Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

How even in the most brutal situations, the is always hope, and sometimes even a little bit of happiness. What those people went though is awful, and to know that everyone in the world knew about it, but decided to do nothing, just pissed me off. I read many books on WWII, but always from the Russian or American point of view. I never even knew that the Soviets did this to Lithuania. It's just so sad.

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Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez review

I had no idea what this book was going to be about when I bought it. I just kept seeing it everywhere I went, so I determined that it must be good if all the stores are selling it. I didn't even know it was about slavery, I thought it was about some servant girl. But beside the point, I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have, maybe it was really good, but I just couldn't get into it. I like reading about war, slavery and other historical topics, because I know I will get a tearjerker and a resonant story. But this book didn't have that spark, the characters were poorly developed, if not at all, and the story just lacked in many places. I did not enjoy it.

For any of you that are as unaware of what this book is about, it's about slavery, but not just any kind of slavery, it's about a group of black women, slaves, who are more than just slaves to their masters, they are basically sex slaves, black mistresses. The men take these slaves to go with them to a resort in Ohio every year, without their wives, imagine what goes on there, Yah. That was just so disturbing to read, every few pages someone was essentially raped by their master. It was a little over the top for me. I couldn't focus on the story, it was confusing and I lost interest very quickly. The main character Lizzie, was not as interesting as the other characters in the book. To be honest, at first I thought Mawu was the main character, until Lizzie stepped in with her boring story. Mawu wanted to run away, make a difference, live. Lizzie was in love with her master. She lacked character, and spirit, she was confusing and unpredictable, I didn't know what was going on in her mind, and my the end of the book I was even more confused.

There was no climax, no resolution, just a slave who doesn't know what love it. I listened to most of this book on audio, and I got to say, there were many many moments where I just tuned out. It didn't hold my attention at all. I don't think I recommend this book either. Seems like all but one of the books I chose for the book-a-thon were bad. Oh well. Better luck next time.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

This story follows many, MANY characters, but mainly Frankie, Iris and Emma. I had to read the first two chapters at least three times, I just couldn't figure out the characters, we are introduced to everyone at once, at least that what it seemed like. The point of view kept changing so quickly and unannounced that I didn't know who was speaking when. And it was especially difficult because I was listening to the audio book, and didn't get to see the little brake between paragraphs to know when one ends and another one begins, which is when the speaker changes. It was confusing. Iris is the Postmistress (postmaster) in Cape Cod, and obsessed with order, even gets a certificate of virginity from her gyno (she is about 40 years old)... What? Yea it happened. She is supposed to be the stable one in the story, the one keeping peace and making people feel safe and comforted by the mail they get from loved ones.

Emma, the talk of the town, is newly married to the town doctor, who decides to go to Europe and help in the war. Emma's life is torn apart when she is left all alone, pregnant and only letters as communication with Will.

Frankie is a radio broadcaster who is currently in London, during the Blitz, she is the one who is right there where the action is, she doesn't just want to be a bystander, she wants to report the real news, to show the people back home what this war is really like. And maybe they will do something to help.

Even though these women are totally different from one another, the war shatters their lives and they all have to face their challenges.

 

I really didn't care much for this book, it was a bit boring, and the characters didn't feel real, they weren't developed all the way. I went into this book with hight expectations, I didn't really read any reviews before I bought it, I just saw it at the store, thought it sounded good and got it. I had the idea that this was gonna be more girly, with letters not being delivered and how that messes with peoples lives. How not getting certain news would affect people, and spiral out of control causing mayhem within the town. Nope, that is not what happens. The secret is pretty obvious, and really doesn't make a great difference in the end.

 

I don't know if I should recommend this book. If you are interested in WWII stories you should read Between Shades of Grey, I just finished it and loved loved it. I will post a review really soon.

