Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review of In Between

     This past week I read an amazing book by Jenny B. Jones entitled In Between.

     Katie Parker knows life isn't fair.  After all, when your mom's in jail and your dad's a no-show, you figure things just aren't going your way.  But hey, she can deal.  Then she finds out she's being sent to live with a foster family--in In Between, Texas.
     What kind of town has a name like In Between?  And what kind of family wants a kid like her?  One thing's for certain: None of this will be good.  Sure enough--thanks to some new "friends" and her nonMom's crazed mother, Mad Maxine--life sails right past bad to stinking.
    Then again, she's just a temporary kid, they're just temporary parents, and she definitely doesn't have any ideas about making any of this permanent.  God, on the other hand, may have other plans altogether.

     My Favorite Quote
     "Lord, if you are real . . . or if you even answer prayer from a girl dumb enough to get on a bicycle built for two with a deranged senior citizen bent on stalking her geriatric, cheating nonbyfriend, I just want to say I can't really afford to get in any more trouble right now.  So just remember this was not my idea.  I can't say no to Maxine.  I'm sure you know what I mean."  (page 285)

     My Review
     I love the sarcasm that peppers Katie's thoughts and conversations.  Reading the first few chapters, it's impossible not to laugh continuously.  It's just that hilarious.  I like all of the details used to describe the people and places that the reader encounters in the story.  It really makes you feel like you're there.
     My favorite character is definitely Mad Maxine.  She's not your typical foster granny.  She rarely (if ever) acts her age.  At one point, her neighbors started a campaign to get her car taken away!  She may seem tough (and crazy) on the outside, but she has a heart the size of Texas.
     Overall, this was a great read.  Even though it's geared towards young adults, I think this book could be enjoyed by readers of all ages.  Jenny B. Jones accurately captures small town life and how crazy life can be for a teenage girl.  This book was very engaging, and I highly recommend it.

     Links to Purchase

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review of Look Me in the Eye

     Today I'm going to tell you about a book I've recently read, Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison.

    Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien yet always deeply human.
     My Favorite Quote
     "It is these memories--a last gift from my father--that have made this book possible."  (page 280)
     My Review
     I really enjoyed reading this book.  It was funny in some parts and sad in others.  One of the reasons I enjoyed the book was it gave me an insight into how a person with Asperger's thinks.  I have a brother with Asperger's and this book helped me understand why he says the strange things he does.  This book gives amazing insight into the life of an Aspergerian.  I also liked how he included the part where he eventually forgave his father.  It was really moving.
     Links to purchase

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tablets vs. E-readers

     The hottest trends in the literary world are e-readers and tablets.  The problem is that there are so many to choose from, leaving bookworms to wonder how to select one.  I have been looking to purchase one, and here is what I've found.
     E-readers permit consumers to read books and some newspapers and magazines.  Newer e-readers allow consumers to read all types of books, magazines, and newspapers and play some games.  Tablets let you read books, magazines, and newspapers and they have internet access that allows consumers to surf the web and download videos and music.  E-readers tend to be lighter and have longer lasting batteries while tablets play movies and take photos.  The cheapest of the tablets is sold for $129, while e-readers can be found for as low as $59.  Price is determined by the brand, storage capacity, and features.

     Currently, the three major competitors are Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.  Both companies manufacture e-readers and tablets.  They both have pros and cons.  Most people choose out of loyalty to a brand.  Both companies offer membership discounts.
     Other tablet and e-reader companies include Google, Kobo, Samsung, and Sony.  While these may not be super popular, they are quickly gaining status.  Each has unique features and a large selection of books, magazines, and newspapers.  In the future they may provide serious competition to Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble.
     The downside to e-readers and tablets is the fact that consumers can only purchase books from their device's manufacturer.  Each uses a different e-book format.  This means that if users try to borrow e-books from their local library, users will have to make sure that their library has books in the right format for their e-reader/tablet.
     There will continuously be new forms of e-readers and tablets manufactured.  Each will have new, revolutionary features.  I hope that through the e-reader and tablet movement reading will become more widespread.

   I am not affiliated with Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo, Samsung, or Sony.  The photo came from the following link:  

Saturday, December 7, 2013


   My name is Alyssa Michelle.  I've been wanting to start a blog for awhile, but I just never got around to doing it.  I mean, I tried once, but it didn't last long.  The reason I started this one is for an English class assignment.  If you read my About Me section, you would know that I am currently a college Freshman.  It's going great so far!  (I'm one of those weird kids that actually likes school.)  
   Anyways, this blog is going to be all things bookish.  I'm going to try to blog about book-related topics and write book reviews about once a week.  Don't hold your breath though.  It may not always happen.  :)