Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jump Jump

Something new and fun just arrived in our backyard.  And by just arrived I mean Matt spent pretty much an entire day putting it together!

I am looking forward to lots of this...

And definitely lots of this....

Check out Ella's smile!  Without a doubt we'll have lots of those...

I know I will have fun taking all sorts of cool jumping pictures - it is harder than you think for the inexperienced photographer....

The kids are already having a wonderful time jumping, being silly and burning off energy. 
The big kids seem to like it too!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Fault in Our Stars

I was given a copy of A Fault in Our Stars to review as part of BlogHer's Book Review.  I jumped at the chance to review it because a friend had just raved over it and I was excited to check it out.

I'm not ashamed to admit I read a good bit of Young Adult fiction.  There are a lot of good books out there that have main characters who are considered" young adults" and there is something about that pivotal time in one's life that really draws me in.  This book is definitely not your typical YA novel.  It was not your typical girl struggling with her identity meets boy who is different and challenges her to think outside the box and live life differently.  In one way that could be a vague description of the plot but the specifics are what make it so unique and also emotional.

The main character of this book is not your average teenage girl.  Meet Hazel, diagnosed with stage IV thyroid cancer at the age of thirteen and was pronounced terminal.  After a horrific near brush with death she was entered into an experimental drug trial that shrunk her tumors and bought her extra time.  The book begins when Hazel is almost 18, out of school the past three years because she is terminal, never knowing how much time she has left, living life to the bare minimum solely to keep her parents happy.

I know, I know.  You're not running out to pick it up right?!  But stick with me here, I promise you'll be glad you did.

Hazel meets Augustine, and 18 year old cancer survivor, at her cancer support group, which she grudgingly attends to give her parents some allusion of a social life, and her life beings to change.

You get to watch their relationship grow and Hazel begins to feel comfortable being herself and being known but yet also struggle with the realities of her own diagnosis and how that will affect her relationships.  Hazel and "Gus" have a rather unusual and intense relationship which makes sense given their shared experiences with cancer.  But they are still at the core a boy and a girl who are falling in love.

I don't know if I can adequately describe this book in a way that will make you want to read it, but I want you to trust me!  As a parent it was pretty emotional to read.  Most books you read that deal with this type of illness are from the perspective of the adult towards their child.  Hazel's worry about her parents and what their life will be like after she dies is rather heart wrenching.  She often does things that they think will help her, i.e., support group, only because she wants them to worry less.

Yes you will cry.  But you will find also yourself laughing at their callousness towards their cancer and the sparks of humor that are present regardless of the difficulties in the bigger picture.

I think this would be a great book club read as well as just a good read for adults and young adults alike.  Whether you relate more to Hazel, her parents, or both you'll be glad you took the plunge.

Head on over to BlogHer's Book club and check out the discussion going on about this book.  You'll learn more about the author and his writing as well as hear what others thought about it.

Just a note that I was paid for the book and the review but the opinions expressed are completely my own!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails