Thursday Quotables: Another Day

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.

another day

Another Day by David Levithan
(released August 25, 2015)

This lovely book is a companion to Every Day, and offers a peek inside the head of a thoughtful teen girl who finds herself in a unique situation.

Contemplating how much of self is defined by the body:

If I were a stranger in my body, what would I think of it? I open my eyes and I’m not sure. A stranger wouldn’t know any of the stories behind any of the small scars — the tricycle fall, the lightbulb smash. A stranger might not care if my boobs aren’t identical, or if the mole on my arm has more hair than the rest of my arm. Why bother judging if you’re a stranger in a body? It’s almost like driving a car. Yes, you don’t want the car to be a shitheap, but pretty much a car is a car. It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it gets you where you need to go.

I know I am not a car. But as I walk through school, I imagine this smaller Rhiannon driving my body. She is my real self. The body is just a car. And I wonder. When Preston talks to me, it feel like he’s talking to the driver. But when a guy I don’t know looks at me in the hall, he’s staring at the car. When my teacher looks out at the class as he’s droning on about history, he’s not seeing the drivers, he’s seeing the parked cars. And when Justin kisses me — I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like he’s trying to kiss the driver. Other times, he’s just kissing the car.

I love David Levithan’s writing and how he captures the meaning in small moments:

There are still people looking at us. Imagining we’re having a fight. Or imagining we’re a couple. Or imagining this is a first date that’s been a total bust.

Fact: It is none of these things.

Feeling: It is all of these things.

I really enjoyed this book… and plan to write up a review as soon as I have time to sit down for more than 10 minutes at a time.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

Thursday Quotables: The Lover’s Dictionary

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

thanksgiving

Posting early, before the Thanksgiving madness begins! I just couldn’t let a Thursday go by without a Thursday Quotables post — even though there’s pumpkin pie to be made! Happy early Thursday! Here’s this week’s Quotable:

buffoonery, n.

You were drunk, and I made the mistake of mentioning Showgirls in a near-empty subway car. The pole had no idea what it was about to endure.

The Lover's Dictionary

Source: The Lover’s Dictionary
Author: David Levithan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011

I almost went with one of the many heart-breaking definitions from this remarkable book, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, thought I’d go with one that made me laugh instead!

If you want to know more about The Lover’s Dictionary, you can read my review here.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Click below (next to the cute froggy face) to link up your post! And be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables too.
  • Have a quote to share but not a blog post? Leave your quote in the comments.
  • Have fun!

Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary

Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

The Lover's DictionaryI’m so glad that I finally picked up a copy of this remarkable book — one of the few remaining books by David Levithan that I had yet to read.

David Levithan is the supremely talented author of incredibly fine works of young adult fiction, as well as an editorial director at Scholastic. But in The Lover’s Dictionary, David Levithan does something completely different: He writes for grown-ups.

To be clear: The Lover’s Dictionary isn’t a YA book that adults will also love. It is a mature look at adult love, and it is astounding.

Am I gushing yet? Because I feel like I’m gushing.

This is a novel, but the title doesn’t lie: It is a novel written in dictionary format. Each page contains an entry — at the least a few lines, at the most a page or two — going from A to Z, offering a word and its part of speech, followed by simply sensational definitions.

From aberrant to zenith, The Lover’s Dictionary tells the story of a relationship, not in chronological order, but in alphabetical order.

The two main characters remained unnamed. All we know is that this man and this woman meet online, begin dating, fall in love, live together, and then deal with what living together and loving together really means.

It’s beautiful and it’s unpredictable. It’s also disturbing and even heartbreaking.

Because the book is written alphabetically, there’s a strange sense of dislocation and confusion throughout. Wait, she cheated? When, exactly? Oh, they had a beautiful day in the park. But was that before or after? When they talk about having hope, are they in the early days, or the days that might possibly be too late?

But isn’t real life full of dislocation and confusion? Real relationships don’t evolve along a timeline, nicely following an outline like the tidy plot of a movie. There are ups and downs, reversals and collapses, leaps forward, near misses. It doesn’t have to go in order to make sense.

What we the readers are left with is a story of two people who seem to love each other intensely, but who also occasionally irritate each other and hurt each other and wish the other person would change, either a lot or a little.

Little snippets of the relationship just feel so real:

belittle, v.

No, I don’t listen to the weather in the morning. No, I don’t keep track of what I spend. No, it hadn’t occurred to me that the Q train would have been much faster. But every time you give me that look, it doesn’t make me want to live up to your standards.

