To Be Read Book List

Hi fellow book bugs! I wanted to share with you  * some * of my reading list as to give you an idea of what I may be posting about in the future. Currently, I only have a journal that has books that have been read listed in the front and books I wish to read listed in the back. This journal is with me almost 24/7. I figured posting this smaller list would also serve as a backup in case (God forbid) my journal is lost or destroyed.

  • 1984 – George Orwell
  • After the Parade – Lori Ostlund
  • All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • Anna Dressed in Blood – Kendare Blake
  • Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. – Judy Blume
  • Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • Big Little Lies – Liana Moriarty
  • Blue Boy – Rakesh Satyal
  • Bossypants – Tina Fey
  • Bridget Jones Diary – Helen Fielding
  • Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
  • Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  • Did You Ever Have a Family – Bill Clegg
  • Dont worry, It Gets Worse – Alida Nugent
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris
  • Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  • Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  • Go Ask Alice – Anonymous
  • How to Grow an Addict – JA Wright
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People – Toby Young
  • I Feel Bad about my Neck – Nora Ephron
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  • Invisible Man- Ralph Emerson
  • Landline – Rainbow Rowell
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson
  • Liars Club – Mary Karr
  • Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  • Me Before You – Joyo Moyes
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris
  • Miss Peregrines Series – Ransom Riggs
  • Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
  • Never Have I Ever – Katie Heaney
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Isniguro
  • Not on Fire but Burning – Greg Hrbek
  • Oh, The Glory of it All – Sean Wilsey
  • Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Push – Sapphire
  • Remember Me Like This – Bret Johnston
  • Room – Emma Donoghue
  • Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
  • Sarah’s Key – Tatiana Rosnay
  • Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
  • Slaughterhouse 5- Kurt Vonnegut
  • Somebody I Used to Know – David Bell
  • Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
  • Sunshine Girl – Paige McKenzie
  • Tampa – Alissa Nutting
  • The Beautiful and the Damned – F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Bell Jar – Slyvia Plath
  • The Book of You – Claire Kendal
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
  • The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  • The Girl on a Train – Paula Hawkins
  • The Giver – Lois Lowry
  • The Good Neighbor – AJ Banner
  • The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  • The Hundred Year Flood – Matthew Salesses
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • The Princess Bride – William Goldman
  • The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  • The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsior
  • The Secret Life of Bees – Sue M Kidd
  • The Stranger – Albert Camus
  • The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris
  • Wake Up, Sir! – Jonathan Ames
  • Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
  • We the Animals – Justin Torres
  • We Were Liars – E Lockhart
  • What Has Become of You – Jan Elizabeth Watson
  • What I know now – Edited by Ellyn Spragins
  • What She Saw – Lucida Rosenfeld
  • Where They Found Her – Kimberly McCreight
  • Where Things Come Back – John C Whaley
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadetta? – Maria Semple
  • White teeth – Zadie Smith
  • Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  • Z for Zachariah – Robert Obrien

I also included a few books on here that I have read already (they are the ones that have a strike through them). Please forgive me for any spelling errors! This list was copied from my handwritten book journal so it was difficult to read at times.

Do you think there are important books I’m missing?? Please let me know in the comment section the books that I need to add or let me know what reviews you can’t wait to read!

Thanks for visiting!

-LK

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Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris

ONE OFF OF MY READING LIST- Yassss!!!

So, this is my second David Sedaris novel I’ve read (the first being Me Talk Pretty One Day). Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is an autobiography that details happenings in the life of Sedaris and his family.

I love to read comedy biographies (as you could probably tell from reading some of my last few reviews). Sedaris covers just about everything in his books, and nothing is off limits. He includes even the most embarrassing situations for his family, for his boyfriend, and himself. Some of his stories can miss the mark, others are a hit for me.

The beginning chapters of this book were those that didn’t exactly hit the mark for me as much as the final few did, but were still good. The first and second chapter reminded me of me and my family very much. Sedaris recalling his candy greed and the image he provided of him stuffing candy into his soon to be sick stomach in chapter 1 was very comical. I, too, react adversely to candy, ice cream, and sugar. Childhood does not allow you to think clearly; at that age, one only knows that you are a child and should love the chocolate treats you are given. (BTW, who did these Tomkeys think they were!! What jerks). Then, in chapter 2, I had major flashbacks to when my parents would lock my sister and myself out for the day so they had time to recoup. What a time to have been alive! Back when people wouldn’t report your parents to CPS if you were outside alone.

