RSS

Tag Archives: friendship

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“Once they were librarians, but that is a subject they will only discuss if heavily intoxicated.”

Since childhood, Celia and Marco have been trained to battle each other in a magical competition that neither is fully certain of all the rules. They are not even certain of each others identity. The venue, Le Cirque des Rêves, is a circus that is only open at night. As the battle continues to weave its way across the circus and those who call the circus home, it becomes clear that only one will remain standing.

The story is unique. I’ve read circus stories before but not with this premise and it is refreshing to find a different angle in a book that is getting a lot of press. However, the atmosphere is where it is at. From the beautiful language (Morgenstern had me as exsanguinated) and lush descriptions to the building romantic interests it grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go. The chapters are short so it also appeals to the reader who likes a quicker read and perhaps this is why it is such a successful book. It reaches several of the different appeal characteristics without seeming to sacrifice anything. While I don’t think it lives up to the hype (really what book can) it is a beautiful book. 2011, 387 pages

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Fantasy

 

Tags: , , , , ,

She Loves You, She Loves You Not… by Julie Anne Peters

Alyssa has always been pretty confident in who she is, even if she hid that from her family. What mattered most was that she had Sarah and nothing could come between them. So when Alyssa’s father discovers she’s a lesbian  in the worst possible way (in flagrante delicto) she is stunned to find herself disowned and living across the country with a mother she barely knows. Oh, and Sarah refuses to talk to her.

This is a strong coming of age story that doesn’t stick with the typical teen plot line. Instead it dives into the real and often conflicting and sometimes just crazy feelings of being a teen. Alyssa is obsessed with Sarah and is just starting to recognize that behavior in herself. The plot is moderate and her growth is steady throughout the book. In a young adult market full of angst and dark topics, Peters seems to have a knack for ferreting out the topics others don’t touch. 2011, 288 pages

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 2, 2011 in GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

Tags: , , , ,

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

“She thought about what Sebastian said about every life needing a little space, and how that leaves room for good things to enter.”

In Walls of Water, North Carolina strange things are afoot. Paxton Osgood, local good girl who still lives with her parents and is the president of the Women’s Society Club has everyone fooled that she can do anything. Renovations on the stunning Blue Ridge Madam into a B&B are almost complete and Paxton is determined to have the 75th anniversary of the club celebration there.

Willa Jackson, part of the Jackson family that used to own the Blue Ridge Madam, has returned to Walls of Water and is trying to lead a quiet life that her father would have been proud of. Her reputation as a prankster in high school follows her constantly. When a body is found under a peach tree on the grounds of the mansion, Paxton and Willa join forces to find out the identity of the body and perhaps find a way to break out of the self-made molds they are living in.

Sarah Addison Allen has become an automatic purchase for me. As my first boss and queen of readers’ advisory taught me-there are some books that you just know you want to read again in retirement. Indeed. Allen wraps together an intriguing mystery with raw, emotional characters with a touch of magic in a southern package that is hard to resist. Light, easy and by the end you usually have a happy sigh and want to eat a cupcake. Did I really just say that? Yes, yes I did. That is the ultimate compliment I can pay to an author. Peach Keeper isn’t her best but the elements that have garnered her many fans are there. 2011, 288 pages.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 11, 2011 in General Fiction

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Intimates by Ralph Sassone

“At least he and Maize had each other. If they didn’t have romance or jobs or money or position or good housing just yet, they had their friendship. Friendship and company while they flailed.”

Robbie and Maize have been friends since high school when a brief romantic encounter gave way to friendship with the realization that Robbie was gay. After losing touch in college, the two are reunited and become fast friends sharing everything and living together as they struggle with what they imagined their life to be versus reality.

 
This book is the oddest little thing. Robbie and Maize are the best of friends yet their friendship is defined by so many moments of this reader going, what? I’d never do that to my friends or seriously? You care that little? Each character “thought” wonderful things about the other but their actions rarely transferred that affection into reality. The moments of the book that hit home were the individual reflections on the status of their life. You know, when you find yourself not settled down or not secure in a job when the rest of your peers are. Life doesn’t seem to be working quite right and it is in those moments that friendship shines through. Not a quick read despite its slim size. 2011, 247 pages.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 24, 2011 in General Fiction

 

Tags: , , , ,

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

“Larry lay thinking of Silas, how time packs new years over the old ones but how those old years are still in there, like the earliest, tightest rings centering a tree, the most hidden, enclosed in darkness and shielded from weather. But then a saw screams in and the tree topples and the circles are stricken by the sun and the sap glistens and the stump is laid open for the world to see.”

Larry and Silas grew up as secret friends in the small town of Chabot Mississippi. Larry the son of a poor white family, Silas or “32” the son of a single black woman who lived on the property of Larry’s family. Their friendship is split apart by a racial slur and Silas goes on to be a popular, accomplished student who goes off to college. When the girl of Larry’s dreams doesn’t ever return from their first date, Larry is quickly labeled a murderer and is ostracized by the community-even with no proof he committed any crime. When a second girl disappears years later Larry is again under scrutiny and Silas has returned home as an officer of the law to investigate.

This novel is positively dripping in Southern literary style. Listen to the languid rhythms and cadences of the poor and rural south as you read. While it is a thriller the setting and the sad and dark tone force the reader to slow down as to take it all in. The characters of Larry and Silas are well-developed and flashbacks between the present and the past provide an intimate, visceral portrait into the mysteries of friendship, hope and redemption. I couldn’t put it down. 2010, 272 pages.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 8, 2011 in General Fiction

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Demongalss: A Hex Hall Novel by Rachel Hawkins

I love it when I get to read a book I really want to read before it’s release date. Neener, neener! I’m such a professional…

Demonglass picks up where Hex Hall left off. Sophie has just learned that she is a demon. A demon? A creature so vile and prone to destruction that there is only one other demon in the world-her long absent father. Concern that her epic powers will cause harm to those she loves Sophie travels to London to go through the removal-the procedure that will destroy her powers but may also very well destroy her.  As she spends time getting to know her father and more about the magical community she knows little about, Sophie starts to question is her choice is the right one. Oh, and Archer-the crush/assassin from book one? Surely, she still doesn’t have any feelings for him anymore…right? 

The second book in the series sets a darker tone than the first but the snark is still there and readers’ will continue to be amused at Sophie’s gangling through her new magical world and powers.  2011, 359 pages.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Young Adult

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Imagine Nicholas Sparks has a daughter and decides to send her off to a French boarding school to expand her horizons. Tough gig, right? Anna thinks so. She would much rather spend her senior year in Atlanta with her best friend the hot coworker she just kissed.  Slowly Anna adjusts to a new life and friends in Paris including Etienne, the really cute, funny and completely attached guy she finds herself spending more and more time with.

I admit, I didn’t want to read this book. The reviews were always so peppy and excited and when our teen librarian gushed on about it I grew even more worried. I don’t do sappy.  (sorry Sarah)  What I found when I read the book was that while the starting premise was somewhat outrageous (don’t we all want to spend a year in Paris), it didn’t rule the plot.  The story was full of Parisian culture, the power of friendship and characters that felt like you’ve known them for years. The building of the story and the relationships was authentic and much less angsty than I’m used to in a young adult novel.  The allure of being on the cusp of adulthood with the freedom of a foreign city without parents will be intoxicating for many readers.  2010, 372 pages.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Young Adult

 

Tags: , , , ,