Book 47 is by my favorite author Sherrilyn Kenyon and it is called Dragonsworn. Now I won’t be saying much about this book because there are so many things to say about it. You would have to read the book to understand all of the information in there. There is just a couple things I am going to write before I try to convince you to read the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon or any of her other books.
First, I have come to realize why I don’t read romance novel very much. The way the characters fall in love is just too quick for me. Now this isn’t for every single romance novels out there. This is a general statement. There are always exceptions to general statements. Sherrilyn Kenyon does a great job of masking this with all the other things going on in the plot. The enemies, the revelations of characters, and the final climax of the story (that is not a pun, but if it was, it was well done). The action and the danger and just staying caught up on who can out match who, the reader just excepts that the growing feeling between two characters, especially two characters who have been betrayed and heartbroken, is real and true. Kenyon is a genius like that. One of the reasons that I love her really. I know that love stories like the ones she rights doesn’t really happen, like its so rare, but she makes it seem to real and natural.
So on to my other points, there is a lot, and I do mean a lot, of information in this book. There was a time when you could pick up one of the dark hunter novels and read it as a stand alone and there was no problem. There was small hints to a bigger picture problem but nothing to this scale. Like, as a fan, I have to go back to different series to remember some of the rules for characters and worlds that are present. Or I could just go on Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website and read up on everyone again. They have little refreshers there, pretty cool place to hang out for a little while. The point here is that this book takes a little reading beforehand to really get the bigger picture. There is so much going on in the plot, creatures showing up that you think you should know but don’t, and you miss the little easter eggs as to what will happen next.
Last, I don’t like reading books about the “baddies” in book series. Garth Nix did a great job in tricking me into doing that and I felt so bad for the baddie and I don’t like that. I am a black and white kind of person. I am not much for debating the grey area. That being said, I knew that the heroine is considered a “baddie” of the Dark Hunter world because her father is the one trying to kill Ash, the leader of the Dark Hunters and my favorite character. I still read the book knowing this and I did get to see a different side to the “baddie” that I don’t like. I have come to realize that there are levels of bad guys with the Noir being at the top and then it trickle downs from there. Depends on the motivations of the “baddie” we are talking about. If they are bad just for survival, I can deal with. If its for world destruction for the fun of it, not so much. So that was a little revelation I had. Got to know a character that I thought was pure evil, but was just someone harden because of the circumstances that happened to her.
Well, that was really all I had to say on this book. I know I didn’t really tell you much of what the book is about. It is kind of hard to summarize what this book is about. The synopsis is even wrong in my opinion. I don’t think it does justice to the plot at all. I was expecting something completely different then what I got, in a good way. But, like always, Kenyon does an amazing job with her writing and I can’t wait to read her next book. Comes out next month. I was hoping to have already read it this year but publishing got moved back. Well, on to the next book!
Book 46, I really don’t know what to say about this book. The title is First We Were IV. I don’t know what exactly the author was trying to portray to her audience but I am hoping that it’s “be careful because everything has consequences”. I honestly don’t know if I hate this book because of the stupidity of the characters or love it for the lesson that I hope the author is trying to portray.
So if you read the synopsis, you know very little about the book, which makes it appealing. You know that there are 4 friends and something happens to one of them because of the whole “first we were IV”. If there is a first, it is followed by at least a second. So you can conclude something happens and it is tragic. You know others are involved and that it is a secret society. That’s it. You don’t know about stupidity of the teens or their original motives. Now I will admit that they had good intentions, trying to get the police to solve the murder of girl that no one did anything for 5 years ago, but they made stupid and reckless decisions that in the end cost them. If you don’t want to read more or any spoilers, I suggest stop reading now.
