December 22nd, 2011


Top Ten Books Countdown, #3...

We got over a foot of snow, but last night, as we wandered the wet sidewalks, we enjoyed the soft, fluffy flakes drifting down and adding their own beauty to the Christmas lights...and we returned home right as the snow began to stick to the roads -- a lovely evening!

The covers link to The Tattered Cover's (our local indie) pages.

If you'd like to see all my year-to-date four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

These are all five-star reads:

***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

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The Survival Kit, by Donna Freitas - Here's what I said when I first read it:

I loved this, even though I cried throughout much of it. Freitas is officially one of my favorite authors, now that I've read her three books and loved each of them! This story is so touching, so brave, so filled with depth and beauty. Things I loved: Rose -- she was strong, vulnerable, hurting, loving; Krupa -- what a great best friend; Will -- a beautiful boy, also hurting yet coming out on the other side; Kecia and the cheerleaders -- I liked the positive take on this group which is so often maligned. Yes, the characters made this book. Each one felt real to me, and I especially liked how they were all *good* people. The story: Rose's mom dies, and Rose and her brother and father have to figure out how to continue on. Rose is mostly alone, as her brother is off at college and her dad has turned to drinking. She finds a Survival Kit (something their entire family used to make for those who needed help) from her mom, and she begins to work her way through grief using the supplies from her mom. Along the way, she discovers Will, a boy who's been right in front of her for years, but whom she couldn't see until now. Throughout the year following her mom's death, Rose must find her own, new path...and maybe even bless those around her at the same time. (YA contemporary, released 10/11, publisher: FSG)

Why it's stayed with me - the characters are so real in Freitas' books -- and they're good. I get tired of reading about selfish and rude people. Yes, I know they exist (I meet them all too often, after all), but there are also good people out there, and it's rare to discover those in books -- so when I do, I hold them close! I especially love how Freitas makes her teen characters good-hearted -- all of them! If you'd like a thoughtful look at grief and healing in a story filled with caring and loving people, this is the book for you (or if you simply like a strong story and strong characters) -- I recommend this for just about everyone!