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review 2017-07-12 16:01
Book Review – Waiting for Walker, by Robin Reardon
Waiting for Walker - Robin Reardon

I read an amazing review of this book by Sammy Goode, and bought the book straight off. Ah, the power of word-of-mouth.

 

Loved, just loved this story, about people we so seldom see. With beautiful language and turns of phrase that hit me just so.

 

Beautiful.

 

”You came back to that rock and looked for me, out on the water. I think you want a new friend, too.”

 

Courage, when you realize you can no longer do nothing – but you still haven’t figured out what you can do.

 

We need more stories like this one, to lift us up, to see that it is possible to change, it is possible to take a road less traveled.

 

And that it is possible that other people’s truths are just as valid as your own. Only different.

 

Simply loved it. Warmly recommend it, especially as there was next to no sex in there, and sweet and slow, what was there.

 

Perfect.

 

 

*** Bought this book with my own monies after reading a smashing review.*** 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1578399/book-review-waiting-for-walker-by-robin-reardon
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review 2017-05-30 08:37
ARC Review – Elpída, by C. Kennedy
Elpida - C. Kennedy

Elpída. Hope.

Because without hope, we are all lost.

Because without hope, we have nothing.

 

The final installment of this trilogy leaves me shattered and sad, and full of anger towards the men who perpetrate this kind of abuse on children. But most of all, it leaves me with hope, exhilarated and happy, which, in this context, is nothing short of magic on the author’s part.

 

To take this extremely important and difficult subject matter, and lovingly show it without condescension or sensationalism, and give so many young people hope? Magic, indeed.

 

There is such powerful truth in this series. There is such compassionate giving of hope. It is horrid and beautiful at the same time, and it has a way of sending a spiraling sense of meaning out to young people who are hurting, telling them there is a future, there is a life, there is a way. Telling them that there are good people out there, who will love them.

 

Hope. Truly the most powerful of all human feelings.

 

We started with beauty in book one. And horror. And friendship. And love.

Omorphi. Beauty.

We continued with courage in book two. Lots and lots of courage. And love.

Thárros. Courage.

We finish with hope in this third book, as we run, and hide, and make mistakes, and fix them again. And love.

Elpída. Hope.

 

Thimi is a young boy who lived through the same horrors as Christy in Greece, and Christy finally gets to see his old friend again as he arrives in the US as a scared little waif of a boy. Thimi slowly opens up through the story, and as he starts to understand the sunshine that can exist in a normal life we get to see more about what happens inside a child after abuse.

 

When you read a YA book, not often does it also work as a manual of how to do things to help a former victim of abuse. It is not often that, in soft tones and sweet turns of phrase, you will understand and learn how to act around people who have been through the unthinkable. Who have been through the unspeakable.

 

This is a little bit like a beautifully crafted Technical Manual of Care and Maintenance for those who work with our collective youth, especially if they work with children or young adults who have had a hard time.

 

And the end result? The telling of a great, great love story — with true friendship shining through, the kind of love that inspires both happy endings and good laughs.

 

There are other new fascinating characters entering the scene, too, and especially Zero is someone I would love to see more of in a future book... I can truly say that I hope this trilogy gets a fourth and fifth instalment, because there are still things I’d like to know, (and history is full of excellent trilogies in five parts). (Just sayin’).

 

Beauty and Courage and Hope.

Because Elpida means hope.

And, as we said in the beginning, without hope, we are all lost.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Harmony Ink Press.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return. I also beta-read an early version of the manuscript.

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1567067/arc-review-elpida-by-c-kennedy
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review 2016-04-10 20:00
ARC Review – Thárros, by C. Kennedy
Thárros - C. Kennedy

We must start with courage.

And Thárros is courage.

 

Only in truly great fear, (or pain, or grief), do we need to muster truly great courage—but we do muster this courage, because without it there is no hope.

 

And without hope, we are all lost.

 

This story digs deep within, and it blasts open the dams, releasing a deluge of sorrow and pain, but also rivers of courage, hope and love. And as much as it has a sad base-line, it is also an uplifting story; it is beautiful, and amazing, and action-filled, and absolutely thrilling.

 

It runs away with you, it breaks your heart, and then it puts it back together again.

 

But it also delivers the extra bonus: It is so much fun! Meeting Christy and Michael again with all their crazy and exciting friends at school, and Lisa and her Uncle Smitty, it makes you giggle, and laugh, and smile, and feel good. I adore these fantastic families that know how to do things right.

Mothers and fathers who care. Teachers and a school principal who take their responsibilities seriously.

