Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: Requiem - Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3)
They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us everyday.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed.  The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds.  But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven --pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids.  Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancee of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I liked the second book in the series the best.  I felt like not much really happened in this book, although I thought it was a good wrap up to the series.  I really liked how the story is told from Hana and Lena's perspective.  It was nice to see what had happened to Hana and what she is like now that she is cured.  Also what happened to Lena once Alex came back.  My book also included a short story of Alex and what happened to him when he was imprisoned in the Crypts.  Some sad deaths occurred too and glad for some reunions.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: The Memory Thief - Emily Colin

The Memory Thief
When Madeleine Kimble's husband Aiden dies in a mountain climbing accident, Maddie can only think of his earnest promise to return to her and their young son.  Aiden's best friend J.C. feels great remorse over his inability to save him, but J.C.'s grief is also seasoned with the guilt of loving Maddie through the years.  Meanwhile, across the country another young man wakes up in a hospital and finds that his memories have been wiped clean, and replaced with haunting dreams of a beautiful woman and a five year old boy whom he feels driven to find.  What Nicholas Sullivan discovers upon his journey is utterly unexpected--and it will change all of their lives, especially Maddie's.

3/5 stars (really like it)
This story is told from 3 points of views, Maddie's, Aiden's and Nicholas.  Through these views you learn about how Maddie and Aiden met, fell in love and got married.  Nicholas is a blank slate and relies on his friends and girlfriend to tell him about himself.  Although he is driven to find Maddie.  The story did have a supernatural thing in it but it was written so well.  I love how the stories all connect and make total sense in the end.  Overall I really enjoyed this story.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring
In seventeenth-century Delft, there's a strict social order-rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, master and servant-and all know their place.  When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she  knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children.  She even feels able to handle his shrewd mother-in-law; his restless, sensual wife; and their jealous servant.  What no one expects is that Griet's quiet manner, quick perceptions, and fascination with her master's paintings will draw her inexorably into this world.  Their growing intimacy sparks whispers; and when Vermeer paints her wearing his wife's pearl earrings, the gossip escalates into a full-blown scandal that irrevocably changes Griet's life.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I really enjoyed this fictionalized story of the girl in the famous painting.  Although this book is fairly short I feel like I really got to know Griet.  I wish though that we could have learned more about Johannes and what his views on things were.  I like how at the end you find out where characters are 10 years after.  Overall a good story.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Club: These Granite Islands - Sarah Stonich

These Granite Islands: A Novel
From her hospital bed, 99-year-old Isobel Howard recalls her unexpected friendship with Cathryn, a childless, Chicago-born heiress who shunned her family, attended art school and married an Irishman with no pedigree.  During the summer of 1936, the women find themselves alone in Cypress, MN, a mining town on the edge of a glacier-fed lake.  Isobel is the wife of a tailor, mother of three young children and a milliner by training.  Her husband, Victor has taken their two boys away to an island he has purchased--an extravagance that has become a sore point in their marriage.  Left behind with her quiet daughter, Louisa, Isobel revives her interest in hat-making   During their shared days, Cathryn introduces Isobel to literature, art and more cosmopolitan view of life, ultimately making Isobel and accomplice to the affair she is having with a local forest ranger.  But there is a darker side to this idyll, and as the elderly Isobel reflects on the ensuing events, it is clear that this summer has exacted a heavy price.  Sticklers for logic may question some turns of the story, and Stonich's prose has an eye for exquisite detail, opening up into atmospherically rendered, carefully observed scenes.  Stonich unfurls a complex, many-layered and suspenseful story; and, like Susan Minot and Anita Shreve, she handles flashbacks and contemporary details with equal precision.

I really enjoyed this book although at times I was confused as to when things were happening.  As Isobel has had a stroke I felt as confused as she did at times.  She is a very likeable old lady who is not afraid to tell people what's what.  I liked the story that took place in 1936 and the characters in that time.  Also I like how Isabel learned to face her fears in order to help her friend out.  I wish however at the end more could have been revealed as to what happened to some of the characters.

Our next book:  One Day - David Nicholls

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Book Review: Shades of Earth - Beth Revis

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind.  They're ready to start life afresh--to buidl a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for.  There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first led on.  The biggest secret of all?  Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet.  And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together.  They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet.  Because if the colony collapses?  Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


4/5 stars (really liked it)
This is the conclusion to her series and I thought it was a great conclusion.  Many questions that I had from previous books were answered.  This book contained suspense and mystery.  There were some parts that were predictable but some parts that surprised me.  We also finally get to meed Amy's parents and I did not really like them.  I don't think their characters were developed enough for me to really care about them.  My favorite part was the last two pages of the book.

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...