Posted in Reading, reviews

Book Review: “The Luckiest Girl Alive”

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. Summer’s coming and I’m looking forward to doing a lot of reading so I’m putting together a Summer Reading List. I’ll post that one at a later date. Today, I’ve got a book review for you. The cover and blurb are below.

 

Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by [Knoll, Jessica]

**AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER***

Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will thrill at “the perfect page-turner to start your summer” (People, Book of the Week): Luckiest Girl Alive—described by Reese Witherspoon as “one of those reads you just can’t put down!”

Loved Gone Girl? We promise [Luckiest Girl Alive is] just as addictive.”
Good Housekeeping

“Jessica Knoll introduces you to your new best frenemy, and you’re going to love it. . . .Destined to become one of the summer’s most gripping reads.”
—Bustle.com

“With the cunning and verve of Gillian Flynn but an intensity all its own, Luckiest Girl Alive is a debut you won’t want to miss.”
—Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me and The Fever

Luckiest Girl Alive is Gone Girl meets Cosmo meets Sex and the City. . . . Knoll hits it out of the park.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s

hing else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

My Thoughts:

This is the well-written story of Tifani before she became Ani, a girl who has achieved success and is about to marry the guy of her dreams, but something isn’t quite right, and as we progress through the story, we find out how damaged and broken Tifani is on the inside.

We go back to her high school days and learn about the group she desperately wanted to fit in with, and the boy she had a crush on. The story takes us back to the pivotal point where Tifani breaks. It’s a party and she gets so drunk she passes out. The boys at the party take advantage of the situation and have sex with her without her consent. She doesn’t remember everything that happened and she learns the hard way that belonging to this popular group may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

One boy in the group belongs to a powerful family in the city. His name is Dean Barton, and he has always gotten away with things because of his family money because of this he has entitlement issues and there’s a history of his abusive behavior. There’s another character, Ben, who Dean victimized so badly he ended up in a mental hospital and has never returned to the school. He seems like a minor character, but he becomes a major one as one of the instigators of the tragic event that blows the cover off the abuse in this school.

I won’t tell you anymore of the story, but it’s a sad tale that’s beautifully weaved together so all the threads and pieces fit. You don’t realize the important elements until the end, and that’s how a master story-teller works.

I loved how the story fit together and how I didn’t see the tragic event coming toward the end. The story shows the transformation of Tifani from an insecure girl who has everything to the strong survivor who pushes away things that aren’t good for her.

If you liked “Gone Girl,” you’ll like this story. It’s a great summer read.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my post. Do you have any books you’d like to recommend? I’m planning on doing a ton of reading this summer so I’m looking for some good recommendations! Leave a comment, I love hearing from you!

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Posted in reviews, Uncategorized

A Review of “The Orphan’s Tale”

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve been working on my latest WIP and I’m excited about this new one, too. I’ve sent my first one off to my Beta reader and she gave me some quick feedback. She told me the opening was AWESOME! So, you can guess I’m beyond excited. I’ll keep you posted as she continues reading the rest. 🙂

I’m back today to share with you my thoughts on “The Orphan’s Tale.” The cover and blurb are below:

The Orphan's Tale: A Novel by [Jenoff, Pam]

“Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. ” —Library Journal

“Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival 

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. 

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

As you know, I love reading WWII stories. Especially ones where the main character, usually a Jew, overcomes the adversity of Nazi Germany and that is exactly what this story is about.

I absolutely loved it.

It’s the story of Noa and Astrid. How they meet and their relationship. I loved Noa who is young, strong, and naïve. She’s kicked out of her home when she becomes pregnant by a German soldier. She goes to a home for unwed mothers and because her baby has German blood, he is taken away from her. Mourning her loss, she finds work at the train station and happens upon a car full of babies. I won’t tell you what happens next, but it’s an incredible story.

Then there’s Astrid, a Jew married to a German who’s also a member of the Nazi party. He comes home one day and tells her the marriage is over. The Reich is demanding that all members married to Jews get a divorce. She has to pack up and leave that very day. She travels back to her home town searching for her family, but they’re all gone. She used to be a circus performer so she travels to a competitor’s home inquiring about her family. She learns the awful truth and the owner asks her to join his circus.