First and formost, the Order of IV was created to make a bond between the 4 best friends so that after high school ended. Izzy, the narrator, was afraid that once everyone went to different colleges, they would stop talking and hanging around each other as much. So her brilliant idea was to create a secret society so they would do things to keep their bond strong…not exactly the best idea. It started out as mischief, taking pictures of a vice principal leering at girls and posting around the school. When the vice principal was suspended for inappropriate behavior, the 4 figured out they could make people see the indifference of their society towards crime. Make things that the adults want to keep secret come to light. SO this starts the campaign to bring the cold case of the murdered girl that Izzy found near the area the 4 of them always played back to the attention of the public. This leads to more and more rash decision that brought attention to the 4 friends from the popular crowd at their school. The same crowd that enjoyed making these 4 miserable. Instead of toning down their exploits for a little while, let the attention pass, one of them come up with the not so brilliant idea of initiating these bullies into their “order” so they could mess with them a little and control them. Hindsight is twenty- twenty. At this point, the 4 lost control of their order and themselves. It became bigger then they wanted and their new recruits had no problem going off script. Can’t control those that are used to being in control.
So there is something else that kind of bothered me. Izzy starts to have feeling for her friend Harry while her oldest friend of the 4, Graham, is in love with her. This love triangle feels like it wasn’t that genuine as it is meant to be. Well at least Izzy’s feelings. She is so unsure of how she feels, until Harry makes a move. When Harry and Izzy actually kiss, then it was like that had this deeper connection that didn’t have the build up that it should. When Harry accused Izzy of trying to have another girl hit on him to test his loyalty, she acted like he broke her heart. And then instead of trying to make up with Izzy, Harry then breaks up with her and tries to convince her to go out with Graham. It was all kind of unbelievable.
So the ending. I knew there had to be quip quo pro for the deaths of the innocent animals that were killed by the 4 and their followers. I was so upset that 3 innocent animals were sacrificed for these kids to get a high doing illegal activity. So when one of the 4 died in the end, the irony was very real. Not only did the innocent get retribution, but the 4 lost the heart of their group, the most innocent of their group. I think that is what upset me the most. The one person who deserved a good ending was the one that was cheated. Not only that, but because of this secret group Izzy did the exact opposite of what she planned. In the end, none of them really stayed together because the hurt of their friend’s death was just too much for them.
So in conclusion, I don’t know if I hate this book or loved it. I would love to use this book in my class to show my students that, though something looks like a good idea at the time, everything has consequences. If Izzy and her friends wanted to make a secret group, fine. But when that group then starts to do things that are illegal, just that only could end all of their lives. And the add on top of that with more thoughtless decisions all for their own stupid agendas. The only one who really had anything to want vengeance for personally is Harry, because of the attack on his dad by students at the school. An attack that left his disabled. So…That is it for this book. I meant to read it all in one day but then an animal was scarified and I had to put it down. I HATE animal abuse. See you next book.
Book 45 is a book called The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood. I picked this book up at a Comic Con. The author is also the artist and he was there to show his artwork. The book is about dragons so it seemed good to me. When the new reading challenge came and a category for a book with season in the title so this was perfect. Now there is one thing that threw me was how high fantasy this book is. Trust me, if you find it hard to get into books that are fantasy with names and customs you don’t know very well and you have to remember details to get into the story, then this book will be difficult for you. I will admit that it was a little difficult for me as well. There was so many characters in the beginning and the whole concept of dragons and the customs around them; there was just so many details to remember so I had to wrap my head around all the details before I could get into the story itself.
The book is about a girl, Maia, who sees a The Summer Dragon when her and her brother decided to go out into the forest instead of doing their duty. The Summer Dragon is one of the High Dragons and represents change in this world. And everything does change and Maia is trust into a war with politics and religion and a fierce being that no one understands
Maia is a strong female character and the other doesn’t diminish her character with a love and romance like many authors do. That being said, I get giving the main character a love interest but so many times the female character is diminished by this love. She often defers to him or he controls her in a way or it is a weakness used to exploit her. That being said, there was a possible love interest and I thought it was interest. Maia didn’t reciprocate the male character’s feelings but his feelings did play a part in story. I really thought that it was interesting that the author made Maia’s feelings and thoughts realistic for a female. I always find that male authors who write female characters follow certain stereotypes. Lockwood doesn’t do that. Maia knows about the potential romance but she is so into proving herself and becoming part of her family’s business and she didn’t want the romance get her way. I admire her for that.
