Two August Girls

A Blog about reading and everything else.....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is phenomenal! It was fabulous the first time I read it when I was in my 20's; however as a mom and a professional school counselor my current reading of it as much more personal and darker! While I still identified with Melinda, I found myself increasingly angry with the adults in this book! I kept having WTF moments (truly there is no problem nicer way to say it)! The adults in this novel are so self involved and while not privy to their struggles, I cannot fathom why they did not at least try and assist her or push her parent any more than they did.

The other lesson I learned from this book was deeply professional. I found myself reviewing my students, past and present and hoping that I have not missed something this obvious. Yes it is obvious, a child whose grades drops, has no problem fiends, stops speaking and skips class, as well as looks awful, there is a problem. A serious one! As a counselor it is my job to watch kids, and pick up these things, now while I may be limited in my ability to solve it or even get the student to tell me the problem, I do have resources, and this is what bothers me the most! I refer kids out call parents and continually push them! I watch out for the kids even if they do not know and I try to be trusted and helping adult not disciplinarian, that is the teacher and administrations role! Also, it is my job to tell parents they need to do more, I am the child's advocate!

Finally, on a personal noteI would like to say I recommend and read this book with my 11 year old /6th grader. I did get flack about this choice, again making me crazy. Kids talk about a lot of things but if we put information in their hand encourage them to read this and talk about it, we give them power over their lives! Also, as an adult I see it with a darker more experienced view than my daughter does, but she too, hopes she never has a friend so depressed and one that no one realizes is so depressed. It is a great read but very emotional. I cannot reccomend it highly enough!, I It is dark and some parts were hard for my Katie but in the end she loved it!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman

a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px">After I'm Gone: A NovelAfter I'm Gone: A Novel by Laura Lippman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laura Lippman is a spellbinding author. Since her first book debuted in 1997, Baltimore Blues; I have not been disappointed by ANY of her books. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to read her books. She has it all if you enjoy mystery, suspense, great characters, and excellent writing, Ms. Lippman will NEVER disappoint.
Her newest standalone, "After I'm Gone”, is no exception. The book grabs you from the first page and never stops. I could not have read this book during college or midterms and passed! You will not be able to put it down. I find myself still thinking about it even after I finished the book.

What would happen if the man you love, the father you adore, leaves one night and you never see him again? Will you ever stop searching for the truth? What about when your lifestyle changes and you go from being rich and carefree to struggling. How does the loss of this person in your life affect you? What do you do when a retired cop starts poking around into a missing person’s case involving the mistress of the man who disappeared?

I not only found this to be an incredible read but the characters were well developed including the man who left them all behind, the father. Ms. Lippman does a fantastic job of describing the three daughters and their own struggles and insecurities that arose from this void left by their father's abandonment. The story comes to a thrilling and unexpected conslusion that will leave readers spellbound and breathless.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 3, 2014

Triggered: A memoir of OCD Review- Condescending, Prentious and adolescent all at the same time.....

Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderTriggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Fletcher Wortmann
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First let me say that his descriptions of OCD disorder are spot on for anyone who has suffered with it or lived with someone who suffers from it. I really saw a lot of points in this book for those who suffer from OCD or even other serious and life interfering mental health issues. However the draw back for me was his tone. I could not connect with him as a person, I felt a lot of narccism seeping through and found his tone to be both pretentious and elitest at times. This is not to say that he did not bare his soul, I just really felt like he was talking down to the reader. Perhaps it was the fact of his youth when writing this a proviliged upbringing? I am not sure whatever it was I did not feel sympathetic to him but I did to his illness and struggles, if this makes sense?

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky

Critical Mass (V.I. Warshawski, #16)Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! I had not realized the beauty that lies in physics and math until a few years ago! Like the author, I am not a physics major but the book and ideas are written for the lay person! Additionally, the book, is at its essence a beautifully written mystery filled with a realistic and at times somber portrayal of the weaknesses of humans. This is a mystery with well developed characters and intriguing plot points. For those who enjoy mysteries, history (especially world war 2), have an interest in keeping alive the knowledge iof the horror of that was/ is the Holocaust, or those who just want to read an extremely well written novel; you cannot go wrong with "Critical Mass".

View all my reviews