The Christmas Wedding review

A 60+ year old woman gets proposed to three times in one night, in a matter of 10 minutes. Yea right, like that ever happens. I bought this book only because it was by James Patterson, one of the most popular mystery writers out there. I did not like this book at all. I thought that since it was by James Patterson it was gonna have a real big mystery and some twists at the end, but no it didn't. it made you think there was gonna be a surprise ending, I even predicted the most obvious ending and you know what? It was worse. Ok, so I'm gonna try and be fair and explain to you what the book is actually about. Gabby, a mother of four, and let me just get it out there her four are adults, with their own kids, so that puts Gabby at about 60-70 years old. She is a widow, her husband died about three years before and she has just been lonely. So the book starts off with her sending a video message to her kids, really? Do old people do that? Ok so in the video she tells her kids that she is getting married, and the groom is a surprise. Hmmm, why would a grandma keep surprises like that, what for, why the big mystery. That's when I thought that there was going to be some big big mystery revealed at the end. Also the wedding is taking place on Christmas day. So everyone drop your plans, mommy's getting married, on the biggest holiday and you all have to be there. How selfish. Than she sends them a few more videos, in one explaining how she got proposed to three times, on the same night. That is just unbelievable. After Gabby runs in the snow barefoot to follow her teenage grandson, so he doesn't get high, on her wedding day, in her white dress, and then has to wear sneakers, I gave up. I still listened to the audio book, but I completely lost interest. I just wanted it to end, and find out who she marries. And it wasn't that impressive.

I don't know if I would recommend this book to anyone. Maybe people like Gabby, older women or just people who are really really bored and have nothing to do but read boring books. Come on James Patterson, I thought you were better. Now I'm a little hesitant to pick up any of his other books. I've been eying The Honeymoon but now I have my doubts.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

This is the first Neil Gaiman book I have ever read, and I am in love. This is such a beautiful book, it is so well written and such a page turner, I felt like a little girl when I was reading it. I have heard many times that this is one of those books that you should dive in without knowing what it's about. And I didn't, I bought it and read it, and loved it. I don't think you're supposed to know what it's about really, it would take all the mystery and imagination out of it.

It is a novel for adults, but it is told from the point of view of a 47 year old man, who goes to his hometown for a family funeral and drives to the ocean at the end of the lane, where his childhood friend Lettie used to live in a farmhouse. When he steps on the land he is filled with the scary and strange memories from the past, and that is where the story begins. We are transferred back to when he was 7 years old, their tenant commits suicide in their white Mini at the end of the lane, which summons some dark forces that follow him home.  I was pleasantly surprised, I didn't know this was a fantasy novel, this is not what I would normally pick up on purpose, but since I didn't know and it came highly recommended I read it. And loved it! It is very simple, magical and just overall great. Neil Gaiman does a great job describing that adults aren't adults, they are children on the inside too. Only on the outside they look like adults and behave differently, but on the inside they think like kids. The book is filled with many little life lessons, as well a mythology and magic and a little bit of imagination. It is a wonderful story that I highly recommend. The writing isn't complicated, it's simple to follow and understand, yet every time you read it you will get something different out of it. It's a great relaxing weekend read.

ROOM By Emma Donoghue

I bought this book some time ago, at least a couple years, but I never felt the urge to read it. I was hesitant, what could possibly be so interesting about one room. Boy was I wrong. This book really took me by surprise, it scared me, it made me shutter and laugh, it was creepy, sad and a little disturbing. Actually, quite disturbing. I mostly listened to the audio book version I got from the library, and here and there I would pick up the hard copy, and the audio was what made it more creepy, I think. I started to listed to it on one of my runs, after about a chapter I was a little scared to continue. When you hear a 5 year old boy saying "he gets some" in the mornings, I was like WHAT THE HELL IS THIS KIND OF BOOK, WHY AM I READING IT. NO NO NO NO!!  But no it's not what you think, this boy has never seen the world outside the 4 walls that he shares with his mom. All day they play games, watches tv, but only for a little while, he likes Dora and he reads books, he can count and even make himself some food. He starts to tell the story in such a light hearted way, that I got a little confused, wasn't this supposed to be a little scary. He spends days and nights in one 12x12 room and is perfectly happy about it. But you really start to figure out the seriousness of this book when at night Jack is hiding in the wardrobe while Old Nick comes in. Before Jack goes to sleep he counts the squeaks of the bed when Old Nick gets on it. Omg! That is when it hits you. What?! Jacks mom decides that he is old enough to know that the world he sees only on tv is actually real, and that's where she came from, from the Outside. It was really interesting to see how a child who doesn't even know that other people exist would handle finding out that he has a family out there, and that the trees are real and that there is an Outside. He has to learn how to see the world all over again.

