95 Books, 340 Days & 27650 Pages To Go

Quick Summary:
The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks is a short (99 page) novel about the power of love. Unlike the movie, which I’ve seen as well, this book starts when Noah and Allie are older. As with the book, it begins with Noah telling Allie a story, but the story begins when Allie comes to see him after reading about him restoring a house in the newspaper. Noah and Allie loved one another as teenagers, but were separated by her parents. Years later, they find each other and fall in love all over again; and Allie must choose between making everyone else happy and making herself happy.

Quick Review:
This book was quite sad. It did bring a tear to my eye and make me think about how hard the decision must have been for Allie. It also made me realize that love can really conquer any obstacle, and Allie and Noah would have done anything to be together. It wasn’t insanely predictable, like some other books can be, but it wasn’t too surprising that Allie stays with Noah.

I loved this book. My boyfriend got an earful about how great it was after I finished. I do wish it would have been longer though.

96 Books, 342 Days & 27749 Pages To Go

Quick Summary:
Butterfly, by V.C. Andrews is the first book in a series of books about orphans. This one is the short 170 page story of Janet, an orphan who, at the age of twelve, gets adopted by a very wealthy couple. At first, everything seems fine. As expected Janet is scared, but she is also amazed by the fact that she has her own very large room—and her very own parents. Soon it becomes apparent to Janet that her mother would like to fulfill her dreams by living through Janet.

Quick Review:
This was a good read, although it seemed too much like a story and not enough like it could be something that would actually happen. Janet seemed much too mature for her age, never complaining, even when she was very sick with the flu. She also seemed to get attached to her new family too quickly. I don’t think this would happen with children who had been an orphan for 12 years.

This was a good book if you want something you can read quickly. I finished this in about an hour, and enjoyed it—but still wished there was more depth.

97 Books, 345 Days & 27919 Pages To Go

I apologize for the extreme delay, but I am back on track with my reading challenge!

Quick Summary:
Teach Me, by R.A. Nelson
is a 264 page book about a 17-year-old student and a 30-something-year-old poetry teacher’s relationship. Mr. Mann knows that Carolina isn’t like kids her own age. She is smart, mature and driven. He can’t help himself; they share hidden kisses in unseen areas of town. On Carolina’s 18th birthday, they take things to a different level. Carolina is in love, and Mr. Mann says he loves her as well. Things are great as far as Carolina is concerned. That is until Mr. Mann suddenly ends things with her, giving her no real explanation. Carolina is furious and upset and wants to get even. Her best friend Schuyler steps in to help, but Carolina goes too far. 

Quick Review:
This book is a great read! At times, I wished Carolina would have talked more about her parents; what they thought she was doing when she was with Mr. Mann, instead of just what her best friend thought. I loved the ending, which I won’t spoil for you guys, but it was great as well. This is something that anyone can relate to…wanting what you can not have.

This book was definitely great. I’d recommend it to anyone.

98 Books, 361 Days & 28183 Pages To Go

Quick Summary:
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption
, by Stephen King is a touching 120 page novella about Andy, a young man falsely imprisoned, and Red, one of the only men in Shawshank Prison who is willing to admit that he is guilty.
Red is the guy who can get you what you need; and Andy needs things. He needs a rock hammer, rock blankets and posters. Andy makes small figurines out of stones, but this is not the only reason he needs the rock hammer.
Andy is a smart man—an ex-banker—who does tax returns for the prison staff. This gets him extra pull around the prison. He only has one cellmate his entire time at the prison and his room does not get searched very thoroughly.
In the end, Andy escapes Shawshank Prison and flees to a town in Mexico. Red is paroled, but can’t face the real world, so he finds his way to Andy.

This is not the actual book cover. It is just a representation of the book.

Quick Review:
This book is fantastic. It is very touching and makes you think about how prison inmates were treated in the mid 1900s. Andy is raped by the “sisters”, which Red, the narrator, says are the scum of the prison. The prison staff shows no regard towards the inmates health. The warden puts anyone who disagrees with him in solitary on a diet of bread and water, which causes their teeth to fall out.
All of the characters feel real to me and I was thrilled when Andy escaped from that horrible prison.

This was an amazing book. I have also seen the movie, which I loved as well.

99 Books, 363 Days & 28303 Pages To Go

Quick Summary:
Leaving Las Vegas, by John O’Brien
is a short (189 page) novel about Sera, a prostitute, and Ben, an alcoholic. Sera lives in Las Vegas; Ben in Los Angeles. The story is told in alternating ominous voices.
Sera’s story is mostly about the “tricks”, or men, that she sleeps with. On one of her “dates” she gets beat and raped by three young men.
Ben’s story is shorter. His is about his experiences drinking, blacking out and wanting to get out of Los Angeles.
Brought together when Ben moves to Las Vegas after donating all of his belongings, they fall in love. Neither one of them change their habits. Ben ultimately lets alcoholism be the death of him, although this does not happen until the last page of the book.

Quick Review:
The first half of this book was terrible. There are times when Sera will be someplace alone, but then in parenthesis she is talking to someone. When the parenthesis end, she is back in her original location.
Another issue I have is the lack of explanations. It never explains why Sera, a beautiful, intelligent girl, became a prostitute. O’Brien also never explains why Ben became an alcoholic or why he was so willing to die.
Finally, I absolutely hated the language used in the book. Parts of the book seemed like O’Brien sat there with a thesaurus, but other parts were extremely crude. The inconsistency was not only annoying, but made it feel like the book was written by two different people.

It was an interesting book, but could have benefited from some explanation and steady language. It has been turned into a movie, which I would love to see.

To Mention A Few…

It’s Saturday, January 1, 2011 which means that the 100 book challenge begins today. I am so excited that I can finally start.
I wanted to start this blog off by mentioning a few of the books that I am the most excited to read. These are just a few. If I mentioned all of the books I was looking forward to, this post would go on forever.

Th1rteen R3asons Why, by Jay Asher (288 pages)
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, by Mayra Hornbacher (296 pages)
Whale Season, by N.M. Kelby (286 pages)
It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini (448 pages)
My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (423)

So there’s a little insight into what you’ll be seeing. I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me get these books together. I couldn’t do it without you all.
Well faithful reader, I hope you’ll follow me on this book challenge and I hope this inspires you to challenge yourself.