Archive for the 'Life' Category

15
Aug
09

Book Review: Veil of Roses

n581438vAuthor: Laura Fitzgerald

Published: December 2006

Publisher: Bantam

Genre: YA Fiction

ISBN-10: 0553383884

ISBN-13: 978-0553383881

7.5/10

Tamila Soroush wanted it all. But in the Islamic Republic of Iran, dreams are a dangerous thing for a girl. Knowing they can never come true, Tami abandons them. . . . Until her twenty-fifth birthday, when her parents give her a one-way ticket to America, hoping she will “go and wake up her luck.” If they have their way, Tami will never return to Iran . . . which means she has three months to find a husband in America. Three months before she’s sent back for good.
From her first Victoria’s Secret bra to her first ride on a motor scooter to her first country line-dance, Tami drinks in the freedom of an American girl. Inspired to pursue her passion for photography, she even captures her adventures on film. But looming over her is the fact that she must find an Iranian-born husband before her visa expires. To complicate matters, her friendship with Ike, a young American man, has grown stronger. And it is becoming harder for Tami to ignore the forbidden feelings she has for him.
It’s in her English as a second language classes that Tami finds a support system. With the encouragement of headstrong Eva, loyal Nadia, and Agata and Josef, who are carving out a love story of their own, perhaps Tami can keep dreaming–and find a way to stay in America.

Now for MY take on it:

This is such a heart-warming story of a woman who now has the freedom to do as she pleases in America but still has fears due to her life in Iran. It is also heart-breaking because we learn about her life in Iran. You’re not sure if it’s true or not so you research more about the lives of Iranian woman. You learn of a culture that the media has ripped to shreds but also rings true in some way or another. As Tami tries to find the perfect suitor so she can remain in America, you secretly wish she ends up with the first American man she meets. You wish you were more like her- adamant to spread your wings, tough, and ready to try something new. The only problem I had with it was that some characters weren’t fully drawn and I didn’t get a sense of who Ike truly was. Sure he wanted Tami, but who was he as a person? I never felt like I could relate to him or knew him.

22
Jul
09

Book Review: Made in the U.S.A.

Author: Billie Letts

Published: June 2009

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 044652901X

ISBN-13: 978-0446529013

9.5/10

Luttie McFee’s history has taught her to avoid attachments…to people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Luttie lives in the god-forsaken town of Yankton, South Dakota with her nine-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy’s old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.

Now MY take on it:

From the author of “Where The Heart Is”, Letts doesn’t let us down again. Made in the U.S.A. is another heart-warming tale of tragedy, life, and lessons. As a sibling, I know how Lutie felt, wanting to take care of her little brother. We all want to take care of our siblings, even if they are annoying at times. You feel sympathy for them because they think they have no other way of making their lives better. You want to jump in and rescue them from the horrible things they have to endure. I know it’s not based on a true story, but after much research, I found that what Lutie and Fate were going through happens every day. You learn so much from this novel, even if it isn’t from the main characters. I read it in 2 or 3 days because I wanted to see what would happen. I would read it for hours, look at the clock, and realize I hadn’t eaten in 6 hours. I even learned some personal lessons from it that I won’t tell you because every reader is different and will take something different from it. If you enjoyed “Where The Heart Is”, you’ll enjoy this book of family, life, trouble, tragedy, and triumph.

15
Jul
09

Book Review: Gabriel’s Angel

Author: Nora Robers

Published: October 2005

Publisher: Silhouette

Genre: Romance/Fiction

ISBN-10: 0373285442

ISBN-13: 978-0373285440

6.5/10

Pregnant, alone and on the run to protect her unborn child, Laura Malone found herself stranded on a snowy Colorado road, at the mercy of a stranger. Fortunately, Gabriel Bradley’s only intention that fateful night was to provide her shelter.

