This is not a genre I would ever have considered reading as a rule (the word 'frontier' immediately conjures up a 'western' in my mind) but having spoThis is not a genre I would ever have considered reading as a rule (the word 'frontier' immediately conjures up a 'western' in my mind) but having spoken to the Author online, her colourful writing while commenting suggested a quick and interesting wit which spurred me on to investigate her writing.
Well, what a surprise! The story of life on the western frontier in 1867 was not only a fascinating insight into a rugged and unforgiving lifestyle, but a glimpse into the character such an environment creates in a human being. The effort required to simply 'draw a bath' alone would be enough to limit my cleanliness to once a week! Don't judge me, it sounds really hard!
All historical advantages aside, I'll move on to the characters involved: Hope – this young woman had me utterly engrossed and a little confused at the beginning as the Author intended I suspect. Her arrival on the 'Bride Boat' was rife with mystery and intrigue as the character herself couldn't clearly remember how she finished up being there. She isn't described as being particularly attractive or super-intelligent – she's just a frightened, mixed up young woman, and OMG do I identify with that on a whole other level! I liked her immediately and her desperation to remember became my own.
Luke - Luke however was a different kettle of fish in my mind. Granted he took her as his 'bride' out of pity with no designs on forcing her to consummate the marriage, but at the back of my mind, I was constantly looking for a glimpse of a secret, underhand reason for his unselfish generosity. Hope and I both, were poised in readiness for his pants to be slung on the chair and a wildly energetic leapfrog attack from over the bedposts! I won't give away the farm on that score, except to say that nothing unwelcome occurred in that regard.
There are some amusing moments in this book that were entirely unexpected as other characters come into play. Holly's reaction to the visiting natives was one such event, when she greeted their quiet cantor onto Luke's land with a rifle full of buckshot and reduced her bed sheets to salt and pepper sieved cloth.
The story moves on brimmed with adventure and written with beautiful clarification to every step. A growing love is peppered with the trials of life in the harsh, wild and dangerous environment in which they live. Human corruption gives birth to Luke's terrible disappearance while Hope is left in a woman's most vulnerable state – with child. Alone on the mountain with no idea where or how Luke is she struggles to find a way to continue with alarming and petrifying results.
I loved this book! I enjoyed every single word, and I will not be dismissing the word 'frontier or 'western' in a synopsis of a novel, so quickly in future. This is a unique and intricate story speaking as much about human nature as it it about spectacular scenery, danger and conflict!
I'll finish with a sentence that spoke volumes to me as I read this unusually intriguing tale: "He didn't need complications. But complications were what made life interesting. Living almost demanded them." Tell me, who in this world, does not relate to that?...more
A Powerful & Thought Provoking Insight Into The Drive to Succeed & The Disillusionment That Sometimes Accompanies The Success. Last Black Man BA Powerful & Thought Provoking Insight Into The Drive to Succeed & The Disillusionment That Sometimes Accompanies The Success. Last Black Man By M B Munroe
Review By Maria Bradley (Author)
Title: A Powerful & Thought Provoking Insight Into The Drive to Succeed & The Disillusionment That Sometimes Accompanies The Success.
At kindergarten we are taught simplicity, acceptance, truth, caring & love. It's a mystery to me that we are then launched into a world of adults, some of which make it their business to behave the exact opposite of that. The world isn't colour-blind, but if it were, we wouldn't be constantly teetering on the edge of nucleur oblivion. This is a short story that examines the difficulties involved in being black in a place where you are an ethnic minority, and are surrounded by white faces. It explores the history of a man whose father believed that most black boys were predestined to fail. His father was Guyanese, and his people were descendants of black slaves who had escaped and hidden in the bush until the nineteenth century.
On arriving in England, after fighting the Nazis for said country, this man's father's worst fear was that his son would become another statistic – that he would slide into a world of abject poverty or criminal success. He told him that a black man had to work twice as hard, be twice as clever, twice as smart and twice as dedicated, just to achieve the success that a white man would take for granted. The last black man did what was expected, while both hating and loving the man who was pushing him to do it.
In the story, the last black man is at a pivotal point in his life; he is attending a polo match where he is opening his eyes and taking in the jewel covered plastic of the rich people around him. I don't want to tell you the heart of the whole story, but suffice to say is that I'm impressed enough to want to do that.
This is a story that is so much more than a story – it will make you think about so many aspects of the divisive world we live in, and, if you are like me, you will certainly want to know more. When the next book appears on Amazon, there you will find me....more
The Park Family – Valerie – The Teacher By Lisanne Valente
The Quintessential Battle Between Good & Evil, With All The Leading Characters We ImaginThe Park Family – Valerie – The Teacher By Lisanne Valente
The Quintessential Battle Between Good & Evil, With All The Leading Characters We Imagine Are Involved, & A Whole Lot More Besides!
