I am currently reading: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, but I will speak on that in a bit. I wanted to get my thoughts about the other two books I've read first as well as post some answers to Mini-Challenges for a chance to win some fun stuff.
1. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Perfect Chemistry was recommended by several book bloggers on account of it being a fun, fast read. It is young adult fiction, I believe, with the setting based in high school. I found that I greatly enjoyed it. It was a very fast read, and I read it all in one night. I stayed up until 3:30 am just because I wanted to finish. The summery about the novel speaks about it being centered around a modern age star-crossed lovers type story. Though I would agree with this description, my first thought is the breakdown of high-school stereotypes. The novel's main characters include the beautiful, popular, wealthy Brittany and the Hispanic, bad-boy, unwealthy Alex. Both live with the stereotypical image to maintain, though neither fit the images created in their high school. Though the plot is mostly predictable, boy-meets-girl idea, it is a fun read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys young adult fiction. On a personal note, I was pleasantly surprised by the author's handling of sex. Being an adult now, I seem to see a varied opinion on sex in high school, and how young adult writers handle the topic has been of interest to me. Though she does not preach a "waiting" stance, she handles the concept appropriately with the characters not taking it lightly or sleeping around. I was watching a TV show that handled the idea completely differently, and I was surprised to see young girls, ages 12 and 14, see the concept of sex and nothing to think about, no big deal. I just think that it is important for role models and creators of role models (in this case, authors) to remember how they influence young people who do not have a good sense of the world. I thought Elkeles handled it well. Those are my two cents. But in all, I really enjoyed this young adult fiction novel. It was a delightful read, with the characters mostly realistic and enjoyable. It was a great summer read and perfect for a read-a-thon.
2. Critical Care by Candance Calvert
Critical Care was the first novel I have ever read by Calvert. I had never heard of her, but I read her book on a recommendation from Amazon, as they were having a freebie sale on her novel. I also enjoyed this novel as well. It is a Christian fiction book about an RN recovering from a tragedy of working in the ER when her brother (a firefighter) dies. As an RN myself, I have to say that this was the first from many novels (and TV shows for that matter) about medical issues that I enjoyed. Having a nurses education makes me a cynic when it comes to medical dramas, because my eyes automatically catch the mistakes. I cannot focus on the story because I am too busy saying to myself, "Well, THAT'S not what really happens." "Yeah right, doctors NEVER do that." But this novel was fairly accurate when it came to medicine, so I had time to enjoy the storyline. Though predictable, the story was a fun read that did deal with difficult issues. I thought the author handled death, dying, and stress issues very well, both with making them apparent but not the center of the novel. Having spent a semester in a Pediatric ED, I have seen the stressors on the employees who deal with death everyday. I agree with the general message of the novel both on a personal and general level. Those who work in such a field that deals with the life-and-death issues need to have a way to deal with them. Because the novel was a Christian fiction, the focus is on a faith centered orientation. On a personal level, I understand that it is important to deal with those issues, and one way is to know that Someone greater is in control. And that I can work my hardest and do my best, but at the end of the day, it is His decision. From a general perspective, some type of stress relief in all walks of life is important.
And on a different note (not on that tangent), I will summarize that this novel was again, a good summer read, perfect for a read-a-thon. It was a quick read, and again, I stayed up later than I should have trying to finish it. I only had one major pet-peeve with the writing. You can tell from the writing that this novel is meant for a series, because there were several other characters with problems other than the main ones and several parts of the novel were focused around those. I would say that, personally, there were too many perspectives brought in. I would have enjoyed it a little more if less of the story was told from the different characters. Instead, I would have written it by presenting the background stories through conversations and observations of others instead of basing several pages developing the other characters through their perspectives.
Currently reading: Brave New World
I have to say that i have been enjoying this novel, though it has been a different type of enjoyment. I'm not sure I completely understand it. It is definitely different from the fun, summer-reads that I have been reading. But I am excited to find out how it will finish. According to my kindle, I am 55% in the novel. I am enjoying Huxley's writing, as it is different from the direct, well-written approach. Instead of directly describing everything, the writing is sometimes vague, sometimes interwoven, but at the end of the page, very well-written. I can understand why it is a classic. It reminds me of Fahrenheit-451 and other futuristic novels, as I am sure it is supposed to. I have read some reviews of Brave New World that put it in the same class as 1984, so that may be next on my classics list. Nothing like an endless TBR list.