Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Read Wednesday

If you find me
Carey lives in a broken down camper in the middle of the forest with her little sister, Jessa, and occasionally, her mom. Her mom is a meth-addict who stole them from Carey's dad, presumably because he abused all of them. Jessa is selectively mute, from an incident that happened one night when their mom was gone. One day, her mom leaves for good, sending a letter that she can no longer care for the girls. The authorities show and whisk them away to Carey's dad, who is maybe not what she thought. There is, of course, an adjustment period to this new life, as Carey learns to live as a normal teenage girl. While this book was good, it could have been great. I understand that as a YA book, the author didn't want to delve too deeply into child abuse. Yet, I felt that a LOT was glossed over, so much that very few of the characters were developed as fully as they could have been. Good story but could have been better.

Boxers & Saints Boxed Set
This is the graphic novel story of the Boxer Rebellion. It is brilliantly executed. One story is told by Little Bao, who channels the gods of old to form a band to strike back against the "foreign devils" whom he thinks are here to steal his native land. The other is told by Four-Girl, christened Vibiana who runs away from her family after converting to Christianity. The two sides of the Rebellion, told by these two characters, creates a beautiful story that leaves you able to see both sides from a rational point-of-view. I read Boxers first and would probably recommend that because Saints goes a little further into the story, but I would definitely suggest both!

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel
This book reached into my chest and tore out my heart. This is not a happy book, but it is beautifully rendered. I would, first of all, not read any reviews on this book. Fortunately, I did not before reading but after reading looked at a few, and they definitely give away a major plot point that is better left unknown until you are reading.
Eileen wants better for herself. She is picky with men, to the consternation of her friends and family. Then she meets Ed Leary and marries him, despite her once upon a time wish to rid herself of her Irish last name. As time goes on, Eileen learns that Ed doesn't dream as big as she does, is okay with just a teaching position, is okay with living in the same apartment in which they've always lived. This is a long novel. You follow the Leary family through most of their lives, and you become attached. You feel their sorrow--and there is a great deal of sorrow--and occasional joys. I cried at the end. The characters were real and just as frustrating as real people are... and you so badly want them to have the most in life, even when it's clear that won't happen.

What are you reading?


Barb Ruess said...

Well with a review like that I had to add We Are Not Ourselves to my "to read" list before commenting.

This week I read:
- The Sisters Brothers: Charlie & Eli Sisters are hired assassins in the old west, specifically during the California Gold Rush. They are so good that just their name strikes fear in people. Narrated by the younger brother who seems to have conflicted emotions about his lifestyle - emotions that conveniently disappear when he is violent. The story itself was interesting (chasing after a man with a new secret way to get gold from the river) and the inner story of the narrator was also interesting. I'm glad I found this book.

- More Than This: And my head is still spinning a day after finishing it. I really wasn't expecting such an engaging, well written book. Loved it.

One crazed mommy said...

I'm a little over halfway done with honestly don't even know how to describe this book. It pulls you in, is heartbreaking at times to read, makes you want to beat some people to a pulp, hold others close to your heart, and last night as I was reading my heart was literally hammering in my chest due to the suspense...I don't know what to expect at the ending, but I don't regret picking this one up.

Lyndsay W said...

Ha! I too had to go request 'We are not ourselves' before commenting.

This week was all about books recommended by you/Sarah/Barb.

Started and finished 'The Storied Life of AJ Fikry' within 24 hours - loved it.

And now I'm reading 'Whistling Past the Graveyard' - I'm excited to get on a plane tomorrow and have 3 uninterrupted hours with it!

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

I just picked up a stack of books from the library yesterday- 3 of them are brand new. So exciting! So, I read What Alice Forgot and liked it. For book club we read Walk Two Moons and I'm surprised I'd never read it before. So great. Now I'm reading A Man Called Ove.

InTheFastLane said...

Adding several of those books now....
Currently reading Landline. But I have gotten so behind and tired by the time I have reading time, that I had to buy it for my kindle, because my library time was up and others wanted it.

Have The Steady Running of the Hour and California on my bedside table...waiting for me.

Unknown said...

I am reading Summer House With Swimming Pool right now. It has definitely hooked me in.

Theresa Mahoney said...

If You Find Me- I don't understand why they would gloss the situation over, but then again, I tend to not shelter my kids from much. I used my own sisters meth addiction as a teaching tool for my girls, and maybe the author should have realized that teens know a lot more than we give them credit for. Especially when information is readily available with a few clicks of a mouse.