Category Archives: you think you’ve got problems?

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

100 sideways milesEver the sucker for a cool book cover, it only took one glance at this book for me to decide I *had* to read it.  The fact that I loved Winger, also by Andrew Smith, certainly didn’t hurt.  I have to admit, though, that I had a hard time getting into this story at first.  Perhaps I was just too tired to “get it,” since I do most of my pleasure reading at bedtime, but I felt myself getting kinda lost in the beginning.  It reminded me of how I felt when I read The Marbury Lens — which makes a lot of sense, considering the fact that Andrew Smith also wrote that book.  In the beginning, there were a few moments where I thought to myself, “Wait!  Was that supposed to be the ‘real’ Finn or the character [also named Finn] from his dad’s book?”  In hindsight, I guess it may have been written like that on purpose, since Finn often felt trapped in his father’s story, but it made me feel a little crazy not to know what was going on!  Fortunately, things got less confusing and everything fell (more or less) into place by the end of the story.
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Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

once was lostIt’s always fun to escape real life in the pages of a book, and I find it somehow more satisfying to read a book about a sweltering summer heat wave when I’m living through a snow-filled winter storm.  Add that to the fact that all of Sara Zarr’s books are pretty darn amazing, and you have a fantastic reason to read this book right now!
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The F- It List by Julie Halpern

f-it_listI read this book in early fall, but I felt like it would make a good January post.  You know, with people making New Year’s resolutions about living their best lives and all?  After almost losing my father in September, this book really resonated with me.  I know it sounds super cliché, but both my real life experience and this book reminded me of just how short life can be — and how often we waste our time and energy on things that don’t even truly matter.  Sometimes, you just have to say “F- IT!”   Continue reading

Croak by Gina Damico

croakI don’t know if this makes me crazy/strange, but I just HAD to hold off on reviewing this book so that it could be my 666th post!  What better way to celebrate this milestone than with a book with a modern day grim reaper on the cover?  ;-)   (Sadly, it seems that my WP dashboard and the message I got after posting my last review disagree on how many posts I’ve previously posted… so this could potentially be my 667th post, but I’m just gonna pretend it’s my 666th post anyway!) Continue reading

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

naturalsThough it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched TV on a regular basis, I have to admit that I used to be absolutely obsessed with true crime shows like Law & Order and Criminal Minds.  I could seriously binge-watch Criminal Intent like it was my job.  So, I was thrilled to discover that this story was basically an extended episode of Criminal Intent with teenage trainees thrown in the mix!  This story also reminded me quite a bit of the Jasper Dent books because Cassie was so much like Jasper — she was unbelievably good at reading people AND that she was also hunting a killer.  The main difference, nevertheless, was that she was hunting the killer who murdered her mom whereas Jasper was hunting a random killer as a way to prove (to society and himself) that he didn’t/wouldn’t take after his serial killer dad.  Continue reading

Empty by Suzanne Weyn

emptyIf you’re looking to scare yourself into being more environmentally conscientious, this is a book you should probably read!  Not only does it provide an entirely plausible scenario for how individuals will be effected when oil starts to run out — including but not limited to gasoline shortages and electricity blackouts — but it also goes into more global ramifications, like the potential for war. Continue reading

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

memoirsI remember seeing this cover, reading the title, and thinking, “That looks interesting!”  I was especially curious about the story behind the old fashioned typewriter keys on the cover.  Yet, somehow, SEVEN years went by before I actually took the time to listen to it.  How in the world did *that* happen?!?  (Especially considering the fact that I listened to, and thoroughly enjoyed, her book Elsewhere!)  I guess this is a case of “better late than never,” right?  I’ve always been curious about what it would be like to have amnesia and, though this wasn’t a true story, it helped me to realize just how grateful I am for my fully intact memories.  It’s terrifying to consider the sudden loss of years worth of my life and to even forget the people I love.  Continue reading