A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash is one of the best stories I have read in some time. It definitely is a "waking up with dark circles" worthy...more
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash is one of the best stories I have read in some time. It definitely is a "waking up with dark circles" worthy book to read!
I liked how the author chose to tell the story from three different voices - the young son, Jess; the sheriff of the small town, Clem; and Adelaide, a neighbor who knows everyone and everything that goes on - she helps the people in the town in many ways - she is the town midwife, watches the children at the church on Sundays, and allows others when needed to stay at her home.
This story is a heart-wrenching story about a dysfunctional mountainous town in North Carolina and a young family that lives there. Having two sons of my own and also having taught 9 year olds, I wanted to just enter the story to give a big hug to console Jess, the son with so much sadness and worry upon his young shoulders.
Wiley Cash through his phenomenal use of descriptive words was able to make me feel like I knew the characters personally. His vivid descriptions of the setting help to provide a visual of the setting.
I especially enjoyed the part when Jess finds the quiet box and all the contents that are inside of it. This quiet box was used by his mom to provide peace and solace for Stump. It brought me to tears.
I found it amazing how this so-called pastor could have such control over the members of the church. It brought back memories of the sect of Jim Jones and how he was able to coerce those at Jonestown to drink poisoned punch.
Wiley Cash needs to take a bow because I give him a standing ovation for his beautifully written debut novel. I highly recommend that you add this book to your list to read! You won't be disappointed. (less)
I have read other books by Jennifer Donnelly that are among some of my favo...moreMy Review of Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
I have read other books by Jennifer Donnelly that are among some of my favorites. So, when I chose to read "Revolution" as my first Young Adult book by her I was sure that I wouldn't be disappointed and I wasn't!
From the Description on Amazon:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.
Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.
Awards that Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution has received!
2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominee
Young Adult Book of the Year, New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association
Young Adult Book of the Year, American Booksellers Association / Indiebound
ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
VOYA "Perfect Ten" Book
Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Books School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book Amazon.com Best Books
BN.com Best Teen Books
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
Capitol Choice Noteworthy Book
Parents’ Choice Silver Award American Library Association Odysssey Honor Audiobook
A Little About the Author Jennifer Donnelly
Donnelly moved back to New York, to Brooklyn, at the age of 25. After ten years of work, Donnelly published her first novel, The Tea Rose. The Tea Rose is the first book of a trilogy based in the 19th Century in London's East End, with ties to the story of Jack the Ripper. The second book, The Winter Rose, continues the tale, following the Finnegan family and related characters from London to Africa to the coast of Northern California. The third novel in the series, The Wild Rose, which follows Willa and Seamie's story, follows the characters from London on the verge of World War I to Arabia in 1918. A Northern Light was her second published novel, and biggest success to date. The young adult novel is based around the infamous murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette in the Adirondack Mountains in 1906. This case was earlier the basis for Theodore Dreiser's epic An American Tragedy as well as the film A Place in the Sun. In 2004, A Northern Light won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal in the UK (where the novel was published as A Gathering Light.), as well as the 2004 Michael L. Printz Award as an honor book. Her second young adult novel, Revolution, is a tale of two teenage girls—one in present-day Brooklyn and one in Paris during the French Revolution—whose stories interweave as they struggle to make sense of the tragedies they encounter. The book was published in October, 2010 by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House, with a first run of 250,000 copies. It was named a Best Book of 2010 by Amazon.com, Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and the audiobook version of Revolution received a 2011 American Library Association Odyssey Honor.
From Wikipedia: Wikipedia Link
The main character in the story, Andi, is a young girl who is a senior in high school, a great musician who plays the guitar, who doesn't get along well with her very intelligent and well-known father, and her mother is an artist that is suffering from a mental breakdown after the death of Andi's brother.
Andi is close to not graduating from high school unless she is able to get together a thesis and a presentation. Her father tells her that she is going with him to Paris and during this time he commits her mother to a mental hospital for help. Andi isn't happy that she must go to Paris with her father or with the fact that her mom has been hospitalized. Since Andi doesn't want to stay in Paris, her father tells her that she may leave if she completes her presentation for school.
While staying with her dad in Paris, her dad's friend shows Andi a guitar that is more than 200 years old. Andi is spellbound by the guitar and finds a secret compartment in the guitar case where a diary is found. This is when Andi's story and the story within the pages of the diary parallel.