There is also an interesting use of allusions to religion in the book. Especially Christianity and how many people perverted teachings to further their own needs and ambitions. It is written in history the many evil acts done for Christianity. Not only that, many people use Christianity to attack other believes and teachings that have been around longer than it. I bring this up because in Summer Dragon, there is this struggle with religion. A priest shuts down any explanation of the old religion and makes the seeing of the Summer Dragon as something bad. They actually kill a whole group of people because they dared to give some relevance to the Summer Dragon and the Maia seeing him. This religious intolerance leads to a lot of trouble for Maia and her family. It causes a lot of heartache and ends with Maia having to leave home to save her life.
Well all in all, great book and I am very happy that I finally finished the book. Like I said in the beginning, if you aren’t used to high fantasy, this book will be difficult for you. If you like trying to immerse yourself into new worlds with many different customs and religions, this a good book to try. Not only that, but the artwork is so beautiful. See you next book!
Book 44 is a book that has been on my to read list for way to long. Actually it was the third book that I added to my Goodreads list after I made my account back in 2014. I can’t say why I didn’t read this book as my mom owned it and it was by a favorite author of mine, but I waited until I could find it as an audiobook and listened to it instead. The book is Altar of Eden by James Rollins. Like I mentioned, James Rollins is one of my all time favorite authors. My mom got me into his book back in college and I have burned through his book so fast that I impatiently wait for his next one to be released (should be at the end of this year). That being said, there are some of his stand-alone books that I still haven’t read yet, mostly because they are older and no set up around the Sigma Force like I am used to.
So Altar of Eden as an audio book was super weird for me. One, it was a woman reading the whole book but there was only two women really in the cast of characters (I am not really counting Jack’s mom because she only talked like 2 times in the whole book). So while listening, a woman was trying to do voices for a lot of male characters, it was kind of weird. Not only that, she tried to give everyone the accent that they should have and it through me for a loop on the two main characters. I guess because they are from bayou near New Orleans and there is definitely an accent from people who grew up around the bayou the reader decide to do a different accent then just an average American but still through me for a loop. I really enjoyed all the other character’s accents, especially the children from the beginning and the end that are from Bagdad.
Two, Rollins likes to combine science, things that are only now becoming researched more and more, with history in his Sigma force novels, but since this is a stand alone, the history element was missing. The science was not. And listening to the explanations instead of reading them made it harder to understand as usually there are maps to look at and images to help the reader to understand what is going on. I will admit there was a good amount of “fractal intelligence” that I just didn’t get at all. I am more of a history person, not really a science person. I always learn something new with Rollins’ books but this time, I think it was just a little too much for me. I did try to understand it, but I found myself drifting off in thought when characters were starting to explain experiments and their findings and such. I hated doing to so I tried to pay attention but like I said, just a little to over my head.
The characters were interesting. I liked the history between Lorna and Jack. Gave an interesting side to the story that wasn’t about science. It also created a bond between the two that made Jack’s rescue and recovery at the end really sweet.
Well that is all I have for this book. I loved it but it was a new experience hearing a James Rollins book instead of reading one. I don’t think I like it so I will stick with reading his books. If you haven’t read his books but don’t want to start a series, I recommend Amazonia or Excavation. If you don’t mind series, Map of Bones is a great place to start. See you next book.
Book 43 is a book that many people know, especially if you are under the age of 25 or work with teenager. Fault in Our Stars is a book by John Green and is famous among teenage girls because it is a tragic love story. It has also been made into a movie, which I watched last year so I kind of knew what was going to happen in the book. So my thoughts and feelings on this book…does everyone know what the book is about? The book is about Hazel, a teen girl who is dying slowly because her lungs don’t work right (she actually has cancer that cause her lungs not to work correctly). One day Hazel meets Augustus and they go on this journey together to love. But the universe as the last word, and tragedy strikes. Now if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, I don’t want to spoil what happens. It isn’t what you think, that is for sure.
Now for my thoughts on the book. I have a small problem with how the teens talk in the book. It is a little mature for a teen in this age and day. Not saying that there aren’t teens out there that are super smart and do talk with a maturity that sadly many adult don’t talk with, but in Green’s book all the teens talk with a higher vocabulary then teens today. I am a teacher, I teach high school English and some of the most intelligent of my students (and I have taught higher level students) do not talk like this on a regular basis. This just really bugged me as a teacher. Not only that but a lot of the things brought up by characters such a mathematical equations and the philosophical questions I do believe are beyond a lot of teens thought process. Again, I am not saying that teens aren’t smart, but these kinds of things are not in the spectrum of teen consciousness and I feel like a good amount of it would go over their heads. Heck, some of it went over my head, mostly the mathematical stuff.
