Friday, August 13, 2010

"Remedies"

Remedies, by Kate Ledger.

No one ever warned you how hard it was going to be, having children. And you could never guess how much destruction they would do to you, inadvertently, or with your own abetment. You could never imagine how desperately you would want to protect yourself.

Remedies tells the story of Simon and Emily Bear - of their failing marriage; their child, Jamie; the child that they lost, Caleb; and of infidelity. Simon, a doctor, is on the verge of a major medical breakthrough, and he ignores Emily and Jamie, inadvertently. Emily, meanwhile, is having an affair with an old flame, which Simon doesn't even realize since he is so busy with his medical practice. The novel shows a family dissolving, slowly, piece by piece, and its done in great detail and at its own pace.

This is Ledger's first novel, and although it was lengthy, it was very good. She describes each facet of the Bear family's lives in such detail that it kept me wanting to read more and more. The ending was not what I expected, but it was one that, when thinking about it, I did agree works for the novel.

3.5 stars out of 5.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"The Unwritten Rule"

The Unwritten Rule, by Elizabeth Scott.

There are a million rules for being a girl. There are a million things you have to do to get through each day. High school has things that can trip you up, ruin you, people smile and say one thing and mean another, and you have to know all the rules, you have to know what you can and can't do.

And one of them is this: You don't kiss your best friend's boyfriend. You don't do it once. You certainly don't do it twice.


I thought for sure that I had written about another of Elizabeth Scott's books on here, but when I perused the archives, it turned out that I had not. I have read Bloom, Perfect You, and also Something, Maybe by her as well, and all of them are good YA novels. In this novel, Sarah likes Ryan, and has since 8th grade, but he's currently going out with her best friend Brianna - which is, of course, a problem.

The book didn't end exactly as I had predicted, which was rather interesting. Sarah's character grows a lot as a whole, which I was happy to see, because throughout most of the novel, she is Brianna's mousy little sidekick, for the most part. Elizabeth Scott's novels are mostly about relationships between guys and girls, usually when they are teenagers, and this novel was no different; however, the fact that another girl is dating the guy Sarah wants to date throws a monkey wrench into the usual "girl meets guy" formula.

4 stars out of 5.