Posts Tagged ‘ Death ’

The Fault of Our Stars — Best Book I’ve Read So Far This Year

I adore when Jen Lancaster comes out with a new lists of books to check out. Some people get annoyed . . . that she is simply promoting people from her publishing company, or simply promoting her friend’s works. Whatever. I don’t think she has an ulterior motives and instead think that she actually does LOVE these books, so much so, that she wants everyone else to love them too.

On a recent blog post, Lancaster talked about John Green’s fourth novel The Fault of Our Stars. A few things caught my attention: A) It was a young adult novel (which I love reading) and B) She mentioned the characters were so well written that I just had to see for myself. And I’m so very glad I did.

The Fault of Our Stars allows Hazel, a sixteen year old terminal cancer patient, tell the best story about living while dying I’ve ever read. As most young adult novels about sixteen year olds are, this novel is about love. It’s about love and living in a world that can be so hard to understand. And Green really gets a lot of it right. He really allows the reader to understand the feelings that Hazel deals with as she struggles with death and life and ultimately love. His writing sums up everything that I have felt about death. It gives me comfort in a way that has never really been felt before and I urge you all to pick this book up. You’ll finish it in a day and hopefully you’ll love it as much as I have.


The Book Thief – Drop Everything and Read it

This is a book I’ve had on my kindle for a while. Usually what I do is I check the top ten lists and write down the books that continuously make the list and then I load those onto my kindle. That’s why I end up having over 100 books on there at one time. Yeah, it’s a sickness I tell you.

Anyway, after reading the crap that was Twilight for a second time. (The second time was horrible . . . ) I wanted something with substance and I heard good things about The Book Thief and wanted to give it a go. I’m SO glad I did.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is an amazing story about World War 2 Germany narrated by the ever clever, exciting, and often entertaining voice of Death. The novel is about a young girl, Liesel, who moves in with her foster family, Rosa, and Hans Huberman on Himmel street, after losing her mother and watching her brother die at the tender age of 11. Death gives the reader insight into Liesel, The Book Thief’s, world during the war including lack of food, lack of jobs, and a lack of color. But, when a stranger shows up at the Huberman’s door one night, they must make a decision that might change their futures, and Liesel, forever.

Zusak seriously knows how to tell a story. I can’t wait to pick up another book of his. Death as a narrator is an extremely interesting idea and it works very well with the story. Death gives us more insight than a normal first person narrative can, and even spoils bits of the story for us (but it’s all worth it.) It’s very cleverly written and will stick with the reader long after the final page.

Hit up your nearest bookstore, library, or e-reader store and add this to your list immediately. You won’t be disappointed!

The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

I like to find a lot of my novels by perusing Target or Barnes and Noble or Borders and taking pictures of the cover so that I have a running list of what I need to add to my kindle or Library list. A few months back, I stumbled across this cute cover at Target, took a picture, and downloaded the preview off Amazon. I thought the preview was adorable and couldn’t wait to find it at my local library given that I didn’t have the money to spend ten dollars on a book at the time.

Last Monday, while at the library looking for another novel, I found it and immediately added it to my collection. It took absolutely no time to read and it was an absolute delight.

This is not your normal chick lit about the after life. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow tells the story of thirty-five year old Molly who after meeting an untimely death watches her philandering plastic surgeon husband, her three year old daughter, her slightly off kilter twin sister, her parents, her best friend Brie, and the detective assigned to her murder (or accident) investigation.

The novel jumps back and forth between her being dead and watching people grieve or try to find out exactly what happened to her, to her still being alive as her life slowly builds to the moment of her death. Koslow is an exceptional writer and I can’t believe I haven’t stumbled across her before now. She definitely gave Molly the voice that she deserved. I found myself yelling at the characters and almost weeping with Molly. The moments with Molly’s three year old were exceptionally difficult to get through, but beautiful all their own.

This is a novel I strongly suggest. Molly is a great character, never boring, and has a biting sense of humor. This novel will keep you guessing, laughing, crying, and simply enjoying yourself.

Pick it up ASAP! It IS worth the ten dollar fee on Amazon. Promise!

Incendiary — Grab Some Tissue

Incendiary by British author Chris Cleave was actually the second novel I read this year. The first was me finishing up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (again), so I guess we can say this one was the first full novel I read this year. I have never read anything by Chris Cleave, but had his novel Little Bee added to my kindle after noticing it on the Bestseller’s List for a good while. This one looked more interesting than his second novel, so I went ahead and gave it a try first. And I must say . . . it was beautiful.

