I did not think the second book could be any better than the first but it really was. I loved that the book gets a bit out of Karou's head and you getI did not think the second book could be any better than the first but it really was. I loved that the book gets a bit out of Karou's head and you get to see everything that is going on everywhere and there is SO MUCH going on. The writing is as beautiful and lyrical as the first book and listening to it on audio really brings that out. I'm sad that I already have a full audiobook docket for the next month and won't get to experience the 3rd book for a little while. ...more
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.
Karou is a young art student in Prague, who on theWalking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.
Karou is a young art student in Prague, who on the surface does not seem that different from her fellow students. Yes she has blue hair and tattoos, but who doesn't experiment with their appearance a bit in their younger years? She was, however, raised in an otherworldly shop and has no idea who or what she really is. A chance meeting with the gorgeous Akiva may give her the answers she seeks, but are they answers she wants to know?
I had no idea what to expect from this book. Many people had recommended it to me and I had a free audio download from the Free SYNC Summer downloads a few years ago, but I was hesitant to read it as it did not seem to be a book I would enjoy. I was wrong. This book is amazing. Unfortunately, I can't give too much information without spoilers. The story is unique and I was on the edge of my seat wanting to see what happened next. The writing is beautiful. As others have said, Taylor has a way with words and her prose is almost poetic. Her words gave me chills often. There was a depth of emotion in the book that you do not usually find in many YA books. That being said she never resorts to purple prose and the story does not get bogged down with description. No words are wasted.
I listened to this book on audio and I am glad I did. The narrator brings the story to life with the right amount of emotion. Her voices are top notch. In fact, one of the reasons I like the writing of this book so much may be due to the fact that the narrator was so phenomenal. I definitely want to listen to more of her work.
I recommend this to fans of paranormal fantasy, but also to those who like to lose themselves in a story and appreciate great storytelling. It is definitely a great read and will leave you begging for more.
It was an odd request--visit a stranger's house and peer inside a closet--and as I drove through the neighborhood searching for the address, I felt mIt was an odd request--visit a stranger's house and peer inside a closet--and as I drove through the neighborhood searching for the address, I felt my anxiety mounting.
Ivy Hart is a teenaged girl trying to hold her family together on a North Carolina tobacco farm after the death of her parents. Jane Forrester is a young, idealistic social worker hoping to make the world a better place. When her path crosses that of Ivy, she is determined to do her best by the girl, but the secrets of the farm and the pressures from her social work peers and the state's Eugenics Committee begin to wear on Jane and have her questioning her own beliefs about what is right and wrong. Set in a time of great social change competing with antiquated ideas, Necessary Lies is the story of two brave young women who dare to dream.
I felt that this was a timely read since North Carolina has recently sent claim packets to 800 victims of the state's Eugenics program for monetary compensation http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Fo.... The eugenics movement of the early 20th century is a period of US history (yes many states other than North Carolina had programs such as the one contained in this book) that many people want to sweep under the rug (not least because many of these programs continued long after we defeated the evil Nazis for doing pretty much the same thing). It is a tragedy that so many American citizens were denied the right to make their own reproductive choices.
I have never read anything by Diane Chamberlain before, but I was quite interested in this book because of the topic. It was an excellent read, heartbreaking definitely but well-written and a book to keep you hooked til the end. Ivy and Jane were both well-developed characters and the switching between their two perspectives was seamless. They both had individual voices so it was not difficult to keep their parts separate. The portrayal of rural life in 1960s North Carolina seemed believable and well-researched. It is a tough read at times, but definitely worth reading. (view spoiler)[The ending is a little Lifetime-movie-worthy, but after all that Ivy and Jane went through it seemed like a fitting ending and I was quite happy with it. (hide spoiler)]
I would recommend this book to fans of Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalian. With it's switching perspectives and themes ripped from the headlines, it would appeal to fans of both authors.
S/N: I was quite excited that Jane attended the university I am currently attending. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In the predawn darkness of August 26, 1929, in the back bedroom of a small house in Torrance, California, a twelve-year-old boy sat up in bed, listenIn the predawn darkness of August 26, 1929, in the back bedroom of a small house in Torrance, California, a twelve-year-old boy sat up in bed, listening.
Louis Zamperini was a young Olympian well on his way to setting the record for the mile in the early 1940s when the infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor happened. Like so many young American men, Louie did his duty and enlisted in the army. Little did he know that in a few short months he would begin a fight for survival that would last for 2 years. Faced with starvation, imprisonment, beatings, and humiliation at the hands of his captors, Louie's determination would help him stay strong in a world turned upside down.
