All posts filed under: May & June

May / June Book

May and June mean school’s out and it’s almost summer! This time of year we like to read a good YA book to celebrate this liberation. Our pick this May / June was selected as the Goodreads Choice Awards winner for the Best Young Adult Fiction in 2016. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is set in the winter of 1945 when four teenagers flee four different homelands for safe passage on the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises refuge and freedom. And each of the four teenagers—Joana, Florian, Emilia, and Alfred—harbor their own secrets which haunt them at every step of their journey. The paths of these four converge along the way when tragedy strikes. This book was inspired by the greatest tragedy in maritime history. It’s estimated that as many as 9,400 people died. Sepetys’ book sheds light on this great tragedy through the story of these four young men and women, each fighting for survival and freedom.  Sepetys said she wanted to shed light on this event… “Every nation has hidden history, countless …

Revisiting an Old Favorite

I read Perks a long time ago, sometime during my middle school years, and while I remember liking it, that’s about the only memory I have. When we chose it for our May/June read I was eager to re-read it but anxious that it wouldn’t hold up to all the “I loved that book!” comments we received. Thankfully, it did. Admittedly, it took me a bit to get back into it, but once I fell back in love with the characters I was hooked. Via letters to an anonymous friend, Charlie navigates becoming a teenager–something we all can relate to. Shy and quiet, he’s not the most popular kid in school but he soon finds a group of friends that welcome him and make him feel at home. A shy and quiet teenager myself, I was surprised Charlie and his friends didn’t have more of an impact on me when I read it in middle school. While I wasn’t quite as rebellious as he was when it came to drinking and smoking, I struggled to …

Crying and Smiling at the Same Time

My journey with The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a long one. I first read the book when I was in high school, not long after it was released in 1999.I read it for the second time immediately after I finished the first reading. I remember as a teenager thinking that this book perfectly captured some of the struggles of high school. Even though Charlie and I had very little in common in terms of our experiences, I remember understanding his feelings of “outsiderness” and confusion. My next foray into Perks was in 2012 when the movie was released. I hadn’t read the book in over 12 years, and though I still counted it as one of my favorites, I had forgotten some of the details and so of course found myself a sobbing mess in the theater. Now here I am, having completed my most recent reading of Chbosky’s first novel, and I am feeling all the same things I felt 16 years ago, plus even more. Reading it this time around, I found myself, as Bill …

Have courage and be kind

I’m very glad that I finally crossed The Perks of Being a Wallflower off my list. I’d seen the movie years ago, which only made me more interested to read the book. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet you really should. I think it does a really, really great job with this story. And well cast, too. I think this book is a new favorite of mine. The only thing about it that I might change would be to have read it at a younger age. It truly is a perfect young adult read. The story, the protagonist Charlie’s authentic, pure perspective on the fragile high school years, the perfect capture of those one-in-a-lifetime friendships, and the subtle telling of a larger more grievous story all made for a powerful read. And I loved the letter-writing style. It felt like Charlie was confiding in you. Of course this is an intentional literary tool, but admittedly it worked very well for Charlie’s story. And who wouldn’t love Charlie? I mean, when he has thoughts like this you can’t help but love …

May/June Book

Images © http://www.collider.com May and June are two of our combo months (along with December and January). We read just one book for May & June. It makes it a good time to catch on some other things. And this month (these months) the theme is: School’s Out! So, drumroll please… dun dah dah dah!!! Ok. That’s enough. For May & June we’ll be reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s a modern young-adult classic. Or at least that’s what we’ve heard. It’s one of those books that’s always on our TBR (to be read) lists, but somehow we’ve gone years without picking it up. And, maybe, watching the movie instead. Ahem. Well, enough procrastinating. It’s time to officially give this one a go. You in?? Well, you should be. And if the movie trailer doesn’t grab you (trust us, the story is about a lot more than it seems), here are a few more fun facts… The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written by Stephen Chbosky and first published in 1999. Chbosky is a native of Pittsburg, as is our protagonist Charlie. …

Eager for the End

After reading (and loving) Ready Player One I was excited to give Ender’s Game a try. I’d heard from many trusted fellow book nerds what a great book it was but had shied away because I thought it wasn’t “my kind of book.” I should have trusted my gut. This book tested my patience as I struggled through the first third, finding nothing that captured me or held my interest. After setting it down for a few days (instead I read Wonder, which I would highly recommend, and The Good Girl), I picked it back up, determined to chug through. Plus, I was told the ending would change my mind. Eager to get to said ending, I admittedly skimmed a large part of the middle half. So as not to give anything away, all I’ll say about the ending is I appreciated what they were trying to do. And I certainly enjoyed the last quarter of the book much more than the rest, I just wish I didn’t have to slog through the other three-quarters just to …

Sooner rather than later

Hello, all. Long time no talk to. I have to say, it was a good thing we decided to combine May and June and to just read one book over two months… phew! Life’s been busy! Anyway… I did finish Ender’s Game a few weeks ago. And I have mixed feelings. Overall, I liked it. But I feel like my impression suffered a little from high expectations. I know this is a favorite for a lot of readers in my generation, and I can see why. But it didn’t quite hook me as strongly. Mostly because I didn’t love the pacing. It felt to me a lot like the third book in the Hunger Game series… 200 pages were dedicated to some very slow-paced events, and then the remaining pages had years worth of action. It felt a little rushed. But the sprint to the finish line aside, there were some really interesting themes that pulled me in… The difference between the male and female persona. Although I’m not entirely sure this book depicted those differences …

The Bookly Bulletin: June 2015

A few months ago, I announced a new post titled “The Bookly Bulletin” where I’d be sharing book-related tidbits from around the web… And then I didn’t do anything. Life, as it does, had me a bit distracted. BUT, I’m back and with the very first Bookly Bulletin installment. So let’s not wait any longer and get right to it! If you’re like me (ahem, a book hoarder), you might be running out of shelf space. Thankfully, The Everygirl provided some ideas to use them as home decor. Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth and On Beauty, wrote a piece on Oprah.com about what it means to be addicted to reading. I can’t get enough of these two Instagram accounts. Did you know All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction? Have you read it? It can be hit or miss (depending on your taste in pop culture), but The New York Times’ “By the Book” column is one of my favorites. As an Aziz Ansari fan, I’m intrigued by his new book …

May & June Book

This month’s theme is …. Schooooooool’s OUT. For. The summer! (Get ready for that song to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day) Spring is here, school’s almost out, and summer’s on it’s way. Now begins those few precious months all of us post-grads miss so desperately… Summer Break (excluding the teachers in the group). So forget required reading for awhile and enjoy! In honor of school days past, we’re reading the young adult classic Ender’s Game!   Written by American author Orson Scott Card in 1985, Ender’s Game is a scifi novel set in Earth’s future, when mankind is about to face a third attack from alien life. The main character, Ender, is one of the many children trained from an early age to fight in this ongoing war. But apparently there’s a certain genius to Ender’s tactics… we’ll have to read to see what that is exactly. Some of you might remember the movie that came out in 2013 with Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley. Yes? No? It looked pretty awful and it didn’t seem to do very well considering the book’s existing fan base… …