Monday, September 5, 2011

The Help

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, mostly because of all the hype, but I was pleasantly surprised. Now do I feel that is one of my absolutely all time favorites? No, not by a long shot, but it was quite readable and I was able to read it quickly one day by the pool.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Starting to read, but finding it very difficult to 'get into'. Not liking the style of writing. Only got to page 31. Will give it another shot.

Still trying to read, trying to like it, but still not there. So many people LOVE it, I must be missing something. Perhaps I will give it rest for a few days. pg 58

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Winter Garden

Winter GardenWinter Garden by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written. Hannah has yet to fail me in her stories, and this is no exception! The is is a novel about the complexities and intricacies that bond a mother and her children. There were a few things that bothered me- but not enough to discourage reading. Stories and secrets, and an epic love story! A keeper for the library to be re-read!!

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The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2)The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second of the Millennium Trilogy, continues with Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander involved in a sex trafficking operation. When Salander is accused of a triple murder, Blomkvist delves into the investigation to prove her innocent. I enjoyed it and will be reading the final novel soon.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Save Me-- Lisa Scottoline

What would you do?

Save Me starts out strong, with a mom volunteering at school during lunch, when an emergency develops and she is accused of saving her own child, instead of another child, because she was bullying her own.   Most of the story flows very well, but I had some issues with it.  I hesitate to go too far into why as I do not want to say too much, as it would give away too much as a spoiler.

Given that, I really enjoyed the basic plot of the story, and much of it was very realistic.  It certainly makes one ponder, "What would I do?"  At one point, however, I became more questioning about the plausibility  of the course of events.

3 of 5 stars

I received this book free through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. I am not obligated to give a favorable review, nor do I receive monetary compensation for my review.

The Violets of March- Sarah Jio

Sarah Jio's debut novel, "The Violets of March" is a wonderful story, set on beautiful Bainbridge Island, in Washington.  Jio's characters are throughly believable and the plot develops beautifully.  I loved the aspect of a story within a story, via a diary.  It is such an integral part of the story, but flows WITH the story.  The lovely description of the setting of Bainbridge Island allowed me to immerse myself in the book and feel i was there.  A great story, a lovely setting.  Let yourself just enjoy it!

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Exposure- Therese Fowler

Exposure: A NovelExposure: A Novel by Therese Fowler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 Exposure, by Therese Fowler

 Exposure is a modern Romeo and Juliet; a teenage couple who are desperate to be together despite Amelia's father edict that she was not allowed to date, even at 17.  Anthony and Amelia, who after their cumulating night of love, make a decision that has consequences far beyond what either of them could have possibly imagined.  Amelia's father finds naked pictures of Anthony on her computer, and despite her protests, uses his influence on the local police to arrest Anthony, and to have the media label him a sex offender.  Events continue to unravel out of control, and soon the story gains national attention. With the continued investigation, the "sexting" takes a wild turn, and the teens take drastic measures to clear their names.

Ms. Fowler bravely takes from a personal experience that occurred in 2009 when her son approached her with dread and announced, "Mom. I'm in trouble and I'm going to be arrested.", and creates a work of fiction that feels uncomfortably real.  The  book, as the author states, "is fiction, the characters drawn completely from my imagination."   All the reactions and fears are entirely real.

As a HS teacher, I asked a couple of good students, average teens, about sexting, and  their comments surprised me.

Yes, it is happening, in good schools, in good families, in your area! Beginning in MIDDLE SCHOOL!

And yes,  these 'harmless' acts, even when both parties consent, if caught and convicted, will have to register as sex offenders. I too have personal knowledge of such events.

Bravo to Ms. Fowler (as well as her son and family),  for sharing, which as I can only imagine,  must have heart-wrenching.

Suffice it to say that I truly loved the book and will be HIGHLY recommending it to others!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TullyandKate-- Best Friends forever

Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah, is a story about best friends. Kate Mularkey chooses marriage and motherhood; Tully Hart opts for career, fame and fortune. Their friendship begins in the 1970s, as young teens, and follows them through the decades of of friendship as adults. Kate had a stable family life as a child, while Tully, "the coolest girl in the world", scrambled to survive despite her addicted mother. Kate is an at-home mother of two; ambitious Tully, climbs to the top of broadcast journalism, and discovers that it can be lonely at the top. 

Emotional and touching, Hannah writes from the heart. Hurt, laughter, anger, jealousy, heartache, and love abound in this story. 

I cannot recommend this book enough! It is terrific, and has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Haunting and emotional,  Night Road by Kristin Hannah is a wonderfully written book.  The story was riveting, and most definitely seemed true to life.  Jude seemingly has a terrific life:  wonderful husband; beautiful, smart children; and a lovely home on an island. Jude has given her life for her children for eighteen years.  Just before Zach and Mia are to graduate, tragedy strikes.  How can Jude possibly forgive what has left her so devastated, and her family torn apart?
I received this ARC from St. Martins Press for review.