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Search tags: contemporary-fiction
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review 2019-01-20 18:35
Pretty in Punxsutawney
Pretty in Punxsutawney - Laurie Boyle Crompton

Andie has always wished that her life was like a movie...but this wasn't what she had in mind. 


The summer before Andie's senior year of high school, her family moved to Punxsutawney, PA.  Andie's mother has raised her to be a movie buff, mostly by watching her favorite movies from the 1980's.  Andie naturally gravitates towards the town's movie theatre where she meets Colton. Colton seems like the perfect candidate for Andie's first kiss.  However, the evening before Andie's first day she falls asleep on the couch watching Pretty in Pink in a pink polk-a-dot dress.  After a not-so-stellar first day where Andie loses Colton's interests to classmate, Kaia, Andie wishes she could have a do-over.  Her wish might just come true.

Combining some of my favorite movies from the 80's and early 90's, Pretty in Punxsutawney is a fun and heartwarming journey.  At this point in my life I identified more better with Andie's mom, but easily found myself immersed in Andie's story.  I could feel myself cringe along with Andie as her first day of school was less than ideal, especially with Colton.  I loved when the Groundhog's Day aspect came in and Andie repeated her first day over and over with different variations while desiring to make Colton her boyfriend.  Many of the variations picked up on other movies such as Breakfast Club and Ferris Buehler's Day Off.  I especially enjoyed when Andie began to try out a different clique each first day and begins to realize what her purpose might really be. I do wish that my favorite first day with the dance party was how Andie was able to stop the cycle; however, I'm still glad that things were able to wrap up the way they did.  Overall, a very endearing and lighthearted Young Adult read with plenty of nostalgia for older readers.


This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2019-01-15 20:55
The Princess of Baker Street
The Princess of Baker Street - Mia Kerick
The kids of Baker Street grew up playing together to the fanciful games thought up by Joey Kinkaid.  Joey was called the Princess of Baker Street since his games often included Joey in a princess dress being rescued by his best friend, Eric Sinclair.  Now, the kids of Baker Street are in Eighth grade and things have changed, the four friends have found themselves in separate cliques.  Eric has opted for the route of survival, especially since is mom isn't often around.  Eric hangs around with his friends on the soccer team.  Joey doesn't exactly fit in anywhere, he would much rather wear his mother's dresses to school than the button up shirts and slacks that his father insists on.  When Eric and Joey are paired as study buddies, their friendship rekindles.  However, when Joey begins to show up to school in girl's clothing, Eric's allegiance is divided between his friends and his need to fly under the radar.
 
Timely and relevant, The Princess of Baker Street reaches into the awkward, transitional years of middle school for a group of students, including the Joey who is realizing that he has always been a girl.  Told through Eric's point of view, the voices are sincere and realistic for eighth graders.  Everyone seems very self-concerned and are worried about where they will fit in.  Eric's journey is just as important as Joey's.  I felt for Joey as he dealt with an absent mother and the decision to be Joey's friend even if it would cost his popularity.  Eric's struggle with his feelings for Joey as he slowly comprehends that not only is Joey a girl, but that he has always seen Joey as a girl as well- a girl that he likes.  With these understandings comes big changes and responsibilities.  Not all of the changes are handled very well by everyone and reinforces that none of these issues should be handled by the kids by themselves.  Insightful and pertinent, The Princess of Baker Street is an important and heartfelt read that can be enjoyed by middle grade through adult readers. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2019-01-14 19:16
Citadel
Citadel - Jack Remick
Trisha deTours is a book editor for women's erotic fiction at Pinnacle Books.  Her personal life often reflects the books she edits as Trisha hunts for men on the beach and discards them after sex.  When scientistDaiva Izokaitis moves into Trisha's complex, Trisha finds a new friend and discovers that she has written a manuscript.  The manuscript doesn't exactly fit in with with Pinnacle's normal works, but might be exactly what they are looking for.  As Trisha dives into Daiva's book, Citadel described as a post-lesbian, scientific look at our future, Trisha becomes immersed in the characters and story so much that she begins to mix reality and fiction to become one of the characters herself.  As Citadel blends more into real life, Trisha and Daiva are helping to create the future of Citadel. 
 
