"Matched" - 2010 - Ally Condie

Thanks, Kristy.

I enjoyed this YA novel that made me appreciate cursive, 
and also a little thing called freedom of artistic expression!

Looking forward to the sequel, "Crossed."

And no, the title does not glow in the dark, I tried...it just really, really looks like it does.

March Leftovers

Road Trip

"Texas Destiny" - Lorraine Heath - 1997

I remember seeing a copy of "Texas Destiny" at a Goodwill a few years ago, and actually being hurt someone could return a book I loved so much.  I should have bought that copy, as my copy has broken binding (but opens directly to favorite passages) and feels dangerously close to falling to pieces.  It's been loved too much, because I keep returning to Houston and Amelia's story.  I probabaly re-read "Texas Destiny" every three months.  It is my number one comfort read, because it combines several of my favorite plots, (the wrong brother, mail-order bride, road romance) with my favorite hero ever, beta or otherwise, and a beautiful and genuine heroine.  Every time I read a new romance I'm looking for a certain feeling  - tugs on my heartstrings so strong I feel the pain in my fingertips - but that feeling is few and far between, you get a twinge every once in a while, if you're lucky, but "Texas Destiny" never ceases to tug, no matter how often I revisit it.  

I got up in front of people, and I wasn't even nervous.

Read some gems at the open mic last week.  

The image came from a site called, Awful Library Books, but I have my very own copy and can mock it anytime!

"The Lover's Dictionary" - David Levithan - 2011

The Problem: short attention span, no interest in finishing the books I've started.
The Solution:  "The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan.

It was just what I needed. 

1) A quick read.
2) An intelligent read.
3) A real modern love story.

Levithan writes YA Fiction with gay and straight teen characters, best known for "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" he also co-authored "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" a novel I recently read and enjoyed. "The Lover's Dictionary" is exactly what is says, a story of a couple told through applicable dictionary entries.  Everything we know about the couple, (met online, live in NYC, stable/unstable backgrounds) is told through the narrator's first-person POV, his words are directed at the love interest only as "you."  This allows the characters to be read as gay or straight,  The Guardian sees it as a 'boy meets girl' story, but Levithan did write, "Boy Meets Boy" in 2005...  I feel by leaving the character gender neutral a broader cross-section of people will personally identify and enjoy this universal story of tenderness and heartbreak.  I hope Levithan decides to write more adult fiction, (nothing against the teens -I love YA literature) he nailed the quirks and nuances of adult relationships in such a concise form, I'd love to see what he'd do with a longer novel. 

"Winterbourne" - Susan Carroll - 1987

Look, sometimes you want to read a recommended book but the only copy is large print - that doesn't necessarily make it an "old lady book" or "a book old ladies would like"...but it probably does.  This book is an AAR Desert Island Keeper - it has its moments, but to my tastes, it has a lot going against it.

1) Medieval Setting (just so dirty and gross).
2) Alpha Male Hero (yeah, yeah the betas don't make it very far in battle, I get it)
3) That late 80's feel, that's hard to explain, but usually means the hero is an idiot, who swears he'll never love anyone.  Ever. Again...
4) Long Separations
5) Attacks on the Heroine (that's right, more than one).

I'm almost done reading, and I gotta be honest, I'm skimming to the end.

These trees

are my

current obsession.

He's Back!

Well, he isn't sure where his balls went, but he's all recovered from his surgery this past Monday, and getting into all kinds of places he shouldn't be!

"Will Grayson, Will Grayson" - John Green & David Levithan - 2010

a mix that the characters would listen to: heavy on the Neutral Milk Hotel.

  "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" tells the intertwining story of two boys from different suburbs of Chicago who share the same name and meet by chance in a most unlikely setting.   Popular YA authors, John Green and David Levithan each take a "Will Grayson" and tell their stories in alternating chapters. 

Levithan's "Will Grayson" comes from a broken home, takes medication for depression and is struggling with his homosexuality.  He frequently speaks on IM and doesn't use capitals or very much punctuation, but, neither does Levithan for his chapters.   I find this stylistic choice accurate, but annoying.  I also found his Will Grayson, honest and heartbreaking.  

John Green's "Will Grayson" is less endearing throughout most of the novel.  He acts in sterotypically "straight boy" ways, is a bit of a hipster, and a bit of an ass.  In Green's early chapters, two characters bond over Neutral Milk Hotel,  and while I am also a bit enamored with the mystique of Jeff Mangum it just feels wrong to read about it in a novel.   

This book may be called "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" but the heart of the novel and both stories is "Tiny Cooper" a walking contradiction of massive football player and out and proud musical theater playwright.  Someone give this man his own book set in a liberal college, please!

All in all I enjoyed this experiment in co-authorship much more than "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" and even checked some stand alone novels from both Green and Levithan.  Oh, and I loved the cover, metallic circles of confusion creating a subtle gay pride rainbow - if it looks a bit too sci-fi, I'm okay with that.

Had a squeal-worthy moment during "The King's Speech"...

...and if you recognize this actress, you'll understand why I was so excited!