Thursday, February 23, 2012

Please stop by Caroline Miller's Blog

Don't miss Caroline's amazing blog

She is  an outstanding author.  

Her writing is extremely eloquent and flowing.

Look at the post she placed on her site about me. 

February 21, 2012
The sun was out during my walk through the park this morning but the landscape was misty and cold. Rounding a bend along the path, my gaze fell upon a witch hazel shrub that was sporting a few bright yellow blossoms. In the pale light, I wasn’t sure whether they were holdovers from the fall or an early promise of spring.
Whether the blossoms were coming or going, I couldn’t decide but as I walked on, it reminded me of life’s little uncertainties. Sometimes we imagine we are headed in one direction and are surprised when we discover ourselves headed in another. That’s what happened to me and a fellow-blogger I recently met on the web. She’d joined a contest to identify the most outstanding blogger and by the number of votes cast, it looked as though she had a chance to win. Full of hope, she sent out a plea for help and I answered.
I don’t put much store in these contests. They tend to promote the sponsors more than the contestants, but hers was an easy request. How hard is it to click a mouse and vote? What’s more, as I was allowed to vote once a day until the contest ended, I did.
During that interval, I learned that my new acquaintance had been a teacher for 34 years; that the logo for her site commemorated a memorable trip to Scotland; that she wrote books reviews because she loves to read and share information — just as it should be with a dedicated teacher.  We had something in common.
My blogger friend didn’t win her contest, I’m sorry to say. But she did make the list of honorees. I hope she isn’t too disappointed. 
Like the coming and going of the witch hazel blossoms, success and failure are sometimes indistinguishable. Did my friend lose her contest? Or did she somehow win? She gained recognition, of course, and a new web friend. And if anyone is curious about Elizabeth “who almost won,” her reviews can be found here:
Maybe this posting will help her find other friends. I hope so. I’d certainly call that a win.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream

Is it worth dying?  Did Clementine really want to kill herself?  Should she end her life?

Clementine thought she should, but she had a few things to complete first...things like find a home for her cat and find her long-lost father who left the family when she was a child.   Her first step was traveling to Mexico to acquire drugs that would do the job.  Upon her return from Mexico, she continues with the remainder of her plan that definitely includes some bizarre occurrences.

Clementine was determined to get things in order so no one would have to deal with the mess she left.   There are a lot of surprises during these 30 days of counting down and many confusing sections.

Clementine is an unusual character with several levels of personality.  She is quite likable, and her character will also make you reflect about what makes people tick.  
You will follow her plan as she goes about her last days of final preparation.  There are actually some funny parts that will make you laugh out loud along with a few good recipes.

It is a little difficult to write a review for this book.  The plot consisted mainly of the day-by-day routine of Clementine as she counted down the time until her demise....each chapter was labeled with the day count.  

The chapters are very descriptive in terms of scenes and character description. The vivid detail allows you to feel as though you are present and sharing her feelings and emotions that are boiling up inside her.  The ending is somewhat redeeming and gives you faith in mankind.  What I mean by that is we humans do care about each other and do help each other in a crisis.

But…..despite all the detailed description and the amazing writing, the book became tedious and confusing for me in terms of following the plot.  Therefore, my rating will be a 3.5/5

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan

Is it going to happen to me, just like my parents?  Will I turn into a schizophrenic?  Will my children? That is what Ava and Jon had to worry about their entire childhood.  They couldn't live a normal childhood because of their parents' illness.

The author did a great job explaining the disease and made the scenes in the book real.  Learning how awful this disease is and how it ruins families and robs children of their childhood and adults of their lives was enlightening and frightening.

You will fall in love with Ava, the narrator, who changes her name to Caitlin when she turns fifteen.  She is such a strong character and tries to act normal when she knows nothing is normal at home.  Her brother Jon was her protector and confidant throughout their childhood trauma.  Things didn't turn out the way they wanted it to for them as the years passed, though.  Jon was also a very strong character and made you wonder how children do make it through when their parents are ill.  Thank goodness for Ava and Jon that their grandparents were there for them.

The book gives a lot of information about the devastating disease and is put in laymen's terms through the story told by Ava/Caitlin.  You will feel Ava's frustrations dealing with their unsettled, bizarre childhood and sympathize with her and her brother even though Ava was left alone after awhile to deal with it all. 

It isn’t a gripping story with an outstanding plot but more of a saga of the Swarthout family.  The grandparents were wonderful.  It did get a little tiresome going on and on, and I was actually glad when it came to the last pages.  It seemed a little too long, but it was a very well-written book with a lot of information about mental diseases.   I enjoyed the book for the most part. 

3.5/5 because of the length….it could have been shorter and not include as much dialogue.