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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Wendy Mass’ Willow Falls/Birthdays Series


11 Birthdays, Finally, and 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass | eBranch Harris County Public Library

11 Birthdays, Finally,
and 13 Gifts by
Wendy Mass |
eBranch Harris County
Public Library

Mass, W., & McInerney, K. (2010). 11 birthdays. New York, NY: Scholastic Audiobooks. 9780545202787

 Mass, W., McInerney, K., & Scholastic Audio-Visual. (2011). Finally. New York: Scholastic Audiobooks. 9780545353984

 Mass, W., McInerney, K., & Scholastic Audio-Visual. (2011). 13 gifts. New York: Scholastic Audio. 9780545354073

Reasons for Reading:  When I sought an audiobook I could download to my iPhone Overdrive app, I first found and downloaded 13 Birthdays. Realizing this book was the third in the series, I checked it in and found the first book in Wendy Mass’ Birthday Series, 11 Birthdays with the HCPL Digital Media – eAudio, supported by Overdrive.

Summary: The first book, 11 Birthdays, is mostly narrated by Amanda, one of Willow Falls’ denizen. Her former best friend, Leo, was born on the same day. Each year, these two have celebrated their birthdays together. When they had a falling out at their tenth birthday, Amanda and Leo haven’t spoken to each other. Amanda keeps reliving the day of her eleventh birthday. Will she ever see tomorrow?  

The next book, Finally, is narrated by Rory (the girl) Swenson, a classmate of Amanda and Leo’s, and this book happens a year after 11 Birthdays. Ever since Rory can remember, she’s longed to be twelve years old. Why? Well, that’s when her parents say Rory can:

  • Get her ears pierced
  • Go to the mall with her friends
  • Babysit her next door neighbor
  • Ride in the front seat
  • Have a cell phone
  • Wear makeup

However, when she turns twelve, Rory has her own special series of misadventures as she becomes the whipping girl of Murphy’s Law.

The third book, 13 Gifts, is narrated by shy wallflower Tara. When she attempts to steal the school mascot so she can sit with the cool kids at lunch, her parents decide that she won’t get to go on her parents’ summer trip to Madagascar. Instead, Tara is sent away to Willow Falls to stay with her aunt, uncle, and cousin Emily for the summer. What a way to spend your thirteenth birthday!

What I Liked : I liked these kids and I liked the wonder generated by the magical elements in all of these books. The kids wanted to do the right thing and they’re very kind. A nice, realistic touch was the fact that there was Rory the girl (a major character in the second and third books) and Rory the boy. What school doesn’t have boys and girls with the same name?

Also, they’re young enough that these books don’t venture into PG-13 or above territory. I found the first and third books to be really strong.

What I Disliked: While I liked Rory, I wasn’t so crazy about her book Finally. I am not a parent but her parents’ concept of making “12” this special age where their daughter eventually gets to do things really seems wrong. This just didn’t seem very loving to me. Couldn’t they have let her do things gradually? Also, I hated how this poor kiddo always had the absolute worst thing happen to her. Was Mass hating on her or what?

Another thing brought to my attention by another blogger was that these kids seem to lie a lot.

Lastly, the woman of magic, Angelina, is sorta scary!

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Happy Birthday Song

Setting: Willow Falls

You might also like:

  • Ingrid Law’s Savvy
  • Judy Blume’s Just as Long as We’re Together
  • Louis Sacher’s Holes
For more on Wendy Mass’ Birthday Series, please check out the following links:

Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | LibraryThing

Chbosky, S. (1999). The perks of being a wallflower. New York: Pocket Books. 9780671027346

Reasons for Reading : The first time I heard about The Perks of Being a Wallflower was in library school. Stephen Chbosky’s work was banned by the Library Patrons of Texas. I hadn’t thought much about it until I saw that a movie based on the book would come out later in 2012. Thus, I requested and checked out the book from HCPL.

Summary : Assuming the alias “Charlie,” a troubled high school freshman writes letters to an unnamed friend, starting in the 1991. Through these rather intimate letters, Charlie describes his family, his teacher Bill who assigns extra essays to write, his senior friends, Patrick and Sam[antha], and his late Aunt Helen.

What I Liked : Nothing was sugarcoated in this book. Actually, it was pretty raw stuff. The characters were original and realistic.

What I Disliked : Maybe it was necessary for Chbosky to set this in the early 1990s. Yet, it would’ve appealed more if it had been set around the time it was published – 1999. Also, I somber read and not for those looking for some gentle literature.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: The Smiths – Asleep – YouTube

Setting : Pittsburgh, PA

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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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