The circus is how Noa and Astrid meet and the rest of the story takes off from there. They both have their secrets and the girls band together and protect each other. It’s an amazing story of friendship and survival. If you’re a WWII buff like me, you’ll want to read this story. I can see it becoming a movie very soon.

Like I said, I loved this story and I’m going to be looking for more books from this author. How about you, do you have any books you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

 

 

Posted in reviews, Teen

My thoughts on “Insurgent”

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another Book Review. I’ve read the second book in the Divergent Series titled, “Insurgent.”

 

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful.

Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this second book as much as the first one. Although my first love is not the dystopian genre, I liked Tris and her companion Tobias. I enjoyed how their relationship bloomed while they battled for their freedom from oppression.

It seems the Erudite want control of all the factions and they’re using the Dauntless soldiers to do this. They use a special serum to do this, but because Tris and Tobias are divergent, they can fight the control of the serum. The leader of the Erudite knows this and that’s why it’s so dangerous to be divergent, because as soon as they’re discovered the divergent are executed.

This story shows the creativity of the author. I’m very impressed by her world building and the imagination it took to create the Faction system and the characters in it.

In the second book of the “Divergent” series the author delves into more detail about what it means to be divergent and it’s interesting to learn why being divergent is such a danger.

There’s a lot of action in this second book and I liked it enough to pick up the third book in the series. That being said, however, I’m a contemporary girl at heart.

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Let me know how you feel about the series by leaving a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in reviews

Book Review of “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with a review of “Fangirl” written by Rainbow Rowell. This one is going to be quick because I’ve made a change to my manuscript and I’m back in the editing cave. It’s too bad this little nugget of inspiration didn’t come to me until I was almost ready to send it to the publisher, but that’s the way it happens sometimes.

I liked “Fangirl” very much, not as much as I liked “Eleanor and Park,” but it was still worth the read. It’s the story of Cath and her twin sister Wren and how their relationship changes when the go off to college. Cather is more introverted than her sister. Therefore, when Wren gets a little too involved in extra-curricular activities it’s a source of conflict between the two sisters.

I liked how their father who struggles with bi-polar disorder took control of the situation, confronted Wren, and forced her to get some help for her out of control partying. This can be a problem for young teens that are experiencing their first taste of freedom.

I also liked how Cath and Levi’s relationship developed slowly over time. I think the best relationships do. If you read my post from Monday, you’ll know that I don’t buy the idea of instalove. 🙂

Here’s the link: https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/is-the-instalove-in-ya-books-setting-our-teens-up-for-disappointment/

Overall, it was a great read and I enjoyed it. Rainbow Rowell does a great job of illustrating the anxiety of that first year of college very well. Below is the cover and blurb.

Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear from you, so if you know of a great YA author or book that would be worth my time to read, leave the title or name in a comment! 🙂

 

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Posted in reviews

A Book Review of “And the Mountains Echoed”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! This is my first post of 2014 and I’m starting it off with a review. You see, I received from Santa a new Kindle Fire and I’ve been putting it to good use. 😉 I’m going to read a little more this year because there are just so many darn good books out there and it’s a great way to relieve stress.

One of the first books I bought was “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

My Thoughts:

I read his first two books and I must say I read both of them in one day. They were that good!

This third book I didn’t like as much and I think the reason is because it dealt with the separation of a brother and sister.  Now that I have kids, I’m very sensitive to anything that could disrupt a child’s life. I automatically imagine my boys in a similar situation and it upset me. My boys are so close that I know it would tear each of them apart to be separated like the siblings were in this story.

However, that being said, the story was well written. This author is very descriptive and I love his way with words. That hasn’t changed from his first two books.

The story evolves and illustrates the complex relationships within families. It reflects the complicated dynamics that evolve among the members and the choices that they make because of them. It’s a great story, well written and at times disturbing and emotional.

So if you’re looking for a good read on a snowy day. This one’s a good pick. If you haven’t read his other two books, “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” pick those up too. They’re even better! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you enjoyed my post. Leave a comment if you’d like to share your thoughts on any of the books  by Khaled Hosseini.