This book was extremely moving, and brought me to a time in French history that I was never aware of. Though sad, I think that the stories of Sarah an...moreThis book was extremely moving, and brought me to a time in French history that I was never aware of. Though sad, I think that the stories of Sarah and Julia are really a true example of how connected we all are in this life.
Tatiana de Rosnay has a very fluid way of telling this unforgettable story, and her varying passages from past to present really made this book a page turner that I couldn't put down.
This book is a reality check for any reader, and will challenge your mind as to what is right and wrong, while peeking inside the mind of a 10 year old girl who had to make the biggest decision of her life in the blink of an eye.
Sarah's Key is a book that is good for the soul.
I am giving 4 stars instead of 5, because I think the ending of this book was drawn out too long, and for that reason it took away from the amazing focus of the story.
I have to say that I was very disappointed by "Best Friends" by Martha Moody. Moody does exhibit an eloquent way of writing that will spark your taste...moreI have to say that I was very disappointed by "Best Friends" by Martha Moody. Moody does exhibit an eloquent way of writing that will spark your taste for vocabulary, but overall, the book to me seemed to be very much written like a soap opera script - long, overdone, and with so many plot twists that the reality of this being a believable story begins to disappear.
The book does start out with a lot of promise, though not with the most original premise. Two girls, one more fortunate than the other, become roommates and unlikely best friends, and this is the story of how their lives overlap even with their differences.
I think the book could have been better with about 100 less pages of unnecessary conversation, and a stronger ending. I was left feeling empty, hopeless for these characters' future, as I'm left pondering if Moody truly has this pessimistic view of women's companionship and life.
This is no "Ya-Ya Sisterhood," and before you delve into purchasing this book for your Best Friend as a token of love or admiration, make sure you read the text, because to most friendship is much more than protecting each other from secrets and lies. (less)
I loved "The Secret Life of Bees"! I'm a huge fan of descriptive writing, and Sue Monk Kidd had me smelling the honey, hearing the bees hum, and feeli...moreI loved "The Secret Life of Bees"! I'm a huge fan of descriptive writing, and Sue Monk Kidd had me smelling the honey, hearing the bees hum, and feeling that hot southern sun. It was a delicious read, that sucked me right into the town of Tiburon, South Carolina in 1964.
I appreciated the over-arching analogy that really made this novel, how our little communities of friends and family are like the lives of bees. The research and depth Sue Monk Kidd did to introduce all this bee-knowledge to the reader was key.
The character development in this story was also becoming. I had different feelings for each of the characters, and was surprised that I found myself becoming more attached to some and less attached to others, as the story went on.
A very good perspective on the Civil Rights Movements of the 60's. (less)
Water for Elephants is a book that is good for the soul. I truly enjoyed reading Sara Gruen's action-packed novel based on the Depression-Era Circus...more Water for Elephants is a book that is good for the soul. I truly enjoyed reading Sara Gruen's action-packed novel based on the Depression-Era Circus Trains. Her characters and details were vivid, leaving their impressions stuck in my mind long after each time I put the book down.
This book is astonishingly emotional. From Jacob's story in the present day, to how his story began and the very real tale of Rosie, there were many moments that broke my heart, drew me in, or uplifted me. The all too real treatment of the animals and workers was no surprise, and though there were scenes I could hardly stomach emotionally, I'm glad that Gruen added them in, because they were a necessary anecdote of the time.
The love story wrapped up in this page turner is one for both genders. Three cheers for Jacob Jankowski. (less)
What a truly uplifting book about friendship and following your dreams, no matter how big or small they might be!
This book started off a little slower...moreWhat a truly uplifting book about friendship and following your dreams, no matter how big or small they might be!
This book started off a little slower for me, but by halfway through I was entranced by every word. I found this book inspiring and well written. The only disappointment I'm left with is not having my own group of Wednesday Sisters.
I loved how Clayton tied in the events of the late 60's and early 70's, giving the reader a better 'view' of how many changes the United States was going through at that time. It also made the book that much more meaningful, seeing how far women's rights and women's confidence in general has come since those days.
The only thing I didn't love about this book was that it was all from one woman's perspective. I think I would have liked to see things come full circle, with chapters from each of the Wednesday Sisters.
I would highly recommend this book to young writers, especially those in high school and college. A delicious dose of encouragement. I also would recommend this book to teachers everywhere, the ones who push us along and inspire us to dream big. (less)
This book was such a bittersweet look into a Chinese culture that barely survives today. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a wonderful story of friend...moreThis book was such a bittersweet look into a Chinese culture that barely survives today. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a wonderful story of friendship, survival, and a woman's worth. Lisa See did a wonderful job of portraying emotion and using descriptive language that made me feel both so much joy and so much pain for her characters. I was enchanted by Nu Shu and the sad images of what women went through with footbinding. See challenges her readers to reconsider what misconceptions or misunderstandings we face through life, as we try to save face for ourselves and our families.
