Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I usually find Oprah's book club picks to be, well, *too* much…too depressing, too literary, too pretentious, ect.  So I approached this book, Oprah's 2.0 book club selection, with trepidation.  I have read and loved all of Sue Monk Kidd's previous novels so I gave it a go, and I was so glad I did!!!

First, I absolutely love a novel told in alternating points of view.  We get one chapter told from Sarah's point and the next from the slave Hetty's point….LOVE!!!  Second, a fiction book about real people is a big plus for me.  Anytime I can learn about real people within fiction is a win, I get to learn something while enjoying an amazing story.  Also, I LOVED these women…they were spunky and flawed and heroic…I want my kids (both daughters and sons) to know that women are capable of amazing things, so inspiring.  Read this, you won't be disappointed.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Inspired by the true story of early-nineteenth-century abolitionist and suffragist Sarah Grimk√©, Kidd paints a moving portrait of two women inextricably linked by the horrors of slavery. Sarah, daughter of a wealthy South Carolina plantation owner, exhibits an independent spirit and strong belief in the equality of all. Thwarted from her dreams of becoming a lawyer, she struggles throughout life to find an outlet for her convictions. Handful, a slave in the Grimk√© household, displays a sharp intellect and brave, rebellious disposition. She maintains a compliant exterior, while planning for a brighter future. Told in first person, the chapters alternate between the two main characters’ perspectives, as we follow their unlikely friendship (characterized by both respect and resentment) from childhood to middle age. While their pain and struggle cannot be equated, both women strive to be set free—Sarah from the bonds of patriarchy and Southern bigotry, and Handful from the inhuman bonds of slavery. Kidd is a master storyteller, and, with smooth and graceful prose, she immerses the reader in the lives of these fascinating women as they navigate religion, family drama, slave revolts, and the abolitionist movement. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Beginning with her phenomenally successful debut, The Secret Life of Bees (2002), Kidd’s novels have found an intense readership among library patrons, who will be eager to get their hands on her latest one. --Kerri Price

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Legend by Marie Lu

What the hell have I been waiting for???  I have seen this book on sooo many lists and read all the great reviews but I just never got around to it, until now, since all I can do with this stupid illness is stay inside and read.  WOW, this was amazing…the reviews were right.  Any fans of Divergent or dystopian fiction in general, will love this series.  I am not even waiting to get to work to see if we have the sequel available…heading out to Barnes & Nobles tonight, it's *that* good!

Bood Description via Amazon

New York Times bestseller!

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

This was a quick, exciting read…as long as you don’t over think some of the survival details and “scientific” explanations.  This was especially fun to read during our brief “polar vortex”…I had a blanket on me at all times.

Book Description via Amazon

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

For Alex, being left alone for the weekend means having the freedom to play computer games and hang out with his friends without hassle from his mother. Then the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, plunging his hometown into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence. Alex begins a harrowing trek to seach for his family and finds help in Darla, a travel partner he meets along the way. Together they must find the strength and skills to survive and outlast an epic disaster.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I really have no words to express how much I love this series…this book…they cannot do it justice.  Without giving anything away, this book left my heart in pieces, not solely because the events in the book, but because it is over, and for that, I am very sad.

This quote, right here, is one reason why:"I fell in love with him.  But I don't stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me.  I stay with him because I choose to, everyday that I wake up, everyday that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other.  I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me." Tris, page 372

An Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2013: Veronica Roth had her work cut out for her, ending a trilogy that had fans rabid for the final book, and she pulled it off like a champ. Allegiant kicks off right where Insurgent ended, so if it’s been a while since you read that one you might want to re-read the last couple of chapters to orient yourself. The first surprise in Allegiant is that Roth has switched to using alternating narratives of Tris and Four. At last readers get to see Tris as Four sees her and if, like me, you’ve been dying to get inside his head, you finally get your chance. One of the best things about this trilogy is the messy, passionate, and wholly authentic love story between these two. For Tris and Four, there is no love triangle, there are no sides to take--as in life, it’s only a matter of how their relationship will play out. Allegiant answers a lot of questions and also delivers some jaw-dropping twists--readers will go outside the fence, learn the origin story of the factions, and, of course, see how it all ends in a finale that packs a wallop and confirms Roth as a writer to watch for a long time to come. --Seira Wilson

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

I waited a really long time to read this book.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone was my favorite book of 2012, it may even be on my top ten of all time (only to be topped by *anything* Rainbow Rowell writes.)  I was so afraid I was going to be disappointed, so I waited and waited and waited…oh my goodness I had NOTHING to worry about.  This was as good as the first…the characters (Karou and Akiva make me ache) and the setting and the absolutely beautiful writing and, and, and....  I loved it all!!! I CAN NOT WAIT till April for the conclusion of this series…I may cry a little.

Book Description via Amazon

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: Never fear, fans of Daughter of Smoke & Bone--Days of Blood & Starlight is just as good, if not better. Picking up a few months after the end of Daughter, Laini Taylor’s epic sequel finds Karou in the middle of the desert, tormented by memories of Akiva and creating an army to avenge her people. The drama runs high as the war between the angels and the chimera begins to take on a life of its own, and Karou begins to understand that her actions may have dire consequences. Taylor’s writing is full of energy and imagination, creating a world so vivid, you’ll swear you’ve been there, and characters you feel you know as well as your friends. The last third of the book demands your full attention, leaving no time to breathe between sentences and ending on a cliffhanger so big, you’ll wonder how on earth you can wait for the third installment. --Caley Anderson