Thursday, November 1, 2012

Oh my Gosh, it's a book review!

I know, I know... it has been a LOOONNGGG while since I have reviewed a book on here. I belong to a few other social networks and when you work two jobs, have a long distance relationship and a mother that you enjoy spending time with, it's much easier to update a status than to write an entire post. However, as I sit here at my computer I find the urge to review the book I just read... so here goes:

The Sky is Everywhere - by Jandy Nelson

Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. 

I am naturally drawn to books that rip your heart out and provoke massive tear flow. Well, this book accomplished both of those reactions. But don't worry, by the end of the book (and your box of tissues) your heart will be back in your chest, still aching but on the road to recovery.

Bailey's death is no surprise as the book starts four weeks after her death, and though you never meet Bailey, you fall in love with who she was through the many heartfelt descriptions and flashbacks told through Lennie's mournful eyes. Lennie is "the younger sister" by every definition of the phrase. She looked up to Bailey, walked in her footsteps, planned her future around being together. When all this is suddenly gone, she has to figure out who she is without her sister: "I am no longer a little sister. I am no longer a sister. Period." 

I love the way Nelson developed the story. There are many ways to mourn and Lennie's is to retreat. She hides inside herself, inside the room the sisters shared that is now Bailey's shrine. She doesn't talk to her friends, she doesn't reach out to her family, she doesn't tell anyone how she is really feeling. You can tell she is struggling to accept the reality she has been forced into. "I don't believe time heals. I don't want it to. If I heal, doesn't that mean I've accepted the world without her."

In between the chapters there are poems or stories or thoughts that Lennie writes on whatever scraps of paper she can get her hands on. This is when she is truly honest about what she is going through and let's herself feel the pain that she struggles so hard to avoid. I kept having to put the book down to wipe the tears from my eyes. 

"For days and days, the rain beat its fists on the roof of our house - evidence of the terrible mistake God had made. Each morning, when I woke, I listened for the tireless pounding, looked at the drear through the window and was relieved that at least the sun had the decency to stay the hell away from us."

"Everyone wants me to talk about it, but I can't. I'd need a new alphabet, one made of falling, of tectonic plates shifting, of the deep devouring dark."

"I wonder why bereaved people even bother with mourning clothes when grief itself provides such an unmistakable wardrobe."

"The unbearable fact is, I have a future and she doesn't.  This is when I realize: my sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away, it becomes a part of you."

Read this book and you will never be the same.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Yay, it's over... here's the end of the RAT survey and then sleep for this girl and her mom.

Books Finished 3.75
Pages Read 961
Hours Reading 18
Hours Blogging 5

  • Which hour was most daunting for you? between 4am - 7am
  • Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Depends on your prefered Genre... I asked mom to get me sad books because they keep me turning pages and keep my mind engaged. Unfortunately, while good, this last book I've been reading didn't have enough of a plot to keep me hooked. 
  • Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Easier challenges for those of us who really try hard to read for almost the whole 24 hrs. I find that a lot of the challenges take too long, so I end up skipping them all together.
  • What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything! I love love love doing this, another successful year!
  • How many books did you read?  3 and 3/4ths
  • What were the names of the books you read? Forever Changes, Revived, Songs for a Teenage Nomad, and Virtuosity
  • Which book did you enjoy most? Forever Changes
  • Which did you enjoy least? I loved them all but Virtuosity is the least "thrilling.
  • If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Post more frequently and on more blogs. I only got a few visits from cheerleaders.
  • How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Next time I think I will be a cheerleader and part time reader. The staying up part is getting hard for me. I'll read while I can stay awake and cheer when I feel sleepy.

  • Only 3 more hours to go!

    This will be my last post until the end. Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog and commenting to cheer my mother and I on. We're almost done and this little green guy is the exact representation of how I feel right now, but I will not give in! I snoozed for about 15 or 20 minutes but now I am awake and I will finish the RAT with eyelids poised, book in hand. For those of you still awake... STAY STRONG!

    Currently Reading: 
    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 59
    Total Pages Read: 873

    Hour 20!!!!! Only 4 more!

    Is anyone still awake out there???

    Currently Reading: 
    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 57
    Total Pages Read: 814
    Snacks Consumed: Chips and Salsa

    Quotes Appreciated: 

    Me: I'm making tea
    Mom: How are you going to do it
    Me: *long pause* by going out into the field and picking the tea leaves myself of course
    Mom: but how are you going to make it
    Me:*long pause* ...with ...water
    Mom: in the microwave?
    Me: *long pause* ...yes
    Mom: not the coffee maker?
    Me: the coffee maker can do just hot water? Because I have tea bags.
    Mom: You can do it that way
    Me: how would you have me make it?
    Mom: in the microwave is fine.

    5 minutes later she comes and tells me that she has tea k-cups for her Keurig and that's what she meant.

    Mini Challenge: Book Sentence - hosted by Midnight Book Girl

    Playing with the boys - forever changes - the woman of brewster place

    What hour are we on? 18?

    This is for my mom:

    Currently Reading: 

    Books Read: 

    Pages Read this hour: 70
    Total Pages Read: 757
    Snacks Consumed: nada
    Quotes Appreciated: 
    Mom: what's wrong
    Me: I'm sleepy
    Mom: I thought you were wide awake
    Me: *scoffs* yeah two hours ago!
    Mom: Well what do you need to wake you up
    Me: *scoffs again* sleep
    Mom: Do you need me to slap you?
    Me: NO!
    Mom: Cuz I would glad do it if it would help

    17 hours down 7 more to go

    Currently Reading: 
    Books Read:
    Pages Read this hour: 113
    Total Pages Read: 687
    Snacks Consumed: M&Ms
    Quotes Appreciated: 
    Me: I don't like it when people just have one post and keep updating it every hour, it makes it too hard to comment
    Mom: Yeah, maybe they don't care about comments.
    Me: They're probably not comment whores like we are!
    Mom: That's us, "will do anything for comments"!

