece, Australia

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