I’m just sayin….

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Maya's Notebook

I just finished Isabel Allende’s new novel, “Maya’s Notebook.”  Excuse me here while I SWOON.  I have read some of Allende’s work and know her to be a great writer, but this, THIS IS AMAZING.  First of all, the idea of writing the story in her notebook is right up my alley, I love anything and everything about notebooks, pens, paper, writing and pouring out souls onto paper. 

This notebook, Maya’s notebook, is the story of an extraordinary young woman, a survivor, a can you believe it kind of character that I liked from the first page.  Maya’s grandfather, her Popo, her hero, her constant, is key in this story.  I’m the kind of reader who does not read fly leaves or back covers because I hate to know what the story is going to be, I only want to experience it myself and that is why I’m not going to do that here by telling you more.  What I am going to tell you is if you miss this story with this caliber of writing, then you miss.  Sadly.  Allende is a genius at setting up the scene where you find yourself so intensely IN the story that even the phone ringing was so foreign in the scene that I screamed from my chair when Jaq called from FoxTale.  Whew! 

I happen to know a great little indie who has a copy waiting for your weekend read.  RUN and snatch up this little gem while you can.

 

~ Karen

 

 

 


Yes, Jojo Moyes, You Made Me Cry

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Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

There were two reasons I wasn’t interested in reading this book.

1. Stupid Title–I’m sorry, but ME BEFORE YOU just screams sappy, stupid love story, and SOMEBODY could have/should have come up with something much better.  In fact just about anything would have been more interesting  and attention-grabbing than Me Before You.

2. Stupid Premise–“Before Louisa met Will, her plans didn’t reach beyond their tiny English town. Will, when he wasn’t closing multimillion-dollar deals, blew off steam scaling mountains, leaping from planes, and enjoying exquisite women — until an accident left him paralyzed and seriously depressed.” Gag.  Trite, made-for-tv movie material.  You have to figure there’s some romance involved, and I SO didn’t want to go there.  Seriously, could the publisher have done a worse job of promoting this book, of turning off potential readers before they even gave it a chance?  (You do realize that authors don’t write the book flap material and oftentimes don’t pick their titles, thus my irritation at the publisher.)  However, Karen read it and recommended it, so in I went.  And was surprised and had to eat my negative preconceived notions and admit that this is one truly amazing book.

The whole handicapped aspect was handled well, for one thing.  It wasn’t over-dramatized, but there was accurate detail sufficient to have you empathize with Will and his point-of-view.  And Louisa was a much more complex character than I first suspected.   I won’t give any spoilers, but there are some meaty issues in MBY that gave me serious food for thought, issues I thought I had already made my mind up on, but now . . . Let’s just say I was right there beside Louisa, flipflopping all over the place and practically yelling at the characters in the book, such was my involvement in their no-easy-solution problems.

Yes, Jojo Moyes, you made me cry.  Are you happy now???  But not because MBY was depressing or sappy or predictable.  I cried because you transported me to the shabby closet-sized life of a quirky British non-dreamer and made me BE that girl who was forced to abandon fear, despite her best efforts to hang tenaciously onto it.  THAT is what I would write on your book jacket, Jojo.  And:  Challenge yourself and your set-in-stone ideals, put your own fear on the chopping block, ignore the blase title, and READ Me Before You, A Novel.