Review By Maria Bradley
This is a story where you hit the ground running as it opens in the middle of Valerie's might be–might not be flying/falling dream. It took me a short while to familiarise myself with the tale because this book is also part of a series, which I didn't realise when I first bought it! Well, OMG, I was totally caught by surprise when I began reading and realised I was being enticed into a Lord of The Rings type magical fantasy. This is not your usual good against evil scenario though, as, yes, it deals with angels and demons, but there are a whole spectrum of magical and mythological characters in-between. The thing I loved about the creatures was the fact that they weren't entirely perfect heros and heroines, and not entirely evil demons and devils. A case in point is Prince Seere, who, although a demon, is in love with Valerie, a mistdreamer, and that just isn't done. These quirks of character peppered throughout the tale make the characters much more rounded, and the story, much more believable. The quintessential battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, and the politics of royalty and power, were handled brilliantly in this book. The writer gave demons and angels a human quality, and therefore an absolute reality, with beings that usually exist in a vague pocket of disbelief in our minds and hold no real worth in our world today.
I'll leave you with the fact that I fell headlong into sticky fingers mode with this book, and was so intrigued, it was difficult to put down. The Author gives a detailed 3D image of the comings and goings in heaven and hell, and I am sure that when you read it you will have the same sticky finger difficulties too! Enjoy!...more
I have to be careful here for fear of you thinking I am a crazed fan who's madly in love with the fictional Ben B, or even the Author Robert Parker! CI have to be careful here for fear of you thinking I am a crazed fan who's madly in love with the fictional Ben B, or even the Author Robert Parker! Calm down people! I just love the sarcasm, the action and the uneven moral code of a character that's like no other superman I've ever heard of!
This next tale sees Ben, stirred into action by his unceasing devotion to his nation, even after said 'nation' saw fit to imprison him in the last book. It is Jeremiah of the National Crime Agency, who lights the fire of his patriotism once more and sends him hurtling into his next mission with little time to catch his breath from the last one! From custom built, untraceable secret phones 'Cryptocall' to 'Hallo Kittie' snorkel head gear, he rushes to his next quest with hastily improvised equipment and little knowledge of what awaits him when he gets there. Robert Parker's style of writing will immediately place images in your mind and the artistic embellishment of every phrase gives detail and meaning to each scene. Phrases like 'the ocean is an eager eater of secrets,' immediately transforms a postcard image into a dangerous expedition involving a cunning, powerful and unpredictable foe!
The fact that 30 feet underwater a pocket of air from an ancient time becomes the difference between him being spotted by the antagonists, or drowning before that, makes you realise again, the unique and the unexpected turns you will experience as you shadow Ben Bracken. Ben Bracken is unlike any James Bond, Superman, Thor or Batman you have ever encountered. In my head he's a six footer, permanent stubble, Clint Eastwood eyes, and a pert butt! He is a 'grown up' super-hero, and as you and I know, that's the only way to fly!!...more
“The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
Shakespe NOTE: Contains spoilers.
“The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
Shakespeare Quotes – Cassius, who is a nobleman, is trying to persuade his friend Brutus that Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming the monarch of Rome. The theme in this moment examines Brutus’s loyalty to his friend Caesar, and his duty to the republic of Rome. Cassius maintains that all men are equal, and none should be elevated to the title & standing of a ‘God’.
A Promise I will Keep Before I begin my review of this outstanding piece of young adult literature, I want to make a promise that having been honoured to attend the PRE-SCREENING of the MOVIE!! I will soon be able to rant and rave in a most uncivilised and ridiculously excited manner about the wonderment that awaits you at the cinema! But, sadly, we have been asked to squash all the tears, and love, and always, and okays, down into a cruel bundle of torture labelled ‘discretion.’ Historically, this is not my best quality so I need to shut up right now, and will reveal all nearer the time of the movie’s release. I will say this “Rock on #Littleinfinities & #TFIOS. Awesome day!”
Synopsis “I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
** A thought-provoking love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and – with David Levithan - Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
** John Green has over 1.2 million Twitter followers, and almost 700,000 subscribers to Vlogbrothers, the YouTube channel he created with his brother, Hank.
** The Fault in Our Stars will capture a crossover audience in the same vein as Zadie Smith, David Nicholls’ One Day and Before I Die by Jenny Downham.
** ‘Electric . . . Filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy’ – Jodi Picoult
** ‘A novel of life and death and the people caught in between, The Fault in Our Stars is John Green at his best. You laugh, you cry, and then you come back for more’ – Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief
John Green is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author whose many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers (youtube.com/vlogbrothers), one of the most popular online video projects in the world. You can join John’s 1.2 million followers on Twitter (@realjohngreen) or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com and fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com. John lives with his wife and son in Indianapolis, Indiana.
