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Country: Europe, FR, France
The sky in Pisa was blue that day, but the sort of blue one finds in only the hottest of flames, and even in the shadow of La Torre di Pisa one could find no refuge. Although the Tuscan people naturally carry a skin hue far from a pasty British white, today the sun had baked them to a familiar Sicilian brown, a defense against its scorching rays with which I, a simple traveler from New England, was not gifted. As the skin on my lips cracked and the darkest caverns of my mouth went dry, I reached into my worn leather rucksack and pulled out a gallon of ice cold Tuscan Whole Milk. As I poured myself a short glass full, I marveled at it's creamy texture and swift, clean finish. Then, I wondered why I packed my rucksack full of milk instead of water.
Counting by 7's is Holly Goldberg Sloan's riveting tale of Willow Chance, an eccentric, brilliant 12-year-old girl who is struck by tragedy. Most of the book is narrated by Willow in short declarative sentences.
Most of which take up an entire paragraph.
You soon get used to it.
This style matches Willow's mind, which is perhaps (undiagnosed in the book) Aspergerian, mostly on the basis of her brilliant fixations on matters medical and gastronomic and her lack of social skills. She also learns passable Vietnamese in a matter of weeks.
The narration is routinely and smoothly shifted to third person, largely to get the perspective of hapless school counselor Dell Duke, who seems (rather unbelievably) to be the only school employee to recognize Willow's preternatural exceptionalism. He attempts to harness it to make stock market picks, in a less successful echo of the way Tom Cruise tried to get Dustin Hoffman to card count for him in Las Vegas. Oddly, these third-person sections are also composed of single and two-sentence paragraphs. Perhaps because Dell is as simple minded as Willow is direct.
Other perspectives include Jairo Hernadez, a taxi driver who plays an important, but minor role in the narrative. And Pattie Ngyuen, the nail salon proprietor who is one of the heroes of the tale. She has at least one three-sentence paragraph.
But, more often, just a single sentence one.
But then English is a second language for Jairo and Pattie. So perhaps the style is a perfect correlative to their English skills.
In any case you soon get used to it.
This is not to suggest the style is in any way off-putting. It's actually mesmerizing and probably a perfect fit for young readers. Besides, I have a special weakness for characters of exceptional intelligence (think the middle third of Flowers for Algernon). I also loved the biographies of Novel Laureates Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann, even though the physics sections soared over my head like odd, suggestively shaped clouds. Besides, Willow's brilliance gives Sloan many opportunities to introduce fascinating facts and trivia, as well as age-inappropriate vocabulary. This is all quite fantastically entertaining.
About halfway through I was sure this might be the best MG book I'd ever read. By the end, I was slightly less enthused, since it was now just firmly in my top ten. Turns out Sloan is a little better with alienation and loss than with togetherness and found family.
But still, you ought to run out and read this right now.
Make sure you leave a seven-hour stretch of free time.
I have a MacBook Aluminium late 2008 and this upgrade was really good. Because it's SATA II and not works fully at 6Gbps.
Not worth buying a newer model, because the macbook only recognizes 3Gbps.
My late HD: R/W 50MB/s
Crucial M500: R/W 130~140MB/s
That's awesome! Changing only hard drive to ssd increasely 100% of boot time, now it's less 30s. I guess I made a good choice. Let's see how much time it survives.