Sunday, February 3, 2013


This unuiqe take on the afterlife was the second book on the Book Club's reading list. And boy it could not have been any more different from Cranford of last month.

Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin, is the story of a young girl who dies crossing the road. Suddenly she wakes up on a cruise ship to the island where everyone goes to wait out their time after death. She is greeted by her grandmother who is astonishingly young and is made to go through orientation where she learns everythign she needs to for the life beyond death. The twist? Oh nothing much, except that in the afterlife you live backwards! Meaning if it took you thirteen years to reach the end of your life, it will take you thirteen years to reach the end of your death and you will slowly grow younger, until you are ready to be reborn in the world once more.

Not only was this a very new and wonderful take on the afterlife, but I believe it was well written! I fell in love with the characters and understood their difficulties and feelings in this post-life life. The main character, Liz, is no more than a teenager when her life is ended and she is understandbly upset and unable to more on, much as people on this side of things are. The author does a great job of bringing life to these dead people! I loved the writing and plot and all the little bits in between.

That being said, not everyone in the book club was as thrilled with this work as I was. Some said that it was not what they expected, that they thought the main character was a bit annoying. Well, I guess it isn't for everyone. But if you are looking for a fresh take on what happens when life ends and death begins, this may be the book for you. I would recommend everyone read it, if only for the point of expanding your horizons and thoughts about what occurs after you cross over. I think many people will be pleasantly surprised by this one, I know I was.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Catching Fire

"The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion." -Catching Fire (p. 216)

Well of course I picked up this book expecting something amazing. And of course I was not dissapointed by Suzanne Collins! Catching Fire is another amazing book in the series that had drawn so many into the world of Katniss and her friends and family. A world where children are thrown into an arena to fight for their lives inf ront of the whole world, including those they left behind. But we thought that Katniss left all that behind when her and Peeta made it out alive in The Hunger Games by defying those in charge. Well, maybe they should not have made so many people mad, because of course they are pulled into the mess they have made when it is announced that former winners of the games will be the ones participating at the next Hunger Games.

Of course not everything is what it seems as the world seems to careen around Katniss as she tries to make it out of everything alive, or at least alive enough to save those around her. Even she doesn't know the full  magnitude of the events taking place that she knows little to nothing about.

And of course through all of this is the strained love triangle Katniss is caught in without her agreement. This just makes things more intense for the story as readers pick their sides and hope they favorite makes it out alive. Are we so different from the people of the Capitol?

Anyway, of course this fast paced book full of twists and turns and confusion is worth the read. Finishing it in less than 24 hours I am eager to pick up the next one! Have you read them all? What do you think? Well, without giving too much away, let us know!

Friday, February 1, 2013


"In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazonz; all the holders of houses above a certain rent are women." -Cranford (p. 1)

This was the first book in my book club for the year, and let me tell you I think it is a little promising that we are now all looking at the reading list and thinking it can only get better from here.

Cranford is a collection of stories discribing the lives of women located in the town for which the book is named. As the quote I picked for the book states, it is a town made up almost completely of women, or at least all the people in the town that seem to matter are women. And it seems that none of them are married. And they are all older, and very set in their ways. So there is a good deal of gossip going on in each story and a very large number of opinions about everything that is happening. In essence this book reminded most of the members of the book club of a sitcom.

I don't even know where to begin in the list of things that the women in my book club did not like about this book, but I will say that even the one that selected this book was not enthusiastic about reading it! The book was originally published as a sereal, meaning that each week one of the chapter was put in the newspaper for everyone to read. And we debated on if that could have been the reason that the stories in the book seemed to be so broken up. I had difficulty reading it as each chapter seemed to be like a puzzle piece forced to fit with the one beside it even though they didn't belong together. I suppose that in reality that was our only major problem, but it seemed like with an obstacle like that it made the rest of the book so difficult.

I will say that there were a few stories that made me laugh. At one point the story even grew interesting and most of us were eager to continue to see how things worked out. But then the book just ended. Almost as if in mid thought!

All in all the bok was a let down, but as with most books I am glad that I was given the oppurtunity to read it, even if it was just to appreciate the other books in the club more. This is one of the few books that I would not recommend to others. Sorry. Although if someone feels different, please feel free to comment, let me know why you liked it so much! Maybe I will pick up the book again in the future and see it from your point of view! Otherwise I may never read this book again. Sorry.