In Sight of Stars

Finished In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner. I received a copy for review. This will be published March 13. 

Klee (pronounced like clay) has been committed. We don’t know why, and this book goes back and forth in time, explaining how he got there and, more importantly, how he’ll find his way back.

I want to make my book club read this, because I have so many thoughts. I think teens will love this—this book really showcases the way that everything feels so viscerally important but never makes it feel silly or trivial, but I think it will also resonate with adults, because we actually really get the idea of having to decide whether to pursue your passion or to settle for a career you don’t love so you can manage to buy food and pay rent and all the other delights of adulthood. 

I’m not sure I can even express just how deeply this book has resonated with me. Every character, every theme, every nuance is absolutely perfect. Most of all, it’s about how art can save us temporarily while we become strong enough to save ourselves. And about how asking for help is not at all weak. The world is better with this book in it. 
Highly recommended. 

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Suspect Red

Finished Suspect Red by LM Elliott. I received a copy for review. 

Richard is growing up in 1953, during the height of the McCarthy witch hunts. Some of it annoys him (he wants to read whatever he wants) but mostly he buys into all of it. It’s partly because his father works for the FBI and Richard sees himself as (a) super smart, (b) very intuitive and (c) sure to be able to find and bring down any communists in his life. And then he meets Vladimir and his family. (They’re Czech, not Russian.) His dad has a government job and his mom is an artist with radical ideas. Richard loves Vlad and his family but…well, he’s pretty sure they’re total commies. 

I really enjoyed this novel. It’s always a little hard to imagine how people could get blacklisted for attending a meeting or voting once, but it also keeps happening (see claims of people being unpatriotic for questioning the government after 9/11). 

I didn’t really like Richard. He’s smarmy and he doesn’t really think about how actions (and accusations) have consequences. It’s almost like he pictured himself as the hero in one of his books, and never paused to wonder what could happen to his friend and Vlad’s family. 

I do love his little sister, Ginny. She’s smart and feisty and can we get a book from her perspective?

MoviePass, week 2

This weekend, I saw mother! and Rear Window, both at the Senator. (They do revivals most weeks, hence Rear Window.)

mother! is the new Darren Aronofsky film, with a great cast (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer) and, as with most of his movies, it is both beautifully shot and batshit insane. In general, I am a fan; in this case, I didn’t really like it. (I respect it, but I think I’ll just opt to rewatch Black Swan.)

I’d seen Rear Window before (and it’s one of the AFI’s 100 best and 100 thrills, and I think, one of their top 10 mysteries and maybe in the 100 passions?) but not in a while. I’d forgotten how good it is! Although maybe if you’re going to skulk around a suspected killer’s apartment, don’t pick Jimmy Stewart to be your lookout. 

I don’t know what I’ll see next weekend, except that I do still want to see Annabelle and The Hitman’s Bodyguard, both of which are hanging steady at the Cinemark (five shows for Annabelle; four for Hitman’s Bodyguard, as of Wednesday). The following weekend, all I know for sure is that I want to see Battle of the Sexes. 

What Happened

Finished What Happened by Hillary Clinton. 

If you are at all aware of the world, you know about this book already. In it, Hillary Clinton discusses her presidential campaign, election night and…well, obviously, what happened. And, most importantly, what to do now. 

You probably already know if you want to read it or not, so this review is more my experience reading it. 

If you know me at all, you know I’m a liberal and a feminist. Obviously Hillary had my vote, and it was a vote FOR HER and not against Trump. (A vote for Bernie would have been a vote against Trump, and that is still a valid reason to vote for someone.) I was excited to read this, even though I’m still sad this book needed to be written. 

I’ve grown up with Hillary in the public eye. It wasn’t a surprise to me that she’s incredibly smart; anyone paying even a little attention knows that. What did surprise me is how funny (and warm) she is. We don’t get to see that side often, probably because it’s not as fun as the narrative that she routinely has people killed and of course I’m rolling my eyes. 

In a perfect world, we’d have President Hillary Clinton, currently improving our economy and infrastructure. This book–while encouraging and well-written and a call to service–isn’t better than that. But as far as consolation prizes go, we could do worse. 

