Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged friendship


By the age of nine, Michelle LeBeau has already taken more than a few knocks. Her mom has disappeared—whereabouts unknown—and her dad has unceremoniously dumped her with his aging parents in tiny Deerhorn, Wisconsin and left town. Michelle is Deerhorn's first biracial resident—half Japanese, half white—and she is not allowed to forget it. Her only friends are a loving spaniel and her grandparents, a charismatic retiree named Charlie, and his dutiful wife, Helen.

Connected: The Suprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do

Connected is firstly an enjoyable read. There is something compelling about seeing the familiar, mundane details of our every day social life studied from a completely different perspective. Social networks are huge and for the most part we have no idea where we fit into them or just how far they reach. In a way this is Christakis and Fowler's point. What most of us think of as our social network are the people we know and see on a regular basis.

Stranger Here Below

Stranger Here Below tells the stories of three generations of women whose lives are connected by a single institution and a changing America. Amazing Grace “Maze” Jansen and Mary Elizabeth “M. E.” Cox meet at Berea College in Kentucky in 1961. Maze is a poor white mountain girl and M. E. is one of just a few African American students at the college. The young women come from difficult backgrounds and both have mothers who have struggled.

With Friends Like These

Sally Koslow’s With Friends Like These is mostly predictable. The main characters—a group of four women who are each others’ best friends—are often caricatures, and there is nothing terribly new or innovative about the story. Still, I didn’t dislike the book (except for the ending, which was terribly trite) and may even read it again.

The Romantics

Walking in to watch The Romantics, I feared it might be a movie that relies on star power to get by. Valentine’s Day is what came to mind, and even though the level of celebrity of the stars of The Romantics isn’t exactly the same (Katie Holmes and Anna Paquin aren’t quite Julia Roberts and Jessica Alba), I was nonetheless worried.

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship

My daughter has a t-shirt that reads “Friends are Forever, Boys are…Whatever”. It always gets a laugh, especially from her female teachers. And while most of us know that friends are not always forever, we do realize the importance of girlfriends. Every girl needs a girlfriend.

Not that Kind of Girl

Painting people into camps is really easy to do: either they’re good or bad, respected or mocked, smart or silly. For Natalie, high school—and life—is a pretty simple game of either/or. And she knows what she is: she’s a senior. She’s student council president. She’s going places. There’s no room for the other side, and definitely no room for the myriad shades of gray that make up the vast middle.

The Switch

The Switch is getting a lukewarm reception, unless of course you count Capone's review over at AintItCoolNews.com, which makes the film sound like the culprit behind most major World Wars.


Michelle Huneven’s Blame spans twenty years in fewer than 300 pages but avoids any frantic pacing or strange leaps. Patsy MacLemoore, the main character, is an alcoholic. A young academic, her scholarly accomplishments initially help to balance negative effects of her alcoholism. Huneven’s protagonist has a professorship at a at a small liberal arts college.

Get Him to the Greek

Aldous Snow (Russell Brand)—the uber-sexual, tongue-in-cheek (and anywhere else you’ll let him stick it) Brit-rocker introduced to audiences in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall—is back in the latest film from yet another member of the Apatow Film Club for Boys.

Le Code a Changé

The French comedy of manners conjures up for me, an Anglophone, a bitchy Restoration drama rather than Molière. Jean Renoir’s heavy 1939 film The Rules of the Game, the iconic update of the genre, greatly dilutes the comic elements. Now, Le Code a Changé (Change of Plans) offers a lighter brew with only a dash of melancholy.

Lahore with Love: Growing Up with Girlfriends, Pakistani-Style

A poet’s power lies not only in her well-crafted images but in the rhythm of her recitation. As I read Lahore With Love, the memoir of Fawzia Afzal-Khan, I longed to hear her read the volume aloud.

Molly Fox's Birthday

The fact that Deirdre Madden's tale takes place all in one day, as a calm reflection of the narrator’s relationships, does not take away from the fantastic insights to human nature that the author reveals.

The Spare Room

Many of us love our friends just as much as our family members. We often believe we would go to great lengths to protect them, as does Helen, the narrator of The Spare Room.

The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship

As I became immersed in The Girls from Ames, I started to view it as a collective memoir of eleven women who have been friends since they were young girls in Ames, Iowa. While I expected to find the book a worthwhile read, I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I could relate to in this book. I found the story of these women both touching and humorous as I read it, prompting a reflection on my own female friendships over the years.

Love Goes to Press: A Comedy in Three Acts

It's impossible to dislike a female protagonist who opines, fifteen miles south of the Italian front in the second-to-last year of World War II, "If there's anything I really loathe, it's a woman protector." Delivered by Annabelle Jones, war correspondent for the San Francisco World, in conversation with Jane Mason, war correspondent for the New York Bulletin, this line refers to one of the many well-meaning men who are the butts of the jokes in the play Love Goes to Press.


