Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key
Tatiana de Rosnay
293 pages

Travel back in time to Paris in July of 1942, as you read Sarah's Key, a different kind of Holocaust story. Ten-year-old Sarah and her family are arrested along with other Jewish families in the middle of the night by the French police. Thinking her younger brother will be safe from harm, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard, and promises to come back. Sixty years later, Julia Jarmond, an American journalist living with her family in Paris, discovers Sarah's story along with heartbreaking family secrets.

The New York Times Bestseller, Sarah's Key is written in al-turnating chapters, changing between present day, and the past. Sarah and Julia are characters so real, you feel each of their emotions. You will laugh with them, you will smile with them, and most importantly, you will cry with them.

de Rosnay has made this story come alive, with rich descriptions, and vivid details, making this book one to leave you somewhere inbetween the book and your real life for days afterward.

I love this book, but Sarah's heartbreaking and emotional story is sometimes just too much to handle.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thin Yet Thick: The Giver

The Giver
Lois Lowry
179 pages

As a reminder, "Thin Yet Thick" reads are books thin from cover to cover (about 200 pages or less), but thick and deep in meaning. The Giver by Lois Lowry is definitely one to touch your heart.

Jonas lives in a futuristic Utopian community. There are no choices and everyone is assigned a life to live. At the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas is chosen to receive special instruction by The Giver. The Giver is the only person in the community with memories from the past. Meaning, he is the only one to know war, peace, pain, family, and most importantly, love.

One quote I especially like from this book is: "There could be love." While spending time with The Giver, Jonas learns what love is. After reading that chapter, I began to think about what it would be like if our world had no love, and I guess I started to appreciate how much love I receive from people. My family and friends love me, and I love them. I could not imagine what it would feel like to not give or receive that emotion at all.

That of course is not the only line I like, but I don't want to give too much away. Lowry does a fantastic job of throwing the reader into a setting so unlike the one we know best. With foreshadowing and unique character description, it is no wonder this novel won the 1994 Newbery Medal.

This is definitely a read you don't want to miss!

Check out my other "Thin Yet Thick" review

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A to Z and A Bit Beyond

I am currently in the midst of reading several books at once, therefore, I have nothing new to review. In that case, I have decide to post my thoughts in an A to Z fashion. The ideas might be a bit random, as I am going to see what I can come up with in 30 minutes.

A- Audiobooks. Truth be told, I have never read a book this way. I guess I like the fact of hearing my own voice in my head as I read, and not someone else's.

B- Bookshelf. The bookshelves in my room are currently filled to the max. I probably should donate some of the ones I don't read anymore, but how do you part with a book?

C- Candy. My favorites are Kit Kat bars, and the classic Hershey's.

D- Dreams. Isn't it funny how we never seem to remember our dreams? Even if I do, its only tid bits, and I think "What does that have to do with anything?"

E- Earring. There are not a whole lot of "e" words that come to my mind right away, but earring is definitely one of them. I have so many earrings, I never really know where to keep them, or even when I will ever wear them all.

F- Friends. There are a lot of great best friend pairs in books I have read. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Emma Hawthorne and Jess Delaney. Megan Wong and Becca Chadwick. Sometimes I think about them related to my best friends, and realize even those perfectly created characters, can't even compare to how great my real friends are.

G- Give. One of the three books I am currently reading is The Giver by Lois Lowry. The book takes place is a futuristic society where every citizen is assigned a role in the committee.

H- Harry Potter Box Set. My paperback set came last week from Barnes and Noble and I was practically jumping up and down when I saw the delivery package by the mailbox.

I- Ice Cream. Friday always means its ice cream night. Vanilla, chocolate, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, you name it.

J- Jambalaya. This is supposedly what my dad is making for dinner tomorrow night. Peppers, chicken, shrimp, tomatoes, and I think you serve it over rice. Sounds pretty good.

K- Kite. For me, the best place is to fly one is a Cape Cod beach.

L- Love. Tuesday is Valentine's Day.

M- Mom. My mom is really awesome. She definitely is not as big of a reader as I am, but she tolerates all of my book discussions and blog posts. Thanks Mom!

N- Not Over You. This is currently (as it changes almost everyday) my favorite song. I don't usually listen to Gavin DeGraw, but I can't get this song out of my head.

O- One Inch. This is how much snow we received last night. Sadly, it has already melted.

P- Peace. Someday the whole world will find this, but unfortunately not in my lifetime. Peace out!

Q- Quiet. That's how my house is right now. Just the sound of my fingers tapping the keyboard.

R- Rose. I wrote a book this year called Rose Street. It's only about 30 pages, but I think that's a pretty good start.

S- Sarah's Key. This is one of the three books am currently reading. The book takes place in Paris, 1942. Sarah and her family are taken by the French police during the Vel' d' Hiv' roundup. Thinking she will be back home in a few hours, the ten-year-old locks her younger brother, a flashlight and some food in a kitchen cupboard.

T- Time. One of my favorite Christmas ornaments is one shaped like a book that says "So many books, so little time."

U- Utopia. Here is the dictionary definition: any real or imaginary society, place, state, etc, considered to be perfect or ideal. Everyone's utopia is different, and sometimes I have a hard time creating mine.

V- Vocals. I was in choir for one year in fifth grade. It was fun, and I have a good voice, but I am definitely no American Idol.

W- Words with Friends. I currently have two games going on my iPod. Any ideas for words that start with "j" and end in "o"?

X- I have nothing to go with this letter. Absolutely nothing.

Y- Yellow. Not a color that looks particularly good on me, but is one to put you in a good mood.

Z- Zebra. I remember wanting to have a zebra themed birthday party when I was little. I think I had a tea party instead. Dressing up, and drinking water out of plastic tea cups is so much more fun!

Well, that ended up taking a little more than a half an hour. It was actually not as hard as I thought it would be. Try it for yourself sometime!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Little About... Laurie Halse Anderson

About Laurie
Laurie Halse Anderson is a novelist for juvenile and young adult readers.  She began her writing career as a newspaper and magazine reporter before publishing books. she has won numerous awards, including the Printz Honor, Margaret A. Edwards Award, and is a New York Times Bestselling Author.

Laurie's Books
Melinda Sordino ended an End-of-Summer Party by calling the cops. Now, her friends don't talk to her, and she feels like an outsider. She doesn't feel comfortable anywhere, even in her own thoughts. Something happened that night at the party, and thinking about it, is the worst thing she can do.

Kate Malone is smart and organized. But not even those traits could prepare her for the events ahead; her neighbors moving in, college decisions, and an event that will change everything else. This book is set in the same community as Speak, and according to Kirkus Reviews, it is "intellugently written, and mutlti-dimensial"

Fever 1793
During the summer of 1793, the fever epidemic striked the country, leaving many dead, and others scarred for life. Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is just as curious and ambitious as any tennager, but when the fever claws at her front door, she must leave her family, and everything else she holds close.

Chains follows the story of Isabel Gardner, a slave to the of a rich New York City couple. When she meets Curzon, another slave, they start the journey to freedom together, and if they're caught, it will mean terrible punishment. Forge is the acclaimed sequel.

Other books by Laurie include: Prom, Wintergirls, Twisted, and Forge.

Laurie's Website: