Friday, September 28, 2012

The People of Forever are Not Afraid

The People of Forever are Not Afraid By Shani Boianjiu    Three Israeli women growing up in a small dusty town in Israel become of age to do their service in the Israeli army. This novel follows them through their posts and affairs for the next few years and a few past army service. This story had interesting characters and excellent writing but it was very hard to follow. Extremely confusing. Time jumps forward and back so often it is hard to know when the episode is taking place and just as mysterious as to whom it is focusing on. The girls are brash and have absolutely no drive or goals. I was very much looking forward to a more realistic episode of time spent in the army from a women's point of view. I found this story so bizarre and highly unrealistic. I was disappointed but am hopeful this author will continue to write and learn to focus more because the words and wit are most surely within her.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dreaming in English

Dreaming in English By Laura Fitzgerald 
Ike and Tami, young, newly married and very much in love. Their world is complicated, Tami, visiting from Iran, needs her residency status to stay in America. Ike's parents are against this rushed, seemingly fixed marriage of convenience and Tami's former matches are angry she hasn't chosen them. This beautiful story is about love, friendship, family and freedom. It focuses on the many difficult issues of cultures clashing and fitting family traditions into modern day lifestyles. Most importantly the challenge of understanding the gift of freedom by birth and helping others that are striving to attain it. This novel is a continuation of Veil of Roses, which introduced us to these beautiful characters. You do not have to read it to enjoy Dreaming in English but why wouldn't you???!!!! Both excellent, enjoy and happy reading!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins By Jess Walter    Dee is an up and coming actress in 1962, small town girl with her first big break, a minor role in Cleopatra, starring Liz Taylor and Richard Burton being filmed in Italy. Michael Deane is the crazed producer that will do anything to get the job done, Pasquale is a good looking, young, Italian man from a small coastal town that befriends Dee and is sucked up into the drama that is Hollywood. These are just a few of the characters that flash throughout the pages of this novel of love, friendship and betrayal. Flashing between 1962 to the present the reader is not always certain who is being described or when its taking place. The writing is excellent and there is that special something that makes one continue onto the next chapter. Unfortunately, it also contains that rush to the finish to summarize all that has happened (in a long story) into one tidy ending and perhaps leaves the reader wondering if it even really matters since none of the characters are very likeable to begin with. Not a bad read but hard to recommend.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles By Karen Thompson Walker    To a sixth grade girl, the world and its inhabitants (especially boys) are already a mystery. When the earth begins to slow, the days get longer, the nights get colder. At first its by minutes, then days, then weeks. Light and dark take on new meaning. Eating, sleeping, our most basic functions. This story is told by Julia, an only child living with her parents in Southern California when the slowing begins. People do not function well off the clock but real time becomes impossible as the days stretch and scientists argue over cause, effect and the future of our planet. The government tries to keep order, how quickly chaos can begin. How quickly people, once neighbors, once friends can turn on each other. Survival is a tricky thing. The story is narrated by Julia, and she is still just a 12 year old waiting for Seth, her crush, to speak to her at the bus stop. This incredibly unique, well told story was an amazing read. It is almost unimaginable that this is Ms. Walkers first novel, WOW! Highly recommend.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob By William Landay   Andy Barber is the Assistant DA in a suburb of Boston.  He has just taken on the murder case of a teenager in his small town. Near his home, near his sons school. Shockingly, the evidence mounts against his own teenage son, Jacob. He and his wife Laurie turn their lives upside down to protect their son, defend Jacobs case and save their family. This is a suspenseful thriller that cannot be put down. It twists and turns with every chapter. The characters are surprisingly real and likeable. Highly recommend this read, excellent murder mystery (and I hardly EVER read mysteries!)