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17anthems
17 August 2009 @ 06:34 pm
Title: The Actual Real Reality of Jennifer James
Author: Gillian Shields
Genre: Realistic fiction (journal-style)
Date Started: August 11th
Date Finished: August 14th
Page Count: 363
Total Page Count: 12819
Summary: (from the book) This is the diary of Jennifer James.
It contains:
One Heroine: Jennifer James, burdened by brains, struggling to release her Inner Babe
One High School: London Road Comprehensive, a no-hope English school in a no-hope English town
One Prize: A scholarship to the elite St. Willibald's College [Jennifer's idea of Paradise] offered to the winner of a tacky reality TV show, Down The Bog
and...
A Thousand Complications: Like Jocasta, the crazy feminist mother; Tallulah, the blond rival from hell; Marcus, the guy with green eyes; and above all, the actual real reality that Jennifer's chances of winning are less than Mega-Zero. . . .
Reason for Reading: Emilie and I stopped at the library right before we left for vacation because I needed some books to read and she needed some DVDs with French language tracks to watch. I just randomly picked up this book.
Opinion of Book: It was alright. I mean, I don’t think reading it was a waste of my time, but it was justokay. Unrealistically predictable, but okay.
Favorite Quote: None really.
 
 
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17anthems
12 August 2009 @ 10:35 am
Title: Lock and Key
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Date Started: August 10th
Date Finished: August 10th
Page Count: 422
Total Page Count: 12456
Summary: (from the back of the book) “Ruby, where is your mother?”
Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give
Reason for Reading: Someone was reading it/raving about it on the DR trip… both this book in particular, and also just Sarah Dessen in general. Megan is also always going on about her books. I’ve read two of them before but it was so long ago and I don’t think I was really paying attention as I was reading… so I don’t really remember them that well. I actually brought them with me though, so those might be the next two that I post. If I don’t decide to read one of the two French books or the Spanish book that I brought. But probably not, because I’m feeling lazy.
Opinion of Book: I really liked this book. While some parts were pretty predictable, it was a really sweet story that I couldn’t really put down. Granted, I was in the car for seven hours, so it’s not like there was much else that I could do… but anyway, yeah, I really did enjoy it. Fun fact: the French word for ‘lock’ is ‘cadenas’, which is one of my favorite French words.
Favorite Quote: “The further you go, the more you have to be proud of. At the same time, in order to come a long way, you have to be behind to begin with.” (p. 387)
 
 
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17anthems
12 August 2009 @ 10:10 am
Title: Please Don't Kill The Freshman
Author: Zoe Trope
Genre: Journal
Date Started: August 10th
Date Finished: August 10th
Page Count: 312 (REREAD)
Total Page Count: 12034
Summary: (from the back of the book) "I wrote a story about you. Well, sort of, see, it's mostly about me. Well, entirely about me, but here's the catch: I'm you. No, really, I mean it. Not like that transcendentalism stuff we're learning in English class, but really, truly, I'm you. I know what it feels like when your heart beats so hard against your white bone ribs, when you sing in the shower with soap in your eyes, when you run until you get a side ache. I wrote this story about you because I am so in love with you, your broken-fence teeth and your tissue-paper scars. I love you when you're so exhausted it could topple you to the ground, so in love it could snap guitar strings, so sickly sweet it could make lips smile. This is a reckless love story. This is my shameless confession."
Reason for Reading: I needed some books to read on vacation so I started digging through my closet. I got this book when I was a freshman in high school and have read it a few times since, but not in awhile. I usually tended to get back into it whenever I needed a monologue for something. Aka Fall Play auditions or Acting Workshop class.
Opinion of Book: I like it. After a while her writing style usually starts to drain me and I have to put it down, but this time I read it straight through. The way she writes is really all over the place- it’s difficult to explain, but it does get confusing. She also never calls anyone by his or her real name- instead she just makes up random nicknames for everyone and has a guide at the beginning of the book. I attempted that once in my own journal a few years ago, but I ended up confusing myself.
Favorite Quote: There are a lot. My copy of this book has pretty much been attacked by pen and pencil and highlighter and folded corners. As I was reading it this time I also found a few random pieces of paper than were probably left over from when I lent it to Lizzy senior year. Cut for quotes.Collapse )
 
