I love when an author has me despising characters and adoring others.
Jeanette Walls has done this with The Silver Star.
I adored the spunky Bean Holladay! I was routing for her and her sister Liz!
Her unstable mother Charlotte frustrated me, and Maddox….I just wanted to punch in the face!
I haven’t read a book set in the early 70’s in awhile.
4 of 5 stars
In 1956, when divorced working-mom Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a Boston suburb, the neighborhood is less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood in the era of the Cold War, bomb scares, and paranoia seizes the opportunity to further ostracize Ava and her son. Lewis never recovers from the disappearance of his childhood friend. By the time he reaches his twenties, he’s living a directionless life, a failure in love, estranged from his mother. Rose is now a schoolteacher in another city, watching over children as she was never able to watch over her own brother. Ava is building a new life for herself in a new decade. When the mystery of Jimmy’s disappearance is unexpectedly solved, all three must try to reclaim what they have lost.
The author has a way of making the characters seem so real.
I was touched by Lewis’s relationship with Sheila, and how he felt after she was gone.
The ignorance of people during this time, with Ava being a single mother.
So much going on, but flows easily.
I have read Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series to my son and he absolutely loves them!
We met him today and he was just as fun as his books are! We can’t wait to start his newest Art2D2, the 4th in the series!
4 of 5 stars
First…I loved the process the authors wrote this in.
David Levithan wrote Dash’s chapters and Rachel Cohn wrote Lily’s. They emailed the chapters back and forth to each other, without planning anything out beforehand. LOVE that!
I loved the whole idea about this novel.
Lily: “Well, I’ve been corresponding with a complete stranger in a notebook, telling him my innermost feelings and thoughts and then blindly going to mystery places where he dares me to go….”
I love the places that they sent each other.
“Fate has a strange way of making plans..”
“The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your hart, because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.”
Dash’s Postcard 2:
“Why is it so much easier to talk to a stranger? Why do we feel we need that disconnect in order to connect? If I wrote “Dear Sofia” or “Dear Boomer” or “Dear Lily’s Great-Aunt” at the top of this postcard, wouldn’t that chane the words that follow? Of course it would. But the question is: When I wrote “Dear Lily,” was that ust a version of “Dear Myself”? I know it was more than that. But it was also less than that, too.”
And I loved the chapter when Dash met Lily’s Great Aunt Ida…the Q & A back and forth was entertaining.
5 of 5 stars!!
So interesting! Highly recommend!
I remember vaguely hearing of ‘Typhoid Mary’, but never really knew her story.
Mary Beth Keane does an amazing job of combining fact and fiction, bringing Mary Mallon’s story to life. I was a little nervous that the facts wouldn’t be there, but they were.
I was fascinated by the story of Mary Mallon. Her life on North Brother Island, in NYC, where she was quarantined until her death in 1938.
I had never even realized such an island existed. I researched it a bit more, after reading this book. Very interesting.
I had written some notes as I was reading, but unfortunately did not save them in time, before my access was gone from the ARC. I definetely will be purchasing this one for my bookshelf, and will be reading it again! I can always add more thoughts again later
5 of 5 Stars!
Holy Cow! Put this one on your to-read list!
You know it’s good when you read it in a day!
First…I have to say…this is not for young-Young Adults. Definetely high school or older, because of some disturbing content.
(Not graphic, unfortunately a heartbreaking reality)
I could not put this down. The author did an excellent job of keeping me turning the pages! And her writing…I felt like I was watching a movie in my head, not reading a book.
My heart broke for the two sisters, Carey and Janessa!
So sad when Carey and Janessa compared themselves to the baby birds,” who’s mama pulls away the straws one by one, until the babies are left balancing on the branches.” Janessa told Carey the baby birds were brave, just like them, because there mama wasn’t there.
It was so hard to watch Carey have to learn how to have her new life and realize it wasn’t a dream. “The peopled world is so fast, so loud and busy. Always things to do, with none seeming all that important.”
Her stepmom: “Your dad couldn’t understand how you girls could ever be homesick, especially after the way you were living. But I could. We make attachments to what’s familiar. We find the beauty, even in the lack. That’s human. We make the best of what we’re given.”
I was hooked from the start! I kept thinking to myself what a great movie this would be, and was happy to hear that it is already in the works!
I have to say, I honestly cannot remember the last time a novel had me crying. Yes, real tears here…I got so emotional over this book! I am still reeling!
I was routing for Louisa all along, hoping and praying her plan would work….but at the same time, I felt for Will too, and how he was feeling…
“If you’re here, you accept it’s my choice. This is the first thing I’ve been in control of since the accident.”
So heartbreakingly true!
I literally could not pick up another book for a couple of days. I just wanted to hide and soak it all in.
I will be buying this one for my shelf to read again!
4 of 5 stars
Wow! Pretty powerful look into the mind of someone with a mental illness. The author did an amazing job of taking you inside! Wow.
It took me a little bit to get used to the back and forth with his childhood past/recent past/present. But once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t stop reading!
There were many pages that stuck out to me…or just struck me, when I read them….
“I’ve been gone for a long time. It just took me a while to work up enough desperation to leave.”
(you could FEEL the desperation and frustration in this man)
And when Greyson left his family and traveled the world, making new identities….
“I have no history. I am my actions and then only insofar as they linger or I leave.”
He didnt have to try anymore to stay normal. He could be what he wanted, when he wanted.
“And now, IT—all of it—is too much. Too hot. Too bright to hear. Too loud to see. And with no way to turn it down, there is no sleep, nothing to stop the onslaught.”
(Again, the author had you all mixed up in the mumbo-jumbo going on in this guy’s head!)
When Greyson had an episode at their friend’s house on the beach…when his footprints were disappearing in the sand and he felt like his existance was fading as well…Ellen was there to try to help him…
“Grey, sweetheart, I think we all feel that way sometimes…you just feel it louder and bigger.”
“Willa. Ellen. A world in two words.”
PS – I’m glad it did not end like a “Hollywood movie”…it ended just as I had imagined it should!
What a great book! I read this as a preview for a Scholastic Book Talk! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this!
I can’t decide which was my favorite “death” to read about. After each one, I thought to myself…ohhh, that was my favorite one….lol
So many interesting facts, (and creepy, gory ones too)!
Each chapter is a couple of pages. First interesting facts and a brief life story of each famous person, and how they came to their demise!
And other random facts at the end of each chapter! (Did you know that 3 of the first 5 Presidents of the US died on July 4th?)
A fantastic book for middle grade kids! (I even read a couple of them to my 7 year old)
Rabies, Leeches, Strep, Guillotine….it’s all in here!
To partially quote the last chapter…
“The people in this book didn’t become famous because of how they croaked but because of how they lived.”
The people in this book were doing what they love, and it probably didnt feel like work at all–they were just playing.
“Whatever your story is, if what you are doing is so much fun it feels like you’re just playing, you are onto something very important. When you feel that way, you are doing what you’re meant to do. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.”
We were beyond thrilled to meet Avi tonight!