I really liked this book, I didn't know if I was going to at first, it creeped me out. Donoghue did a wonderful job going into a child's mind and describing the world as he sees it. Jack is the narrator the whole time, and it might get a little getting used to the writing, because it isn't grammatically correct most of the time. Given that 5 year olds don't speak well. But it is really touching and quite the page turner, I was on the edge of my seat wanting to find out what happens next. It can almost be categorized as a thriller. It really makes you think, there are a lot of people who are kept like this and this just tells their side of the story. It's a beautiful book, that will touch you and make you hug your kids a little more. As well as never let them out of your sight because they will be kidnapped.

Highly recommend it.

BOUT OF BOOKS here I come

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

 

book-a-thon 2014

Wench: 290 Pages

The Postmistress: 350 Pages

The Christmas Wedding: 261

Where We Belong: 372

Total: 1,273 Pages

That is 181 pages a day, maybe I can do it, but that is not my goal. I have all of then on audio as well, so I hope to listen to them in the car and when I'm out running. With a baby around I will need all the audio books I can get. I will have to prepare some meals in a crackpot, or just have my boyfriend cook. I don't think he'll mind. I have cleaned the house top to bottom this weekend, so that there isn't much cleaning needed over the week. And off I go. This might be tough. I used to read a book a day, than I got a full time job and a baby, now I read a book a month. So this, I'm hoping will speed things up. And the books I chose are kind small. I just need to get some off my TBR shelf. So, I actually own all these books in print, but I got them on audio from the library, so I will not report these in time spent listening and time spent reading. I will just find the page in the actual book and say that I read so and so many pages. Because once I'm not in the car I will actually read the real book.

• Read at least a 100 pages a day. 150 would be ideal.

• Finish at least 3 of the books.

• Update my progress daily

• Of course have fun (reading always is)

 

Monday Number of pages read: 258 Books: Where We Belong
I listened to a lot of it, but I also got into the hot tub and actually read after the baby was asleep. Yey I'm past my goal. I think I can do this. I think I will finish on Tuesday and start another one.
Tuesday Number of pages read: 144 Books: Where We Belong and Postmistress
I finished up Where we Belong and loved loved it. Review coming soon. I started Postmistress and am a little confused. So many characters.
Wednesday Number of pages read: 197 Books: Postmistress
It was a little difficult to understand at first. Too many characters. But now it's pretty good. Not great yet.
Thursday Number of pages read: 249  Books: Postmistress and Christmas Wedding
I didn't really care for Postmistress and Christmas Wedding seems good, really fast read.
Friday Number of pages read: 131 Books: Christmas Wedding
Finished up the book, and I hated it. So bad.
Saturday Number of pages read: 290  Books: The Wench
Sunday Number of pages read: none Books: none I finished all of them
Total  Number of pages read: 1,273 Books finished: 4

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

I revived this eboook from NetGalley, thanks. Here is my honest opinion. I have taken notes while reading this book, yet I still don't know how to review it. It was OK. I didn't love it but I did't hate it. The first few pages I read really pulled me in, I was in love, I thought this was going to be one of the best books I read this year, but it isn't. I kept reading, and it was interesting but also disappointing and depressing. I though the Bird family was supposed to be eccentric and fun, but they all turn out sad, depressed and covered tattoos, or in prison.