She was an angel with midnight blue eyes and a shock of blond hair, and Gabe might have thought she had come out of the snowy night to save him — if he were the kind of man to believe in such things. But ever since he had lost his beloved brother, he had lost hope. Now the only solace Gabe took was in his solitude.

Together they weathered the storm, sharing their intimate secrets and soon powerful passion. By the time the roads had cleared, a promise had been made. For Gabe understood Laura needed protection if she hoped to keep custody of her child through the coming court battle.

For her sake, he was prepared to offer marriage. But his motives weren’t nearly so pure. Truthfully, this beautiful, vulnerable stranger had given him an invaluable gift. Life with Laura had given Gabe a reason for being — courage to hope, and the power to dream that he could have the future and the family he had once dreamed of . . .

Now MY take on it:

The cover makes you think it is going to be a Christmas story, considering the snowglobe and holly on the cover. That couldn’t be any further from the truth! It actually isn’t about Christmas or anything dealing with Christmas except for one thing- snow. Before the ending of the book, I knew what was going to happen.Of course, they fall in love. Roberts is famous for her romantic novels, this one included. But it kind of gives the ending away half-way through the book. It’s a pretty simple story of love, losing love, and fighing for what you believe. With this book, you also learn something new about yourself. Never live in the past, even if it’s a terrible one for you are stronger because of you. Learn from your past. Stand up for what you want, even if you stand alone. But Roberts paints pictures with every page and you can just see everything unfolding as if you were truly there. A lot of Moms might be able to sympathize with Laura Malone and a few husbands might sympathize with Gabriel Bradley. But I didn’t find it as enjoyable as I thought. Maybe it’s because I prefer something that makes me think or suspensful of what is to come. It’s a good read, especially if you love romance.

14
Jul
09

Book Review: The Texicans

Author: Nina Vida

Published: October 2007

Publisher: Soho Press

Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN-10: 156947477X

ISBN-13: 978-1569474778

10/10

It’s 1843, San Antonio, the Republic of Texas. Mexican-born Aurelia Ruiz finds that she may have the power to heal-as well as to curse. She definitely has the power to attract men. Willie Barnett, a young Texas ranger, becomes infatuated with her. Her father sells her to him but insists on a wedding. To the other rangers such a marriage is anathema. When Barnett is killed by Native Americans, pregnant Aurelia finds shelter in a Comanche camp.

Joseph Kimmel, a teacher in Independence, Missouri, and son of a Polish Jew, receives word of the death of his brother in San Antonio and sets off for Texas. On the way, his horse is stolen by a runaway slave. Rescued by Henry Castro, who is importing immigrants to populate his planned city, Joseph agrees to marry an Alsatian girl to save her from the Comanches, and they go forth to start their own ranch.

Then Joseph meets and is enthralled by Aurelia. When the Texas rangers hear of the Kimmel ranch, where runaway slaves and a Mexican woman live as equals with the owner and his wife, they lynch the black men and kidnap the women and children. To his wife’s consternation, Joseph cannot forget Aurelia.

Now MY take on it:

I’m not one for Historical Fiction because while I like history, sometimes it just bores me. But when I got the opportunity to review the book, I jumped at the chance because I wanted to see if it would allude my love for history. I started reading the first page and thought that it would be like any other historical fiction I’ve read and wouldn’t end up finishing. Then I read the second page, then the 2nd chapter, then the 10th chapter. Yes, I fell in love with it. I sympathized with many characters. They didn’t have much personality, except for Joesph, who seemed stubborn yet cautious. But with a book like that, they didn’t need personalities. What happened was more important, in my opinion, that what Aurelia thought of the prarie. Being a born-Texan, I could feel the history. When they mentioned certain areas of Texas, I knew exactly what they were talking about. I could see what was happening. It is like being taken back in time to that time when we didn’t have the big city skylines, but instead little villages where they didn’t have tiles for floors, but had dirt. You were afraid of the Indians because you knew what was going to happen. You were afraid of those who lynched those some didn’t deem “worthy to live in Texas”. Vida paints a vivid image of Texas that many of us Texas had forgotten. If you are a Texan, you have  a new love for your state. If you aren’t, you will still enjoy it because there is something new on every page and won’t leave you feeling like you’re lost. Texas has finally travelled through time to the past.

