Showing posts with label e lockhart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label e lockhart. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August 2014 in Review

Ah, September.  That means 2 things:

1. Summer is nearly over, but that's okay because
2. September is my birthday and our wedding anniversary.  Woohoo!

Yes indeed, September is one of my very favorite months.  Not only for the two reasons listed above, but because I do love the onset of fall.  Cuz let's face it: warm weather is awesome, but sometimes it's nice when the weather gets cooler, you can wear jeans, and you don't have to shave your legs every five seconds. #realtalk

This summer has been pretty great though.  We went to our friends' camp in the Adirondacks a couple weeks ago with the kids, and it was a blast.  Bonfires, smores, kayaking, fishing, boat rides on the lake...YES PLEASE.  It was an awesome way to cap off a summer full of outdoorsy goodness.
Kayaking with mah boy
Plus, I somehow managed to be more present on the blog!  Let's recap August...

In August I read 3 books:
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

I also talked about books that I kinda sorta don't want to read, and celebrated my 2 year blogoversary.  WOOP.

September will be crazy, because Small Fry is starting preschool (somebody get me my fainting couch), I have the two super-fun "holidays" that I mentioned above, and I'm running my half marathon.  (Related: if there are no posts here after September 21st, please begin a search for my sore, creaky-kneed body somewhere on the half marathon race course.)  All joking aside though, I'm pretty stoked for it.  Stay tuned for a race report!

Bookishly, I'm planning to read my next TBR Book Baggie pick (Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen), and...I have no idea what else.  Isn't that lovely??  Perhaps I'll attack something on my 30 before 35 list...it's in need of some attention.

How was your summer, friends?  What's up next on your reading list?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Source: borrowed from the good ol' public library

Summary from Goodreads

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


My Review:

I heard crazy hype about this book for the last few months.  "It's the next Gone Girl!" they said.  "You won't believe the twist!" they said.  Plus, the summary (above) is reminiscent of the book jacket for Chris Cleave's Little Bee, which basically tells you absolutely nothing about the novel, and implores you to never tell anyone else about the novel before they've read it.  (In Little Bee's case, that description is entirely justified, so of course this piqued my interest.)  I had to see for myself.  To the library!

After waiting it out at #63 on the hold list, I finally got my chance at We Were Liars.  And I do see why this book is so hype-worthy.  From page one, you just get the sense that something is...off.  I wasn't sure if it was the protagonist (Cadence), her family, the setting (a secluded private island), or all of it.  But something was wrong, and I couldn't put my finger on it.  That eerie feeling compelled me to plow through the book at top speed...and yes, the climactic twist made it worth it.  It's one of those sudden plot changes that makes you want to go back and re-read the entire novel, because OH MY GOD, how did you not figure it out sooner?

That said...after I finished my speed-reading of the novel and had time to calm down after that rush of an ending, I did pinpoint a few things that I was a bit iffy on.  I can't go into too much detail (spoiler-free zone), but despite the amazingness of the big ending, I realized later that there were an awful lot of convenient details that caused that twist to happen.  Things that were ignored by the characters (or the author) that allowed that big event to be possible.  Thus, it all felt a little too neat, given the gravity of the circumstances.  I think this, more than anything, identified the book squarely in the YA genre for me, rather than giving it the ability to overlap with adult fiction.  I'm not trying to trash YA, but in general, those books tend to wrap things up more cleanly for a younger reading audience, versus the ambiguity that is more typical in adult novels.

This convenience factor was the only significant downside for me.  A smaller caveat was the overly-dramatic style of Cadence's narrative--she was always melting into puddles or bleeding on someone (figuratively, of course) and I started to roll my eyes a bit at the unnecessarily theatrical descriptions that were fairly constant in the text.  However, these did get less glaring as the novel went on, likely because the plot action picked up to a pace that started to match her emotional upheavals.

Final verdict on this hit novel of the summer?  Yes, I think you should read We Were Liars.  It's short and fast-paced, great for a beach read.  And the twist is 100% as good as the critics say.  Stylistically, it leaves a bit to be desired, which places it below a suspense novel like Gone Girl for me.  But if you want a novel that's going to keep you on your toes, it's an awesome pick.

Have you read We Were Liars this summer, friends?  What did you think?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 2014 in Review

Wow, I posted 3 times in the month of July.  Ouch!!  Ah well, you know my story these days, I won't repeat it.  But lots of fun is being had in the Redhead household this summer, and needless to say, I've been outside playing with the kiddos a lot more than I've been inside blogging!  We did a little family vacation last week, had several beach/pool days, many zoo/museum/park trips, and also celebrated Small Fry's 3rd birthday.
When did this happen?  Le sigh.
I've also continued my half marathon training...which is getting JUST A TAD more difficult as time goes on...but I'm impressed with myself!  I did a 7 miler yesterday, which is the longest I've run since 2008 (wowza).  Mileage is getting up there, but so far my knees haven't exploded, so I'm doing well.

Anyways, even though it was a light month, let's recap book activities in July...

In July I read 2 books:
Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet
The One and Only by Emily Giffin (review coming soon!)

I also jumped into the Six Degrees of Separation meme, which I would love to do again soon.  Anyone know what the August book is?

I know I said I was going to finish Gone With The Wind last month, but I'm still working on it!  About 200 pages to go.  I WILL finish it this month.  It's been worth the wait though, trust me.  Beyond that, I'm looking forward to finally getting a chance to read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart...I've heard so many amazing things about that book already!

What are you reading these days, friends??
 
Imagination Designs