48 Hour Book Challenge: Two down, need snacks

My 48HBC started on the subway home with the lovely little Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis, which I happily zoomed through. Both Emma-Jean books are totally sweet and fun little meditations on what it takes to be a good friend, how to build your self-confidence, and how to pay attention to the world around you. I really like that Emma-Jean could be read as a person on the autism spectrum, or she could just be a girl with a different kind of mind, but Tarshis doesn’t force a diagnosis on the character and make the book A. Very Important Book. About Autism.

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love

The books are full of moments like this: “And from way up there, the world around her looked huge, and her school looked so small, and she got this idea–a whispery, feathery idea–that one day she wouldn’t be in middle school, and maybe then she wouldn’t be so worried every single minute.” And I love the quote from Poincare that is a perfect grace note to both books: “It is by logic that we prove, but it is in the heart that we discover life’s possibilities.”

A brief break for social networking (so many cool blogs!) and mei fun, and then I started The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Which is where I had my Friday night epicfail. First off, Friday night is a bad night for teachers, I think. I’m pretty useless after happy hour most weeks, and attempting to do extended reading after 10:00 when curled up on the couch with a blanket is a recipe for massive napping. Napping that just became sleeping when Mr. Penny arrived home and nudged me off the couch. Sleeping that will turn into sleeping in when it’s Saturday morning and you don’t have to wake up to an alarm, even though you should have set one because you were going to give this book marathon your all as if you were the librarian equivalent of Catherine Ndereba… so, anyway, at least I got a full night’s sleep.

So I didn’t love The Forests of Hands and Teeth, I have to say. Zombies aren’t really my thing, Puritanically religious dystopias aren’t really my thing, love quadrangles wherein all the characters are indistinguishable from each aren’t really my thing, etc. I found the present tense narrative awkward throughout and the characterization pretty flat. Everything was so bleak from the beginning that I didn’t really care about what the characters lost throughout the book. But if you like The Giver, The Road, or anything zombie-tastic in general, then this is the book for you. Fine for the squeamish, also, as the flesh rending and skin rotting was kept to a minimum.

I’m debating which book to read next: Chalice by Robin McKinley or Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat. I’d really like to get through another quick, lighter book to set a good tone for the day, but I also might need to jettison another library book in order to get all my holds from the library. (My public library record is the equivalent of one of those little picture puzzles where you have to move all the squares around in a very specific order to unscramble the image. Except with more renewals, holds, library book stockpiling, and getting dirty looks from the circulation desk for living close to the limit.)

Progress update:

Reading time: 4.5 hours

Blogging/Twittering/blog-reading: 1.5 hours

Books finished: 2

Pages read: 479

Good night’s sleep: priceless

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love your blog and am now trying SnapShots on my blog. I see that you don’t have links to sponsors on yours and I do. Do you pay for your SnapShots subscription? Thanks for your help. Keep up the reading! 🙂

  2. SnapShots comes standard/free with WordPress blogs, I think. (Honestly, I didn’t even realize I had it until you mentioned it. Cool!) Ditto no ads. WordPress is a little more labor-intensive to set up than Blogger, though, but still pretty intuitive.

  3. I really enjoyed the first Emma Jean book and also like that you can read her character however you want. I actually hadn’t though of Emma as autistic when I first read the book until I read reviews that mentioned that.

    Good luck with the rest of your challenge and enjoy your books!

  4. Agreed on Forest of Hands and Teeth. I wasn’t particularly sad when Loverboy went down. I was very annoyed with him at that point since he gave no logical answer as to why he never came for her and by the way, who says girls can’t choose? The society didn’t seem particularly patriachal to me, especially after reading The Chosen One, so why is the betrothal all centered on the guys’ actions?

    And yet I’m cautiously interested in the sequel, which may be all in my head as the Internets have failed me.

    • Good call! The whole love quadrangle was incredibly forced, and we never got to see Mary do anything particularly lovable except for be rebellious and tell stories about the ocean. Then again, their existence was pretty bleak, so maybe that was pretty hot in context.


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