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BOOK REVIEWS > Kathy's Challenge Reviews

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message 1: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 13, 2013 06:43PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci (Goodreads Author)

Cecil Castellucci’s Rose Sees Red is an adventure back in time. Back to the early 80’s and the Cold War feeling. Back to what it feels like to be young and not sure of yourself. This was a wonderful YA novel.
Our main character, Rose is a high school teenager living in the Bronx in New York. She has had many disappointments and especially with a “best friend” who really was not the best. I found Rose so much like myself and the way I felt at that age. She wants to fit in, but doesn’t quite fit in. She wants to be great at something, especially her dancing, but isn’t quite good enough in her mind. That’s where we really get to know and understand Rose --- in her mind.

Then, the adventure really begins. By chance, she meets Yrena, her next-door-neighbor who is living in a Russian apartment building. These Russian neighbors are isolated and protected from the outside. Yrena wants to escape, if only for a night, so she climbs into Rose’s bedroom, and there follows a night to remember. Rose’s life is going to forever change. She will discover who she is and wants to be. She will find out what real friendship is like. She will find a new eye for what it means to be American. She feels the unfairness of life and politics and that she will lose her friend as quickly as she found her. But, she will never lose what she gained from her experience. We can all see ourselves in Rose.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

message 2: by Kathy G. (last edited Dec 10, 2010 11:23AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Crossing by Gary Paulsen

This was a very sad tale. The author does a superb job of setting a mood of despair and sadness in the two main characters, Robert S. Locke, an Army sergeant who is haunted by the Vietnam war, and Manny Bustos, a 14 year old child of the streets in Juarez, Mexico. This emotion packed book takes us into each character's experience, as their lives become interlaced. Manny wants to be free and escape his poverty to the United States by running across the border. The timing has to be right and is filled with danger. Robert is escaping, through heavy drinking, the ghosts that trail him. What will these two learn from each other and how will their lives change?

This is a MUST read.
Very poignant.

message 3: by Kathy G. (last edited Dec 13, 2010 03:35AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't help comparing it to the Harry Potter books--- but it was quite different. The author had this very amusing, tongue-in-cheek way of writing and joking that was cracking me up. It reminded me of some mystery books I've read, that funny banter thrown in. Percy would call his satyr friend Grover "goatboy." The action scenes were very well written--- and there were plenty of those!

This book was quite a ride. I will be reading the rest of the series.

message 4: by Kathy G. (last edited Dec 18, 2010 08:00AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

This book had a good storyline, but got a little slow in a few places. I read it to my first grade class and it was a little above them. I had to stop and explain the vocab to them. It was written in 1964. Harriet is an eleven year old girl that is crazy about writing. So, she spies on people and writes down, from her point of view, what they are doing and what she thinks of them. Well, these descriptions are none too flattering, and if said out loud, are very mean and obnoxious. But, for the reader, it's sure humorous. Many times my class was laughing out loud. She has a "route" she follows and she watches a particular set of people. It is interesting to see Harriet view different people and their circumstances.

She watches this one man who has 23 cats in an apartment and notices he only eats liver like the cats. She's wondering if he is really poor and why he does that. Later in the book she sees that the cats are all gone and assumes the police have taken them away. The man is really sad. The book is quite touching in places.

The worst part is when her friends take her notebook away and find all these unflattering comments about themselves. They give her "the treatment" and it is awful. I won't spoil the end, but it was well worth the read.

message 5: by Kathy G. (last edited Dec 18, 2010 07:53PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Animal Farm by George Orwell

This book was very good. It's about these animals that rebel against the owner of the farm, Farmer Jones. They get rid of him and take over. It all starts out with the good idea that "all animals are equal" and they are going to work this farm for themselves, completely through self-sacrifice, one-for-all. Well, as time passes, the pigs get more and more power. They also get more and more privledges--- and equal isn't equal anymore. But, it's such a gradual change that the other animals don't quite see it coming. And, through fear and propaganda---- the other animals don't dare to question, if they do see something wrong.