This is a little bit like a Technical Manual of Care and Maintenance for those who work with our collective youth, especially if they work with children or young adults who have had a hard time.

 

The series is, of course, centered around Christy, and I find that he is a hero of enormous value and valor. What he has overcome would make most of us just want to roll over and give up. What he does with his knowledge, once he’s gotten his own power back again, is what makes him different from the rest of us. Because he uses every inch of what he’s been through to help others, especially a kid called Thimi who enters the storyline at the end of this book, a little bit on the side. Beautiful new character. Cannot wait to get to know him a little bit more.

 

Thárros explores how we confront fear and pain, and it shows us how to find our strength, our courage. It also shows us that we can, and should, lean on our friends, trust that they will love us and help us when we need it. And it shows us how even the strongest of us sometimes give up, and need help to come back.

 

It is a story of great struggles, of great friendships, and of great pain, all turned into a wondrous blend of both strength and love.

 

The end result? The telling of a great, great love story—with true friendship shining through, the kind of love that inspires both happy endings and hope.

 

Now, we must lean back in our armchairs, and wait for the last book in this series, Elpida.

 

Because Elpida means hope.

 

And, as we said in the beginning, without hope, we are all lost.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Harmony Ink Press. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

 

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1376587/arc-review-tharros-by-c-kennedy
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review 2016-03-30 17:59
ARC Review — As Autumn Leaves, by Kate Sands
As Autumn Leaves - Kate Sands

What a delightful short novel this is. I love the strong main character, Kayla, and I enjoyed walking by her side as she started to come to terms with who she was.

 

We need more books for young adults that cover the whole spectrum of diversity, and this one is great at talking about the age-old teenage problems of Where do I fit in? and, Who am I?

 

Few things in life are more confusing than being a teenager. Not feeling “normal” is normal. But getting someone to help you see your true potential and who you are? And making sure you get what you want?

 

Priceless.

 

Easy to say, I loved this. It is clean, clear, and beautiful—and it brings hope. I want this in the hands of as many young adults as possible, so that they can see that they are okay, as they are, and that they can have any kind of relationship that makes them happy.

 

I loved it. Because it’s great also for grown-ups.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Harmony Ink Press. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1366613/arc-review-as-autumn-leaves-by-kate-sands
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-28 15:28
The ones that got away
The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides

I really enjoyed this book, the second Eugenides I have read this season, and I was glad I did not hear about the "twist" (for lack of a better word) in The Virgin Suicides. I am not sure how I avoided hearing about it considering the book is now over 20 years old and has been hanging just on the periphery of my reading life, I actually walked out on friends watching the movie in college but I was a stupid then and wanted to go get drunk instead of sitting around watching some movie with a group that has since become my closest friends.

 

It is not really a twist, and that explains why I never heard about it, when you've set out in the title the fact that five teenage girls are to commit suicide, everything else fades into the background. Eugenides sets us up for the hit, hiding the narrator in plain sight. He happens to be, well, whoever he is, but, as it starts, you get the feeling it could just as easily be written by Ms. Perl, Uncle Tucker, Peter Sissen or any of the others from the cast of small town busybodies that feel familiar in a way that makes me uncomfortable--much of this book makes me feel uncomfortable, but in the way it should, challenging the way I look at the world. As it moves on, however, the narrator starts to appear less a quiet observer and more a Humbert Humbert, the story itself being misshapen through his perspective and manipulated through his writing. It would be/will be interesting to read again, knowing the role the boys play in the end and watching for that dynamic, but I am happy I got to feel my way through the first reading deciding and then second guessing my feelings on certain characters, trying to guess how it all goes down, then being lulled, like the boys, into a shock.

 

Something in how we never quite see the girls clearly. The narrator insists his clutch know them better than the other townspeople and journalists, but we see the Lisbon girls through the narrators reaction, which is that of every adolescent boy. They are mysterious. The boys are very aware of the Lisbon girls' bodies down to odors and facial hair, and they are transfixed by them. The whole book they see  the girls the same way they did when Peter Sissen peeked around upstairs, enthralled by the ladies undergarments, makeup and Tampax, and in a demonstrable way, like Sissen, who grabbed the brassiere off the crucifix, they are, decades later, still swiping ephemera from the objects of their desires.

 

Actually the later collection, which we learn about first, is less weird seeming to be part of an investigation of the suicides. It is when we learn that the boys have already started a collection that I really started to question the narrator.

 

The Virgin Suicides will dump you right back into the hormonal throes of adolescent love, but it does  so in a way that gives it weight, that respects the pain and damage we can do even in our most foolish years and leaves out the nostalgia. 

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