Monday, February 15, 2016

Carry On {A Little of the Book Life Review}

Carry On

Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Source: Own
Rating: 5 stars (or 20... whatever...)

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

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Seriously. Rainbow Rowell has super powers. For real. The way she can weave a story... the way she can suck me in and make me forget the world exists outside of her pages... I can't even begin to imagine a book world without her in it. 

It doesn't seem to matter what she is writing about - normal teenage drama, magickal teenage drama, adult drama... I'm there. I'm feeling it all. And I FREAKING LOVE IT.

I loved watching Simon grow and learn about himself. I loved watching Baz struggle with who is - not only as a person, but as a vampire. The dynamics between all the characters leap off the page. The voices of each were so distinct there was no confusion as to who was narrating the part I was reading. And the intensity of the story, the tension between characters... whew! She writes it better than real life usually presents it.

More, please. Not necessarily Simon/Baz/Penelope/etc, just more. More writing, more stories, more characters I can fall in love with and wish were really in my life. More.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Still here {A Little of the Mom Life}

     Yesterday I had a newcomer to storytime. His name was Jacob and he'll be one at the end of this month. This is super important to the story of my day. It's the catalyst of all my thoughts and emotions. His older brother used to come to storytime. (He's now 6.) Jacob came into the room with his grandma and his grandma said I might remember his brother when he came with his mom. She mentioned their names and it all clicked - probably partially due to the fact that Jacob resembles his older brother a lot.

     And then she told me the news. How last April, the boys lost their mom due to a pulmonary embolism. I don't know this family other than them coming into the library from time to time. And they haven't been in on a regular basis for quite some time (even before the tragedy.) Life gets busy and other things take priority. But I had no clue that these boys' mother had passed away. She was 31. Jacob won't remember her. His brother will, at best, have snapshots of memories in his mind.

     All day long I kept thinking about them. About her, their mom. And how she's missing out on seeing all the wonderful, and not-so-wonderful, things her kids are going to do in their life. How she's not going to see so many firsts, so many smiles, so many tears. She's going to miss out on the laughter of life and the snuggly hugs and kisses and all the silly moments.And those boys. They are going to miss out mommy hugs, kisses, snuggles, advice, tears of happiness, tears of frustration, fun times, not-so-fun times...

     Needless to say I was a bit emotionally exhausted at the end of the day. I just wanted to go home and relish in the fact that I'm still here. Yes, bills are due. Yes, school is happening. Yes, work is demanding. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I get frustrated. But I'm here. I get to hear "MOOMMMYYY!" when I go to pick up Zoe-bug from the sitter. I get to go hunt down Eli at the Boys and Girl's Club and make him upset that he doesn't get his turn on the X-box. I get to deal with first grade frustration from a boy because I "don't do homework like Daddy." I still get to pour that glass of wine while he's wailing in his room because I tried doing homework in the wrong order. I still get to be told by Zoe that "Mommy, you're yelling." Yes. Those types of moments can suck. And suck the life out of you. But I still have them. I also still get the night time story reading, the hugs and kisses, and the "I'm sorry we couldn't get along earlier" moments (for real, that was a sincere apology from Eli at bedtime).

     I'm still here. They're still here. Good. Bad. All the in-betweens.