The chapters after that were over all humorous, but not as relate-able to me as the others. In Ship Shape, Sedaris talks of his family’s vacations to sea-side homes, a luxury that my family was not able to do in my youth. In Full House, the major idea covered was a normal household vs their household. I had the normal, with a usual bed time and I fully enjoyed sleepovers, whereas Sedaris was the opposite (the strip poker was pretty funny, though).

The chapters Consider the Stars and Monie Changes Everything definitely portrayed Sedaris less favorably. Although it is usual for young kids to hang on to popularity structure, the Thad story just made him seem naive. It made me a bit sad for young Sedaris, unable to be content where he was in life. That theme continued into his teens when he was panhandling in The Change in Me with Dan, who clearly wasn’t his real friend. Monie Changes Everything made him and his family seem greedy, to which I thought was just unbecoming.

All the chapters focusing on his family were alarming, and down-out-right grounds for them to never speak with him again. When he writes of his father throwing him out for being gay (unbeknownst to David Sedaris at the time) in Hejira, my heart broke for him and his mother. He is embarrassingly honest about his (what I would call) trashy/crass brother (Paul), sister (Tiffany) and father in Rooster at the Hitchin’ Post, Put a Lid on It, and Slumus Lordicus, respectively. Other chapters about the family were not as harsh, in my opinion, as those 3 were. In fact, I even felt that Sedaris tried to redeem Paul’s image in Baby Einstein, but it didn’t pan out right for me to change my view of him.

He doesn’t only dish on his family, he talks a lot about himself and includes snippets of his life with his boyfriend, Hugh. Sedaris continues to come across as naive into adulthood the chapter The Girl Next Door when he continues to allow a crazy person access to his life. Thank goodness his mom got him out in time! In Possession he details what it’s like to try to move with his boyfriend when he truly doesn’t want any house but the Anne Frank Annex. In Chicken in the Henhouse, Sedaris talks about the mental steps that he sadly experiences everyday in the quest to not be deemed a deviant pedophile. In the same chapter he talks about his crippling sweating problem- WHICH IS, AGAIN, ENTIRELY TOO RELATE-ABLE.  Also, Who’s the Chef details the small bickering matches every couple has (the tombstone comment was pretty funny).

By far, my favorite chapter was Blood Work and Nuit of the Living Dead. I was cracking up the entire chapter for Blood Work! As someone that struggles in awkward situations, I could understand the reasons Sedaris gave as to why he stuck around the whole time. I’ve cleaned houses before and (thankfully) I’ve never ran into such a problem. Seriously, this book was worth reading, to me, just for the hilarious chapter! Also, call me morbid, but him talking about that mouse trap in Nuit of the Living Dead made me laugh out loud. Don’t get me started on him yelling “Hyaa!” to the darkness! Ha. Seriously though, have we all not had a stranger in our home and immediately felt self-conscious about what we had left out? The only difference is, most people don’t have so much morbid memorabilia laying about.

All in all, I would suggest this book to my friends that have a little darker humor interest. The entire book was comical, but I could not see my grandmother enjoying the chapter Blood Work. Have you read Sedaris before? What were your thoughts or favorite novels penned by him?

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

Happy Saturday, friends! I hope you all have enjoyed your weekend thus far. I’ve spent my weekend reading while binge watching Law and Order SVU…. Obviously, it’s been a successful weekend for me. I just finished the 10th-anniversary edition of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas written by John Boyne. Talk about a twister!

To give you a little background on me, one of my favorite genres to read are WWI/WWII fiction/nonfiction books… more specifically, books that focus on the Holocaust and Nazis. I’m utterly fascinated with the mentality of the time. This was what drove me to purchase this book. It just happened to be a bonus that it was also on my reading list.

