Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Synopsis from Goodreads: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
My Review: This book was fascinating. It takes place during a twenty-four hour period of time, beginning a few hours before the car accident and ending the next morning. It only covers a short time period, it's written in such a way that we learn all about Mia's life. The author takes the reader back in time with flashbacks as Mia is remembering her life. I loved this execution. It helped to build so many layers as Mia struggles with the decision that will impact the rest of her life, should she stay or should she let go?
The best part for me was the fact that, as the reader, you had no idea what Mia was going to choose until the very end, when she actually does. I was gripped right from the beginning and I couldn't let go until I knew how it ended. It almost didn't matter to me what she chose, I just needed to know what it the choice was. Though, I must say I really liked how it ended.
The only negative thing about the book was how liberal Mia's parents were. It wasn't even that they were liberal, I found that to be refreshing, but I felt it was unrealistic that Mia would have a boyfriend who would spend the night when she was still in high school. Especially since her Dad has transitioned from a rocker to a 'traditional' father figure over the past few years...and yet he lets his daughter's boyfriend spend the night in her bed? It just didn't sit well with me. For that reason, I can't give the book a 5 star, but it's a high 4 for me.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Author: Terra Elan McVoy
Synposis from Goodreads: Promise. Betrayal. Confession. Revenge.
Tabitha and her four best friends all wear purity rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made years ago. Now Tab is fifteen, and her ring has come to mean so much more. It's a symbol of who she is and what she believes—a reminder of her promises to herself, and her bond to her friends. But when Tab meets a boy whose kisses make her knees go weak, everything suddenly seems a lot more complicated. Tab's best friend, Morgan, is far from supportive, and for the first time, Tabitha is forced to keep secrets from the one person with whom she's always shared everything. When one of those secrets breaks to the surface, Tab finds herself at the center of an unthinkable betrayal that splits her friends apart. As Tab's entire world comes crashing down around her, she's forced to re-examine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure.
My Review: Based on the synopsis of Pure, I was expecting an intense religious message, and though the main character is a devout Christian and they do talk about their beliefs, it isn't thrown down your throats. Or at least it doesn't feel like it.
Tabitha has made a promise with her four best friends that she will stay pure, a virgin, until marriage. But when she finds out that one of her best friends has broken that promise, without regrets, her world is turned upside down as the friends turn on each other. Tabitha is then forced to ask herself what it really means to be pure and what she truly believes.
I loved that Tabitha didn't sit back and let her friends dictate what she should believe, particularly her friend, Morgan. They were twelve when they made the promise and donned their rings for the first time, and though twelve year old is more than capable of understanding what they just did, Tabitha did it more because her friends were doing it and she wanted to be a part of it all. Now that she's fifteen, it would be easy to go with the flow still, but when Morgan and Naeomi turn their backs on Cara for a decision she made, it just doesn't settle with Tabitha. It feels wrong to her. To me, that makes perfect sense. Through Tabitha's own research, she is reminded of the greatest of all commandments which is to love others as thou would love thyself. You don't have to agree with a friend's decision, but you don't have to shun them either. When we love someone, we love them for who they are, not what they do/did.
For me, that was the greatest message of the book. I would definitely recommend this to teenagers and their parents, especially to parents who are finding it difficult to address this issue with their own teenagers. It can help break the ice and lead the way for discussions.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.