Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Long Weekend

Ugh, I jacked my back AGAIN. Luckily, it wasn't too terrible this time and it coincided with the long weekend so I missed minimal amounts of work and got out of having to help Dan tear down the front fence and build a brick wall. (Which he did all by himself and it looks AWESOME. I would have just messed it up.)

Anyway, here are two books that I had to read for work and really didn't want to because I wasn't a huge fan of other books by the same authors. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised in both cases!

Kendra Coe Booth

Ok, I really didn't like Tyrell. I wasn't going to read Kendra, but I had to for work. I'm glad I did. I like Booth's online presence and felt bad that I didn't like her book, because I really like her as a person. Now I don't have to feel bad!

Kendra lives with her grandmother in the Bronx, in the projects, but she's a good girl and trying to stay that way. Her mom was 14 when Kendra was born, but Renee just got her PhD. Kendra can't wait to go live her, too bad it looks like Renee is still not ready to face up to her responsibilities as a mother.

Kendra's not going to end up pregnant at 14 like her mom. She's too much of a dork, she's too good. Plus, Nana won't let her out of house and watches her like a hawk.

Kendra has her head screwed on straight. Until her hormones take over.

Sometimes I just wanted to shake her. Kendra was believable and acted like a real teen and she drove me crazy. I am also not happy about the ending, which you can read about in a spoiler-filled rant here.

The story wasn't really my cup of tea, but I liked it a lot more than Tyrell. I'll probably read Booth's next offering, whatever it turns out to be.

The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Sonia wants to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and go to college. Her father works two jobs to support her family while her brothers sit around and watch TV. She's expected to run the house and do all the work, all while under her drunkle's perverted gaze. Then, if things couldn't get worse, her mother decides Sonia doesn't have enough respect and ships her off to Mexico for the summer. While in Mexico, Sonia sees the truth about her culture and her family, and comes home more determined than ever to reach her goals, only her life is more determined than ever to stop her.

I didn't want to read this because I did not like Sitomer's other work. My main complaint (Sitomer is just too angry about what he sees working with kids in urban poverty so his omniscient narrator is just too angry) held true for about the first half of this book. Sonia was really angry about her situation and her culture to the point where it wasn't believable any more. I feel this changed after Sonia's trip to Mexico. There her anger stops being at her culture and starts being directed towards members of her family for particular reasons. After that, I really got into the story and ended up liking it, but I would have put it down after 50 pages if I hadn't been required to read it.

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