Firefly Lane– A Book Review

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Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

On Friday, I definitely said I was going to be doing a Poetry Place post  today, but I was incorrect— that’s what I get for not sleeping. Still got two more weeks until Poetry Place, sorry about that. Today is for Bookworms and Bookworms only.

So do you remember that book I hinted at, during the beginning of the month?

Well today is the day, I get to tell you all about it.

This book held a whole lot of promise from the moment I picked it up. I read one of her works maybe six years ago now, and I remembered loving her style but never picking up another one of her books. Until now.

So without further ado…

Firefly Lane— Kristin Hannah

Even though I don’t know the characters or the lives they’re living, this book made me feel nostalgic for people I’ve never met. That’s how you know the writer did a good job.

The way Hannah wrote her book, she follows best friends Tully and Kate, aka TullyandKate, around beginning with their lives in eighth grade up until their late middle-ages. Chronicling a friendship like theirs is hard to do because they come from two very different backgrounds— one is rebellious and independent with a drug-addicted mother who constantly abandons her. The other is quiet and seeks companionship, with the classic kind of family that supports its members unconditionally

Put these two kinds of girls together and let them become best friends— that’s where the story begins.

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Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

As they get older, working their way through loss and love and career hopes and fear, they change together over time. This story is as much about friendship as it is about love; the two go hand in hand. While the two friends fight, raise kids, and manage to hurt one another a few too many times, Firefly Lane is a look into what it’s like to have a best friend you always come back to

Even if at some point, the coming back gets a little too hard.

You’ll see what I mean if you read the book, through Tully and Kate I understood what it’s like to love and hate someone at the same time. Through their families, we understand what more life has to offer beyond our own selves or our jobs or out self-love.

There are some things you cannot find and holes you cannot fill on your own. Sometimes you need help.

Wonderfully written and hard to put down, this book made me want to read what happened at the end even while I was four hundred pages away from it. 

I enjoyed it, for the most part, but I did find one flaw in the book (and also one typo, as a writer I love finding those.) As I read, more towards the end of the book, one question kept popping into my head that shouldn’t have: when is this going to end?

I will say, the book was hard to put down– I meant it when I said that. But it also kept bouncing from one thing to another and I just kept asking myself when we would get to the big twist at the end. It came eventually, trust me it did, but I think it was a little long winded to get to. So I wanted to point that out.

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Photo by taylor hernandez on Unsplash

The one thing that surprised me about this book, a little long winded or not, is that is made me miss people… It made me miss everyone. In the way that you think of someone and you can hear their laugh in your ears or you hear a phrase and automatically connect it to them saying it. Or even just the kind of hugs you get from only a few people, the company that’s so easy to be around in silences that don’t have to be awkward.

This book is a chronicle of the human condition through TullyandKate. And it was wonderful.

I hope you think so too.

It Takes Two– A Pride Month Themed Book Review

alisa-anton-632369-unsplashI promised you a Bookworms post today didn’t I?

So here I am, with two YA books for you that each touch on LGBT topics and a bigger picture of love or adjusting to who we are that tie them both together.

As two very different novels, I chose these because one was about something I know almost nothing of and the other was something that I think could be relatable for anyone, whether or not you identify with the community.

They’re about growing up and living live as we are, after all, I think that’s something we’ve all gone through. So without further ado, here we go.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe–  Benjamin Alire Sáenz

diego-duarte-cereceda-714994-unsplash.jpgThis book is full of tender moments that still surprise me to be pulled into through the pages. Aristotle watches his life move around him, his parents changing while his own perspectives do, as he figures out who they are alongside himself.

We watch him grow up as the story plays out and his story is wonderfully written.

One line stuck with me that I believe sums up the novel quite well, something I think many people have thought before:

“When do we start feeling like the world belongs to us?

I used to wonder this myself, now questioning whether or not it ever will. Dante and Aristotle both explore this as their friendship changes throughout the chapters. Even more than a book about sexuality or growing up, it’s a story about love and adapting to change. Each relationship is no longer what it began as, exploring what it means to be a parent or a friend and what that looks like from the outside. redd-angelo-11901-unsplash

Aristotle’s character goes through a lot, from the anger and the loss he feels to the disconnection and anticipation within his own life. Add these feelings in with the violence he experiences toward the LGBT community, the kind that many people forget truly happens, and we realize just how hard it can be to sometimes accept who we are. Especially when other people don’t.

That is the journey of this book.

Through intensely real characters, a strongly interwoven Latino culture, and the mind of a boy who’s just trying to understand it all along the way, it’s about love just as much as it’s about trying to hold the world in your hands when it never quite seems to fit right.

It’s about trying to discover the secrets of the universe.

The Symptoms of Being Human– Jeff Garvin

scott-webb-270034-unsplash.jpgFirst of all, there’s a Bratz doll that comes up in this book and when I read those pages, I could feel that same doll in my 7 year old hands. Talk about nostalgia. This book is the epitome of high school drama surrounded by the confusion of growing up feeling misunderstood. You’ve got classic lunch scenes, the misfits, the popular people so clearly in the wrong, and teachers that never see anything.

Maybe it’s a cliche— maybe it’s also true.

What struck me about this book is how closely Riley’s struggles could relate to thousands of young people while at the same time, be so specific to one experience that it goes both ways. Because part of me understands exactly what the character was going through, a lot of it happens to all of us in some shape or form. The bullying, the distance from people we love, the adolescent angst, the list goes on.

The other part of me was thrown into a world where gender fluidity is more real than it ever has been. I personally have never experienced it nor do I have any close friends that openly identify with it, so if anything this book was an inside look into a life that I’ve never had. And I can empathize with Riley’s struggles.erol-ahmed-255854-unsplash

Because growing up, things get pretty confusing pretty quickly. We all get that. Especially in high school, everything is always changing. But through Riley, Solo, and several other characters, their personalities were there along with a whole lot of information about something most people don’t understand.

What this book lacked was a solid foundation for a plot. If you want a good story with a solid plot that isn’t too predictable, this might not be what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a little more understanding of gender fluidity and the possibilities of what that can mean, this is a good place to start. As long as you don’t stop here.

For we’ve all got a whole lot to learn in today’s world. Thanks to the internet, now we can.

Also, if anyone has read this, did you hear catch Folsom Prison reference in chapter 6? Classic, all we need is a Johnny Cash mention and my little hometown is on the map.


So thanks for sticking around for these two books and if you check them out, let me know what you think! I’ll see you all on Friday.