I know that if you chose to read this book you won't be disappointed. I loved it. At times it was hard for me to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading more of Jennifer Donnelly's Young Adult books. In fact, I already have a copy of "A Northern Light" which I intend to read this month! (less)
Pages: 211 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Youn Readers Published: November 1, 2006 Is available in Hardcover, Paperback, Digital Audio, and Kindle Ed...more Pages: 211 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Youn Readers Published: November 1, 2006 Is available in Hardcover, Paperback, Digital Audio, and Kindle Edition
Book Description Publication Date: May 1, 2007 "The setting is claustrophobic, the characters are complex and the story will keep readers on the edge of their seats," KLIATT raved of this vivid, fast-paced psychological thriller in a starred review. Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Kidnaps Cass. Puts her in a box--underground. He buries her alive. But lying in the deepest dark, Cass finds a weapon: she uses the power of words to keep her nemesis talking--and herself breathing--during the most harrowing 48 hours of her life.
Description from Amazon
Author Gail Giles
How She Wrote Cass McBride:
My last winter in Alaska was a tough one. I had been having a writing crisis. I’m usually kind of upbeat and confident, but some harsh words from a couple of sources had managed to get under my skin and shake my groundwork a little. I was paralyzed when I got in front of the keyboard. A whole new feeling for me. Add the long dark days of the Alaskan winters and a record snow for Anchorage. More than eighteen feet. I looked out my windows to see nothing but snow. I felt buried alive. Paralyzed by words spoken and paralyzed by words I couldn’t seem to write. The idea of words, used, misused and not used and how they can harm started to percolate. It meshed with entombment and Cass McBride was both born and buried at the same time. I wrote the first draft in Alaska, then moved to Texas where I did revisions, sold the book and did all the edits. Moved right into the light.
GAIL GILES is the acclaimed author of several psychological drama/suspense novels for teens, including What Happened to Cass McBride?, Shattering Glass, and Right Behind You, all of which received numerous starred reviews, state awards and teen choice awards.
My Review of What Happened to Cass McBride This book grabbed my interest from the very first page and was able to keep it to the end! I love books that can get me interested from the beginning and this story had no problem doing just that. I love psychological suspense novels and this one was filled with suspense. I like how Gail Giles told the story through the three different voices of characters in the story. We heard from Cass who was kidnapped and held captive, Kyle who was seeking revenge for the death of his brother, and from the detective who was on the case. As in some other Young Adult stories that I have read, a young popular girl is put into circumstances where she is given the time to think about and reflect upon her life so far. In this story, Cass uses lessons learned from her father that is a salesman by gettiing Kyle to listen to her and put her in control of the situation. I found it sad to think that Kyle and his brother David had to live with a mother who is more concerned about herself than the health and welfare of her two sons. Unfortunately, there are too many children in this situation in real life. I enjoyed reading the book and would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys psychological thrillers. I am not sure that I would want anyone under 16 to read the book though. I am looking forward to reading more of Gail Giles' books. I would give this book 4 stars! I give this book a definite..........thumbs up!Gail Giles(less)
No matter how you choose to eat a cupcake, Meg Donohue's debut novel, "How to Eat a Cupcake" is a deliciously sweet story about two long lost friends...moreNo matter how you choose to eat a cupcake, Meg Donohue's debut novel, "How to Eat a Cupcake" is a deliciously sweet story about two long lost friends reunited after ten years of separation because of an incident that occurred between them years ago.
First, the icing on the cupcake is that I absolutely love Meg Donohue's style of writing. She constructs her words beautifully to tell the story. I felt like I knew the characters so well and not only cheered them on but longed for everything to work out between them. I actually was disappointed when the story ended and I hope that Meg decides to continue the story about Annie and Julie. I want to know more.
If you want to read a truly heartwarming and at times nerve wracking story, then you should put "How to Eat a Cupcake" on your list to read. Also, after reading about some of the delectable cupcake recipes, you might want to read it while eating a cupcake.
I want to congratulate Meg for a "winning recipe" for her debut novel for a story that is definitely not a boxed cupcake mix but one that has been written with all the right ingredients for a truly fun read. I look forward to her next novel!!! (less)