Citadel is a very different and surprising work.  Using the technique of a book within a book, we see the editing process as well as the effect that a book can have on the reader.  When Trisha began to read Daiva's manuscript, I think I was just as confused and intrigued as Trisha.  The manuscript is difficult to read at first, however, like Trisha, I could see parts of myself and other women I know in the characters.  The writing is very in your face, not hiding any of the issues that women in every culture may deal with on a daily basis.  There is also a good amount of science involved in the novel as Daiva  works with genetics and bases her book on current research such as creating life without the Y chromosome.  With this addition of science, a lot of important questions arise such as: What is human?  What is desire?  Can we ever live together peacefully?  For me, the most interesting part of the story is that Citadel begins to become reality as more people read Daiva's book.  Overall, a unique and important story that will connect with many readers. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2019-01-13 17:41
I'm still glad I was an only child
Dear Sister - Alison McGhee,Joe Bluhm

Dear Sister by Alison McGhee (with illustrations by Joe Bluhm) was a happy accident. It happened to be returned while I was working at circulation and when I flipped through it I was intrigued enough to check it out for myself. The book is written in a series of letters and drawings from a boy who has just been saddled  blessed with a baby sister. His parents want him to write to her so they can put it in her baby book but he has his own ideas of what to write. From the start, his letters and drawings are quite hostile and he makes a point of saying that the 'wardens' have forced him into contributing. Their relationship is typical of an older sibling who has no interest in catering to an annoying, screaming infant/toddler/preschooler. Their age difference is about 8 years which explains a lot of the animosity. He always refers to her as 'sister' because the name he had picked out for her (and which wasn't used) was so good that he'd hate to slip up and call her that because then she'd be sad that it wasn't her name. This is one of those perfect little books that shock you when you realize they're not more in demand. It felt totally authentic and the illustrations were absolutely fantastic. They were a mix of childlike drawings which aged up with the character and a few realistic looking pencil drawings from a third person standpoint. The whole story is heartwarming and the ending was so sweet that I actually cried. What a great little book! 10/10

 

A/N: I discovered that Joe Bluhm illustrated one of my favorite William Joyce books The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and now I'm on a mission to find more of his work. No wonder I liked the drawings in this so much! XD

 

Source: Amazon.com

 

                                  Source: Amazon.com

 

What's Up Next: I'm waiting on another volume of the Elfquest Archives so that I can hopefully do my reviews in one post. We shall see...

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (reread)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2019-01-09 23:37
Not to my liking (DNF)
The Sellout: A Novel - Paul Beatty

Besides being on the bestseller list, it came highly recommended to me by a patron at my branch who felt so strongly about it that she went to the shelf, brought it to me at circulation, and insisted I check it out immediately. I hadn't heard anything about this book before she placed it in my hands despite the praise it had received from the literati of the world. This book is a conundrum to me. It has been touted as an uproariously hilarious satirical take on race and culture in America. I'll agree with the latter part of that statement but I didn't find it funny in the least. In fact, I found that the 'jokes' were not at all to my taste. This is probably due to the amount of books on race and culture I've read over the last year but I just couldn't read this book without feeling thoroughly depressed at what felt almost hyper realistic. Now I made it halfway through this book so I feel like I got the overall gist and flavor of the thing. The narrator (name not revealed beyond the nickname BonBon) lives on a farm in the middle of a Californian ghetto called Dickens where you're more likely to see cows on the side of the road than a white person walking their dog. The book starts with him being called before the Supreme Court on an issue of dragging black people's progress back to the time of slavery...because he has a slave of his own. I don't know what this book was but I do know that I didn't like it and I have no intention of finishing it in the future. Progress: 145 out of 289 pages.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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