 
Current Location: The bottom bunk
Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Ben Folds - The Frown Song | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
17anthems
08 August 2009 @ 11:02 pm
Title: Dismantled
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Genre: Mystery?
Date Started: August 7th
Date Finished: August 8th
Page Count: 422
Total Page Count: 12034
Summary: (from Amazon) “Dismantlement equals freedom.” “To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart.” These are the credos of the Compassionate Dismantlers, a subversive clique of art majors in a Vermont college spearheaded by a sexy and diabolical prankster. Suz purports to be an eco-saboteur, but jealousy and revenge are her primary motives. How strangely bewitched her followers are, how dangerous their actions become, and how wretchedly things go wrong. Nine years after the outlaw group’s catastrophic demise, survivors Henry and Tess live isolated in the countryside, harboring a ruinous secret. Now it seems that the time of reckoning is at hand. As their sweet, preternatural nine-year-old daughter, Emma, grows increasingly, even maniacally devoted to her imaginary friend, inexplicable messages appear, crucial objects disappear, and someone is watching, if not stalking the increasingly freaked-out family. Are the Dismantlers reassembling?
Reason for Reading: I saw it at Target about 2 months ago, and put it in my cellphone along with a bunch of other titles. I then ordered this from the library... but it's new so it took forever to get it... I just picked it up yesterday at 459pm- one minute before the library was about to close- and started reading it once I biked home. I hadn't finished a book in over a month... hehh... but I mean, who REALLY wants to read when you're in the middle of the fucking Dominican Republic? I usually can find an excuse to read anywhere... but not there. MOVING ON.
Opinion of Book: CREEPY INTENSE. I could NOT put this down all Friday and Saturday. Except for going out to a movie with a friend. And going to work. And eating. But BESIDES that. This book was really... captivating? and suspenseful and GOOD.
Favorite Quote: There were some but I didn't mark them.
 
 
Current Location: The couch
Current Mood: hungryhungry
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17anthems
06 July 2009 @ 01:09 pm
Title: The Luxe
Author: Anna Godbersen
Genre: Historical fiction
Date Started: July 4th
Date Finished: Very early July 6th
Page Count: 433
Total Page Count: 11612
Summary: (from the back of the book) Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
Reason for Reading: Eilish randomly lent it to me a few weeks ago.
Opinion of Book: It was good, but some parts of it weren't very 1899 at ALL. Okay, I mean, I wasn't alive then, but they were saying things like 'Hey, man' and using the word 'crush' (as a noun) and I'm not really sure if those words were used back then? But besides all that, it was a good mindless read, but bonus points because it was "historical". Eilish also leant me the second and third books in the series, which I'll probably read. Oh, it's also VERY Gossip Girl.
Favorite Quote: Nothing really.
 
 
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17anthems
05 July 2009 @ 08:15 pm
Title: The Condition
Author: Jennifer Haigh
Genre: Realistic fiction
Date Started: July 2nd
Date Finished: July 4th
Page Count: 390
Total Page Count: 11179
Summary: The book starts at the family’s summerhouse in Cape Cod in 1976… there’s Frank and Paulette, and their kids Billy, Gwen, and Scott. It’s this summer where Frank is the first one to notice that there is something wrong with Gwen- she’s 12, but hasn’t even remotely started puberty, and looks as if she’s still a young kid.
Fast forward to 1997 and the family has all gone their separate ways. We learn that Gwen has been diagnosed with Turner’s syndrome- a condition that “traps her in the body of a child”. While there is nothing wrong with her mentally, her mother’s constant babying has inhibited her social growth/maturation as well. Scott has randomly married a woman named Penny, had two kids, and is stuck reminiscing about his stoner days while teaching English in a very non-prestigious prep school. Billy is a successful (and closeted) cardiologist living in New York City with his partner. Paulette and Frank have divorced, both single and depressed about aging alone…
BUT THEN Gwen gets talked into going out on a scuba diving expedition in the Caribbean by her friend. There, she falls in love for the first time, and the whole family’s life gets “turned on its axis” and is forced to all come back together.
Reason for Reading: I found it at Target last week. It sounded a little little bit like My Sister’s Keeper, which I loved. I was too cheap to buy this book so I got it out from the library.
Opinion of Book: I really liked it. It ended up not being like My Sister’s Keeper much at all, but… whatever. Most of the book was mad depressing, actually, but I was interested to see how it all played out, so I kept reading.
Favorite Quote: There were good ones, but I didn't mark any.
 
 
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17anthems
01 July 2009 @ 02:07 pm
Title: Skinny Bitch
Author: Rory Freedman and Kin Barnouin
Genre: Informative guilt trip
Date Started: June 30th
Date Finished: July 1st
Page Count: 224
Total Page Count: 10789
Summary: This book breaks down pretty much every food group and tells us how pretty much everything that we eat is going to kill us. Nothing is safe. Except tofu. And like, carrots.
Reason for Reading: My friend always has it lying around her house and I usually flip through it whenever I'm there... and eventually she put this book and about 7 others in a giant bag and lent them to me.
Opinion of Book: Wow okay I EAT SO MUCH SHIT. Just... wow, holy fuck, this book really REALLY made me think of all the bad things that I eat. I'm not trying to lose weight- I just want to be healthy- and that will never happen if I keep eating badly. So I'm really going to be more careful now. So I suppose this book did its job.
Favorite Quote: There were some witty/snarky lines, but nothing worth quoting.

