Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Favorite Reads For January 2011

We both read a lot of good books in January, but if we had to choose, our favorites, it would be Half A Life (non-fiction) and Perfect Chemistry (YA romance). Can you guess whose is which? I bet you can!

Gerard's is:

Half A Life by Darin Strauss

A Must Read!  Half A Life is a memoir of Darin Strauss, who at age 18 while driving, had a car accident that killed a girl.  This book is good; read it in two days.  It was hard to put down because I never read anything like it before.  It is all about how Darin handled what happened.  I kept thinking about what if I did this?  Half A Life is an outstanding and a memorable read.  I highly recommend it! 

Karen's is:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

What a fun read “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Elkeles is!  I enjoyed reading Perfect Chemistry very much because it was such a cute high school romance story about the “perfect” pom-pom girl, Brittany Ellis, and the Latino Blood gang member, Alex, who had the reputation for being the most dangerous guy in school.  The Fairfield high school is cross cultural with the uppity rich kids from the North and the poor drug-dealing gang members from the south.  The Chemistry teacher and principal are determined to get the kids to learn from each other. 

When Brittany and Alex are paired together as partners in Chemistry it takes them awhile before they feel comfortable with each other to actually work together.  Although the plot is simplistic and predictable, it’s a fun read because of the characters, the humor and a great ending.  I liked Alex better than Brittany because he seemed to have more love and respect for his family than Brittany had for her parents.

Alex also struggled with deeper decisions whereas Brittany’s biggest decision was which guy she should go with—the jock that everyone expected her to like or Alex who she was attracted to and really liked.  I think the author did a good job at presenting both sides of Brittany and Alex—their caring and loving natures as well as the superficial ones they presented to the world.

I really liked this book because I like stories about teens, school and interesting characters.  Brittany and Alex discovered that stereotypes are not always right and were surprised to discover that they had more in common than they would have ever imagined as they got to know each other better and actually became friends and lovers.  This book addresses the issues of image, popularity, premarital sex, family, dealing with cerebral palsy, judging by appearances, teaching and gangs.  I didn’t care for the foul language interspersed throughout the book or the fact that premarital sex was taken so lightly, but it reflected the general attitude of most high schoolers.  I am so glad I read Perfect Chemistry and highly recommend it to anyone who likes YA fiction/romance. 

Stop by Grab A Book From Our Stack to see our other good book reviews for January.  Our Goodreads widget on our left sidebar lets you know what books we liked and what reviews are currently up or will be up in a day or two.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Karen

Did I participate in your survey to the left yet?

Yes I did. I walk but without a dog and i use the stairs instead of the elevator when I can :-)

Take care and have a great week :-)


BeadedTail said...

Both of those books sound really good! I'll have to add them to my list of books to read!

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