The first Wolf People album released in the U.S., Tidings is comprised of three years worth of psychedelic, folksy Brit rock recordings, some of which were composed before the formation of the current lineup.

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation

The world of young adult books never ceases to be amazing. With a range of topics reminding us of our stressful adolescent selves, young adult books hold a set amount of information about friendships with other girls, jealousy, boyfriends, questions about sex, and overall embarrassing experiences that the characters will laugh about when they look back on their lives. How to Ruin Your Boyfrend's Reputation fits perfectly into this mold.

Against the Current

As Paul Thompson in the surprising and moving Against the Current, Joseph Fiennes has the deep, burned out eyes of a man who no longer cares for life and yearns for his misery to end. Yet he still has a dream: to swim the length (150 miles) of the Lower Hudson River.

It Was Great, But I Was Ready To Come Home

The mythical tropical vacation: surfing, tequila, half-naked beauties, sunsets, dancing, delicious food, and life-changing vistas. It Was Great, But I Was Ready To Come Home strips the glorified ideal of self-discovery down to its reality: bugs, dodgy tacos, heat, dodgy people, heat, dodgy beds, and heat. I watched this film with a half dozen expatriate women living in Mexico City. All of us are travelers; we've backpacked and we have our own stories that could fill up the big screen. So why would this movie be worth watching?

Blood Sistas: The Chronicals of Black Uptown Girlz Growing Up in the Hood

As a White girl growing up in rural Wisconsin, I had no idea what city life was like. Post-college, I traveled, hoping to broaden my horizons and learn a bit about urban living. After that, I thought I had some pretty good ideas about what growing up in the city was like: living in an apartment, going to the laundromat, shopping at the small supermarket down the street, and hearing traffic and sirens twenty-four hours a day. After reading this book, I can tell you I know absolutely nothing about the intricacies of inner-city life.

My Life in a Nutshell (10/10/2009)

Obie award winner Hanne Tierney’s latest work, My Life in a Nutshell, doesn’t shy away from big themes. Death, friendship, jealousy, love, lust, mourning, and carrying on in the face of life’s abundant whammies make appearances in this innovative, clever, and totally absorbing forty-five-minute puppet show for adults.

Coffeehouse Angel

Life my feelings for a cup of coffee itself, I had high expectations before opening the book’s cover, but I wasn’t convinced Coffeehouse Angel was for me. At first it seemed kind of bitter, but quickly the story grew on me until I was hooked. Suzanne Selfors’ latest book tells the tale of teenager Katrina Svensen as she faces some typical and not-so-typical growing pains. Like most teenagers, she is trying to find her place in the big world.

The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos

The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos is an elaborate story of two childhood friends, Lily and Irene. Despite their differences, Lily Martinez, who comes from a middle class family, and Irene Dos Santos, who comes from a wealthier family, quickly become friends while attending a private school together in Caracas, Venezuela. Irene is "the controller in their society of two." She introduces Lily to her first boyfriend and teaches her how to French kiss.

Beyond the Station Lies the Sea

Cosmos and Niner are homeless. Niner, who has been given this name because he is nine-years-old, was thrown out by a violent stepfather. After that, Niner used to sneak into his house at night to eat the dinner his mother left on the table for him. When his mother was taken away in an ambulance, the house was locked up and he couldn’t get in anymore. Cosmos, an adult, has been homeless for a long time, and has teamed up with Niner on the streets. More than anything, Cosmos and Niner want to go to the seaside, where they can live without the worries that plague them in the city.

April and Oliver

Tess Callahan’s debut novel, April and Oliver, begins with the death of April’s beloved younger brother, Buddy, in a car accident on a snowy winter afternoon. As Buddy takes his last breaths, he recalls a childhood memory of being lost in the woods with April and her friend, Oliver, and the reassurance of holding both of their hands.

The Girls

The Girls is a modern chick lit version of The Women by Clare Boothe Luce. This book, like that classic play, is made especially interesting because boys are talked about, but not featured as active characters!

Dunya and Desie

Dunya and Desie is a 2006 Dutch film with English subtitles from director Dana Nachushtan. In the same vein as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Dunya and Desie is the fun story of two best friends from opposite upbringings and how they find what they are looking for in life.

Willing Spirits

What do you do when you’ve followed all the rules that “they” told you would bring you happiness and security?

I Love You, Man / Duplicity

I can’t remember the last time that I went to the theater and saw two movies in one day. For that matter, I can’t remember the last time that I was even able to afford that; I live in Manhattan, land of the thirteen dollar movie ticket. However, there were two recently released flicks that I was absolutely dying to see.