Friday, November 20, 2015

Did Not Finish and Multiple Reviews

Okay, so I want to get on with more house posts, but I have too many reviews piling up, so I'm going to catch up with all my reviews now. That way I can post about the house renovations this weekend! Yay! So, here goes.


Unfortunately these are titles that were given to me to review, but I just couldn't finish them.

THE WOMAN WHO STOLE MY LIFE by Marian Keyes:

I'm pretty sure I've read and loved several books by her before (unless I'm thinking of someone else) but this book I just couldn't get into. The MC's voice was witty and I liked the tone, but the plot was dragging and there seemed to be little point

A SUMMER LIKE NO OTHER by Elodie Nowodazku

Ugh. This is another "did not finish." The writing in this was just...poor, the opening plot line contrite, and the tone/theme overdone. I just couldn't do it.

REVIEWS



SYNOPSIS


This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. 

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.


MY REVIEW: I lo-lo-loved this book! This is about 18 year old Madeline Whittier who has a disease that basically prevents her from going outside their home and/or doing anything normal people do. She's basically the boy in the bubble. If people come to see her (which as a rule she doesn't usually have visitors) they have to go through this contamination process, etc. In a nutshell, she's a prisoner in her own home because if she leaves the chances of her getting sick and dying is paramount.

But everything in her world changes when Olly moves into the house next door. He has an abusive father and eventually connects with Madeline, talking via the internet. Eventually they meet (in secret at her house) and fall in love.

Here is what I loved about this book. The concept and plot was absolutely fresh. The characters were not the overused templates I seem to see cropping up in YA and NA everywhere. I loved the fact that though Olly has an abusive father he's not all woe is me about it. He deals with it. I thought Madeline's character was so completely real and I loved her character. She was strong and not a whiner about the crappy hand life dealt her.  I also LOVED the twist in this book. I won't spoil it by telling you what it was, but WOW. I was seriously in shock and all like, "I can't believe that" for hours after I read it.

For anyone who loves YA, especially contemporary YA, should give this book a shot.
5 of 5 stars.



SYNOPSIS

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.
FRANCE, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can … completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.


MY REVIEW:  Unfortunately, I waited too long after reading this to give you a detailed review, however, this is another book I really loved. This book was heartbreaking, yet fabulous. I flew through the pages and would definitely rate this as one of the best books I've read all year. For anyone who loves women's fiction, historical novels, or books centered around WWII you'll love this. Though there was romance in it, I would definitely consider this women's fiction. If you've ever read Hannah's other title WINTER GARDEN and liked it, you will definitely love this one, as well. In fact, I think this is better than that book and that novel was fantastic.

5 of 5 stars


SYNOPSIS

For fans of Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls, and Sophie Kinsella, here is a Pride and Prejudice for the modern era: Londoners Kim and Harry can’t see eye to eye…until the life of the person they both love most hangs in the balance.

Kim and Harry are total opposites who happen to have the same favorite people in the world: Kim’s older sister, Eva, and her young son, Otis. Kim has never seen what her free-spirited big sister sees in a stuck-up banker like Harry and has spent her childhood trying to keep him out (must he always drive the most ostentatious cars and insist on charming everyone he meets?), while Harry’s favorite occupation is provoking Kim.

Both Harry and Kim are too stuck in their prejudices to care about what’s really going on beneath the surface of each other’s lives. They’ll never understand each other—until the worst of all tragedy strikes. Faced with the possibilities of losing the person they both love most, long-buried secrets come to a head in ways that will change both Harry and Kim forever.

As in her “hilarious, poignant, and profound” (Daily Mail) novel For Once in My Life, Marianne Kavanagh tackles the bonds of family, friendship, and love through sophisticated storytelling. Don’t Get Me Wrong is a witty and heartwarming book that will charm readers everywhere.


MY REVIEW:  I feel the most torn about this book than any others I've read in a while. The writing, as promised in the blurb, was reminiscent of Moyes. However, where Kavanagh missed the mark in this book that Moyes is a master at is having sympathetic characters that you are rooting for and truly love. The book sort of dragged on for me. Kim and Harry are the two MC's. Harry is Eva's best friend but Kim thinks their a couple and despises him. The whole book there;s this back and forth between Kim and Harry, with him teasing her (he truly loved her) and Kim just being plain mean. I didn't and couldn't sympathize with her. In fact, I liked Harry and couldn't understand why he'd like such a mean-spirited person. She NEVER gave him the benefit of the doubt, and just when you thought she might turn a corner and grow as a person/character she didn't. She stayed the same Kim. Ignorant, immature, and unable to see outside of herself. I kept reading hoping that Harry and Kim (who you knew both truly had feelings for each other but just couldn't show them) would connect finally. Just at the end when Harry admits the truth to her and she realizes things were not always as they seemed, and you think they might finally get together, but the books ends. Just. Like. That. There is no resolution. The author only delivers the beginning of it and just ends the book, depriving the reader of the ending they really needed. Very disappointing.

Actually, up until the ending, I was going to give it at least 3 stars, but with it ending the way it did. I just can't. This author has huge potential as long as she doesn't continue to let readers down and can write more likable characters.

2.5 stars.

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