26 June 2015

Great Reads – Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

It has been a very long time since a book has sent me this kind of emotional journey. Sure, I laugh out loud at the antics of Stephanie Plum and I get misty eyed when hearts get broken during a good read, but Wendy Mills took me way beyond. I was actually sobbing at one point. The dust jacket says,

“Summoning courage she never knew she had. Erin embarks on a journey from the depths of frustration and despair to the heights of freedom and acceptance in a thought-provoking story about life, death, and difficult choices along the way.”

The reader must also summon some courage. This story is, in a word, ok, two words -- gut wrenching. Positively Beautiful carefully crafts Erin's story and where it could easily become maudlin, Erin and her mother dig deep and find strength in the their love for one another. It's lovely and heartbreaking. Make sure you have you the tissue nearby.

12 June 2015

Great Reads - Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers

This may be my absolute favorite of my winter reads, but I certainly didn’t think that at the beginning of this adventure, and I do mean adventure. Above all, Inherit Midnight is an adventure story. The story follows 17-year old Avery, the black sheep of an obscenely wealthy family who was raised by her grandmother, the family matriarch. Avery's grandmother decides that instead leaving her heirs to squabble over her will, she’s going to give it all away before she goes. She creates a worldwide scavenger hunt through the family’s history. The competition includes three cousins that have never had much use for Avery, and vice versa; her half-brother, whom she doesn’t really know; and two uncles, who will stop at nothing including sabotaging their own children. After each event, an heir is eliminated. Last heir standing gets it all. One word of caution – don’t give up on this story. I thought it started rather slowly and almost walked away not once, but twice. Sticking around was definitely worth it.

05 June 2015

I'm Reading - Renée Watson's This Side of Home

This Side of Home is a story of growth and change. Nikki and Maya are identical twins each of which has always functioned as one-half of a whole unit. They are now high school seniors. Looking forward to moving away from home and going to college, together. But a lot can change in a year. As the sisters’ paths diverge, they learn that they are whole individuals and that their familial bond is not lessened by that fact. Just the opposite, Watson has set the story in neighborhood undergoing gentrification, so their family relationships are the most stable thing about the story. Everything else is shifting around them, their friends, their community, their futures.