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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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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Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s Haters


Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez | LibraryThing

Valdes-Rodriguez, A., & Parker, J. (2006). Haters. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books. 9781428122031

Reasons for Reading Right before Easter break, I needed a short audiobook to keep me company on my way home from work. That’s when I noticed Haters on the shelf in the Teen Zone. So, I checked it out from HCPL.

Summary High schooler Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta (“Paski”) lives with her graphic artist father in Taos, New Mexico. Nearby lives her grandma, a well-to-do psychic who communicates with the dead. Paski rides her mountain bike, hangs out with her best friend, and just began dating the cutest guy. Then, her dad drops the bomb; Hollywood picked up his graphic novels for movies and they’re moving to California. This news makes Paski miserable. Adding to her agony, Paski falls for the hottest guy at her new school, Chris Cabrera. He just happens to date Jessica Nguyen, the reigning queen of the Haters. To top it off, Paski must also deal with her own psychic abilities.

What I Liked: The fact that this was Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s first young adult novel left me amazed. She created identifiable characters, particularly Paski, and such a rich understanding of teen life. I completely believed the portrayal of her dad, too.

What I Disliked I absolutely loathe “abridgements.” Once I realized the audio happened to be such, I asked myself if I had truly read the book. Then, I requested the print edition and found several details didn’t make it onto the CDs. Seriously, abridged books should be illegal.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: GWEN STEFANI – RICH GIRL VIDEO – OFFICIAL – YouTube

Setting : Taos New Mexico, Orange County California

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Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley confidential: Ten years later


Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal | LibraryThing

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal | LibraryThing

Pascal, F. (2011). Sweet Valley confidential: Ten years later. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 9780312667573

Reasons for Reading : I read the Sweet Valley books when I was in upper-elementary school. While I didn’t consider these books the most edifying literature, I enjoyed the adventures of twin sisters, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. My favorites were The Wakefields of Sweet Valley and The Wakefield Legacy: The Untold Story, which told of the twins’ ancestors. Maybe this foreshadowed my interest in genealogy.

Summary: Creator Francine Pascal revisits the world of Sweet Valley. Everyone is a decade older than when they were last seen. Now, the Wakefield twins aren’t on speaking terms. Elizabeth is pursuing her dream of journalism in New York and avoiding Jessica, who betrayed her. What did Jessica do that pushed the normally merciful and loving Elizabeth away from Sweet Valley? Oh, she just fell into bed with Elizabeth high school sweetheart – Todd Wilkins. Can Elizabeth ever get over such a betrayal?

What I Liked : It was good to see these characters from my girlhood. While I didn’t dislike Jessica, Elizabeth was always my favorite.  

Also, I liked seeing storylines resolved.

What I Disliked : Pascal seemed to think that since this was a book for “adults,” that she needed to make the characters drink, curse, and have lots of sex with various partners. I could understand that Elizabeth was mad at Jessica but she seemed just vile in this book. Oh, and did Alice Wakefield really need to drop the “f-bomb” at grandma’s birthday dinner at the country club?

Then, there were some spelling/grammar errors throughout the book.

One Out of Five Pearls (My lowest rating yet!)

Song: Sweet Valley High (Full Theme Song) by Kathy Fisher – YouTube

Setting : Sweet Valley, California & New York City

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Stephanie Perkins’ Lola and the Boy Next Door


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins | LibraryThing

Perkins, S. (2011). Lola and the boy next door. New York, N.Y: Dutton Books. 9780525423287

Reasons for Reading  – Reading Anna and the French Kiss left me wanting …So, I requested Stephanie Perkins’ second novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door from HCPL.

Summary: Lola wishes for three things in life – 1) To arrive at her winter formal dressed in a Marie Antoinette-inspired ballgown she created, 2) For her parents to approve of her older, rocker boyfriend, and 3) To never again see the Bell Twins, Calliope and Cricket. Yet, as she constructs her fantastic costume, her folks won’t approve of her boyfriend Max, and the Bell Twins return to the house next door. Now, Lola can no longer avoid old feelings for Cricket, the boy next door. With a great set of colorful characters, Lola endeavors to navigate these troubled waters.

Review: I got a kick out of most of the characters in this books. I enjoyed their quirks and their extraordinary talents – Lola’s costume design, Cricket’s inventions, Calliope’s ice skating, etc. I also liked seeing Anna and St. Clair from Perkins’ first novel – Anna and the French Kiss. The only thing I didn’t care for about Lola and the Boy Next Door was Lola’s very mature relationship with her boyfriend Max. I thought Max was a real jerk and felt he knew better than to pursue a relationship with a minor. Nonetheless, all of this was real enough with just a dash of girlhood fantasy. 

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: “Lola”- The Kinks – YouTube

Setting : San Francisco

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Jorie’s Top Ten Books of 2011


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

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These are 10 books I enjoyed reading the most in 2011.

1. Kathryn Stockett’s The Help

2. Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for real: A little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and back

3. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

4. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire

5. Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

6. Michael Connelly’s The Reversal (fourth in the series)

7. Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love

8. Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss

9. Caroline B. Cooney’s What Child is This? A Christmas Story

10. Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | LibraryThing

Perkins, S. (2010). Anna and the French kiss. New York: Dutton. 9780525423270

Reasons – Okay, I gave into peer pressure. The bloggers, my colleagues, and other authors raved about Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. Of course, I had to read it. Lucky for me, it wasn’t walking off a cliff 🙂 . So, I requested the book from HCPL.

High school senior Anna Oliphant finds herself uprooted from her comfortable, Atlanta life and at the School of America – Paris (SOAP). “What the heck?” she wonders. Soon, though, Anna makes friends and meets the charismatic, handsome St. Clair. These two hit it off immediately. Oh, no, he’s got a girlfriend. Anna struggles to achieve a balance between friendship and desire in the City of Love.

Brava, Stephanie Perkins. This book totally rocked. She knew her characters well and the writing is so smooth that I felt as though I were viewing a movie. I remember those mean girls from my K-12 days, too. They would’ve called me a skunk, too, if my hair were as cool as Anna’s.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Coldplay – Violet Hill – YouTube

Setting : Paris, Atlanta, San Francisco

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