Archive for September 2010

#10 Laura Weiss's "Such a Pretty Girl"


That's right; I skipped The Catcher in the Rye again.  Give me some credit though, I read this entire book today!  That should help me catch up with where I should be in this challenge a bit!  :)

The tenth book for my challenge is called Such a Pretty Girl and it was written by Laura Weiss.  I picked it up based on the cover at the Planned Parenthood book sale on Friday.  There is something sort of haunting about the picture (which fits well with the book topic).

This story is about a girl whose father is sent to jail for sexually abusing her (as well as neighborhood boys and girls).  He is supposed to be there until she is eighteen but is let out after 3 years for good behavior.  While her father is in jail, Meredith begins a relationship with a boy who is a bit older than she is but was also abused by her father.  This story tells the struggle of both of the teenagers dealing with Meredith's father's return to the neighborhood.

My honest thoughts on the story?  I'm not sure.  It was definitely a fast read and I found myself connecting with it on a professional level.  (I'm sure most of you know that I am in the social work field, so this type of situation holds a special place in my heart.)  However, I also felt dirty at times, as though I was actually reading a book that would excite a pedophile.  More often than not, this was not the case, but it was more graphic than it needed to be at times, all the while needing that information to really drive home what was going on for Meredith.

One recurrence that really annoyed me was the mother's ignorance.  I can not handle mother's who are so obsessed with being loved by their husbands that they completely ignore what might be happening to their kids, whether it is physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse.  The mother in this story remains completely ignorant throughout.  Sadly, when it comes to these types of situations, I know that this happens more often than not.

Would I recommend this book?  Well, this book is definitely not for the faint of heart.  I know I would not recommend this book to most people, but at the same time, I know several of my blog readers work in the same field as I do and for such people I would recommend it.  So, I guess it depends on who you are.

First line teaser:  "They promised me nine years of safety, but only gave me three."

Next up:  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (I think...)  :)

#9 Jeff Lindsay's "Dearly Devoted Dexter"


Yes, I surpassed The Catcher in the Rye to read a Dexter book in lieu of Dexter starting next Sunday.  So what?  As you can see, I don't stick to my "next up:  books" very well; I'm okay with that.  Deal.

Anyway, Dexter Dexter Dexter.  This book is the second in the Dexter series.  I read the first a couple of years ago and have owned the second and third for the same length of time and just haven't gotten around to reading them.  The fifth book was just released (or is soon to be released... I don't remember which for sure.)

After reading the first book I was discouraged.  The story went about the same as the first season of the show, yet the show was much better than the book.  (How often can you say that?  Maybe it's different with TV shows than movies...)  Anyway, I assumed the latter books would follow suit.  (A book seems to come out each season.  It only makes sense, right?)  Wrong.  The second book has a few similarities to the second season of the show, but really is nothing like it.

I liked this book for the most part.  It was hard for me to get into in the beginning, but once I got a bit further, it turned out to not be so bad.  I still like the show better.  I mean, come on... it's Michael C. Hall.  Love!  (Although it weirds me out that his wife plays his sister in the show.  I guess it would be stranger if his sister played his wife though...)

This book is twisted and a bit gruesome, yet oddly humorous in parts.  You'll still fall in love with Dexter, even though he is a murderer.

My biggest complaint with this book (other than it not being as good as the show) is that the climax of the book happened in the last 5 pages or so and was resolved and the book was ended all within those 5 pages.  That's a bit quick.  It was almost as if Lindsay decided he just wanted to be done writing it.

I plan to read the third book, since I own it and will judge at that point whether I will read #4 or #5.

This book is:  Recommended on the basis of it being a quick read and if you don't like it, you will decide so in the first couple of chapters and can quit reading it.  (Does that make it a true recommendation?  Probably not, but meh... what can you do?)

First line teaser:  "It's that moon again, slung so fat and low in the tropical night, calling out across a curdled sky and into the quivering ears of that dear old voice in the shadows, the Dark Passenger, nestled snug in the backseat of the Dodge K-car of Dexter's hypothetical soul."  (Yes, first sentence AND first paragraph!)

Next Up:  Finishing The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (but probably also starting something else.)  :)

#8 David Sedaris's "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim"


The eighth book of my challenge is one that I've wanted to read for a while and have owned for probably close to a couple of years and just hadn't gotten around to yet.  That would be David Sedaris's Dress Your Family in Corduroy in Denim.

I liked this book.  It's witty and clever and made me laugh out loud several times.  Sedaris has no problem making himself look... bad.  It's one thing to degrade yourself, but Sedaris takes it to a whole new level.  It's brilliant really.

This book is actually a collection of essays that Sedaris wrote about his life.  They range from stories about his early childhood well in to his adult life.  Some stories are touching, some are morbid and most are hilarious or at least bordering on so pathetic that they are funny.

I enjoyed this book a lot.  I wouldn't say I struggled with it in the beginning; it was just sort of a slow start for me.  Once I got in to it though I got through it pretty quickly.

This book is:  Recommended

First line teaser:  "When my family first moved to North Carolina, we lived in a rented house three blocks from the school where I would begin the third grade."

NEXT UP:  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger  (Yes, I've never read this book.  I know...)