Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dream a Little Dream of Me: Hugo and Rose by Bridget Foley

When she was six years old, Rose received a bicycle for her birthday. One summer
day, a few months later, her father takes her out to teach her to ride. He runs along side her encouraging her until she is pedaling on her own... though once she realizes her dad has let go she flips over and cracks her head.
As she lies in a coma in the hospital she finds herself on an island, an island with pink sand and beautiful, clear water and... a boy. A boy a little older than her with chocolate brown eyes and sandy hair. A boy who smelled of caramel. The boy says to her "It's about time you got here". This boy is Hugo.
Together he and Rose have adventures on this wonderful island, fighting giant spiders and sailing in the Plank Orb and forever trying to get to Castle City where everyone else was supposed to be.
From the moment Rose wakes up and comes back to her parents, she will never again dream of anything other than her brave and beautiful and heroic Hugo. And the island. And her best self. The brave and beautiful and heroic Rose she is in her dreams.
Daily life goes on, though, and Rose meets and falls in love with and marries Josh who will become a surgeon and they will have three children who want more, more, more of the adventures of Hugo and Rose. They will invent games based on their mother's dreams and pretend to be them when playing.
Rose should be content, but the physical self of the real world makes her long for the strong and able Rose of her dreams. The Rose who is still young and beautiful. She is filled with doubts and insecurities and forever running kids to play dates here or there and once, when there was a rained out soccer game and the line to the MacDonald's was too long, Rose looks for another drive-thru and finds a place called Orange Tastee. It looks like any other third rate fast food place but it is here where Rose's life is about to change.
 Bridget Foley's Hugo & Rose is a book so beautifully imagined and visual you'll find yourself longing for the island. It's a love story on many levels... but the connection between Hugo and Rose is the one that will haunt you even after the last page is turned. One of my favorite books of this year... or any! Highly recommended!
The catchy, classic song "Downtown" is referred to in Hugo & Rose (thanks Youtube!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Days of Future Passed: The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

I just finished a book (thank you Edelweiss!) that is so riveting and bonesse and if you have not spoken that word, before, believe me, that after you finish the amazing Country of Ice Cream Star  by Sandra Newman... you will find yourself adding words to your vocabulary from its inventive language that seem so real and so perfectly descriptive and lyrical they are almost Shakespearean.
Ice Cream Star is 15. She and her brother Driver and the other Sengles, their nomadic group, live and hunt and love and war in a future that is over-shadowed by an AIDs like illness that kills you before you reach 20. A lot of life is packed into those years for these survivors of a past plague that killed off a good part of the planet including most Caucasians. Driver, who is also the sergeant of the Sengles, is 18. He has been taken with posies, their word for the illness that is a death sentence for any who become infected.
The Sengles scavange the wasteland of the former USA, pillaging ruined homes and developments for food and anything else they come across that might be useful. Often they find the long dead bodies (or sleepers) of the former tenants. It is on one of these expeditions they discover a Roo, a man of a white race they manage to capture. Who this captive is and how he affects Ice Cream Star and her people will be revealed... but not by the Recommender!
Ice Cream Star is such a brave, thoughtful, resourceful and just smart young woman that you would follow her anywhere, and you will, in her journey through this addictive book.  I knew nothing about this story before I was approved for the DRC so I think the less you know about something so surprising and wonderful and with such a bellesse and vally heroine the better. This just might be my favorite book of 2015 and... word is, there is a follow-up in the future! In MY future, as well!

* After you've read the book, here is a link from Ms. Newman's blog with an edited out scene: Of My Horse Money