J. Courtney Sullivan
Knopf, 2009

I originally picked up Commencement because it looked to be one of those chick lit books I love: four girls, from different backgrounds, finding each other at the right time, and staying friends through life's adventures and misadventures. It was that, but it was also so much more! I expected fluffy, happy-go-lucky, maybe a tear but definitely some laughing out loud. I got that, but I also got a thought-provoking story that reached in deep and made me think about all kinds of 'issues'.

Logistically, the novel is written from each of the girls' perspective in turn - clearly labeled, and you always know which character is narrating which section (this is a good thing). Since the story begins with their freshman introduction and continues to the present, there is a lot of 'flashback' and time-jumping -- however, it is not confusing and transitions are introduced very well. Each girl is allowed to tell her own story, or own personal interpretation of shared events as well as her own individual journey. Because of this, there is some overlap between accounts - however, this only adds to the depth of the story, making it more real and involved.

I definitely loved this novel, even though some parts were really hard to read ((there are a lot of serious, weighty issues that are present - it's not overwhelming, but you will think)). I had no idea where the story was going, and at the end I was totally surprised -- since I tend to guess how things are going to end, this is an accomplishment on the part of the author. I'd love to know where the story is going from there -- will there be a sequel? Does it continue only in the minds and hearts of those who read it? Time will tell, I s'pose.

Book provided by my local library.

Happy happy!

I've been horrible about updating lately, oops. I have reviews to post, I just haven't ... Sigh. Bad habits are so easily acquired. However, some happy teasers:

New books are in my life muchly these days! Not only did I make an amazing haul at Goodwill a few weeks ago regarding 1950s-1970s "young adult" books, but I find myself the happy winner of several giveaways this month. That is definitely something to celebrate. So far, the only one that has been delivered is Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, which I won from Amanda's very fun giveaway over at Books of Amanda's Land! I will post the others as they come ... and be looking for a review of Dear George coming soon. We hope.

Reviews are coming. I promise! Just not sure when ... but until then, check out some of the blogs on my blogroll for some amazing To-Read List additions.

Wowzers Giveaway!

Passages to the Past is hosting an amazing giveaway! Check it out (also on the sidebar, for easy access)!

The loot:
The entire collection of Susan Holloway Scott's novels - historical fiction, with gorgeous covers and appealing titles and storylines. Definitely very interesting ... Here's hoping!


Contest @ Breathless Books

Becky over at BreathlessBooks is having a follower-celebration contest: Win a book from her To-Be-Read list!

Check it out: http://breathlessbooks.blogspot.com/2010/08/50-follower-giveaway.html#links


Choose Your Genre Contest

Hey hey, stumbled across another amazing contest: Choose Your Genre over at Books Obsession!

There are four, yes, FOUR, different prize packs you can win from (designated by genre), and each pack features books and swag. Cool beans,  right?

Check it out: Choose your genre contest!


Amazing Contest!

Stumbled across this contest - totally amazing. Seriously. Check it out!
Best part of all? It's about sharing your reading with your sisters! Oh yeah ... This is good stuff.


Heist Society

Heist Society
Ally Carter
Hyperion, 2010

This is totally not my normal read, but I saw it and decided to pick it up on a whim; the cover and title are fun, and the blurb on the bookflap suggested there might be something I'd at least like to the story. I was quickly whisked away on an adventure unlike any I've been on before. Sometimes taking risks pays off - whether they are simple, like reading something out of your ordinary, or huge risks that put your life and the lives of all those you love best at work, like Kat has to make in the story.

The story was surprising well-written. Fast-paced, with enough action and drama to keep me focused and interested, but not so much as to be overwhelming. Timing was key, because the main story takes place in just two weeks' time. Some of the travel that takes place seems a little far-fetched, but this is a far-fetched story set in a global world. This was definitely a glimpse into a world I can barely even imagine, but - surprisingly - enjoyed. May have to take a few more [reading] risks in the future ...

Book provided by my local library.