Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Summer Reading

In between sending out query letters, following up with agents, going on interviews, and taking care of the Shapiro clan (Dave and the cat), I finished reading two amazing books.

The first, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, blew my mind. If you're looking for a quick summer read with loads of impact, this is the book for you. The story is based on a simple question - what would it be like to live forever?

With beautiful descriptions, quick pacing, and a hauntingly ambiguous ending, it's a great escape that will leave you questioning not only the character's choices, but also your own.

Plot: Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live forever--isn't that everyone's ideal? For the Tuck family, eternal life is a reality, but their reaction to their fate is surprising. Award winner Natalie Babbitt outdoes herself in this sensitive, moving adventure in which 10-year-old Winnie Foster is kidnapped, finds herself helping a murderer out of jail, and is eventually offered the ultimate gift--but doesn't know whether to accept it. Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever--in the reader's imagination. An ALA Notable Book. --Emilie Coulter, Amazon

Side Note: I found many interesting tie-ins to the Twilight Saga. The similarities between Edward Cullen and Jesse Tuck battered me over the head a few times, with the exception of vampirism. Stephenie Meyer must also be a fan.

Grade: A

The second book, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, started off with a lot of passive voice, but quickly became un-put-downable (not sure if that’s a word, but just go with it). With the main plot told from several points of view along the timeline of a century in both Britain and Australia, the author created a compelling conflict that continuously left me wanting more. The pace seemed rather slow at times, but a twist appearing in the last act more than made up for the lag.

If you're searching for a historical fiction woven with wonderful characters and descriptions, this is a good journey on which to embark. Bon voyage!

Plot: A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book -- a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and with very little to go on, "Nell" sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. At Cliff Cottage, on the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, Cassandra discovers the forgotten garden of the book's title and is able to unlock the secrets of the beautiful book of fairy tales.

Side Note: Morton also wrote The House at Riverton. I devoured it on a long flight home from London and absolutely loved it.

Grade: A-

What do you guys think – should I do book reviews from time to time? Your input is mucho valuable. :)


  1. I love reading but seem to have no time for it lately. It really helps to know what other people think of the book though. I liked your reviews and would have never thought of these books otherwise.

  2. Great reviews. I typically read romantic suspense, which is what I write. Go figure. But these books did sound interesting.

    Lynnette Labelle