Mini Reviews Part 1

I have 7 reviews to write up following the read-a-thon, so you’re going to get them in mini-format 🙂 Because everything is just cuter in mini-format, isn’t it?

tinykittyMost of these reviews will probably only be about a paragraph long. I’ll give you three reviews today and four tomorrow! So let’s get talking about some books!!

betweenFirst up is one of my favorite reads of the year. It’s called Between Mom and Jo and it’s written by Julie Anne Peters. Sadly, it was a library book, so I had to return it. But I may end up doing like Amanda, the lovely person who recommended it to me, and buying a copy for my permanent shelves. The book focuses on a young boy named Nick who is finding his way through adolescence while growing up in a house with two lesbian mothers who are trying to find their way through adulthood. While Nick struggles with the normal questions of adolescence – namely, his sexuality, his relationship with his parents, his body, he also has to struggle with the teasing he gets from his classmates for having two mom’s. Though he comes to accept it and deals with it fairly well in my opinion, he has a much harder time dealing with the turmoil that his parents put him through. His biological mother and his other mother, Jo are not getting along. His bio mom can be a bit over controlling and too the book due to her own past and her parents unacceptance of her choices in life, while his other mother, Jo has a serious problem with alcohol and cannot hold down a job and nor can she control her mouth at times. Nick is often put into situations that no child should be put in because of this dynamic and it ultimately ends up in a heartbreaking turn of events.

I can’t tell you how good this book was. I think it was an extremely honest portrayal of growing up in a familiy with same gendered parents. Now I must say that I’ve never known anyone with same gendered parents, but this book didn’t seem to use that idea as a gimmick. The relationship was real. I never looked as the characters as “lesbians”, I looked at them as two people in love at times and at each others throats at times. It really was a heartbreaking love story and a heartbreaking coming of age story all wrapped into one. I loved Nick’s character as well. What a fantastic kid he was. I could actually relate to him quite a bit even though I didn’t go through half of what he went through. I think he was a great portrayal of any 14 year old boy who’s been confused and lost in his life. I may come back and do a full review of this one…I have so much to say about it. But I’ll leave at this for now….read it!

Next up is Rose by Jeff Smith and Illustrated by the wonderful Charles Vess. Debi sent this to me awhile back and I love her for rosethat!! Well, I love Debi for many things, and this is one very little thing of MANY! This is actually a prequel to the Bone graphic novel series and if you haven’t read that yet, then what are you waiting for?? This can most definitely be read as a standalone book. It’s the story of Rose and her sister Briar, and the process of them learning to cultivate their powers as a dreamer so that one of them can take their place as a prophet who will assure their kingdom’s safety. Rose, however has the sight while her sister Briar, the ice queen, does not and this causes quite a bit of jealousy between the two sisters. And we all know that jealousy can be dangerous!!

I have to say that I didn’t like this one as much as Bone, but I still really enjoyed it. And it was so neat to see Rose as a younger character! She’s actually the grandmother in Bone 🙂 The art was just absolutely gorgeous and it was nothing less than what I expected. Charles Vess is one of my very favorite artists and you’ve heard me rave about him before here. He shines brightest when he’s doing this type of fantasy work. I just love it. Especially the gorgeous dragons that he creates!

sometimesThe final book that I’m reviewing today was just a gem! It’s a collection of poetry called Sometimes my Heart Pushes my Ribs by Ellen Kennedy. My disclaimer is that I don’t know crap about poetry so pay no attention as I try to talk about it. What I do know is how I experience poetry and the emotions that I go through as I read them, and the emotions that I felt while reading these were mostly warm fuzzies, love, melancholy and at times disgust. And those are all emotions that I love to have evoked by literature in general. Ellen Kennedy’s poetry is a type of pop poetry, I guess you would call it. It’s very modern and I imagine her to be this super cool person with really great taste in music. The collection starts off with a bizarre piece of free verse poetic prose that features Woody Allen and Ned Vizinni having sex and the death of Moby. Truly bizarre. I didn’t know what to think of this one. But then she gets into some fantastic poetry that I just loved and wanted to scribble all over my walls (and probably would have if I were a teenager). Here’s one of my favorites:


I wish my life consisted only of
riding my bike with you
down a giant hill that never stopped
while listening to music
with no one else around
in the middle of nothing,
except a few shiny and relaxing lights above in the sky
like stars but a little brighter
and more orange

Later in the book there’s a poem called Shit Poem that well, disturbed the shit out of me, and I’m guessing that is exactly what it was supposed to do. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Charlotte Roche’s novel, Wetlands, which I loved and read earlier this year. I love things that make me wince while reading them, but if you don’t, you may want to just skip that poem. Aside from that one, this is such a fantastic collection and I hope that people check it out! Thanks to bookfool for the recommendation!


12 Responses

  1. Awww! Kitty! 🙂 I thought your mini-reviews were great!

  2. I think ALL bloggers should post LOLcats regularly 😀 I love the poem you posted! And I really want both Rose and Between Mom and Jo. A copy of the latter popped up on Bookmooch recently, but the owner couldn’t send internationally 😦 Ah well…I have enough books as it is 😛

  3. anyone that writes a book should hire you to review them because you love so many of them. I think it’s so great that you do..because you waste very little of that money spent on books when you enjoy them all for so many reasons!! we all strive to love what we spend our money on but you seem to definitely get your money’s worth!

    you did good on the mini reviews!!

  4. Hm…since you already got yourself Leviathan, maybe I’ll buy you Between Mom and Jo when we come down to NOLA instead. 😉 Seriously, though, I’m so glad you loved it. I loved how it really ended up being a strong message about the way we frame same-sex relationships in our government, the lack of protections those parents are afforded, but that it did so without becoming political at all. It showed the realistic side of affairs. I loved it. And now I want to go back and reread it all over again…

  5. Between Mom & Jo and Rose were both great reads, huh? I enjoyed both of them. 🙂 And that is a great LOLcat!

  6. Between Mom and Jo look really good, what with your’s and Amanda’s review this one is going to end up on the wishlist!

  7. Oh, dear. I may end up having to buy Rose. “Orange” was my personal favorite of those poems — I also posted it in my review. I didn’t get the thing about Woody Allen and Ned Vizzini at all and did you catch that she seems to have an odd obsession with lemons?

  8. Great mini reviews! And I love that kitten! I have to get my dose of LOL cats each day.

  9. WOW! You had great luck during the read-a-thon! I’m glad you found some faves and gems to keep you reading. I had very good luck as well, so my reviews are coming in a little at a time.

  10. Mini-kitty cats are always welcome. As are mini-reviews. I’m going to have to go that route myself soon, I think …

  11. I love the mini-reviews. The cat is cute…but I’m still a dog-person, and will always be!! Between Mom and Jo sounds fantastic!! I must try and find it!

  12. I really loved your mini reviews. I’ve added Mom and Jo to my must-read list. Thanks for a fantastic review!

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