Now the characters themselves. Augustus was a little much for me in the way that he acts. I say that as my teenager self. If I was a teen and I met him, then I would’ve been insulted by some of his behavior. As an adult and my husband having some of the same boldness that Augustus has and I find it endearing now. I will say I wish I got a surprise trip to Amsterdam. Hazel, for me, was so realistic. What she feels and how she deals with everything around her, yeah she was my favorite.
Now, speaking of Amsterdam, my last book was about two friends trip around Europe. They did visit Amsterdam and it was filled with pot and sex. This book shows the city as something more historic and beautiful, which I really like.
Now, final thought about my pick. This was a quick read for me and a cute read. It was also a really sad read. Yes, I did cry, even though I tried to fight it because I didn’t want a book to get the best of me again. I am a sucker for good books even if they make me cry. All in all, good book. Now one to the next book for me.
Book 42 is an amazing book called I See London, I See France. I loved this book more for the traveling then for the character building but it was still an amazing book. I related so much to this book because it was kind of like me with my friends from college. When I was junior in college, I am an unique opportunity to study for a month in Italy. I was freaked out and so my amazing friend who I will refer to as D and I made a deal to go together. I met some of the most amazing friends on that study abroad and I recommend the opportunity to my students every chance that I get. Going to another country is amazing and it really lets you see who you are because you are out of your own comfort zone. You either adapt or you are miserable. You start to see your strengths and your weaknesses. And you make some of the best memories to tell the next generation, whether it is your kids or your nieces and nephews or your students. This book brought back all those memories for me and I loved it. If you have never traveled, this book will make you want to travel, that is for sure. But enough about the influence the book had on me and about the book itself.
Now the one thing that is cool about this book is you see two best friends from high school go on a trip for a month and you see how much one-year apart does to them individually as in growth. The author sneaks in little parts to the reader, to show that, though these two are besties from high school, the time apart means they grew up a little. Now I will admit that both them main character and her bestie did get a little on my nerves, more the bestie Leela than Sydney (Sydney is the main character). Leela was a little whine and back and forth about things. First she wants to change their whole trip to include her ex who happened to be on the first stop (London) with his friend. Then, after traveling together for a little while and shoving Sydney and ex’s friend Jackson together, she gets mad at her ex and wants to travel anywhere but where they are going (which sucks for Sydney because her and Jackson like each other a lot). So Sydney has to change the plans again. Then she wants to leave a place early because she doesn’t want to see her ex anymore when he happened to show up there (actually Jackson persuaded the ex to go there when he found out Sydney was there, that was super romantic in my opinion). So Leela was a little selfish and it annoyed me. At the end of story, she does a selfless act which was nice but the ending is a different story all together. Sydney annoyed me a little because she used her friend’s selfishness as a way to try and push Jackson away when she thought it wouldn’t work out. She says she needs to stay with her friend instead of doing something she wants but is scared to do.
Now the ending. It was rushed in my opinion. I didn’t like it. I wished there was at least an epilogue so I would know what would happen after everyone got on their planes back to the US. Sydney and Jackson want to make it work but they don’t out right and say they are going to try. An epilogue showing like a couple months down the road with either one of them getting off a plane to see the other because they are trying to make the long distance thing work would’ve been awesome and a great way to finish.
In the end, the author did leave a little note to hint that she is going to write a second book about characters only mentioned in this book. They were the ones left behind in America at a summer camp. I will say this, though, this book is not for young adults, or at least I would not suggest it to any student of mine unless they were a senior about to graduate high school. There is sex, drugs, and drinking all over this book. They visit the red light district in Amsterdam and go to a sex show! The pot wasn’t that big a deal since it is becoming more and more common here in America and is being legalized in states. None the less, this is the most liberal of young adult books I have read to date. I enjoyed it thoroughly but I don’t know if I had a teenage kid that I would let them read this. Granted I was reading romance novel in high school, so I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised or fazed by this. Anyways see you next book!
