Not In Jersey: What I’ve Been Reading #34 Featuring Friday’s Harbor What I’ve Been Reading #34 Featuring Friday’s Harbor - Not In Jersey

What I’ve Been Reading #34 Featuring Friday’s Harbor

Friday, November 8, 2013

I received this book from TLC Book Tours for my review. When I received Friday’s Harbor, I did not know it was a sequel to an earlier book by Diane Hammond called Hannah’s Dream. This book referred back to things that happened in that book and I found this slightly frustrating, as I never like to read sequels first! At the same time, it made me want to read Hannah’s Dream and I picked it up at the Library Book Sale to read later! On the other hand, Friday’s Harbor certainly stood alone as well.

“It's been three years since Hannah, the elephant, departed the Max L. Biedelman Zoo, in Bladenham, Washington, and much has changed, including the appointment of new executive director Truman Levy, and the arrival of a failing killer whale named Friday.

With the help of marine mammal rehabilitator Gabriel Jump, and a team of dedicated though inexperienced keepers, Friday begins to recover. But not everyone believes he should be in captivity—a debate that explodes onto a national stage. Now, Friday's fate may no longer rest in the hands of Truman and the caring staff at the Max L. Biedelman Zoo.”

I was attracted to this story by the fact that it stars an animal. I am an animal lover, and I would have liked to read more from the whale’s point of view! However, the human characters in the story and their interactions with Friday the whale made the book very likeable for me. The cast of characters is an interesting one – an animal communicator, a pizza store owner and his gang of cats, the zoo director and his rich aunt who supports Friday’s move to the zoo, and the animal trainer who helps Friday adjust to his new home – and all contribute to the story.

Of course, moving a captive killer whale to the zoo causes animal rights activists to react, and the story addresses the issue of whether whales should be removed from the ocean and brought to zoos for people to visit. As a zoo fan, I appreciated the way the issues were addressed. Based loosely on the story of the killer whale Keiko, this story left me wanting to meet a killer whale! Good thing I’ve been to Sea World!

This week I read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. It has been on my to be read list for awhile, and it did not disappoint. “What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.” This book has been compared to Mean Girls and Groundhog Day. There actually was a reference to Groundhog Day in the book. Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies and if you haven’t seen it, you should! In it, the main character has to have the perfect day before he can move on to February 3rd. This book wasn’t the same as Groundhog Day, as Samantha did try to live the perfect day – after using one of the days to do whatever she wanted to with no consequences – and it didn’t help her as she still woke up having to live her final day again. What does happen is that Samantha learns about herself and her friends and realizes the things she should have been doing in her life. While it may be too late for her, she can hope someone (in the story or in real life) might learn something from the day she repeated 7 times. It is a sad thing that there are “mean girls” in high schools. People who make themselves feel bigger by belittling others. I was one of the belittled ones in my high school and in fact, one of the girls who was mean to me was hit by a car and died. I wasn’t sad to hear the news, and that is not a good thing. This happened years after we graduated though and I imagine if it happened while we were still in school it would have been quite difficult, both for her friends and for those she’d been mean to. I truly want to read a sequel to this book, to see if Samantha’s story changed lives.

What have you been reading lately?