What I read last week and what I thought…

The Help by Kathryn Stockett- This was by far my favorite read last week. I had put off reading this one, just because I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. Reading how the United States (Southern states mostly) behaved back in the early 1960’s wasn’t something I was too keen on reading. I’d heard enough to know it wasn’t something that made me feel good inside and I am all about a feel good book. However, I buckled down and read it and OH boy was I glad I did. Being from Alabama, I knew within the first few pages that Stockett had to be from the South. Only a true Southerner could right so accurately that you felt as if you were right there in that house watching Aibileen take care of Mae Mobley. I stopped reading after page two and went to the ‘About the Author’ section and sure enough Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Mississippi. Being a Southerner, I am a little biased to anyone other than a Southerner writing about the way things work down here, then and now. Stockett delivers big time. When I finally put the book down, I had fallen in love with Aibileen and Minny. Skeeter was my hero (and reminded me so much of my best friend I couldn’t help but love her). Every page had me crying or laughing out loud. Even if you’re not from the South, do yourself a favor and read this book. It reminded me how far we have come and opened my eyes to things that I take for granted everyday. Those were not the good ‘ol days, because nothing is good about any race acting superior over another. I found myself telling my kids every afternoon last week “God made everyone, don’t every forget that.” I even told my youngest a few of the stories Aibileen told Mae Mobley and just like Mae Mobley, she wanted to hear them again.

Too Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins- This book ranked number #2 in the books I read last week. For starters it is a wonderful love story. I don’t think of Higgins as a romance author because she tells such a wonderful story full of life and family. It isn’t your typical romance novel. She reminds me a lot of Nicholas Sparks. No wonder she was on Barnes and Noble’s bestseller list. I laughed so much during this book I began to annoy my husband. Drives him crazy when I laugh at a book. Anyway, Grace is the middle sister. She gets ditched by her fiance three weeks before the wedding because he has fallen in love with her younger sister, who she adores. Through the first part you want to scream “Stop being a freakin’ martyr Grace!” but as the story progresses you begin to understand her choices. The sexy scottish next door neighbor who she has arrested for burglary and smacks upside the head with a hockey stick the first night in his new house ends up rocking her world. While she battles with the emotions of giving the little sister she has always pampered everything she wants including the man she had thought was “the one” and deals with a very colorful nosey family, Grace finally realizes that her habit of making up imaginary boyfriends isn’t nearly as fun as actually having one.

Beastly by Alex Flinn – Normally YA books rank #1 for me but this past week my YA choice for the week comes in at #3. Don’t get me wrong, the book is good just not at all surprising. Kyle Kingsbury is a believable self absorbed teenage boy. I knew several Kyle’s in my teenage life and shamefully dated a couple. However, I felt bad for the kid even though he was so cruel to the less beautiful because his home life really sucked. I think his being transformed into the beast would have been easier to swallow had the kid not already had such a horrible home life. I tell my kids all the time that those people who are mean have something inside that is hurting. Anyway, the poor neglected rich kid who has been abandoned by his mother and ignored by his father ticks off a witch. Then it is truly “A tale as old as time”. Trade in the dancing teacups and candelabra’s for a blind tutor and a foreign maid and you got the rest figured out. Kyle learns his lesson the hard way and honestly when he “reforms” he no longer acts like a teenage boy. He reminds me more of a thirty five year old woman who has watched too many black and white movies. Lindy’s beauty is on the inside not the outside but before it is over Kyle sees her as beautiful. He learns a valuable, although harsh lesson in looking past outward appearance and finding the beauty within.