Alright, so this book is about 9-year-old Bruno, and his family’s move from their comfortable Berlin home to the terrible Out-With (presumed to be Auschwitz) during WWII. The relocation of this 4 person family was strongly suggested by the all powerful “Fury” (or as we know him, the Führer) so the Commandant Nazi Officer Ralph (Bruno’s father) is able to oversee the camp. Despite the entire family’s disapproval, nobody dares go against the Fury. 

So, I’m going to start with what I didn’t necessarily care for… Knowing what nationalism meant to the country at the time I found it unlikely that Bruno had known so little about what was going on in his country. The boy was enrolled in school before they moved, where I understand school at the time frequently had lessons on German nationalism and Hilter. It was also unbelievable to me that at the age of 9 he was not already being prepped for Hitler Youth, especially since he was the Commandant Nazi Officer’s son. It was typical for boys to be already in classes, Deutsches Jungvolk (German Young People), at the age of 10 getting prepped for Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) where they could enroll at age 13. 

Building off that idea that I disliked how naive Bruno was about his country, I also hated that he couldn’t connect the dots anywhere else, and that he couldn’t provide more information. He was given information constantly that he just brushed off as unalarming (Shmuel’s black eye is one example). It just made him seem so uninterested in the world around him if it didn’t directly connect to him.

I’m curious what happened with Lieutenant Kotler… Obviously there was an affair (whether emotional or physical), and I was so curious what happened with that. Also, was I the only one disturbed by mom and daughter lusting for the same dude? Ew.

It’s been pointed out by others, but this type of story would be impossible to had happened. Children of that age would have most likely have been killed immediately upon arrival to Auschwitz since it was a work camp and children were of no use to the Nazis there. Since this was just a work of historical fiction, this knowledge didn’t effect me.

Do not be fooled, I really enjoyed this story. It was clever! Of course a young child would be interested in exploring, and making friends! Boyne was brilliant to take that idea and create this fictional story for Bruno and Shmuel to befriend one another. Honestly, the two boys exploring their friendship was lovely. I wish that Boyne had included more girth to the book with additional interactions between the two. At the end, it is clear they are friends, but a lot could have happened in a year! It would have been cool to see the friendship grow.

To be honest, to me this book really read as a horror story than anything (which I loved)… The punishment Bruno paid for his curiosity was immense. His ignorance of the world around him due to his inability to look outside his own desires was tragic. The entire book came across to me like a cautionary tale to little children… a fable if you will….. Look at the key things it consistently points out: Listen to your parents, do not go where you do not belong, do not lust for the “better yard” of the fence line, and all that glitters is not gold. Just like all characters in fables, Bruno learned his lesson eventually. 

The ending to this book was surprising. I would have liked *more* on the family after the fact, but I loved Bruno’s chapter. Most readers, if not all, know all about the trouble he is putting himself in, and where he is headed. Its suspenseful, and its a bit unexpected that things turned how they did. I loved the realness that Boyne kept with the character. Of course Bruno was oblivious through the entire book! I love when authors have an unwavering commitment to character personalities.

The book comes from the view point of many different characters, but the loudest voice stands to be Bruno. I liked this method of narration because I was able to see into what other characters were thinking on occasion. This book also is written for a younger crowd, and would be pretty easy to read for any age (at least anyone that has the mentality to grasp the heavier subjects in there…)

It’s a good story if you are into the same type of books that I am, and I would definitely suggest it to others. It’s one of those books that I can say I enjoyed it, but I don’t find myself shouting from the roof-tops about it. Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

The Autobiography of a Fat Bride – Laurie Notaro

I stand by my assessment of the last book I read (The Potty Mouth at the Table) saying that it was crass and unfunny…. It simply did not have the “pee-my-pants” laughter that it promised..

With that being said, The Autobiography of a Fat Bride did in fact make me laugh out loud numerous times. There were so many parts that I just absolutely loved. Although there were still a few heavy uses of the “R-word”, I found this book much more enjoyable. Aside from that, it proved that I’m not the only person who suffers through laughable/mortifying adventures in my every day life. I realized that Notaro and I have more in common than previous thought.

There was a little something in each chapter that was humorous. Here are a couple of my favorite chapters:

The Craft Toothbrush, Tiger Woods Doesn’t Know Where I Live, Red Mice, the White Noise, White Soap, and Man Desire: Marriage Advice from Two Mean Girls, and the Hands of Death.

