This memoir is written by a young woman, a millenial born in the 1980s. Ms. Miller chronicles her relationship with food and the many diets she has tried over the years. She has been all different sizes over the years. . . her closet is full of clothes, most of which don’t fit in the opening of this book. She either exercises and diets like crazy, or has no urge to do anything and overeats. It seems to be all one or the other. Ultimately, the author decides not to follow any given diet at all anymore, and see how things go.
I enjoyed this book. Miller is good and engaging writer. It drew me in. I wanted to keep reading. As someone who is actually been all over the place weight-wise (in the last 15 years I have been between 139 and 208 lbs . . . and that’s not counting my two full-terms pregnancies – the highest I got was around 200 lbs with my first pregnancy, which means I gained just over 50 lbs during that pregnancy – a little much), this book was definitely of personal interest.
A Heart Like Ringo Starr by Linda Oatman High (2015)
Faith’s family runs a funeral home, which is kind of ironic because Faith is dying at age 16. She does not want to die, and she is angry about this. She needs a heart transplant to live. While she is waiting, a teen boy dies in a car wreck and her family’s funeral home handles the body, etc. At about the same time, she gets the call: there is a heart for her. Come in immediately.
This novel is a quick read. It is told in verse, and is very effective. I highly recommend it to nearly everyone.
It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell (2015) – Memoir/Nonfiction
The author is a food blogger (http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com) and though she is only 30 now, she has written this memoir. I have read several criticisms about this book including these: sometimes she doesn’t go in depth enough about her feelings because her mother will read them (I think this is true to a certain extent) and it is not well-written (I will say that parts of it are very well-written, and others are not as well-written.) I was really drawn in most by the beginning to the book – when she is talking about her early childhood. This section is really effectively written. The center of the book, and the gliding through high school seemed rather glossed over in many ways. I was overweight (possibly on the border of obese) during high school, as well as having issues with anxiety (which led to me not being able to eat at school during the school day and stuffing myself at home after school.) The author seemed much more outgoing in general than me. It was/is anxiety that makes me want to eat. I did like that the author mentioned that she just liked the act of chewing sometimes . . . me, too. It is very calming.
The title is very appropriate in many ways. It really was about the author and was always about the author. However, it is a memoir, so therefore isn’t going to be all that much about anyone else.
(Summer Reading Online, 29 of 30)
Saving Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea (2015) – Middle Grade Fiction
This is the third book in the Mr. Terupt series. As in the previous two, each chapter is told from the first person perspective of a different classmate. These students have been in the same class in school for the last two years, with Mr. Terupt, and this year, they are starting seventh grade. It is a major issue that they will no longer be in class with Mr. Terupt. They go to visit with Mr. Terupt after school. Meanwhile, their friendships have started taking some turns. Will they make up and become friends again? Meanwhile, Danielle has not been feeling well. She feels exhausted. It all comes to a head on Christmas Eve when she can’t stop visiting the bathroom.
Personally, I just could not get into this book as much as the first one. I raved about how good the first one (Because of Mr. Terept) was. This story felt kind of of blah, but it could have just been me!
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer (middle grade fiction, grief)
Grace is 12. She’s a writer, but since her mother died (and Grace blames herself), she has been unable to write. She has only ever lived with her mother, moving around often, but now she goes to lived with the grandmother she has never met. She has always wanted a place she could really call home, but with the grief and guilt over her mother’s death, can she really find a place in this town that may be able to truly become home?
This was a a very sweet book, and yet parts of it really feel raw. The reader can really feel everything Grace is feeling. It really paints an excellent portrait of grief, hope and friendship in the end. I highly recommend this story for middle grade readers or just about anyone who needs to read a good, hopeful story.
I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster (2015)
I have read one of Ms. Lancaster’s earlier memoirs, in addition to a couple of her novels. I have been following her on Facebook as well. So I thought I would read this book.
It starts off pretty nicely. I found her bucket list fairly interesting and the remainder of the book was about her journey tick things off of her list. One item on her bucket list was to get rid of the one tattoo she has since she got it on spring break 20 years ago while drunk. I applaud her for that (I am not a fan of tattoos. Period.) I could not relate as well to her trying to ride a bike for the first time she was a kid, simply because I have never stopped riding a bike (bicycle). It’s just something I have always done (except for this summer, and my foot surgery.)
However, the whole going to Italy part just became boring. I. felt that I just had to slog through it. I wanted to just read to enjoy.
Because of the slogging portion of the book, I can only give this book three stars out of five at most. Seriously, getting rid of a tattoo? That makes up for a lot!
(Summer Reading Online, 18 of 30)
Haunted Stuff: Demonic Dolls, Screaming Skulls & Other Creepy Collectibles by Stacey Graham (2014)
This book explores the stories of dolls and other collectibles that are haunted, just as the subtitle states. The author suggests that items that were well-used or well-loved by their original owners retain of their spirit.
This book is only for those who are into this kind of thing. I have always liked a good ghost story, but I forgot until I read this in bed one night that I should not read this kind of stuff in the dark! This book actually rather freaked me out more than I expected, and perhaps it is that I had an experience in an antique shop 15 years ago that left me pretty shaken. I had been wandering around antique shops most of the afternoon with some family members, and I remember pushing my baby niece in her stroller. In this one shop, my head suddenly and painfully hurt, as if it were being compressed, and my whole body felt weird. I remember saying to my brother that I needed to leave that particular room in the store. I did, and took my niece with me. I had been relaxed, so it wasn’t a panic attack. I was fine once I was outside for a minute. I also tried to explain it to myself that it must have been an incredible amount of mold on some object (I am highly allergic to mold.) When my brother came out, he asked, “Did you feel that? ” I told him about the pain and the pressure, and he wasn’t surprised – he’d experienced something similar. Either that room or something in that room was haunted. It was so heavy. Obviously, I haven’t forgotten that experience since. Fortunately, maybe, I haven’t had a similar experience since.
(Summer Reading Online 14 of 30)