Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Common Evil by Vivian Vande Velde

Again another book that sounded interested from another blogger. I had high hopes for this book.

This novel combines two periods in French history-the 1940s and the early 1300s. Lisette Beaucaire, 13, is sent to live in the country with her aunt, since food is scarce in Paris, which is overrun by German soldiers. Although she dreads spending time with her bratty cousin Cecile, Lisette is even more dismayed to discover that her aunt is hiding Jewish and gypsy children from the Nazis. As Lisette and the children practice what to do if the Nazis arrive unexpectedly, she begins to understand the seriousness of the situation. Then she encounters the ghost of Gerard, a young knight who died in 1314. At first he is merely a spirit but gradually he becomes solid and real-and a friend. In an exciting climax, Gerard helps Lisette save the younger children from the Nazis.

There are so many rave reviews for this book that I am wondering if I missed something. I found the book interesting and well written to a certain point. I was confused about Gerard, with no real reason was given for him being there and his background was a little confusing to me.

The historical part for France was good to read about, a time that affected all ages and it is sad to think about what the little ones had to endure in the 1940's. The ending I felt was rushed and abrupt.

Monday, October 25, 2010

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together 20 years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used book dealer in London. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that will grab your heart and not let go.

A quick read that I found charming, it put a smile on my face so many times. I could just picture Helene's apartment with the bookshelves and piles of books. I have a used book store close by that I just love to wander through. Though you can't wander too much, the shelves are so close together and l am thankful the last time I was there, my son was with me to catch the pile that also toppled over when I wanted a book from the bottom of the pile. So many treasures waiting for someone to find them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

if I stay by gayle forman

I am going to have to do a better job of keeping track where I find out about the YA books that I read. I very rarely go into a book store these days since I have discovered online places so much cheaper. Unless I find something that looks interested at the local Goodwill and other thrift shops.

"what would you do if you had to choose?"

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.

When I started this book I didn't really have high hopes. I found the dialogue in the first 10 pages or so, rough and it left me wondering what the rest of the book would be like. All that quickly changes after the accident. From that point on jumping back and forth in time, the story just flowed together smoothly. The dialogue was so much better and realistic. I felt for so many people throughout this book, (Mia, her future, Kim, her best friend, Adam, the boyfriend and even the grandparents)

This book was one that I had to finish asap just to see what decision Mia would make. It reminded me of 13 Reasons Why for the basic reason that I somehow wanted something to happen to change the story, which I knew was impossible.

And the good news is that there is a sequel called Where She Went to be released next year.