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review 2017-06-18 21:57
A Small Revolution
A Small Revolution - Jimin Han A Small Revolution - Jimin Han

This is a pleasant surprise. It's a Kindle First book I got a few months ago, along with the audio upgrade, that had so much more to it than I expected. At it's core the story is about four college girls who are held captive by a guy with a gun for reasons that blur between the personal and the political. But this isn't about some rejected college student who wants to take out his anger by showing power, it's more of a hostages make people listen situation.

Yoona is the protagonist and I loved the way she tells the story to Jaesung. It's not done in a way that makes it sound like she is relaying it to him later and that everything is fine. She talks to him as if he is her conscience. Jaesung is another character who is not in the room with them but he is still a part of it. You know from the beginning that Jaesung has something to do with why Lloyd, the gunman, has these girls in this room at gunpoint.

I appreciated Yoona, Jaesung, and Lloyd as characters, as would-be or possible revolutionaries. I loved the niavete they possess and the way each works through that in their own way and the way the interference, or not, of parents rang true to life for me. Some are very involved, others not so much or not at all. I couldn't help but feel for Yoona, not just in that room but as other events became known. Then there's Lloyd's unraveling, what brought him to the place, what motivates his conversations with the negotiator and I loved the negotiator. Much of the book isn't even about the room they are in but the way they all came to be there and these are the scenes that surprised me most.

I enjoyed the story embodied a part of American life by being about people who were the first or second generation to be born in the US, by being about people who still have ties to the land of their parents. I appreciated it as a story about Korean-Americans, which I feel is a group we don't hear much about, but also about Korea and a dorm room in the US. The story elements fit together beautifully and the only thing I would wish to change about it was a little more denouement.

Also, I really love this cover. Its perfectly captures the feel and tone of the story without giving anything away. Every time I see the cover since finishing the book, I get a little wistful about the story and all the characters and everything they wanted to do and everything they wanted to fix about the world.

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text 2017-06-16 13:30
Summer books you can't miss!

 

Summer is coming.

 

Now, after I've made that trying- to-be ASoIaF reference, it's time to talk about books! This time of the year is all about light. easy, enjoyable read no matter if you are somewhere on the beach with salt in your hair or lying in your aparment under the air conditioner.

I loved and utterly enjoyed every book listed below and highly recommend you read them!
 

1) Always and Forever, Lara Jean - Jenny Han

 

 

 

 Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

 

 

2) Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

 

 

 

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

 

 

3) 1000 Days of Spring - Tomislav Perko

 

 

 

 

A true story of a young successful stockbroker going broke, and lifting his thumb in search for his true self, by traveling the world.

After almost five years of traveling on five different continents, Tomislav laid down in a hammock in one village on the coast of Ecuador, and started writing a book. 

He was determined to put down everything he knows about traveling, and with that, answer the questions that many people ask him for years: 
- How is it possible to travel with almost no money? 
- Is his way of traveling safe enough? 
- What are the worst, and the best moments on the road? 
- How can you earn money while traveling? 
- Where to look for sponsors? 
- How did his parents and friends react? 
- Why is he traveling in the first place? 

Since it was impossible to give a simple and short answers to those questions, he started answering them in the only way possible - by telling his life story. 

Tomislav wrote about his student days, about the days when he had a well paid job as a stockbroker, about going bankrupt, about turning his life around, about first ventures on the road with a backpack on his back, and about finding a way that he will follow in the years to come - by traveling. 

Tomislav wrote about hitchhiking in numerous countries, sleeping in homes of strangers, camping on the side of the road, eating in supermarkets and drinking beer in parks, volunteering, many anecdotes that he encountered on the road, natural beauties that left him breathless, and about the beautiful people that he met on the way. 

Tomislav wrote about love.

 

 

4) The Storyteller - Andrea Tomić

 

 

 

 

Terrible things can happen when a storyteller falls in love.


There are thousands of stories of forbidden loves, many of them including a princess and a slave. When you live in a world of nine kingdoms and each has its own rulers and legends, the chances of not hearing a story like that are minimal.

Ever since her father, the king of the Third kingdom, passed away, princess Rachelle has been entertained by her servant Daniel. He would tell her his own stories or the ones she had already heard. None of this would be a problem if he hadn't fallen in love in with her over the years.
Now not only does he need to spend every day near his loved one knowing she could never love him back, but he has to hide every glimpse of his feelings. Because if he doesn't, he might get killed.
But when the princess starts feeling the same way, their fairy tale begins. 
However, unlike every other story he had ever told, this one might not have a happy ending. This time the Storyteller became a character and lost his possibility of creating happy endings. 

 

 

5) World Whisperer - Rachel Devenish Ford

 

 

 

Seven years ago, Isika’s mother walked out of the desert with three children in tow, leading the priest of the Worker village to marry her and take in her children. In all those years, fourteen-year-old Isika has never been able to fit in as a Worker or live up to her role as the priest's daughter, and worse, she has been helpless against the tragedies that have fallen on her family.

But now the four goddesses they serve want another sacrifice, and Isika's stepfather has chosen the next child to be sent out to sea: the little brother who Isika loves more than anything.

This time Isika will not be powerless.

Together, she and her two remaining siblings leave the walls of the Worker village to save their brother, traveling into unknown lands and magic they never could have imagined.

 

 

6) Confessions of a Queen B* - Crista McHugh

 

 

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch. 

