Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I LOVED this book. I read it all in one night... couldn't put it down. By the end my heart was pounding and tears were streaming down my face.

Rainfield managed to address issues of sexual abuse, cutting, ptsd, therapy and lesbian love all in one novel. And she does it well. This isn't just a book about a kid with problems, though. It's a roller coaster mystery of buried memories, panic attacks and adrenaline. You'll be APALLED by the end.

I love the fact that the main character has a kick-ass therapist and wonderful adults in her life (her parents kind of suck) who help her through all of this. It's refreshing, hopeful and very real.

Give this one to kids who like novels about kids with problems and also to kids who like a good suspense story.


I loved this story. I loved Jane and her innocent and confused and grief-stricken voice. I loved the clumsy father. I loved the crazy rose lady who helped Jane express herself through photography. And I loved the fact that this is not a book about eating disorders, but about the sister left behind. She's the forgotten sister and the one who suffers in silence.

AND, there is a cameo by my favorite giraffe! He lived in the Santa Barbara Zoo and had a kink in his neck. I used to visit him all the time when I was a kid. He died recently. :(

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sick and Reading

I read FOUR books this weekend. I was sick and trying to stay as still as possible and so I channeled Ms. Alissa and sat my ass down and read. :)

First, I read Fat Cat by Robin Brande. I loved Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature, but this one was a little off the mark for me. I liked the general idea of looking at body image and health through the lens of science, but in the end, I thought the message got swallowed by the inevitable romance. Why can't fat girls decide that they don't need boys to be happy?!? Anyway, it's a fun read for someone who likes high school drama romances.

Then, because I was on the body image theme, I picked up Purge. I haven't read many teen novels specifically about bulimia. It seems like authors stick to anorexia... or am I missing something?

Anyway, I thought this was a pretty good portrayal of a complex eating disorder. Because it takes place in a hospital, the author is able to brake down some stereotypes about eating disorders and gender, etc. I especially liked the fact that the parents had breakthroughs of their own. While it wasn't as beautifully written as Winter Girls, it was still a decent novel about an important topic.

After all that girl drama, I picked up Ostrich Boys. I LOVED this story. How often do we get to look into the murky world of grieving boys? Never. This is a great exploration of the confusion and guilt and anger that goes along with the grief of losing a best friend. The end is neither neat nor sappy, but it definitely does the job. I suspect that a lot of boys will pick this one up because it's a great adventure story about 3 goofy 15 year olds on a haphazard roadtrip. But the deeper messages about friendship will get through.

Ok, so this one is short... and that's the best thing I can say about it. I know it will appeal to reluctant readers because it's about teen pregnancy and it can be read in an afternoon. But, I found the tone to be lacking. This story is written in verse like Ellen Hopkins wildly popular novels. While Hopkins really delves into the angst and pain of these tough issues, I felt like this one just grazed the surface. It almost glorified teen pregnancy which did NOT make me happy.

I mean, it's nice to see a story about a kid who ends up having the baby and being ok with it, but I really wanted to see more.

definitely skippable.