Who hasn’t had these types of highs and lows, even in the same day, in a long-term relationship:

commonplace, adj.

It swings both ways, really.

I’ll see your hat on the table and I’ll feel such longing for you, even if you’re only in the other room. If I know you aren’t looking, I’ll hold the green wool up to my face, inhale that echo of your shampoo and the cold air from outside.

But then I’ll walk into the bathroom and find you’ve forgotten to put the cap back on the toothpaste again, and it will be this splinter that I just keep stepping on.

David Levithan knows words. I’ve admired his use of language in his YA novels as well, and here his verbal flourishes are on full display. He delves into the inner lives of words, twists them apart and finds their hidden selves, finds connections in the most unlikely of places. It’s beautiful to behold, even apart from the story itself, how the author turns the use of everyday language into an elevated art form.

Meanwhile, the story itself is gritty and often sad, yet has moments of real romance, humor and beauty. Interestingly, it’s The Lover’s Dictionary, not The Lovers’ Dictionary. That apostrophe placement makes a big difference. The male narrator is a writer, and this is his record of the relationship. Is he building a case? Is he writing a love letter? Is this a memory or a real-time journal? We don’t know. We don’t see both sides of the story. We just see him, with his devotion and his exasperation, addressing his thoughts to her, with hope and with love.

It’s one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read, but it truly works.

And now I really am gushing.

Clearly, I love this book. It’s not long (211 pages in the hardcover edition), but it’s no more than a reading session of an hour or two, given the white spaces and breathing room around each dictionary entry. Don’t rush, though. Because it’s not chronological, much is open to interpretation. Was this referring to that? Or maybe to that one there? So savor, enjoy the language, puzzle out the connections in time, and then maybe flip back through one more time to see if you still think the same events occurred in the same order, for the same reasons and with the same outcomes. I know I changed my mind a few times along the way.

A final note: If you haven’t had the pleasure, don’t miss out on David Levithan’s young adult novels. His gift for language and his commitment to getting to the essence of communications shine through in everything he writes. If you’re interested, check out my reviews of some of his other books:

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
(co-authored with Rachel Cohn)
Every Day
Two Boys Kissing

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: The Lover’s Dictionary
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 2011
Genre: Adult fiction
Source: Library

The Monday Agenda 9/23/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

The Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1)Two Boys KissingThe Girl You Left Behind

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt: Done! My review is here.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan: Done! My review is here.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes: Currently reading, at about the half-way point. Very moving so far!

And in kids’ books:

Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps, #1)

My son and I have settled on our next read-aloud book. We’ve just started the first book in the Leven Thumps series by Obert Skye, which seems to have originally been titled Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, but which now appears to be called just The Gateway. Whatever the title, we’re about 6 or 7 chapters into it, and it seems to be a fun if somewhat dark fantasy series. We’ll definitely read all of book 1 before we decide about the rest of the series.

 Fresh Catch:

In my quest to find books that will appeal to both my son and me, I picked up a couple of new (used) kids’ books plus a graphic novel for me:

Liesl & PoHouse of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1)Angel & Faith: Death and Consequences (Angel & Faith, #4)

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

The Girl You Left BehindDoctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)The Incrementalists

First, I need to finish The Girl You Left Behind… by Tuesday, because…

Holey moley, I’m so excited for the release of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King! I finished my re-read of The Shining a couple of weeks ago, and have been on pins and needles waiting for Doctor Sleep ever since! I plan to start reading it the second it arrives.

If by any chance I have time left this week, then my next book will be The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White, one of my recent Wishlist Wednesday picks.

AND — on top of all this reading goodness — coming this week is one of my very favorite events of the year: the Big Book Sale hosted by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. Hundreds of thousands of books for $3 or less! I’ll be attending the member preview on Tuesday night. What could be more fun than being in a huge room filled with books and surrounded by hundreds of crazy book lovers? Last year, I came home with 40 books and spent $80. Let’s see how I do this year!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

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Book Review: Two Boys Kissing

Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys KissingTo call Two Boys Kissing a young adult novel is to set limits on a book that truly transcends categories of genre and target demographics. You may as well describe Two Boys Kissing as poetry with a plot or a love song transcribed with paper and ink.

Two Boys Kissing is an ode to today’s generation of gay youth, narrated from beyond by a “Greek chorus” (as all the blurbs put it) composed of the voices of the generation of gay men lost to the plague years of the AIDS epidemic. Written throughout in the first-person plural voice, the narrative describes the hopes and fears of the people who came before — and expresses their love and good wishes for the youth of today.