It follows the story of a nameless adulterous woman writing letters to Osama Bin Laden after a bombing of a football stadium kills her husband and son. As the novel progresses, the woman’s grieving takes on new depth as she begins to see her son alive again.

It is heartbreaking and real. I breezed through it in a little over a day and found myself in tears more than a few times. It continuously made me think about what I would do in her situation. What I would do if my entire life literally blew up around me. And then, a few months later . . . a friend of mine sat down and watched the movie with Michelle Williams and Ewan McGregor. I don’t know why it only got five out of ten stars on certain reviews because I thought it was great as well. It was even more heartbreaking (if that is even possible) and both Natalie and I found ourselves with red, swollen, tear streaked faces after watching. I suggest you read the novel and watch the movie . . .  or watch the movie and then read the novel. Either way, neither will disappoint.

A Bittersweet Holiday

Mother’s Day. A holiday that should bring immense joy to me given that I just birthed my very own spawn three months ago. And yet, I’m filled with a bittersweet feeling of grief and remorse for a mother of mine that I’ll never celebrate the holiday with again.

It will be four years on the 26th since that fateful phone call from my brother. Since that heart wrenching monotone comment from my grandpa, “Your mother is dead.” Since that feeling of hopelessness and anger all rolled into one torrential burst of emotion.

This Mother’s Day has been the hardest thus far.

The first one, I was moved to tears thinking of the last Mother’s Day that I could have spent with my mom. But, I was mad. She had done something stupid again, and I didn’t even want to hear from her that day. I remember giving a card to Aaron’s mom and spending time with her on that day … leaving my own Mother to sit at her house alone and wait by the phone for the call that wouldn’t come.

The second one wasn’t that bad. I was engrossed in my life as a married woman. I was trying to finish up school. I missed her … but, not near as bad as I thought that I would have.

The third was spent in the comfort of a friend. My best friend had also lost her mother the year before. We spent Mother’s Day weekend together in Austin, listening to everyone else talk about how they “had to call their mom’s” or what they were going to be doing on Mother’s Day Sunday. We sat back and reminisced about our own mother’s for a moment, hugged, and tried to make the weekend not as sad as it could have been for either of us. I was about to graduate. I was even pregnant and didn’t know it. I was at a bachelorette party that weekend and had just bought a new car. I tried my hardest not to concentrate on the lack of mother in my life. Especially with my best friend there with me in her own pain and sorrow about the looming day and what that would mean for her brother’s and sister’s … this her first Mother’s day without her own mother.

But, this one. This one has been hard. It’s my own first mother’s day and I don’t have a mother of my own to talk about all of these feelings with. I miss her more than anything else in the world and want nothing more than to spend time with her today. I want to show her the son that Aaron and I have made. He’s beautiful and always happy. He’s the light of our life and I know that he would have been her light too. I want to show her the house that we have built and the life that we now lead. I want her to see what kind of woman that I have become. I want to show her that despite everything, I’m OK. All of these things that I want to do, just one more time, and I can’t.

Yes, I’m a mother now. I’m going to be the best mother that I can be for my son and for my future children. But, I need a mother too. And no other ones will do.

We went to a family reunion yesterday. They had four picture albums set up for people to look at. I found my mother as a child, blonde hair and pig-tails with a huge grin on her face. She’s was adorable! I found my mother as a mother. My arms wrapped around her as best I could reach, both of us with huge grins on our faces. I found my mother as an observer, lost in the background of a picture … a small grin sliding over her face as she watched the action. I found my mother in pictures that I don’t have. Pictures that chronicle happier days in our lives, before the darkness that would slowly seep into our happy little life.

I still don’t know what happened to her that night in late May. I don’t know why there was someone there that didn’t help her. I don’t know why that person brought in my brother to see our dead mother. I don’t know who had come over that night that made her upset. We found these notes that my mother had written. One to her friend Ms. Joy, one to my grandpa, and one to my brother. There wasn’t one for me. I guess she was upset with me too. I’ll never know.

But, today is just a day. It’s a day that is there to thank your mother for all that she has done for you in your life. So do it! Thank your mom’s for everything, even if you’re mad at them. Who knows what God has in store for you guys. Who knows if you’ll spend next Mother’s Day together or not. So, make sure that you make your mother feel extra special.

Do it for me.