Thursday, October 27, 2011

books 2011 #32-35

The Nobodies AlbumThe Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Probably more like 3.5 stars.

Author Octavia Frost decides to write a book comprised of alternative endings to all of her previous novels. She is also drawn into a murder mystery involving her estranged son.

Interesting premise. I really enjoyed the writing, although I wished there weren't so much language.

City of ThievesCity of Thieves by David Benioff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two young men (a deserter and a looter) are charged with a mission: bring back a dozen eggs to make a wedding cake by the deadline and keep their lives. While the premise of this WWII-era book is promising and the characters charismatic and interesting, I just can't recommend it because it is so filled with vulgarity.

RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't remember the last time a book grabbed me the way Room did. I literally had a hard time putting it down.

Jack and Ma live in Room, a space just 11x11', and Jack has never known anything else. His life is made up of Bed, Wardrobe, Rug, etc. He celebrates his fifth birthday at the beginning of the book, and his is the precocious, yet childlike, voice of the narrator.

Having Jack be the narrator was a brilliant choice because a sense of innocence is preserved, even in the face of some pretty horrific circumstances.

I was stunned by the way that Ma makes a life for Jack in that tiny space, the things she has taught him, that face that he doesn't know his life is lacking anything. As a mother, it is hard to imagine never being able to be apart from my child, even for a minute. As tempting as it would be to let him watch tv all day, she resists the urge and creates a rich life for her son. She is fully engaged with him, and their bond is remarkable. This book made me evaluate my own parenting.

While Jack seems perfectly content, Ma knows all that they are missing and is desperate to escape. I was rooting for Jack and Ma and hoping so much that they would both find happiness. I would have followed them anywhere, and I thought the ending was spot on perfect.

Velva Jean Learns to DriveVelva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sweet Southern story about a plucky girl who grows up mostly without parents but with lots of other family and important people in her life. She just yearns to get out of her small town and make something of herself (she dreams of being a singer in Nashville), and you yearn for her to be able to achieve her dreams. Unsurprisingly, life happens and it looks like she might be stuck for good.

There is just enough real-life stuff here to keep it interesting, and enough redemption to keep it from being heavy. I could recommend this one to anyone.

3.5 stars.

View all my reviews


Melinda said...

I need to get the Room on my Kindle. I am dying to read it after hearing so much about it from that weekend. I really enjoy your reviews because I have no idea what to read.

Charlotte said...

I've had The Room on my list for a while now, and after your review I can't wait to read it!

rmt said...

I'm so glad you loved Room as much as I did! I think it was one of the most intriging books I've read in a long time.

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