Left Neglected ~ Lisa Genova

8492768Hey there, strangers! I have not posted on this blog in over three years, but lately I have read a plethora of books and have been inspired to start blogging again! So, forgive me if I am a little out of practice, but I am hoping to get back into the swing of things.

I was first introduced to Lisa Genova’s books through the Psych Book Club at my college. For the club, I read Still Alice, but I was eager to read Left Neglected as soon as I could. For those of you who don’t know, Lisa Genova is an accomplished neuroscientist who also writes books that rip your heart out while you sob uncontrollably. One of my majors is Behavioral Neuroscience, so I have both an academic and emotional attachment to these novels. I love being able to relate information I have learned in school, as well as learning new things, while I am also reading for pleasure. It is such a remarkable experience that I have not had many other times. However, you absolutely do not need any sort of science background to enjoy the book – it is an incredible story all on its own…

Sarah Nickerson wants it all, and she will work for every damn piece of it – a Harvard Business School degree, an equally accomplished and very attractive husband, an exquisite house in the Boston suburbs, and three perfect children. The only thing she may not have is her sanity.

One rainy Friday, Sarah was elated to get a head start on her commute without needing to drop the kids off first. However, her eagerness to start her day with a phone call ended when she looked up and saw all the brake lights her car was racing into.

When Sarah finally wakes up, she seemed to be fine despite the staples in her partially shaved head and the expected soreness, but one subpar hospital meal revealed otherwise. Sarah’s brain injury resulted in her having left neglect – an uncommon condition that essentially causes her to lose the left side of everything.

Sarah now has to learn how to live in a world that is half of what it used to be. Her role as a mother, wife, daughter, corporate worker, patient, friend, and person all have to be relearned, for better or worse.

Lisa Genova does an impeccable job of exploring Sarah’s journey of healing, making new friends, taking care of her son’s possible ADHD diagnosis, battling with health insurance, and finding her new place in the world. My heart strings were being pulled in every direction at every second. While I may not have lost the left side of everything, I felt as if I understood Sarah. I kept feeling the urge to “look left.” Her battles were somehow not much different from those of many other women trying to find their place in the world.

The thing that struck me the most was how closely I felt I could relate to Sarah. While I may not be married or a mother, I understand her drive to be perfect at everything and her desire to just work for everything she wants. I sympathized with her when all she wanted was a full recovery, and she worked so hard for that recovery, but she was never guaranteed anything. I understand her emotional distress when she realizes that she does not have complete control over the situation. I could feel what Sarah was feeling at so many points and I just wanted to fix everything for her, but that is the thing – everyone just wanted to fix what likely couldn’t be fixed.

I was also intrigued by the parallels between Sarah, her mother, and her oldest son, Charlie. Both Sarah’s mom and Charlie suffer from mental disorders, but Sarah had always had a hard time relating to them. Sarah resented her mother for not being present for her childhood, and could not fathom why Charlie could not simply get dressed and brush his teeth in the morning. However, after her brain injury, Sarah started paying more attention to them and their lives, even if it was not her choice to have her mother in her life again. Sarah was now living with her own disorder caused by her brain, and was struggling with a multitude of things that were just so simple for most “normal” people”. While it took a tragedy, Sarah could finally glimpse into what life was like for her loved ones. These three characters truly shine light on how different mental disorders can be. Charlie was born with ADHD, Sarah’s mother developed depression later on in life, and Sarah has left neglect due to a brain trauma – three very different mental disorders with three very different causes and symptoms. Despite their differences, these three individuals could bond over their struggles and help each other through them.

Most importantly, Sarah realizes how valuable time with her family and new friends truly is. She had previously prioritized work because that made her money, but she hadn’t truly taken into account the cost of missing soccer games, school plays, or even her child’s first steps. She never truly understood how or children or mother thought, because she was only seeing things from her perspective, which was focused on money and moving up in the world, and not on being happy and enjoying the little moments in life.

On another note, when Sarah and her husband, Bob, were out for an anniversary dinner after the accident, there is an absolutely HILARIOUS passage that is worth reading the entire book for, just a little FYI. I’m just saying, bringing your husband into a public women’s restroom to help you pull up your pantyhose will welcome a few stares and looks of confusion.

All in all, Lisa Genova has done a spectacular job empowering women to achieve all of their goals, while also reminding them about the things that matter. It’s important to not take life too seriously and to work to understand the struggles that those around you are going through.

I definitely recommend this book to anybody and everybody. I truly wish I could read this book for the first time over and over again. It such a remarkable read.

5 out of 5 stars.