My Review “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” John Green
The story begins with the infamous words, which I later discovered that John Green had written while working in Starbucks, ‘Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed.’ You are made aware that Hazel has terminal cancer from the second paragraph in the book, but the book isn’t about cancer, or death, or even depression – it is about life, a celebration of life, spirit, courage and selfless acceptance. Hazel’s fear about what her parents will do with their life after she is gone is a perfect example of that. This is where her obsession to uncover the ending in the book ‘An Imperial Affliction’ By Peter Van Houten, is rooted.
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” – Hazel
Hazel’s first meeting with Augustus, the wide-grinned, flirtatious and outrageous starer in the cancer support group, is so well suited to both of their characters. Hazel may be depressed, or not, but she is certainly without self pity, while Augustus, who is in remission from the cancer at this time, is bursting with effervescent life and filled with cheeky, open admiration for her. He immediately becomes a beacon of the unusual and the interesting in Hazel’s understandably restrictive life. I love the metaphor of the cigarette between Augustus’s teeth symbolising that ‘the killing thing is not given the power to do the killing.’ John Green is just so awesome! I apologise for any random outbursts about him, but the book is just so brilliant it’s impossible to keep the admiration inside! Now, where was I? Oh yes, well, after the first meeting, the attraction is inevitable, and the two begin a friendship with chemistry type arrangement, with the primary ingredient being the discussion of the book in which Hazel is yearning to uncover the final conclusion. An Imperial Affliction is actually a ‘fiction’ and does not exist outside of John Green’s imagination, and I don’t mind telling you I had a good look for it after the movie!
An Imperial Affliction is about a girl named Anna who has a rare blood cancer. Set in the lower middle class of a central California town, Anna narrates her life with cancer. Despite her cancer, Anna creates a charity called The Anna Foundation for people with Cancer who want to cure Cholera. The author, Peter Van Houten, is a reclusive, anti-social alcoholic who treats his assistant Lidewij (Along with Hazel and Augustus) disrespectfully to the point where she resigns. At the end, he tells Hazel that the book was based on his daughter, he then tells her that she was a lot like Anna. The book was never truly finished as the girl who narrates it, Anna, dies or becomes too sick to write again. The book, in fact, is truly made up by John Green.
“I’m in love with you,” Augustus
Can you see now, why Hazel Grace Lancaster is so desperate to find out what happens to Anna afterward? Augustus Waters understands and make it his mission to help her find out, after insisting that she reads HIS book ‘The Price of Dawn.’ This book is a whole other story by John Green, and if you wish to learn more about it, and how it is available as a perk for people who donate to the Harry Potter Alliance’s Equality FTW 2013 fundraiser, then go here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
I simply must mention Isaac, a friend who is another sufferer of cancer, this time in his eyes, and who eventually becomes fully blind as a result. He is yet another example of an unselfish, spirited and courageous young person, whose cancer is secondary to the person that he is. All three youngsters are individuals who have cancer, but are not defined by it. I believe that this is the message John Green was trying to put across.
After Hazel suffers a setback and is back in hospital, Augustus’s plans to travel to Amsterdam with her in order to meet Peter Van Houten look like they will never be brought to fruition, but after considerable consideration by loving parents and worried Doctors, the surprise is set up, and accompanied by Hazel’s mother, the three do eventually get there. It is obvious, at this point, that friendship is becoming so much more, and after a horribly disappointing meeting with the ascerbic, disagreeable, drunk, and totally rude Peter Van Houten, they go on a tour of Anne Frank’s house, kiss, and later on share the one and only beautiful time together as lovers.
This is beginning to sound like a synopsis instead of a review, which was not my intention, so I will disconnect from the storyline a little, except to say that Augustus himself now reveals that his cancer has returned, and the rest of the story is how their love grows, and how they deal with the events that have happened to them both so far, and the certainty of loss that is about to happen.
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” Hazel
John Green has a way of putting into words the exact emotions felt by his characters so that the empathy you feel for them becomes very real, and I confess I did shed a tear while reading the book and watching the movie. This tragedy of a perfect love cut short somehow leaves you with a feeling of triumph, and how he has managed to do that is something I would dearly love to emulate! His words exalt life to a higher level, and I for one, will always try to be more grateful for the people I have now, and the time I have with them, and hold them close as something to be cherished and not taken for granted, ever! I’ll leave you with the hope that I have inspired you enough that you will not deny yourself the privilege of reading the book, and watching the movie when it is released; you won’t regret it!
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.” Augustus...more