Oct 21 2013

Cooked Seed

author: 
Min, Anchee

You may recall that I was enthusiastic about Min's first memoir, Red Azalea and her novel Wild Ginger. I expected to like Cooked Seed twice as hard. It starts more or less where Azalea leaves off--at Min's emigration to the US. Somehow, even after the stories of Cultural Revolution privations, cruelties and humiliations in the first part, Seed is harder to take. I guess because you can blame Min's problems on her, or maybe because you have to blame some of her problems on the United States.


reviewdate: 
Oct 19 2013
isn: 
978-1-60819-424-7
Oct 20 2013

Fangirl

author: 
Rowell, Rainbow

Identical twin Cather (sister's name is Wren--get it?) writes popular slash fiction in the world of a Harry Potter like series where the lovers are the Harry-like character Simon Snow and his enemy, a Draco Malfoy stand-in Baz (who is also a vampire). Cath is also an introverted college freshman and virgin from Omaha at college in Lincoln. Her twin sister/best friend is blowing her off, their estranged mother is poking her head into their lives, and their dad is fragile. Plus there are some boy issues, what might be an anxiety disorder and a little schoolwork to worry about.

reviewdate: 
Oct 15 2013
isn: 
978-1-250-03095-5
Oct 13 2013

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

author: 
Fowler, Karen Joy

Fowler's first-person narration is like a lucid dream. The protagonist, Rosemary Cooke, is caught up, but self-aware and conscious of various versions of the past and present. This is kind of a spoiler, but if you read the book jacket you'll find out the same thing--that Rose spent the first five years of her life with a chimp for a sister. The two (two months apart in age) were raised together until the chimp, Fern, was sent away.

Quotations: 

Fair warning, as it turned out--kindergarten is all about learning which parts of you are welcome at school and which are not.

I can't believe that being called Fredericka my whole life wouldn't have taken a toll. I can't believe it wouldn't have mind-bent me like a spoon. (Not that I haven't been mind-bent.)

"When I get married," I say, "I want the wedding to be in a car in a car wash."

When I run the world, librarians will be exempt from tragedy. Even their smaller sorrows will last only for as long as you can take out a book.

reviewdate: 
Oct 12 2013
isn: 
978-1-101-59568-8
Oct 13 2013

Paper Life, a

author: 
O'Neal, Tatum

I love all of Tatum O'Neal's child-star movies and her in them--especially Paper Moon (well, yeah, the book was better, but what can you do?), The Bad News Bears and Little Darlings. O'Neal's autobio fills us in on the horror behind her success. The nine-year-old youngest-ever winner of an Academy Award went to the ceremony sans her selfish, druggie parents. If this tell-all is even half-true, O'Neal's parents, stepmother Farrah Fawcett and husband John McEnroe were serious douches to her.

reviewdate: 
Oct 8 2013
isn: 
0-06-054097-4
Oct 06 2013

Astronaut Wives Club: a True Story, the

author: 
Koppel, Lily

I'm in a bad mood and don't have a descriptive review in me. Basically, Lily (I can call her Lily because she interviewed me for a story once) provides a bio-history of the 1960s and early 70s space program from the point of view of the women married to the astronauts. The wives always had to be perfect and patriotic, and any display of insecurity or anger could threaten a husband's job and what assignments he might get. Indeed one astronaut did get fired after he left his wife for a Susie. (Susie was a popular name for Cape Cookies, it seems.)

reviewdate: 
Oct 6 2013
isn: 
978-1-4555-0325-4
Oct 06 2013

Unbreakable

author: 
Norris, Elizabeth

In the follow up to Unraveling, teenager Janelle Tenner is once again called upon to race a clock to prevent deaths. I was less into this version and annoyed by the romance angle, which felt thin and inorganic. Upside: Janelle is a powerful badass, taking out adult men with her weapons and even her bare hands.

reviewdate: 
Oct 1 2013
isn: 
978-0-06-210376-5
Sep 29 2013

Full-Blooded

author: 
Carlson, Amanda

When the first-ever female werewolf is born, the boys are not excited to share their toys with her. There's even some legend about a female wolf causing the destruction of werekind. Dudes can be so lame!

reviewdate: 
Sep 28 2013
isn: 
978-0-316-20566-5
Sep 29 2013

Unraveling

author: 
Norris, Elizabeth

A San Diego teen gets hit by a car and killed. Then she is brought back to life and learns she has about three weeks to stop the world from being destroyed. Yes. I've hit the point in the academic year, when I can really only handle YA dystopias and novels about werewolves.

reviewdate: 
Sep 24 2013
isn: 
978-0-06-210373-4