 

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Book Traveling Thursday #9 ~ Book that Made You Smile

Featured Image -- 266Happy Thursday!

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted byCatia and myself. In order to participate, you can go to the Goodreads group at the beginning of each month to see a list of weekly themes. After choosing a book that fits the theme, you look at different covers of different editions and write your blog post with the original cover, the covers from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To find out more, you can check out our Goodreads group!

Tomorrow, October 2nd, is world smile day, which is why today’s topic is a book that made you smile. I chose To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I don’t know how this book could not make you smile. Most of the covers for this book are extremely similar, but I just can’t help but choose it for this week.

Original Cover & Cover from United States:

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Favorite Cover (Other than Original):

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(Romanian Cover)

Least Favorite Cover:

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(Polish Cover)

Book Traveling Thursday #8 ~ Nostalgic Fall Feelings

Featured Image -- 266Happy Thursday!

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted byCatia and myself. In order to participate, you can go to the Goodreads group at the beginning of each month to see a list of weekly themes. After choosing a book that fits the theme, you look at different covers of different editions and write your blog post with the original cover, the covers from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To find out more, you can check out our Goodreads group!

Since fall is finally here, this week’s topic is a book that brings you nostalgic fall feelings. I chose Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.Read More »

Book Traveling Thursday (On a Friday!) #7 ~ Book with Your OTP

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Happy Thursday!

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted byCatia and myself. In order to participate, you can go to the Goodreads group at the beginning of each month to see a list of weekly themes. After choosing a book that fits the theme, you look at different covers of different editions and write your blog post with the original cover, the covers from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To find out more, you can check out our Goodreads group!

I was not able to have this week’s post ready by Thursday, but it is ready now! The topic for this week is “it’s getting a little chilly outside. Better cuddle up *wink wink*! Choose a book that your O.T.P. is in.” My O.T.P. will forever be Percabeth, which is why I chose The House of Hades. Percabeth went through a lot in this book, but it all worked out in the end.

Original Cover & Cover from my Country:

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I remember waiting in school for the picture of the cover to come out, and checking on my phone as soon as it was posted and screaming because I loved it so much. The illustration of Percabeth clinging to each other is just so perfect.

Favorite Cover:

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This was a special edition cover, which I had actually never seen before, but I think it is awesome. It does not really reflect the plot of the book, but it looks really cool.

Least Favorite Cover:

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This is Russian edition of the book and it has real people on the cover. ‘Nuff said. Plus, why is Annabeth in the background and fainter? She is just as important as Percy!

What did you think of these covers? Let me know!

Little Brother ~ Cory Doctorow

954674Goodreads Synopsis

Marcus aka “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, his injured best friend Darryl does not come out. The city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: “M1k3y” will take down the DHS himself.

My Review

As I have mentioned before, this book was part of my school assigned summer reading this year. I usually don’t enjoy required reading, but I loved this book. Read More »

Book Traveling Thursday #6 ~ Monster of a Book

Featured Image -- 266Happy Thursday!

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Catia and myself. In order to participate, you can go to the Goodreads group at the beginning of each month to see a list of weekly themes. After choosing a book that fits the theme, you look at different covers of different editions and write your blog post with the original cover, the covers from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To find out more, you can check out our Goodreads group!

This week’s topic is a monster of a book, or a book over five hundred pages. I chose Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

This is definitely a GIANT book, but I enjoyed every second of it.

Original Cover & Cover from United States:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

This is the original cover and the edition that I own of this book and the rest of the series. I like this cover because it’s simple, but not boring. This is the cover I think of when I think of traditional Harry Potter, and it just makes me happy.

Cover from United States & Favorite Cover:

I could not find a picture of the cover by itself, but it is the cover from the special edition boxed set. I love the castle on the spines of the books. It is just so pretty! I am hoping to get this boxed set soon.

Least Favorite:

This is the United Kingdom edition of the book. I cannot stand the color scheme or the artwork. They both just bug me so much. There is just nothing about this book that I like.

What do you guys think of these covers? Let me know!

The Start of the School Year

This week I began my junior year of high school. It is an extremely important for me academic-wise, involving me taking four Advanced Placements classes and three honors classes. While I love book blogging, I need to dedicate most of my time to my school work and extra-curricular activities right now. I previously mentioned that I was discontinuing Teaser Tuesdays until further notice, and this week I decided to do the same with Top Five Wednesdays. I am going to continue to post Book Traveling Thursdays and one review every two weeks. I may miss a post occasionally, but I will still be here. Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, I appreciate it so much. I love this community and wish I could spend more time blogging, but real life gets in the way sometimes.