I picked this book up because I thought that Laura Hillenbrand did a spectacular job in Seabiscuit: An American Legend and had heard great things about this book as well. I was not disappointed, Hillenbrand is an excellent storyteller and makes nonfiction compelling to read. Louie's story comes to life in this book from his highs in making the 1936 Olympic team to his lows in the Japanese POW camps. It is an emotional read and I found myself ranging from angry to heartbroken to shedding tears of joy at the end. I like that the author included the struggles Louis faced when he made it home. I also like that the author followed the supporting characters to the end of their lives as well. Though it is at heart a biography of Louis Zamperini, it was good that those imprisoned with him got their share of page time.
I liked the audiobook and was glad I listened to the book as I would not have known how to pronounce most of those POW camp names otherwise. I did, however, find the narrator a bit slow and read the last 1/5 of the book myself instead of listening to the CD. This was my own personal preference and others may not find the narration to be an issue.
This was an excellent book and I highly recommend it to those interested in WWII history and biography. I also recommend Hillenbrand's books to those that think nonfiction is always boring and dry. This author knows how to bring history to life.
Spoilers are marked for Cress, but proceed with caution if you have not read Scarlet.
Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixtSpoilers are marked for Cress, but proceed with caution if you have not read Scarlet.
Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.
In this installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer tackles the story of Rapunzel. Cress has been trapped in a satellite for 7 years with only net screens for company, which has made her an expert hacker and a useful asset for Queen Levana. Cress has other ideas about how to spend her time. Ideas that include helping a certain cyborg fugitive, dashingly handsome criminal, fiery redhead, and a wolf keep from being captured by the Lunar fleet and possibly save the world.
I loved Cinder, but was a bit disappointed by Scarlet, so I wasn't sure how I would like this one, especially since one of my big problems with Scarlet was the switching viewpoints and I knew this one would switch between three protagonists. I was actually pleasantly surprised about how well the story flowed and how each girl was given her own voice. I do wish that the chapter headings would include the person's name we are currently with, since (especially on audio) it sometimes took a few sentences to realize what was going on. Minor inconvenience though, it was usually quite apparent within a few minutes. I also liked that even though the book is called Cress, everybody seems to get somewhat equal coverage. (view spoiler)[Except Scarlet who gets captured and all that, but I feel like we will get lots more Scarlet in the next book. (hide spoiler)]
I love reading series where you can tell the author was planning which direction she would go in from the beginning. There are many nods to the first book and connections being made. It's nice to see, especially when a lot of series by the 3rd book feel like they are running out of ideas and keep throwing in random new characters or situations out of the blue.
The big reason for the 5 star rating is just the emotionality of the story and everything coming together for the climax. The relationships between the characters deepen and their worries and fears are at the forefront. There is quite a bit of danger and quite a bit of romance. There were parts that had me in tears, which is pretty difficult to do. (view spoiler)[Dr. Erland telling Cress he was her father right as he was dying is probably the saddest scene I have ever read. (hide spoiler)] I cannot wait until the next book.
The audiobook was very good. It was the same reader as Scarlet, but she seems to have improved quite a bit, pronunciation of names was consistent in this one where it was not in Scarlet. She had the right amount of emotion for the story and gave every character their own voice. It was a beautiful performance and I hope the next one is just as good on audio.
I highly recommend this book to fans of the series. This is my favorite in the series so far and I cannot wait to see what comes next.
In April 1912, the largest and most luxurious ship in the world set sail from Southampton, England, 5 days later it and 1500 of its pafollow the food
In April 1912, the largest and most luxurious ship in the world set sail from Southampton, England, 5 days later it and 1500 of its passengers were at the bottom of the ocean. Allan Wolf recreates the lives of 20 of the Titanic passengers, their hopes and their dreams, in verse.
I'm usually not a big fan of novels in verse, but I love Titanic novels so I gave this a chance. I think what really made it for me was the audiobook and how it was narrated by multiple narrators. The author did his research, but unlike others his knowledge of facts did not overwhelm the story. There is still a compelling story to get lost in. I felt very connected to the characters and was sad to leave them at the end of the book. The author's note is long and detailed which was awesome. It was great to know where all the characters (based on real people) ended up.
