Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review: Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Broken Soup
by Jenny Valetine
Publication Date: March 24, 2009
Published by Harper Teen
Pages: 224
Source: Library
Purchase  Amazon / Indiebound

  (from Goodreads)


It's how you look at it. . . .  
Someone shoves a photo negative into Rowan's hands. She is distracted but, frankly, she has larger problems to worry about. Her brother is dead. Her father has left. Her mother won't get out of bed. She has to take care of her younger sister. And keep it all together . . . 

But Rowan is curious about the mysterious boy and the negative. Who is he? Why did he give it to her? The mystery only deepens when the photo is developed and the inconceivable appears. 

Everything is about to change for Rowan. . . . Finally, something positive is in her life.
Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers a powerful and life-affirming story of grief, friendship, and healing that will resonate long after the last page.

My Thoughts

I learned about this book from a blog post by YAnnabe and wanted to read it because she gushed about how much she loved the book. When I found it at my local library, it went to the top of my reading list.

Even though I caught on pretty quick to how the story would progress and eventually end, it didn't take away from the emotion of the main character, Rowan and the familial responsibility and loss that she was feeling after the sudden death of her brother. I loved reading about the unexpected friendships that developed between Rowan and Bee and Rowan and Harper. And the relationship between Rowan and her sister Stroma helped to balance the heaviness of the rest of the novel.

I stumbled across this book by chance, and I am that I did.

Review: The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

The Summer of Skinny Dipping
by Amanda Howells
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pages 304
Source: Won from Goodreads
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound

 (from Goodreads)
"Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.
My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything...."

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Mia is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives she find her cousins distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever, until she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. And from the very first time he encourages her to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist.

Timeless in feel, The Summer of Skinny-Dipping is a poignant, literary coming-of-age romance that will live on long after summer has ended.

My Thoughts

Just seeing the cover, I knew I was going to love this book. While it did take a while to get interesting, about 80 pages in, once I was captivated by the story, it went by too fast.

Mia's journey of finding her place in her family was a major issue throughout the novel, but I think that all along she knew who she was or at least who she wanted to be. Convincing herself that person was okay was the major struggle.

I loved the portrayal of the story of Mia and Simon. It was authentic and touching. The emotion was raw and moving at the same time.

I loved it.


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