Morsels {8}: The Summer I Learned to Fly and A Love By Any Measure

Publication Date: July 12th, 2011
Wendy Lamb Books
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
Drew’s a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad’s Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom’s cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It’s the summer before eighth grade and Drew’s days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he’s there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life.

Birdie has her summer perfectly planned out:

Work at mom’s cheese shop. Check.

Continue to ogle and sigh over Nick. Check.

Everything was at it was supposed to be…until Emmett Crane came into her life.

I’m not a big MG reader; I always think that I won’t be able to relate with the characters because I’m old enough to be their mother. This book took me by surprise. It was refreshing to read something that did not involve much of the teenage angst that I’ve been reading lately. Trust me, this book still made me choke up but I think it had something to do with Emmett’s belief of a myth which would provide his family the miracle that they needed.

This story was endearing, sad and hopeful. It dealt with a teenage girl’s way of learning about a father who was gone too soon and a teenage boy’s quest to help a sick younger brother.

Diana Reinhardt wrote some incredibly real characters with genuine voices. However, I found Emmett’s quest to be unrealistic and in the end, anti-climactic.  Perhaps Ms. Reinhardt captured the innocence of youth too well; to have heard of the myth so many times that he actually believed it.

This book has that unresolved ending which bugs me. As a reader, I find that vagueness does not really equate to good storytelling. I still enjoyed this book, however.

Publication Date: November 8th, 2011
Tulipe Noir Press
Format: Paperback, 344 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
An Irish lass. An English lord.
A love that overcomes all boundaries, but at what cost?
Lord August Grayson, English landlord, has secretly, and much to the dismay of his father, held in reverence the object of his first fancy: poor Irish tenant Maeve O’Connor. Returning to the Ireland for the first time since his youth, August discovers that Maeve has grown into a woman of beauty and tenacity. August understands, however, that he could offer Maeve nothing but shame if her pursued her. But when circumstances allow him an opportunity to indulge his fancy, even if only in a limited scope, August finds himself unable to resist the temptation.
Maeve,for her part, knows the danger falling for August holds, but finds her heart and her good senses becoming confused the longer she spends in his company. As two hearts become hopelessly entangled, both Maeve and August are forced to question the costs of their love. As consequences of their romance manifest, both struggle with the pain and difficulties their love causes, both for them and for their loved ones.
I read this book practically in one sitting. I never thought I’d enjoy a historical romance but this just hit the spot…and boy was this book steamy! The tension between the characters at the beginning was possibly hotter than the actual ‘deed’ itself. I’m not really a big fan of – you know, “adult themes” but I have no qualms admitting that this one was – wowza!

The author did a wonderful job with the dialogues and setting of this novel. But I have to admit that I had problems with the time jumping. It confused me at times but it wasn’t a big deal once I got the hang of it. I was looking for that seamless transition but it wasn’t that difficult to follow.

While I may not be an expert in the love and hate relationship between the English and Irish, I thought that Killian did an awesome job of making the history credible anyway.  The language as well, rang of authenticity.

All in all, this book was a surprising fantastic read!

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