I wouldn't say I didn't like the characters, but they seem too selfish, all of them, they only think about themselves and how the tragedy, and how their mothers increased hoarding affected them.

The book jumps between current events in 2011 and the past, starting in 1981, that lead up to this family reunion, as well as the different family members, it was a bit confusing who was speaking when and how it all fit together.  They are definitely a dysfunctional family. I found them very hard to relate to, there was way too much going on, hoarding, lesbians, incest, affairs, communes, death, and mental illness. Just when I thought that I was nearing a climax, it would dwindle down again into something strange and not exciting. The ending was a little disappointing, I thought that after all that they had been through there was a shocking reason why Rhys killed himself, but I come to the conclusion that he was just weird. And he killed himself because he was mentally ill. So read and decide for yourself.

It's not a bad book, more geared towards middle aged women, I think. And I'm nowhere near there and maybe that's why I can't relate to marriage, and moms dying as well as siblings, I'm an only child. But if you are interested please pick up this book, it's a quick summer read that will sure motivate you to clean your house more.

should I read these 10 books?

top10

 

Once again I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish, todays topic is "Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read (books you may have bought but aren't sure if you are into it anymore, books you wanted to read but heard mixed things about, hyped books you aren't sure about --- basically any book that has you going, "TO READ OR NOT TO READ?""

 

So here is my list, I own all these books, I don't know why, I'm a bookahilic and should not be allowed in bookstores, because I binge shop. Yes, I will buy 10 books at a time, some just because they sound good at first, and once I'm home I realize that I don't really care for some of them. But that's just me. So if any of you have read these books, please tell me what you thought of them and if I should or should not read them.

I will be checking your blogs too, and maybe discover something new. Enjoy !

 

38296The Last of the Mochicans 3.66 Stars on Goodreads

The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has madeThe Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and Uncas become embroiled in the bloody battles of the French and Indian War. The abduction of the beautiful Munro sisters by hostile savages, the treachery of the renegade brave Magua, the ambush of innocent settlers, and the thrilling events that lead to the final tragic confrontation between rival war parties create an unforgettable, spine-tingling picture of life on the frontier. And as the idyllic wilderness gives way to the forces of civilization, the novel presents a moving portrayal of a vanishing race and the end of its way of life in the great American forests.

 

I am pretty sure I saw the movie in school, years ago, and my boyfriend tried reading this book a few months ago, and he said it was very hard to follow. That it was written in sort of old english and difficult to understand english.

 

 

11857408Fiftly Shades Darker 3.94 Stars on Goodreads

Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

 

I hated the first one, and I own the whole series, I've been thinking about reading the rest, but I'm just going to kick myself in the butt if I read it. I did not like it at all.

 

 

 

3257136Dewey 3.81 Stars on Goodreads

How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa

 

Ok I do love cats, I have one (no longer lives with me) but I don't think I want to read about one. Can someone convince me to read it? I think it might be cute, but I've had it for over 4 years, and don't see myself reading it anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

 

10990Lord John 3.56 Stars on Goodreads

The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s Army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: the Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade in arms, who may have been a traitor.

Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society — and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London’s night-world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, and from the blood of a murdered corpse to the thundering seas ruled by the majestic fleet of the East India Company, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything — or nothing.

I'm already tired to Diana Gabaldon, I read 7 of the Outlander books and I just can't stand to read more, Lord John is one of the characters that bug me in Outlander, so I don't think I want to read more about him.

 

 

870321Secrets of the Code 3.17 Stars on Goodreads

Secrets of the Code, a five-month New York Times bestseller, is a sweeping tour, guided by renowned experts, through the many provocative ideas raised in The Da Vinci Code. With excerpts from many original works, all-new material, and interviews with prominent scholars exploring the novel’s underlying themes, Secrets of the Code will satisfy your curiosity, engage your imagination, and provide you with insights to better understand the historical and religious issues of the novel.

