Friday, November 25, 2011

A Book and a Conference

So before I talk about the book I just finished, Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, I thought I would inform you all of a little conference that I went to on Monday and Tuesday in Chicago called ALAN, or the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents. This conference was awesome. First of all, we attended a cocktail party on Sunday night, where a whole bunch of authors and publishers were milling about, which, for a book nerd like me, was so cool! I also got to talk to John Green there, granted it wasn't for very long, but it was well worth it. Then on Monday, when we checked in for the actual conference itself, we were given this box off books. And when we walked into the conference room, we were given more books! Let's just say that I was in heaven. After receiving all of these wonderful books, the rest of the day was spent listening to authors and publishers talk about various topics that had to do with Young Adult literature, kind of how it has been viewed in the past, how it's viewed today, and where it's going in the future. In addition to hearing all of these authors speak, we were also able to get the books we had signed by them, which was really cool too. And also where I got to talk to John Green for the second time in two days. :) I think it's safe to say that I had a really great time at this conference. It was definitely one of the highlights of my semester.

In all this travel to and from Chicago, I had some time to read. So, naturally, I finished a whole book. Sing You Home follows the life of Zoe Baxter, a music therapist who has tried for years to have a baby, but this last try has left her with a miscarriage and deflated hope. After her husband divorces her, she throws herself into her music, falling into an unexpected friendship that turns into love. When she tries to obtain what she has wanted for so long, a child of her own, she finds that she is blocked the person that she used to love most in this world. Dealing with issues from infertility to gay rights, Sing You Home will definitely take you on a wild ride that is worth the thrill.

I started reading this book not really knowing what it was about. I was mainly reading it because I really like Jodi Picoult's books (minus one, The Tenth Circle. I couldn't stand the main character in that one). While this one wasn't my favorite of hers (Nineteen Minutes still holds that spot), it was still a good read. What I love about Jodi Picoult is that she tackles difficult problems in her books, but instead of them feeling fake or fictionalized, they feel real. You can tell that she did her research on them, that she did the work to make sure the stories that she creates are real. While her books are usually pretty long, it doesn't really take much time at all to get through them. That's what I liked about this book. I cared so much about what happened to Zoe that I kept reading to the end. And Picoult kept it suspenseful, and even added a plot twist in there. She is known for those, adding twists that readers don't see coming. I think that's the thing that keeps me reading her novels. I always think I have it figured out, but she always ends up surprising me in the end anyway. Authors that can do that are spectacular in my mind. I hope that I can do that someday with the novel that I write. And yes, I will write a novel worth publishing someday. I've decided to make that one of my life goals.

I'd have to say the only thing that really bothered me about Sing You Home was the amount of problems that Jodi Picoult tried to tackle. It seemed like it was just one thing after another, and while she made it almost believable, I'm not sure if someone could possibly survive all that hardship in their life. But it is just a book, and she may have written it to make a point. I'm not sure. I think that's the only complaint I really had with the book. Otherwise I would highly recommend. it. :)

So what am I reading next? The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson. I'm very excited to read this book, and copy I have to read is actually from the UK, which is quite interesting. Someone donated it to the thrift store I work at, and my sister bought it because she wanted to read it. I think it's cool that we have the UK edition. Anyway, until next time. Happy reading!


  1. "My sister bought it because she didn't want to read it." (say what?)

    Anyway, I read Sing You Home not too long ago. It was awesome!

  2. Haha typo, thanks for pointing that out! I fixed it :)