We had a blast at the baseball game tonight (minor leagues are so much better than the big-time, I don't care what anyone else says), and I'll try to get some pictures up along with a more detailed post tomorrow, but for now I got to watch a teeny bit more of The Breakfast Club this morning. One of these days, I'll get to watch the whole movie! In the meantime, I've had this song stuck in my head all day.
Revisiting an old favorite. Let's see how it went!
During the summer of
1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed
mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and
making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia
has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.
Disease sweeps the
streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world
upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city
with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is
everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city
turned frantic with disease.
MY RATING: 4 STARS
Wow, I still love that cover!
was in the fourth grade when I read this for the first time, and when I
picked it up again for the first time in years I was worried I might
not love it the same way anymore, that it would seem too "juvenile" as
my taste in books evolved.
Not true. It's still every bit as good
as it was the first time. Mattie wasn't an insufferable child
(something I've noticed tends to be a bit more pronounced in other
childhood faves I've reread as I grew older), the language wasn't dumbed
down, and there was still the old terror and urgency that made it so
appealing in the first place. And bonus points for nostalgia! The
chapters are a lot shorter than I've gotten used to, but since this is
aimed at younger readers it's only natural, and it made the action move a
I still cry and cheer at all the same parts and have greater appreciation, dare I say more learned
appreciation, for the extracts heading every chapter. They add a dose
of realism that strikes home, giving a personal view of what it was
really like that summer in Philadelphia, and it gave me chills. Heck,
the whole book still gives me chills! Plague stories scare me as much as
dystopia, and this one more so because it's based on historical FACT.
The breakdown of social order, the widespread panic, the struggle to
survive not just the fever itself but how it impacted everyday
life...*shudders* I'm glad I wasn't there for all of that!
you've got your main event, the big plot element, and now all you need
is a good, strong character to drive things along? Gotcha covered. I
cared about Mattie in the fourth grade, and I still care about her.
She's smart and capable, she can fend for herself when she has to, and
she's not some annoying brat that abounds in YA lit. She is still in
some ways a child, but you could see she was beginning to grow up and
mature, adapting to her circumstances as best she could. All in all, a
good, strong character worthy of driving things along.
line is, it's a tough feat to write a book for young readers that adults
can enjoy as well, but I think Ms. Anderson scored with this one.
Overdue in arriving, but here at last! (The review, that is...)
Book two of the Angel and Demon Chronicles
Ashland, a heavenly angel, desperately loves Poe... But secrets from
Poe’s past rip them apart and Poe is forced to Earth to live among
mortals. Dancing becomes her new life, but it isn't enough. Carrying her
secrets and facing unbearable choices, Poe takes her own life.
Devastated and grieving, Ashland discovers a way to travel back through
time to be with Poe once more. Will he be able to survive on Earth and
can he stop history from repeating itself to save the woman he loves?
MY RATING: 5 STARS
This is a story of first love, and the entire book has the sweet, playful vibe of young romance (with a little bit of everlasting love to up the ante). I barely stopped smiling the entire time I read it, and that's no joke.
In The Devil's Galley, Ms. Rodriguez created an eerie, Inferno-esque picture of Hell, but in Pirouettes we get a Heaven that really does seem like paradise. Complete with angel bars! Yet it contrasts strongly with our hero Ashland's yearning for his true love, and it contrasts with good effect. What could better demonstrate his love for her than to show how even Heaven was unbearable without her? His devotion to her and his sense of humor won me over fast (not to mention a heartfelt, drunk-as-a-skunk solo performance in the aforementioned bar), and I developed quite the crush on him, to be honest. He had the boy next door charm about him, and while he might be an angel, he is no insufferable choir boy.
As for Poe herself, it hurt bad enough to see her alone and despairing on Earth, much less without Ash's memories of how wild and happy she was in Heaven. Poor girl! If I could change just one thing just a tiny bit (gasp!) I would want to know more of the old Poe. There were so many memories of her spirited ways, and that was rare enough when she was a mortal. But don't let me steer you wrong, she had no problem giving Ash the what-for when he screwed up, and she fit right in with Foster and Julian.
Foster and Julian! I LOVED them! Man, I wish I had friends like that, who stir up all kinds of crazy trouble and still have your back when you're going through hell (in some cases, literally). It's hard to say who I grew more attached to, Foster because of his humor and his roguish attitude, or Jules because he was shy and sweet but still had a rebellious streak running through him.
I was genuinely surprised at the ending, wondering how it could possibly end well (I mean it! I was worried!), but as with The Devil's Galley the solution was so simple I really didn't see it coming. As Sherlock Holmes said, there is nothing more elusive than an obvious fact, and it made a perfect ending to a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I can't wait for the next in the series!
Eek! Blame a busted computer for the silence over here...gotta warn you, things are going to be very sporadic for the foreseeable future, so don't hold your breath for posts. And I'm a little late with this one, but I had to put up an artist for June. I just had to.
I'm not in the mood for any background info this time, so I'll just leave it at this: Ol' Bob has been doing his thing since the sixties, his album Blonde on Blonde officially put Nashville, TN on the map as a recording giant, he's one hell of a songwriter that plays a mean guitar and harmonica (at the same time!), and he can't sing to save his life. But he's still one of my favorites. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Mr. Tambourine Man
Just Like A Woman
Girl From the North Country (with Johnny Cash)
Happy listening! See you next time!