June 2015 Wrap Up

I’m finally out of the reading slump I got buried in at the end of last month. After I finished reading ‘Running Secrets’ by Arlene Williams, I hit a bit of a rut because it was just such a good read. Emotional, yet motivational at the same time. It was about a runner who purposely runs off the road, hitting a tree (I think it was a tree, or maybe a pole) and a couple firefighters show up at the site to pull her out. Both her legs end up broken and she has to wait for them to heal and go through physical therapy before she can get back to running. Along the way, we learn more about the character and her past, as well as what triggered her pulling off the road in the first place. I can’t recommend this book enough times, that’s how phenomenal it is.

I managed to finish ‘The Spectacular Now’ by Tim Tharp at the beginning of the month. It was, in layman’s terms, ‘A Catcher in the Rye.’ The only difference being that ‘The Spectacular Now’ was set in our modern time era, not to mention the main character had a drinking problem and Holden Cauliflower did not. But there were still similarities in the plot and some character traits. The tone was also eerily familiar. The big difference, though, was that I actually enjoyed reading ‘The Spectacular Now,’ whereas I hated ‘A Catcher in the Rye’ because I couldn’t stand Holden Cauliflower, who was the biggest phony throughout and had absolutely no growth. Sutter Keely grew as a character from start to finish, which is more than can be said about Holden. This is also for fans of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower.’

The book that also helped get me out of my reading slump at the beginning of the month was ‘How to Speak Dolphin’ by Ginny Rorby. I’ll go ahead and copy + paste my review from goodreads for this one:

“This middle-grade had the most accurate portrayal of a child with autism and how it affects not just the child, but his family as well. There was also a scene where we got to see Adam in the classroom, and his behavior was exactly that of a child with autism. I was reminded of a few of the kids in the Pre-K ASD classroom I work as a behavioral health teacher assistant in; one behavior that stuck out was Adam repeatedly running over to the microwave that stood on the counter in the class, low enough for the kids to notice, and study his reflection. One of the kids does the same exact thing in our classroom. The set up and structure of the classroom was also very much the way ours is, too, right down to using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and having the kids check their schedules to help with transitioning from one activity to the next.

That said, I also found the Dolphin Assisted Therapy to be interesting as I’ve heard of horse assisted therapy since one of the kids in our class started doing that a few months ago for one day a week. I think it helps autistic kids to learn to connect and communicate. You have to find a way to get through to an autistic child, a way that the child will be able to communicate with ease, then once you’ve found what that child finds joy in then you can try to reach them. Try to bridge the gap in order to make a connection. I also loved that Nori was set free back into the wild at the end with dolphins her own age. There was a part that made me cry, though, so you’ve been warned. But it does have a happy ending.

I’m rating this 4.5-5 stars because I really enjoyed this novel and I think it’s something anyone could like reading. It also tackles diversity, too, which is a big plus in my book. The main character, twelve year old Lily, is also fairly strong and she grows a lot throughout the novel.”

Then I read ‘Uprooted’ by Naomi Novak, which is its own fairy tale, not a retelling like so many people are mistaking it for. It is truly, 110%, its own story through and through. It has magic, magical creatures who turn out to have originated from something, or rather someone, else entirely. The plot runs deep and it doesn’t take long to get sucked right into this wondrously crafted world. It’s also a standalone, too, so no waiting on eggshells for the sequel. I ended up rating it 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads because of the originality, world, plot, and the cast and development of the characters.

My next read was ‘Hello, Goodbye, and Somewhere In Between’ by Jennifer E. Smith, which I rated 3 stars. It just fell as my least favorite read this month. It was a good read, but it was one of those easy, fluffy reads that require no thought process, which makes it a great no-brainer summer read. The duration of the plot happens in one night with a couple who is deciding whether to stay together or break up because they’re both going off to college on opposite sides of the country. I feel like the middle dragged off plot for a bit, but the end straightened it back on track.

After that I read ‘Everything, Everything’ Nicola Yoon. This one reminded me of the movie, ‘Bubble Boy,’ only there was a twist at the end. I kind of suspected the twist, but I wasn’t sure if the author would actually do the twist. I liked the writing style and illustrations throughout, too. It was definitely original. Plus it was a fast, summer read, yet brilliant at the same time. For that I’m rating this 4-4.5 stars. If you want a book that will make you feel the feels, then definitely check this one out when it releases this September.

The final book I read this month is ‘The Color of Our Sky,’ by Amita Trasi. It’s about two Indian girls from India, one from a middle class family, while the other is from the lower caste. The girl from the lower caste is kidnapped and, now, 11 years later the other goes around to different agencies to follow up on the progress in attempt to find out what happened to her. Along the journey, the reader is given in sight into the past of the friendship that struck between these two girls after the lower caste girl came to live with the other’s family, thus escaping a dreary present/future.

And there you have it. That’s what I read for this month. Keep an eye out for another post of what books I intend to read next month.