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.