Wishing & Waiting on Wednesday: Just One Night

There’s nothing like a Wednesday for thinking about the books we want to read! My Wishing & Waiting on Wednesday post is linking up with two fabulous book memes, Wishlist Wednesday (hosted by Pen to Paper) and Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine).

Try not to squeal too loudly over this one!:

Just One Night (Just One Day, #2.5)

Just One Night by Gayle Forman
(An e-novella, to be released May 29, 2014)

Synopsis via Goodreads:

After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

Anyone who read Just One Day* and Just One Year* will need no convincing — we will finally (gasp!) find out what happened after that kiss! I may have jumped up and down just a teensy bit when I heard about this e-novella…

*If you want to read my reviews of the two novels mentioned here…

… click here for Just One Day
… click here for Just One Year

What are you wishing for this Wednesday?

Looking for some bookish fun on Thursdays and Fridays? Come join me for my regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday! You can find out more here — come share the book love!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

The Monday Agenda 11/18/2013

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 Rosie Project12842134

Picture Me Gone

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Finished at the end of last week, posted my review this week. This book just makes me happy. 🙂

Just One Year by Gayle Forman: Done! My review is here.

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff: Done! I chose not to write a review for this book, as I found myself in the unusual (for me) position of just not really having anything to say. This book is well-written, and I’ve loved some of the previous books by this author, but Picture Me Gone simply didn’t work for me. The story was kind of flat, not much happened, and I didn’t find the characters’ actions and motivations terribly compelling.

Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin: Done! My review is here.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen: Moving right along! My son and  I are really enjoying Hoot, and hope to wrap it up within the next two weeks.

And in book news… Outlander fans were saddened to learn that the March publication of book #8 in the series (Written In My Own Heart’s Blood) would be delayed… but all heaved a big sigh of relief when a new release date was announced a couple of days later. So who else is counting the days until June 10, 2014??

Fresh Catch:

Three new books this week:

The Lover's DictionarySinful FolkDamn' Rebel Bitches: The Women of the '45

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: Borrowed from the library. After reading so many of the author’s young adult novels, I’ve been wanting to check this out too — I’ve heard great things!

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes: Just received a review copy, looking forward to reading and reviewing this one closer to its January publication date.

Damn Rebel Bitches by Maggie Craig: I treated myself to this history book focusing on the women of the Jacobite rising of 1745 — a gift for my inner Outlander fanatic!

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

ShadowsThe Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

First up, I’m really looking forward to reading Shadows by Robin McKinley.

Next, I’d like to start The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. Guilty confession: I’ve had this ARC sitting on my Kindle for a long time now… but I haven’t forgotten about it!

I think these two will take up the whole week, but if there’s time, I’ll dig into The Lover’s Dictionary as well.

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: Just One Year

Book Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)In this romantic and introspective young adult novel, we take another look at the events portrayed in the author’s previous novel Just One Day — only this time, we get the other side of the story.

In order to talk about Just One Year, I won’t be able to avoid discussing events from Just One Day (which I reviewed here in January), so consider this your spoiler alert! Look away now! Or better yet — run right out and pick up a copy of Just One Day, read it cover to cover, and then check back here to continue reading this review.

Are you back yet? Ready to go? Okay…

In Just One Day, main character Allyson takes us through the first time in her life when she went off-script — a day when she throws caution to the wind and jumps on a train to Paris with a cute boy to finally experience a day of spontaneous adventure. The cute boy is Willem, a carefree, go-where-the-wind-blows actor (who seems to have girls waiting for him across all of Europe), and he and Allyson (whom he calls Lulu) enjoy one perfect day… until the next morning, when Allyson wakes up alone and abandoned, devastated, and has to find a way to put herself back together. We then spend the rest of Just One Day witnessing Allyson’s journey toward discovering herself, what she stands for, and who she wants to be.

Key to the plot is the fact that Allyson/Lulu and Willem, so caught up in their romantic adventure, never got around to exchanging email addresses, phone numbers, last names… or even real names. Willem only knows Allyson as Lulu. Problem, right?

Allyson’s quest toward self-discovery takes up the last 2/3 of Just One Day, and as part of her process, she finally takes control of her own life and sets out to find Willem. But by the end of the book, we only know Allyson’s story, what she’s been through, and where her journey has taken her.

In Just One Year, we hear about the same events and the same time period, but this time it’s Willem’s experiences that count. We start with Willem waking up in a hospital, realizing that he’s forgotten something or someone… and soon piecing together that he was supposed to be with Lulu, but circumstances prevented him from getting to her before she disappeared from his life.

