Thursday, August 15, 2019

Review: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The life cycle of this book:
I started it as an audio while renovating my house. I was HOWLING it was so funny -- but probably only to me: a High School Canadian teenager moves to Texas and is immediately overwhelmed by all things UT, Longhorn, and burnt orange. As a Sooner, I laugh at ALL things orange. Seriously the narrator was great and the dialogue was whip smart. But then I finished my renovation project and the audiobook I downloaded expired from the library, so I didn't finish. I was intrigued enough that after a 2 week hiatus I managed to check out the hard copy at the library. Once I started reading it, the characters weren't nearly so funny and in fact, they were snarky, mean and annoying. Now granted, they were teenagers, so what would one expect, right? But it wasn't doing anything for me. But by that time I was over half way done, so I persevered. I must say, the last third and the end of the book surprised me -- the teenage relationships took an unexpected turn, there was some racial injustice that was addressed by a parent, and it wasn't tied up in a neat bow, which was refreshing.

Overall -- book started as a 5, middle was a 1, end was a 4 -- I figured a 3 star rating was fair enough.

*Sensitive reader: no teenage sexapades, but plenty of Fbombs.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me

The Viscount Who Loved Me The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't like this as much as the first one -- hard to beat Simon and Daphne.
I'm trying to figure out how Shonda Rhimes will turn this into a Netflix series.


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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Review: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've not watched a single episode of any of her TV shows -- but I certainly loved her witty, uplifting memoir. A reminder to "say yes" to opportunities, but be willing to say no to people or things that will drag you down. I read portions of this book to my kids on a current road trip because I felt what she had written was important enough to hear them groan from the back seat.
It would be a great gift for graduating high school seniors. Especially females.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh this book...frustrating and beautiful all between the front and back covers. At any given time it could have been 1 star or 5 stars.

Confined to The Hotel Metropol in Moscow after being sentenced to a house arrest (as opposed to being executed) after the Russian Revolution, Count Alexander Rostov becomes a staple of hotel life. He knows the staff, the guests, the secrets of the building. Remember -- he never leaves.

This is why I was frustrated through 2/3 of the book because nothing really happened. It was all character driven interactions and the daily minutiae of hotel operations. The writing was beautiful and the characters unique and multifaceted -- but no one ever left the building!

Then Nina appeared. Then Sophia. Then the last 1/3 of the book was this beautiful, complicated story of love, friendship, relationships, politics, and conflict that were built over the proceeding years (and many, many pages).

So -- I'm so glad I persevered and finished the book. It was a totally worth it in the end.

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