Caterpillars Can’t Swim – Review

IMG_0059editedI am having a difficult time with Young Adult novels these days. Most of the time I find them too cheesy and not believable and this is why I usually keep my hands off them. Only when a blurb really piques my interest do I pick it up. Caterpillars Can’t Swim was one of those novels.

Ryan and Jack can’t be more different: Ryan sits in a wheelchair and swims successfully for the school’s swimteam. Jack on the other hand is a loner and the kid everyone picks on, since the school is full of rumors about his sexuality. When Ryan saves Jack from drowning, their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps his promise to Jack and doesn’t tell anyone about that day, although he knows that Jack needs help. In an attempt to do so, he invites Jack to accompany him and his best friend Cody to Comic Con. Now the three will get the chance to defy society’s stereotypes. Continue reading “Caterpillars Can’t Swim – Review”

Revelry – Review

IMG_9835editedEveryone was raving about Kandi Steiner‘s new release, even before it was even available for purchase. So of course I had to buy Revelry and read it too.

Wren Ballard is a successful Seattle based fashion designer. Her love life, however, is anything but successful: she is 27 and freshly divorced. To free her mind of the past few months, she decides to spend the summer in the mountains just outside of Seattle. Wren finds the perfect place to stay and the people in town make her feel welcome immediately. Well, not all of them. Her broody and good-looking neighbor seems not to care about Wren at all. But Anderson Black does not only care about her, he doesn’t really care about anyone in town. He is lost and has his own demons to fight, this is why he can’t deal with someone else’s problems on top of his. But this all changes when he comes face to face with Wren. Sometimes you need to get lost in order to find yourself. Continue reading “Revelry – Review”

Thirteen Reasons Why – Review

IMG_9700.editedThirteen Reasons Why is definitely not your typical young adult novel. When I heard it was adapted for a tv show and would release soon, I saw this is as an opportunity to finally read the novel.
Clay Jensen comes home from school to find a strange package waiting for him. It only has his address but not the return address written on it. Inside he finds a bunch of recorded cassette tapes from Hannah Baker – the Hannah Baker who committed suicide only two weeks earlier. On the cassette tapes Hannah explains there are thirteens reasons why she killed herself – Clay is one of them.

It is really difficult for me to find the right words to express my feelings. On the one hand, the story didn’t completely blow away my mind as I hoped it would, but on the other hand it is still a great book with such a strong and important message for all of us. Continue reading “Thirteen Reasons Why – Review”

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”

Walden – Review

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 – Review”

Tell Me Where it Hurts – Review

Let me tell you where it hurts, it hurts within the pages of this short book of poetry.  I’ve never rushed to write a review as quickly as I needed to with this book.  It begged to be written while the emotions were still fresh.  JR Rogue should be proud of Tell Me Where it Hurts. From the moment of reading her dedication, I knew I was going to love this book: “For the Caged Birds.  If I can sing, so can you.”  It evokes emotions I had buried and most times would rather forget. I, too, was once a caged bird. I’ve never had tears in my eyes reading poetry before, perhaps because some of these words hit me on such a personal level.  There is often so much unnecessary pain in childhood, even more if the child’s innocence is not nurtured. My heart hurt reading these poems.  It hurt for the struggles I’ve been through, but mostly, it hurt for the author.  Poems with this much raw sadness and heartbreak can only be written from personal experience.  You have to know pain to write pain. For that, I am saddened. Continue reading “Tell Me Where it Hurts – Review”

Lucian Divine – Review

Evey is in her mid-twenties and has her life figured out. Well, parts of it. Although she accepted to work for her ungrateful boss until she can stand on her own two feet, she can’t take any more crappy dates with even crappier guys. Then she meets the mysterious, really good-looking Lucian. She is instantly drawn to him. But Lucian is not any guy, in fact, he is a guardian angel, Evey’s guardian angel! While Evey tries to not hook up with her guardian angel, Lucian has some problems of his own to overcome. But what happens when a person and a guardian angel fall madly in love? Isn’t it against some human-cosmic-law?lucian Continue reading “Lucian Divine – Review”