Well, that's it--- simply put------- but you just have to read the book yourself to enjoy the author's style. It's very good. The writing is really enjoyable and you do see the political message in the story.

A must read.

message 6: by Kathy G. (last edited Dec 20, 2010 07:46PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was cleverly done and quite an adventure. Artemis Fowl is a 12-year old genius thief. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but you are hooked in to the very end of the book. He cleverly wants to steal gold from the fairy world------ and that's what he intends to do.

I will read more of these adventures.

message 7: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 25, 2011 06:07PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Man Woman and Child by Erich Segal

This book was a very good read, but quite sad. I saw the movie twice, in the 80's. I really enjoyed the book even though it's very heartwrenching. I cannot say the plot without giving away the whole story. This is a must read and not a long book to read. It is a family drama that will bring tears.


message 8: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 25, 2011 07:17AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells (Goodreads Author)

I really enjoyed this book. It was funny in parts and made me laugh out loud. It had great character development. I liked the way it went back in time to explain why each character felt like they did. It's a great mother/daughter relationship book. I had difficulties with my own mother and I could really understand where the characters were coming from. It had a very nice ending.


message 9: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 03, 2011 05:48PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

This is a book I've read many times. It's a great adventure book for kids around the age of 8-13. It is very imaginative and a must read for anyone who loves children's literature. Omri receives a white medicine cupboard for his birthday and it magically brings a plastic American Indian to life. Omri finds this is not a game and that you can't play with people's lives. Wonderful book and one of my absolute favorites. If you have seen the movie and not read the book, you are missing out. The movie doesn't do a very good job compared to the book.


message 10: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 06, 2011 01:00PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

This was a great children's book. It's about about a young man (6th grade) who writes letters to his favorite author. The author advises him to write in a journal so he can become a great writer, so he does this. It's about pain and loneliness and a child going through divorce. It's a very touching book.


message 11: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 12, 2011 08:51PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

I've read this book many times over the years. It's a delightful book and I just really enjoy the writer's style and the storyline. It's about the classic good against evil scenario. Good wins! A must read. I need to read this author's other books.


message 12: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 20, 2011 05:29AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments One White Rose by Julie Garwood

This was a delightful story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was funny and sweet. Isabell is left alone on her ranch, ready to give birth and her husband has passed away. Boyle, an evil man who has taken over the town, wants her---- but is waiting until after the baby. By accident, Douglas comes along and he is thrown into being her protector. Great love story.


message 13: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 25, 2011 07:18AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Pretty Tough by Liz Tigelaar (Goodreads Author)

This was a great YA book about sisters, fitting in, and sports. Charlie gets on her sister's soccer team just to spite her. She is jealous of her sister's confidence and popularity at school. In the process, Charlie finds out what it means to be a "team player" and to truly fit in because you earned it. And, she discovers how much her sister means to her. Great story!


message 14: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 25, 2011 07:18AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Goodreads Author)

I reread this book for a challenge task. I had to read a book I'd read before and did not care for. I just really did not like this book much the first time around. I thought it was creepy. Well, I upgraded it to a 4 star book. The writing really is delightful and it "gets under your skin." The author has a wonderful sense of humor. His twists of a phrase crack me up. I really liked the uppity cat. It takes awhile to figure out if he's friend or foe. Great writing! I would not read this to very young children. They might have nightmares. :-)


message 15: by Kathy G. (last edited Feb 26, 2011 07:37AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I've read this book many times over the years. I read it almost every year to my class at school. This is a great piece of historical fiction. The story unfolds from a child's point of view, one who traveled west in a covered wagon. There are many books by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her family and the life they led during this time in history. It has a simplistic style, but very touching and descriptive. You can imagine what it was like to have lived back then and it almost seems like a diary from that time. If you have never read these books, you must.


