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ipsofecteau has commented on (2) products.

Emily of Deep Valley: A Deep Valley Book (P.S.) by Maud Hart Lovelace
Emily of Deep Valley: A Deep Valley Book (P.S.)

ipsofecteau, September 21, 2010

I have been a fan of Maud Hart Lovelace since I was a kid. Her characters are so realistic and their lives are lives I would want to live. EMILY OF DEEP VALLEY never really did it for me as a kid, though. First of all, not enough Betsy. (If you don't know what I am talking about please go start with BETSY TACY and read the series. Go ahead, I'll wait.) Although Betsy made an appearance, this book belongs to Emily. And Emily has no loving parents, no big sister to teach her how to navigate her social life. Just an elderly grandfather, a flighty cousin (who ditches her for college right out of the gate) and a crush who is (obviously to everyone but Emily) a giant tool.
But reading Emily now, I appreciate the depth so much more. Emily finds herself in a difficult situation (she has graduated high school and instead of going to college as she desires she is caring for an elderly relative) but she pulls herself right out.
Emily is far more modern that the other Lovelace books in that it touches on immigration, social issues, neighborhood activism and intellectual life. Lest I make it sound dull, tt also has some very funny bits and a realistic and lovely romantic element.
There are parts of this book where you will laugh out loud, parts where you will squee with happiness and parts where you will mutter, "Oh no, Emily, don't do that!" Because Emily is going to be your friend and you have to give her advice, empathize with her pain and share her joy when she triumphs.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #01) by M. T. Anderson
The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #01)

ipsofecteau, September 23, 2006

Reading this book is like seeing a flickering image made of light at a distance and approaching it to find that is in fact made of iron. The flowry language and academic tone seem to distance the reader from Octavian at the beginning of the book. But as it continues, he becomes more and more real until the end when you realize that he is as alive to you as anyone you have ever met.

The other characters and voices in the book are distinct and fascinating. Octavian's mother and Mr Sharp in particular tell truths that make the reader (at least this reader) lay down the book and stare into space.

This is a brilliant combination of history, scientific inquiry, twisted family dynamics and gripping storytelling.
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(62 of 86 readers found this comment helpful)

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