WHOA – good book! (The Long Way Home – Andrew Klavan)

>I’m not going to lie…I’m not much of a mystery/suspense fan.  I get nervous when I’m home alone, I jump at every bump or creak the house makes, loud cars that go by at night startle me.  So, with all of that in mind, I was a little nervous when I picked up Andrew Klavan’s latest young adult novel, The Long Way Home.

Charlie West does not remember the last year of his life.  His best friend is dead and he has been convicted.  He is running, though from the good guys or the bad guys, he is not sure.  All he knows is that his life is on the line and he needs to keep moving.

Boy, was I blown away.  I had decided I wasn’t going to read it until the weekend because my husband would be home then and I wouldn’t be as scared, but when my friend who is coming to visit for the weekend said he would be here this evening, I decided it would be a great way to start my relaxation as the semester is coming to an end (giving and grading a scantron freshman final tomorrow then I’m done! 🙂  Woo hoo!).  I got in the bath with the book to read for half an hour, an hour max.
Two and a half hours later, I emerged, pruny as could be, and I sat on my bed in awe.  During my two and a half hour bath, I entered a world of intrigue, lies, truths, chaos, love, fear, friends,  hope, but most of all, teenage boy.  Charlie is real and the life he is living jumps off the pages.  His faith is real, his doubts are real.  His passion for truth is inspiring.  And, boy, can he fight!
What a tangled, beautiful web Klavan weaves.  His storytelling is seamless and seems to go by frustratingly quickly.  I wanted the book to never end, but end it did with my interest piqued for the third book in the Homelanders’ series.  My only complaint is that the next book doesn’t come out until November 2010.  So far away!

the joys of christmas break

What a joy it was to have two weeks off. Besides traveling a bit, reading fifty unfortunate freshmen essays (they haven’t quite figured out the difference between analysis and an extended summary…it’s the goal by the end of the year!), exhausting myself on the Wii Fit, and planning the next month for my two classes, I GOT TO READ!!! It was amazing to just curl up in bed or on the couch, or even just stand in the kitchen and get lost in a book. There were two things that struck me profoundly while reading the two books that I got via amazon.com 2 months ago (!). The first book, Piece de Resistance, by Sandra Byrd, was good and satisfied my longing to know what happened with Lexi and her lovely life. However, the second, Love Starts with Elle, by Rachel Hauck, just really struck me in two ways.

Elle wakes up at 7am daily to pray with an elderly lady and she learns to listen to God. I want to listen to and actually hear God. I never spend time just still before him and I so miss that and long for it. Would waking up thirty minutes early actually kill me? Probably, for the first two weeks or so. But is an extra half hour of sleep more important to me than growing with my God? Somedays, I may let myself be deceived and think so, but deep down, I know that with self-discipline, I can do it. I want to. Thanks, to both God and Rachel Hauck, for planting this desire within me again.

The second thing that struck me was Elle’s love for painting. She was scared of the critics and didn’t have the time. I know that I am “busy” in that I always have something else to do for school. I can always get more ready for the upcoming weeks, I can always grade a couple more papers, I can always email parents. There’s always something else. But, I don’t want to let my job consume me. I want to do a good job, but always doing more and more is not more important than my sanity. I want to pursue my love for writing like Elle pursues her love for painting. I think though, that with that, comes time to just let my mind relax. I need that. And I think by letting myself not become overworked that I don’t have time to read and write is dangerous for me. I know that I can better manage my time and even get my reading and writing time “out of the way” before my husband gets home from work.
So those, I guess I could say, are my New Years’ resolutions. My time is limited, but I want to actively choose what is important to me…God, and in many ways, seeing God in fiction while reading and writing.
Whew. It’s nice to have all this out! It’s time to hop in bed with The Will of Wisteria by Denise Hildreth…an oldie but a goodie. Good night 🙂