message 16: by Kathy G. (last edited Mar 15, 2011 05:11AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Cat and Mrs. Cary by Doris Gates

This was a delightful book I read when a child. I bought an old copy and every once in awhile, I read it again. It's a mystery book, though it's more than that. It would appeal to a pre-teen child. But, it was written in the 60's. Mrs. Cary is a sweet elderly lady who has just moved into a cottage in a town by the sea. Well, there's a mystery around the house and this Tom cat who calls himself THE Tom, starts talking to Mrs. Cary. In fact, only Mrs. Cary can hear him. I love the old language in the book that children today might not get---- like "He will sally forth." You don't hear words like this anymore! A delightful, sweet, fun book.


message 17: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 12, 2011 05:17AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Lost in the Labyrinth by Patrice Kindl

This was new subject matter to me. I chose this book at random from our school library. It's about Theseus, Xenodice, and Icarus. I've never read any Greek mythology and I don't remember much from my freshman year in high school. This author chose Xenodice as the main character and wove this tale very believably. It was a fun read and I really enjoyed the book. I would really like to read more about Greek mythology. Great read.


message 18: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 19, 2011 05:08AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter

This was such a quaint, old-fashioned tale. It was first published in 1904. Freckles is an endearing soul. Freckles was abandoned as a baby with his hand cut off. He has a deep bitterness in his soul. He leaves the home and works in a lumber camp. This story is so descriptive of the Limberlost and the soul of this man--- it truly is a beautiful thing--- alive and rich. I've never read anything like this book. Wonderful! Well worth reading.


message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandapearl) | 273 comments Hi how do you get the stars to show up like that? I really want to add that to my reviews? Sorry for posting this comment, I'll delete it so you just have reviews.

message 20: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 24, 2011 03:51PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Amanda - I sent you a message on your page, but maybe you didn't get it.

use this code for each star (repeat for more stars)---

& # 9733;

(I put spaces between the characters so you could see it. For it to work there are no spaces between the characters --- even when you do it more than one star, no spaces.)


message 21: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 24, 2011 06:30PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Fire Within by Chris d'Lacey

This book was really good. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but by the end, I was hooked. I think this book had lots of foreshadowing to the next book in the series. How can I describe it simply? It's about this young man in college named David who boards with Liz and her daughter Lucy. Liz creates clay dragons and we find that they are alive. The story is woven in with a story about protecting these wild squirrels. (I know--- it sounds strange.) But, Liz gives David a "writing dragon" because they must be like their owners--- and his dragon, Gadzooks, helps him to write a story about this poor little squirrel. Well, I'm sure that more will be revealed in book two about Liz and Lucy and perhaps another time that they come from. Also, David meets Sophie towards the end of the story and she "doesn't believe" yet. So, she will be in book two as well. Fun read.


message 22: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 25, 2011 06:57AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Treasure Island illustrated by Walter Paget by Robert Louis Stevenson

This was a fantastic book. I can't believe I waited so long to read it. The twists and turns in the plot were a delight. I can imagine the joy it brought to boys in the late 1800's. Super!!! A must read.


message 23: by Kathy G. (last edited Apr 30, 2011 02:25PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Icefire by Chris d'Lacey

FANTASTIC! I had trouble getting into the first book, but this second installment was a doozie. It was so full of adventure and tall tales. I love the way the author drew this tale like a long-ago Camelot story, brought to light in the present. Legends coming full-circle. I had a hard time putting it down and can't wait to read book three.


message 24: by Kathy G. (last edited May 06, 2011 07:05PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Winter People by Phyllis A. Whitney

This was a great gothic novel. It was first published in 1969, so it has the flavor of that time, but it has such a 1800's gothic flavor to it. It is chilling and compelling. I read this book over 20 years ago and remembered how much I loved it. It reminds me of Rebecca. A great page-turner.


message 25: by Kathy G. (last edited May 12, 2011 04:39PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo

