Book #58: The Face on the Milk Carton

Caroline B. Cooney, The Face on the Milk Carton, (1996), 192p

This was one of my FAVOURITE books from my childhood. I vividly remember ordering it from Scholastic through school (oh how I loved browsing through those leaflets and circling about 25 books I wanted to order.) I think I probably read this book about 10 times. I sort of remember it turning into a series, but I’m not sure I ever got past the second book.

When I was getting ready for my vacation (seriously, it was like a month and a half ago. I’m so far behind on everything in my life) I found this book in the eBook collection at my library. Obviously I HAD TO DOWNLOAD IT AND READ IT RIGHT AWAY. Was it as good as I remembered? Clearly not. But then again, what things are?

Janie stumbles across a childhood picture of herself on the side of a milk carton during lunchtime with her high school friends. She can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. Why are there so few pictures of herself from her childhood? Why doesn’t she look like her parents? This discovery leads Janie down a path where she might not like what she finds.

Looking back now, it is so cheesy and predictable. But, reading this as a 10 year old, it was dark and broody. It was kind of fun revisiting a childhood fave, but I don’t think I’m going to jump back and reread/read the series again. 

2015 Reading Challenge: A book from your childhood 

Book #42: Scarlet

Marissa Meyer, Scarlet, (2013), 452p

Seriously guys, this was the best vacation read ever. I read this entire book on the beach, by the pool, lounging in Mexico, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Now that I’m done bragging about my joyous getaway, I guess I can discuss the book further. I mentioned in my post for Cinder that I was a little skeptical getting into this series. A cyborg Cinderella? Come on. But, it’s pretty freaking awesome.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother goes missing and she teams up with Wolf, a hunky street fighter, to find her. Meanwhile, Cinder escapes from prison with a fellow convict, in hopes of finding out more about her mysterious past. Everyone’s paths cross when Queen Levana launches an attack on earth.

Yes, this is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and yes, it was perfect. I loved that it was told from everyone’s perspective: Scarlet, Wolf, Cinder, Kai. This honestly made the story more enjoyable – I think I liked this one even more than Cinder because I absolutely adore Scarlet and Wolf. I’m not so patiently waiting for my hold on Cress to come in. This series is ridiculously entertaining.

2015 Reading Challenge: part two of my trilogy 🙂

Happy reading –
Laurie

Book #37: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), (2012), 318p

Never, ever, ever read this book on a plane. No, seriously. You will burst into obscene, hilarious laughter, then realize what you are doing, then try to stifle and choke back the laughter which makes you look and sound even more ridiculous.

That being said, please do read this book everywhere else. It’s seriously that good.

I had seen this book kicking around for quite a while, because honestly the cover is so freaking cute – how could I NOT notice it? I wanted a funny read for my trip home to see my family. This was a nice reminder that there are families even more dysfunctional than mine 🙂

Jenny Lawson had a typical childhood – if typical childhood’s consisted of incredible amounts of creepy taxidermy and bread bag shoes. Written about in a hilarious fashion.

Please read this book, if only for the bobcat-boyfriend story which is what made me choke on laughter 38,000ft in the air.

I seriously don’t want to give anything else away. Please read this book. And Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman too, if my previous blog post hadn’t already convinced you. Then we can chat about it and be best friends.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂

Book #36: Cruel Beauty

Rosamund Hodge, Cruel Beauty, (2014), 346p 

I love Beauty and the Beast. If I was a Disney princess, I would be Belle.

1) Loving books. All of the books. I dream of a library the size of the Beast’s all day.
2) That adorable blue and white dress/apron combo. So practical and adorable.
3) Belle seems the most down to earth. Not whiny like the other princesses.
4) She’s best friends with a cup. Like how cute is that.

When I found out Cruel Beauty was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I HAD to check it out. I downloaded it onto my iPad and gave it a go.

Nyx Triskelion is destined to marry a monster and has trained her whole life to kill him. When she turns seventeen, the marriage is finalized and Nyx is forced to move to the castle to be the monster’s wife. When Nyx arrives, things are not quite as they seem. Is the monster really a monster?

This book was a fluffy book pretending to be dark. It was entertaining and a perfect read for travelling home for my pre-Christmas visit. Nyx didn’t annoy me like many other fluffy teen read female protagonists. It was a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but the heart was still there.

It’s not the greatest book I’ve read this year, but it did the trick.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂

Book #4: Orange is the New Black

Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black, (2010), 368p

I, like many others, heard about the show and, in turn, this book, then devoured episodes on Netflix with my partner. But, unlike many others, we only watched about the first half of the first season. Then life got in the way and I stopped. We have been meaning to start watching episodes again and after reading the book, I’m looking forward to jumping back in and finishing both seasons.

When I was looking for a vacation read, this was not necessarily on the top of my list. Not quite a lighthearted, fast paced book I usually pick up for the plane. But I thought I would give it a go, especially when it came through as an eBook hold as well. (Fate?) I’m one of those impatient, incredibly annoying people who put a hold on any format available at the library to speed up the process. I loaded it onto my fancy new iPad and read away.

Realistically from what I have seen of the show, it follows the same basic plot line – Piper, a young blonde, falls for Nora, an older, mysterious woman, then gets sucked into her life of drug smuggling and ridiculousness. Piper grows up, smartens up, and moves on with her life. A decade later, the feds come calling and she is convicted and sentenced to hard time. It follows Piper’s relationships and struggles with her fellow inmates and her path towards self realization and growth.

What I really enjoyed was the strength and relationships of these women. Women from all walks of life coming together and making the best of this situation. I like the idea of the mother hens taking the young chicks under their wings, offering their wisdom and support in the form of prison cooking, toiletries, and advice on proper footwear in the showers. It shows beauty in the darkness – that community can brighten the bleakest places and souls.

I made the mistake of reading some reviews and comments. (Note to self: never do that). Some people thought that Kerman was whiny and self involved, that her problems in prison (too many books, not sleeping under the covers) were nothing compared to her fellow inmates battles with poverty, addictions, and mental health issues. While her WASP-y ways may have set her up for greater success outside of the prison walls, I feel like she really did care about and learn from these women. Her honesty and compassion and positivity came through. It gave us a glimpse behind those bars and the women who serve time – opening eyes and asking questions.

Happy reading –
Laurie 🙂