I only wish that the book went into more detail on the feelings and emotions that went along with these prearranged marriages that the girls faced, and was left with so many questions concerning their fears and their curiousity as these men, these strangers, took them as wives. (less)
I really, really enjoyed this 2nd novel by Marisa de los Santos, although, I didn't know until about halfway through Belong to Me that her first novel...moreI really, really enjoyed this 2nd novel by Marisa de los Santos, although, I didn't know until about halfway through Belong to Me that her first novel, Love Walked In, was actually a prequel. I was a little disappointed that I hadn't read Love Walked In first, but it certainly isn't necessary to get into Belong To Me. The character development and storylines are so strong that they need no introduction.
I loved how real all of the characters are. The main characters - Cornelia, Piper, & Dev, were the perfect choices for the voices of this book, and to give the reader an insight of all these different sides of what is ultimately the same story. I do agree with many of the other reviews that Dev's character is over-developed. In the novel, he is supposed to be a gifted 14 year old boy, but his intelligence is truly beyond most 30 year olds I know, which made it hard for me to keep in mind that he is an adolescent, and the emotions of which he's going through are much more fragile than an adult would view.
Each character's flaws, needs, desires and pains are what drew me into this book, and made me feel as if I personally knew them. I really identified with Cornelia's character, being that I too also just moved to the suburbs from NYC, and I'm expecting my first child, while trying to grow my repertoire of people to belong to, being that I came here only knowing my husband. It's a very true thing, how connected we all are, and how even our friends aren't really the people we choose, but what the greater forces choose for us. (less)
After reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, I am thoroughly disappointed in The Mermaid Chair. First of all, the main plot of the book is...moreAfter reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, I am thoroughly disappointed in The Mermaid Chair. First of all, the main plot of the book is completely unoriginal. Mother begins to drown in crazy illness, mother's friends encourage daughter to come home to mom, daughter enters bought of self discovery back at home. Ya-Ya Sisterhood sound familiar?
I think that the problem I had with this book was the protagonist, Jessie. Jessie is an empty nester going through what is obviously a mid-life crisis. She's whiney, selfish, and above all thinks that the world revolves around her. The text is just begging with the reader to sympathize with this character, but I just couldn't. I felt that the other characters were underdeveloped and that I didn't get a chance to know them.
What I enjoyed most about The Mermaid Chair was the story of Jessie's parents, and their marriage. Still, I was left without any "a-ha" moments to which will keep this book in the back of my mind.
Whereas I do find Sue Monk Kidd to be a brilliant author with unlimited potential, I do think this one was a miss. (less)
Something Borrowed definitely brought me back to the time I spent living in Manhattan, with the people, the attitudes, and the all too real deceit amo...moreSomething Borrowed definitely brought me back to the time I spent living in Manhattan, with the people, the attitudes, and the all too real deceit among groups of friends.
I started the book expecting a bunch of "fluff," but was drawn in by Emily Giffin's writing style. Reading this book was as fluid as a conversation with an old friend. I couldn't put the book down! I felt like the narrator Rachel's confident, and even though I couldn't stand some of her actions, I just had to know what was going to happen next.
The ending was not what I expected, which separates Something Borrowed from the all too familiar chick lit read. I look forward to reading the next book in her series, Something Blue. (less)
Lisa Hilton goes into the dark depths of 17th century to show us the life of the Royal Court of France through the biography of King Louis XIV's mistr...moreLisa Hilton goes into the dark depths of 17th century to show us the life of the Royal Court of France through the biography of King Louis XIV's mistress, Athenais. Her research is indepth and what you'll find here is unpredictable.
For anyone who gets kicks out of reading today's gossip columns, this biography is packed full of power, longing, lust, deceit, scandal, passion and more.
A dense read, I found myself confusing the many names of the members of court, but the life of Athenais, though ignored much in its time, is not one that Hilton is going to let be forgotten. (less)
I would have given Veil of Roses 3.5 stars if the half star was available, but being that it is not... the highest I will rate is a 3 star.
The theme...moreI would have given Veil of Roses 3.5 stars if the half star was available, but being that it is not... the highest I will rate is a 3 star.
The theme behind the story has an extremely winning concept. A woman's Iranian family gets her a three month visa to the United States in hopes that their daughter will find a suitable husband and gain citizenship. Being that life in Iran is far from ideal, the story speaks of the pressures and frustrations with finding a husband who will also allows her to live a free life in America.
