I just finished reading Crossed, the second book in Ally Condie's Matched series. It is a young adult dystopian novel. Condie's writing is sparing and thoughtful and clean. The story itself was engrossing in the first novel--a teenage girl in a warped future world is given the identity of her assigned "match," who turns out to be her best guy friend. She's ecstatic--until the identity suddenly changes. She then begins to open her eyes to the sinister nature of a society where things are too perfect and beginning to unravel. This second novel kept me reading, but the intensity didn't grab me until about 2/3 of the way through. I love Condie's writing and look forward to the next book.
Last night for date night my husband and I went to see Joyful Noise, a gospel-music themed movie starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. I thought with Dolly on board, it would have a bit more of the HeeHaw slapstick and cornpone humor. There was only a tiny dash of it. What it did have in abundance was fantastic music. Possibly a few too many verses in a few songs, but for the most part I didn't notice. The plot was a little heavy on family drama for my husband's taste; as for me, I found myself tearing up in about 10 places (due to the conflicts between parents and children, and also because the music was SO pretty.) It's not for all tastes, but it wasn't just popcorn (as Pam said so eloquently earlier.) Probably 3/5 stars. Or 3 1/2. Yeah.