This is such a "sweet" book. But, it has adventure and charm as well. I haven't seen the movie, so I can't say how well the movie depicts the book. I love the way the author directly addresses us, "the reader," throughout the book. Nice touch. I've read it several times to my 2nd graders (1st graders this year) and they hung on every word. A fun book to read out loud!!!


message 26: by Kathy G. (last edited May 13, 2011 04:22AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Fire Star by Chris d'Lacey

This is book three in the series. It was a fast and wild ride. Each successive book gets better and better. What a tale this author weaves--- the details and the intricacies. It's amazing. I liked the way he changed perspectives--- there were several stories going on. I will definitely read book four.


message 27: by Kathy G. (last edited May 13, 2011 04:16PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

A delightful children's book-- for ages 7-10. Clementine is a funny little girl that seems to get into trouble a lot. But, she means well and has a good heart. Great read!


message 28: by Kathy G. (last edited May 14, 2011 08:48PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments In My Father's House by Ann Rinaldi

This was one of the best books I ever read. It was an historical fiction story about the McLean family through the eyes of McLean's step-daughter Oscie. It spans the civil war to the end (in McLean's parlor) where the surrender took place. It was extremely well done and touching. This is my first taste of Rinaldi's writing. I will be sure to read more of her books.


message 29: by Kathy G. (last edited May 15, 2011 08:52PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

This was a very good YA book. It's about a girl named Penny who moves from the big city to a small town called Hogs Hollow. She misses her life, her parents are divorcing, and she is mistreated by some stuck-up girls at her new school------ just because she is new. She makes friends with Tally and falls in love with Marcus. It was well-written and the characters are believable.


message 30: by Kathy G. (last edited Jun 04, 2011 05:06AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Sew Deadly by Elizabeth Lynn Casey (Goodreads Author)

I really enjoyed this book. It was a true "who-done-it" with twists and turns and a mystery to solve. The story was about the new librarian, Tori Sinclair. She moves from Chicago to Sweet Briar, a small southern town. She has a hard time fitting in---- and has enemies from the start--- but, when she ends up the lead suspect in a murder------------- Great read!


message 31: by Kathy G. (last edited May 27, 2011 04:40PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

I had a hard time getting through this book. The premise was a good one, but it was drawn out and not a very exciting read. I finally liked the part when they got to the ball, which was quite late in the book. I did not enjoy this book.


message 32: by Kathy G. (last edited Jun 04, 2011 05:06AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments A Breath of Fresh Air by Betty Cavanna

I really enjoyed this book. It was written in 1966, so you could feel the time it was written in. Brooke's parents are getting a divorce, she is going off to college, and thinking about what she wants for her future. I remember how it felt to have your future looming and wondering what you will do and where you will end up. Also, mixed in with the story, Brooke was writing a paper on Louisa May Alcott. I liked the way the author intermingled facts about Louisa with the feelings that Brooke was having. The things we read and learn do affect us and we do identify. This was a very pleasant read.


message 33: by Kathy G. (last edited Jun 04, 2011 12:27PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Stuart Little by E.B. White

This was an adorable story. I was really getting into it. I had never read it and was glad I did. But, the ending was a flop. Is there a book that follows this one? I could not find one that might. It was as if the author just got tired and petered out. I don't like a mouse leaving me hanging! Ha! Ha!


message 34: by Kathy G. (last edited Jun 09, 2011 03:36PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

This book was so good. It made my laugh and it made me cry. I loved the way it bounced between the four friends. You feel like you know and understand each one and you are a part of their lives. A must read!


message 35: by Kathy G. (last edited Jun 09, 2011 10:52PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments My Reading Life by Pat Conroy

