I'm a reader and writer by nature, but as every writer knows, it's hard work. My problem is time management. I've heard all the writing tips in the book (no pun intended), and the #1 rule is to establish a routine, write at least once a day, etc. It's great advice, and I haven't been able to follow it. My excuse for not prioritizing the writing I want to do is life -- which is the worst, most contradictory excuse ever.
I like having this blog as a small personal outlet, so I'm *going* to do better at being more consistent with it. I read a lot, whether it's for work or for pleasure, and filling every day with books would be a dream come true.
So I decided to start sharing my favorite book recommendations on here. I've been known to gaze longingly at my ever-growing bookshelf and lose track of time as I try to remember what I loved about all the books on there. Writing mini reviews on here will give me a place to document all my favorites. Plus, I love recommending and lending books to other people, so this can be a virtual glimpse into my library.
I decided to start with the most recent book I read, which I happened to lend to my friend who lives 16 hours away. (Danielle, if you're reading this, I miss my book...and you.) Luckily, it's still fresh in my mind but it made finding my favorite quote a little difficult. If you're looking for a new, refreshing book to read, I highly recommend this one! And I won't give any spoilers :D
"Walking on Trampolines" by Frances Whiting
The description on the flap of the book makes it sound like a "coming of age" story. And while it is to some extent, what I loved was the true depiction of ordinary, flawed human beings. The book was much more than an overdone story about a female heroine finding herself and ultimate happiness. The characters aren't neat and there aren't always bow-tied answers to their problems, or peaceful resolutions. The characters were authentic and real, and I sympathized with certain characters but despised them and laughed at them all at the same time.
Family, friendship and first loves were the main themes of the book. It sounds like almost too many themes and a recipe for cliches, but the book went at the perfect pace for me. Nothing was too rushed or too slow, even with all that was happening.
We get to follow Annabelle and Lulu throughout their lives, starting as childhood friends playing in a tree house with starkly different lifestyles. Their childhoods are painted perfectly, taking you back to both the sweet and dark days of summer. The author really captures the innocence and drama of middle schoolers and high schoolers, so much that you remember what it felt like to think and feel at that age.
The story continues for years after the girls met, with boys, jobs, family problems, pride and an awesome dog getting between them. It's definitely a page-turner, because you get to watch the characters progress through life, and see how their personalities and relationships change. Not every character progresses at the same rate. It's so reminiscent of the journey everyone goes through as they "grow up" that it's relatable to everyone, while still staying interesting.
If you want full characters, a meaningful storyline and a refreshing outlook on what's important in life, "Walking on Trampolines" is it. The title even hints at the subtle, underlying theme: It's hard to walk evenly on a trampoline without falling, similar to life and everything that comes with it.
1. Duncan -- I won't give too much away, but he's the character who adds a combination of sunshine, cynicism and humor to the book. A bellowing radio talk-show host, I could imagine his voice in my mind as he gave brutally honest tough love to Lulu and went through a journey of his own. With a huge, slobbery dog by his side and four ex-wives.
2. Rose & Harry -- they should count as a single unit, because they're the sweetest pair. As Lulu's parents, they're a major part of why she is the way she is. Rose's innocence and fear of living is heartbreakingly beautiful, and it's a gentle portrayal of mental health issues. Harry is the rock, overly eager to love and please everyone. Their relationship shifts throughout the book, but it always feels warm when you get to read about them.
“So who cares? Who cares where [they] have been, climbing the Andes or sailing the Amalfi Coast on some bloody boat. Anyone can get on a boat, Lulu, you just buy a ticket. They’re thousands of us out there flailing about in the ocean, but there’s not that many of you. You’re the one standing on the shore and shining the light, guiding us all in safely.” He picked up a newspaper and pretended to read it. “So fuck ‘em,” he said.”
My favorite things are the simple ones: day-long book binges, cozy candles, dog kisses, ink on your hands, tree stars (leaves for those of you who never watched The Land Before Time) sweater weather, new ideas, local craft beer, punctuation, and knotty saltwater hair. Desserts are my favorite meal. I'm a creative writer and editor, and I created this space to keep my writing reflexes sharp and to share my simple ramblings with you!