What is your reading goal this year?

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Evolution of Thomas Hall

The Evolution of Thomas Hall by Kieth Merrill


"Susan Cassidy's face flushed crimson. "You have unusual talent, Mr. Hall," she said, "but you're wasting your talent on most of what you do. I don't think you've begun to plumb the depths of your real capacity." "Look. I appreciate your confidence in me and in my art, but, uh..." The artist searched for a delicate way to say it without crushing the prospects of seeing this woman again in a different circumstance. He smiled his charming best to soften the blow. "I'm afraid I've got to pass on your project." Her look was a mixture of sadness and anger. "Have you considered the possibility you might be passing up the one project that will define who you are? Who you are destined to be?"

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I loved the descriptions, the writing style, the characters, and the color words. I loved the color words in this book, even though I may have had to actually look up what a few of the colors were, because they were unusual and very descriptive. I liked how Thomas thought in color because he saw the world through his artist eyes. At the beginning of the book I really didn't care for Thomas as a character. He was rude, arrogant, uncaring, and self-absorbed. As his "evolution" occurs, though, he becomes a much more likable character. There are some great characters in this book; they were each well developed and real. Susan was probably my favorite character. I thought she was classy and yet down-to-earth. I also liked Sargeant Ray Evans and thought his aspect of the story brought in a different level of depth. Even though I disliked Hawker, I thought he was well developed and I definitely would not want to work for him! Christina was such a sweetheart, and my heart just hurt for her and her circumstance. The story evolves so naturally and you see how attitudes, beliefs, and values change throughout lifetimes. This is a story of an agnostic man who experiences things in his life that open his eyes to the possibility of God. After he sees things, he can't un-see them, and his life begins to change. I loved being able to see inside Thomas' soul and feel his doubt, indifference, and apathy turn into something else completely. 

There is some profanity in this book, but not a whole lot. In fact, I really liked what the author did. He showed the profanity by having others react to it. So you knew the character swore, but you didn't have to read it. It was a great way to show the character without subjecting the audience to the actual language. There were some innuendos, but no "intimacy" scenes. There were a few yelling matches, but no violence other than that. I liked this book a lot and would definitely recommend it to anyone with the above warnings. 

Rating: PG-13+ (Some profanity, a few innuendos, and some minor violence)

Recommendation: 16-17 and up. I think it's still too much for my 14 year-old, but should be fine for older teen-agers. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Who Do You Love

Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner


"Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. Rachel grew up in an affluent Florida suburb; Andy grows up in inner-city Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent for running. Over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again--linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed the course of both their lives. A sweeping story of love across time, Who Do You Love is an extraordinary novel about the way people change and change each other, and one that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page."

My Review:

This is a shereads.org book of spring. I'm a little late in posting. All that end of school year stuff is crazy!! Field day, book swap, awards, recitals......and on and on. So anyway, I'm just now getting to my review. I liked this book; it is perfect chick-flic material! Both of the main characters are developed well. They're so cute in the beginning. Each has had to deal with hard circumstances, but completely different. I loved the scene in the hospital when they met, it was so sweet. As time goes on and they get older, Rachel and Andy's personalities, attitudes, and priorities change. It's an interesting dynamic because they both went through stages where I'd love them one chapter and dislike them the next. Rachel at college drove me crazy. However, Andy during intense training drove me crazy. And then their circumstances would change, along with their attitudes and priorities, and I'd like them again. Both characters seemed authentic and real. I liked Ms. Weiner's writing style, and I couldn't put the book down. Her style grabs your attention and pulls you into the story. It's easy to read, but not simplistic. I did have to flip back to the chapter headings a few times to remind myself what year I was in, but it got easier as I continued reading. The book was a little predictable, and sappy, but isn't that what we love about chick-flics? I liked that the characters each learned life lessons along the way, and that they weren't static, but that they grew along the way. I enjoyed getting caught up in Rachel and Andy's story; it was sweet and fun with some twists and turns along the way. 

There is some profanity in the book, but not a ton. There isn't any violence, but there is a lot of "intimacy." There are scenes that are quite descriptive, innuendos, and discussions about. It was a bit too much for me, honestly. I would have enjoyed it more if it would have been toned down a bit. I did enjoy this story and would recommend it with the above warnings.

Rating: R (This book is not appropriate for YA or younger readers. There isn't any violence, but there is some profanity. There is a lot of "intimacy," and some of it is quite detailed and descriptive.)

Recommendation: Adult