We soon get a much different picture of Willem than we had from the previous book. In Just One Day, Willem seems like a perfect golden boy, easy-natured, free-spirited, a total chick magnet, a guy who lives by his own rules. That’s not the Willem we get to know in Just One Year. Here, we discover that Willem has been wandering from place to place for three years, ever since his father died unexpectedly. Estranged from his mother and feeling rootless, Willem runs from connection and commitment, keeping everything in his life loose and at arm’s length, and it’s not until he meets Lulu that he starts to reexamine what he wants and how he wants to live his own life.

Willem’s journey takes him from Paris to Amsterdam, from Mexico to India, and back again to Amsterdam, before he manages to finally pull himself together and starts taking steps toward creating his own path. But all along his journey, he can’t shake thoughts of Lulu, the girl he lost before he could fully realize how important she might be. From reading Just One Day, we know more or less the “what” of what will happen at the end of this book. But it’s the “why” and the “how” that matter here, and finding the answers to these questions is what makes Just One Year so compelling.

I really enjoyed the mirrored storytelling here. Willem shows us key events that we only saw from Allyson’s point of view in Just One Day, and we start to realize just how narrow any one person’s perception can be. There’s so much that Allyson could not have known, but seeing events through Willem’s eyes, we finally get to see how intertwined their stories are, and how many near misses (and near collisions) they had over the course of their year apart.

I loved how skillfully the author weaves in elements from Just One Day, so that notes written in one book turn up in another; misunderstood conversations finally make sense; even a dismal family vacation takes on significance in all sorts of ways in Just One Year. It becomes clear as well how easily one person’s certainty can be wrong; something that Allyson believes she sees isn’t as it appears at all — and just may be the pivotal event that determines whether Allyson and Willem will ever manage to reconnect, no matter how close they’ve come.

It’s funny reading a book where you know the ending already. Just One Year follows the same timeline as Just One Day, so we know what the final scene must be. And still, I was on the edge of my seat on and off throughout Just One Year, wanting to stop Willem from giving up or making big mistakes, wanting to push him back a certain way or nudge him toward a different location. How many authors can keep you in suspense when you already know what’s going to happen? Now that really takes a great storyteller, and I’m happy to say that Gayle Forman succeeds.

Of course, I have a couple of minor quibbles. Certain sections of the narrative drag a bit. Willem spends a LOT of time in India, really just killing time, and maybe it’s a necessary part of his journey, but it felt long. Likewise for his Mexican quest that turns into a fiasco: I felt that these chapters just went on and on. Yes, the events ultimately move the story forward, but they could have been tightened up a bit.

On the other hand, I did love the emphasis on self-discovery. Mirroring Allyson’s year, Willem also spends the year learning more about himself and his family, figuring out what he wants, and finding out that he has much more in his life than he might have suspected. In both Allyson and Willem’s stories, the quest for the lost connection between the two is important, but isn’t the only driving factor. For both of them, there comes a realization that they may not succeed in finding the other person. One thing that I really appreciate in both of these stories is that they’re not romantic tragedies. The love story is important, but more as an impetus for growth and change than as a be-all and end-all for these characters. Yes, it will be sad if they don’t reconnect — but it won’t be the end of their lives, and they will go on, one way or the other.

All in all, Just One Year kept me glued and kept me emotionally invested. I wanted so badly for everyone to find happiness! Gayle Forman has created a deeply affecting and ultimately uplifting duo of books, doing a remarkable job of weaving together two parallel stories into one cohesive whole. I hated for it to end… so please, Gayle Forman, how about one more book? Allyson and Willem’s stories each end at the same point… and what I want to know is, what happens next? Even if they do find their HEA, I want to know more!

If you enjoy contemporary young adult fiction that’s smart, thoughtful, and emotionally rich — and not without moments of laughter and delight as well — check out Just One Day and Just One Year.

Oh. One last thing. It’s about the cover. In Just One Day, here’s Allyson seeing Willem for the first time:

I blink a few times. My eyes adjust, and I see that the guy is tall, maybe a full foot taller than I am, and thin. His hair is a hundred shades of blond, and his eyes so brown as to almost be black.

Hmm. Willem is blond. So who’s Allyson kissing on the cover of Just One Year???