Oh PS It's a #1 New York Times bestseller.
 
 
Current Location: The couch
Current Music: Matt Nathanson - Then I'll Be Smiling | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
17anthems
30 June 2009 @ 10:06 pm
Title: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Díaz
Genre: Fiction
Date Started: Sometime the week of June 14th
Date Finished: June 30th
Page Count: 335
Total Page Count: 10565
Summary: (from the back of the book) Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who- from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister- dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú- a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA and back again.
Reason for Reading: Jen lent it to me because I'm going to the DR this summer. I wanted to read it before I left.
Opinion of Book: It was kind of confusing (jumping around in time and just the lack of 'proper' punctuation), but overall I liked it. It starts out by talking about Oscar's life, then as the book goes on it's written about the lives of the people around him, starting around the present then talking about the generations before him. Eventually the reader learns that the narrator is Oscar's sister's friend. There's a fair amount of Spanish in it- and you don't need to have any Spanish knowledge to understand, but it does help a bit. But yeah, anyway, so it follows Oscar's family line back and eventually you learn how they acquired the fukú- the curse- in the first place. As the story went on I understood more and more. Parts of it were funny, but it was also sometimes disturbing and sad- especially the family stuff.
Favorite Quote: "Oscar's idea of G was to talk about role-playing games! How fucking crazy is that? (My favorite was the day on the E bus when he informed some hot morena, If you were in my game I would give you an eighteen Charisma!)" (p. 174)

"It was only when I got on the plane that I started crying. I know this sounds ridiculous but I don't think I really stopped until I met you. I know I didn't stop atoning." (p. 210)

"'I'm in Heaven, [Oscar] wrote in his journal.'
'Heaven? His cousin Pedro Pablo sucked his teeth with exaggerated disdain. Esto aquí es un maldito inferno (This is a fucking hell)."
(p. 275)

"What do you expect? He was a not-so-fat fatboy who'd never kissed a girl, never even lain in bed with one, and now the world was waving a beautiful puta (whore) under his nose. Ybón, he was sure, was the Higher Power's last-ditch attempt to put him back on the proper path of Dominican male-itude. If he blew this, well, it was back to playing Villians and Vigilantes for him." (p. 283)
 
 
Current Location: The couch
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Current Music: TV
 
 
17anthems
17 June 2009 @ 04:55 pm
Title: Size 12 Is Not Fat
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Realistic Fiction; Mystery
Date Started: Sometime last week
Date Finished: June 15th
Page Count: 345
Total Page Count: 10230
Summary: (From somewhere) Heather Wells, an ex-teen pop star, now works at a residence hall in New York as an assistant director. Heather struggles not only with the fact that she no longer has a singing career and that she has put on some weight, but also with her fiancée (Jordon Cartwright, member of a boy band) leaving her - and her newfound feelings for her roommate Cooper, who just happens to be Jordon’s brother. However, all of these worries are put on the back burner when a student in Heather’s residence hall is found dead in the elevator shaft, an apparent victim of an “elevator surfing” accident. Heather doesn’t believe it’s an accident, though, especially when a second girl turns up dead in the exact same manner. When the police don’t take her concerns seriously, Heather takes it upon herself to find out who is killing the girls she has vowed to protect.
Reason for Reading: Meg Cabot is also the author of the Princess Diaries series, which I loved. A lot. This book has been out for a few years... I've been meaning to read it for awhile.
Opinion of Book: I liked it- it was funny. Not as funny as the other series... but I do plan on reading the sequels.
Favorite Quote:"...And suddenly I knew that I've made a horrible mistake. Don't ask me how. I mean, it's not like I have any experience in this kind of thing.
But I know anyway. Know it the way I know the fat content in a Milky Way bar."
(p. 236-237)
 
 
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Current Music: Chess in Concert
 
 
17anthems
01 June 2009 @ 04:45 pm
Title: Twins
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Date Started: May 30th
Date Finished: June 1st
Page Count: REREAD 183
Total Page Count: 9885
Summary: (From somewhere) Mary Lee and Madrigal are identical twins, exactly alike in every way. They're mirror images, two halves of one whole... or so it seems. But when their parents send Mary Lee to boarding school, two thousand miles away from her twin, she feels lost and alone. Mary Lee wishes she could live her sister's life. But then her wish comes true. And MaryLee starts to find out just how different Madrigal was...
Reason for Reading: I hadn't read it in ages... I was going through my closet and found it a couple of days ago.
Opinion of Book: It's good. Kind of eerie. It's also written in 1994 which kind of threw me off because they kept talking about tape players.
Favorite Quote: Nothing really.
 
 
Current Location: The couch
Current Music: ANTM reruns