Monday, July 25, 2011

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff

Publication date: January 26, 1989 (Grove/Atlantic)

I’ll be honest; normally I would never pick this book up on my own. The only reason I read it was because it was one of the options on a required reading assignment as part of my AP English summer assignment. I figured I would just read it for the homework and that I wouldn’t actually like it.

Boy was I wrong.

This memoir is about the gypsy, for the lack of a better word,  life of Tobias Wolff (who later adopts the name Jack) and his mother. After his mother got a divorce from his father, Tobias and his mother are always going from city to city, looking for a good life. At one point, the two meet Dwight who would later become Tobias’ step father.
The book mainly chronicles Tobias’ adolescent life in the town of Chinook. Wolff not only tells us what he did, thought, and felt at the time, but, on occasion, he also tells us what he thought when he recalled the event years later.

For the most part, I liked the book. I wouldn’t say I loved it but I enjoyed reading it. Wolff does an amazing job painting an image of not only himself but all the others in the book. I could understand how he felt, his thoughts, everything. Wolff does an amazing job of bringing characters to life, allowing readers to hate Dwight, sympathize for his mother, understand Arthur’s motives, etc, etc.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was how it got a bit confusing at times. Not to mention the occasional off topic tangents.

All in all, it’s a good book and I suggest it to those who are into reading memoirs and/or non-fiction.

(3.5 out of 5)
~ SynysterShadows

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7/13/2011): The Predicteds by Christine Seifert

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
Publication date: September 1st, 2011 

From Goodreads: 

Daphne is the new girl in town and is having trouble fitting in. At least she has Jesse... sort of. He wants to be more than "just friends," but there's something he's not telling her about his past. Something dangerous. When a female student is brutally attacked, police turn to PROFILE, a new program that can predict a student's capacity for drug use, pregnancy, and violent behavior, to solve the case. As the witch hunt ensues, Daphne is forced to question her feelings for Jesse-and what she will do if her first love turns out to be a killer.
- Tabbyc

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Publication date: July 12th, 2011 (Simon Pulse)
Source: Simon & Schuster eGalley
Hannah is anticipating a perfectly normal summer, until she attends a fellow classmates party and things start to fall apart. She loses her boyfriend to a sophomore and her best friend announces she’s going away when she needs her the most. Sensing that Hannah is struggling with things, aforementioned best friend asks her own boyfriend to keep an eye on her, not expecting it to come back to bite her.

I was super excited to see this tacked onto the bottom of my Galley Grab newsletter. I think the cover is cute and the plot sounded pretty good. I expected to enjoy this -

But I didn’t. At first I thought that I would like the way it flopped from past to present, but it only managed to whisk away the element of surprise. The first hundred or so pages were really slow for me. Only when the truth about what happened between Hannah and Ava’s boyfriend comes to light did it even begin to be remotely interesting.

Not much can be said about the characters, as we aren’t really given a chance to get to know them. I know they all have relationship issues, though, and Hannah is a major drama queen. I do kind of get why she was attracted to Noah, as he seemed to be a good guy.

I was definitely caught off-guard with the ending. I was angry, because I thought I had been jipped a few pages; it was that abrupt. Then I thought, “Well maybe there’s going to be a sequel,” because I do have some unanswered questions. I can’t find mentions of a sequel anywhere.

Bottom line: Lauren went through a lot just to tell us that stuff happens and that we have to find a way to deal with it. This book does have mixed reviews, so you might want to check it out for yourself and tell us what you think. 

(2.5 out of 5)
- Tabbyc

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (7/6/2011): Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Publication date: July 21st, 2011 (Razorbill/Penguin)

I’ve never been one for mythological stories but upon reading this blurb, I was intrigued. There is the cliche factor of having to make a life changing decision but the fact that it involves a siren is a new spin. This will certainly be an interesting book to pick up.

From Goodreads:
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

~ SynysterShadows