Monday, April 30, 2012

A Heart Revealed

A Heart RevealedA Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book, but not as much as the first one. It seemed almost to get a little too carried away with drama this time.

The story was supposed to be mostly about Sean and Emma and their love story but it felt overshadowed by a few other dramatic sideshows like Sean's sister Charity and her issues with her husband Mitch. That seemed a bit too dramatic. I'm not quite sure I agreed with how Mitch handled the situation to begin with or how he dealt with it when Charity lost her temper.

Sean and Emma's love story didn't even really begin until more than half way through. I was irritated at Sean's stupidity with Rose, I mean really, can a guy really be that blind to not see Rose's ploy or how incredibly immature she was? The fact that he blamed growing up with sisters for not being able to handle Rose's tears seemed a bit ridiculous.

Then the ending was way too fast. It was a great story but I would have liked to spend more time on the Sean and Emma story line.

Anyway, other than that the book was great. I liked being able to catch up with Luke and Kate. Sean and Emma's conversations were great. I don't want to bash the book but it easily could have been five stars if the water and fire works were a bit more tamed! I would still recommend it though!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Ready Player One

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

Unfortunately, just not my cup of tea. I don't want to read something this slanted on politics, I want to escape reality, not have this books agenda ground it into my brain. He's a talented and creative writer though. Good luck to him!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Bridge of Scarlet LeavesBridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fantastic! I love a book that can teach me something about history while maintaining an incredible story line.

The setting in the beginning of the book takes place in California just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor which then of course was the start of WWII. The story revolves around three main characters, Maddie Kern, her brother TJ Kern and TJ's best friend Lane Moritomo who is the son of Japanese immigrants.

Lane and Maddie fall in love but hide it from TJ. Due to Lane's Japanese heritage his parents plan to bring a bride from Japan to California for him to marry. Lane doesn't agree with all that goes along with his parent's customs so he refuses and convinces Maddie to elope with him. Nobody knows of their arrangement because interracial marriage is not only frowned upon pre-WWII, it's illegal in 30 states.

As they are having their quick weekend honeymoon in Seattle, Pearl Harbor is attacked. Lane quickly realizes whites are blaming him for Japan's bombing the United States. Maddie and Lane make haste back to California where TJ discovers what they did and demands they divorce.

When Lane returns home he finds the FBI in his house arresting his father simply because he works at a bank in California that is owned by the Japanese. Lane, his mother and sister are forced to one of the many internment camps made for those with as little as 1/16 Japanese heritage. Lane files for divorce simply to save Maddie from the embarrassment and criticism he's sure she'll suffer for being married to a Japanese man.

Maddie refuses to sign the papers and tracks Lane down to his internment camp and resides with him and his family. TJ on the other hand, he's had enough, between his sister marrying his best friend and the anger he feels for that betrayal, he joins the Army and is shipped off to the Pacific.

Lane is embarrassed of his and his families conditions, anger at the country which he loves so much, angry that Maddie is willing to sacrifice so much for him, it hurts his pride. He too joins the military for intelligence, to put his language to good use for his country. To prove find himself.

The book continues on as Maddie, Lane’s mother and sister move on to another location. Lane is also shipped to the Pacific. What effect will the war have on these three characters? Read to find out! Amazing, wonderful book.

This book is easily five stars for me. As I mentioned, a book that teaches me so much with such a fantastic story is a winner. The book was well researched and the fact that the author is the daughter of a white American mother and Japanese immigrant father gives her a lot of credit too. I have not read her other book Letters From Home, but look forward to doing so. If you liked, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I can nearly guarantee that you will like this book too.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd give this five stars but since I'm also rating the edition, audio, I'm giving it four. I truly liked the story but I think a lot was taken away from it by the way the narrator read it. Her British accent trying to imitate an American accent made it sound like Americans are super snotty sounding. And a woman trying to make her voice deep and sound like a man, ugh, annoying. A woman reading romantic scenes, um, well, made me feel a little creepy. I love my husband and I'd rather hear him read it to me than hear it from an audio book narrator! LOL!

Going on to the story itself, awesome, totally awesome. I love the gypsy portrayal and the scandalous way he got what he wanted from Amelia. The magic, the way of the gypsies, the aristocrats, the ghosts of past, familial relationships, etc. Such a great and interesting love story with great emotional feeling. Very, very good book! I truly look forward to READING more books in this series and finding out more of the story that was left unanswered in this book.

My first Lisa Kleypas book. Swoon, love her!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

The "What If" Guy

The The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great, easy read. And the fact that is was local didn't hurt, I always like being able to picture the location the book takes place.

This was a contemporary, chick-lit/romance with a PG rating as my friend Tammy mentioned. There was the usual back and forth, does he, doesn't he, should I, shouldn't I, debacle about following your heart, but it was well laid out. Very sweet, romantic story that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes tame, modern romances.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cheryl Strayed went through a rough patch in her early twenties. The death of her mother, a divorce, dabbling with drugs and men, she was pretty lost in life. It was one day that she up and decided she wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. On her own.

Cheryl flits back and forth between her hike and the people she meets along the way and the things that happened in her past that led her there. She meets some amazing people and has one awesome adventure that opens her mind and her eyes to her past and to healing.

I can't relate to Cheryl much personally but I admire her for everything she went through and how she decided to overcome it; despite how unprepared she was for her hike on the PCT. She wanted to give up so many times but she kept on going. Both through sheer will and inspiration from her fellow PCT hikers. There are so few people who would face such things, let alone a woman in the wilderness by her lonesome.

I don't know what type of person Cheryl became after her major trek. I am quite curious of how parts of her life played out after her life changing hike. The last few lines of the book give the reader a quick little snippet but I still would have more questions if I were ever to meet her!

Overall, great book of a wayward woman who found a path that she literally and figuratively overcame in her life.

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