Truth or Dare #BookTag

Questions are down below so you can copy/paste. Be sure to share the link for your Truth or Dare Book Tag in the comments! I tag anyone who would like to do this tag 🙂

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I’ve had Ramona and her Father on my shelf since 1989.

Ramona and her Father

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

lonely hearts hotel

 

Current Read: The Lonely Hearts Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tapestry of Tears

 

 

Last Read: A Tapestry of Tears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander

 

 

The book I’ll read next: Outlander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

girl-on-the-train

 

Over 1.1 million ratings on Goodreads, with an average rating of 3.88. I didn’t HATE it. I don’t think I HATE any book, that’s a strong word. It’s not that I disliked The Girl On The Train, it just didn’t live up to the hype for me.

 

 

 

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

A Suitable Boy.jpg

 

A Suitable Boy, it has a great rating on Goodreads and sounds like a great read, however, it has 1474 pages, making it the longest book on my TBR at the moment. I’d love to read it, but not sure when I’ll be able to make that kind of commitment haha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

See question 4. LOL

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

Wait till the end!

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I always read all of the notes and acknowledgements. It’s an interesting glimpse into the author’s support system.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children because it would be kickass to be able to change into a bird and fly.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

I was introduced to The Wheel of Time series by a friend while attending University, so when I think of those first books we read and discussed together it always brings me back to then.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

The book from question 1…is a book I borrowed from the library of my elementary school…but never returned. *SHAME*

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I love to give books away…I try to find a book that I think they would like, can take something from, will make them laugh, or is pertaining to something they are going through at the time.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

The book from question 1 again…I’ve had it when I lived in Labrador, Newfoundland, British Columbia, and Ontario.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Shakespeare! I disliked it in high school, but when I read it in University for an English course I really liked it a lot.

14. Used or brand new?

Both, but new books do smell fantastic.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Not yet, but I have two on my shelf that I bought at a library sale.

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Little-Women-bookcover.jpg

 

I loved the book Little Women, but the movie was even better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the movie. I just love it so much ♥♥♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I own about 15 cookbooks, and every single one of them make me hungry!

RockRecipesCVR_FA_WEB

 

Rock Recipes is one of my favourite cookbooks. I was born and raised in Newfoundland, so I love to make “Newfie” meals.

 

 

 

 

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My Dad and I share similar book taste, and Oprah has great book recommendations.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Dragon Teeth

 

I highly doubt I would have ever picked up Dragon Teeth to read. It was recommended to me by Netgalley, and have to admit I enjoyed every chapter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post the link to your Booktag in the comments! Or answer the questions in the comments 🙂

QUESTIONS:
The questions:
1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
5. What book are you saving for retirement?
6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?
7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)
10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
12. Which book has been with you most places?
13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
14. Used or brand new?
15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?
18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Book Recommendations for May 2017: Contemporary

Goodreads Group called Monthly Recommendations hosted by Youtubers Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters has picked Contemporary fiction as their theme for May!

Contemporary fiction is generally considered to be a real world setting with no fantasy or paranormal elements that takes place after World War II. It includes a variety of cross/sub-genres, such as:
-Romance
-Coming of Age
-Mystery
-Horror
-Humor
-Literary fiction

Here are my favourite Contemporary fiction novels:

small-great-things-hc-400w

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads Blurb:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?”

 

Click here to read my review of Small Great Things

truly-madly-guilty

 

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

“Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Click here for my review of Truly Madly Guilty

Fighting for Tara

 

Fighting For Tara by Sunanda J. Chatterlee

“Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth?

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.”

Click here for my review of Fighting For Tara

Tranquility.jpg

 

Tranquility by Laurie Gardiner

Sometimes there’s a price to pay for doing the right thing.

Support worker Sarah Scott learns this the hard way when, soon after being transferred to Tranquility’s dementia unit, she uncovers a sinister secret. Doing the right thing could mean losing her job, and unemployment is not an option for the young, single mom.

