Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult: A Review

Fair warning, this post has spoilers for Leaving Time, written by Jodi Picoult! 

I checked off my first April goal this past weekend when I finished Leaving Time. 

From AmazonFor more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers. 
As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.

I enjoyed parts of this book more than others. 
My heart broke for the elephants who suffered both in the wild and in captivity,
 especially after hearing Jodi speak about her time in Africa preparing for this book.  I liked reading about the lengths that 13-year-old Jenna went to to try to find her mom. I was so engrossed in her mother's story. Did Thomas's mental illness lead him to murder his wife? Did the elephants just lose it? I was on the edge of my seat until the book's climax.

As for the ending... I hate spending so much time with a book/movie/show only to realize at the end that everyone was already dead. (The ending of Lost drove me absolutely insane.) It just makes the whole experience feel like a waste of my time. The fact that Jenna and Virgil were dead the whole time seemed to come out of no where, but not in a positive way. The book spent almost 400 pages building to the events that happened on the night that Jenna's mother disappeared, but this was then rushed through and overshadowed by, "Surprise! Everyone's already dead!" It's not that I don't like books about the supernatural, I just prefer to know what I'm getting into. To me, this book was more about elephants' grief and how it parallels and differs from humans' than spirits walking among us, and I felt like this twist really took away from the rest of the story. 

Have you read Leaving Time? What were your thoughts on the ending? 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Dash Dolls: I'm Sorry, What?

The Kardashians are getting another show. ANOTHER SHOW. 

When I saw this post on Instagram, I wasn't the least bit surprised. Kourney and [insert sister] Take [insert exciting, new city], Khloe and Lamar, Kim's Fairytale Wedding, and Bruce Jenner's upcoming docuseries have shown us that if there is a possibility for the Kardashians to make a spinoff reality show, they will. 

Don't get me wrong - I keep up with the Kardashians hard. I love a good binge watch, and I was ecstatic that so many seasons have recently been put on Hulu. But that's the thing - I keep up with the Kardashians. I like their family drama, their sarcasm, and I daydream about living their extravagant lifestyle. Malika is fine I guess, but seeing her on KUWTK doesn't make me want to watch her on her own. I see Dash Dolls being a lot like Vanderpump Rules, but even more dramatic because it will be an entirely female cast. 

I just don't have the capacity to care about more reality stars. I can't. I'm just so tired. Plus, why would I want to watch a Kardashian show without the possibility of quips from Lord Disick? 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Goals

Seriously, where has the first quarter of this year gone? I feel like time has really gotten away from me, and that I haven't really done anything yet in 2015. I know this is a bit of an exaggeration as we've had some pretty big things happen lately, but the warmer weather is giving me an ambitious attitude. I've never written down monthly goals, but I'm hoping that this will help lessen that floundering feeling that I've been having lately. 

- Put in our new garden bed and start seeds indoors. Along these lines, I'll be keeping my eye out for the perfect straw hat to go with my overalls
- Spruce up the landscape in our front yard.

- Pass my Master's Exam/Oral Defense. (I'll be stress-eating chocolate and tearing my hair out until next Thursday at 5:00pm.) 
- Find some motivation to crank out the rest of this semester's assignments. 
- Pass all of my classes so I can GRADUATE!

- Mail save the dates.
- Finish bridal shower invite list. 
- Brainstorm reception favors. 

- Grab something bright and fun from Target on April 19th. Lilly, I'm coming for you. (This feels like cheating because I've already made my wish list, but I thought I could use a freebie.) 
- Take Loki on more frequent and longer walks as the weather warms up. 
- Finish Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time. I got this book for Christmas and have been reading it on and off for about a month. It's amazing. I know that if I can stop playing Hay Day so much, I'll finish it in no time! 

What are some of your goals for this month?