The Unlikelies

Finished The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone. I received a copy from the publisher for review. 

Sadie’s friends are all graduating but she has a year left. She’s not sure what to do, beyond her summer job at a farmstand. Then she saves a baby (long story) and gets invited to a sort of Hero Teens award ceremony. She quickly bonds with them and they ultimately dub themselves The Unlikelies and set out to improve the world (also a long story). 

I love the concept of this–the idea that you and some friends could do good in the world with very little effort. 

The execution felt a little flat for me, though. I didn’t really love any of the characters and, although they talked about kindness and preventing bullying, they were all pretty judge-y (especially Sadie). 

I enjoyed this, but not as much as I hoped to. 

The Sunshine Sisters

Finished The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green. I received a copy from the publisher for review. 

If you love movies, you probably know Ronni Sunshine. She’s done a bunch and, while she’s not super famous, you’d know her if you saw her…but that was years ago. Now she has ALS and she wants two things: her daughters to forgive her (and become close, which they currently are not) and for them to help her die. Neither of those are likely. 

There are few authors who are more of a summer go to for me than Jane Green. While this is one of her heavier books, it’s also incredibly fun. And I love the sisters–Nell, who seems incredibly cold; Meredith, the people pleaser who is about to marry a total jerk; Lizzy, the famous one who seems to be repeating their mom’s mistakes. And I even love Ronni, probably because she wasn’t my mom. 

This is a fun novel that will also make you think. That is my perfect vacation read! (Don’t feel you have to wait for a beach or pool or plane, though; this is great any time.)

Highly recommended. 

Hiatus

I’m taking a little break from blogging. 

My reading has taken a hit lately, between the new job and my Sam getting terminally sick. I need to adjust to my new, Sam-less life and I need to do it without the pressure of daily posts. 

I’ll be reading my own books and may or may not discuss them on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. And I don’t know when, but I will be back. 

Once and For All (mini-review)

Finished Once and For All by Sarah Dessen. 

Louna’s mom is a wedding planner (one of the best, actually; certainly the best in the town). She’s helped out for basically ever, even though she’s become rather cynical about the whole thing (not as cynical as her mom and godfather are, though). And then she meets Ambrose. 

There is a lot going on that I didn’t mention. Those few lines don’t even begin to really summarize this novel. 

What you should know: it’s as good as anything Sarah Dessen has ever written and Louna may be my favorite heroine of hers. 

Recommended. 

Saints & Misfits

Finished Saints & Misfits by SK Ali. I received a copy for review. 

Janna is Muslim and wears a hijab. She’s potentially disobeying a tenet of Islam by having a major crush on a non-Muslim boy (and yet…) but the bigger story is that a pious boy at her mosque also tried to rape her. It doesn’t affect her faith but it does affect a lot of her day-to-day life (he’s always around and everyone acts like he’s so awesome). 

And I love Janna and this feminist story (there are plenty of great guys, yes, but there are also a lot of awesome women. Not all of them, but many of them are kickass ladies). I love that she’s so proud of her faith and that she never questions it, even as the jerk who assaulted her is held up as a pillar of Islam. I love her people, who (when they find out) believe her automatically. 

And I love that this is a really positive portrayal of Islam (and I’ve learned a lot about that from this book). 

This book is a sheer delight and you should all read it. Highly recommended. 

The Worst Post

My sweet boy Sammy is gone. 

Last year, as you know, he got really sick while I was at ALA; he almost died then. But he rallied and he fought, and he stayed alive for almost another entire year. 

Late last week, he stopped eating. Like his mom, Sam is very food-motivated, so once he stopped eating, I knew it was serious. Yesterday morning, he started getting really sick. I will spare you the details, but we went to the vet (me and my Sam and Sam’s favorite thing ever, his lying pillow). And now I am in my super empty, super quiet apartment. 

I know I did the best thing for him and that Sam can now see and run and eat all the food and chase all the animals and bark at ALL THE LOUD PEOPLE, all of which he loved to do. I got almost a whole extra year with him, and most of that time was spent together at least 98% of the day. 

My heart is broken but I am so grateful for those months together. And I am grateful that we were together at the end. He knew I was right there, and for a dog with separation anxiety*, I think that made it a little better. 

* = We were just happier together. 

Things I Should Be Doing

1) Reading (so behind). 

2) Finishing up the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. #lemonading #runLillian

3) CALLING MY ELECTED OFFICIALS. My activism has taken a serious hit, guys. 

4) Cooking. Remember when I was doing that?

What I am actually doing:

1) Working. 

2) Sleeping. 

3) Spending time with Sam. 

(End of list.)

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome back to Things I’m Obsessed With!
Books:



I’m currently reading the new Sarah Dessen and I love it! I feel like it’s officially summer when I get to read one of her books. So bring on a heatwave and some pink lemonade, because it is finally here. 

Movies:



I saw Wonder Woman recently and I LOVED it. Like to the point where I ordered a Funko Pop of Diana and have preordered the movie. It is my second favorite superhero movie (behind the 1989 Batman, though I do acknowledge this is a better movie). 

Sleep. (No explanation needed.)

So what are you obsessed with this week?

From Ant to Eagle

Finished From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle. I received a copy for review. 

Cal killed his little brother, Sammy. That’s the first thing we learn in this book. Soon, we learn there’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s important to know that going in. This is a great book, but it’s also a sad one. 

It’s easy to tell that Cal loves Sammy and that he’s a good big brother. But he wants to spend his summer with Aleta (a new girl) and most of the time, nothing would happen because of it. But Sammy feels left out and then he gets sick. There’s no correlation, of course, but now Cal feels guilty. 

This is such a good book but it’s a hard read. (Not the whole way, of course, but be prepared. This book will carve out your heart.)

Highly recommended. (Have tissues.)

Max and Menna

Finished Max and Menna by Shauna Kelley. 

This novel is told from Max and Menna’s perspectives and goes back and forth in time. The twins are basically the lowest of the low; they’re poor and their mom is an alcoholic (their dad is not around). And they meet Nick. He’s Native American (and, as their older sister snarls at them, the one person worse off than they are). His friendship with Menna deepens and sets off a chain reaction. 

You know how sometimes you read a book and you just know it will break your heart? That’s this one. I read it and hoped for things to go well, and yet as I kept reading, doors leading to positive outcomes started slamming shut. 

It reminded me a little bit of IT, if the Losers Club lived in a normal town without a bloodthirsty clown…but still had the team of bullies after them. 

I loved it. (But the author and I are fighting.)

Highly recommended.