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books

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
Sep 29 2013

About Yvonne

author: 
Masini, Donna

You know you're in for something from the very first sentence, "I have been stalking my husband's lover." You can tell that a poet wrote this book. The images she chooses are downright provocative. She describes the lover Yvonne's toothbrush, "I didn't come up with much but at least now I know what kind of toothpaste she uses. I bought it. And a toothbrush the same color as hers. Green with those little silver sparkles. The kind that tapers at the tip to fit easily into your mouth. I like it better than the kind I've been using. The square kind." That sets up this crazy opposition and emulation, and in a playful, sexual way. Also: this book reeks of sex.

reviewdate: 
Sep 19 2013
isn: 
0-393-04091-7
Sep 15 2013

No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood

author: 
Mantel, Henriette, editor

You know how I'm always complaining about the uneven writing in anthologies, especially Seal Press anthologies? Well that's not a problem in No Kidding. As promised in the subtitle, the contributors are all writers, most of them currently writing professionally. If anything, I felt that the stories were too even, too alike. Basically, the childfree/childless contributors love their nieces, nephews, dogs, cats and careers.

reviewdate: 
Sep 14 2013
isn: 
978-1-58005-443-0
Sep 15 2013

Eleanor & Park

author: 
Rowell, Rainbow

Why on earth is it stepmothers who have the epic bad rep, when it's stepfathers who are known to be dangerous, especially to girls? Eleanor and Park is a story of teen love where the main thing getting in the way of the kids' bliss is one of the partner's shitty home life. Eleanor lives with her mother, stepfather and four siblings, sharing a bedroom with all four of the sibs.

reviewdate: 
Sep 10 2013
isn: 
978-1-250-01257-9