Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner

I have been planning my reading for Christmas break for weeks. Books I have long since shelved have resurfaced. Books I've been wanting to get to, yet knowing I had no time, were pulled out and greeted as long lost friends. I had a plan, a plan I say! And yet, today plans went awry. 

It started innocently enough with a Facebook status update from author Kate Messner
And with that status, my plans changed. See, years ago I read one of Kate's books called The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. I immediately fell in love with the characters in that beautiful book: Gianna, her absentmindedness, but her beautiful spirit; her wonderful parents; her increasingly forgetful grandmother; and her friends - Ruby and Zig. So often in books I hate coming to the end, I am so attached to the characters. In Gianna Z.,  this was absolutely the case. I was left wondering about Gianna, Ruby, and Zig. What happened to them? Were they still friends? And I thought a lot about Zig. 

I heard through the rumor mill that Kate was writing a follow-up book to Gianna Z. and it would only be available as an ebook. I really, really, don't like reading books on devices, but for this book I knew I would just have to get over that.

So, you can see, why Kate's status update required an immediate change in plans. I had just finished Ally Carter's upcoming book All Fall Down and was wondering what to read next. I quickly clicked through to purchase The Exact Location of Home and was off and reading. 

Although it has been five years since I read Gianna Z., I immediately reconnected with the characters. I loved seeing Gianna (and the others) through Zig's eyes. My heart broke for him as he dealt with increasingly difficult issues at home and at school. At one point I wanted to leap through the book and scream at his teacher. At another point - towards the very last pages - I screamed again, but this time with delight. What a wonderful gift Kate has given her readers, a chance to revisit this wonderful characters.

All too soon the book came to a close. As I slid to the last page of the book on my iPhone, I sighed. I wondered if I could bribe Kate to write more for Zig, Gianna, and Ruby. Do you think she'd agree to a monthly email? A newsletter? Probably not. For now, I will just have to pick up Gianna Z and share it with my students. I cannot wait, I know they will be fast friends.