Weekend Wind Down

This past week was busy. We needed to spend a night winding down with a glass of wine and a good book. Except all that was in Erica's fridge was a bottle of Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, so her wine of choice was a cold beer. Christy, on the other hand, had her last glass of Mirassou Merlot...and uh, some scooby snacks.  (Good thing tonight wasn't recipe night on our blog.)

Our good book was The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. I (Erica) discovered this book at the local library while pondering whether or not A New Day was ready to query (it wasn't). While reading a WIP of Christy's, I thought, this reminds me of the "mean girls" in TTAF (I love acronyms) and suggested it to her. This weekend, we read it together (as together as 2 people living 4 hours apart can).

Here's the blurb: Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwasher job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

Here are our takes:

by Erica: Well, you can already guess what I think about TTAF, since I'm the one who recommended it. I've read several Sarah Dessen books and what strikes me the most is her use of characterization. Perfect, rigid, every-hair-in-place Macy makes you cheer her along on every tiny little adventurous step she takes. Fun, quirky secondary characters like Kristy and Bert stick in your mind long after the book is done. Artistic, sexy boys with peek-a-boo tattoos on their arms work for me, too, frankly. And the stark contrast of the two "perfect" men in Macy's life? It's amazing how Ms. Dessen manages to make them both not just possible, but plausible. To those who think contemporary YA is "boring" - do yourself a favor and read this book. Then come back and thank me.

by Christy:  I'm thanking you even though I never thought contemporary YA was boring.  But I have to admit I haven't read it since I was a pre-teen/teenager myself.  Lately I've been trying to read more fantasy to check out my genre for Solstice while throwing in some Adult reading by authors I've begun to enjoy the past couple of years.  So thanks for bringing me back around to an old fave and for giving me an author to admire while working on my new WIP which is contemporary romance for young adults. 

It took me all of a page to forget I was reading and get into the characters and Macy's head.  I felt for her immediately.  In fact I cried before the end of chapter one (but don't let that deter you from opening this book.  I'm a bit over-tired this weekend.)  There were moments I laughed too.  Promise.  (Out loud and everything.  Ask my husband who came to look over my shoulder at what I was reading.)

She created characters that were so contradictory to each other...and yeah, some examples are the "mean girls" vs Macy.  And sadly, girls treat each other that way, especially, as in Macy's case, when jealousy is involved.  Our sympathy is piqued since she is so innocently uninvolved in these girls' motivation to make her uncomfortable.  Dessen's writing was seamless.  Pages practically turned themselves (which was good since I was nearly too tired to move my arm).  It was a perfect book to wind down the weekend to.  Good book pick Erica!  I can't wait to see what book we read together for our next Weekend Wind Down book review!  (And to read another of Sarah Dessen's books!  What's your next recommendation?) (Hey, this is Erica saying to all Dessen fans, JL, anyone?!?)

1 comment:

  1. I tend to gravitate towards YA fantasy too, but I loved "Mean Girls" and this sounds good. Maybe I'll read it. Thanks for the reviews.


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