    Here's the boyfriend 

    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    15th Hour of RATing - only 9 more hours to go!

    I started reading Tiger Lily, but after reading two intensely serious books, I just couldn't get into it. So, I am reading intensely serious book #3 borrowed from mom, Revived - Cat Patrick. I'm about half way through and LOVE IT!!

    Currently Reading: 

    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 153
    Total Pages Read: 574
    Snacks Consumed: SUSHI!!!!!

    I have reached my second wind, as I am now WIDE awake and in no need of toothpicks (Jennifer!) My boyfriend is going to be joining me from his home via text messages and pictures. Although the book he is reading is homework for school and not nearly as interesting as the ones we are all reading for fun!

    I was reading for several hours after the midway point so I am doing my survey a little late:
    1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? I was very sleep for a while but now I feel better. My legs and back are starting to get sore.
    2) What have you finished reading? Forever Changes and Songs for a Teenage Nomad
    3) What is your favorite read so far? Forever Changes, although Revived is a close second.
    4) What about your favorite snacks? Sushi and coffee for sure
    5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love! First I want to give a shout out to my oldie but goodie fellow RATers

    New to me this RAT are:


    Woo Hoo we're half way there! Way to go everyone!!!! The tiredness is starting to creep in so we switched up our positions to keep awake.

    Currently Reading: 

    Books Read:
    Pages Read this hour: 40
    Total Pages Read: 421
    Snacks Consumed: None but I think it's time for coffee! 

    The eleventh hour!!! (13 more)

    Well, daylight is officially gone. I'm getting sleepy already! What is wrong with me? Waiting for that second wind to catch up with me.

    Currently Reading: 

    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 73
    Total Pages Read: 381
    Snacks Consumed: Veggie Tray

    Quotes Appreciated:  
    Mom: "I'll do anything if you ask me nicely"
    Me: "Mom will you please buy me a new car because you're the greatest?"
    Mom: "No"
    Me: "Well I just blew that theory out of the water."

    My mom posted pictures of me stretching while reading and Vonnie said it reminded her of this video.... which is SO ME!

    Hour 9!! Only 15 left!

    This is definitely happening to me, especially considering the main characters in both books are so similar. I am enjoying this book so far, especially the constant plugs of my kind of music, but my first RAT book was better, in my opinion. 

    Currently Reading: Songs for a Teenage Nomad - Kim Culbertson
    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 77
    Total Pages Read: 308
    Snacks Consumed: None, but I'm getting hungry again... Mom? Time for another snack?
    Quotes Appreciated: Sadly none. While this book is good, I haven't really found anything quote worthy to share with you.

    Oh my gosh! I just checked dewey's and I won a prize!!! Hour 8!!! Woo Hoo!!! Go me!!!

    Hour 7 down!! 17 hrs to go!

    Currently Reading: Songs for a Teenage Nomad - Kim Culbertson
    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 50
    Total Pages Read: 231
    Snacks Consumed: Tea! haha 
    Quotes Appreciated: "He works in computers and stuff. Actually, I have no idea what Rob does for a living, but I figure he probably has a computer wherever he is working."

    "Rob sits in an office all day, he eats boring for breakfast."

    The book I'm reading now keep mentioning favorite bands of mine that I thought no one else even knew about  let alone listened to. So every time the main character mentions a favorite band of mine I get really excited and put down my book to explain to my mom who the band is and why it is so exciting that they are mentioned in my book. One time she replied in frustration... "Are we talking or are we reading!!!" and I said "Well I'm obviously talking, I don't know about you!" 

    She gave me a bookmark as a RAT present. She mentioned that I could take it out of the plastic, which had never really occurred to me but now that I know it bothers her, I think I'll leave it in the plastic ;) After the talking or reading comment she exclaimed, "I really wish you would take the book mark out of the plastic so you don't look like such a dork." to which I replied, "Says the woman wearing cats and dogs on her body." 

    Love you mom :)

    5th hour down (19 to go)

    Well I just finished my book and holy crap, sad. I was pretty much sobbing into my tissue as I finished the last pages. This is definitely one of those books that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

    Currently Reading: Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin (Finished)
    Books Read:

    Pages Read this hour: 53
    Total Pages Read: 181
    Snacks Consumed: Deviled Eggs, Cheese and Crackers!!! yummm
    Quotes Appreciated: "She didn't sign off with "love," because she felt like that was exaggerating, and you couldn't really sign off a letter with "absence of hate."

    "Turn to Page" Challenge - hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic

    "If only you knew the castle of marshmellow fluff that is mathmatics, you'd run screaming into the night!"

    Fourth hour down! (20 more to go)

    Currently Reading: Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin

    Pages Read this hour: 54
    Total Pages Read: 128
    Snacks Consumed: Sadly none
    Quotes Appreciated: "Dear Molly, How's death been treating you? I miss you a lot but I guess I'll probably be seeing you soon."
    Mom: is she coming back to life too?!?!
    Me: no...
    Mom: ohh, the opposite... *thinks for a moment* ... it would be better if she could just come back to life like the girl in my book.

    Snacks Challenge - hosted by Uniflame Creates
    The challenge is easy! Show us what you are snacking on during the read-a-thon! Make a picture, post it on your blog.