Posts Tagged ‘Family

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.

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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.

14
Jul
09

Book Review: Thanksgiving At The Inn

Author: Tim Whitney

Published: October 2009

Publisher: Bancroft Press

Genre: YA Fiction

ISBN-10: 1890862649

ISBN-13: 978-1890862640

9.5/10

Ever since his mother left, life has’t been easy for Heath Wellington III. Between his father’s (Junior’s) bouts with alcoholism and literary rejection, and Heath’s own wrongful suspension from school, there hasn’t been all that much to be thankful for.

But following the tragic death of estranged grandfather Senior, father and son alike stand to inherit a life-changing fortune . . . with one catch.

Heath and Junior must spend the next three months managing Senior’s bed and breakfast, located in the same Massachusetts home Junior has spent the last eight years trying to escape.

Upended from his everyday life and relocated to a town where everyone knew and loved the grandfather he can’t even remember, Heath finds an inn full of some of the strangest people he’s ever met, such as:

* Winsted, the old, wise Jamaican man who used to lead the prayers in Senior s factory;

* Mrs. Farrel, an elderly woman giving away her late husband’s fortune letter by letter;

* Mustang Sally, the muscle-bound, tattooed grease monkey who doubles as a children’s author;

* And Carter, the silent TV news junkie and secret Harvard graduate.

And, at a nearby school is Savannah, Junior’s first love, and her adorable, autistic daughter, Tori.

But most of all, there’s Junior himself, vinegar to Heath’s oil. As Heath adjusts to his new world, what he needs most is to start anew with his father, to understand that Junior, too, is dealing with loss, and to realize that, even in the most tragic of times, there’s a lot in life to be thankful for.

Now MY take on it:

It’s been a while since I’ve read such a “feel good” story. And at first, you don’t realize that the book will turn out like that. You just think that Heath and Junior will argue and the book will end like that. But was I wrong! Every single character has tons of personality and some of them may even remind you of your own friends or family! I know they remind me of a few people I know. And for those that didn’t remind me, I wanted to hang out with them there at the Inn. Everyone has their own situations to deal with in the book, and it reminds you of our own and how you can conquer it. With anger, laughter, sadness, and family values come into play with every single page and chapter. While Amazon says its for ages 9-12, every age can learn from it. You’re never too old to learn a life lesson. You get a new found sense of love for your family and strangers you meet. You can either be someone who has the problem but doesn’t do anything about it. You can be someone who wants to do something about it but not sure what. Or you can be that person that finally changes everything around. That’s what you’ll learn. I promise.

25
May
09

Welcome!

I just want to welcome everyone to Texas Banter Book Reviews. My name is Angela and I will be your book reviewer for the moment. I guess I should tell you a bit about myself:

I am 24 year old from the heart of Texas. If you may notice, I am a twin. I have a twin sister who I called Manders on Texas Banter. She is the owner of Confetti Dreams, her blog. I am the owner of Texas Banter, my personal blog. I’ve been blogging for about a year or so and enjoy it. I also enjoy reading, this Texas Banter Book Reviews. Every time I finish a book, I automatically pick up another one to read. It keeps my mind fresh and actually helps me think different ways to solve different situations. I also have 3 crazy cats and 1 psycho puppy. They are sure trying at times. I am studying to go to college for Animal Science/Behavior while Manders is going for Psychology.

I hope you enjoy Texas Banter Book Reviews and the books I review. I tend to lean towards the Paranormal/Fantasy section of books but I also enjoy other books like Mystery/Suspsense or “feel good” books like The Way It Is by author Patrick Sanchez. If you have any suggestions on books to read or want me to review your book, please refer to “Book Review Info” for more information.




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