I found this book to be extremely well-done and the audiobook to be amazing. The verse is very lyrical, but also very descriptive (many novels in verse suffer from a lack of description which is so important for historical fiction). The narrators were all excellent and brought the story to life in a way that I would have missed if I had just read the book.
I highly recommend the book to those who like historical fiction, especially Titanic fiction. It is an extremely good book and the audio version is excellent. ...more
International baggage claim in the Brussels airport was large and airy, with multiple carousels circling endlessly.
Piper Kerman was a young college gInternational baggage claim in the Brussels airport was large and airy, with multiple carousels circling endlessly.
Piper Kerman was a young college graduate searching for adventure when she got involved with a drug runner. Ten years later, she has a nice stable life and completely legal job when her earlier career catches up with her. Now she is going to prison for a year. This is the story of that year.
I was interested in the book because I have had Netflix recommending the show to me for months and figured I should read the book first. I found the book fascinating. Kerman definitely used her time in prison as a sort of anthropology fieldwork. The book reads like a novel and I am sure the author took some dramatic liberties, but it does not cross into the realm of unbelievability. It was also an interesting read because many books (fiction and nonfiction) focus on incarcerated men and it was great to have a book about women's prisons. I learned a lot about prisons and, especially, minimum security prisons. Camp Cupcake it ain't.
I do feel I need to warn people who watch the show that this book is not the show (especially in regards to the amount of sexual activity). Most of the situations that crop up in the show are not part of the book at all. This is not to say that the book and the show are not both enjoyable, but it is best to go into them knowing they won't be exactly like each other. It will save you some disappointment.
I highly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to those who like nonfiction reads based in weird places. The audiobook is quite good, narrated by the talented Cassandra Campbell. The book will make you laugh, cry, and value your freedom so much more. ...more
First sentence: "I stepped inside the railroad car, and three dozen pairs of eyes peered my way."
Mary Shelley Brown has been sent to live with her auFirst sentence: "I stepped inside the railroad car, and three dozen pairs of eyes peered my way."
Mary Shelley Brown has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego after her father is arrested. It is 1918 and the influenza epidemic is in full swing and World War I is claiming lives in Europe, including that of Mary's boyfriend, Stephen. With the devastating death tolls of both the war and the flu, many are taking advantage of the grieving through spirit photography and seances. Mary is skeptical of the spiritualism movement, but when she begins to see Stephen's ghost, she must question everything she believes to be true.
This is truly one of my favorite YA historical novels, on par with Uprising and Between Shades of Gray. It is one of those books that tells a beautiful, tragic, inspiring tale set against a well-researched historical background. It shows the dark and the light side of humanity, and seamlessly mixes several elements into the story. I have not read much about World War I and the flu epidemic and had no idea how much was going on at the time. I found Mary Shelley to be a very compelling and interesting character and I could not put the book down. The story took some twists and turns that I definitely did not expect. I really enjoyed the photos and propaganda from the time that found its way into the book. I think that did a good job of setting the tone for each chapter. The historical note at the end was great. I learned so much from this book as well as enjoying the story.
If you are looking for an excellent YA historical read, this is one of the best. It also has some paranormal and mystery elements for those of you who find historical fiction to be boring and dry at times. It is also definitely worth a read if you are interested in WWI and the Spanish Flu epidemic. The book is dark at times, but the overall message is one of hope and courage. ...more
"This is all terribly anticlimactic," I complained to my mistress.
The Lion and the Rose picks up immediately after the events of The Serpent and the Pearl. Giulia has just been ransomed by the Pope and returns to Rome and the Borgia. Carmelina and Leonello are still at each others' throats. Things are always interesting in the Borgia household, and its about to get more dangerous for everyone.
It killed me that it took so long for my library to get this book. I was chomping at the bit after the ending of The Serpent and the Pearl. I was not disappointed at all when it finally came though! This is probably my favorite Kate Quinn book yet!
Once again I loved that the story rotated between Giulia's, Carmelina's, and Leonello's perspectives. They all have such distinctive voices and I could not pick a favorite out of the three if I tried. Quinn put them through the wringer in this book and there were so many emotions they all went through (can't put too much down because I don't want to spoil the surprises for anyone). It was hard to put the book down because I was on pins and needles waiting to see what happened. (view spoiler)[ I LOVED how it ended for everyone! (hide spoiler)] It is really the characters that make these books so good! (Well that and the descriptions of Carmelina's food.)