 

I got this as a gift, and I don't know if I want to read it or not. I did enjoy The Da Vinci Code and the sequel, but I'm just over that whole topic.

 

 

 

 

 

18626864The Art of War 3.92 Stars on Goodreads

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world, as eagerly studied in Asia by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict.

 

I don't know why I have this book, I am so not interested in war or the art of it. It's stupid and useless. So please tell me why I should read this.

 

 

9410421Chasing Fire 4.05 Stars of Goodreads

Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.

But there's also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive fire-fighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan's blood: her father is a legend in the field. She's been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.

Fortunately, this year's rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry's one of the best. He's also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kid's arcade. He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas "Iron Man" Tripp, yet he's instantly more fascinated by his hero's daughter. Rowan, as a rule, doesn't hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind. And damn if he doesn't make a good case to be an exception to the rule. 

Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year's tragedy. Rowan knows she can't complicate things with Gull - any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal. But if she doesn't find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames.

 

I'm just over Nora Roberts, it bugs me that she has that many books out. If you can write 6 books a year then they are probably no that good.

 

 

5043The Pillars of Earth 4.26 Stars of Goodreads

The spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known—and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.

 

That is all I know about this book, I know it's supposed to be good, but I still have no idea what it's about. So I'm a little hesitant about reading it, it's pretty big too. I hate to start a book and never finish it, so I just avoid to start it in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

99152Life on the Mississippi 3.85 Stars of Goodreads

A stirring account of America's vanished past...
The book that earned Mark Twain his first recognition as a serious writer... 

Discover the magic of life on the Mississippi. 

At once a romantic history of a mighty river, an autobiographical account of Mark Twain's early steamboat days, and a storehouse of humorous anecdotes and sketches, Life on the Mississippi is the raw material from which Twain wrote his finest novel: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 

 

I guess if they made me read this book in high school I would probably enjoy it, but now, not so much. I read Hucleberry Finn and loved it, but this might be a little too much.

It seems like it's more about the river itself than about his life. Just weird.

 

 

 

9282The Smoke Jumper 4.01 Stars or Goodreads

In a searing novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, the acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Horse Whisperer gives his millions of readers another hero…
His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his best friend and fellow “smoke jumper,” Ed Tully. Julia loves them both–until a fiery tragedy on Montana’s Snake Mountain forces her to choose between them, and burns a brand on all their hearts.
In the wake of the fire, Connor embarks on a harrowing journey to the edge of human experience, traveling the world’s worst wars and disasters to take photographs that find him fame but never happiness. Reckless of a life he no longer wants, again and again he dares death to take him, until another fateful day on another continent, he must walk through fire once more…

 

I have no idea why I bought this book, it just doesn't interest me anymore, and can't figure out that it ever did.

 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I listened to most of this book in the car on my way to and from work, as well as just around the house,or when running. I really enjoyed it. I like that it had different people reading the different characters. It was easier to distinguish, and it was fun. The book is written from three different perspectives. Minnie, Abeline, and Skeeter (Eugenia), and they tell the story beautifully. Minnie and Abeline are Black maids in Jackson, Mississippi. And with the civil right movement they are gonna be in a heap of trouble if anyone discovers they are telling stories about their employers. Their selfish, rude and lazy employers. I really like Skeeter and was rooting for Minnie, Abline is just so sweet and the little girl she takes care of just made me want to cry. How could a stay at home mom, be so busy with clubs and other nonsense that she needs a nanny and a maid to take care of her house? They don't seem very rich either, can't they just do their housework themselves. Ugh they made me so angry. Skeeter is awesome, she has an open mind and doesn't care to get married and drop out of college. This book made me sad, angry and laugh out loud. It's a great story about friendship, trust, life and different people coming together to create change.