This book was much more “my style”. I’ve been told I have a “comedic” personal life, and I can see a reflection in so many of the chapters that Notaro wrote. If you love food, have a big ass, and scuff at normal human interactions, this book will probably be enjoyed by you as well. Even if you have none of those attributes, you should read this book!

 

PS: Do you own this book? Mine came with a sticker in the front addressed to Susan from Laurie Notaro- does yours also have that sticker?

The Potty Mouth at the Table – Laurie Notaro

Let me begin this review by saying that I accidentally warped half the pages with juice from my green beans in my lunch today before I began reading. Obviously, that means the book is tainted. Alas, I vowed to finish all the books I’ve purchased, so I trudged on.

 

Sometimes, I will make purchases based on small things I see (it really doesn’t take much). For example, I purchase the book Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson because the crazed raccoon on the cover, and the glorious use of the F word in the inside sleeve. I chose this book because it was in the humor section with promise of being a potty mouth book (as stated previously in my blog, I am a prolific curse word user in real life). For those of you that dislike the heavy use of curse words, sleep easy knowing this book does not live up to my expectations. I can’t complain too much though, because it was an extraordinarily quick read (<1 day!!)

The back of this book has “praise for Laurie Notaro” which says some of the follow:

“If her books don’t inspire pants-wetting fits of laughter…. your funny bone is broken.” (Jen Lancaster)

“Screamingly funny.” (USA Today)

and

“A natural comic.” (Houston Chronicle)

I would say that at no time during the reading of this book did I ever even laugh out loud. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few chapters that are funny (A Handy Manual for a Widower, My Husband, and Live from the Bellagio were my two personal favorites). Perhaps I just happened to pick the weakest of Notaro, but it just wasn’t *amazing*.

In fact, there were things in this book that I was rather bothered by…

The chapter Death Cab for Cooties had the making to be hilarious… up until the point she insulted her driver and then admitted to not tipping him well. So what that his ass was “ice cream distance” from your face, tip the man 20% so he can buy some new drawers! On top of that, to crassly tell him about his rancid breath was just down outright hateful.

Also, on page 168 she blasts parents for continuing to have a life after baby. Although I do not have a kid, I definitely don’t expect people that do procreate to hole up in their home for 18 years. On the page after that she bashes what she says is a “Food Slut”, making light of bulimia. She also takes that moment to bring into the “hilarious mix” the weight of diabetic newborns. In fact, the entire chapter is dedicated to mocking people who define themselves as “foodies”. Again, at some points she is humorous, but at others I find it distasteful (pun-intended).

Side note- at one point in the book she makes fun of those who take pictures of their food, even though if you check out her Facebook page she posts a lot about food now a-days. (Do note that the book was published in 2013, so people can and likely will change in 3 years). I typically wouldn’t mention that since the time lapse, but I found she was hypocritical in this book too.. Like when she bashes the mom asking for a lice treatment in the pharmacy chapter, but (I think the very next chapter?) she admits to posting/almost posting about her own possible lice on Facebook.

Finally, I did not know this book would end on such a sad chapter (even with a happy ending to the chapter). To me, it was the most endearing and interesting part of her whole book (and it wasn’t even about her….)

As stated before, it has hard to “rate” an autobiography. How can I say someone’s life should have had more or less in it? This book was decently written, and not challenging to read. Would I buy it again? No. Did I almost pee myself laughing? Absolutely not. Am I happy there is one less book to read in my reading pile? Of course!

(UPDATE 6/21/16- after I posted this blog, I filed this book in my “read” section on my book shelf… then, I went to select a new book to read out of the “need to read” section. What do I find?! Another Laurie Notaro Book!! Since I already made the purchase, Notaro gets one more shot with me when I read Autobiography of a Fat Bride. Review to come in next day or two…)

Look Me in the Eyes – John Elder Robison

Happy Friday, my dear reading friends! Just finished up Look Me in the Eyes- autobiography that details the life of John Elder Robison as he struggles with Asperger’s syndrome. Since this is an autobiography, it is more difficult for me “review”… I feel if I detail too much about it, I just end up giving away all the awesome bits that make up this great story. I’ll do my best to give you an idea about the book, and my feelings about it, without spoiling Robison’s breakthroughs he has throughout.