Though I enjoyed the characters and scenes in this book very much, I could not help but think the entire time that "something is missing." For one, the plot does not leave much to mystery, and the outcomes are sometimes almost painfully predictable. Second, this book is lacking historical facts. I decided to read this book mainly as a way to learn about Iranian culture and the true emotions of women who have to live their lives by nothing but rules. This book is lacking both. The most we learn is that there have been 'revolutions' in Iran in to which these circumstances have made things the way that they are. The author would have done well to dig a little deeper into Iranian history to help us connect with Tami (the protagonist) a little bit more.
I did enjoy what a light read this was and appreciated the coming together of Tami's English class as a focal point of the story. (less)
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin tells an amazing story of one man who makes a world of difference for the people of Pakista...moreThree Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin tells an amazing story of one man who makes a world of difference for the people of Pakistan, especially young girls. Seeing what Greg Mortenson has done in building schools and promoting peace is simply inspiring - he is a true American hero. This book should be read by anyone whose ever aspired to help others but thought their one-person power was too small. Mortenson will show you otherwise.
This book also offered a truly interesting perspective of the events of 9/11 from Pakistanis' points of view. Their empathy for Greg's America and determination to protect him was uplifting - a reminder that we really are all connected here on this planet, just as humans.
The biggest thing I didn't like about this book was that even though it was written by Greg Mortenson (the main character) and his co-author David Oliver Relin, the book is still written in third person. Often times, I felt like I was reading just one long quote from Mortenson, and much of the story felt second-hand, like a newspaper article in which I couldn't decipher truth from the added "flair." I really wish the authors had worked together to write it in first person from Greg's perspective, because I think it would have offered so much more emotion to and connection from the reader. (less)
I loved "The Lace Makers of Glenmara." I found this short read absolutely charming and enchanting. Barbieri's storytelling really engaged me, and with...moreI loved "The Lace Makers of Glenmara." I found this short read absolutely charming and enchanting. Barbieri's storytelling really engaged me, and within the first few chapters I felt like I was in Glenmara myself.
I enjoyed reading the novel from all of the characters angles, and believe that it added a lot of flavor to the story. The so many intricate themes going on in "The Lace Makers of Glenmara" we woven so delicately together, just like lace. A bittersweet read celebrating friendship, adventure, and letting life lead us to where we belong. (less)
Emily Giffin makes a bold move in Something Blue by telling the story from the perspective of Darcy. After reading Something Borrowed, the reader is n...moreEmily Giffin makes a bold move in Something Blue by telling the story from the perspective of Darcy. After reading Something Borrowed, the reader is naturally inclined to "side" with Rachel, and this new perspective does take some getting used to. For about the first half of Something Blue I still couldn't stand Darcy and wondered why Giffin thought it would be a good idea to make her the protagonist of an entire novel. However, if you hang in there, what emerges is brilliant writing. Giffin displays how people grow and change given the circumstances in their lives, and it is truly very interesting how everything comes full circle in the end. (less)
Such a well written and well thought out book! The complex world that Audrey Niffenegger creates draws the reader in and takes you to a place where ti...moreSuch a well written and well thought out book! The complex world that Audrey Niffenegger creates draws the reader in and takes you to a place where time travel is really possible and the consequences are both of vast amazement and trouble.
I really enjoyed reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I have not yet seen the movie (always prefer to read the book first) but look forward to now. I appreciated how much detail Niffenegger went to to bring us the intimate world of Clare and Henry, the majesty of the Meadowlark home, and the pain and suffering of miscarriage.
As far as the characters are concerned, I was a little apprehensive about reading a story in which the main character meets her husband at age 6. There were instances in which I felt sorry for her, with her whole life already predestined before her, and I believe that she could have done better than Henry. However, those circumstances would not have made the book work, and I think The Time Traveler's Wife is a remarkable story of a romance over the course of time. Some of the explicit language took away from the lovey dovey feelings I was hoping to feel, but I think they better explain what kind of person Henry is and where he is coming from.
