Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Richard and I were walking around the mall the other day and he says, "I wish I were 16 again."

Me too.  I could sleep 'til noon, my bones wouldn't ache and I could eat as much ice cream as I wanted without any side effects. And I could hang out with cool kids like Prenna and Ethan.
These two teenagers stole my heart.  No wonder Prenna fell in love with Ethan even though the rules in her community forbade it.  He is just too darn cute.

Prenna and her mother are part of a group of time travelers who have escaped to the past to try to avert the disease and social unrest of the future.  They work hard to remain undetected.  When Prenna shows up in Ethan's class, he knows she's keeping a secret. 

I love to read a good YA novel every now and then.  The Here and Now is well crafted in blending the creation of the future with the reality of the present.  The story is fast moving, tension filled, and includes a touch of romance.  Falling in love for the first time is a feeling none of us will ever forget no matter how old.  Ann Brashares does a wonderful job of involving the reader into the life of teenager and fueling the fire with the supernatural. 

Even though I am not the target audience for this book, the pages kept turning.  The characters are adorable.  The setting is intriguing and believable.  And oh do I wish I was 16 again.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

City of the Sun by Juliana Maio

City of the Sun by Juliana Maio

World War II is raging throughout Europe, but for Detroit Free Press journalist, Mickey Connelly, the story is in Egypt.  Maya is a Jewish refugee who ends up in Cairo as a stop on the way to freedom for her and her family.  Their chance meeting sets this novel in motion.

Lately, I've been reading alot of historical novels.  I'm enthralled by stories of the World Wars. The setting in Africa is a fresh approach and it's a part of history I was not familiar with.  All good things. 

City of the Sun has the everything, romance, intrigue, murder all in an exotic setting.  The novel is well paced and I never became bored but some parts I enjoyed more than others.  The ending left me unsatisfied.  When I thought about why I felt this way, I realized the author never decided if this was to be a historical novel, a romance or a spy thriller.  Although the novel has merit, it never found its true focus.  As a reader I never found that warm and fuzzy feeling I long to have inside a good book.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Crossing The Moon by Paulette Alden

Crossing The Moon by Paulette Alden

Paulette's story was one I could relate to at many different points.  She was raised in the prim and proper south.  I was not, however the same moral values were drummed into my head beginning at a very young age.  When Paulette set off to a fellowship at Stanford, she drove across country not knowing anything of the rest of the world.  Her innocence and naivete may have been her greatest strength. I made a similar choice to move to a strange city where I knew no one after I graduated from college.  It was struggle, but today I am better off because of it.

I also admired Paulette's desire to be a writer.  I related completely to the struggle of time and distraction that is every writer's enemy.  And I felt her joy at receiving an acceptance letter from a publisher.  A writer's life is full of ups and downs and as a writer myself, I found comfort knowing I am not alone.

The bulk of this story is Paulette's path through infertility treatments.  In my thirties, I made a conscious decision not to have children.  No woman comes to that choice lightly and I remember that phase of my life well.  Paulette took a step further through years of fertility treatment but in the end came to the same resolution that children were not going to be a part of her life.  She found peace.  I completely understood her choice and her thought process.

Crossing The Moon is a lovely memoir of a woman's choices in life.  As women we have a habit of second guessing ourselves but we need to remember that each step we take is part of a journey called life. The voyage belongs to you and only you no matter where it might lead.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves by David Benioff It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia.  17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when h...