Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mia is a girl with a choice. After being seriously injured in a car accident she is in a coma, but she is actually still hanging around outside her body. She feels somehow that she has the choice to die or to come back into her injured body. As she reflects on her decision, she looks back at her life with her family, friends and boyfriend.

I don't know exactly how to feel about this. I give the author high marks for writing about an interesting concept and I liked that I couldn't tell what was going to happen until the last page. I loved Mia's family - I enjoyed their banter and love for each other. It was also neat that the setting is in Portland, OR and I have been to the same places that Mia has! My main issue was with Mia sleeping with her boyfriend and him often spending the night and her parents being totally fine with it. I know this happens in real life but I just don't want to think about it.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Open by Andre Agassi

Open: An AutobiographyOpen: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I love this book. I can't believe all the physical and emotional pain that Agassi has gone through to get where he is. I was outraged at the insensitivity of his father and his domineering attitude - forcing little 7-year-old Andre to hit over 2000 tennis balls a day - but in a weird way all the heartache he caused Andre has gotten him where he is now - with a beautiful family and resources to do a lot of good.

The book is filled with anecdotes about his father, his friends, his coaches, his trainers and other tennis players. These are fun to read and offer amusing inside information. One of my favorites is when he finds out that Pete Sampras leaves a valet $1 for a tip - this after Sampras has made tens of millions in his career. "Here's a buck kid, bring the car around."

Agassi hasn't held anything back in this autobiography - painting himself with brutal honesty. The bone-crushing despair of losing, his sometimes bad behavior and the elation after winning. I like seeing him evolve as a person - slowly realizing that in helping others, he gains the most satisfaction in life. This leads to the creation and funding of a successful inner city charter school where college is the ultimate goal. I rejoice over the happiness he has found with fellow tennis legend Stefanie Graff and the joy he takes in his two children.

A book that tennis and non-tennis players will enjoy.

View all my reviews

Review: The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

The Other Side of the IslandThe Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting look at a world where weather (and everything else in life) is strictly controlled. The Earth Mother and her Corporation have "enclosed" the sky, protecting inhabitants from all kinds of scary natural weather. They also control the food, the schools, jobs, what people think about anything, etc. Honor is a ten-year-old girl who dares to question the Corporation and what is on the infamous "other side of the island."

I liked this creative and creepy book and the characters that the author created.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! That is a HUMDINGER of an ending! Where does Patrick Ness come up with this stuff? This is a wild and troubled ride with bits of cruelty and bits of beauty and humanity thrown in. There is nothing to say and everything to say. Suffice it to say that you won't be sorry you read this one. It gets a little slow in parts and the lengthy battle at the beginning is a bit of a snoozer, but the book is still amazing. The way that the author weaves this story is so impressive and original. I could spend a bunch of time analyzing this book, making comparisons with world leaders, with religion with the struggle between good and evil if I wanted to. It would be a splendid read for a book club. Loved it, shocked by it and changed by the ideas in it. Extremely impressed by this author, I will be looking forward to what he does next.

View all my reviews