Book 41 is a book I have been listening to with my husband. It is Eragon, the first in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. Yes this is an older book and had an okay movie made based on it (though you can’t compare the book and the movie or you will hate the movie because it doesn’t do the book justice). For me, this is a re-read since I had read this book in high school but I didn’t remember many details, except for what they did put in the movie. Just a heads up, the end of the movie is no where near the same as the movie, also the elf Arya is supposed to have raven hair, not pretty brown hair. Just some things that I hated about the movie. But this isn’t about movies but books and so I will talk about the book. Just beware, since I listen to it as an audiobook, I will comment on that as well.
So the story of Eragon is like Lord of the Rings except dragons are good and people can be chosen to be their riders. Paolini did a great job of building the world that Eragon lives in. He placed characters in place to help show the history of the Dragon riders and how they fell and why this world is in the position it in now. It was just really amazing to see how everything fell into places as of world building. Paolini didn’t make a world that needed so much explaining in the beginning, so he wrote the information as the reader needed it, building without overwhelming them. The only thing that would frustrate me with book if I had read it instead of listened to it is the language. There is an ancient language that Eragon learns (and that dwarves and elves know as well) that I would have no idea how to pronounce. It seems to be close to Germanic in origin so something that I wouldn’t know how to pronounce. I think I have mentioned in another review that I didn’t like that there was so much language that I didn’t know how to pronounce. This doesn’t stop me from liking a book overall, it’s a personal perspective. I voice it because it is something to warn other readers who may have the same perspective.
Eragon is a great main character in my opinion. He grows from an adolescent boy to a young man who is on the brink of becoming a great man. You can see the potential of the hero that Eragon is supposed to be. You really see how he learns from his mistakes and he tries to do what he can to make the correct decision about his future and his place in the world. Saphira, his dragon, is interesting in that she is young but wise. She does what she can to help Eragon and to mentor him, but she is young herself.
The supporting characters were also interesting. Eragon meets people that you think you won’t see again but they show back up again. At the end of the story, you start to question who is loyal to who and what did Eragon get himself into. I know I started to question whether if he made the right decision to go where he did, though it wasn’t like he had much of a choice. I feel like Eragon doesn’t get much of a choice in a lot of what happens to him. He is thrown onto this path when he found Saphira’s egg in the wilderness.
Now what really gets me is the end of the book. There is a mystery kind of thrown in there right when you thought the story was concluding. That being said, you know there is going to be more to the story since Eragon has to defeat the tyrant king but the reader doesn’t know what the next step is until the last chapter. Eragon is protected and helped by the mysterious presences that requests that Eragon come to seek him out in the city of elves. There is now a somewhat purpose to the second book. Is that all that is going to happen in the second book, probably not. Paolini doesn’t seem like an author to just have one thing happen in this epic story. I think it is a starting point for the reader to look forward to, with other things happening to Eragon. I think Eragon has a lot more heartache and heavy decisions to make before this story is finished. Am I going to read the other books? Did I ever read the other books? No, I haven’t read the other books. When I started this series, I was young and didn’t believe in flaws in my heros, so when Eragon did something in the second book, in the first couple of chapters if my memory is correct, it made me mad at the character and so I stopped reading. I am curious so I do want to read the rest of the series. I am a different person now then I was in high school and love when my hero’s are flawed because they are real and relatable in my opinion.
Well that’s it for this book. See you next book. (Sorry if this review is a little random and choppy. I listen to this for half a month, fell asleep for a chapter or two every time I was in the car and did this review at midnight after driving for a day. I am a little tired)
Book 40 is an older book, one that I had though I had read when I was younger but I don’t think I did. The Golden Compass is the first in a series called His Dark Materials. “His” I do believe refers to the main antagonist who you don’t know about until the very end. If only our dear heroine Lyra hadn’t stopped a small plot from happening in the beginning, this whole book would not have needed to be written. Well I would like to tell you a small synopsis for this book but it would be very hard are you are finding out what the book is about as the story is told. I guess you could say that this a story about a girl who makes a small decision that puts into effect a series of events including rescuing a bunch of kidnapped kids, forging alliances with polar bear (they are more intelligent and great fighters in this world), gyptians, and witches. All of it centered over the exploration of a mysterious substance called Dust and who her parents really are.
