Monday, February 18, 2013


Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. New York: Scholastic, 2009. Print.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed this "werewolf" book very much and look forward to finishing the trilogy. Book one, Shiver, is the love story of Sam Roth and Grace Brisbane.

When Grace was a child, she was mauled by wolves near her backyard. There was one wolf who protected her, and she remembered his yellow eyes. She looked for her yellow-eyed wolf every year until one day, he appeared--in human form!

The love story was the basic plot line and enjoyable. The first kiss was on page 87. There was a sexual encounter between the two, but it was treated respectfully (and late in the book). There are several other characters that interact and serve a purpose. As I know there are two more books, I speculated that some things mentioned were foreshadowing for the other books. Can't wait to see if I'm correct.

I enjoyed the story even though I questioned some parts. For example, can her parents be so detached that they don't realize a boy is basically living at their home? (I find it interesting that I don't question the aspect of human changing into wolf during the cold months--seems reasonable to me). 

Is it common knowledge that wolves have a "wordless language" (Stiefvater 54) or did Stephenie Meyer create the "do's and don'ts" of contemporary literary werewolves?

Could Isabel really have access to the medical clinic, and why weren't there any security cameras to be concerned with when the teens visit?

Will Benadryl work on wolves? I once heard that it didn't affect dogs.

The title is referenced multiple times in the book, as well as the titles of the next two in the trilogy. As Sam "shivers" to stay warm and remain human and Grace "shivers" as her beliefs are challenged, the title fits the book.

There were moments, descriptions,  that Stiefvater created that moved me. This is not your typical "werewolf" book. It's a story of relationships, sacrifices, obsession, heartache, friendships, loyalty and surprise.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hot Topics: Hoarding

MacKay, Jenny. Hot Topics: Hoarding. Detroit: Lucent Books, 2012. Print.

My Thoughts
I ordered several books in this Hot Topics series. I was a little disappointed in the depth of coverage (there are only 5 chapters and less than 100 pages). However, I did learn some things about hoarding. This is a very broad mental illness (the specialists can't agree on what umbrella is even falls under), and that it can be genetically passed down from one generation to another. WHAT!? I assumed it was an environmental passing down having nothing to do with a DNA gene pool.

The shows about hoarding obviously are seeking out the most horrifying examples and try to "fix" everything within a program. This is not realistic. The book explains that there are varying degrees of hoarding. Some hoarders are actually very neat and tidy people, but they cannot get rid of things. Extreme hoarders live in houses filled to the top, even blocking exits.

One question asked is whether or not hoarding is a crime. When is having too much stuff a hindrance or illegal? Is it the government's role to intervene when a home becomes unlivable? What about when the hoarder has animals instead of just stuff?

One chapter is devoted to explain the many reasons why people hoard. It is interesting to me that sometimes it is a traumatic event that leads to hoarding behavior, but it is not the only reason. Some hoarders are very detail oriented. "Many hoarders are crafty or artistic" and collect things to use later (MacKay 46). Some hoarders collect information and are in "a constant need to feel prepared" (MacKay 47). I was startled by these examples. I don't think of myself as a hoarder because of my connotation with this word. However, with these reasons, I saw myself.

There was an entire chapter devoted to the treatment for hoarding, even though it really is a case by case treatment plan. "The problem is must more complicated than merely being untidy or disorganized" (MacKay 76). This is why the 40 minute shows are misleading. The treatment often needs to be slower and take more time than just cleaning out a space.

This book was a quick, informative read.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Am Second: Real Stories, Changing Lives

Bender, Doug and Dave Sterrett. I Am Second: Real Stories, Changing Lives. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 2012. Print.

My Thoughts
Included are 20 profiles of people from all walks of life, backgrounds, situations, and stories telling how once they put God first, their lives changed. The stories are very interesting and even though I can't relate to all of the situations, I enjoyed reading them. A bonus to this book is after each person's profile, there are other people's stories that you can use the QR scanner and watch. I was just as intereseted in these stories as the ones printed in the book.

One common theme that all of these stories share is that fact that God can fill any hole, gap, longing we have. Once we surrender and let Him, we will feel free.