book club

BOOK HUNGRY: all these lives

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email/phone. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.

(editor’s note: we’ve gotten a bit off track lately and so just discussed this book last week. this book was so unusual and so awesome (per my opinion), i figured i’d still post my review, even though the others aren’t. if you have read this or will read this, let me know what you think!)

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

ALL THESE LIVES by sarah wylie

what it’s about from amazon: 

Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky.  She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal.  And Jena is wasting away.  To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives.  Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one.  Someone like Jena.  But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization.  Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all.  Maybe she really only ever had one.

my opinion: hmm. we asked karla to pick a light read and this is what she comes up with?!? this is NOT LIGHT.

this is also not a favorite of mine. in fact, it’s not even one i liked that much. sorry, book! the writing and the whole nine lives bit were fine, but dani? she was selfish and mean and ugh, i have to keep reading this?

i did keep reading it. all the way to the end. it never got better (for me). i understood the motivation behind dani’s actions (she wanted to give her “extra lives” to her sick sister) but in reality, any stable 16 year old should know she’s wasting her life instead of making good use of the life she’s been given. some people (aka HER SISTER) don’t have long, so for her to throw it all away? grrrrr.

basically, throughout the book, dani continued to push everyone (parents, friends, sister) away. i get that it was a means of self-preservation, but she also pushed me, the reader, away. all of us book hungry gals felt this way, BUT, don’t take our word for it — go on and read it yourself.

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7 thoughts on “BOOK HUNGRY: all these lives”

  1. I have to say that I personally liked Dani’s voice. I liked her brashness and her sense of humor. Did I like her? Not really. But, I usually like books where the MC is unlikable. Did I like this one? eh, it was a bit so-so. I could take or leave it. The premise: awesomesauce. The narrative: compelling. And, still I didn’t really find it as wonderful as I thought I would. It’s one of those amorphorous things where I just can’t put into words exactly why I felt this way. I just did. eh.

    (bet you never thought you’d see me at a loss for words, huh?)

    1. you say you’re at a loss for words yet you managed 95 of them. :) seriously though, i totally get what you mean. there were so many positives going for this book, but the execution of them wasn’t pulled off to my liking.

      i’d rather re-read ALWAYS AND FOREVER. now there’s a book that gets the job done.

    1. sometimes one just doesn’t want to play coy. plus, this was an true exercise in writing. normally, it’s very easy to figure out what i don’t like about a book, but this one was sneaky. i couldn’t really figure it out, so i just kept writing (and reading amazon reviews to see if someone else articulated it better).

  2. I agree, I never warmed up to her even though I kept reading and thinking, “this has to get better.” Sometime we win some and sometimes we lose some. On a side note, can you imagine what we would have been reading if we asked her for a dark read? I shudder to think.

    1. i know we can’t love every single book we read, but is it too much to hope we can?!? and yes, the only way to reign in karla is to tell her to pick something light. while she will still pick something dark, it won’t be pitch black, if you know what i mean. (and i think you do.)

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