So I know I have seen it somewhere that there has been this allusion of how the Church and science don’t get along in this world, much like our own reality (remember this book was written and published 13 years ago, I KNOW things have changed some). You can see the similarities. This world that Lyra lives in is just like our own but more steampunk, as our technologies are not the same as theirs. If you don’t know what steampunk is, its like late Victorian style with instruments and technology fueled by steam. If you have ever watched Atlantis the Lost Empire (an older Disney movie) you can see some of that there. Anyways, as I was saying, Lyra’s world isn’t too different from ours geographically speaking as there are countries, continents, and such that are the same. The people are a little different because each human has something called a daemon, this little animal companion that is linked to the human’s spirit or soul. It is hard to describe. There are also other groups of culture that we don’t really have now. They are similar to cultures present in our world but have been changed.
As for the similarities of science verses Church. In the book, there is also a Church (though not ruled by the Pope) who thinks this particle that has recently been proven true is bad. It thinks that it is the origin of the original sin and it must be severed so that sin is no longer present in that world (which is stupid to think this because sin comes from a person not a particle but whatever). Lyra’s parents (and you will find out who they are) are trying to destroy this Dust, each in a different and horrible way. Poor kid comes from fanatics but since they didn’t raise her, it seems she is unaffected. She just wants everything to be back to normal (which was living in a world of ignorance). In the end, Lyra comes to the conclusion that Dust isn’t bad. Her reasoning? If bad people , ie her parents, think Dust is bad, then it must be good. My opinion? After reading this book, I have concluded that Dust is part of what makes the world go round; it is neither bad nor good, it simple exists. If you look at the clues, I wouldn’t be surprised if that is what the conclusion is. Dust makes the daemons possible, since there is a connection there. Where it comes from, it has been concluded that it is from another world only seen through the Aurora lights in the North. What that other world is like, you have to read the second book, as that is where Lyra is headed to next.
My final thoughts on the book? It was an interesting read and I do want to see the movie adaptation again (maybe that is why I thought I had read it when I was younger, cause I had seen the movie). The ending I didn’t really see coming. Lyra has thought this whole time that she was going to rescue and help the person that is supposed to be on the side of good but turns out is the true evil that she must stop. It is weird. I kind of saw it coming but not in the way that it turned out. I thought maybe the person she wanted to rescue was only someone meant to help Lyra as she is the true hero, not this other person. Didn’t think it would turn like it did. Well all in all, interesting book. Will I read the rest of the series, maybe. I haven’t decided yet. I kind of want to know what will happen but I kind of just want to look it up on the interent (remember how old this series is, trust me the whole plot is probably on Wikipedia by now). Well I’ll see you next book.
Book 39 is the audiobook that I had mentioned in my last post, the one that is emotionally draining. There is a reason for that. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a book about refugees from Prussia who were trying to make it to the safety of Germany during WW2 when Germany was loosing to Russia. It is also about one of the greatest maritime disasters of all time, just as bad if not worst then the Titanic.
So the book follows 4 teens, each from different nationalities and each confronting their own stance in a war that none of them started. Joana is a half German, half Lithuanian who was sent away from medical training trying to get back home. She is the beginning of the journey, the reader meets her first. Out of everyone, she is the one who seems to be the most reasonable. Florian is a Prussian who was working with the section of the Nazi’s who were stealing the art of Europe. He started the job thinking he was helping to preserve the art but realized that he was helping to steal it and decides to take a piece of art that Hitler would want, a piece from the Amber Room. This was his reassurance that he would left alone as long as he made it out of Prussia without anyone finding out who he was and what he had done. Emilia is a Polish girl who is 16 and pregnant from Russians who assaulted her while she was with a family in Prussia. She is the most vulnerable out of all the characters and the youngest. And finally, there is Alfred, the German solider who is a sociopath (character’s words, not mine but I agree with the character).