This memoir was interesting to read, in my opinion, because it has an odd combination of memory recall and current event telling. Most often, the chapters focused on one development for Robison and detailed that over the course of his whole life. Each chapter seemed to slightly overlap the previous “phase” in his life by a few years. Not to say it was bad or good, it was just an interesting way to express the story.

The story that Robison shares is INCREDIBLE! It was so intriguing. I have no interest in things that Robison had experienced his whole life. I’ve never created an explosive, or cared for KISS, or liked the mechanics of electronics of any kinds… and you most definitely would never see me working on anything automotive… despite all of that, I found myself so compelled to this story. He sparked my interest, and I found myself looking up more information about some of the stuff he wrote about (mostly about KISS and their guitars/shows). Anytime that an author can nudge a reader to step outside the book to investigate is a total success, if you ask me.

Obviously, the most important part of this story is Robison’s life long struggle with his Asperger’s. If you are not aware this is what Asperger’s is:

Asperger’s syndrome (also known as Asperger’s Disorder) was first described in the 1940s by Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger, who observed autism-like behaviors and difficulties with social and communication skills in boys who had normal intelligence and language development.”

I easily found this definition at http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/aspergers-syndrome/ , however, at Robison’s time of birth, up until the age of 40, this information was not widely known by the health industry -nonverbal autism was really the only form of autism that was acknowledged at the time. The symptoms of his autism were simply deemed as a person who was unusual, particular, and even as challenging. There truly was no support for him at the time that could provide him with information about why he was “different”. Now-a-days, you hear people constantly say that children are over diagnosed for everything… After reading this book, I pause to think whether they are over diagnosing now, or they simply have the tools to see a diagnoses that wasn’t seen the generation before? Robison’s story proves that could be a true possibility.

At the end of LMitE, at least the paper copy that I purchased, Robison makes a good point that this book is so wildly popular because it is so relate-able! Is it not the basis of human desire to be accepted, to be loved, and to be supported? I would say we have all stretched to be part of the “in” crowd at one point or another. The beautiful thing about Robison is that he did not stretch so far to be someone, or something, he was not. Although many times he felt himself a fraud, he knew what he was doing and fit in as much as the next guy.

I personally struggle with social anxieties, and I could closely relate to those struggles Robison had as a child, adolescent, and young adulthood. For me, my social issues didn’t appear until after I hit young adulthood. I was a devoted athlete, and was fortunate to have that second family up until I graduated high school. Once away from school, it was easier to become more introverted, and here I have stayed. Perhaps, like Robison, I will get better with age… but right now there doesn’t seem to be anything changing my situation of awkward banter and weird interactions. In fact, the internet just further helps me stay my hermit self. For people like me, the internet allows us to express myself 100%… although people may still be nasty back, at least we do not have to face them as the metaphoric shit hits the fan.

There were just two things that I found “troubling” about this book… the first was that many times Robison writes about being a huge prankster… but I had no firm knowledge if he was pranking me throughout the book. Surely he made some of this up or threw in some embellishments to get us! I have my skepticism, but I will try to let that go. The second was that he hinted that there were things that were too hard to recall regarding his mother. All this statement did was spark my interest as to what it could have been. He never addressed that again. Although I can appreciate that some topics can not be addressed in public, I would have found it better not to even mention that there were things he was going to omit.

Overall, this book was a quick, enlightening, and fun read! It allows the reader to experience life through the eyes of an Aspergian. It gave hope that even if you feel lost as a child, or young adult, success is still an option. I think the biggest message in this book is that you are not a failure unless you give up. Robison never once just gave up. He continued to reach for new phases of his life with conviction and stamped out the hateful voices that tried to prevent him from doing so. I’m happy that I bought this book for my personal collection already.

Check one off my reading list! Whoop, Whoop!

PS- Apparently, the hardback copy of this book is the original version and is curse-word laden. If I had known prior to purchase, I most definitely would have bought that one instead. Anyone that knows me personally knows I speak like a sailor!

PSS- Be prepared to add Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs on your reading list… One down, another added.