 

I watched the movie right after I finished the book, and boy did I hate it. There just isn't anything good about it, I understand that they had to fit a whole book into a 2+ hour movie, but they really botched it up. I watched it with my boyfriend, and he never read the book, I had to explain most of what was happening. I don't think it's easy to follow if you didn't read the book first, they left a lot out and changed a lot of what they didn't leave out. I was waiting to watch this movie since it came out, and I got to say I wish I never had. The book is a 100% better. I do not recommend watching the movie. But please read the book.

Mother Mother by Koren Zailckas

I had just finished reading "Echo in the Bone" by Diana Gabaldon and let's say I had enough, so I decided to not finish the series just yet and move on to something a little more exciting. I requested this free book from Blogging For Books and lets say it was a good thing thy had it available right away. I absolutely loved this book. At first I had my doubts, I felt like there wasn't enough details about the characters, (going from Diana Gabaldon who put wayyy too much detail) and then when there was detail I felt like it wasn't natural, like the author had to force herself to add more depth and character to the family. But as I kept reading the story grew on me, and sooner then I realized I was hooked. I think the writing need a bit more work. But the story is phenomenal. The ending was good, I mean after the big OMG!! moment, we get to see the family till the end and know what happens to them later on. 

We are presented with Josephine, the narsassistic mother, who's main concern is the family image and what people will say. She has many issues, but so does the whole family. The 12 years old son Will is autistic and Violet, 16 is on drugs, while the dad is an alcoholic being accused to cheating. Not to mention that their older daughter has run away from home. So how does this family get any worse, well Violet attacks Will with a knife, and is sent to the psych hospital. From where she is desperately trying to find her sister Rose. The mom seems to be trying to keep the family together, and help Will with his social issues. But all she is doing is driving everyone away from her even more. 

I kept feeling like I was on a roller coaster, at first I thought the mom was nuts, then I thought it was probably a trick ending kind of book so I thought it was the dad, and then Violet and then back to mom. I really kept me on my toes, because I didn't know where the story was going to go next. It's a quick and easy read, great when trying to take a brake from a series.

I will definitely recommend this book to others.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

This book on the other hand started out great, I was super excited to find out what happens to Brianna and Roger and how they are living their life, and we do get to see it, at least some of it. Most of the book is focused on John Grey and William. (Doesn't John Grey have his own series. Why is he taking over this one too.) I go to admit, I did skip quite a few chapters because I DID NOT want to read about William, I have no interest in him, so he's a grown boy and in the war, who cares. I don't that's for sure. It was really difficult to enjoy this book, I read a quickly as I could so I could move on to something else. Will not be starting Written In My Own Hearts Blood for a while, I need a break from their boring life. Diana Gabaldon  needs to focus more on the actual story and the details that matter, not the sex life of 60 year old, I don't want to know anymore what Claire's breasts look like and how Jamie likes to touch her butt. So that is all, I won't go into detail much more, because if you read this book you must have read the first one, and if you read the first one you know that the story is good, it's just the 1300+ pages that really get in the way.  Let me know how you felt about these books. And do you recommend me reading the next one soon. It's already sitting on my shelf, ready to be picked up, but I don't think I'm ready yet.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy—a time-traveler’s certain knowledge. Claire’s unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead—or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes.
Once again Diana Gabaldon shares with us the world of Claire and Jamie, now settled on the Ridge, their life takes on a different turn, as grandparents. But life on the ridge isn't as peaceful as they hope it to be.
 
I have been in LOVE with this series since I read the description of it on Amazon two years ago, the first three I read in just a couple days, COULD NOT put them down. But once the fourth book came out, things went down fast. Curiosity still won over and I still keep reading, but I can't wait till it's over.
 
This book has so far been the worst book in the series, for me at least. It took me over two years to finish it. I put it down and didn't pick it up for a long time. I just couldn't do it. There was too much unnecessary information and detail that blinded the main story. I don't even know what the main story was, there was nothing interesting going on in this book, only preparations and political choices. I understand that we have been with these characters for years now, but do we still need to hear about their sex life. Over and over again. Don't get me wrong I still love this series, but it is just wayyy too long. 
I would still recommend this book to everyone who started this series, and everyone should start reading Outlander right now. Because this is the best series ever. 

