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September 25, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Daughter of the Queen of Sheba by Jacki Lyden

lyden, jacki - daughter of the queen of sheba( thumbs_side ) The idea of this story is intriguing. It follows the daughter of a manic depressive woman – also known as bipolar. It examines how she grows up, what she’s exposed to, and the abuse she suffers.

It also tells of how her and her sisters came through such dark times with her mother, but still managed to grow up fairly normal. None of them inherited the “crazy” gene.

In fact, in the “Introduction” (at the back of the book, for some reason) it mentions that destructive marriages and stressful events in Dolores’ (the mother’s) life may to be to blame for the onset of severe mental illness. So maybe it wasn’t in her gene pool.

The girls grew up being forced to be a parent to their own parent, which is never a way any child should grow up. Unfortunately, it happens, as it does here.

The story itself is compelling, however the way it is told throws me. It is almost poetic in it’s descriptions and has many abstractive narratives. I prefer straight-forward story-telling. This had me analyzing what the author was telling me too much. And some of the time, I couldn’t even follow her train of thought. It was all over the place. I wouldn’t recommend this book, but I don’t regret reading it.

September 20, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Looking For Alaska by John Green

green, john - looking for alaska ( thumbs_side ) Miles wants to go to boarding school, and so he does. There, he becomes close with a particularly rowdy group of people. He also develops a huge crush on a girl, Alaska. However, she’s the most moody person he’s ever met.

Teenage rebellion, drinking, smoking, and pranks ensue. On the night Miles, nicknamed Pudge by his new friends, finally gets to first base with Alaska, a huge “accident” happens.

The second part of the book is spent with the group experiencing the aftermath of the accident. They analyze it to death, but finally realize they will never know exactly what happened.

It’s not a bad read, but there’s not anything particularly new or interesting about it. Just another teenage trauma story.

September 12, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers by Jennifer Mascia

mascia, jennifer - never tell our business to strangers( thumbs_side ) Jennifer Mascia was born into a criminal family. She had no knowledge of it until she was well into her adulthood. Sure, she saw her father get arrested, but she never knew what for until she did a google search years later and found it was for murder.

With active connections to the mob and drug cartels, her father was not what you’d call a law abiding citizen. And her mother knew everything he did, but still stayed with him despite his transgressions.

It wasn’t until her father died of cancer, and her mother was also on her deathbed, did she hear the worst about her father and her past. So, as she was a journalist, she dug deeper. She researched, and eventually wrote this book about her growing up and her life after.

Unfortunately, I think the majority of the content of this book is analyses and speculation I could have done without. I like emotions and a story – not over-thinking the way situations panned out.

July 31, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Cum Laude by Cecily Von Ziegesar

ziegesar, cecily von - cum laude( thumbs_side ) I expected more from the author of the Gossip Girl series, but I mainly gravitated towards this book because it is based on a college campus. It’s so hard to find books based around people in my age range.

All the main characters are freshman, except for one 15-year-old and one guy who dropped out. Most of the characters meet on the day of orientation. Between 5 individuals, love connections spark. But soon other difficulties of dealing with school and family stress come into play.

There’s drug use, crime, and sex. But it’s mildly entertaining at best.

July 28, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Starbird Murphy and The World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock

finneyfrock, karen - starbird murphy and the world outside( thumbs_up ) It’s always interesting hearing about the different ways different cultures and people with different belief systems live. It’s even more interesting when that different lifestyle is a cult.

Starbird was born into a free love, nature-loving, farm-dwelling group who follows their leader, EARTH. EARTH receives messages from the Cosmos that he translates to members of the Family. Everyone is devoted to him. But Starbird has a “calling” to join the outside world with a few other members and waitress at the Family’s organic cafe. She enrolls in school and is exposed to different ways of thinking. Soon, she learns what “brainwashing” is. She reevaluates her whole life – everything she’s ever known.

I got sucked into this novel, and started and finished it all within a day. It’s a tad predictable, but pretty good despite this.

July 27, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters

peters, julie anne - rage a love story ( thumbs_side ) I’m sure you’ve heard of or witnessed abusive relationships, but have you ever been in one? Would you know what the feelings are like – the addiction of passionate pain and pleasure?

This book takes you there, through a lesbian relationship you see what can allow someone to put up with physical and emotional abuse, repeatedly. The main character’s schoolwork, job, finances, and other relationships all suffer due to one girl. And the worst part is, is that this girl isn’t all to blame. The circumstances she grew up in is much of what made her what she is.

The bad thing about this book is you’ll feel like the main character is stupid and want to slap her upside the head. But you don’t know what it’s like until you’ve been in her shoes. But the worst part about this book is that it ends so happily, where everyone resolves their issues and moves on past the pain. That’s not real life. I prefer my books to have a bit more grit to them.

July 25, 2014 / Melanie Rosson

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

giles, gail - girls like us( thumbs_up ) I was a little wary of delving into this book, as I knew it was going to be told in the perspective of two mentally challenged girls. I have no problem with that in of itself, I just don’t like struggling to understand sentences like you sometimes do in books such as these. However, this was no problem for me at all. And the story line will keep you riveted.

Two special-ed girls graduate from high school and are fixed to move into together and are given jobs. Their personalities and strengths balance each other out. They take care of an older woman that lives next to them, and together they become like a family.

However, a horrible turn of events happens, and they have to struggle to get through it. But it brings them closer. The final take-back point of the story, for me, is that no matter how different you are, you still matter as much as everyone else does.

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