December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

For my new year's resolution this year, I will be broadening my reading horizons. I am fully aware that my interests lie mostly in YA fiction (which I won't be giving up completely). It's too addicting and great things are happening in this area, but for 2012 I will make more of a conscious effort to read authors and genres outside of my comfort level. If anyone wants to suggest anything for me to try, I'm listening!

December 28, 2011

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner

On the brink of their 30s, three friends go “looking for insight into what to do next” in their lives.  During a ten day vacation in South America they start to fantasize about traveling the world together.  Once back in their fast-paced New York City careers, the round-the-world trip starts to become more and more a potential reality.  After much talk and planning Amanda, Holly, and Jennifer make the rather rebellious decision to ditch their jobs, boyfriends, apartments, and really any responsibilities to take a year-long trip to cross the globe.  From Peru to Cambodia to New Zealand and many countries in between the girls, writing in alternate chapters, reflect on ongoing arguments, brief hook-ups, maniacal cabbies, and the uncertainty of their futures.  I really enjoyed this book for the travel writing, I was constantly following the girls on Google Images, plus I found their 20-something uncertainty relatable.  Who doesn’t want to drop everything and explore the world?!  For those of you in a position to do so the Lost Girls have provided some ­help. 

December 16, 2011

R.J. Anderson's Ultraviolet

Alison Jeffries wakes up hazy and confused in the psychiatric unit of a local hospital with no recollection of the past two weeks.  Alison thinks her worst nightmare has come true and her mother has finally locked her away for the things Alison sees but must not talk about.  While being transferred to a psychiatric treatment center by a police officer, Alison learns of the disappearance of a classmate.  Tori Beaugrand has been missing since June 7th, the same day Alison was admitted to the hospital.  Faint, disjointed memories keep coming back to Alison and she starts to believe she is the reason for Tori’s disappearance.  Specifically, Alison believes she has killed Tori because she watched Tori disintegrate.  During her involuntary stay at the psych hospital she begins working with Dr. Faraday who puts a name to the special senses Alison experiences, synesthesia.  She finally begins to understand herself and the unusual way she can taste peoples’ lies, see sounds, and smell noises.  She can also finally trust someone, that is, until the hospital finds out Dr. Faraday isn’t who he claims to be.  This is where the novel takes an unexpected turn which might turn a few people away however I think the author made up for it in the end.  I really enjoyed this book for its psychological aspects plus it was a nice change of pace from my usual paranormal selections.  Look up synesthesia and find out if you are a synesthete! 

December 5, 2011

Ellen Hopkins' Perfect

In Perfect, four high school seniors are bombarded with all kinds of pressure to be the perfect person they each believe they should be.  Everyone remembers what high school was like, Perfect, is an intense version.  Hopkins immediately makes the perfect point (no pun intended) that what one person believes is perfect is far from what another believes.  

“To each his own, the saying goes, so why push to attain an ideal state of being that no two random people will agree is where you want to be?”  

Perfect follows these four seniors and chronicles how they deal (or don’t deal) with the intense pressure to be someone else.  Some of these issues may affect us all in some way or another: eating disorders, depression, rape, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, race, it keeps going.  Perfect is written in Hopkins’ customary style: verse plus alternating viewpoints, so it may not be for everyone however it is definitely a book worth reading.  I really appreciated the Author’s Note in the back of the book as well.  I would recommend reading that first.