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton
Publication date: 2013
Genre: Young adult
Source: Purchased

The Monday Agenda 11/11/2013

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?
Palace of SpiesBellman & Black: A Ghost StoryThe Rosie Project

Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel: DNF. I got about 75% through this book, and came to the sad realization that I was just forcing myself. Palace of Spies seems charming, and I’m sure plenty of young adult readers will enjoy this tale of false identities, royal intrigue, schemes and blackmail, and — oh, yes — even love. It’s well-written and lively — but it just wasn’t for me.

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield: Done! My review is here.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Finished late Sunday. What fun! Review to follow.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen: My kiddo and I are about a third of the way into this book, and it’s a lot of fun so far! Our reading time has been pretty scattered this week, but we hope to make more progress this coming week.

Fresh Catch:

One new book this week:

S 1S. by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. I’m completely intrigued by this work of art, which is hard to look at as “just” a book. With marginalia and scraps of paper filling up the book within the slipcase, I’m not sure I’ll even know where to start when I’m finally ready to read it. Still, it is rather superb just to look at.

S 3

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

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, I’ve basically reached my goal of catching up on my NetGalley backlog! I swore that I wouldn’t read anything else until I’d gotten through all of my review copies for books published up through the beginning of November, and ta-da! I made it.

Okay, I did decide to omit a few that I received on the late side. Since they were already post-publication, I figured there was no rush… but overall, I’m just tickled pink to be where I wanted to be… and to finally be able to dig into the books I’ve been drooling over for the past several weeks!

My new number one goal? Get through the stack of four new YA novels that I’ve been dying to read!

book pile

My most wanted (to read) list:

  • Just One Year by Gayle Forman
  • Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
  • Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin
  • Shadows by Robin McKinley

I’ll definitely be starting with Just One Year, and then will let fate (or, okay, my arbitrary whims) decide what I read next.

Yippee and hurray!

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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Wishlist Wednesday

Welcome to Wishlist Wednesday!

The concept is to post about one book from our wish lists that we can’t wait to read. Want to play? Here’s how:

  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Do a post about one book from your wishlist and why you want to read it.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of the post at Pen to Paper.
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere in your post.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

For Wishlist Wednesday this week, it’s a two-fer:

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

From Goodreads on If I Stay:

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Where She Went is a sequel, and I’m not providing a synopsis… because I don’t want to know! In general, I prefer to know only the bare bones of a plot before I read a book, and definitely when it comes to two related books, I don’t want to get spoilers for #1 by reading about #2.

So why do I want to read these?

I’m probably the last person on the planet (well, maybe second or third to last) who hasn’t read one or both of these books. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of reading Just One Day by the same author, and really loved it. (You can see my review here). Her writing is terrific, and the story moved well beyond standard romantic fare to say something truer and deeper about self, identity, independence, and inner strength. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Just One Year, due out this fall — so meanwhile, I thought it would be good timing to go back and read Gayle Forman’s earlier hits!

Have you read If I Stay and Where She Went? Are they must-reads or read-if-you-get-a-chance books? Let me know your thoughts!

So what’s on your wishlist 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.

The Monday agenda 1/28/2013

Not 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.

Happy Monday! Looking back and looking forward…

From last week:

A little slower on the book front this past week:

Just One Day by Gayle Forman: Done! I liked it much more than I’d expected to. My review is here.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich: Reading now, only about 50 pages into it so far. 

I read a bunch of my son’s graphic novels and reviewed them here.

My long-awaited new Fables paperback arrived last week! I loved Fables: Cubs in Toyland (volume 18), but now have the usual complaint — I don’t want to wait months for the next one to come out!

I also read the first volume of a new (to me) graphic novel series, Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan. Very intriguing story; I think I’ll be be reading the rest as soon as I can get my hands on them.

And this week’s new agenda:

I think it’ll take me a good part of the week to read The Round House, which is quite good, but fairly heavy.

After that, I may tackle one or two books from my TBR pile, probably An Abundance of Katherines by John Green or Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan…

…although I’m also terribly tempted by my new arrivals, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and The Child’s Child by Barbara Vine.

I believe this is what’s called an embarrassment of riches! Having too many books to choose from is definitely not a problem I mind having.

So many book, so little time…

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

Book Review: Just One Day

Just One DayAnother YA novel about “insta-love”? Haven’t we read enough of these already? Those were my thoughts when I picked up a copy of Gayle Forman’s new book, Just One Day. And I’m pleased to be able to report that my expectations about this book were quite wrong.

