4 to 16 Characters

It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this review, but mostly that’s a time issue…it’s not because of the content. 4 to 16 Characters, by Kelly Hourihan, is not for the weak at heart when it comes to the internet and other electronic communication. It is composed of a lot of emails, texts, and online communication, which can make it difficult to read if you care about that (probably the target teen audience does not, and neither did I…it felt more real because of that). The story is about a teen girl who has retreated from the real world into the online one. She has many different personas that eventually become impossible to juggle, and she ends up having to deal with the real world, much as we all do.

4 to 16 characters

The core story was good and kept my attention; it’s only fault was that hey, teens can be irritating sometimes, and she’s a teen. And the writing could be a difficult adjustment for those who don’t live on the Internet; most teens would have no issues with either of those things.

I reviewed this from an ARC via NetGalley; no money etc. changed hands. The book is due to release in early November.

Reading as an Escape

I love summer for the time to read. I read fast and I read a lot. The best books are big hulking tomes over 800 pages. I read a fairly wide variety of stuff, although rarely nonfiction. Going through this summer, I think the only thing that has calmed my brain’s overactivity has been reading (and even then, sometimes the book failed). This is the last three weeks of books (I’m also on Goodreads, which I think posts to the right sidebar, although on mobile devices you won’t see that). These have been a real escape for me. When my brain goes on overload, I read. When I can’t fall asleep, I read. I read at the gym. I read as I’m eating yet another meal alone. When school starts, I have less time to read, but I will still do it…

First there was Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore.


I had checked this book out months ago, but then didn’t have time to read it (my job!). I loved this book, but I have a big art background and I think that helps. It’s a little out there, but I was highly amused and entertained by it.

Then I read Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.

flight behavior

I also loved this book, about climate change and the Monarch butterflies. Then again, I love all her books.

I picked this book up at Powell’s Books in Portland last month, but hadn’t read it yet. This is Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne.

youth in revolt

I chose it for the cover, obviously, but I realized as I was reading that I had seen this movie a while ago. The book was OK…it got a little annoying at parts, but so do teenagers, and that’s what it was about. There seemed to be way more words than were needed to tell the story.

On the same trip, I picked up Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay by Stephen King.


This was interesting because it was actually a screenplay with directions and everything. The story itself was OK…considering it was meant to be a miniseries and never existed as a book, it was OK.

Then I read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.


Yes, I know it’s a movie too, but I haven’t seen it. I almost didn’t read this one, because I knew it would have sad parts, and maybe that’s not such a good idea at the moment, but it was a good story and I liked it.

Then I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.


You may start to think that I like everything. I liked this, and there’s a 2nd book coming out about the same characters. It’s kind of more of a kids’ book (even though it’s marketed to adults)…it’s a little quirky, for sure.

My dad hiked the whole Pacific Crest Trail some years back, and I’ve hiked short bits of it, so I wanted to read Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, about her crazy-ass trip on the PCT.


It was an interesting book. She’s kind of a whiner and not particularly smart (at least about trails and hiking), but she does survive it (and she’s writing this about it years later). This was the only nonfiction book of the bunch.

Then I realized the second book in the Ashfall series was out, Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin.


I really really liked Ashfall. I only liked Ashen Winter. There were some unbelievable things (I know, when you look at what I read, there are LOTS of unbelievable things, but this was really over the top) and a little too much drama, but I think this is a YA book, so that’s pretty standard. I suspect there will be a third book, but maybe not.

I haven’t stopped reading…I just thought I should catch up on all these, because I hadn’t been posting about them when I finished, like I normally do. Maybe I’ll get back into the habit now.