Sunday, March 8, 2015

Reading Review February 2015


What I read in February 2015




All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
 Historical Fiction

When the Nazi's occupy Paris, 12 year old Marie-Laure and her father flee to her great Uncle's home. Marie-Laure is blind and her father builds her replica's of the cities so she can learn how to navigate on her own.
Young orphan Werner is put into Hitler Youth where he quickly discovers his talents at math and fixing radios is far above most. He's requested on a special assignment to track the resistance.

An interesting insight to others also in the middle of the effect of World War II (this book specifically set in France). I thought Doerr gave a perspective to the young boy Werner whose talent earns him a spot working with the Hitler Youth and the information he was fed. Marie too ends up having her own part, passing notes (possibly of importance, but certainly of hope). I felt like it gave a face to many who were involved though didn't understand the extent of their actions (and like most didn't really have a choice).



Panic 
by Lauren Oliver
 Young Adult

Panic is a legendary game for graduating Seniors with a lot of money at stake. Like $60,000. Two unknown judges set up elaborate risk/dares all summer and one by one people are eliminated until at the end of summer one collects all the money. Heather never considered for a minute that she'd be part of the Panic crowd until one night she's pushed too far and she realizes this may be the only way. 

I picked this up purely because it was a Lauren Oliver title. I was back and forth the entire book. I liked Heather and watching her realize the depth of her strength and determination. The premise infuriated me (huge risks, some resulting in death). However I started thinking of this book more as fantasy, ala Hunger Games and I was able to enjoy the book for it's story telling merit (with the exception of a point at the end that was just a bit too cheesy for me).



The Last Letter From Your Lover 
by JoJo Moyes
 Romance, Fiction

Jennifer wakes in the hospital in 1960 to the news she's been in a car accident and has amnesia. Upon returning home, trying to put the pieces back together she can't escape the feeling she's in a cold and distant marriage. Going through every item in her house trying to regain memory she finds a heart felt letter from a man who's not her husband, only signed B. Jennifer feels finding out who B is might bring her happiness. In 2003 Ellie finds this letter and hoping for a happy ending for herself she tackles the task of finding out what happened to Jennifer and B. 

I had read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and knew immediately I'd need to find more of her books. This one did not disappoint. I was enraptured the entire time. I read this in a 1.5 days. Involving two different loves stories this book is packed so don't get confused with the different POVs.



The Romeo and Juliet Code 
by Phoebe Stone
Fiction, Childrens, Historical

11 year old Flissy grew up in London but with the onset of WWII her parents take her to Maine and deposit her with relatives she's never met before. The crazy cast includes her grandma, Uncle Gideon, Aunt Miami, and Captain Derek, a boy her age. Flissy notices Uncle Gideon received a letter with her father's handwriting so she enlists the sleuthing skills of Derek to help her figure out what where her parents are and what they might be up to.

Picked this up at the elementary kids book fair.  The cover suggested something far more enchanted and perhaps cute romance though was more historical fiction and mystery. Other than feeling dooped by the cover the book was ok. I thought it slow but for younger readers it may be be just fine.


You Are Here 
by Jennifer E. Smith
Young Adult, Contemporary

Emma has grown up feeling like her family is a unit, and she's not a part of it. She's years younger than her siblings, a family of adults, and her. In the attic Emma finds her twins birth certificate, a twin she never remembered she had. She keeps it a secret and sets out to visit his gravestone. Next door neighbor Peter is along for the ride.

I like several other books by Jennifer Smith but this one felt very lackluster. I didn't care anything about he characters (maybe not enough depth?) and thought the plot line was underdeveloped. For me it was just ok. Kind of forgettable. 




If interested:

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Pinterest: Books I read in 2011
Pinterest: Books I read in 2010


3 comments:

bedelia said...

SPOILER--kind of.





I did not like "all the light we cannot see." I thought it was so well written and hopeful, despite, the horrid things going on. And then, he ended it just horribly. I feel like the incident with his sister at the end didn't really move the story and was just depressing. I know that with historical fiction, you have to stay true to the history but I just felt tricked in the end that things didn't end as well as I expected. But maybe, that's the way people living in it felt. So hopeful, and then the realization that, "no, everything was not ok and a whole lot of stuff just sucked." I guess I just like books with happy endings.

Debbie Cranberryfries said...

Amelia I totally agree with you! I read a few reviews before I started (I dont know why I do that sometimes) so I was a tiny bit spoiled before reading. Enough so that I expected an ending I wasn't going to like. I honestly think I liked it more than I would have because of that. Because yes, what happened to him and his sister at the end was stupid. The thing with his sister seemed to come from no where. (I mean I realize that stuff happened but I felt like it was so out of place since we had a brief mention of her and then nothing for like 250 pages, it was weird.) The thing with him is what I was kinda spoiled about, though I wasn't certain. This is why though I really dont like reading WWII or war stories in general. I read to escape and I want to escape into more happy. :)

Tabetha Elliss said...

I loved All The Light You Cannot See, as well as Lauren Oliver and Jojo Moyes - I will have to check out that book by Moyes, thanks for the review! I miss you!