The very first one is midnight sun...duh!
Yay! Thanks to audiobooks, I accomplished my very first month of a book a week challenge! I'll admit it was kind of rough. Even though I listened to books every second I got, at my crossings (I'm a crossing guard), doing dishes, mowing the lawn, it still took sometimes over a week to finish them (good ol' Edward Cullen and his long monologues about being damned). So here we go.
The very first one is MIDNIGHT SUN. Who remembers when it was leaked back in 2009? I do! My third child had just been born and he was a hard one to put to sleep. My husband helped a lot but when I read on Stephanie Meyer's website (yes I was one of those fans that checked it regularly) that one of her beta readers had leaked the draft of her next book and so she just went ahead and posted it, I was of course sad that she had been betrayed but oh my gosh super stoked to read more about Bella and Edward- even if it meant getting up throughout the night with the baby. I know a lot of writers are not fans of her style and her structure (or lack there of) but no matter what you know about the mechanics of writing you have to admit she's a good storyteller which isn't always quite the same thing as a writer. Anyway back to 2009: Every time my infant would wake up crying I would excitedly get up and rock him because it meant I could read more of midnight sun. We had only a desk top at the time and so I would stack my husbands college textbooks to make the computer eye level. This way I could read the computer screen while bouncing and swaying along the living room floor with my baby. I was so disappointed when I reached the end of the draft which was only partially finished. So imagine my surprise and excitement when 11 years later the whole book is released! Eeee!
However, the book was nowhere to be found, so I was forced to start a free audible trial again. I'll say this up front- I'm already not a huge fan of audiobooks. So I'll admit that I'm already super critical of them but I really really did not like the voice they chose for Edward. In the words of my 13 year old who also wanted to listen to it: "he sounds so old!" My apologies to the reader but women have been fantasizing about Edwards voice for a long time and we all know Pattison didn't quite cut it. Even with the old serious voice reading the story it was just as amazing as I remembered it.
The cool thing about getting Edward's perspective is that, since he can read minds, you're basically getting EVERYONE'S story. I loved getting insights into what Alice was seeing, their insides jokes, getting to know and love Carlisle and Emmett even more and of course a lot more understanding toward Rosalee. MIDNIGHT SUN has all the same swoon parts without feeling like you're just reading the same story again. (Anyone try that gender reversal version of twilight?- not a fan). Anywho, I loved it, my daughter loved it, and we had to read all the books and watch all the movies all over again. Everyone should go read it:)
Next was BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver. I read this one based on a suggestion by an agent for book comps. When you're querying a book agents like to have two books to compare yours to. I was most of all super shocked by the language and content of this book. It's definitely not one I would hand over to my girls even if there is an overall good message in the end. My husband is a high school teacher at a small school in a prominently christian area. It's so hard to believe that teens really are that sex-crazed and drug addicted. I took a poll on my Facebook though and was sadly surprised to see how many parents outside of my state deal with the same alcoholic foul mouthed scenarios. One mom even said "my kids just really learn how to be ok with family time on Fridays".
The story follows a teenage girl who is part of a popular group of girls. It's made clear that this is the day she dies- Valentines day. Only instead of waking up in the morning we fall into a remake of the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray where she is reliving the same day over and over again. The idea is intriguing and I admitted that it was a good comp for my next book but the crap these teenagers had to go through with bullying and drugs was pretty depressing. I had to take a break from it for a little while. In fact I actually went and watched the movie first because you can get through information visually faster than literally. I bawled my eyes out. The movie follows the book pretty much word for word. After knowing more about where we were going with the story I was able to go listen to the rest of it (with ear buds so as not to bother the kids at the crosswalk with fowl language). Yes, I ended up loving it and yes I bawled again like a baby! I'm not a huge fan of how it ended and as I contemplated it more I feel like it's because it didn't feel super inevitable to me. I keep coming up with ways to make it end differently so it made me mad that they didn't mention or address any of those other options. would I recommend it? Maybe but not without a parental guide or warning haha.
I know I'm kind of all over the place with genres but I love Sarah M. Eden's books! FORGET ME NOT was not a disappointment! Anyone who's ever read any of the Jonquil brother series knows the fun little windows into other characters lives that show up from book to book. Yes it's the mother's story but I love how characters that we already know from other books show up. Getting to see the younger versions of characters we now Love and know is just such a brilliant realistic way of weaving stories. In real life we're all connected and love catching up with old friends. Ok, so here's my embarrassing confession because if you've made it this far in reading this blog you deserve to laugh at me a little bit. I loved this story so much that I paused for a moment and took a video of me reading reading an excerpt (while crying) of my favorite scene in the book. It was like a video journal of my book experience or something. I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to do it. I'm mormon so I don't get drunk but when I later watched the video of myself and my husband wondered what it was doing I felt a tad shy about it. Until I heard the words I read and then I wanted to cry all over again and of course told my husband all about who the characters were and why doing what they just did was so profound. It was lovely. I could see a little bit of every Jonquil son in each of "the gents" and the love story was sweet, rewarding, and believable. If you've never read a Sarah M. Eden book then you need to stop what you're doing right now go find her at your library or amazon or bookstore and buy one! Anyone. They're all good! I love her!
Well I have to run to another crossing! Super excited for next months four reads! Hope to see you again for a book a week tongue in cheek!