The story was well-paced and did not drag at all. The twists and turns of the plots were unexpected, but still believable. I liked the mystery element that carries over from the last book (view spoiler)[although I had some suspicions about who the murderer was of the girls knowing what I know about Borgia history and Juan's bad end (hide spoiler)]. It really fits in well with the mysterious Borgia.
I highly recommend these books to historical fiction fans. Quinn really does her research, and though she plays with history a bit, her fictions still have a great deal of believability to them. I love the detail she puts into her stories and her author notes. I cannot wait for her next book!
Jacob Jankowski has been dealt a heavy blow. His parents have been killed in a car accident and he has been left withoutFirst sentence: "I am ninety."
Jacob Jankowski has been dealt a heavy blow. His parents have been killed in a car accident and he has been left without a cent to his name. Jacob wanders the rails without an idea of where to go or what to do. Jumping on board a random train, he finds himself part of the Benzini Brothers Circus and face to face with the beautiful Marlena.
I am a sucker for great period pieces. Water for Elephants is one of those rare novels that really gives the reader a sense of time and place. The author puts you there in the middle of the Great Depression on a circus bound for tragedy. The story is a romance, but its more than that. It is social commentary. It gives a glimpse into a world where men are treated like animals, and animals are treated like nothing but meat. It is a hard look at a world where everyone is just trying to survive in whatever way they can. It is an adventure story. It is a story of humanity triumphing over evilness and greed.
The book is very well-written and excellently paced. The author is brilliant for telling the story from young Jacob and old Jacob's point of views. I also liked the way the foreshadowing was done in the book; since I do not normally enjoy foreshadowing this is not a light compliment. The author did great in making it seem like the event she was foreshadowing was completely different from what actually happened. I thought I knew what was going to happen, but there was still a shocked silence when it all came out. I will not say more for spoilers, but just remember going into this book, things are not always what they seem. The characters in the book were great, even the non-human characters. I became very attached to all of them over the course of the story.
I listened to this on audio and I am glad I did because the audio really made the book. There were two narrators: one for 90/93 year old Jacob and one for 23 year old Jacob. Both narrators were excellent and they really put the emotion from the story into their performances. Many audiobook narrators pretty much read with the same tone/level of emotion whether they are reading sadness or happiness. In this book, you honestly felt that the narrators were feeling the exact same way the characters were. This has got to be one of the best audiobooks I have listened to.
My only annoyance with the book arose from the fact that the Polish phrases were not translated. I felt that they were somewhat relevant to the story and should have at least had something of a translation. That being said, it's only a few phrases in the story and it is easy enough to figure them out in the context.
I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy historical novels that give you a strong sense of place and time. It really is a beautiful story and so much more than a romance. A word of warning is in order though. Although most of the animal abuse happens off-stage as it were, there are hints about what is going on which may be disturbing to some readers.
First sentence: "Some people is born at the start of a long hard row to hoe."
Arty knows that a great deal of responsibility is in store for her whenFirst sentence: "Some people is born at the start of a long hard row to hoe."
Arty knows that a great deal of responsibility is in store for her when she is handed her newborn and orphaned cousin, Larkin. Arty raises him as her own child and teaches him all the old folk songs sung by the mountain people of North Carolina. She keeps an eye out for him as she begins to have children of her own and Larkin grows into a man. She knows he is destined for trouble when he falls for the same girl his cousin Hackley has his eye on. Other troubles are on the horizon though, as the Civil War begins its march toward the mountains.
I have not given a book five stars in a long time, but I feel this one deserved it. The author has taken family stories and made them into a compelling novel about love, family, loss, and war. It is a touching and sometimes heartbreaking work. I like that Adams does not pretty up the time period at all or make the love story into some type of happily ever after thing. The author did a great job of showing the conflicts within communities that the Civil War brought. It was not just all the Northerners hated slavery and all the Southerners loved it; there were many disagreements among communities and even families about which side was in the right and these conflicts often left devastation greater than the War itself. The women in the novel are strong and willful, which I always like to see. The old folksongs are great to read about and there is a companion CD if you can get your hands on it which has the author herself singing most of the tracks. If you can listen to it, it really brings the story to life even more. An altogether great book that I recommend to anyone who likes strong women, North Carolina history, folksongs, or just a good Civil War novel. ...more
First sentence: "A week ago my grandmother gave me a dry-eyed hug at the San Francisco airport and told me again that if I valued my life at all, I shFirst sentence: "A week ago my grandmother gave me a dry-eyed hug at the San Francisco airport and told me again that if I valued my life at all, I should not get in touch with anyone I knew until we could be sure my enemies were no longer looking for me."