So, this book is not for the week minded. I decided to listen to it instead of reading it because I felt that I would have more motivation. I put off books that I dread and I knew this book would be sad and I just didn’t want to read a sad book. Why did I read, or in this case listen, to a book that I would dread? It’s part of the popsugar reading challenge. I must read a book about immigrants or refugees and this seemed to be interesting. No matter what, I knew that reading about refugees would be sad (and I chose refugees because it is something that I couldn’t even fathom being removed from my home because of a war and I like to see new and different experiences when reading). When I say this book is not for the week minded, the author does a fantastic job of showing the horrors of war and the causalities are often the innocent, not the soldiers that fight the war. I know fantastic makes it seem like a good thing, and it is. Not the causalities of war, but the ability to make people see through words war and it’s horrors. It takes a lot of talent to be able to do that and I admire Sepetys for her writing.
The audiobook for Salt to the Sea is really amazing. The people who read the book (a different person per perspective) are really talented. They add the personality of each character, so much that you believe their voice is the one of the character they are reading for. It was definitely an experience listening to this book.
So all in all, this book was definitely worth the experience and I do recommend it to anyone who loves history. It is heart wrenching but the book is amazing. You hope for a happy ending knowing this book is about a tragedy. Well that is it for this book. See you next book.
Book 38 is from an author that I have already read this year, Nicola Yoon. The book is her newest called The Sun is Also a Star. The one thing that I have noticed with this author is she doesn’t give you the ending that you really want, she gives you something a little more realistic and also kind of sad and happy at the same time. So on to my thoughts and feelings on this book. Please know that there are some spoilers ahead.
First, I love that the main characters are both from immigrants that came to America. Natasha is an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica who came to America when she was a young kid, she only knows America but unfortunately she is about to be kicked out. Now I know this is an issue in America today and you will find different opinions when you talk to a different person but I love the perspective this book gives. A girl who wasn’t born in America but has only known it as her home; now she has to go back to the place she was born. Daniel is a first generation immigrant; both his parents came to America legally from South Korea. He is now feeling pressure of his family. He is feeling the pressure of being a blend of Korea and America. He has such a sweet look at the world, which helps to make Natasha fall in love with him in their one day together. That’s right, this book is all in one day and Natasha and Daniel only really gets one day together.
Natasha is being deported back to Jamaica, as stated before, and today is the last day for her to fight. She leaves that night on an airplane if she can’t find a way to stay in America. She meets Daniel on her way to an appointment with a lawyer who is supposed to be the best immigration lawyer in New York City (That is said with sarcasm because of what happens in the story). Daniel has an interview that will determine his future, whether it is to become a doctor like his parents want or it is his own course. Daniel knows immediately that there is a connection with Natasha and he uses the time between their appointments and a series of questions from a questioner to get her to see the connection.
Now the beginning of this book was kind of depressing for me. You see the characters interact with some people and all of them were depressed on their way to killing themselves, or so it seemed. Left the book a little harder for me to get into because I have already be listening to another book that is seriously depressing (yep, I have an audiobook and I read. I fell like this helps me with my reading challenge, plus I am driving a lot lately to go see my husband). I will admit, didn’t think I could be so emotionally drained from listening to an audiobook and trying to read a book at the same time. As the book progresses, you kind of see all the stages of a relationship in a matter of hours. It’s cute and a little nauseating (get’s a little cutesy for me) and a little uplifting as Natasha sees hope in her situation. Daniel and Natasha have their first fight and make up and see their future together. But life doesn’t work that way and the other shoe drops. The immigration lawyer messes up and costs Natasha her ticket to stay. It’s a little depressing but I was more mad than anything. I will not judge him for falling in love with his paralegal even though he is married with 2 young kids. But to tell someone that you are doing to do something but then blow it off to finally cheat on your wife with you paralegal, I am sorry but that I will judge. Though Natasha never finds out that is why her last effort doesn’t work, the author tells the readers, to show (I think) that anything could happen and one small decision can have horrible repercussions.
There is one line in this book that really got me. Daniel is constantly saying that him and Natasha are meant to be. In the end, Natasha believes him but she says one think. “Just because it is meant to be doesn’t mean that it is forever” or something like that (That’s not a direct quote). This is really deep and can help people when it seems the good things in their life are not there for long. Love and lost. It’s sad but somehow really true.
Now the book was really good and a quick read once you sit down and give it time. It’s not my cup of tea since I don’t really like realistic fiction as I like to read books to escape reality but it was a good book. There is just one question I have because of this book. Is it true that a good portion of African American hair care stores are owned by Koreans? Or was it just a plot device for the book? See you next book.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.