Natasha Friend –

Follow Friday (33)


23 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Follow Friday, Memes

Follow Friday is now acknowledging and promoting the following of blogs through their RSS feeds! Because this site is proudly powered by WordPress, there’s no GFC (Google Friend Connect) option. BUT, you can follow TGR through my feed by clicking HERE or over to the right, in my sidebar. You can also subscribe through email!







Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?

James Potter versus Severus Snape.

I don’t know why. I just think it would be epic. Fight to the death for Lily?

Team Snape, baby!


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REVIEW! Perfect by Natasha Friend

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REVIEW! Perfect by Natasha Friend.


0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book reviews, Four Stars

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Isabelle Lee has a problem, and it’s not just Ape Face, her sister, or group therapy for an eating disorder, or even that her father died and her mother is depressed and in denial. It’s that Ashley, the most popular girl in school, is inviting Isabelle to join her at lunch and at sleepovers at her house, and this is presenting Isabelle with a dilemma. Pretty Ashley has moved Isabelle up the social ladder, but is it worth keeping the secret they share?


This is one novel, I think, that handles eating disorders really well – it neither glorifies nor pities them. Instead, it treats the disorders on a variety of levels, from families to friends to school to day-to-day emotions.  It stresses that every case is different for every individual, but that there is still the opportunity for coming together. For me, this aspect kept the reading hopeful, despite being bitterly dark, at points.

Reading Perfect is like slogging through chewing the rind of a lemon. At first it’s sweet, and just a story.  But the more you chew – read – the more bitter it becomes.  You experience the cloud of oh everything’s fine with Isabelle’s family, and then you get to also experience the spiral of unraveling the truth, of needing help, of feeling happy, sad, lonely all at once.  And, just like a lemon, it’s refreshing at the end.

I wouldn’t say that the description is entirely accurate.  I feel that the story is less about Isabelle being concerned about moving up the social ladder, and more about how she feels after getting to know Ashley and how their secret applies to them both, but differently.  It’s a much deeper read than its summary permits.  Yes, Isabelle’s only thirteen, and her age is reflected in her actions, speech and thoughts.  But there’s still something deep to be found in them, which is what really surprised me.  This even applies to her sister, April (Ape Face), who is only ten. Friend accurately captures the hasty development of maturity that the girls learn to acquire, despite their young ages.

Perfect isn’t the happiest read, and it will make you think, but it’s nice for a seemingly honest portrayal of what people of all ages may be going through, for whichever eating disorder.

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Where does the time go?


6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized

Where have I been?


Once again I packed my many bags and headed back to school. What I thought was going to be a lovely, easy-going semester has instead turned into a time sucker. I barely have time to do anything other than work.

I know. Excuses, excuses.

But it’s true!

The good news is I’m finally getting to take the Children’s and Adolescent Lit class I’d been pining after. Anyone ever read Perfect by Natasha Friend or Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt? They’re just a couple of books I’ll later be reading.

As always, I’ll be around when I can to post, comment and chat. You may have already noticed my random sightings on Twitter.

Hope everyone is doing well and reading good books!

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REVIEW! For Keeps.


1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Book reviews, Three Stars

For Keeps 
Natasha Friend
For sixteen years, Josie Gardner and her mom, Kate, have been a team. It’s been the Gardner Girls against the world, and that’s how Josie likes it. Until one day, they find out that Paul Tucci, Kate’s high school boyfriend-the father Josie has never met-is back in town. Josie’s mom suddenly turns back into the heartbroken teenager she was when Paul moved away. Meanwhile, Josie’s on the verge of having her first real boyfriend. And when Josie learns some surprising truths about Paul Tucci and the past, she begins questioning what she thought she knew, and finds out what happens when a girl gets the guy she always wanted and the dad she never knew she needed.

My rating: 3 stars.
Charming, approachable, sweet.
For Keeps begins with a good premise, good characters, good descriptions/dialogue/etc.  In many ways I was reminded of that TV show, Modern Family (Ever heard of it? So funny.).? The characters are quirky but real and relatable.  And then there’s Matt, Josie’s sort-of boyfriend; he’s perfect, which makes him incredibly flat and boring. But aside from him, I don’t have many complaints against the rest.
When Josie finally interacts with Paul Tucci’s parents, I was hooked. But shortly thereafter, the pace slows and the book flounders.  Issues that arise with her mom are out of character for the two of them. Josie’s friend, Liz, suddenly interrupts with her own drama. Matt swoops in with his boyish charm. And I was left wondering where the plot was going. Too many things are going on at once, and not all to Josie, so it’s difficult to only focus on her. But it’s not that those other characters and their problems are uninteresting. It’s just that this should be Josie’s story, and to me it feels as though they’re telling the story for her – like they’re doing all the work. (Like I said – Modern Family.)
For Keeps is still a pleasant, easy read.  It just didn’t go in the direction I anticipated, even though it has so much potential to do so.

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