Meanwhile, Sarah begins to question whether her newest resident, Edie, belongs in the nursing home’s locked unit. The feisty, Scottish woman certainly doesn’t act as though she has dementia. Sarah is determined to have her released, but her plans may be thwarted when Edie risks her own freedom to help uncover the secret. ”

Gone Girl

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Click here to read my review of Gone Girl

Secret Daughter.jpg

 

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be — she’s newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco — until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children.

The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.

Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.

Compulsively readable and deeply touching, SECRET DAUGHTER is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.”

Left Neglected.jpg

 

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

“Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children – Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt.

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future.

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny – her new, true life – may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.”

A SEcret Kept.jpg

 

A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island–over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way.

By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.”

STill Alice.jpg

 

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest’s Ordinary People. “

The Goodreads Tag #BookTag

The Goodreads Booktag

I watched Peter Monn’s Youtube video doing this tag (his video is below).

I tag anyone who would like to do this tag – link yours in the comments! 🙂

Add me on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/amandadroverhartwick

Questions are below to easily copy/paste.

1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Turning

Turning by Jessica J. Lee

“Through the heat of summer to the frozen depths of winter, Lee traces her journey swimming through 52 lakes in a single year, swimming through fear and heartbreak to find her place in the world.”

At the age of 28, Jessica Lee–Canadian, Chinese, and British–finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is ostensibly there to write a thesis. And although that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.

Expected Publication Date: May 4th, 2017

2. What are you currently reading?

man-gone-down

Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas

In May 2014 I started reading this book, but stopped at page 246. This January 2017 I decided that one of my goals for this year was to start from the beginning and actually finish it. I’m on page 195. *hangs head in shame* I really need to pick this up again. Perhaps if i just focus on reading one chapter at a time I can get through it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Child

 

I started reading The Only Child by Andrew Pyper on April 8th, and am 47% done. LOVING this one so far.

Expected Publication Date: May 23rd, 2017

The publisher kindly sent me a complimentary copy for review.

 

 

 

 

 

3. What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?

Harry Potter The Prequel

 

The Harry Potter Prequel is an 800-word story written by J. K. Rowling, and was published online on June 11th, 2008. Set three years before the birth of Harry Potter, the story recounts an adventure had by Sirius Black and James Potter.

 

 

 

 

 

4. What book do you plan to read next?

Dragon Teeth

 

Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do you use the star rating system?

Yes, but I have a really hard time deciding what to rate a book.

6. Are you doing a 2014 Reading Challenge?

I’m doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017 and I’m also doing a few more challenges on Goodreads:

Let’s Turn Pages Challenge

A to Z Challenge (Location Edition)

Dewey Decimal Nonfiction Challenge

7. Do you have a wishlist?

Not really. I have some books in my cart at Chapters website, Amazon.ca website, Bookoutlet.ca, and a TBR. But not an official “wishlist”.

8. What book do you plan to buy next?

Hmmm…I’m slowly buying all the books in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I’m also keeping an eye out for Stephen King books. I want to read the unread books on my shelf before buying more. (hopefully, haha!)

9. Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Unless you have been very, very lucky, you have undoubtedly experienced events in your life that have made you cry. So unless you have been very, very lucky, you know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.” ― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”
Stephen King

“Sometimes, making the wrong choice is better than making no choice. You have the courage to go forward, that is rare. A person who stands at the fork, unable to pick, will never get anywhere.”
Terry Goodkind, Wizard’s First Rule

10. Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen King

Robert Jordan

Marissa Meyer

Veronica Roth

J.K. Rowling

Ransom Riggs

Sandra Gulland

William Shakespeare

J. R. R. Tolkien

Lisa Genova

George R. R. Martin

11. Have you joined any groups?

2017 Reading Challenge

ReadingRealm ReadAlong

County of L&A Libraries – Online Book Club

Monthly Recommendations

BooktubeSFF Awards

Fiction Writing

The Book Bound Society

 

THE QUESTIONS:
1. What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?
2. What are you currently reading?
3. What was the last book you marked as ‘TBR’?
4. What book do you plan to read next?
5. Do you use the star rating system?
6. Are you doing a 2014 Reading Challenge?
7. Do you have a wishlist?
8. What book do you plan to buy next?
9. Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few?
10. Who are your favorite authors?
11. Have you joined any groups?