Maya Vidal has lived a charmed life in Berkley, CA with her grandparents. Even though both her parents abandoned her as a child, Maya has a magical existence under the watchful eye of her Chilean grandmother and the indulging gaze of her astronomer grandfather. However, after Popo's death, Maya finds her life spiraling out of control and becomes involved in illicit activities. Eventually these activities mean Maya has to flee the country for a remote island off the coast of her grandmother's native Chile. On this island, Maya will meet a wide variety of characters, each of which will help her rediscover the joy of living and the truth about her past.
This book was awesome. Allende always does a great job creating excellent, three-dimensional characters that you would want to know in real life. You never really feel there are peripheral characters, because everyone has their unique personality and develops and grows as the story progresses. Maya's growth throughout the story is expertly done. You feel that you really get to know her and what she is going through. It is realistic in that things are not suddenly all right and she does have set backs in her journey before she finally achieves healing. I liked the way this book gave Maya's history in bits and pieces throughout her journal. Although I don't usually like this style of writing, I think it made things more realistic when showing Maya's growth. Things are not written about until she feels like she can revisit that part of her past.
The book does a great job of interweaving the Chilean setting and the history of Chile with the story. The island is definitely a character in its own right. The history of the military dictatorship plays a large role in the story, but I will not say more on that front for fear of spoilers. The emotional weight of the book is another great thing about the story. Allende is brilliant in the way she can convey to the reader what the characters are feeling, even to the point of them choking up over sad scenes or finding their heart pounding during the suspenseful parts. I just loved how everything came together in this book.
This is definitely my favorite Isabel Allende novel. I highly recommend it to fans of Allende and Latin American literature. I also thing this book could have wide crossover appeal with teens. The main character is 19 and many of her struggles would resonate with teens I think. It is definitely a great book and if you have not read any of Allende's works it is a great place to start.
First sentence: "In the dim hovel, the mother clenched her body into on final, straining push, and the baby slithered out into Gaia's ready hands."
GaFirst sentence: "In the dim hovel, the mother clenched her body into on final, straining push, and the baby slithered out into Gaia's ready hands."
Gaia Stone is a midwife in Wharfton on the banks of what was once Lake Superior. In this dytopian future, set in the 2300s, humans have used up nearly all of the energy resources. The sun has dried up most of the water supply and people live a very simple and poor existence. Things on the other side of the wall, in The Enclave, are different. There the people have a constant supply of electricity and access to luxuries. Gaia's job is to fulfill the Enclave's baby quota, bringing the first three babies she delivers to the gates to be brought up by an Enclave family. Gaia accepts this as the way things are and does not question what The Enclave is doing until her parents are arrested on one fateful night. She sets out to rescue them and comes face to face with the world inside the wall.
I highly enjoyed this book. The world of The Enclave reminds me a lot of Panem in The Hunger Games. Both books are set in a dystopian future where most people live a very primitive existence more akin to the 19th century than what we are used to today. It makes sense in both books though as many of the resources we have now have either been used up or destroyed in the future. It also lends itself to a setting that produces many tough characters.
Gaia is a likable heroine and you cannot help but root for her. She is grounded and knows how to make tough decisions. She is also completely ordinary. She is not beautiful and she is not unusually intelligent. She is just an ordinary girl who loves her parents enough to risk everything to help them. It is also refreshing to see a healthy and loving mother-daughter relationship in a YA book. Yes, teen girls and their mothers don't always get along but it seems that sometimes YA books take this conflict to extremes and you find a lot of mother hate or complete absence of mothers in these books. Gaia and Bonnie have a very loving relationship that is also a teacher-student relationship as Bonnie passes on her midwife knowledge to Gaia. It was just great to see in this book.
The book does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger, so much so that I put the other two in the series on hold immediately upon finishing this book. The major questions are answered and the plot is pretty tied up by the end though so I am not too concerned over it.
This book is so amazing and well-written. I recommend it to fans of the dystopia genre, especially fans looking for something to read after The Hunger Games. It is definitely a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and begging for more. ...more
First sentence: "I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mo No spoilers for Dark Triumph, but proceed with caution if you have not read Grave Mercy.
First sentence: "I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mortain some green stripling."
