Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Are you most like Phoebe, or Allison, or Quinn? You might be surprised... I was.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I've been thinking about all the ways adults try to "protect" kids and teens --from warnings about "dangerous" books to preventing best-friendships
"LUCKY featured young Phoebe Avery, GORGEOUS her older sister Allison; now the focus is on oldest sister Quinn. The solid and reliable daughter, Quinn rolls with the punches as her family's life begins to disintigrate after her mother gets fired from her lucrative job as a hedge-fund manager, but she's beginning to question her eternally accepting role. Vail has done a superb job of moving through the trajectory of connecting the backstory even as she gives each Avery girl full center-stage attention.... [spoilers omitted here]... The book also offers some neat craftsmanship in its external characterizations of Phoebe and Allison, whom readers have seen from the inside in previous titles, with the triangulated portrayals giving a fuller picture than either point of view on its own. Readers who pick this title up will definitely want to backtrack to the earlier titles to fill in the picture, and those who've heard Phoebe's and Allison's takes won't want to miss Quinn's."
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Just got this great new review for Brilliant! It's from School Library Journal:
VAIL, Rachel. Brilliant. 256p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. June 2010. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-089049-0; PLB $17.89. ISBN 978-0-06-089050-6. LC number unavailable.
Gr 9 Up–This final, stand-alone book in the Avery sisters trilogy that includes Lucky (2008) and Gorgeous (2009, both HarperCollins) is told from 16-year-old Quinn’s point of view. The eldest child, she has always been the dependable daughter, loyal
to her parents and a good girl who works hard and excels at everything. But her mom’s loss of her high-paying job–and her need for a lawyer–is taking a toll on the whole family, Quinn included, as they prepare to move out of their home and face an uncertain future. Suddenly her behavior is very un-Quinn-like (kissing her sister’s ex, making out with guys at parties, admitting her feelings to her longtime crush), but ultimately freeing, as she comes to acknowledge her parents’ flaws as well as her own. Good girls and rebels alike will be able to identify with this adolescent rite of passage; Quinn’s response is realistic, her friends and family are well drawn, and her happy-enough ending is hard won. A natural choice for teens waiting for their next Sarah Dessen fix.–Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Along with Quinn's rites of passage, we're having some around here... my older son just finished his first year of high school, and my younger son is, at this very moment, finishing his last day of elementary school. And though I have a lump in my throat just typing those crazy words, I am determined to enjoy and celebrate these milestones. Last year, at the end of school, we were simultaneously in the process of moving back into our apartment after renovations. One gorgeous day last June, I realized that the sun had set over the Hudson River while my younger son and his buddies were tearing around laughing and sweating in the playground, and my older son had been hanging out with his friends cracking up -- and my husband had his
arm around me while we chatted with our terrific friends... and the whole time I was mentally scanning my to-do list. My teeth were clenched. What a waste! I did not accomplish one extra thing, standing there all tight and grim; I just missed out on low-hanging joy.
So -- not this year.
This year, though deadlines loom in front of (and behind) me, and there is, as always, a list a mile long clamoring for my immediate attention, I refuse to clench. One of my best friends in the world is about to move across the country -- and I am going to hang out with her and chill as much as possible. I am going to make time to have a cup of tea or a glass of Champagne with as many friends as I can, today and tomorrow and the next day. I am going to do my 166 pushups today and my 166 situps today as well, but I am not going to stress about that or work or anything else. I'm going to get it done and then leave it alone. And then I am going to celebrate.
Today and tomorrow and maybe even the next day, I am going to watch the sun set over the Hudson River as my kids chill with me (my big guy) or tear around sweaty and red-cheeked (my still-little-guy) with their friends -- and I am going to laugh. I'll listen to my friends and my kids and the traffic and the birds. I'll kick off my flip-flops and wiggle my toes in the sand. I'll hold a cold drink in my hand and lean back against the concrete steps with the sky filling up my field of vision until one of my kids pops up in front of me, wanting my attention -- and I will give it him, completely. I am going to enjoy all of it. I am going to fully and greedily drink it in. And I will know I am, as Jed Avery, the father in the Avery trilogy said when he was thinking about his kids and his messy imperfect flawed amazing life, "rich beyond measure."
What are you going to enjoy this week?
Let me know...
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