The book is loosely constructed around the events that occur over the course of a weekend, as teens Harry and Craig decide to challenge the record for the world’s longest kiss. As these two boys attempt to kiss for 32 hours straight, with no breaks, no sitting down, no “propping” by any others, their friends gather round to cheer and support them — and bit by bit, they become a world-wide media sensation. Meanwhile, we also follow the story of five other boys who explore first love, family acceptance, fitting in and giving up, speaking up and knowing when to listen.

The writing here is lyrical and absolutely beautiful. I could open to pretty much any page and find a moving moment or a passage that just begs to be read out loud.

Sample #1:

We were once like you, only our world wasn’t like yours.

You have no idea how close to death you came. A generation or two earlier, you might be here with us.

We resent you. You astonish us.

Sample #2:

Around the world, screens light up. Around the world, words are flown through wires. Around the world, images are reduced to particles and, moments later, are perfectly reassembled. Around the world, people see these two boys kissing and find something there.

Sample #3:

Maybe this is why we like watching you so much. Everything is still new to you. We are long past the experience, although we witness new things all the time. But you. New is not just a fact. New can be an emotion.

I could go on and on, because everywhere in Two Boys Kissing are moments of beauty, perfect expressions of pain and loss, hope and love. This is a slim book, less than 200 pages, but every page has meaning and depth. There are no chapter breaks — it’s one long meditation and celebration, and as surprising and unconventional as it is, it truly works.

I believe that Two Boys Kissing will quickly become a very important book for teens. It confronts today’s climate head-on, provides a context for how we got to where we are today, and conveys it all with passion, compassion, and an unwillingness to back down or look away. I can easily see another and different audience for Two Boys Kissing as well — the older generation, gay and straight, that remembers the awful, early years of the AIDS epidemic and hears the voices of friends and loved ones, lost but never forgotten, in the words of the book’s chorus.

On top of all this, Two Boys Kissing tells a sweet and lovely story about a group of individuals. The named characters are finely drawn, with personalities and backstories that make them each unique and yet easily identifiable as real people going through real challenges.

You may read it for the events, for the love stories, for the heartbreak, for the elegance of the writing, or for the memories it evokes. Just read it.

__________________________________________

The details:

Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication date: 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Library

Thursday Quotables: Two Boys Kissing

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

 

If you are a teenager now, it is unlikely that you knew us well. We are your shadow uncles, your angel godfathers, your mother’s or your grandmother’s best friend from college, the author of that book you found in the gay section of the library. We are characters in a Tony Kushner play, or names on a quilt that rarely gets taken out anymore. We are the ghosts of the remaining older generation. You know some of our songs.

We do not want to haunt you too somberly. We don’t want our legacy to be gravitas. You wouldn’t want to live your life like that, and you won’t want to be remembered like that, either. Your mistake would be to find our commonality in our dying. The living part mattered more.

We taught you how to dance.

Two Boys Kissing

Source: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Comment on this post with the link to your own Thursday Quotables post. Or… have a quote to share but not a blog post? Leave your quote in the comments!
  • Have fun!

The Monday Agenda 6/17/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan: Done! My review is here.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: Done! My review is here.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith: Done! My review is here.

My overall summary? This Is What Happy Looks Like is a perfect summer book, light and romantic; The Sea of Tranquility is a beautifully written book about tragedy and hope; and Invisibility, while having a great premise and some very interesting twists, is ultimately a bit of a let-down.

The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis: About six chapters to go! My son and I continue to power through our Narnia read… and we continue to love it!

Fresh Catch:

Two eagerly awaited pre-orders finally arrived this past week! Now if only I had time to actually read them…

The FirebirdJoyland

These two books both have amazing covers, in their own way — but look so wrong together.

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

I’ve just started reading a review copy of Sea Change by S. M. Wheeler, received via NetGalley. Isn’t this a great cover?

Sea Change

After that, I’d like to finally sit down with Fathomless by Jackson Pearce, which is due back at the library next week.

Meanwhile, I’m getting ready for a short vacation that starts next weekend, so what with packing my bags and getting my kid ready for camp, I’m not sure how much reading I’ll actually get through this week.

