AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, Read in 2009, READING CHALLENGES 2008

REVIEW: Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker

Dancing with Ana
by Nicole Barker

Copyright: 2009
Pages: 170
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: Aug. 3, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge; A Well-Rounded Challenge; Countdown Challenge
Yearly Count: 39

First Line: “Christine McCady’s hair is especially shiny today,” Jenny told the three girls sitting with her at the lunch table.

Four sixteen-year-old friends, Beth, Jenny, Rachel and Melanie are struggling to find out who they are as young women. And they’re also struggling with the fact that there’s always going to be someone skinnier, someone prettier, someone with better hair, the list can go on and on. But for Beth, life is going especially tough for her and she hasn’t even really realized it yet. Her father has left their family for a younger woman, she’s falling in love with her best friend, and she is determined to get down to her “target” weight of 110 pounds. She’s so determined that she has enlisted the help of her closest friends to diet together. But their diets are dangerous – they’re hardly eating. The horrible headaches and dizziness finally makes Beth’s friends realize that they have no business dieting like they’re doing. But Beth is determined. However, when she hits 110 pounds, she realizes that she’s not as happy as she had expected to be. In fact, she’s actually even more depressed. But as she keeps going, her friends and new boyfriend are finally able to step in and help her realize that she doesn’t need to do all this dieting in order to be pretty and happy.

I’m going to include a small selection from page 164 that really highlights what has been going on with Beth. The first girl talking in this blurb is Christine, McCady, the most popular girl in school.

She paused at the door. “By the way, love what you’ve done with yourself. Ten more pounds and you’ll be super hot!”

And she was gone.

Beth looked at herself in the mirror, and for the first time, saw the dark smudges under her eyes. Her hair hung loose, laying flat against her head. Her skin was very pale. Hesitantly, she lifted her oversized t-shirt, exposing her stomach. All of her ribs showed, and her stomach was sunken in. For the first time, she saw how frail her arms looked.

She also finally saw how she’d chosen to deal with her father’s abandonment … by destroying herself.

I was contacted directly by the author, Nicole Barker, to read and review this book. I received it in the mail yesterday and sat down with it last night and read it in one sitting. It was that good. I could really relate with Beth’s character; I was a milder version of her my junior year in high school. Barker’s descriptions of the new love that all four of the girls finally began to experience reminded me of those first few months of young love with my husband when we were in high school. I find it kind of ironic that at the age of 24 I find myself enjoying YA reads, whereas when I was 15 or 16 and should have read a book like this I wanted no part of them. I honestly believe that women of all ages could really relate to the girls in this story, I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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Meme, Musing Mondays

Monday Musings – Aug. 3, 2009

Musing Mondays (BIG)

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is a library habits meme…

This week we have a library meme courtesy of MizB:

Library Habits meme:
1) If you don’t frequent your local library, why not?
N/A
2) If you do visit the library, how often do you go? Well, I don’t really have a set schedule of when I go to the library. If it’s not when I get a notice that a book on hold has become available for me or if I have something to return, it’s usually pretty random when I decide to head to the library.
3) Do you have a favorite section that you always head to first, or do you just randomly peruse the shelves? Um, most of the time I am there with a list of books to get. However, I always browse the stuff up front that they randomly place there to attract readers first. Then I will browse through the fiction area, then hit the mystery area, then sometimes I’ll take a stroll through the biographies then the true crime and finally the cookbooks before heading out. Now this is when I really want to browse the stacks … normally I have a list and I just go straight to what I’m looking for.
4) How many books are you allowed to check out at one time? Do you take advantage of this?
At our library we can have 20 items checked out at one time; I have never had this many checked out (although when I was in college my senior year writing a huge paper I kid you not, I had 50 books checked out from the universities library … there was no limit there!) but when I go to the library, I usually pick up 2-3 books. I don’t like to pick up a whole lot of different stuff because I have a bad habit of returning books un-read!
5) How long are you allowed to have the books checked out? Three weeks unless there’s a hold on that particular book, and then it’s two weeks.
6) How many times are you allowed to renew your check-outs, if at all? If there’s no hold on the book, I think we have two renewals.
7) What do you love best about your particular library? Well, I don’t really know. Recently I’ve really been taking advantage of hold option online for books that have a waiting list.
8) What is one thing you wish your library did differently? Um, to be honest … I’d really like to know why certain books that I would consider mystery are in the fiction section and not the mystery section and then others are in the mystery when I would put them in the fiction …. I’m not sure I understand their system.
9) Do you request your books via an online catalogue, or through the librarian at your branch? Well, if something has a wait list, I always use the online catalog.
10) Have you ever chosen a book on impulse (from the online catalogue OR the shelves) and had it turn out to be totally amazing? If so, what book was it, and why did you love it? Hm … to be honest, Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain was like that for me. I happened to notice it on the shelf one day and I picked it up on impulse. I hadn’t cared much for Heart Sick and wasn’t sure I wanted to give this one a try, but I ended up absolutely loving it and was very pleased that I picked it up at the library, because I definitely would not have used a PBS credit on it based on my opinion of Heart Sick.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is a library habits meme…

This week we have a library meme courtesy of MizB:

Library Habits meme:
1) If you don’t frequent your local library, why not?
2) If you do visit the library, how often do you go?
3) Do you have a favorite section that you always head to first, or do you just randomly peruse the shelves?
4) How many books are you allowed to check out at one time? Do you take advantage of this?
5) How long are you allowed to have the books checked out?
6) How many times are you allowed to renew your check-outs, if at all?
7) What do you love best about your particular library?
8) What is one thing you wish your library did differently?
9) Do you request your books via an online catalogue, or through the librarian at your branch?
10) Have you ever chosen a book on impulse (from the online catalogue OR the shelves) and had it turn out to be totally amazing? If so, what book was it, and why did you love it?