Between Shades of Gray – Review

I have been drawn to books detailing the struggles of people during World War II since I have been a child.  For that reason, I wanted a chance to read this book for years. Finally I was able to check it out through Overdrive from my library and was anxious to be transported back in time.

The story begins in Lithuania with Lina, her mother, and younger brother being deported by Soviet officers in a filthy train car to a place they had never experienced before – Siberia. Lina and her family, along with others that become family to her, are forced to work in cruel conditions at labor camps for Stalin’s regime. Lina uses her love for art as a tool to tell the story of the horrors she faced, despite the danger of her drawings being discovered. She hopes her art will help her father make his way back to her family after she finds him in a separate train car going to a different location.

In the first few pages of this story, I was confused about what was taking place because I had not seen the mention of the characters being Jewish. I even stopped reading to ask my husband, who happens to be a History major, if he could clear up my confusion. We were both stumped. Eventually I came to realize through my reading that only one of the characters was in fact, Jewish. The deportations were actually a result of “Sovietization” and the result of Communism in Russia. Citizens from the Baltic states were removed, murdered, or forced into labor camps to further the agenda of Stalin. This was an unfamiliar aspect of history to both my husband and me. Continue reading “Between Shades of Gray – Review”

Confess – Review

IMG_9678editedColleen Hoover is without a doubt one of my favorite authors. I found out about her and her books through a book recommendation column on my favorite German radio station in 2014 while still living in the US. Ha! I didn’t know that that particular recommendation would affect me and my love for reading so much. Sure, I was an avid reader back then (at least that’s how I saw myself as, since I read about 7 or 8 books a year), but finding out about Colleen and that genre tenfolded my book reading number. Maybe I should write a thank you note to that radio station? 🙂
Everytime Colleen announces a new book, it goes to my TBR straightaway. I don’t need a blurb or a cover; it’s Colleen Hoover, so of course I will read her new release. What CoHort wouldn’t? Confess, which was released in March 2015, was one of those books. Almost two years later, the novel was picked up for a scripted TV show by Awestruck and – guess what?! – it releases today! Yay!
In honor of today’s release, I decided to re-read Confess and publish this review for you. I made it as spoiler-free as I could. Continue reading “Confess – Review”

March Recap

Hey book lovers,
It’s time for our monthly recap. Since we have been fairly busy in March (high-five for being responsible adults!), our list of reviews is shorter than usual. We’ll try to get back on track in April. Here is our list for you to catch up:

We have some special blog posts for you in the coming month, so keep an eye on your blog news feed.

And here is our TBR and possible review list for April:
Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine, Paper Princess by Erin Watt, Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger, Confess by Colleen Hoover, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and The Letter to your Last Lover by Jojo Moyes.

Lots of bookish love,
Ashley & Sabrina

The Allure of Dean Harper – Shared Review

IMG_9264editedAfter reading The Allure of Julian Lefray, Ashley and I had to pick up The Allure of Dean Harper immediately. Because what is not to like about a sexy, fun, charming and successful bachelor in New York City?

As a restaurateur in NYC, Dean has opened up many successful restaurants over the past few years. For his new opening, he has his hands full again, which unfortunately has less to do with the new restaurant but more with one of his crew-members: Lily Black, food blogger, culinary school graduate and best friend of his best friend Julian’s girlfriend. With reluctance, Dean had to bring her on board and he is determined to get her off board as soon as possible. But Lily is not easily intimidated. She is hell-bent on showing Dean who the real food-guru is, even if it means war. Continue reading “The Allure of Dean Harper – Shared Review”

Walden 

One early morning, while enjoying the peace and quiet that came with everyone in my house still asleep, I began researching hermits and recluses. The things that go through my mind (and my Google search box) when I have a moment uninterrupted to think are usually quite comical. As strange as it may sound, however, this way of life sounds especially appealing to me at times. Maybe it’s because I have three children that are exceptionally loud during waking hours or because my Myers-Briggs test identified me as 99% introverted, or maybe it’s a mixture of both. Regardless, within my searching and reading, an article (albeit a negative one) about Henry David Thoreau’s book, Walden, came up. I immediately downloaded the book, which was free in Kindle-form on Amazon, and started reading. This is not the typical book we review on this blog, nor does it need my review. It is 163 years old and has stood the test of time. Obviously nothing I say will be able to help or hinder its success. However, I wanted to share my thoughts.

Instantly, I was drawn into the text, written about Thoreau’s time living in a small cabin, alone, on the edge of Walden pond in Massachusetts. He described his desire to escape society and see what living in solitude would be like.

The first half of the book was exceptionally interesting to me, as I found it intriguing to find someone who had lived such a long time before me writing my organic thoughts years before they popped into my mind. It made me feel like nothing we ever do is truly original. Every thought has crossed another brain, every idea has been thought of already. Continue reading “Walden “

The Allure of Julian Lefray- Shared Review

IMG_9259editedCan I just say, I love R.S. Grey?! When life sucks with entirely too much adulting going on (hello, responsibility), Grey’s books are a welcome distraction and escape from reality. Her writing is always fun, easy to get lost in, and witty.

The Allure of Julian Lefray was no exception! I enjoyed being able to buddy read this story with Sabrina and laugh together at the comical one-liners. We both agreed Julian was one of the dreamiest book boyfriends we’ve read of. He has practically no flaws, always thinks of the right thing to do and say, not to mention he’s Josephine’s hunky boss – ding, ding, ding, Jo hit the jackpot! Continue reading “The Allure of Julian Lefray- Shared Review”