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* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
Unison Spark, by Andy Marino ***+ This was definitely an intriguing story with an unusual setting. I enjoyed the premise, and I liked the characters, but it felt a little too much like work sometimes trying to figure out what was happening in the world. I could almost picture it but not quite -- which frustrated me a bit. I have a feeling younger readers would get it much more easily, as they're already more familiar with the idea of Facebook and avatars in games, etc. And the premise really is cool (kind of like Facebook coming to holographic life and Friending taking on a whole new meaning). The story: Mistletoe lives in the subcanopy, and Ambrose lives above it all -- but both are having strange dreams about living in a tube with wires surrounding them. When they meet (the day Mistletoe's guardian is killed before her eyes), they discover that their dreams have meanings -- and that their worlds are entwined in ways they couldn't have imagined. (YA dystopic/science fiction, released 11/11, publisher: Henry Holt)
It's snowing again this morning. As I went out to shovel (with my muscles quickly remembering the ache from just a couple days ago), I thought about how life sometimes seems very like the snow. Even after a huge storm, it'll snow again, piling up on top of what already might feel overwhelming and unmanageable.
Even as I shoveled, the gently falling flakes turned the wet pavement white, and I could see how sometimes it can feel futile. Tolle often mentions, 'This too shall pass.' That's what came to mind today. No matter how much it snows, it does melt eventually. The sun comes out again, the flowers push through the soaked soil, the leaves burst out on the bare branches.
It's nothing new -- all of us have seen the cycle of nature over and over (and I imagine many of us have had the same thoughts of, 'hang on -- spring is coming'). And I love nature's work because it gives me another reminder -- there's beauty here too. Each individual flake is amazing, its own work of art. A pile of them can seem daunting, but it's also good for our bodies to have that exertion and work to remove them. And their 'frosting' covers any multitude of dirt and ugliness...enjoy the moment, no?