Unbecoming – Jenny Downham

I checked out the novel Unbecoming by Jenny Downham on a whim from my local Library… in other words, here I am reading yet another book not on my reading list.

This is a story of 3 generations of women (Mary, Caroline, and Katie) who come together in the face of tragedy. Mary, who suffers dementia (more specifically Alzheimer’s), is left in the care of her estranged daughter (Caroline) after Mary’s love Jack passes away. For years, Caroline as given her children the impression that their grandmother does not wish to stay in contact. However, with the arrival of Mary on their doorstep, Katie (the youngest generation of the Copper Haired women) begins to delve into the possibilities that lie within her family heritage. She finds that beneath the fog of her mind, Mary still holds the keys to the family past. It takes all three women coming together to give Mary, and Caroline, the peace to settle their feuds at last.

To me, this story was most interesting by the portrayal of Mary’s mental incapacity. I had yet to read a story about the hindering effects that dementia has on a person. A person who does not suffer can only imagine the pain and anguish of losing memories. Downham did such a beautiful job capturing the fear and panic that is associated with this disease. Although, I’m not sure that Mary would not have been a bit more hostile. She was constantly described as a firecracker and not easily tamed. It’s hard for me to believe that in her memory loss she would have been so compliant of “strangers”. None the less, I loved the way Katie was able to coax the stories back to Mary’s mind.

One of the largest themes of this story is that no one is perfect, and I love that! Every single person within the covers has a form of character flaw. I love the real representation that people get in the book! Yes, Mary ditched her responsibilities as a young unwed mother, but she had to live with that regret for her whole life. Yes, Caroline is a strict SOB at times, but she’s just attempting to be the best she can be (because she knows the worst, let’s be serious…) Yes, Katie is a bit selfish, but she tries to work it at the entire book. While I enjoyed each character, I also had a bit of dislike for them as well. I think that always makes for an incredibly real and touching story.

One character that I could never get a grip on was Pat. I understand I was to feel a deep sympathy for her depression, and I do, however I feel like she was controlled her whole life by jealousy. That trait was most definitely brought about by their father, but it was also fed by Pat as she never let her hatred for her sibling go. Even in her death she continued to blame her short comings on her sister. Pat’s character lacked the ability to claim her own responsibility. I suppose there always has to be a “villain”, and Pat was that for me.

And don’t get me started on the “Blue Blank”…. talk about anticlimactic! Here this whole story is building up to this one event that changed Mary and Caroline’s relationship forever, and it seemed so blah. You’d think that there was something huge like guns or punches…. maybe I’m over dramatic hah. You would just think that if there was something that kept a mother and daughter apart (and grandmother from granddaughter), it would need to be something huge. The simplicity of their situation didn’t do it for me.

The subplots were a bit strange as well…  What was the “real story”, not the “jump” story? At one point Katie confronts Esme to say she will tell the real one… is that the one we already heard? Although I doubt it was a jump, it still sounded like it took Esme by surprise. If asked, I doubt Esme would have agreed to the kiss. Did Downham plan this to seem different? Also, Katie did seem desperate with chasing Esme down…. Here Katie is portrayed to be so coward and scared, but she continues to be bold and seek Esme out in person and in texts… Seemed very strange to me.

Also, what was up with the rainbow chalk crap at the end of Simona and Katie’s beef?? This resolve didn’t turn out exactly as I would have liked it to.. It was just a bizarre action. Plus, I don’t see Simona (who clearly intends to hold grudges) forgiving Katie over coloring. I would have appreciated a more open and honest commentary from Katie to Simona on the realization of why she struggles to be open. Sure, Simona blames Katie’s mom for being too controlling, but perhaps Katie could have explained back story. Simona seemed like a tough outside, sweet inside type of person. I think a true revelation about the family history would have gotten her to forgive, and it would have been more believable.

Over all, Downham did a nice job of telling this story. I liked the broken time line, and the way she makes you feel like you are suddenly recalling a memory with Mary. I loved the idea that it all came about from Katie’s “WHO AM I” crisis. Overall, I liked the very ending. Although I wouldn’t buy this book for my personal book shelf, I would say it was worth a weekend read.