Sybella is a member of the Convent of St. Mortain, a group of nuns who take it upon themselves to fulfill the will of Death as assassins. Sybella's latest assignment is to the household of Count D'Albret, a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of becoming the Duke of Brittany. Sybella has taken the assignment because of a hope for revenge, a hope that diminishes by the day. A daring rescue reveals a different path for Sybella, a path that includes treachery and romance and requires that Sybella release the painful secrets that she has held so dear.
Wow, just wow. I really did not think anything could top Grave Mercy, but this book does. It was slow going for a little while, probably due to the fact that I did not re-read Grave Mercy before picking this up and having a different main character, but once it got going I was hooked. Sybella is like Ismae in that she has a dark past, but nothing really prepares you for how dark Sybella's past really is. Sybella is quite a different character in that she has not quite risen above her past like Ismae did. I grew to like Sybella as a character, perhaps even more than I liked Ismae. The book also gives you a different picture of the world the stories take place in, which was great.
Once again mythology and religion play a large role in the story. It is interesting how the stories are all coming together and I cannot wait to read Annith's story next year. The mixture of real historical characters and fictional characters works well in this book as it did in the last book. One of my favorite things about this book is that the romantic interest is not some drop-dead gorgeous guy. In fact, Sybella calls him ugly on more than one occasion. I think it's great when YA fiction that has normal looking characters and not Hollywood bombshells. Of course, I am sure they will change that when/if they make a movie of it.
I highly recommend this book to fans of Grave Mercy and also those who like historical fantasy or historical mystery/thrillers. I do want to include a word of caution. This book contains many more adult themes/situations than Grave Mercy did, click spoiler tag to view specific themes (view spoiler)[ incest, infanticide, teen pregnancy, suicide, rape -- most of these involving people under the age of 16 (hide spoiler)]. Some people are bothered by these things more than others, but I just wanted to put that there, especially for those wondering if it would be a good fit for the teens in their life. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Verity is a young spy in France during the second World War when she is captured by the Nazis, who give her two weeks and unlimited papI AM A COWARD.
Verity is a young spy in France during the second World War when she is captured by the Nazis, who give her two weeks and unlimited paper to spill all of the British wartime secrets she knows. What follows is the story of Verity and her best friend, Maddie, the pilot who dropped her in France, set against a backdrop of war, heartbreak, and truth.
I can't believe it took me this long to read this book. It is excellently written and has an attention-grabbing plot. I have read books about women in the US and their contributions to the war effort, but had not read anything about British women. The book gives a pretty historically-accurate description of both female pilots and SOE agents (at least as far as I can tell from reading Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent shortly after finishing this one.
I love the juxtaposition of truth and lies, courage and fear, despair and hope in the girls' story. I appreciated the hints throughout the book of what was coming. The journal/confession style of writing worked well I believe although at times it was a bit confusing and hard to keep track of everyone. It's very rare to come across a military story that centers on comradeship between women (men being the more likely protagonists of such a book). Verity and Maddie are strong female characters, but they have their weaknesses as well which makes them believable.
I highly recommend this to any fans of historical fiction, especially fiction set during WWII. Also if you have read and liked Flygirl or any of Ruta Sepetys books, this is a great book to read. It does deal with some tough issues and situations, so probably best for older teens.
No spoilers for UnWholly, but proceed with caution if you have not read Unwind.
First Sentence: "He's fighting a nightmare when they come for him."
UnWNo spoilers for UnWholly, but proceed with caution if you have not read Unwind.
First Sentence: "He's fighting a nightmare when they come for him."
UnWholly takes place a year after Unwind. It picks up with familiar faces from Unwind and also some new characters. Connor and Risa are trying to keep the Graveyard up and running to save more Unwinds. Lev is still in custody for being a Clapper. They will find that escaping from Unwinding was just the beginning of the dangers they will face in the near future. I won't say anymore for fear of giving things away, but if you loved Unwind, you HAVE to read this book. And if you haven't read either, what are you waiting for?
This book was just as good as the first one. I was worried since Neal Shusterman had not been planning on writing a series in the first place and there was such a gap between the two that this book would come up short, but it most definitely did not. It's not a cash-in sequel, Shusterman brings a lot in from the first book and continues the story in a meaningful way. There is a lot more on the history of Unwinding than in the first book. The characters are wonderful and I love the way the new ones and old ones interact with each other. There are three new characters to go along with the three originals, but they aren't just the same old people dressed up like new (like in some series). They have their own history, personality, and baggage, which I loved reading about. The book is well-written and I appreciated the real-life quotes and articles interspersed with fictional quotes and advertisements.
