Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Search For Wond-La is hardcover available from Simon and Schuster for $19.99, author Tony Diterlizzi. This one gets $$$$ out of $$$$$ for tweens. Now available in softcover too. This, I just discovered, is one of a trio of books set in Wond-La. I have also just learned they are searching for actors to play these characters in a movie series of the books. (I apologize thaat my phone cut off the end of the vlog.) I received a copy of this book for purposes of reviewing.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Next Best Thing is a sweet summer read that doesn't disappoint.
The Next Best Thing is the story of a budding screenwriter, from Massachusetts, left orphaned and physically scarred, by a car accident. Ruth is a creative witty young girl forced to endure many surgeries as a result of facial burns she sustained during the accident that killed her parents. Like many children who are hospitalized throughout their formative years Ruth develops a passion for escapism. Her escape is television, a diversion from pain. She is raised by her grandmother, a kind and caring sort who does her best to compensate and make life tolerable for her wounded charge. Together they spend hours enjoying series like The Golden Girls. Ruth's creativity spills from her own personal tragedy and her love of television. She turns these experiences into a semi-autobiographical TV show pilot.
Some of the most compelling scenes in The Next Best Thing are those that centre on the relationship between Ruth and her grandmother. After one of the more invasive surgeries Ruth undergoes, her grandmother lays in bed next to her having decorated the tiny hospital room with a big screen television. She finds the diary of her granddaughter which states only: "I will never be beautiful." The scene that follows is bittersweet in some ways as it is both a turning point and one of the only times the grandmother character is really shown to be vulnerable.
The Next Best Thing is the tentative name of the series Ruth has created and pitched to TV executives. It is the break they have both been working towards and yet also the start of a difficult journey of introspection and one that challenges her relationship with her grandmother. Ruth's TV series is chosen and accepted for TV, but it's subtly and not so subtly altered along the way causing her to question her own personal belief system and personal integrity. In the end, the series, although it brings money and fulfills Ruth's dream, ends up being far more than bargained for.
There are many comic moments here and Weiner is nothing if not a humorous writer who knows her stuff. She has also written for TV and published multiple books. Her grandmother gets work as an extra on movie sets and she finds love as well.
It is the second novel I have read by Jennifer Weiner and while I have seen questionable reviews about this particular book, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Ruth is by far my favorite of Weiner's characters because of her vulnerability. I enjoyed the writing and the witty scenes of insider Hollywood.
This is a great beach read. Take it to the cottage and enjoy. It won't overtax you and you won't regret the laugh out loud moments it brings.
The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner, is by Simon and Schuster Atria books, $29.99 and 385 pages
$$$$ out of $$$$$
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The Literary Love Giveaway Hop Starts Tonight and is a chance for you to win a new read for you or your family.
I picked this one up at Blogher 12 and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's a cute and unique series featuring the Neon Tiki Tribe, a group of heroic tiki characters that inspire and empower boys and girls to make good choices and to stand up for others. We are giving away The Neon Tiki Tribe: Bullies: Playground Push-Around. It is also featuring a unique typeface that is dyslexic friendly. (The typeface itself is extremely interesting to me as a tool that could have huge potential in many books. Several letters that typically give children difficulty when they are dyslexic are printed darker and heavier and apparently this is supposed to increase their ability to read on their own. I think that's amazing.)
The book itself sells for $7.95 and has a lot of kids in every day situations battling back. This one had a little girl who just got glasses and is being bullied because of that. Good luck! Don't forget to enter all the other blogs to win too. This hop is hosted by Views From the 'Ville http://www.viewsfromtheville.com and Money Saving Mindy moneysavingmindy.com)
a Rafflecopter giveaway