I know that it's been ages since I last posted a review here -- to say that life has been busy would be an understatement! Life with Marko has been utterly wonderful; he's the perfect baby, and has even been gifting us up to five hours of consecutive sleep each night ... we feel like the luckiest parents in the world!
I've slowly been getting back into reading, especially now that the feeling's coming back into my fingers (yippee!!) and just finally finished the book that I had started prior to Marko's birth (review to come on that one shortly). But, in order to play catch-up, I thought I'd post a few mini reviews of the books that I finished in January / early February, and didn't have a chance to review before Marko's arrival. So, with no further ado, here goes...
Cracked Up to Be - Courtney Summers
I actually reviewed this one towards the end of January; however, during the process of writing my review, my internet connection timed out and I lost the whole thing. Oops! I really enjoyed the other two books that I read by Courtney (Some Girls Are and This is Not a Test), but something about Cracked Up to Be just fell flat for me. I think it was mainly Parker's character -- I never found myself identifying with her, or empathizing with her in her struggles. The way that she behaved towards everyone around her grated on my nerves and, even when I found out WHY she was behaving the way she was, it still didn't justify her actions for me. Basically, without spoiling anything, Parker used to be the perfect high school girl -- great student, captain of the cheerleading squad, dating the most popular guy in school, etc, etc. And then she becomes the complete opposite -- barely passing her classes, drinking at school, in trouble with the admin, and basically being a royal pain in the butt to everyone around her, including her former friends. I kept reading because I love Courtney Summers' books SO MUCH but, even by the end, I found that this one didn't live up to my expectations. I still have one more of her books to read and my fingers are crossed that it's a better one!
After I read Sweethearts in almost one sitting over the Christmas holidays, I was excited to read another Sara Zarr book -- and this one had received great reviews too. I listened to this one on audio as I drove to and from work for my last couple of weeks, which was great as it still gave me an opportunity to read when I wasn't reading much in the way of print books, due to my tingly fingers. I loved everything about this story. The characters were amazing and the narration on the audiobook was phenomenal (I absolutely LOVE when audiobooks use a different narrator for each voice in the story and Mandy and Jill were each narrated by a different actress, which was great since if I jumped into the car mid-chapter, it was easy to remember whose chapter I was in the middle of listening to). Plus, the storyline of the book was so relevant to what was going on in my life -- I remember Mandy talking about feeling the baby kick, and being 38 weeks pregnant and I was just going "Yes, yes, yes -- I totally know how you're feeling!" Plus, the relationships between all of the secondary characters, and the emotional struggles that each character goes through, and everything about this book is just so PERFECT. Sara Zarr has become one of my new favourite writers, and I'm so excited to read another of her books!