Main character Allyson is 18, fresh out of high school, and on a whirlwind, parent-sanctioned tour of Europe (“Teen Tours! Cultural Extravaganza” is the too-exuberant-for-words name of the program), along with her bestie Melanie. It’s all a big blur, during which the teens are shuttled from one significant destination to another, chaperoned and dosed with lessons about history and culture. Melanie hits the pubs and suffers hang-overs daily, while Allyson goes along dutifully, always the good girl, doing what’s expected of her.

On the final day of the program, as the group waits for a production of Hamlet in Stratford-upon-Avon, a free-spirited group of actors (whose troupe is called Guerilla Will)  invites the gang to ditch Hamlet and come see their production of Twelfth Night instead. In a rare burst of spontaneity, no doubt helped by the fact that the lead guy is so cute, Allyson decides to take a chance, and she and Melanie head off to the canal basin to see a free-ranging, outdoor, wildly inventive and exhilarating production. A perfect end to a so-so trip, and the girls are ready to catch the train to London and fly back home to their normal lives. Except… on the train, the cute guy appears, starts chatting with good girl Allyson, and in a moment that changes everything, invites (or challenges) her to hop a train to Paris — for just one day.

Cute guy’s name is Willem (he’s Dutch and dreamy), and he christens Allyson Lulu, in honor of Louise Brooks and Allyson’s new hair style. Lulu and Willem spend one fabulous day wandering the streets and alleys of Paris, living free and large, and falling — hard — for one another. Or so Allyson thinks… until she wakes up alone the next morning. Willem has left her without a trace, and Allyson’s heart is broken. Not only that, but our young lovers never got around to exchanging email addresses, cell phone numbers, or proper names (Willem only knows our sweetie as “Lulu”), so when the guy is gone, he’s gone for good.

And here’s where things get really interesting. Up until this point, I was a bit half-hearted about yet another story of a somewhat shy girl meeting the gorgeous guy of her dreams and falling instantly and irrevocably in love. In Just One Day, it’s not so simple. Allyson does fall hard for Willem, and he does seem to fall for her too — but it’s also clear that this is a guy with a girl in every city across Europe. Dude is a player, to put it mildly. So when he abandons Allyson after their one night, is it really so surprising?

Allyson heads home full of shame and self-loathing. She knew he was a chick-magnet. She saw his little black book. What else did she expect? Unfortunately, her one day of love in Paris ruins the start of her freshman year of college, and Allyson spends months in a deep depression, barely getting by academically, distancing herself from her roommates, and realizing that her friendship with Melanie has run its course as well.

The layer of all of this that’s really finely written and well-thought out is that Allyson is an only child, daughter of two parents who have raised her to be dutiful and good and to always aim to please. Allyson’s mother in particular seems to be reliving her own missed opportunities through Allyson. She picks her daughter’s classes, down to the exact time of day, shops for her clothes, and plans every moment of her life. Allyson is pre-med because that’s what her parents have convinced her she wants. She collects antique alarm clocks (weird, right?) because her mother decided it would be fun for her to have a collection. On and on, we see Allyson’s mother controlling her every move. But after Paris, Allyson finally starts to realize that maybe what she’s been told she wants isn’t really what makes her happy.

Over the course of her freshman year, Allyson slowly starts to find her own way, and it’s eye-opening. As she breaks out of her shell, she comes to realize that what she wants for herself may not match what her parents want — and more importantly, that she has the power to make her own decisions and find her own way. What I ended up loving about this book is the gradual, painstaking development of Allyson’s independence and self-esteem. She finally begins to emerge from her mother’s shadow and the sense of what is expected into a strong young woman who is willing and eager to take chances. By doing so, she’s ultimately able to embrace the choice she made to spend “just one day” in Paris, and many months later, to begin to consider the possibility that events may not have been exactly as she’d perceived them to be.

The book asks some interesting questions: Are fate and accidents really the same thing? Is there really only one great love in a person’s life? Is being good enough? How does a person figure out how to be? Through Allyson, we see a young woman’s journey toward individual growth and empowerment, and it’s actually quite lovely to watch her finally take the reins of her own life and start setting her own course.

The writing in Just One Day is fast-paced, a nice mix of introspection and adventure, and the plot zips along from month to month in engaging snippets and snapshots.

I have only two minor quibbles with Just One Day:

First — and perhaps it’s just that I’m not the target demographic and therefore can’t appreciate the underlying urge toward free-spiritedness — I have little to no tolerance for plot points that revolve around leaving important things to the whims of chance. Remember the movie Serendipity (didn’t like it) or even Before Sunrise (loved it), where the characters fall in love at first sight, but leave it up to fate to bring them back together, rather than — oh, I don’t know — exchanging vital information? Willem and Lulu/Allyson do the same thing in Just One Day, and it strains belief. Seriously, at some point it would have made sense to at least get each others’ last names… or phone numbers… or something. It’s the information age, people! Share your information!