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she's carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways. 

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check. 
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check. 
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan. 

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

 

 

7) Chasing a Croatian Grl: A Survivor's Tale - Cody McClain Brown

 

 

 

This is the lighthearted story of American Cody McClain Brown’s adjustments to life in Croatia. After falling in love with an enigmatic, beautiful Croatian girl (whom he knows is from Croatia but assumes that means Russia), Cody eventually woos her and the two move to Split, Croatia. There, he encounters a world of deadly drafts, endless coffees, and the forceful will of his matriarchal mother-in-law. Chasing a Croatian Girl moves past the beautiful pictures of Croatia and humorously discovers the beauty of Croatia’s people and culture.

 

8) Slip - David Estes

 

 

 

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.

 

 

9) Luna Tree: The Baby Project - Maya Berger

 

 

 

Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn't let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.

 

 

10) Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

 

 

 

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?

 

 11) Once and for All - Sarah Dessen

 

 

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

 

12) Everwind - Barbara Mišković

 

 

Deep in the dark and dreary Scandinavian forest there lies an ancient fortress of Stormgard. It is an orphanage for talented children who posses the priceless gift of magic. Unfortunately, after the dreadful war that nearly devastated Stormgard it became difficult for the Archmage to find new teachers for his apprentices. A beautiful, fire-haired woman from Great Britain applies for the job of an enchantress but Torval is unsure if she's really cut out for the job. Little does he know that their new enchantress has a secret. A secret so great that it could change everything!

 

13) Republic of Stone - Tanja Radman

 

 

 

After decades of dictatorship of the tyrant Rector, a resistance awakens alongside the truth withheld from the young heroes, who suddenly face tasks beyond their understanding. Learning about their magical origin, as well as the powers they gained in a rather bloody way, five young sorcerers are preparing for another war - one which might change everything, or even worse, nothing at all.

'Republic of Stone' is a historical fantasy novel situated in the medieval times of the Republic of Ragusa (today Dubrovnik, Croatia). It is the first of the Lex Legis series, which was translated into English after the Croatian paperback version sold out in two editions. Combining real historical places, events and characters with elements of Slavic mythology and pure epic fantasy, this book will take you on a journey you will never forget. If you decide to be adventurous and visit Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you will be able to carry this book around real locations you can still visit today and relive the amazing magic battles from the story, bow before the evil Rector’s statue and defiantly whisper the forbidden sentence only the members of the Lunarian secret society know, learn about the hidden magical life of one of the most famous Croatian medieval scientists – Marin Ghetaldus, and walk the streets where the young heroes of this book learned about their destiny…

 

 

14) Bridesmaids - Jane Costello

 

 

 

Four weddings, three disgruntled ex-boyfriends in the congregation, two wayward 'chicken-fillet' boob enhancers, and one gorgeous man, it's tough being a bridesmaid.
 
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text 2017-04-30 00:57
Book Diet

I have way too many books.  I just organized them last month.  I had books in every room and in stacks on the floor or boxes in the garage.  I wanted to get them all out so I could get to them easier.  It was a huge mess for a while but I finally got them all sorted and most of them shelved.  I ended up getting a few of those wooden crates from the craft store to use as a temporary shelf for some.  I got all of them listed on goodreads.com and I made a shelf called "books I own" so I could know what I had by looking at the app. That helped a lot and now I don't buy duplicates anymore.  I also made shelves that help me know where to find a book.  

 

Since I've gotten all of my books organized I've been trying to read the books I don't plan to keep so I can make space and get those books on the crates onto my shelves. The problem is I keep seeing books that interest me and getting them.  So far I have acquired more books than I have parted with so I've decided I need to go on a book diet.  

 

I always do better with diets when I keep track of calories.  I decided to make a plan for losing book weight.  Starting May 1st I'm going to consider myself at zero and then, every time I get a new or used book I'm going to count the weight of the book as a gain. Both Amazon.com and pbs.com tell how much books weigh and I can also use my kitchen scale.  Any book I part with can be listed as a loss in oz/lbs.  Library books and ebooks will not count since they don't take up permanent space.  I will just keep track in a notebook.  

 

I really think this will give me the incentive I need to get reading and making room for those books needing shelf space.  After that, I can just make sure I only get books when I have room for them.  

 

Wish me luck!

 

DJ

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quote 2017-04-23 20:00
And it sounds so easy in the stories, even when it’s not. Even when there are millions of obstacles, heroes know exactly what to do. There is always a way out. But the problem with real life is, there is not. And storytellers, you know what their problem is? There are millions of worlds in their heads. They know magic, and love, and hatred, and they have a metaphor for every feeling you can imagine. As tellers, they are fantastic. But when they become characters, it changes completely.

The Storyteller by Andrea Tomić

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photo 2017-04-06 17:10

Looking back on my first Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2016, I can't help but feel proud of myself.  While a lot of the books were favorites that I re-read, the 30 books I managed to read while balancing school and part-time work proves how much I desperately need the consolation good stories provide.  The three years I have been in college have been consistently rough.  I haven't much enjoyed my experience and have found that escaping reality has been the only way to maintain sanity.  I've often felt alone on my campus, secure only with a book in hand.  I suspect I will feel this way for the rest of my life, but it doesn't sadden me like it used to.  Reading brings me great joy, and I can only hope to impress myself again with the 2017 Reading Challenge.  So far I am five books ahead of my goal, so it's looking good! 

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