Highly recommended. 

Weekend Update

What I’m reading: still WHAT HAPPENED by Hillary Clinton. I should finish soon (hopefully by tomorrow) and so far, I am loving every page. 

What I’m watching: movies (hoping to see mother! and Rear Window this weekend). Younger is over now and I’m happy The Mindy Project is back. My shows should all be back in a couple weeks. 

Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies

Finished Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello. I received a copy for review. 

If you love TV and the internet, you know who Michael Ausiello is. Maybe you found him through Entertainment Weekly (I did) or TVLine.com or maybe through a shared love of Gilmore Girls, Felicity or Veronica Mars (he’s got great taste), you know who he is. What you may not know is this story. 

He was married to a man named Kit and then Kit got cancer. The title tells you how it ends and that if you have a heart at all, this will break it. But what it doesn’t tell you is that this is also hysterically funny. I cried in public, yes, but I also laughed really hard. (Like getting looks from the fellow light rail passengers hard.)

And as hard as this was to read, it’s also really beautiful. This is the kind of love I think we all want, even though it ended too soon. There is no way to read this and not see how much they loved each other. 

You need to read this and then help me make sure everyone else reads it too. Highly recommended. 

MoviePass, week 1

I spent the weekend at the movies! I have finally figured out how MoviePass works and saw two movies this weekend. 

Saturday, I saw Kidnap, which was fun. It’s not the best movie about kidnappings (probably Taken?) or the best Halle Berry thriller (probably The Call) but I was thoroughly entertained and am glad I saw it. 

Sunday, I saw Home Again. I love Nancy Meyers movies and while yes, her daughter wrote and directed it and she only produced, it still felt like one of her movies. It felt like a movie for grownups and I always love those. 

I’m not sure what I’ll see next week (I do want to see IT again) but I’m excited to keep this trend going. 

Click’d (mini review)

Finished Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone. I received a copy for review. 

Allie has created a new app that is supposed to help you find friends. You take a simple quiz and then it alerts you when compatible people are nearby. It quickly becomes a huge success in her middle school and things are great…until there’s a glitch. Sometimes it shares photos that aren’t public. 

This was such a fun book and I absolutely devoured it. I love that Allie was so driven, even at such a young age, and that she created this awesome, fun app that people loved. At the same time, I love that she ALSO has these great relationships with her parents and friends. She is a well-rounded character and not a weirdo with no friends. I think most MG readers could relate to her. 

If you know someone who’s a reluctant reader, this could be what changes that. It also would be great for mother/daughter book clubs or to encourage an interest in STEM subjects. 

Copycat

Finished Copycat by Alex Lake. I received a copy for review. 

Sarah has just learned that there are two accounts under her name on Facebook. One is full of pictures of herself and her family, complete with all the mundane details that we all post there. The problem is, that’s the one that isn’t actually her account. Someone has figured out how to get pictures of Sarah and her family (sometimes even inside her house). But who? And why?

This is a great concept but I didn’t love the book. It felt like Sarah freaked out far too early and then there was no room for her fear to escalate. I mean, yes, OBVIOUSLY we would all be concerned if someone had a super stalker-y Facebook account claiming to be us. But as things get worse, she doesn’t actually get more afraid. It is all at the same level for her. 

The identity of the person involved was pretty obvious the whole time to me and her motivation was a little offensive to me. But that’s me and I’m political so I will fully accept that that’s on me and not necessarily a valid criticism of the book. 

All that said, I was entertained throughout. I just didn’t love it. 

Weekend Update

What I’m reading: Copycat by Alex Lake. It’s suspense and is really fun.  I don’t know what’s happening yet but I am fully on board. 

What I’m watching: Younger, A LOT. I have taken to watching the show live on Wednesdays and Tweeting but the finale is Wednesday. My shows are all back the last full week of September, which is good, but I will miss Younger (though it’s been renewed for a fifth season, so come on June!). The Bold Type ended Tuesday and its finale was PERFECT. I love everything about that show and I hope it gets renewed soon. 

I also just got my MoviePass so I will be seeing a lot more movies. I’m guessing this may turn into a lot more movie talks.