Second, as part of my reading resolutions for 2013, I vowed that I would not start any new series. It was not until I was already half-way through the book that I saw the little blurb on the back announcing that “Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels.” The follow up novel, Just One Year will be released in the fall of 2013. Gah. Of course, I’ll read the next book, but I’m a little miffed about it all.

That said, Just One Day would work just fine as a stand-alone novel. It does have a very open-ended conclusion, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The book’s end leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and it’s certainly not clear what awaits Allyson. But that’s life, isn’t it? By the end, our main character has made choices, taken risks, and gained a willingness to take a chance and see how it turns out. Anything can happen when you’re open to life, and I think that’s more or less the point.

I enjoyed Just One Day very much (had a few bleary-eyed days following a few nights of staying up past midnight because I couldn’t put the book down), and I’m looking forward to reading more by Gayle Forman. The author captures the voice of her young adult characters in a way that is convincing and true, and I found myself enchanted by Allyson’s adventures and discoveries. Also — Paris!

The Monday agenda 1/21/2013

Not 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.

Happy Monday! It may be a holiday, but that’s no reason to skimp on the agenda.

From last week:

Three reviews and two books completed:

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley: I finished this lovely book the previous week, but didn’t have time to get the review done until I came home from a trip.

The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey: Done! My review is here.

Mrs. Queen Takes The Train by William Kuhn: Done! My review is here.

I also enjoyed reading a few of my son’s graphic novels over the weekend, and will try to write a mini-review/round-up about these books in the next day or so.

Online book group: I’m behind. The Outlander Book Club is doing a re-read of The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, and I am not keeping up. I love the series — can’t wait for the newest book to come out (fingers crossed) in the fall — but I don’t think I can devote time to re-reading a huge novel right now.

And this week’s new agenda:

Where to begin? I look at my shelves, and I want to read everything. Now.

I’m just getting started with the YA novel Just One Day by Gayle Forman. After that, I’m thinking that it’s time to start The Round House by Louise Erdrich, which I expect will take some time and a lot of attention. I doubt there will be room for anything more this week, but if there is, I’d guess that I’ll be wanting something a bit lighter to round out my reading.

My son and I are enjoying Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, which is quite good fun — although we seem to have less and less time to read before bed these days.

Updated to add: How could I forget? Fables, volume 18 is due out this week! And the second my copy arrives, I’ll be dropping everything else to read it.

So many book, so little time…

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

The Monday agenda 1/14/2013

Not 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.

Happy Monday! It’s time to dive right in with this week’s agenda.

From last week:

I’ve just returned from a wonderful 3-day weekend in Victoria, British Columbia, which I shared with my lovely daughter — who happens to be a book fanatic just like me. We spent a good couple of hours haunting used book stores. Oh, what fun! Between the plane rides and some scattered down time in the hotel, I did manage to get in a bit of reading, although I’m now behind on my reviews and blog posts. Totally worth it, as the weekend was fantastic. So here’s where my reading stands:

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley: Done! The review is yet to come, but for now I’ll say that I really enjoyed it — so much so that I stayed up until about 1 a.m. to finish. I can’t wait to read more by this author!

Because I didn’t want to carry too much, I opted not to bring any hardcovers on my trip, and instead started The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey (which was one of my Wishlist Wednesday books in 2012). I’m about 1/3 of the way into the book, and I’m hooked. (Side note: Are all fictional ballet dancers crazy? Discuss.)

In terms of my online book group commitments, I’ve bowed out of the Jane Eyre read, since I read it again just last year, but I did manage to start re-reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon so I can jump into the group discussions.

And this week’s new agenda:

It’ll probably take me a few more days to finish The Cranes Dance.

After that, I’m looking forward to my newest library book, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn. And if I manage to finish that one as well, I’ll have some choices to make: I may go back to Susanna Kearsley for one of her other books already on my shelves, either Shadowy Horses or Season of Storms.  Or, I could dip back into the YA world and read Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I’ve never read anything by this author, but I keep hearing good things — and I actually won this one in a giveaway!

For The Fiery Cross, we’ll be discussing chapters 2 and 3 this week. And if you happen to be a Diana Gabaldon fan and want to jump in and participate, just let me know and I’d be happy to connect you with the group.

So many book, so little time…

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