Twenty Boy Summer, Plain Truth, & the importance of LHA's "speak"

Twenty Boy Summer
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

i DEVOURED this book in 2 days and part of a night. It was so hard to put down. The descriptions of the shore were so rich, the sadness of the story, so real. The happiness, just as real as the sadness. This book really made you care about it's characters. And while the average reader would probably hate Frankie, I fell in love with her. I thought that she was so beautiful and so full of light, but so full of darkness as well. Anna kind of annoyed me, and I didn't exactly fall for her the way I did for Frankie. Frankie's "voo-doo magic" as Anna put it, was strong, even for the reader. I feel like I really connected with the characters. The love that Anna had for her friend's brother was painfully real. so real, in fact, that it moved me to tears as i read it on the beach. It was so real, and so honest. Just like the whole book was. I felt Frankie's heart, I felt her spirit, and Anna's. It was a more enriching experience than I thought. I thought it would just be a fun read, but it taught me a lot of things and made me really think about things. I will never forget this book.


Plain Truth
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide -- and for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live "plain," Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within -- to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life.

How do I even begin?

This book is so well written, that it was hard for me to be torn away, even to go to sleep. The characters were developed amazingly, some more than others. In the book they give you Ellie's POV, but narration in other parts as well. This way, you only really get into Ellie's head, and she really grows and changes as a character, obviously. You would think that the narration would take away from the development & understanding of the characters, and for some, such as the most important character, it does. But for the character of Katie, I felt like I was inside her head even though I wasn't. The voice of Ellie in this book is so, so strong. I loved it, all the way until the end...and then things started to turn a little for me. The ending was abrupt and I found myself having to turn the page to figure out what had just happened. Picoult tries to justify, at the end, why the person who killed the baby, did it...and I'm sorry, but I don't see any excuse, any reason that justifies murdering an INFANT, no matter what. It just didn't really line up or make sense. *shrug*

4 stars

& lastly...

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.

This book is one of the most important books that I've ever read in my life. We read it for summer reading two years ago and it was the only summer reading book that i've ever actually enjoyed. It turned things around for me, it made me more aware of rape & sexual abuse as an issue. It opened up my eyes. It taught me things. I laughed when I read it and I cried when I read it. I've read it two times and each time, i've walked away with a different feeling, a different meaning.

So when I learned that there are people out there, trying to ban this book that has changed my life in so many ways, I was outraged and got involved straight away.

This man seems to think that SPEAK is pornography because it contains rape scenes. I don't know which disturbs me more -- that he thinks that rape is sexually stimulating or that he thinks people shouldn't learn about rape. People need to know these things happen. And with this book, you can learn so much and be aware of these things going on.

This book should not be banned. NO BOOK SHOULD. Get involved and join the SPEAK LOUDLY campaign. Add a twibbon to your twitter account and let your voice be heard. NO BOOK BANNING!

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