UnWholly is all Unwind was and more. It will make you laugh, cry, get angry, and think. I HIGHLY recommend this series to everyone, especially dystopia fans. ...more
First sentence: Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus.
Dean is on the bus to school on a normal day in 2024 in the town of Monument, CFirst sentence: Your mother hollers that you're going to miss the bus.
Dean is on the bus to school on a normal day in 2024 in the town of Monument, CO. Like any high school boy he worries about whether that hot girl notices him and if the bully will make his life heck today. Unfortunately, this is no ordinary day. The bus gets caught in a monster hailstorm and Dean and thirteen other kids (ranging in age from 5-17) take shelter in the local superstore. Over the next few days they will learn to survive on their own and depend on one another while the world outside grows more and more chaotic and the chances of rescue become more and more slim.
Wow what a book! It starts right in the action and never lets up for the whole book. The characters are very realistic, I feel like I have seen them all in the real world. I was worried with 14 characters it would get overwhelming and I would mix them up but all of them had a very distinctive voice (which was probably more pronounced in the audiobook than in the print edition). I liked seeing the characters deal with not only the disasters outside but also how they managed the issues inside and came together as a group. It was also great to see in the book how the different characters handled things. I think in a lot of apocalyptic books you run into characters that are all strong and stoic and I felt that this book was more realistic in showing how people react in very different ways to adversity. You had the emergent leaders, people who barely kept their heads above water, people who turned to drugs and alcohol to deal, and people who just went AWOL or shut down completely. It just thrilled the psychologist in me and made me wonder what category I would fall in. The last third of the book kept me on my toes and I had to force myself out of the car (I listen to my audiobooks on the way to work). The book doesn't end with a cliff hanger but it doesn't have a somewhat surprising ending and there is plenty of room left open for a sequel.
What I found a bit annoying with the audiobook is that all the swear words were truncated, much like how rap music is censored on the radio. I assume this was a choice on the part of the audiobook producer and not something in the book itself (I do not know as I do not have access to the print copy of the book). It seemed sort of pointless since it was apparent what the word was supposed to be. I've never listened to an audiobook that did that.
I've seen a lot of complaints on goodreads about this book and I wanted to set the record straight on some of them. Many people complained that the book was repetitive and treated the reader like they were stupid by repeating information constantly. I did not find this to be true but this may be because I listen to the audiobook for only about an hour a day and if I had sat down and read the book for hours it might have seemed differently. Another complaint was that the book was slow at parts which I did not find true at all. Even when they are "playing house" in the supercenter, it is interesting to see interactions. Nothing is in the book that does not further the plot in some way.
I highly enjoyed the book and recommend it to fans of other dytopia and apocalyptic books or anyone interested in small group dynamics because this book has a LOT of that. I think that's why I enjoyed this book so much more than Life As We Knew It even though the books have much in common (being written as a journal by a teenage protagonist in the midst of disaster). This book really shows the interactions between the characters in a way LAWKI does not. So if you liked Life As We Knew It, I highly recommend this book to you and you will probably like it even more. I am looking forward to the sequel. ...more
First sentence: "In 1938, near the end of a decade of monumental turmoil, the year's number-one newsmaker was not Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler, oFirst sentence: "In 1938, near the end of a decade of monumental turmoil, the year's number-one newsmaker was not Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler, or Mussolini."
In the late 1930s, the world was in the middle of the Great Depression and on the cusp of world war. Into this world, horse racing had its golden age after being relegalized in the United States, after a ban on gambling had hit many states along with Prohibition, in the hopes of generating revenue to ease the Depression. This paved the way for 3 very different men and 1 small horse to take the racing world by storm. Charles Howard, Red Pollard, Tom Smith, and Seabiscuit gave a struggling nation something to root for.
I loved the movie "Seabiscuit" so when I found this book at a library book sale I decided to pick it up to see if it was as good as the movie. It is that good and more. Ms. Hillenbrand writes a nonfiction book that reads like a novel. She brings the characters to life and her recountings of the races leave the reader on the edge of their seat as if they were actually watching it. I'm not very emotional when reading, so I always give an author points if they make me feel something while reading. There were several parts of the book that had me misty-eyed as well as parts of the book where I felt like cheering out loud. Even though this book reads like a novel, the author is not one who takes creative liberties with her nonfiction. Every conversation in the book actually took place and is well-documented, the author obviously did her research on this topic. I could not put this book down.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an inspiring, emotional read. Even if you don't care anything about horse-racing or sports in general (I definitely fall into that camp) it is a wonderful read. I recommend it definitely for fans of the movie. It is just as exciting, maybe even more so. It is an amazing book and definitely among the best nonfiction I have ever read.
