Before, After, and Somebody in Between by Jeannine Garsee
reviewed by Melanie
I'm so glad I finely found a really good book again. You know, the type of book that you literally can't put down, so you're hiding it under your desk in class and reading it in the car (even though you know you get carsick easily?) Yep, the semi-rare excitement from a really compelling book is back.
Before, After, and Somebody in Between is about a girl, Martha, who lives with her recovering alcoholic mom and goes through a series of unfortunate and dramatic events until her mom hits rock bottom and a rich family takes Martha in. Martha starts to feel at home with this new family, until she learns that somethings are too good to be true.
This book immediately reeled me in. There are no boring parts of this book because something is always going on, which could be in danger of seeming like random, unnecessary drama, but instead, the story flows perfectly and makes sense. The characters where very interesting and seemed real. Every single character seemed to have their own personality and background, no matter how small their role in the story was. The settings are interesting because the story starts off in a rundown, bad neighborhood, then switches to a fancy, high class area. I would suggest this book to a MATURE reader who can handle MATURE topics and the sad parts. So if you're yearning for an intense story that keeps you flipping pages, Before, After, and Somebody in Between is exactly what you're looking for.
Perfect by Natasha Friend
reviewed by Melanie
Who would have guessed that the one thing the queen bee and the worker bee had in common was the ability to binge and purge? Perfect is about how Isabelle, a teenage girl dealing with the death of her father, is forced into an eating disorder and body image group therapy after she was caught throwing up. She is shocked when she finds out that the most popular girl in school, Ashley, is in her group therapy. The first time I read Perfect I loved it so much, I bought my own copy. Though when I reread it, I found it kind of cliched, I still enjoyed it and would suggest it to readers who want a book about a dark topic that's not extremely intense. I like how this book shows you that even the people you could have sworn are flawless do have issues of their own—issues that might be exactly like your own. The fact that nobody in Perfect was perfect made the characters seem real and enriched the overall story. I think a lot of teenage girls can relate to this book even if you haven't dealt with body image issues. Let Perfect be a reminder that while nobody is perfect, nobody is completely alone in their issues either.
Long Story Short by Siobhan Parkinson
reviewed by Melanie
This "Long Story" really shouldn't have been so "Short," because just 160 pages can't fully explain or resolve anything in this crazy book. Long Story Short is about a boy, Jono, who has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, until she hits his little sister Julie, and he decides it's time for him and his sister to run away. At least that's what it says on the back cover. But my summary of Long Story Short would be more like: "Two siblings, Jono and Julia, run away from their alcoholic mom...and then a bunch of weird, random stuff happens which leaves you wondering what in the world you just read."
Though I feel this book was a collection of events that didn't flow very well, I have to admit, the drama kept me interested. The setting was also interesting, because Jono and Julie stopped by some unique places when they ran away from home. I would suggest this book to someone who doesn't really care if a book is written poorly as long as it's a good story. If you decide to read it, maybe you can inform me of what was going on.Posted by Arlo at July 21, 2011 07:15 PM