Spring Reading #BookTag

I tag anyone who would like to completely this booktag! Be sure to link yours in the comments 🙂

 

1. What books are you most excited to read over the next few months?

The Only Child

 

I’m currently reading The Only Child by Andrew Pyper and loving it. The publisher kindly sent me an Advanced Reader Copy to review. Expected publication is May 23rd, 2017.

The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist radically reimagines the origins of gothic literature’s founding masterpieces—Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula—in a contemporary novel driven by relentless suspense and surprising emotion. This is the story of a man who may be the world’s one real-life monster, and the only woman who has a chance of finding him.

Dragon Teeth

 

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton was another e-book sent to me by the publisher for review. I’ll be reading this after The Only Child. Expected publication date is June 1st, 2017

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

A Tapestry of Tears

 

After Dragon Teeth I’ll be reading A Tapestry of Tears by Gita V. Reddy.

Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

 

2. What book most makes you think of Spring, for whatever reason?

The Hobbit

 

Bilbo sets off on a great adventure in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, going through incredible changes leading him to become an unlikely hero.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rosie Project.jpg

 

 

No idea why, but The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion reminds me of Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The days are getting longer – what is the longest book you’ve read?

Lord of Chaos

 

Lord of Chaos (Book 6 of The Wheel of Time) written by Robert Jordan. 1011 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. What books would you recommend to brighten someone’s day?

momswhodrinkandswear

 

Moms Who Drink and Swear by Nicole Knepper is hilarious! Highly recommend this read 🙂

 

 

 

 

5. Spring brings new life in nature – think up a book that doesn’t exist but you wish it did. (eg by a favourite author, on a certain theme or issue etc)

Harry Potter The Prequel

 

J.K. Rowling did write an 800 word Harry Potter prequel, but I selfishly want more LOL A whole book, or shall I be so bold as to ask for a trilogy about Harry’s parents growing up as children attending Hogwarts, then becoming adults, leading up to the first Harry Potter book?

 

 

 

 

6. Spring is also a time of growth – how has your reading changed over the years?

As a young child and teen I basically only read fiction and school-required books. While attending University I read only fantasy and required reading for school. Now, in my mid-thirties, I read many different genres, and this past year has been my best reading year since I was thirteen years old.

7. We’re a couple of months into the new year – how’s your reading going?

Since January I have read 23 books, which is already more than the number of books I read ALL of last year. 🙂

8. Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

Well, now that I’ve been reading a lot more the past six months I’ve decided to get back to writing two stories that I’ve been working on for awhile. I’m hoping to finish them this year, and look into getting published.

My “To be read” list is getting completely out of hand. Once I finish all the books that I received to review, I will be reading all of the books on my bookshelf that haven’t been read yet, then tackling all the unread books on my KOBO before I delve into my TBR list. That’s the plan HAHA!

 

Tag questions:
1. What books are you most excited to read over the next few months?
2. What book most makes you think of Spring, for whatever reason?
3. The days are getting longer – what is the longest book you’ve read?
4. What books would you recommend to brighten someone’s day?
5. Spring brings new life in nature – think up a book that doesn’t exist but you wish it did. (eg by a favourite author, on a certain theme or issue etc)
6. Spring is also a time of growth – how has your reading changed over the years?
7. We’re a couple of months into the new year – how’s your reading going?
8. Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

The Coffee Booktag

coffee-563797__340

I found this book tag on Bookerly’s Youtube Channel and thought it would make an interesting blog post 😉  Book tags are a fun thing where we categorize books based on creative questions or topics.
Questions 1. Black- name a series that is tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

girl-on-the-train

I know there are thousands of people who loved this book, but I’m not one of them. I gave it 3 stars, it was OKAY, but just not amazing for me.
Question 2. Peppermint Mocha- name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

Lunar Chronicles

I’m going to go with The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I don’t know why, I just feel like they are a great Winter series to read, plus one of them is called “Winter”. Cinder was published first, but there are a couple prequels coming out soon. I have read Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and Stars Above but haven’t read some of the others.
Question 3. Hot Chocolate- what is your favorite children’s book?

