Saturday, May 30, 2015

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

My rating: 4.8

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. Popular girl, Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape Indiana and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries. Witty dialogue, solid characters and wonderful writing made me fall in love with this book.  I will be reading more by this author.

CAUTION: This book deals with mental illness & suicide.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

My rating: 4.8

Carrie McLelland is writing about 1708 when an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers are after claiming the exiled James Stewart's crown.

Carrie settles into Slain Castle and creates a heroin to center her story around...only to find that her novel is more fact than fiction.

This story that flashes between modern day and 1708 is a lot of history, a little bit of romance and thoroughly enjoyable.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Shadow of the Wind/Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

My rating: 1.0

I have heard about this book for years so, I was excited to finally move this book to the top of my queue. I listened to it on my ipod (audio from my library...of course!) and the narration was wonderful.  The writing was wonderful.....for the first 75 pages. 

It quickly felt that the writer was using the overblown prose again and again and again.  The overuse of the flowery metaphors got old very quickly.  I realized that this book felt cumbersome and not enjoyable and I knew it was time for me to move on and put this in my cemetery of forgotten books.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Freeman by Leonard Jr. Pitts

My rating: 4.8

This story of three people, Sam Freeman, Tilda and Prudence, takes place right after the Civil War and shows how the fighting doesn't end when the war is over. This book was about prejudice, slavery, civil rights, love and so much more. 

This Pulitzer Prize winning author captured so much pain, beauty, love and despair. This is a heavy emotional book that will stay with me for a long time. An amazing piece of historical fiction.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian

My rating: 4.9

This is the story of Orhan, whose Dede/grandfather Kemal has just died, and Seda, an 87 year old woman in a Los Angeles Armenian retirement community.  The story moves back and forth in time between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990's.  

I loved this book on so many levels - the wonderful writing, the characters, the plot and for the education on a piece of history that I was mainly unaware of.  This is definitely going to be featured in my May Favorites.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Descent by Tim Johnston

My rating: 4.6

The story of a young family from the plains taking a last summer vacation before their daughter begins college. For eighteen-year-old Caitlin. Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns.

This is more than just a mystery thriller as it also deals with family relationships.  Most people seem to be a love or hate this book and I was in the 'definitely liked it' camp but not a love.  It will stay with me for a while which I always view as a sign of a good book.