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I knew nothing of Pat Conroy until I read this delightful book. He is the author of The Prince of Tides, The Lords of Discipline, and The Great Santini. In this book he describes, in bright detail, and vivid "living" language, how he came to be a writer and the people, events, and books that influenced him. It was wonderful to follow him on this trek through his life. I enjoyed every minute of it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read and to those who are writers or wish to write. His English teacher, Mr. Norris, said it best, "It's high time, boy, that you learned that there is a relationship between life and art." Loved this book. A must read!


message 36: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 06, 2011 08:23AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The House of a Thousand Lanterns by Victoria Holt

I have to give this book only two stars. It had such a good premise: love, mystery, ancient Chinese customs and artifacts---- but it was boring and laborious to get through. The end was finally exciting--- but to get to it was very hard. Not worth the read.


message 37: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 06, 2011 08:23AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Beyond Blue Mountains by Jean Plaidy

I finally finished this book. I just did not like it very much. It went through several generations and was not worth the effort. I only finished it because I needed it for a reading task in a challenge. I will not read this author again.


message 38: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 08, 2011 04:33PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

This was a fantastic book. It was full of adventure and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I am so glad I read this book before seeing the movie. It is so rich and I'm sure the movie will have to leave lots out. Well worth the read!!!!


message 39: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 11, 2011 09:39AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

I had not read this since high school, which was MANY years ago--- and it was so beautiful to read again. I cried at the end. There's nothing like Shakespeare. If you have never read this play, you simply must.


message 40: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 12, 2011 01:35PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball by Kathleen Brady

Kathleen Brady did a fantastic job with Lucy's biography. It told a sad and believable account of her life. It was tedious, in some places, with all the business side of Desilu, but intersperced were stories that broke it up. In all, I enjoyed this book and was glad I read it.


message 41: by Kathy G. (last edited Jul 15, 2011 05:16PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments White Cat by Holly Black (Goodreads Author)

This was a really fun book to read. The plot was full of adventure and surprise. I can't wait to read the other books in the series. I can see this one made into a movie. Cool premise. I can't really explain this book without giving away the story-line. But, the back cover doesn't even give it justice. A must read!


message 42: by Kathy G. (last edited Aug 02, 2011 02:27PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
(Goodreads Author)

I enjoyed this book very much. It wasn't super flashy or exciting (though the end was very exciting and unexpected), but it was a soft ride and cozy. I enjoyed every soft moment of it and the Major is a delightful character. I was rooting for him all the way and enjoyed his dry sense of humor. It was great!!! I cried and laughed. Just what I love in a book!


message 43: by Kathy G. (last edited Aug 02, 2011 01:44PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

This was a fascinating book. It's one of those books that really delves into the psychology of man and the way we think and live. Ender is a child, but he must be trained as a man at a very young age. He realizes that the adults are controlling and manipulating him, but he can't break free of what is expected of him. He saves the world and loses himself. Or does he? This is book one in the series and I can't even imagine how this could continue. I definitely will read the rest of the books. This is sci-fi at its best. I've never read a book like this one.


message 44: by Kathy G. (last edited Aug 23, 2011 05:00AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Red Glove by Holly Black (Goodreads Author)

I enjoyed this book even better than White Cat. I really like the premise that there are "curse workers" who have the power to affect you by touch. Dream Workers can cause you to dream and sleepwalk. Memory Workers can change who you are by altering your memories. Death Workers can kill you with a touch. Cassel Sharpe is a very rare Transformation Worker. He is the most coveted and he doesn't want to be. The crime families want him. The government wants him. Cassel is trying to find out who he is and he's trapped in a tangle of evil people all wanting a piece of him. He wants to be good-------- he really does. He wants Lila to love him. She's the daughter of the biggest crime leader of all. I can't wait for the next book which is coming in April 2012. It's hard to wait!!! Will Cassel be able to pull Lila away from her family? Will Cassel escape the pull of crime and find a way out? I'm rooting for you Cassel.


message 45: by Kathy G. (last edited Aug 27, 2011 09:28PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

