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Friday, June 15, 2018

50/50 Friday (89): Favorite Book With a Short/Long Title

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite Book With a Short/Long Title


Released: 2017
Rating: 5 stars (review to come)

"A luminous cross-generational story that recalls the works of Jane Smiley and Isabel Allende, this sweeping debut novel tells the stories of four women who dare to challenge the boundaries of their circumscribed lives

It’s 1958, and Hazel’s peaceful world has been upended by the tragic death of her husband. It’s harvest time and with two small children and a farm to manage on her own, this young mother is determined to keep her land and family intact. As she grows closer to the neighboring Hughes family, she realizes the tradeoff for some freedoms is more precious than she expected.

In 1890, we see Hazel’s young mother, Louisa, recently married and relocated to Illinois to what will become her family’s farm. Life in the country is dictated by seasons, so too is Louisa ruled by her “weathers” of good and bad spells. What keeps her grounded is corresponding with her sister, Addie, a Christian missionary in China. The same adventurous spirit that brought Addie to China with her new husband now compels her to leave again. However, with the Boxer Rebellion underway, and violence erupting between Chinese and their unwelcome Christian intruders, Addie’s life takes a mysterious and haunting turn strongly felt by her sister, Louisa, back home.

At the end of the twentieth century, Juanlan returns to her parents’ home in Heng’an after college. With her father falling ill, a new highway being built, and her sister-in-law soon to give birth, Juanlan feels frozen in place, though everyone and everything seems to be rapidly changing. In the search for an outlet for the live wire, a little burning blue coil she feels buried inside, she starts up a love affair with a high-ranking government official.

From rural Illinois to the far reaches of China, these four women are interconnected by actions, consequence, and spirit, each brilliantly displaying the fleeting intensity of youth, the obligation of family, and the dramatic consequence of charting their own destiny. A vibrant story of compassion and discovery set against a century of complicated relations between China and America, Rebellion celebrates those who fight against expectation in pursuit of their own thrilling fate and introduces a rising literary star."

I read this a little while ago (and I'll likely need to reread it to write a review.  I really got into past present narratives last year and this is such a good example of that.  I love the different settings and how all the stories weave together.  The title also perfectly represents the struggles and the stories of all of the women who are in this novel.  I actually got my hands on a signed copy from the author so watch out for my review and a giveaway (hopefully international but we shall see)!


Released: 2017
Rating: 5 stars (review to come)

"Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?"

I also read this a little while ago and still need to write a review.  This is one of those books that I would love to reread, but I'm not sure how soon it'll happen just because it's such a heavy book (kind of like The Book Thief).  The contrast between Julia's two worlds is really well built and I loved being in her head.  From the blurb, it seems like this is supposed to be a mystery and a journey of discovery but really, it's more of a personal journey for Julia and is less focused on her sister than I expected.  Still, I really enjoyed witnessing Julia's evolution.  This is also one of those books that you always seem to want to abbreviate the title (IANYPMD).

Have you read either of these?  What did you think of them?  What are your favorite books with short and long titles?  Do you prefer one or the other?  Make a post and link up down below!

Next Week's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Title


  1. IANYPMD sounds like a perfect book for me - thanks for letting me know about it! I love that both your choices are partly set in Illinois too - was that deliberate?

    1. Haha you're welcome! I hope you enjoy it! I didn't even notice that... maybe it says something about my living aspirations??? Or maybe not; they don't get nearly enough snow there :) Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!


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