The Sixteen by Ali B. is the second book in The Soul Jumper Series. It is for ages 8-12 but I think that it can be read by older children and adults....moreThe Sixteen by Ali B. is the second book in The Soul Jumper Series. It is for ages 8-12 but I think that it can be read by older children and adults. I don't usually read middle grade books so I was not sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised though as the story moved right along at a good pace and kept me interested. At times though I felt that Iris Brave seemed older than what she really was or rather she was very mature for her age. Iris is trying to find her father Micah, who is a soul jumper. While she is taken prisoner by The Sixteen, a group of soul jumpers, she does find her father where she is held. Now she needs to figure out how to rescue him and get them both out of their prison. Can she succeed?
The story was told in the first person, Iris Brave, and a very imaginative speculation of people jumping into other people's bodys to prolong their life. I don't know as I would care to do that though, especially for instance if you were to jump into the body of a very young person or I suppose the very old. Still all in all an interesting concept. Iris is a very brave girl and she undertakes a journey that could be the end of all she holds dear.
The Paradise Tree by Elena Maria Vidal is a story inspired by the author's great-great-great grandfather Daniel O'Connor. He is a young man who immigr...moreThe Paradise Tree by Elena Maria Vidal is a story inspired by the author's great-great-great grandfather Daniel O'Connor. He is a young man who immigrated from Ireland in 1821. A very sad time I think for those left behind, even though I am sure most of the families wished the people good luck with the hopes that the person who immigrated sends for them. Doesn't always happen that way though. Daniel does not know if he will ever see his siblings and mother again. Daniel immigrated to Ontario, Canada and worked hard and saved what he earned so he could purchase land to start a homestead. After a few years, when he felt that he is established enough to marry, he meets a 16 year old Irish girl, Brigit Trainor. Of Catholic faith, there is no escaping the persecution of Catholics by Protestants, Daniel sticks to what he believes in and raises his family of 11 children to also stay true to their faith. The enforcement of the Penal Code to the Irish, in Ireland and in Canada was a terrible thing but the Irish persevered and learned to love and respect the land they had and lived their lives as such according to their faith.
This is a story full of love, laughter and sadness. This is a telling of a great Irish stories of a virtuous man who became the patriarch of the O'Connors. I love to read any stories of Irish immigrants, I often wish I knew more about mine, and this story was no exception. This is not only the story of the O'Connor family but of every person, man, woman or child that immigrated in these tough times.
Did you know that Under the Penal Laws the Irish Catholic was forbidden the exercise of their religion. It..... was forbidden to receive education. was forbidden to enter a profession. was forbidden to hold public office. was forbidden to engage in trade or commerce. was forbidden to live in a corporate town or within five miles thereof. was forbidden to own a horse of greater value than five pounds. was forbidden to own land. was forbidden to lease land. was forbidden to accept a mortgage on land in security for a loan. was forbidden to vote. was forbidden to keep any arms for his protection. was forbidden to hold a life annuity. was forbidden to buy land from a Protestant. was forbidden to receive a gift of land from a Protestant. was forbidden to inherit land from a Protestant. was forbidden to inherit anything from a Protestant. was forbidden to rent any land that was worth more than 30 shillings a year. was forbidden to reap from his land any profit exceeding a third of the rent. could not be guardian to a child. could not, when dying, leave his infant children under Catholic guardianship. could not attend Catholic worship. was compelled by law to attend Protestant worship. could not himself educate his child. could not send his child to a Catholic teacher. could not employ a Catholic teacher to come to his child. could not send his child abroad to receive education. ..source.. Irish Memorial Stones Wow, what a terrible way to have to live because of your faith. I think that Elena Maria Vidal in doing the amount of research that she did into her families background, and end up telling the story with the grace and respect that she did is truly the mark of a great storyteller. Give this awesome book a read!
I received the book for review and was not monetarily compensated for this review. (less)
I received The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle for review and was excited to read it, based on the description on the jacket. It sounded like a great dr...moreI received The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle for review and was excited to read it, based on the description on the jacket. It sounded like a great dramatic, mystery novel, but after finishing it, it was not what I had expected. And not in a satisfying, surprising way.
Goodreads has provided the following description of the novel:
Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care—and coming to terms with his guilt.
Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope.
As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth—and all the lies that came before—may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated…
There were elements of intrigue, mystery, compassion, suffering, etc. Everything a great suspense novel should have. But I felt it was more romantic suspense than anything else, and that was misleading. Romantic suspense is not my preferred genre. I mean, the main character falls in love with a guy within a few days, while her siblings are refusing to talk to her and her father has come home from prison (still incarcerated with an ankle bracelet) to die humanely? I was disappointed that this plotline seemed to overshadow what I presumed the actual plotline to be, simply based on the jacket description. There is mention of a “handsome bartender” so I knew there would be some romantic elements, but I was hoping more for a Gillian Flynn type of novel (not Gone Girl; don’t even get me started on the ending of that book).
Don’t get me wrong; some parts of this book were pretty good. There was a weird twist at the end with Gia and Jake, and as much as you want a happy resolution between children and a parent on his deathbed, it doesn’t always happen. So at least she didn’t give us a “too perfect” little happy ending where everything is sunshine and rainbows and everyone lives happily ever after. I was pleased with the ending of the book in a way that it wasn't corny and expected.
I see this book has been getting 4-5 stars on Goodreads and I’m not absolutely certain it deserves that. I would say 2.5-3 stars. In the author’s defense, she is a good writer. The book kept my attention for the most part but I found myself just wanting to be done with this book so I could start a new book.
Goddess Born is one of those novels that is quite easy to read and hard to put down. When I read the blurb on the book and it said Celtic Mythology, I...moreGoddess Born is one of those novels that is quite easy to read and hard to put down. When I read the blurb on the book and it said Celtic Mythology, I was right there, as I enjoy reading about anything Celtic. It's true, I am a fanatic. Selah has a predicament that she needs to take care of right now. With a tragedy in her family, she will be forced to marry Nathan Crowly, who is a despicable individual for sure. Selah has a gift of being able to heal people and she needs to keep that secret. In 1700's, The Quaker community of Hopewell are a suspicious lot, so if word got out about her abilities she could be declared a witch and punished as such. We all know how that worked out for people in Salem. Selah flees to Boston to meet her cousin who she will be marrying, There is a tradition in the family to marry cousins so with the hopes that when she goes back home she can evade Nathan and continue to do what she is meant to do be a healer. Things of course don't go as planned and...well the story continues from there...not going to tell you anymore, you will just have to go and get a copy.
I thought the book was well written and of course a story with a bit of humor and mystery is the best kind. There will be another book to the series and I look forward to reading that one also. Great story!