GRACE by T. Greenwood, (c) 2012. This is one of those expensive trade paperbacks with a thick cover with an inside flap front and back. I’m enjoying the book so far. Grace is the little 5 year old sister of Trevor Kennedy. Trevor is thirteen years old and he towers above everyone else in his class. He’s got the body of a young man in his 13 year old body, yet he has this high pitched voice of a boy. Trevor is the class misfit with his bleached blonde hair and very pale complexion and he has been teased all his life, but now that he’s older and much larger than everyone else has anger is a little more hard to control when the teasing starts so he gets held in detention after school for an hour a few times. Trevor’s family loves him especially little Gracy’s unconditional love. Trevor is given special attention by his elderly art teacher and she gives him a camera to express himself. Walgreen’s is where Trevor and Gracy’s mother has a shoplifting habit it’s also where Crystal the store’s clerk see’s the photos when Trevor brings his film to be developed. Something happens as Crystal’s life becomes entwined with the Kennedy family, and something horrible happens. What? I have no idea, and it’s better that way. I like this book a lot so far.
STONE GARDEN by Molly Moynahan, (c) 2004. This was a lovely “coming of age” story about a 17 year old girl named Alice McGuire who’s best friend and boyfriend Matthew Swan comes up missing while in Mexico. The whole town is heartbroken and this story is how they deal with the death of a special person.
IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, (c) 2010. This book reminds me the story LOVELY BONES. I watched that movie and I read the book. The movie was down right depressing watching the spirit of the girl as she visited her family and her murderer. Then her bones are never recovered from that trunk in the sink hole. How depressing can a story get. Even though the murderer get his in the end it was still sad. Now IF I STAY, is quite similar except the 17 year old girl Mia is in a coma, and her spirit watches everything going on. Seeing her parents dead bodies and her own damaged body on the side of the road. Meanwhile she and her younger brother are alive. So I guess her spirit/soul gets to decide if she goes with her parents or stays on earth with her brother. Although I thought we didn’t get a choice, that the creator chooses? Anyway I will continue to read this book.
SUCH A PRETTY FACE by Cathy Lamb, (c) 2010. This nice trade paperback was so enjoyable to read. Stevie is a formerly obese woman, who had a heart attack at age 32 and then chose surgery to save her life. So then she pared down 170 pounds and weighed a nice 150 pounds at 5′ 7″ tall and she was beautiful just like her mother who was a former Broadway star before her insanity showed up in her early 20’s. Stevie ate to deal with her grief and pain after her Schizophrenic mother committed suicide and tried to kill Stevie and her little sister Sunshine by drowning in the nearby river. Afterwards with her mother and sister gone, a traumatized Stevie is still be raised by her mother’s parents whom they lived with during her mother’s illness. After their deaths Stevie ate to deal with the pain and loneliness and plumped up to a major 325 pounds. Shortly after her grandfather and then her grandmother died and Stevie was sent to live with her mother’s sister Janet and her family, which wasn’t the best thing for Stevie since her uncle was such a cruel person, making everyone’s life miserable who lived in his house including his two children Lance and Polly. Everyone in that family including Stevie had emotional issues and trauma to deal with. It was an interesting book although I get a little bored with the flashbacks.
THE MONK DOWNSTAIRS by Tim Farrington, (c) 2003. Here’s another unusual love story, I seem to gravitate to the unusual, have you noticed? Here’s a former 40 year old monk named Michael Christopher released from his vows trying to make it in the real word. He becomes a tenant of a woman named Rebecca, a thirty-eight year old woman with a six year old named Mary Martha. Michael had a hard time getting his “severance paycheck” cashed, and finally walks by Rebecca’s sign in the window advertising a small apartment for rent. She cashes his check and he settles in, not having brought much with him. I wonder what job he will get? Don’t you just love an unusual love story? I sure do!
BITTERSWEET by Nevada Barr, (c) 1984. This was a wonderful historical story and so well written! Takes place in the 1870- 1880’s era. It is described as being an “unusual love story between two women” The story starts out in Philadelphia with Imogene a spinster teacher who gets run out of town over an affair with one of her students who later gets married and dies in childbirth. So Imogene moves onto the next town in western Pennsylvania where she meets Sarah, another student, and although they have feelings for each other nothing ever happens sexually. Sarah also gets married quite young and has a baby boy. But Imogene’s past catches up with her and she and Sarah are run out of town. Now you see I already told you too much, I’m sorry about that. Now Imogene and Sarah who nearly beaten to death by her husband leave town heading for Nevada territory. I don’t want to tell you anymore except to say it wasn’t heaving on the “making love” angle. I’m not gay but still I found the storytelling so well written I wanted to read a sequel. This is a story about true love and gender has nothing to do with it. This was Nevada Barr’s first novel and I have no idea if she wrote more. Let’s hope so.
LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH by Emily Giffin, (c)2008. This is the story of Ellen and Andy who just experienced the first year of a perfect marriage. They are so in love and content with their lives. Then one afternoon Ellen bumps into her ex-boyfriend who she hasn’t seen or talked to in ten years. Now Ellen just can’t get Leo off her mind, thinking about him at all odd hours and times during the day. Now Ellen’s not sure she’s with the right man. Then they go on flirting and playing cat and mouse games. Will Ellen screw up her marriage? That remains to be seen, but it sure sounds like it could happen.