Archive for the ‘Audrey!’ Category

I must be in the ‘mother recently died’ phase of my reading. LastForeverFirst it was Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw and now it’s The Last Forever by Deb Caletti. Tessa’s mother died three months earlier of cancer. She and her hippy, pot smoking, old tv show watching father, Thomas, are having a rough time of it. The only tangible thing Tessa has from her mother is a rare plant, a pixiebell, that has been kept alive since her grandfather Leopold stole the seed decades ago. Her mother took it everywhere and so will Tessa. She’s determined to keep it alive.

When her father suggests a road trip to the Grand Canyon a week before school ends, Tessa has no recourse but to go. She packs the pixiebell and its flower pot in an old shoe and cushions it well in a box so it won’t get tossed around on the trip. The road trip takes a few extra turns and Tessa and Thomas end up at his mother, Jenny’s house in Parrish Island, WA.

Her father leaves suddenly saying he needs time alone leaving Tessa with a grandmother she hasn’t seen or heard about since she was a toddler. It is certainly awkward.

It is in the Parrish Island library that Tessa meets Henry Lark, who will become the love of her life. It is also in Parrish Island that the pixiebell starts to droop. Tessa and Henry and a cast of several others vow to save the plant.

What did I like about The Last Forever? So many things. Caletti has developed wonderful characters: Tessa and Thomas, Henry, Jenny, the library staff of Sasha and Larry, Jenny’s art class students. The list goes on. They are colorful and caring. If I had to pick a community in which to live, these would be the people I’d like to live amongst.

Second, the library plays a prominent role in the story. As a librarian, that’s heart warming.

Third, every chapter starts with information about a seed. I love gardening and flowers and seeds. They intrigue me. That’s why I’ve read A Garden of Words by Martha Barnette, Who Named the Daisy by Mary Durant and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales by Marta McDowell. Seeds are fascinating.

FortunesOf IndigoSkyeI learned something from this book. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault does actually exist (you’ll find out how it fits into the story when you read the book). It is located in the permafrost of the mountains of Svalbard, Norway and is dedicated to retaining the diversity of food crops.

And finally, it’s just a fun story. There are twists and turns that keep you reading.HoneyBabySweetheart

I’ve read several of Deb Caletti’s books: The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, The Nature of Jade and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart. I haven’t been disappointed yet.

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OhYeahAudreyEver since, as a young child, Gemma Beasley saw a photo of Audrey Hepburn, she was in awe of her. Her beauty, her fashion, her stature, her presence. Three months ago, when her mother passed away, she started her blog, Oh Yeah, Audrey!. She posted photos daily of Audrey.

When it was announced that there would be a midnight showing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Ziefield Theater in New York, she decided that she’s sneak out of her Philadelphia home, not tell her lonely, over protective father, and spend a day in HollyGolightlyNew York, touring Holly Golightly’s haunts, culminating in a viewing of the movie. She booked a cheap hotel in Chinatown.

Oh Yeah, Audrey opens with Gemma standing in front of Tiffany’s at 5 AM dressed in a long gown, a tiara in her hair, big sunglasses, holding a cup of coffee and a pastry, just like Holly Golightly. She’s hoping that her internet friends, Bryan from California and Trina from Colorado show up, as promised. When they do, Gemma hands them the one day Holly Golightly itinerary. Later, they’re surprised to meet up with Telly, an Audrey Hepburn naysayer who posted negative comments on Oh Yeah, Audrey. Telly begs to be included in their threesome, having seen the light about Audrey, but not for her beauty and fashion, but for her humanitarian works.

A fifth musketeer appears in the form of Dusty, an exceedingly rich New Yorker who Gemma helped with a school assignment on fashion and movies. He woos Gemma, who then must decide to accompany her friends for their night out or go out with Dusty.

I was first introduced to Tucker Shaw through his book Flavor of the Week. His books are enjoyable, light reads which have a moral at the end. Oh Yeah, Audrey! is no different. Gemma goes through a journey of self discovery. Her mother always used to tell her that she needs to figure out who she is and by the end of her New York stay she has. Shaw deals with the loneliness of a parent/spouse’s death. He points out the dichotomy between Hepburn the fashion icon vs. Hepburn the humanitarian. Unfortunately, in many cases the former out shadowed the latter.

I must admit that Oh Yeah, Audrey! has awakened my interest in Audrey Hepburn movies and I may go on a Hepburn binge. I won’t memorize the lines of Breakfast at Tiffany’s but her classics such as Sabrina, Charade, Roman Holiday, Wait Until Dark and my all time favorite movie, My Fair Lady are definitely worth a visit.

So read Oh Yeah, Audrey! for both an enjoyable book and a rekindling of your interest in Audrey Hepburn.

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