**spoiler alert** Miss Bechtel knows good stories.
I started with her 'In The Land Of Winter' a few short weeks ago and the story never left me. So, wh**spoiler alert** Miss Bechtel knows good stories.
I started with her 'In The Land Of Winter' a few short weeks ago and the story never left me. So, when I heard about 'Learning In The Dark' was soon to be re-released, I snatched it up.
Lynn is an average ten year old girl on vacation with her family when she crosses paths with a group of young boys, a cross she later wished to God she could undo. What seemed like innocent teasing at the time turned to tragedy and Lynn lost her sight in a horrific accident. An accident that would reshape everyone thrown in her path, including the boys responsible.
Lynn, after many years of adjusting, becomes the woman her parents had always wanted her to be, minus her eye sight, something which she seems to have come to terms with but when Lynn discovers that she has been thrown into an intern position with the very boy who blinded her, she begins to re-examine the scar losing her eye sight had permanently caused on not only herself but her parents. Obviously riddled with guilt, the boy makes it his goal to change her mind about him. Lynn refuses him in every capacity but just when she starts to feel comfortable in her own skin again, ignoring the boy completely, life throws another daunting blow when she discovers her parents hide a haunting secret about the very boy she loved to hate.
'Learning In The Dark' throws you in unexpected directions...just as you think you've figured it out, Miss Bechtel throws another curve ball, sending you careening down a path you never imagined. She always kept me guessing, surprised me, filled the book with joy, hope, sorrow, love, and above all, forgiveness, when those who wronged Lynn didn't necessarily deserve it.
I loved it. Loved it. Five stars.
If you love drama...this is the novel for you....more
I happened to read the novella before I got to read the complete novel and was stuck with having to wait for the glorious results for a few weeks. ItI happened to read the novella before I got to read the complete novel and was stuck with having to wait for the glorious results for a few weeks. It was the longest weeks of my life! Okay, okay, maybe that was a bit dramatic. Hey, it's in my nature but I do admit I had been waiting for the release more than any other book this year. Why, you ask? Well, because I love different and 'Madly and Wolfhardt' is unparalleled. Unparallelled, and not to mention, a breathtakingly beautiful story with equally stunning characters.
Mermaids and werewolves and creatures of Lore, oh my! That's right. Mermaids and werewolves seem an unlikely combination, I know, but now it seems like the most natural blend in the world, despite the fact that it's fiction, because Leighton's writing is flawless, smooth, and goes down like nectar from the gods. Tasted just as good, too, because the plot was so fascinating I felt hungry for more when I turned the last page. Nyuck. Nyuck. Seriously, though,the author took it directions I never imagined and surprised me at every turn. The pacing was so superb, I was never left wanting to get to the next page, like some Indie's make me do. (Leighton never does this, by the way, in any of her books.) So, I think it goes without saying that I read the entire thing in one sitting. Laundry, be darned.
And now, drum roll please. My favorite part. Jackson. Oh, Jackson, Jackson, Jackson. At first glance, you think broody, broody and temperamental but as his character progresses his depth is revealed, exposing a selfless warrior and bonafide hunk. His silent mantra reads, 'For Madly. Always for Madly.' And silent, he is. He's self-sacrificing and in agony but his job is to protect Madly so he steals himself, for her. By the end of the novel, your heart is left aching for him which makes me want him for my own. I'd like to gather him up and place him in my pocket for later he's so amazing.
So, with that, I will walk away from this review with Jackson in my pocket because apparently I'm a thief and a warm heart because apparently I'm a sucker for a dynamic love story....more
Margaret Sarah Bechtel’s In The Land Of Winter is one of those novels that immediately cast a biting, eerie chill up my skin, maFrom fisheramelie.com:
Margaret Sarah Bechtel’s In The Land Of Winter is one of those novels that immediately cast a biting, eerie chill up my skin, making me shudder, though I wasn’t cold. Her cover, dramatic and mesmerizing, much like her writing style, drew me in from the first. It packed such an impact, I could almost hear the wind whistling through my ears and waves crashing against rock, hypnotized by the beacon of light emitting from its light house. That’s also how I found miss Bechtel’s main character, Kate, to be. She was a lighthouse. One that possessed a hypnotizing beacon of light but her lenses were cracked and there was no one to guide home her saving ship.
Kate suffers a shocking and, frankly, debilitating event as a young girl. She is shunned by her family and forced to enter the world alone and very broken. When she is offered a chance to leave her grim life and past decisions, she takes it, hoping it will be her chance to start over but it seems Kate can never stray too far from agony. As her plane plummets toward the ocean below, she anticipates a peace she could never achieve while she was alive but life seems to have different plans for Kate as she discovers that her world is about to collide with even more earth-shattering, mind-altering experiences that could threaten to send Kate beyond redemption.
There are times throughout this book that leave you wondering whether Kate will receive the peace she’s forever been searching for and undoubtedly deserves regardless of her past decisions. You find her heart beats steadily throughout and never falters despite her suffering in self-deprecation and a a literal land of winter but Kate never annoys. She is endearing and lovely and one with whom you want a happily ever after for. I will admit miss Bechtel makes her readers endure Kate’s grief along with her but this makes Kate’s delivery from torment all the sweeter and I, for one, like to know what I’m truly grateful for.
I loved the book and will be recommending it to everyone I know. So, this is me, telling you, to go get it already....more
Princess was a purchase bought ‘sight unseen’ so to speak, didn’t read a synopsis or even a review because I’m familiar with the author’s work enoughPrincess was a purchase bought ‘sight unseen’ so to speak, didn’t read a synopsis or even a review because I’m familiar with the author’s work enough to feel confident in what I was buying and boy, oh boy, did I end up loving this book. It was nothing like I expected it to be, the cover revealing only a sliver of who the main character, Sydney, truly is.
The novel’s bold subjects left me reeling with every page I turned. Cole’s gutsy directions made this one of the best reads I’ve had all year. Her characters are well thought out and contain true depth, something that’s void in a lot of young adult novels nowadays.
Sydney’s seemingly picture perfect life comes to an unexpected halt as constant tumultuous life-altering and sometimes life-shattering experiences bombard her at an exponential rate. The reader is left heartbroken, desperate and sad for the character as her life unfolds and unravels. But Sydney finds herself amongst the tragedies uncoiling around her, finds hope in the people she loves, finds truth in those who genuinely love her and we are left with a stronger, more hopeful, and even more incredible Sydney then we started out with.
Sydney is one of my favorite heroines I’ve read all year. She is strong enough to stand alone but chooses stand side by side with one of my favorite heroes I’ve read all year as well. I highly recommend this read. Of course, as Cole mentions, it is recommended for older teens and younger women but the lessons learned in this harrowing yet hopeful tale are lessons worth learning. Five stars truly earned.