Friday, June 6, 2008

48 Hour Reading Challenge (Day 1)

I joined MotherReader's 48 hour reading challenge and will be updating this post reporting on my reading throughout today.

Start 8 pm (+1 Greenwich mean time) Friday

8 pm - 9:30 pm Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes 217 pages

Olive's Ocean is a sweet story about 12 year old Martha who confronts the realities of death for the first time when a classmate (Olive) dies, her aging grandmother comments that their summer together may be the last and she herself falls in the ocean and fears she may drown.

Favorite line: "She realized that no one, no one at all in the airport, or on the entire planet for that matter, knew her thoughts, knew what she was carrying inside her head and heart."

10: 15 pm - 2:30 am Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan (Barnes and Noble First Look selection) 287 pages

Songs for the Missing might more aptly be titled Songs for the close family and friends of the Missing as it explores the effects that a teenage girl's disapearance has on those closest to her. It was interesting to read about a missing person's case from the family's rather than the police's point of view - it's more about the emotional side of it and the ways that they cope with her absence day by day.

Favorite line: "After a chapter and a half, she gave up and went online, killing time playing Text Twist. The jumbled letters took all her attention. Racking up a high score didn't matter. The satisfying instant when her brain relaxed and the hidden word magically snapped into place was her reward."

10:15 am - 2:00 pm Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer 376 pages

The Lost Colony is a great addition to the Artemis Fowl books with lots of old favorite characters back (Holly, Mulch, Foaly, Butler) and some fun new characters like the pixie Doodah, the sweet demon imp/warlock no 1, and a second juvenile genius - a girl named Minerva. Very entertaining!

Favorite Line: "Mulch locked his mouth and threw away the key."

2:30 pm - 5:30 pm Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston 248 pages

Bed Rest is about a successful career girl, Quinn, who has to pull into the slow lane when her doctor tells her she must spend three months of her pregnancy in bed. Quinn has an appealing voice and there are a lot of laughs as she makes lists, entertains vistors and prepares herself for the birth of her child. Some of the supporting characters are a bit obnoxious, but overall, this a breezy, ok read.

Favorite Line: "Writing a diary seems like an admission you have nothing better to do. It's the life story of a person who doesn't have a life. I read my grandmother's diary once; it was about the weather and the progress of her runner beans. I'd rather leave no record of my existence than that."

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan 264 pages
Daughters of Eve was published in 1979 and is full of men who are chauvinist pigs. Teacher Irene Stark is the faculty sponsor of the Modesta, Michigan chapter of Daughters of Eve, an exclusive club of 10 girls, and she encourages the girls to stand up for themselves with mixed results. Her tactics get more and more violent as the book goes on. This is an extremely melodramatic novel and the attitudes feel so outdated that I was both outraged and moved to laughter.
Favorite Line: Daughter: "Mom, if I were a boy and had talent? Would you still be telling me the best thing I can do with my life is to sit here in Modesta and have babies?" Mom: "That's a ridiculous question. It's the fact that men can't have babies that makes it necessary for them to fill their lives with other things"

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