On My Wish List

THE ORCHARD is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband's family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.

Soul Surfer -
When Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in the fall of 2003 to a shark attack, it looked as if the career of one of the country's top amateur surfers was over. But just ten weeks later, she returned to competition in her native Hawaii, vowing never to give up the sport she loves. She has since earned an indelible place in America's heart by making appearances on 20/20, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and a host of other venues. Now, in Soul Surfer, this extraordinary fourteen-year-old recounts her incredible, harrowing story in her own unforgettable voice.

Bethany has already lived more than a lifetime's worth of triumph and tragedy, and she shares every poignant moment in these pages. Readers learn how she rose once again to the challenges of competition after a life-changing event, how she dealt with the maelstrom of media attention, and how she relied on her faith and innate positive thinking to embrace changes that would undo most people. Written with passion and insight, and filled with thrilling moments of the sport Bethany has come to personify, this is a portrait of American heroism that will captivate readers of all ages.

Review - Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

Title: Like Mandarin
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: March 8, 2011
Hardcover, 320 pages

Barnes and Noble

This was a real interesting read. I liked it and yet, I kind of didn't like it. I kept waiting for something to happen and yet it was just a book about two girls and their time together. How they grow and how they learn from each other. How they hurt each other and how they learn to appreciate each others differences.

I really thought the journey Grace and Mandarin take together. I found it inspiring that Grace wanted to be like Mandarin and didn't really know how it was to really be Mandarin. It was really interesting to see Grace develop as she grew to learn what Mandarin actual had to deal with on a personal, private level.

Again, not necessarily a book I recommend for a younger teen. Talks a lot about sex, especially sex with older, strange men. Mandarin drinks, smokes, works in her father's bar, cheats, doesn't do her school work, etc., etc,. Not a great role model for the younger crowd.

Summary -
It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

Review - Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
Hardcover, 290 pages

Barnes and Noble (Paperback $8.99/Nook $7.99)

I absolutely enjoyed this book. I was horrified, laughed out loud and fell in love all over again. HOWEVER, I do not see this as a teen book. I think this type of book is a definite example of how teen books should be rated. Yes, I am a big believer in freedom of speech, but as a woman and knowing my 14 year old niece, I would not allow her to read this. Simply because I feel that it is preferable for an older teen. It talks about promiscuous sex. Teens lying and making a game of sex and dating. These girls laugh about lying and drinking. Yes, I also realize that this is what teens do, but I do not think this is appropriate for girls still developing their values. It would be a good book if we both read it and talked about it, but I still think it is preferable for an older teen.

Knowing that, I had a fabulous fun time reading this book. The basis of this book breaks my heart. A girl, Annie, falls in love with her neighbors brother, Matt, coincidentally it is her best friend, Frankie. They keep it a secret and it is beautiful. Before they can tell her they are in love, he dies. Tears. Really. Sarah Ockler did such an incredible job telling this. In order to survive, Frankie turns to boys, sex and make-believe. She convinces her best friend, Annie, to dare to use twenty boys to help Annie lose her virginity the summer they go to California with Frankie's parents. Frankie is a maniac. She lies, drinks and is basically a self-centered person. Meanwhile, Annie is mourning her own broken heart, all alone, in secret.

It was so wonderful to read the way this all develops and then blows up. How things can mend in our own hearts and how people may not be who we think they are.

Summary -
"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?"
"Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

Tuesday - Tune In & Teaser

I am a HUGE fan of PM Dawn. My favorite is definitely I'd Die Without You, but this one runs a close second.

Set Adrift On Memory Bliss, PM Dawn

My teaser is longer than two sentences, but I really thought this passage was beautiful and sad.

"I took the book from Imogen and held it up to my face. The dust stung my nose. The aroma was salty and a bit sour. The cover of the book was disintegrating. There hadn't been new books printed (on account of the cost of paper) for as long as I had been alive, maybe longer. Nana once told me that when she was a girl there used to be huge stores filled with paper books."

All These Things I've Done
Gabrielle Zevin

IMM - In My Mailbox

Sorry about how bad my eyes look. We had a huge storm from come in and my allergies always react to rain.

Library Ebooks -
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
Fire by Kristin Cashore (#2 Seven Kingdoms)
Amen, LA by Cherie Bennett

Borrowed from Work -
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Won -
Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Ash @ Smash Attack Reads

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend by Susan Orlean
A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Faith, Deception and Survival at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

What's in your Mailbox?