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.

The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty

What would you do if you discovered a secret about your husband that would ruin your whole life?
At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be readMy darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...


Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

I was skeptical about this book, I thought it was a good idea but when I stated to read it took a while to get to the actual secret. I was anxious and I wanted to know what he did. But once the secret was revealed the book took off. It really shows how something that happened decades ago can come back to hunt you, and completely change your life in a matter of seconds. This book was great, not my favorite but it was really good and a fast read. Simple and to the point. It touches on relationships, love, friendship, family, murder, forgiveness and life. It has a little bit of everything while still sticking to the main story. I think anyone can relate to at least one of the characters in the book.
The story follows 3 families, at first the families don't have anything in common, but as the books continues we learn just how much they are all connected. And how each of their actions affects the people around them. Sort of like the movie The Butterfly Effect, everything we do has consequences and sometimes those consequences trigger other actions that affect other people.
While reading the book I pretty much guessed everything that was going to happen, you can say it's predictable, but I still enjoyed reading it. I was actually prompted enough to look up some things about the Berlin Wall. The author uses a nice way to connect a historical event like taking down the Wall with what the characters are going though. Like the Wall that came down and feed the people, so does getting the truth out there and freeing your soul.

Children of Liberty by Paullina Simons

It's not what I thought this book was going to be about. Yes, it's a prequel to The Bronze Horseman trilogy, it's about how Alexanders parents met, and that's just it, it's about how they met and ended up together, but it's not about their life with each other. I hear there will be another book to tell that story.
Nonetheless it's not a bad story, just not what I was looking for. The characters are good but they still have to grow on me, I think it would be better if this was part of the next book, instead of a separate book. But I do like how we get to see them and how they grow up, in what kind of families and homes. It's a good book, if you read The Bronze Horseman then you will like this either  way.

 

The Stranger By Albert Camus

Albert Camus was a nobel prize winning author, and philosopher who contributed to the rise of absurdism. This novel is known as a classic all around the world. But does it really deserve the title. Some go into deep thought and discussion about the man in this book, and how the human nature is represented. And others say it's just a stupid story that has no plot. One has to read it and make your own judgement, it's a short book, you won't waste a ton of time if you decide to hate it. And I guess at times it was quite entertaining, mainly because the main character is a non emotional freak.
The story starts off with Meursault getting the news that his mother died. He takes time off work to go and make arrangements at the home she was living, and right away we sense that he isn't that close with his mother, or at least that's what it seems like, he kind of sees the whole thing as an inconvenience, but at the same time he has no opinion of it. The day after the funeral he starts sleeping with his ex-coworker. You can say that he is indifferent, or different for that matter, but at times he was just a jerk. The murder of the stranger is a small part in the book, we get to see Meursault though the trial and conviction, and even then he shows no remorse or concern. He did it, now he's being punished, and that is all. There are many examples in the book that show his apathy toward situations that would set off billions of different reactions from normal people. And this is where the discussion begins. Is he normal, are we normal, maybe being indifferent is normal. At least it's normal for him. He can''t change who he is, he just doesn't get emotional, he goes with the flow and doesn't get all that involved in lifes' drama. During his trial the prosecutor tried to condemn him based on his indifference to everyone, showing that if he can go to movies only hours after his mother funeral, than he has no problem murdering someone in cold blood. There are many ways to interpret this book, I guess I'm kind of in the middle on that opinion. Read and decide on your own.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler is said to be a YA national best seller, and even has it's own website, published in 2011 it sure has caught the attention of many young girls.

