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review 2017-09-24 07:23
Ode to momentous summers
Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury

*pleased sigh* So gorgeous.

 

Dandelion Wine is a beautiful, whimsical love letter to those memories of summer that are so vivid, so powerful, we can feel the baking sun, the weight and smell of the air, the joy and lassitude when we recall them.

 

It goes from one episode to the next fluidly and with little warning, connecting and weaving them. Add in Bradbury's style and the result is a bit like dreams, a bit like memories, introspective, nostalgic and at points philosophical.

 

There were episodes to pull every shade of emotion, and I loved so many of them I'd have serious trouble picking a favorite. Grandma's cooking made me so hungry and also miss my grandfather very much. Colonel's Freeleigh's bits and John's departure made me tear a bit. I laughed out loud with the witch debacle. Lavinia's had me switch between cheering on and wanting to thump her, and scared me quite a bit. And the lime-vanilla ice-cream one! So many tangled feels!

 

It was an excellent read to savor, and one I'll revisit.

 

 

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review 2017-09-05 12:20
Sabriel, Lirael & Abhorsen by Garth Nix

This seriously was and still is my favorite young adult fantasy trilogy! I have read it several times. I loved everything about this series, however, I wish each book was a trilogy that focused on the main character, like I would have loved more stories from Sabriel and Lirael. Companion novels are hit and miss, because you really get attached to characters and the next book is new characters!

So it should have been Sabriel 1-3 and then Lirael 1-3 (Abhorsen would have been part of the Lirael trilogy.) Heck Garth could have gave us a series based on each character. Let's say 7 books each? Is that good for everybody? Needless to say, I am a huge Garth Nix fan and love all the books I've read from him so far. It goes without saying that this trilogy gets a huge 5 star rating.

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review 2017-09-05 08:07
Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

I have read this again as an adult. The last couple times I was around Harriet's age. It is a lot different from what I remember, and I am highly influenced by what I remember in the movie as I've seen that several times in my adult years. I feel like it still holds up, but honestly maybe not a glowing 5 star rating. It isn't a perfect book by any means. I'm leaving it at 5 stars, because this book (and the movie) were very important to me when I read/saw them for the first time at age 12. I even kept a journal and thought I was a spy for a while.

As an adult, I can say that Harriet was a little bit of a bratty, spoiled child, but I hardly blame her, because of how she was raised.

I also want to say that if Janie was really her best friend, I don't believe she would have read her diary/journal, and should have gave it back to Harriet. None of the mess would have happened. Harriet could have apologized for hurting people's feelings, but I don't think she should have to lie, maybe little white lies. Her journal was her personal thoughts and something she really needed. There are people who believe she might have been on the autism spectrum and the journal was her grounding activity.

Also how Janie and Sport treated Harriet does not come off how a best friend would treat another friend, even if they were angry at each other. I might be able to believe the other classmates actions, because they were never that close to Harriet. Some people think Golly was a bad influence, but I don't think so. She encouraged Harriet's imagination and seemed like the only person who could truly understand her, but that is just my opinion.

 

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review 2017-09-05 07:46
Forever by Judy Blume

As a young teen or even preteen when I first read this, I am sure that I liked the book as I hardly knew better, but as an adult I cringe thinking about me reading this when I was so young.

Here is how I feel upon rereading:

I feel really bad, but I disliked this book. It is a quick paced read, so I did read the whole thing. Several things in this made me feel like I was all slime covered and uncomfortable. It is really a shame; I do remember her children books with fond memories. I still believe she is a good writer.

I understand why this book may have been important for the time period it was written in, but I still think the relationship in the book was toxic and should not have been anyone's reference guide to love and relationships.

Major spoilers for what I found wrong with this book.

 

This is what made me unsure about this book:
It seemed all Michael did was beg/pressure for sex and it felt like he only said "I love you" to get her to be more sexual. How they just off offhandedly talked about abortion like it was no big deal also rubbed me the wrong why. I am not going to get into a pro life/pro choice debate, but I really did not like how this was done in the book! Also cheating. Whether physical or emotional cheating. I don't like cheating in any format, books, movies... etc. Ugh

(spoiler show)

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review 2017-09-05 07:31
Daphne's Book by Mary Downing Hahn

When I first read this book, I must have been a pre teen or in my early teenage years. I remember enjoying the book, but I doubt I fully grasped everything in the story. When I was younger, I might have been on Daphne and Hope's side, thinking Jessica should keep their secret, but as an adult, I know how wrong that would be.

I loved the imagination the girls showed in this story as they wrote their book and how they let the younger sister play with them and didn't shun her, as big sisters sometimes do. I believe the story handled bullying well, and Jessica and Daphne's reactions to it were realistic. I also think it handled the mental decline of the grandmother well, though I have no personal experiences with it to know if it was a correct representation.

Some of the words and actions of the grandmother toward Daphne and Hope broke me. I can understand why Jessica was terrified of her and also cringed every time the grandmother and Jessica interacted. As a child reading this, I probably would have disliked the grandmother as I wouldn't fully understand about her illness, but as an adult, I just feel sorrow and fear to know her condition is what happens to some of us as we age. It is sad, but a fact of life.

I do feel like the ending was a bit rushed. I wish there were more at the end, showing us how everyone is a few weeks, months, or even years down the road. Did Jessica keep in contact with them? Did they ever see their dream come true of being a writer/illustrator team? Did Jessica ever find her missing mouse?

Over all, I think this was a wonderful book and I hope many people of all ages get to enjoy it.

 

 

 

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