I absolutely loved this book. It is set during the Civil War. These five men (one around 16 years old at the beginning) are prisoners in the south. They decide to escape in the dark of night in a balloon. A frightening storm carries them away and finally they crash onto a deserted island. There were so many things that were astounding in this story. One of the men is intelligent beyond measure. He knows all the compounds known to man and with the aid of the other men, he uses the islands natural elements to create nitroglycerin, of all things, and all the other things they need to get by. They harness water to create mechanized tools------- their creativity and resourcefulness are unlimited. I wanted to be on the island and see it for myself. And if I ever had to be lost-------- I’d sure want these men with me. Then, to pack punch to the story, there are mysterious things going on and they can only attribute these things to a “mysterious benefactor.” They cannot find that anyone else lives on the island, but strange things happen and aide them. At one point, pirates invade the island and they go through some terrible ordeals and young Harbert is shot, but they come through. And the pirates are “mysteriously” eliminated. I won’t give away the end, but this was a fun and exciting read. There are more “adventures” in the book than I can even list. I continuously wanted to read more! This was the first Jules Verne novel I’ve read and I can’t wait to read more.


message 46: by Kathy G. (last edited Sep 02, 2011 01:17AM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
(Newberry Honor Book 1998)

This was a wonderful book. (I know I seem to say that often!) But this was really a great book. It wasn't a cheerful book, but so touching and so well written. I cried at the end. It's about a young boy who looks toward his tenth birthday with gut-wrenching dread. In his town, they have this annual festival where the main event is the Pigeon Shoot. Palmer is a sensitive kid who wants so badly to fit in. Then, by sheer accident, he befriends a pigeon. I was so entralled by this child's feelings---- I felt what he felt. This book truly deserved to be a Newberry Honor Book.


message 47: by Kathy G. (last edited Sep 04, 2011 09:40PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Marley & Me: Love and Life with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

This is a great book for dog lovers. I cried and laughed many times. I have a dog named Scruffy who has her own share of "bad habits" and you love them just the same. This book was a joy to read.


message 48: by Kathy G. (last edited Sep 09, 2011 06:49PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Peony in Love by Lisa See Goodreads Author

I’ve never read anything like this book. I was so enthralled by the story and felt so terribly sad for Peony. You could feel her deep longing and the struggle she had with her own “earthly” feelings. This is a love story, but much more. It contrasts foot-binding and the pain and misery of that act, though they were taught it was the most beautiful thing a woman could do, to how “bound” women in the Chinese culture were in the 17th century. Men completely dominated their thoughts and their actions. Half of the story is told when Peony is a ghost. This lets the reader get a very different view of the Chinese culture and Peony learns things that she never could have learned if she were alive. There are so many astounding things the reader learns from Peony’s experience in the afterlife about her family and the Chinese culture in general. Her grandmother died because she was told by Peony’s own brother and father to lie across the hay to hide them from the invaders because “that was her duty as a woman.” So, she did her duty and was stabbed to death. It’s such a sad and chilling story. It is amazing how the “ghost world” has so much influence over the “earthly realm.” The story is about love and finding peace inside yourself in either world. Also, the reader learns that things and people are much different below the surface. This was an amazing book on many levels.


message 49: by Kathy G. (last edited Sep 11, 2011 01:29PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Sara Louise has always been under the shadow of her twin sister Caroline. She felt second-rate and unnoticed. This book is about a young girl who grows into a strong, caring woman. But, the road there was frought with hardship, misgivings, and anger. I enjoyed this book and was happy with the ending. A great read.


message 50: by Kathy G. (last edited Sep 20, 2012 06:11PM) (new)

Kathy G. | 2073 comments Messenger by Lois Lowry

Absolutely wonderful. I love the whole Giver series. I was so shocked near the end, wondering how it would end. This third book made more sense following The Giver than the middle book, but now I can see the connection. I love the way Lowry writes, so simplistically, but meaningful.


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