Friday, June 10, 2011

recent reads.

Note: By the time you read this, I will be on an airplane headed toward Hawaii.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Whew. That title is a mouthful. Anyways, I am an ardent admirer of historical fiction; it's probably my favorite genre. I am also a lover of all things British and European. And what do you know, this book combines them both!
Written entirely in letters, it is set in 1946, just after the end of World War II. Juliet Ashton, a writer living in London, finds herself corresponding to a resident of Guernsey (one of the small islands in the English Channel--see here). She learns that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club formed by some of the islanders during the German occupation. Juliet exchanges letters with several members of the Society and becomes drawn into their descriptions of their wartime experiences. She then visits the island and the people that have changed her life.
I thought this book was very enjoyable. It was humorous in some parts, emotional in others. The characters, particularly Juliet, were well-drawn and realistic. The unique style of the writing, all in letters, made it interesting and more personable. Read it!

Ages 12+


by Laurie Halse Anderson

This is one of those books that I'd always see on the shelf and hear about but never actually pick up and read. Well, for some reason I decided to check it out the last time I went to the library.
It's narrated by Melinda, a girl entering her freshman year of high school. She busted an end-of-the-summer party by calling the cops, and now no one will talk to her. Her life is just one endless whirlpool of monotony. Her parents are hardly ever home, her grades are slipping, and she has a terrible secret that she can't admit. It gets harder and harder for her to talk, for her to speak up.
How do I say it? This book was depressing. I could relate to it to a certain extent, you know, feeling left out and such, but her life just seems so boring and sad. I felt bad for her but I can't help feeling she could have tried a little to reach out to somebody. Regardless of my feelings about her, the book was very readable; it kept me up into the night. I'm glad that it lifted up in the end, because if it hadn't I might have had to chuck it at the wall or something.

Ages 13+


The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
by Jeanne Birdsall

For the last review, I thought I'd pick something a little more light-hearted. The past two deal with war, the Holocaust & teen problems, but this one is more fun.
This is the third in the Penderwicks series (I recommend reading the other two first), which is about four sisters and their misadventures together. In this installment, the younger three head off to a few weeks on the coast of Maine with their Aunt Claire, while their parents are in England and Rosalind is with her friend. Batty, Jane, Skye and Hound, their dog, meet new neighbors and friends, and reconnect with old ones. They get into plenty of shenanigans: dog-related accidents, love surveys, undiscovered musical talents, horrific haircuts, bonfires and much more. Even a quick trip to the Moose Market is exciting.
Overall, it was a good book. Very sweet, endearing & funny at times, it makes me wish my sisters were like the Penderwicks. It's not my favorite in the series--I kind of wish that Rosalind had been in it more, because eldest siblings are the best--but I like it all the same. Can't wait for the next one!

Ages 9+

So, have you read any good books lately? What about these ones? What were your thoughts?



  1. I finished Pride & Prejudice last night and I'm reading some J.D. Salinger short stories. I always read short stories around exam time, because they're easy enough to read in a short space of time, and are a welcome break from studying.
    The first book sounds great--I hope they have a copy at my library!

  2. I really do want to read more, but it is so hard for me to find something to read! I have a policy where I will ONLY read books if someone in my family has read it before. So, book wise, I'm basically reading what my mom read at my age. I'm not sad, though, because she read the genres I like! :D

  3. Awesome. "Speak" sounds interesting. I really like that author - her books "Chains" and "Forge" are amazing. And I've read the first Penderwick book, and I really enjoyed it! I'll have to read the other two.


  4. I had to read Speak for English class this year and loved it! Although it was depressing, it was written very well and raised good awareness about her "secret" :D

  5. great seeing these reviews, always wondering thoughts on books and not wanting to waste time on the bad ones:)
    this helps. hope you do it again!

  6. I'm SO looking for the first one. I love historical fiction :)
    And yay, another Penderwicks book! The Penderwicks are the best when you want something fun and easy. Definitely checking them out!

  7. Gosh, I am reading The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society too! I am really enjoying it, and the way its written is fun too! <3

    Luna ~.@

  8. i've read the first book you listed and I loved it! Thanks for the suggestions :)

  9. those books sound interesting, i'll have to check them out. i haven't read anything in ages because i have nothing to read... those books maybe an excuse for me to get back to reading! anyway, have fun in hawaii!

    amalia <3


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