I have been playing Assassin's Creed II for he last few months and I was quite excited when I found that my library had this book on Caterina Sforza,I have been playing Assassin's Creed II for he last few months and I was quite excited when I found that my library had this book on Caterina Sforza, since I enjoyed her character in the game. Since reading the book I have enjoyed her even more. She was quite an amazing woman in the Renaissance era. While most other woman were busy being wives and mothers, Caterina was facing down armies and angering popes (although she did quite a bit of mothering and being a wife as well with 3 husbands to her name and 8 children). She had armor specially made for her to lead her army in defense of Forli against Cesare Borgia. She survived being imprisoned and tortured and public opinion shifts.
The book was a very well-written biography. It reads like a novel but with plenty of research backing it up. The author does a very great job describing the people and places of Renaissance Italy. It was quite an entertaining read and had very good pacing. I would recommend this to anyone interested in Renaissance Italy or Caterina Sforza. It is a fascinating portrait of the time and the people.
R is a zombie. He doesn't remember his name or what he did for a living before he died. He doesn't kFirst sentence: "I am dead, but it's not so bad."
R is a zombie. He doesn't remember his name or what he did for a living before he died. He doesn't know how old he is. He lives in an airport with a bunch of other zombies, including his friend M. Every so often they go out to feed, but mostly they just roam around the airport. On one of the hunting expeditions, R ingests the brain of a boy named Perry and suddenly he feels a connection to Perry's girlfriend, Julie.
I had been hearing good things about this book for awhile and then when I found out it was being made into a movie I had to read it. Wow, this book was amazing. It is one of the most original works I have read to date. I thought writing it from R's perspective was great. Most zombie books are written from the perspective of the humans being attacked and the zombies and because this one was not it was such a fresh take. I enjoyed the world building, Marion employed. All good sci-fi and fantasy books need that attention and it was great he was able to seamlessly insert it into the story without spending a lot of time on backstory.
The characters in this book were awesome. Even the zombie characters all had their own distinct personalities. The story really flowed through the characters. They delivered some of the best and most humorous one-liners of any book I've read. I found myself laughing out loud every few paragraphs. They also tackle serious issues with sincerity and realness.
The book, like any other dystopia/post-apocolyptic novel, has much to say about human nature and society. It was very interesting the zombies had their own society, government, and hierarchy. It just seemed to show the carryover of humanity in these inhuman creatures. This book is an easy read, but it will make you think. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I know people hear zombie romance and think its just the new Twilight, but it is a very original novel and a worthwhile read (and I promise you Julie is a much more compelling female lead than Bella). I really hope they don't ruin this as a movie. ...more
This is a book that will stick with you long after you read the last page. It is haunting, heart-breaking, and hopeful all at the same time. Ruta SepeThis is a book that will stick with you long after you read the last page. It is haunting, heart-breaking, and hopeful all at the same time. Ruta Sepetys brings to life a part of history that a lot of people do not know about (including myself the self-proclaimed history buff).
This book follows 15-year-old Lina, her 10-year-old brother Jonas, and her mother. They are deported from Lithuania to Siberia by the USSR for being anti-Soviet along with many other women, children, and elderly men. The journey is tortuous and the work camp conditions are deplorable. Sepetys does not pull any punches when describing how the deportees are treated.
This story is definitely worth 5 stars. You really feel that you get to know the characters and you care about what happens to them. I could not put it down. The writing is simple and straight-forward. Despite all of the horrible things in the book, the book has a tone of hopefulness. The reader sees both the worst and the best humanity has to offer. ...more
First Sentence: Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday 30 May.
I love Cecelia Ahern! This book does not disappoint. Lucy SilchesterFirst Sentence: Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday 30 May.
I love Cecelia Ahern! This book does not disappoint. Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her Life. Life is an actual person that shows Lucy how not to neglect the things that matter. Lucy has fallen into some bad habits such as telling little lies that turn into big lies and have left her in a bad spot. Life shows her the way with lots of laughs and a little bit of romance along the way.
The book is compulsively readable. I felt like sometimes someone was looking over my shoulder and writing parts of my life. It made me laugh out loud quite a bit. All the characters felt like very real people and there were quite a few I am convinced I know. It was a very fun read and I recommend it to anyone who loves Ahern's work.