Title: Private Peaceful
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Pub. Date: October 1, 2004
Length: 208 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
They've gone now, and I'm alone at last. I have the whole night ahead of me, and I won't waste a single moment of it . . . I want tonight to be long, as long as my life . . ." For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly -- the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger.
My Thoughts: I didn't expect to like Private Peaceful. I read it for English, and none of the previous books I'd read in that class had captured my attention and I figured this one would be no different. So I was pleasantly surprised when Private Peaceful did just what those other books could not.
Private Peaceful is shorter, easier, and more middle grade-style than what I usually read, however, I really enjoyed it. I was captivated from the start by the author's way of writing and was kept there by his great method of working events together to create a wonderful story.
In this novel, we look back with Tommo and follow him through his life; starting when he is a young boy on his first day of school and finishing when the clock strikes six one fateful morning. Full of great emotion and unexpected turns, Private Peaceful is an inspirational story that will stay with the reader for a long time.
Title: Fixing Delilah
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pub. Date: December 1, 2010
Length: 320 Pages
Summary (from goodreads):
Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.
She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.
Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?
Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.
My Thoughts: "We all long for what could have been." This is a quote repeated several times throughout Fixing Delilah, one that I really love. Having not yet read Ockler's debut Twenty Boy Summer, I was pleasantly surprised by her lyrical yet simple way of writing and the rhythm the events were woven together. She certainly knows how to write her stories and make fantastic characters; Delilah was wonderful and had me captivated from the start.
Despite how much I loved Delilah's character, she is not my favorite of the book. Patrick is. I think those of you who have already read Fixing Delilah can figure out why and can agree that he is definitely crush-worthy. And for those of you who haven't read it and are looking for why, I'm not telling. I loved learning who Patrick was, his personality, etc. by myself and want it to be the same for you guys too.
For me, Fixing Delilah is one of those books that really means a lot, but in a quiter, less standout way; but a favorite nonetheless. I'm looking out for Sarah's other books with no doubt that they will be nothing short of amazing.
Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Square Fish
Pub. Date: April 29, 2008
Length: 266 Pages
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #1
Summary (from goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma — so she’s been told — and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?
My Thoughts: The Adoration of Jenna Fox is one of the books I've sought after most this year (even though it was published years ago!). So naturally, I was super excited when I got my hands on it.
My favorite part of The Adoration of Jenna Fox was the writing and poetry. Both were lyrical, however the way the story was written was even more impressive than the poems. It was lacking, not in the bad way but the good, mysterious way that really stood out and captivated me.
When I first heard of The Adoration of Jenna Fox, I knew it would be a great book for me; And while I really, really loved the premises, overall the book just seemed to be lacking something that kept it from being down-right amazing. Yes, I did love the story, but I wasn't drawn in completely and that was a big set back for me. Despite this, I am still very much looking foreward to the sequel.
Title: Ask Elizabeth
Author: Elizabeth Berkley
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pub. Date: March 22, 2011
Length: 240 Pages
Summary (from back cover): If you've ever asked yourself why the ups and downs of friendships are so hard; if you've ever looked in the mirror and hated what you saw; if you've ever gone through a horrible breakup and wondered how you'll ever make it through...guess what? You're not alone. Over the past several years, more than 30,000 teens have participated in workshops conducted by actress Elizabeth Berkley (Saved by the Bell). In an open, judgement free atmosphere, girls come together to support, share, confess, and confide in one another. Written in the spirit of a group diary, Ask Elizabeth addresses the emotional lives of teen girls based on the most frequently asked questions from these workshops. Full of personal stories and advice offered up by countless teens, experts from a variety of fields, and Elizabeth Berkley herself, this ultimate life handbook for teenage girls can be relied on again and again for comfort, guidance, inspiration, and answers.
My Thoughts: I don't read nonfiction very often. This is because I usually find it pretty boring and uneasy to relate to-even if its a book of advice that is supposed to help me. There was in fact a time when I swore off nonfiction completely because I always ended up disappointed. However, when I started looking through Ask Elizabeth, I knew it would be an exception to that. And it is.
Ask Elizabeth is a must read for teen girls who have ever had questions about, well, almost anything in life. It's a book I will go back to time and time again for advice and whenever I need a pick-me-up. If I could, I would carry it with me where ever I go, so that if I ever need advice, I can get it. I hope you'll give this book a chance too, it's very helpful and unique.