Have you voted in my vacation reading poll yet? Rather than pick my own reading material for my upcoming trip, I thought I’d let everyone else do it for me! Here’s the link to see the options and cast your vote. Choose wisely! Whichever books get the most votes by Friday are going straight into my suitcase.boy1

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

Thursday Quotables: Invisibility

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

If you’d like to participate, it’s really simple:

  • Follow Bookshelf Fantasies, if you please!
  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now.
  • Link up via the linky below (look for the cute froggy face).
  • Make sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com).
  • Have fun!

This week’s Thursday Quotable:

I know there are epic tales of romance, where love means you’re supposed to die. Where it’s all about sacrifice. But I don’t want to die. I don’t want Stephen to die. I’m looking for the scenario where we both get to live. Where we can continue this marvel that is love and discovery and trust. I’m not even asking for happily ever after. Just survival in the meantime so life can keep happening as it will.

Source:  Invisibility
Author: Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
Philomel Books, 2013

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

Link up, or share your quote of the week in the comments.

Book Review: Invisibility

Book Review: Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

InvisibilityTalk about difficult teen years. Stephen is 16 years old, lives in Manhattan… and has been invisible since birth. That’s right, NO ONE has ever seen him, and he’s never even seen himself. He has no idea what color eyes he has or what he looks like when he smiles. For most of his life, Stephen lived with his nurturing mother, but as Invisibility opens, it’s been a year since his mother’s death and Stephen is completely and utterly alone. His absent father pays the bills and is available via email, but Stephen lives solo in his apartment, observing people in parks and museums in lieu of companionship, and shopping online for all his basic needs. Stephen’s only knowledge about the cause of his condition is an overheard argument between his parents, in which his mother referred to a “curse”. Neither parent will discuss it with Stephen, and so he spends his days in solitude, with no hope of improvement and very little to live for.

All that changes when Elizabeth and her family move in down the hall. Elizabeth (who thinks she might prefer to be called Jo), her brother Laurie, and their mother have relocated to New York from Minnesota after Laurie was the victim of a traumatic hate crime. Elizabeth has had her faith in friendship and good will destroyed, and yearns for the anonymity of starting over in a big city.

Both Stephen and Elizabeth have their worlds turned upside down on the day that they meet in the hallway. For reasons that Stephen can’t understand, Elizabeth can see him. Of course, Elizabeth has no idea that there’s anything at all odd about this sweet, cute boy, until Laurie accidentally meets Stephen some weeks later and the shocking truth is revealed.

From there, Elizabeth and Stephen launch themselves into a quest to get answers and find a way to break the curse. With Laurie as a sidekick and supporter, they find Millie, a “spellseeker”, who explains why Elizabeth can see Stephen and introduces them to the world of cursecasters and spellseekers.

Did your eyes just glaze over a bit there? Because mine did at this point in the book. More on this in a moment.

The book, at this point, enters into a mad introduction to the world of spells and curses. Apparently, Elizabeth is a natural talent at seeing spells, and may even be one of the incredibly rare spellseekers who can not only see spells and curses, but can draw them off and dissipate them.

Hoo-boy.

Let’s be clear, there really is a lot to like about Invisibility. David Levithan is an incredibly gifted and talented writer, and once again he joins up with a writing partner to coauthor a young adult novel. In this case, he and Andrea Cremer write alternating chapters, he as the voice of Stephen, she as the voice of Elizabeth. David Levithan has taken this approach with great success in previous novels such as Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (reviewed here) and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. Here, however, the voices of the two authors don’t blend particularly well: I didn’t always feel that I was reading one coherent novel, rather than two separate narratives. Chapter segues are occasionally jarring, and the timing from one POV chapter to the next doesn’t flow as naturally as it should.

And then there’s the plot. I enjoyed the beginning very much. Stephen’s situation is fascinating. David Levithan does a lovely job of portraying his loneliness and sorrow, being the perpetual outsider stuck in a hopeless life. Where it all becomes problematic for me is when the focus shifts away from Stephen and onto Elizabeth and her new special magical talents.

