Although they're busy, the girls found time to send me their recommendations this week. Thanks guys!
Liesl’s Choice this week:
A SOFT PLACE TO LAND by Susan Rebecca White
Here's the story behind this book. The geek that I am did the summer reading program at our library this past summer. As a prize for getting points, you can pick out of a bunch of ARCs that were 10 points each. I had 20 points and was with a friend and being rushed in my decision, I grabbed this and one other that I had read before. Anyway, after reading the book that I was already reading, I started this one and couldn't put it down.
This book was about two sisters whose parents die in a plane crash over the Grand Canyon. The sisters had been inseparable, and in their parents plans it had been left that Julia (the older of the 2) would go to Virginia with her birth dad, and that Ruthie (the younger) would go to San Francisco with her dad’s sister and husband. Since the two sisters were so close, it was heartbreaking for them so be separated and they plotted and wrote letters and tried to get themselves to live together.
Anyway...they never end up living together and because of it, they kind of drift apart. In the 9/11 terrorist attack, Julia happened to be in New York, and so when Ruthie and Julia finally get ahold of each other they realize how much they need each other and it brings their relationship back to where it had been.
This is a really beautifully written book and being a sister it really was something that I could relate to. It is definitely a must read, and its kinda funny reading about San Francisco - we live right here!
LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater
I know we've all read Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater, so we're all dreadfully excited that Linger has arrived!
When my sisters, mom, and I dropped by Cynthia's the other day to bring her a borrowed alto sax, books, and carrot cake, she accidentally let slip that she had the next book--Linger--and then asked if Liesl and I wanted it to borrow it. I'm quite sure we didn't mean to shout, but our resounding, "YES!!!" (PS, jinx, Liesl!) was a bit loud. Anyway, Cynthia went and fetched said book for us, and I grabbed it, and I'm sure we were looking at it in awe and wonder--almost scared to open it because we had waited so long.......but no more!
Linger--for those poor book-malnourished souls who have yet to read Shiver (and if you fall into this category, go read it! There is a library located conveniently close to us here and Amazon is right online!)--Linger is the sequel to the suspenseful novel, Shiver. Because it's a sequel, I have to give you a bit of background so you can understand everything in Shiver. This happens when you're reviewing a book that comes out after another and is related and has the same characters and a continuing storyline. So you should be happy I did not choose to review Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (AKA number 7), though I may when the movie comes out in November!
Shiver followed main characters Grace (the girl) and Sam (the boy werewolf) through the first stages of their relationship. Grace has watched the woods her entire childhood, and loves the wolves that live behind her house even though they attacked her when she was about 7. She is drawn to one wolf in particular. "Her wolf," the one with yellow eyes that seem to stare straight at her. Sam has watched the girl his entire childhood through the eyes of a wolf. He is the wolf. Bitten when he was seven, Sam lives in the woods behind Grace's house in the winter with his pack, only turning human with a few others when during the summer months when there is hot weather.
When Grace is 17 and Sam is 18, they first meet each other as humans. Sam was shot as a wolf and shifted to human when Grace found him. She brought him to the hospital, where they treat him as much as possible before Sam and Grace run away. (The majority of the human population does not believe in quickly healing werewolves.) Grace brings Sam back to her house (I warn that this is not a good idea to do in real life, as it will not be taken well by your parents), and they figure out that Sam is Grace's wolf, and eventually they fall in love, la-di-da. It's all very happy, and they aren't found out by Grace's parents, even though Sam is sleeping in her bed (just sleeping). But, the catch is that it's almost winter, the weather is getting colder, and it's Sam's last year shifting to human. Sam fights to retain his humanity and find a cure, Grace fights to keep Sam human and find a cure, and there are some other characters. Jack--the new werewolf--, Jack's sister Isabel, Grace's friend, Olivia, and Sam's almost father, Beck.
[Cynthia: Sorry Portia, I took out the spoiler here! Let’s just say that Sam shows up in the second book.]
Linger is told through first person perspective, but the perspective shifts every few pages from Grace to Sam to Isabel to a new werewolf, Cole. I really like the changing perspective, though I know some people can find it confusing. It offers a better coverage of the story to the reader because you get background of every character and know what they're thinking, hiding, and how they react to the different situations. It can get maddening, though, when the characters misunderstand each other, or don't recognize something and you know what's going on, and you think they're pretty thick.
In this book, Isabel is trying to cope with the death of her brother and come to believe that it's not her fault--though she thinks it is--while also trying not to fall for the new werewolf, Cole. Cole is trying to run away from his horrible past life as front singer and keyboardist of the teen band, NARKOTIKA, and trying not to fall for Isabel. Grace is getting sick, and she doesn't know what it is. She's getting headaches and stomach aches and fevers, is always tired, and is trying to hide is all and downplay it so Sam doesn't worry. She's also starting to rebel against her suddenly controlling parents. Sam is starting to worry about Grace, but is also having trouble believing in his cure, and accepting that he is going to stay human no matter how cold it is outside. He doesn't want to deal with Cole and leading the werewolf pack.
I'm not going to run through every little thing in the story, as that would take too much time, give away too much, and you would all get bored, but I've covered the four main characters main struggles as much as you need. The end was very surprising, unexpected, but also not (I admire people who can write endings like that), as happy as Shiver's. That's all I will say. But I sincerely hope there is a next book as my sanity desperately needs it. :)
[Cynthia: Portia, you’re in luck! FOREVER, the third and final book comes out next year.]
On this date: In 1973, American Graffiti was released.