Charlotte's Web

It was the first chapter book I read, and I have re-read it I don’t know how many times. Absolutely love this one ♥

Question 4. Double shot of espresso- name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

truly-madly-guilty

I read this pretty quickly, I was on the edge of my seat, heart pounding – I needed to know what happened at the BBQ!! LOL
Question 5. Starbucks- name a book you see everywhere.

Furthermore

I see it at stores, Booktubers talking about it. A great Middle Grade read.
Question 6. That hipster coffee shop- give a book by an indie author a shout out.

Motherhood by Lindsey Williams

Gotta go with my girl Lindsey! ♥
Question 7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf- name a book you were expecting more from.

Poisonwood Bible

Average rating on Goodreads 4.02, over 550,000 people rated it…but I gave it 2 stars.
Question 8. The perfect blend- name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

small-great-things-hc-400w

Some gut-wrenching, heart-squishing parts…but adorable parts…full range of emotion reading this one.

If you do this booktag post the link in the comments below! 🙂

Here are the questions in case you’d like to copy/paste:
1. Black- name a series that is tough to get into but has hardcore fans.
2. Peppermint Mocha- name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.
3. Hot Chocolate- what is your favorite children’s book?
4. Double shot of espresso- name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
5. Starbucks- name a book you see everywhere.
6. That hipster coffee shop- give a book by an indie author a shout out.
7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf- name a book you were expecting more from.
8. The perfect blend- name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

Spoiler-Free Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – MUST READ

small-great-things-hc-400w.jpg

It’s been a long time since I read a book that impacted me as much as Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE 14 years old +. I teared up while reading every single chapter. I had two good cries in the tub after a few chapters. This story will affect you no matter what age or what race you are.

In case you’ve never heard of Jodi Picoult before, she is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of twenty-five novels.

Here is a little bit of the book blurb on cover: “Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case…”

The story is separated into five parts:
1. Stage One, Early Labor: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” Benjamin Franklin

2. Stage One, Active Labor: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin

3. Stage One, Transition: “The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.” Maria Cristina Mena

4. Stage Two, Pushing: “She wanted to get at the hate of them all, to pry at it and work at it until she found a little chink, and then pull out a pebble or a stone or a brick and then part of the wall, and, once started, the whole edifice might roar down and be done away with.” Ray Bradbury

5. Stage Three, Afterbirth (six years later): “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” Nelson Mandela

The story begins from Ruth’s perspective as a child, spending a snow day with her mom at her job as a cleaning lady for a rich white family, the Hallowells. Ruth witnesses her mother helping Ms. Mina give birth to her baby early, at home, and Ruth grows up to become a labor and delivery nurse.

“On the day before classes were supposed to start, Mama took me out to dinner. “You’re destined to do small great things,” she told me. “Just like Dr. King said.” She was referring to one of her favorite quotes: If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

We also get to hear the story from Turk’s perspective, the white supremacist father of baby Davis who dies. I have to admit, I hated Turk from the get-go, but as the story went on, I got to learn more about his past, his mindset, his motivations, and wondered…if he could learn to hate, could he learn to love?

The public defender assigned to Ruth’s case, Kennedy McQuarrie was the perspective of the white person who thinks they aren’t racist, but find out the small things they do and say are actually racist. She may not be a jerk like Turk (I found it funny that his name rhymed with jerk), but she, like myself and many other white people, tend to ignore instances where an African American is treated unfairly. If we do not stand up, if we are not outraged, we are making it more acceptable and we are part of the problem.

One of my favorite quotes in Small Great Things is, “Pride is an evil dragon; it sleeps underneath your heart and then roars when you need silence.”

This story helped me let go of my pride so that I could better understand my own ignorance. It has opened my eyes to realize I must do a better job standing up for everyone’s rights, no matter what color we are.

READ THIS BOOK. Absolutely a 5 star read for me. I feel like this book belongs in every high school library, and part of the curriculum. SUCH an important read – make time for this one!