My main quibbles with Invisibility are:

  • Whoa! Head over heels happens a bit too fast! Stephen and Elizabeth meet, and then, wham! They’re in love. No build up, not a whole lot of warning. It doesn’t feel earned. Frankly, from Stephen’s perspective, it’s a bit more understandable. After all, he’s never even spoken to a girl in his whole life, and here’s the first person he’s ever encountered who actually can see him! That’s got to feel pretty incredible. But for Elizabeth? I just didn’t feel it. Yes, she’s fascinated by Stephen’s unique situation, but to fall in love so suddenly? I didn’t believe it.
  • Also in terms of Elizabeth, here she is, newly arrived from Minnesota to New York — and yet she does almost nothing to meet people, explore the city, or establish herself. Conveniently, it’s summer when she moves in, so there’s no school — but this makes it feel that she and Stephen develop a relationship in a vacuum, and I had to wonder how much her own isolation factors into her readiness to be “in love”.
  • The book jacket copy stresses that Elizabeth “wishes for invisibility” and the ability to blend in — but since we never see her interact with peers other than Laurie and Stephen or even have the opportunity to blend in (or not), I didn’t feel that the story lived up to the description in this regard.
  • Once the topic of cursecasters and spellseekers is introduced, Elizabeth’s abilities become the focus of the story, and I felt that Stephen’s experiences get lost in the shuffle. To me, he is far more interesting than Elizabeth, but he becomes a passive participant in the drama as Elizabeth is the one who drives the action.
  • Okay, here’s the eyes-glazing-over part. The whole cursecaster/spellcaster business feels so… done. Once this element was introduced, my interest in the book really dropped off. Stephen’s situation is so interesting — but then to move into a story about ancient powers, a musty old collection of books, the ability to “see” curses and draw them out… maybe this is the only way to provide an explanation for Stephen, but I felt like I was reading a really different story than the one I started with. Witchy powers of one sort or another seem to pop up in every other YA novel these days; I didn’t think this was going to be another one of those.
  • Perhaps if I hadn’t read David Levithan’s Every Day so recently, this might have felt fresher. In Every Day, the main character is also an outsider due to a weird, inexplicable circumstance that forever separates the main character from the chance of a normal life — until everything changes and the character finds new purpose after falling for that one special girl who can see beyond the surface. So yes, parts of the set-up of Invisibility felt a bit too familiar. Different stories, but not such different predicaments.

I do want to praise the snappy writing, the clever dialogue, and the humorous moments that pop up from time to time to lighten the mood. I couldn’t help giggling in certain places, such as :

“News flash,” he says. “I’m gay, not a witch. Gay and witch is Dumbledore, and last time I checked, he was still just a guy in a book.”

Be still, my Harry-Potter-lovin’ heart! I also enjoyed the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shout out to David Levithan’s excellent novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, co-written with the amazing John Green. Little moments like this definitely added an element of fun to what is overall a pretty heavy mood throughout the book.

Invisibility has a dramatic climax, with plenty of action and some truly horrific events along the way. In particular, a nasty trail of curses inflicted on random people in Central Park is chilling in its violence and devastation. By the end, Elizabeth and Stephen reach a form of resolution, although not a solution. I do like that the ending is imperfect, rather than having our lovebirds overcome all adversity, beat the odds, have true love triumph, and all the various plot points that have become so clichéd by now. Instead, they find a way to move forward, but their problems are far from over.

I appreciate having an open-ended finale to the story, one that leaves the reader room to ponder what may happen and what the characters’ lives might be like going forward. I’m hoping, though, that this doesn’ t mean that there will be a sequel. Not everything needs to be wrapped up with a perfect happily-ever-after. There’s hope, despite the certainty of further challenges, and that feels fitting for Elizabeth and Stephen’s story.

The Monday Agenda 6/10/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris: Finished! My review is here.

Doll Bones by Holly Black: Finished! My review is here.

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan: Started over the weekend; about half-way through. I’m intrigued, but withholding judgment until I see where it’s going.

Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis: Another Narnia book goes in the “finished” column! My son and I finished this one a few days ago — and like the rest of the series, it’s great!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this past week — can that be true? I did buy one new book from Amazon — but when it arrived, it had some ugly sticker marks and residue on the cover, so I returned it… and realized I didn’t want it all that badly after all. So, in my mind, it’s like I saved money! (Technically, that would be a no, but hey, whatever works…)

Also in the Amazon fail department, a book I’d preordered ages ago was supposed to arrive on Thursday — and then got delayed until this coming week. Bummer.

I did get approved for a few review copies via NetGalley, but I’ll wait to discuss those until I’m ready to start each one.

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

I’ll be wrapping up the rest of Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan in the next day or so.

After that, I’m looking forward to reading The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay.

And if there’s time, I’ll continue working my way through my stack of library books, starting with Fathomless by Jackson Pearce and This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith.boy1

The kiddo and I have gotten our Narnia reading order slightly messed up — going neither by publication date nor by story chronology — but that’s okay, we’re enjoying it all anyway. We’re now a few chapters into The Horse and His Boy. And after that? Only three to go!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.