Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters

Title:  Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters
Author:  Natalie Standiford

     From GoodReads, "The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.
Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.
And so the confessions begin...."

     As a mother I was intrigued about the confessions of three teenage girls.  It was interesting to ride along with each daughter and hear each thought and indiscretion each revealed.  I kept reading to see which one I felt had done the most damage and who could be the one to offend their grandmother.  Reading each confession you could see how different each daughter was and the different perception of  what could have been the offending incident.   I also liked how each girl learned, healed and felt remorse on their confessions.  The end was unexpected and surprising which definitely left me smiling as I closed the book.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review: Bruiser

Title:  Bruiser
Author:  Neal Shusterman

     From GoodReads, "Tennyson:Don't get me started on the Bruiser. He was voted "Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty" by the entire school. He's the kid no one knows, no one talks to, and everyone hears disturbing rumors about. So why is my sister, BrontË, dating him? One of these days she's going to take in the wrong stray dog, and it's not going to end well.BrontË:My brother has no right to talk about Brewster that way—no right to threaten him. There's a reason why Brewster can't have friends—why he can't care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can't be explained. I know, because they're happening to me.Award-winning author Neal Shusterman has crafted a chilling and unforgettable novel about the power of unconditional friendship, the complex gear workings of a family, and the sacrifices we endure for the people we love."

     In 2008, Neal Shusterman's The Schwa Was Here, was nominated for the Nebraska Golden Sower Award.  Prior to the nomination, I had never read any books by Neal Shusterman, however, I liked the book so much, picking up Bruiser, was an easy choice.  I think what I like most about Shusterman, is the way that he speaks to his readers without preaching his point.  He also doesn't talk down to his readers and assumes that they will be able to understand his intricately woven language or at least look up some of the words  (I admittedly do this at times).  
     Bruiser started out with such brutal reality that I couldn't wait to see what happened.  It did take awhile for me to figure out what the deal was and I will admit that once I figured out what was really going on, I almost put down the book.  I am glad that I finished it though because it turned out to be an intense story on just how deep the power of love and friendship can go.  

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