May 16th, 2012

planet

recent books, chick lit, YA fiction

boring book entry, but wanted to get some titles down of stuff I've been reading.

Famous Last Words by Annie Sanders - chic lit about a clothing designer and independent business owner who's told by a psychic that she's going to die in four days. The guy is so right about other things she really believes him, and tries to set a few things right with the short time she's got left. I liked it, it was smarter than average chic lit. Last winter I read "Can you keep a secret?" by sophie kinsella and felt like I'd lost IQ points and would never get them back, the story was so contrived and the main character was such a ditz. The gal in Famous Last Words is smarter, more mature, and a lot more relatable. It just came out last October, that's how I came to grab it out of the "new releases" section in the library.

Pemba's Song: A Ghost Story by Marilyn Nelson - Whenever I feel stuck and want to just read a good book quickly, I head to the YA fiction section. I picked this up randomly at the library. It's about a girl who moves from brooklyn out to connecticut suburbs with her mother, and their house is haunted by a former slave with a secret who never had a voice or means to let anyone know she even existed. It's a cool story and filled with these wonderful poems.

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson - I was at mom's house last month and picked this book up because I remembered it being a childhood favorite. As a kid I loved Gilly's spunk and fearlessness, she was TOUGH. As with most YA fiction books though the story reads so much differently as an adult, and I guess that's just a thing with books. Books make you understand a character so much more effectively than movies, they really take a part of you, and when you grow up, the books grow up too. Reading it again made me sad. Maybe there's something that's changed about me as a mom, but reading about little kids needing plain old love and not getting it is tough.

I disagree with the sentiment that "you don't know what love is until you're a mom", I think you can live a perfectly full-of-love life with sisters and parents and BFFs and not miss out on anything. But I have a close familiarity now of what a little kid needs. Gilly Hopkins is about a 10 or 12 year old who's been in foster care since the age of three, and she talks about being mad at herself for "going soft" and crawling up on the lap of a foster mother for comfort when she needed to cry at the age of five, and it just killed me. She's a "child of the flower children", left on her own way too young, I realize that now as an adult and a parent and I feel bad for her and all those kids I know who are just like her.