Monday, August 29, 2016


Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver is a young adult novel about two sisters, who at one time were inseparable. Then, a tragic accident creates distance between them. Nick is the more conservative, "good girl" sister while Dara lives on the edge, pushing personal and familial boundaries.

I'm going no holds barred on my first blog review. This book had great potential, but I simply did not enjoy this book. I found the alternating narrators to be confusing. At the beginning of each chapter, the narrating sister was clearly labeled, but it was still very difficult to discern who was speaking.

My other pet peeve is books (YA and other genres) tend to tell stories in such a way that a happy ending means the protagonist finds romantic success. This is boring. Different narratives need to be told. You don't need a significant other (or the promise of one) at the end of the story for it to be happy. I think it is our responsibility as writers, especially those who are targeting their stories to young people, to be more diverse with respect to romance and romantic relationships. The girl who finds love and goes walking off into the sunset with her lover at the end of the book is just one ending. There are others, as different as we are in reality, that need to be illustrated in stories. A greater, and more important, theme in this book is about grief and healing. Oliver would have served her audience better by focusing on and better developing that part of the story.

The ending plot twist was kind of predictable, but just led to more confusion. My book club read and discussed this book. At the time of our discussion, we still weren't quite sure who was who and what happened when. The premise of the book is good, but overall it was poorly executed.

Recommendation: This book is categorized as young adult fiction, meaning it's geared toward young adults. Sometimes adults can enjoy YA. I don't think that is the case with Vanishing Girls.

Comments: I'd love to get your comments on my first post. Don't hold back! :-)

Until next time ... Read on!

Monday, August 22, 2016


Hi! It's Me!
My name is Melyssa, and I love books. I love reading books. I love browsing coffee table picture books. I love coloring books. I love eBooks. Most of my free time is spent reading fiction. However, I enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction and non-fiction books about the Holocaust (World War II period) and the Civil Rights era.

I believe we are living in a time where people don't read; they scan. In our world of immediate gratification, 140-character summations, animated gifs and video, reading is becoming a lost art form. We are overfed with information and starved for time, therefore, we consume it as quickly as possible often missing out on nuggets of wisdom. 

I've always read, and as an adult I enjoy reading with book clubs and the voracious discussion that results from them. As an avid reader, I appreciate the written word, the beauty of a carefully constructed sentences that evoke emotion. So, the genesis of this blog is to marry two things about which I am extremely passionate - reading and writing. (Sorry to disappoint, but there will very little [read: none] 'rithmetic going on here.)

Why A Page Before Bedtime? I'm so glad you asked! I am, like most people, constantly searching for a way to get 26 hours worth of busyness into 24. If I'm honest with myself I don't have time to read (I don't have time not to read either.) But I make time because I make time for things that are important to me. Most of my reading occurs, a few pages at a time, right before slumber.

If you're reading this, first, thanks for being a reader! The world needs more of you! Secondly, thank you for devoting some of your precious time to consume my thoughts that have become words. My hope is that you enjoy my writing. I hope you encourage me in my growth, and I hope you celebrate my successes.

So, if you bump into me in cyberspace or real life, ask me what book I'm in the middle of ... because I am always in the middle of a book.

Until then ... Read on!