Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thought

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.

 

I haven’t been able to participate in this meme for almost a month-whew!  Here are some thoughts-

1.  I feel like I am not getting on the ball here.  I thought I would hit the ground running in the new year, with interesting challenges, read alongs, etc., but I am not.  I am struggling just to get a few posts out and responding to comments.  I promise I will do better.  On the other hand, I am reading lots and loving every minute of it, though my old eyes are VERY tired.

2.  I saw a post on FB about 16 movies that are coming out, and how you should read the books before they do on Buzzfeed– such as Divergent, The Monuments Men, The Fault in our Stars, and Gone Girl.  Part of me was all like, Cool, I can’t wait to read that, and that.  Then I realized, that part from The Monuments Men (Clooney and Damon-sigh) and Gone Girl (Affleck-sigh), it is very unlikely I will see ANY of those movies.  Why?  I’d rather just read the book and be done with it.  This is how I usually feel about adaptations.

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And what is this I hear about Gillian Flynn rewriting the ending of Gone Girl for the movie????

3.  Is anyone out there on Booklikes?  I went over there and I like it.  I think I might join.  Let me know what you think of it.

4.  One of my resolutions for 2014 is GET ORGANIZED.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  But how?  Anyone have any good organization tips for book blogging?

5.  My sister sent this to me-she said it made her think of me.

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6.  That is the last though I might have for awhile- coming down with that “flu” thing going around-ugh.

Have a great weekend!!

Reconstructing Amelia- a review

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Reconstructing Amelia

by Kimberly McCreight

published by HarperCollins

2013

Summary

A stunning debut novel in which a single mother reconstructs her teenaged daughter’s life, sifting through her emails, texts, and social media to piece together the shocking truth about the last days of her life.

Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is stunned when her daughter’s exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calls with disturbing news: her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating.

Kate can’t believe that Amelia, an ambitious, levelheaded girl who’s never been in trouble would do something like that. But by the time she arrives at Grace Hall, Kate’s faced with far more devastating news. Amelia is dead.

Seemingly unable to cope with what she’d done, a despondent Amelia has jumped from the school’s roof in an act of “spontaneous” suicide. At least that’s the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. And overwhelmed as she is by her own guilt and shattered by grief, it is the story that Kate believes until she gets the anonymous text:

She didn’t jump.

Sifting through Amelia’s emails, text messages, social media postings, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to learn the heartbreaking truth about why Amelia was on Grace Hall’s roof that day-and why she died.

Told in alternating voices, Reconstructing Amelia is a story of secrets and lies, of love and betrayal, of trusted friends and vicious bullies. It’s about how well a parent ever really knows a child and how far one mother will go to vindicate the memory of a daughter whose life she could not save.

(from Goodreads)

My Review

I heard lots of good thing about this book, and though the subject is very sad, I decided to read it.  This was a completely heart wrenching story for me.  As a mother of two teenagers, the premise of a teenager throwing themselves off of the roof of their school, after being accused of plagiarism scares the hell out of me.  This is the story of successful lawyer and single mom kate, and also that of her daughter, Amelia.  As the book begins, Amelia has gotten into trouble at school and Kate must leave a very important meeting to go pick her up.  When Kate arrives at the posh private school in Brooklyn, police are everywhere.  Kate soon learns that it seems Amelia, distraught over her suspension, has committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the school.  As Kate mourns and attempts to pick up her life, she begins to doubt that Amelia really jumped, that she might have been pushed.  Kate delves into Amelia’s life, discovering there was much about her daughter that she didn’t know.

This was a very quick read and I would recommend it.  I have heard it compared to Gone Girl, which I am not too sure about.  I t did have a little element of mystery, but we already know WHAT happened to Amelia, just not HOW.  The hard part of this book is that to find the answers, we also feel Kate’s pain.  When she discovers things that are going on at Amelia’s school it sent shovers down my spine.  Parents try to raise their kids and eventually need to let them stand on their own.  The difficult phase of this is usually the teen/high school years, as children become adults and make choices and decisions for themselves.  We know they will make good and bad ones, and try to help them navigate these hard times, all the while being less involved in their lives.

(I actually thought the part of the story about the secret clubs in the high school would make a very good cautionary tale for a YA book)

I would love to hear your thoughts- please leave a comment!

My Rating

4 out 0f 5

He’s Gone- a review

9 Comments

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He’s Gone

by Deb Caletti

published by Bantam Books

2013

The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.

As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

(from Goodreads)

My Review

I enjoyed this book.  It was interesting and well written.  Beyond that, it neither wowed me or bothered me, except left me feeling a little sad.  The premise of the book is simple at first- wife wakes up Sunday morning, bit of a headache after too much wine the night before.  Where is hubby?  She assumed getting coffee and bagels-great.  She reads, makes a cup of coffee, and waits.  Walks the dog and waits.  Figure maybe he ran errands.  Maybe he was working.   Hours later, when he still hasn’t gotten home, she gets worried and starts making calls.  Where is he?  I thought the author moved the story long nicely and kept it interesting enough, though there really wasn’t much action.  As the days go by, we are given a glimpse into the marriage of Dani and Ian, and we realize slowly how unhappy it was.  Not until you are almost done with the book do you realize you aren’t reading a mystery, but rather a story about marriage.  This book actually reminded me a little of Gone Girl.  Give it a try!

Rating 3.5 out of 5

“There was no question that it was a necessary divorce, but that didn’t make it less painful. You don’t think it will hurt, leaving a marriage like that, do you? But it’s the same misguided thinking that makes people ask, after your mother dies, how old she was. If she was ninety, the bereavement isn’t supposed to be as crushing. But of course it is. Of course. There’s no equation for loss.”
― Deb CalettiHe’s Gone

About the Author

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Deb Caletti is an American writer born in San Rafael, California. She was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the recipient of other numerous awards including PEN USA finalist award, the Washington State Book Award, and SLJ Best Book award.
Deb went to Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington, U.S.A., and graduated in 1981. She earned a BA in Journalism/Communications from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1985. She currently resides in Issaquah, Washington.
A series of television films based on Caletti’s novels is currently in production.