Archive for the 'Reading' 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.

20
Jul
09

Book Review: Jansten’s Gift

Author: Pam Cope

Published: April 2009

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Non-Fiction

ISBN-10: 0446199699

ISBN-13: 978-0446199698

10/10 (Must read!)

 

 

Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son’s baseball games, her daughter’s dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend’s invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son’s death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called “Touch A Life,” dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Now MY take it on:

I really don’t know where to start. Some would tell me to start from the beginning, but it’s so much more than that. When I started reading it, I didn’t expect my emotions to run away with every page. You wanted to be there to comfort her. You wanted to be there so you can help. You wanted to experience everything she was experiencing while in Vietnam or Ghana. As I read, I could feel sympathy and compassion rising inside of me. It is so heartfelt, heartwarming, and in some places, heartbreaking. I never imagined that all of this was really happening and it opened my eyes up to countries I thought were beautiful. They never show this on TV or even slightly mention it. So without books or the Internet, we would have never know all of this was going on. You can’t imagine what it must feel like. But thanks to Touch A Life Foundation, many children will never know what it feels like to be a child slave. They’ll be able to have friends, play, go to school, and even sing.

For more information on Touch A Life Foundation, visit www.touchalifekids.org.

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.


12
Jun
09

Book Review: Twilight Before Christmas

Author: Christine Feehan

Published: January 2004

Publisher: Pocket Books

Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0743480279

ISBN-13: 9780743476287

8/10

Seven sisters…and a legacy of magical secrets. Bestselling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town’s annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn’t mind working in the undeniably eerie house — not if it means getting closer to Kate. There’s something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him. When an earthquake cracks the mill’s foundation and reveals a burial crypt, Kate senses that a centuries-old evil has been unleashed and that it’s coming after her. Though Matt vows to guard her from dusk till dawn, Kate knows she will have to summon all of her and her sisters’ powers to battle the darkness threatening to destroy both Christmas and the gift of soul-searing passion her hometown hero wants her to keep forever….

Now MY take on it:

I personally thought it was a charming, yet haunting story. The fog the story centered around made me nervous to see fog afraid I was going to have to save the day like heroine Kate Drake. But with seven sisters, all witches, at least there is never a dull moment! Coming from a Pagan background, I understood the subtlety of modern day Paganism but with a twist! What Pagan wouldn’t want to use her powers for good but also to make a sandwich without having to lift anything but a finger? As far as the Christmas symbols and the story setting in Christmastime, I loved it. Christmas is one of my favorite Holidays so naturally I enjoyed all the talk about Christmas and pageants. Oh, and those steamy love-making scenes! Who wouldn’t enjoy a nice rumble under the Christmas tree? Now that’s one heck of a gift! The only problem I had was that certain parts seemed to drag on. Though I must say I have been forming a habit of not reading the first of a series and going directly to the next- this is the 2nd book of the Drake Sisters series. I’ll have to read the first book in the series.

12
Jun
09

Book Review: Crewel Yule

Author: Monica Ferris

Published: October 2004

Publisher: Berkley Hardcover

Genre: Needlepoint Mystery

ISBN-10: 0425198278

ISBN-13: 978-0425198278

9.5/10

Murder is in the air everywhere–even at a needlework show. Betsy Devonshire, owner of the shop Crewel World, finds herself snowed in at the convention hotel in Nashville along with her policewoman friend, Jill, and employee, Godwin. When another shop owner, Belle Hammermill, falls over the railing, plummeting down nine stories into the middle of the atrium, even the most avid sewers look up from their tatting. Everyone, of course, assumes the fall to be an accident. However, as Betsy, Jill, and Godwin start talking to the show’s attendees, they begin to learn that a selfish and devious Belle had plenty of enemies–and they are all in the hotel. Ferris’ characterizations are top-notch, and the action moves along at a crisp pace. The ending, unfortunately, is something of a letdown, with hardly a twist, much less a turn. Still, with so many crafters out there, this has a built-in audience of those who like to mix their needlepoint with question marks. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Now for MY take on it:

This was such a lovely book! While it does center around needlepoint, I couldn’t put it down! I love Christmas so I went to pick up a few Yuletide fiction novels while my sister had a book waiting for her at the local library. I saw this book and without reading the first sentence (which will usually automatically tell me if I’ll be interested or not), I checked it out. The characters have tons of personality and while the story is somewhat short, it was wonderfully written. I don’t know needlepoint so what my Mom didn’t know after I asked her, I searched on the Internet for. Thanks to all the knowledge I learned from Mom and Google, I now want to learn needlepoint. They say you learn more from educational books rather than fiction. They obviously haven’t met avid book readers! And as an added bonus, there was a needlepoint pattern that centered around the pattern in the book- for you to try!

10
Jun
09

Book Review: Fatal Lies

Author: Frank Tallis

Published: September 2008

Publisher: Century

Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 1844136035

ISBN-13: 978-1844136032

9/10

A dogged police inspector and an insightful young psychiatrist match wits with depraved criminal minds in this acclaimed mystery series set in Freud’s Vienna.

In glittering turn-of-the-century Vienna, brutal instinct and refined intellect fight for supremacy. The latest, most disturbing example: the mysterious and savage death of a young cadet in the most elite of military academies, St. Florian’s. Even using his cutting-edge investigative techniques, Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt cannot crack the school’s closed and sadistic world. He must again enlist the aid of his frequent ally, Dr. Max Liebermann, an expert in Freudian psychology. But how can Liebermann help when he a crisis of his own: handling his conflicted and forbidden feelings for two different women, one a former patient? As the case unfolds, powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep a dark secret.

Now for MY take on it:

I found it very difficult to put down. While some areas were boring (as most books have that lull during some parts), the rest was exciting! You start reading it and think, “How on earth are these stories related?”. Keeping reading. You will eventually realize that everyone in the story knows everyone else. Everything is intertwined and you don’t realize that everything you see will end up somewhere else with a shocking turn. I didn’t want the book to end because I wanted to see if they would find out where he was or if he would eventually tell the truth. The only problem I had with this book was the German (yes, there are German words in here) and the words that seemed like another language to me, but they were in English. I don’t have as wide as a vocabulary as some readers so I was constantly writing words down so I can look them up at a later date. Other than that, I loved it!




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