Monday, May 02, 2005

The Truth About Forever **** 1/2

Dessen, Sarah. The Truth About Forever. New York: Viking, 2004.

Macy is a ball of nerves. Ever since her father died a few years ago, she strives to be perfect. She thinks that if she is perfect, it will make things easier on her mother. In the meantime, her mother works all the time and doesn't seem to have any time for Macy at all, although she doesn't realize how little she knows her daughter.

As the summer begins, Macy is upset because her boyfriend is going away to Brain Camp for 6 weeks. Macy is taking over his library help desk job, which he takes very seriously. The three girls she works with hate her and make it obvious they don't want her around. Meanwhile, she meets up with caterers at one of her mother's events and gets a job working events with them in the evening. Her mother doesn't like it at all, and wants her to spend all of her spare time studying for the SATs. Her boyfriend breaks up with her essentially because she doesn't take her help desk job as seriously as he thinks she should. He decides they should take a break and reevaluate after he gets back from Brain Camp. Macy ends up falling for one of the boys that she works with, Wes, which leads her to confusion because she can't decide if she wants the safe and perfect guy, or the other new guy that doesn't seem perfect right away.

I love this book, but it will have a limited audience due to its length. It is almost 400 pages long. It is also very deep. There isn't any fluff here-- the book is very serious and deep. This doesn't mean that it isn't enjoyable, though. It is very well-written and enjoyable. I recommend it for anyone looking for a deep book that makes you think.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bro ****

Peck, Robert Newton. Bro. New York: Harper Collins, 2004.

This is a historical fiction novel. Tugwell has been mute ever since he witnessed his Grandfather commit gruesome acts six years ago. Then a few years after that, Tug's older brother Broda goes to prison for being an alcohol trafficker. Now Tug and his parents are going back to Florida to visit his Grandfather, who is scared of. While his dysfunctional parents have an arguement in the car, they don't realize that a train is coming and that they are on the train tracks until it is too late. His parents are killed but Tug survives.

He is taken to his Grandfather's ranch where his Great Aunt Lulu will be staying and watching over him. Needless to say, this scares him since he has never met Lulu and he is scared of his Grandfather. Lulu is wonderful to him but he has to overcome his distrust of Grandpap. Meanwhile, while in prison, Bro finds out about Tug's situation and plans to break out of prison to help his brother out.

I throughly enjoyed the story and recommend it for any reluctant readers. The book is short, so it will appeal to people that "don't like to read", particulary male readers. The characters are all interesting and sympathetic, except the parents that die within the first 10 pages. Tug grows up and lot and learns so much just in a few weeks time. We see real growth in him and learn a little about sacrifice and life along the way.