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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review for "Elsker" by ST Bende

I had the privilege of meeting the author of this book, ST Bende, at the Roanoke Author invasion. She is so nice and is an amazing author. I loved this book and can't recommend it highly enough.

I am a sucker for a good romance and when it has a great story to go with it that makes it all the better.

In this book the main character, Kristia, is a college student who is bored with her everyday life. She decides to have one last adventure before settling down to her life in her small town. She applies to be an exchange student at Cardiff University in England and there she meets Ull Myhr. She and Ull begin dating and Kristia learns that Ull is a Norse god. The book follows not only their romance but how Ull being a Norse god affects not only their relationship but the rest of the world and that of the other Norse gods.

If you like a good love story with action and adventure you will love this book.

I give this book 5 stars.

Review for "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah

I just want to start off by saying this is one of the best books I have ever read. As I've stated before in a previous review, I am participating in my local library's summer reading program. I selected this book based on a recommendation by one of the librarians. 

The book is historical fiction and is based on the Nazi occupation of France during WWII. The story follows two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, who handle the occupation in very different ways based on their personalities. Vianne, the elder sister, is very conservative and shy. She is also a wife and mother and is determined to do her best to keep her head down and protect her house and child during the occupation. Isabelle is very outspoken and is equally determined to do what she can to help France in their fight against Germany.

Each woman has their own insecurities and difficulties in their past that they must overcome in the very trying time of war. Hannah not only shows growth of both characters throughout the story but also ties this is beautifully with the struggles that not only the Jewish citizens of France went through in the war but those who were left behind when the Nazi's implemented their "Final Solution." 

I learned a great deal about this time period while reading this novel and was very sad when the book ended. I will be reading more by this author in the future.

I give this book 5 stars.

Review for Animal Farm by George Orwell

I am participating in my local library's summer reading program and one of the categories was a banned book. I already owned a copy of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" so I decided to read that for the banned book category. 

In the book, a farm is taken over by the animals. They have very idealistic views on how everything will be better without the humans around to tell them what to do but things don't turn out the way they hoped. 

The book is written as a metaphor for politics. I consider myself to have an interest in politics and, while I can see Orwell's point, this was by far one of the worst books I've ever read. The novel jumps around to one thing or another very often and it is difficult to follow the story. I like all types of books but this is not one of my favorites. 

If you are looking for a political metaphor this would be a great novel for you but if you are looking for some light reading this is not it.

I give this book 1 star.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Life We Bury

I recently read " The Life We Bury" by Allen Eskens. The main character, Joe Talbert, is a college student who sets out to write a biography of a stranger for his college writing class. He is not close with his family so he chooses a man who lives in a nursing home to be the subject of his biography. When he goes to interview him Joe realizes that the main is terminally ill and only at the nursing home because he has been released from prison because he is dying. The man he is interviewing, Carl, is a convicted murderer. As Joe continues to interview him and gets to know Carl he begins to question whether or not Carl is actually guilty. With the help of his neighbor Lila, Joe investigates the case that put Carl in jail all while dealing with his own problems caused from a broken home.

This novel was very well written. I love reading mysteries where I don't know what's going to happen next. I think the author created a great story of not only the investigation of the case that put Carl behind bars but also a sort of coming of age story of the main character having to deal with his own demons from a broken home and difficult childhood. Joe goes from being a child running away from his past to man who can not only own his past but grow from it as well. 

I give this book 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.