Friday, October 29, 2010

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, by Danielle Evans

I want to wake Chrissie and tell her about this as if it's a warning: Don't push too hard; your last chance to see a person the way you wanted them to be may come at any moment. One minute you have a parent, or a friend, or a lover, something solid, and physics tells you their resistance will always be there to meet you as you press yourself into relief against them. Then all of a sudden your mother is a fading outline in a thunderstorm, wet and weak and so far out of reach; or your lover who may also be your best and only friend is pulled so quickly into someone else's life that you don't even realize he's left yours until you're getting a save-the-date card; or your father is somewhere at the other end of the world and even if you had a number for you, you'd feel wrong calling to tell him to quit collecting stuff when it's painfully clear that you have nothing to offer to replace it.
(from the short story "Wherever You Go, There You Are")

I saw a review of this book in People magazine and it looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. The first story in the collection, "Virgins," was published in 2007, when the author was only 23 years old, which is pretty impressive. I really liked all the stories, albeit more than others, and the characters in the stories tended to be young, African-American, and always with a choice to make.

The stories in the collection include:

Someone Ought to Tell Her There's Nowhere to Go
The King of a Vast Empire
Wherever You Go, There You Are
Robert E. Lee is Dead

4.5 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Take Me There

Take Me There, by Susane Colasanti.

I liked this book overall but there were a few things I did not care for. It's told from three different perspectives - Rhiannon's, Nicole's, and James's - all of whom are main characters. It reminded me of the novel Flipped, however, because when it changed to the other person's perspective it kind of rewound a bit and told events that had already happened, albeit from this new person's perspective ... I found this a little tiring, although sort of interesting.

I have been reading a lot of Colasanti's books recently and many of her others (see below) were better than this one. It was still an interesting read, however, and fans of YA lit will most likely like it.

2.5 stars out of 5.

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