A high school junior, quirky and romantic Min "Minerva" has fallen in love with Ed, a senior and the star of the basketball team. You can say they are from totally different planets, she is an old movie fanatic, and wants to be a film director one day and Ed, well Ed is just a jock, who is used to having girls all over him. But one day fate comes knocking and Ed and Mins' worlds come together when Ed and his friends show up to Al's bitter 16 birthday party. Al is Mins' friend. They hit it off and the relationship blossoms for a whole month, and than we have this letter. After their really short relationship ends, Min decides to give everything back to Ed that reminds her of their time together, and she writes him a very long brake up letter.

I really wanted to like this book, and I wanted to like Min but I just couldn't, she's definitely "different". I used to be a teenage girl and I can relate to how she feels, and how giddy in love she thinks she is, the smiles, kisses, makeout sessions, collecting things that remind you of the other person, phone calls, all the silly little things that accompany lust. (Not love). But with her I couldn't really see eye to eye. She is an old movie nut, and she references old movies as if she lived them. It bugged me, first of all the movies aren't even real, they are the imagination of Handler, so no one can relate to her on that topic because no one has ever seen them. Maybe it's not her, maybe it's because I am now older and don't think with a 16 year old brain. So everything that I think is silly she takes seriously. But the thing that bugged me the most was the writing. The train of thought writing and the run on sentences. Her page long rambles about her pain and suffering caused by this boy. I just couldn't stand it. It was hard to figure out when she was telling a story or actually writing the letter. And I had to go back and try to figure it out. But I guess it was supposed to be written like an angry, bitter brake up letter, not a book.  The story itself contains topics about teenage love, sex, parties and all kinds of teen issues, but the thing that bugged me the most is that it seemed like the parents didn't exist. They are mentioned here and there but we never get a full background of the families of the characters. We know that Ed's mother is sick, but is she sick with a cold or dying of cancer, we don't know. And Min's mom is angry at there father. Why? We don't know. Ed's sister seems to be running the house and is sort of like a parent to Ed, but is his dad not around? We don't get to know these characters of a deeper level, we only know what hormonal brain of a teenage girl will share with us. I honestly don't know if I would recommend this to anyone above the age 18, it's strictly meant to be for teenagers. 

The Dark by James Herbert

James Herbert is knows as the equivalent of Stephen King in the UK, with many other horror books under his belt he is known well as the master of dark fiction. Many might be more familiar with his other book "The Fog"which was later made into a movie.  The story follows Chris Bishop who is a paranormal investigator familiar with the events that happened on Willow Road a few years back. He is hesitant about getting into this investigation because he doesn't want to remember what had happened and what he saw that day. The true evil that is responsible for those crimes is back and the town of Beechwood is in peril. People are committing unthinkable acts of violence in the "dark". It is up to Bishop to try and figure out what it is and how to stop it, before it spreads too far.

I was not recommended this book, in fact I was told not to read it because of how gruesome it is , and what do you think I did. I read it. Well I tried to finish it but I gave up a little before the end.  I had very high hopes for this book. I thought it was going to be scary, and I mean, keep me up at night kind of scary. But no it was not. It was boring and I dreaded the idea of picking it up. I tried to finish it, because I just hate not finishing books, but this was bad. At times it was very grotesque and disturbing and I had to try and not picture what I was reading. It was hard for me to follow the story, half the time I didn't know what character was speaking or where they were. I didn't know what was going on half the time and it just didn't have that thing that should have pulled me in. The first few chapters were good, they were engaging and we were introduced to many interesting characters, who then went on to commit crimes, and that was that, we never heard from them again. They were just put in the story to show the reader what The Dark can do. And this kept coming up in the book, we are introduced to someone, only to find out they really don't have anything to do with the main plot, other than be an example. I don't think the book is badly written, it just wasn't my style and I couldn't follow it. It shows the reader that The Dark can exist in anyone, people all over the world are committing crimes every day that no one  thought they were capable of. This story is a good example of evil and how it can manifest itself in someone, and how peoples actions can turn evil in a matter of seconds.