Bellagrand by Paullina Simons

I could easily say that Paullina Simons is one of my favorite authors, she did such an amazing job with The Bronze Horseman that I didn't sleep for days trying to finish all three of the books. And now with the prequels she does it again. I was really excited about this book coming out, I counted down days to its release and Amazon delivering it to my doorstep. I started immediately.

I'm going to assume that if you're reading this book, or considering it, you have read The Bronze Horseman (book one of the series). And so you know how this one ends. But the events that take it to that sad ending are even more depressing. There were many times when I just wanted to throw this book in the fire, and that's because it was so good. Simons is very good when it comes to making the characters feel real, you start caring about them as if they really existed. She gives them life, future, past and the present, we get to know them from every angle. So if you are familiar with Alexanders future you know that there is no way this book will end on a happy note. And even then I found myself hoping that it somehow would. In the House of Liberty we find out how Gina and Harry meet, and how they fall in love. "Oh to be young and in love". But in this book we see them years later, married, and happy? I don't think they are, but they are too blind to see that for themselves. The whole time I wanted to shake Gina (Jane) and tell her that she is being stupid, and to immediately divorce Harry. I don't understand why she would put up with him. She cooks, cleans, takes care of her mom, and works a bunch of jobs. All while her lazy good for nothing husband sits at home and reads about communism. He is in and out of jail for years and still she forgives him. He is her only family left. OMG!! I want to kick him so hard. This was such a good book, and I will remember it forever how it made me feel. Angry. But what it did is really made me feel for the characters, and see how all these things affected Alexander, and how we see him in the other books.

I might have to re-red the other three because now I have a different view on the whole story. Once again Paullina you did such an amazing job I don't know if anyone can top it. I will keep looking foreword to other books and the movie.

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...' Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

This book was great, but only if you want a fast easy read, it doesn't require that much thinking. At times I was tired of reading pretty much the same entry over and over. And some things just didn't make much sense, I was also hoping for a more thrilling ending. This one seemed more like and afterthought, needs a little more polishing. I didn't see the ending from the beginning, but after finishing it I was surprised that I missed it. It's well written and I enjoyed it, more than Mansfield Park I will admit.  I will recommend it if you want an easy relaxing read. Something to enjoy on a day off.

Anna Karenina By Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy is a master of the written word, he has the ability to completely engage the reader into the lives of his characters.

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," is the first sentence of the book, and this is really what the whole book is about, how each character strives for happiness because they feel unhappy. It examines the way people view their problems, families and how they strive to resolve their issues. The book is not necessarily all about Anna, it's about all the people she knows and the story is told from all of their perspectives. You get to know each character on a deep and personal level, their fears and their hopes come to life, and even though it's set in the 19th century Russia, we can relate to each character on some level. It's no wonder this book is said to be the best of the best. It's not a very easy read, as Tolstoy mixes romance with Russian politics and socioeconomic problems, but once I finished the book I understood why he did it. It's to make the reader more aware of all the issues that were going on at the time, everything influences our lives, even if it is politics, people are effected by all that is going on in their country. And the character Levin is deeply involved in farming so the socioeconomic issues are important to understand.  The book really needs to be read to be appreciated, and I really wish I hadn't seen the movie after I finished reading this, it just ruined it for me. The book is so much better then all the movies made from it so far. I loved this book, too bad I knew the ending before I started it, but it still did the job, I read a few chapters a day, it was a bit difficult to wrap my head around all these characters and all their problems, with a lot of details and imagery. But the story is beautiful, it takes time to understand.

Almost Home by Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff you are a genius!

I couldn't get enough of this book. Brilliant work, full of mystery and betrayal, I couldn't read fast enough to find out the truth about what happened, and who was behind all the murders. And just as the story finished the climax another one started. Pulling me even more into it. It's a good thing I got the second book already or I would go crazy. The book starts with Jordan, an American diplomat, after ten years she is still grieving for her boyfriend Jared who drowned in the river Cam two weeks before graduation at Cambridge. She swore she would never return to London, she couldn't bare to see the place where she had seen him last. But that all changes when Jordan finds out her friend from College is terminally ill, she decides to go to London to help her friend, while taking a job there. Just as she is ready to start her life in London Chris, a friend from school tells her that Jared didn't drown, he was murdered. She soon discovers that Jared's research of WWII uncovered a secret that some will go to great lengths to cover. She must now find out who killed him and why. The truth has to be revealed, even if it threatens to change her life forever.