11
Jul
09

Book Review: Coventry

Author: Helen Humphreys

Published: February 2009

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.; 1st American Ed edition

Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0393067203

ISBN-13: 978-0393067200

10/10 (Must read!)

Witnessing Germany’s November 14, 1940 attack on Coventry from her watch position at the cathedral, widow Harriet bonds with a young man during the ensuing chaos who reminds her of her late husband, while at home, the young man’s single mother waits in agony for her son’s return and remembers the circumstances that brought her to the city.

Now MY take on it:

While the characters didn’t have a lot of personality, you could tell there was some there. But you wanted to be like Harriet and Jeremy- heroes. You wanted to help anyone and everything. But what really got to me was how she painted the bombing. It was almost as if you were there yourself, ducking for cover. Its like you could hear the bombs going off, and all the crying/screaming. I have never read anything like it before and couldn’t stop reading it. I had to read it until I finished it, even if it meant staying awake until 1 AM. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I wanted to know what happened to everyone in the book, even what happened to Coventry. When you read it, you can just see the devestation as it was happening. I can’t imagine going through something like that, ever. You feel for the people that lost anything- their home, pet, or loved ones. It wasn’t terrible disturbing but it might be for some readers. While it was rather a short read (177 pages), it’s one you won’t ever forget.

22
Jun
09

Book Review: The Killing Dance

Author: Laurall K. Hamilton

Published: September 2002

Publisher: Jove

Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0515134511

ISBN-13: 978-0515134513

9.5/10

Anita continues to explore her relationship with her two romantic interests, Richard, a werewolf, and Jean-Claude, a vampire, while attempting to resolve an assortment of conflicts ranging from werewolf politics to unsolved murders.

Now MY take on it:

Not having read the previous 5 books of the Anita Blake- Vampire Hunter series, I will not be biased on my review. This is what I think of THIS particular novel.

I absolutely loved it. Anita has 2 problems: the vampire and the wolf. That is, for the moment. Her friend Edward calls while she and the wolf are out at a party. He tells her that he had received a call to kill her for over $500,000. It is a race to keep her alive, until other things start popping up. It is not longer a fight for her life, but the lives of others. Even though she has to fight for her life and the lives for those around her, she is torn at whom to spend her life with- the vampire of the wolf. She certainly loves the vampire, but is pulled towards the wolf. But I promise you, you think you know how it will turn out by the time you’re halfway through. But you really have no idea! There are maybe 1 or 2 steamy scenes, but the rest is filled with the dead and shapeshifters. A frantic pace of killing, blood, and murder. I couldn’t put it down! I wanted to see whom she would end up with and who ended up “dying” in the end. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series to see exactly how it plays out. Maybe I’ll even catch up with the first 5 so I can get a better idea of who Anita Blake truly is. But the characters have tons of personality and for you fantasy fiction fans, there are plenty of wolves, vampires, and zombies!

19
Jun
09

Book Review: My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult

Published: April 2004

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0743454529

ISBN-13: 978-0743454520

10/10

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate – a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister – and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister’s Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? (Via JodiPioult.com)

Now MY take on it:

I couldn’t put it down! It’s not your average book, where the story just goes from page to page to page. It is written like a journal, but from all the characters in the book. I enjoy those kind of books and since I’ve heard so much about it, I was glad when Mom bought it for us to read. The characters have personalities as well as morals, though some you might not agree with. With this book, your decision on whose side you are on depends on who you are in real life. If you’re a mother with more than one kid, you will side with the mother. If you have a sister, you are torn between Kate and Anna. I have a twin sister and knowing that, I would want the mother wants as well but I could understand where Anna was coming from. I promise that you will cry. I did.





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