Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Before you judge me for not reading this book sooner, maybe wait to judge after I tell you that it was the movie trailer that totally sold me on reading this book. To be honest, the title and cover of this book turned me off back when I was given an ARC of it to read. Something about that label is just so offensive that I couldn't bring myself to even pick the book up and check out what might be on the inside.

And I do know not to judge a book by its cover. So shame on me. I totally judge myself for taking so long to get around to one of the best teen books I've read in regards to coming into your own as a person and learning how to be part of a functional couple. Yeah... I believe that there are high school students mature enough and self aware enough to have meaningful sex, a meaningful courtship where the two persons in the relationship grow together.

  • AUTHOR(S): Kody Keplinger 
  • SERIES: Stand Alone
  • PUB INFO: Little Brown/Poppy on 1/1/2010
  • ACQUIRED HOW? purchased Kindle edition from Amazon
  • BOOK RATING: Lemon Tart

What strikes me most about the DUFF after reading it, is just how authentic the voice of Bianca Piper comes across. She truly is a teenage, hormonal high school student who has no freaking clue what she wants other than good grades, her parents to get their acts together and maybe an actual moment to herself where she doesn't feel overwhelmed by insecurities. Seriously?! Has everyone forgotten how obnoxious, rude, selfish, mouthy and overall irritating they were at that age, because I haven't and I feel Bianca's need to hook up, have angry sex, escapist sex and overall just lose herself in the mindless pursuit of what feels good. Heck, I know a lot of adults who are stuck in that coping cycle.

The thing is though, Kody navigates Bianca and Wes beyond their disdain for life, their blow-it-off attitudes and brings them around so that while they are every bit of what a teenage high school student looks like and behaves like... they've grown as people and recognize in each other a connection that goes beyond the hurt and bitterness they've both been harboring because of their parents not treating them as the teenagers they are and protecting their fragile egos from being broken.

QUOTE ME: When a book takes on the harsh speech that many high school students feel brutalized by, sometimes as a parent I just cannot stomach it. The whining, the fierce vindictiveness, and the meanness that pervades this social media savvy age doesn't sit right with me or my desire for the world to be nice. Words conspire against good. However in the DUFF, Bianca in a blatant effort to disenfranchise herself from the offensive labeling happening around her, finds that courage usually goes hand-in-hand with introspection and acceptance. Acceptance of self and realizations that no one gets a free pass in life when it comes to insecurities and feeling left out.

Monday, February 2, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Plans for the 21st birthday are coming along painstakingly slow. A Nightmare Before Christmas theme and a couple of steampunk outfits we're putting together should make the night more personalized and fashionable for us. Too bad I cannot get her friends from out of state to come down and visit. My daughter does not have any friends here to celebrate such a momentous birthday. 

So you can imagine how busy life has been planning this party despite having a small guest list. Even still my craving for Rainbow Rowell words continued on and so I finally picked up Attachments after it had been recommended to me by multiple friends and knowing already that I am a sucker for Rainbow's stories.

  • TITLE: Attachments
  • AUTHOR(S): Rainbow Rowell 
  • SERIES: Stand Alone
  • PUB INFO: Dutton Adult on 4/14/2011
  • ACQUIRED HOW? Purchased trade paperback off of Amazon
  • BOOK RATING: Going Bananas!

Okay so this book, Attachments plays into some pretty common romantic tropes that trigger a lot of people. The main lead Lincoln, while very geeky and handsome has no idea that he is so attractive to the ladies but also, has a job that allows him to behave quite stalkerish. Now I had no problem with these tropes because of the way Rainbow wrote Lincoln. He was totally believable as a clueless cutie. And the plot twist that includes the behavior that allowed Lincoln to read Jennifer and Beth's emails totally made sense to me and explained how he could've been sucked in before he realized how bad he would feel reading personal emails of strangers.

And as someone who actually worked at a newspaper during the Y2K scare, I can tell you that Rainbow has captured the spirit of paranoia that pervaded the newsroom and how closely all computer usage was monitored as if all the information on the computers would disappear in a *poof* -- all magic of the written word disappearing at the strike of midnight.

QUOTE ME: The perfection of Rainbow Rowell's words comes with the realization that even as you read each character, these individuals so delightfully human and real and ever so quirky and unique... that with each little peek into who they really are, you know that bits of yourself have gone into making them who they are. Rainbow infuses characters with such nuanced personality that no matter who you are, despite all our differences, every single person you meet in her books feels like someone you know or is so completely relatable, you wonder if Rainbow Rowell has been reading your emails and turning them into the most unlikeliest of love stories.

In Eleanor & Park, I spent a great deal of my reading time raging against Eleanor's lot in life but making victory signs every time she and Park successfully navigated that thing called character development.

In Fangirl, I spent a lot of time crying because seriously Cath hit a lot of repressed feelings in me but also, developed swimmingly in the end surrounded by friends.

In Attachments, I spent a lot of time ridiculously smiling despite the sorrow I felt alongside Beth, Jennifer and Lincoln and very much understood the voyeuristic need Lincoln felt when he kept reading.

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