I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I believe that it would have been just as brilliant of a read had it been about 150 pages shorter. There were many scenes and dialogue that I just felt could have been left out, and may have taken away from the magic of the plot just a tiny bit. (less)
Interesting autobiography about how one man faced many obstacles while growing up before turning his life around to the Lord Jesus. I like how the aut...moreInteresting autobiography about how one man faced many obstacles while growing up before turning his life around to the Lord Jesus. I like how the author mentions that everyone has a story to tell, and that it was his personal goal to tell his by publishing two books. I enjoyed the many references from the Bible, especially from the Book of John. Although some may disagree with the author's conclusions, it is clear that he has put a lot of thought and consideration into his own theological stances. (less)
This book is my favorite Emily Giffin book to date. As I started reading, there were moments when I couldn't help but roll my eyes, as with the last t...moreThis book is my favorite Emily Giffin book to date. As I started reading, there were moments when I couldn't help but roll my eyes, as with the last two books. BUT... then I asked myself, exactly why do I keep reading? I think that answer is that Giffin's books are full of characters that consistently make choices that I myself would never make, and something in that intrigues me. That, and, her writing on New York and all its haunts take me back to the time when I lived there, so much to a point that I can feel chilly autumn air and the smell of the village.
Anyways... I thoroughly enjoyed Baby Proof. I feel that Giffin did an excellent job displaying the world of publishing, and that Claudia is her most real character to date. I didn't find the book predictable at all, and it was interesting to read this outlook on the things we will and/or won't do for love. An easy read and the perfect companion to cozy up with on a cold November day. (less)
I feel so blessed to have won this book through the First Reads program! My mom has always been a Joyce Meyer fan, but this is the first book I have r...moreI feel so blessed to have won this book through the First Reads program! My mom has always been a Joyce Meyer fan, but this is the first book I have read of her collection. I truly enjoyed this book from cover to cover.
Though an easy read, I took my time with this one because there was so much to reflect on. The way The Love Revolution is written in segments makes it easy to leave off and pick up pretty much at any point. I can even see this book being used as a devotional for church groups or those looking to make a difference.
The book itself describes what the world needs in today's day and age - love. Meyer explains that there are so many of us out there (myself, for sure) that always want to help, but don't think that we have the means. She, among others, leave us with inspiring ideas on how we can all be better Christians, and better people in general.
I've read in other reviews that people thought this book was too depressing with it's sad statistics and stories. I agree... it IS depressing... though completely and entirely necessary. All too often we find it easier to be ignorant of what it going on in the world, because it doesn't directly effect us, and if we don't know about it therefore cannot make us sad or feel guilty. I like how Joyce doesn't use this text to preach that we must do this or we must do that, but she simply lays down the facts and mentions that there are a million ways to help, from going on mission trips across the world, to offering to get the mail for your elderly neighbor.
One of my favorite quotes from the book went something like this, "If we want something bad enough, we will make it happen." Meyer talks about how often we don't do things because we make excuses for ourselves.
Most importantly, I find it nice that Meyer does not just preach what she believes, but speaks from the heart and reminds us that we all are different and we all have different opinions. She respects that, and through reading we learn that she too, has many flaws, like all of us, and life is really about discovering those flaws and working through them.
I give this book an A+... one to keep around and to look back to from time to time. (less)
I would not have picked this book myself, generally because of its dark and erie nature. However, Erik Larson does an absolutely brilliant job of writ...moreI would not have picked this book myself, generally because of its dark and erie nature. However, Erik Larson does an absolutely brilliant job of writing these two historic stories along the same timeline that there were many times I had to remind myself that what I was reading was nonfiction and that the events taking place actually happened.
The most entrancing part for me was the preparation of the fair, and how different everything then was from today's world. I've been to Chicago many times, and this book definitely makes me see it in a difference light. Bravo to Burnham, who did receive the clean and beautiful city that he once dreamed of.
"The Devil in the White City" did leave me lingering with a few questions that were not answered, but I suppose that is all a part of the history of mystery. The facts are many and the stories are dense, so I suggest setting aside a good amount of time to read this one. (less)
I just couldn't get into River Cross My Heart. The story opens with the tragic death of a young girl, and the following plot always comes back to that...moreI just couldn't get into River Cross My Heart. The story opens with the tragic death of a young girl, and the following plot always comes back to that scene, and how a family and neighborhood are changed because of the death. I don't know if it is because the reader doesn't know the character that passes away, but because there were so few details I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters, but rather felt that I was reading the news.
Breena Clarke writes beautifully about 1920's Georgetown, nearly to an extent that you feel like you're there in the Bynum's kitchen as the smells of Thanksgiving dinner take over the house. I truly commend the writing style of this first novel.
The protagonist, Johnnie Mae, lives a troubled life from the point of her sister's death, and many of the scenes with the pool, river, and her friend Pearl left me puzzled. I feel like this book left a lot of things unresolved and walk away somewhat scratching my head.
My husband and I read this book together while we were expecting our daughter in 2009. We often look back on it and are glad that we took the time. It...moreMy husband and I read this book together while we were expecting our daughter in 2009. We often look back on it and are glad that we took the time. It has helped us stay focussed and mindful of our marriage while being the best Christian parents we can be. (less)