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review 2017-05-28 20:51
Green Arrow Vol. 2: Island of Scars (Rebirth) - Benjamin Percy

I've always been a fan of GA, & I am happy to say that Rebirth GA is another model closer to the real one. While this book isn't yet to the level of King's Batman or Tomasi's Superman, the quality is steadily improving as it goes along.  Certainly worth checking into if you are a fan of the character.

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review 2016-04-09 19:40
Decent read and I learned a bit.
Green Island - Shawna Yang Ryan

I was excited for this book after hearing about it from somewhere that I can't remember as usual. However, I was fascinated about a story that takes place in Taiwan during a tumultuous time period that I know very little about. I can't recall if I've ever read a book that takes place in Taiwan for a good chunk of the book so it seemed like an interesting read.

 

The unnamed narrator is born right before her father is taken away and imprisoned for more than a decades. In the meantime, the narrator's family copes by soldiering on, living life after fleeing their home. Once the narrator's father is released, the family sees he is a broken man, tortured and with the memories of unspeakable things. Time passes, the narrator grows up, gets married and moves to the US, hopefully for a better life. Unfortunately with these types of books, she cannot fully flee her past and she is faced with a situation as old ghosts come to haunt her and her family.

 

The first half or so of the book was fascinating. Reading up on Taiwan in this time period was really interesting and it was definitely educational. That said, the book is a bit too long/needed better editing. The story was really good but sometimes the author is too detailed and the story is just a bit too slow-going at times. While the historical setting was really great, once the narrator moves to the US the book really begins to decline. I found the narrator's birth family fascinating--I just didn't care as much for her husband and children.

 

I found the book a bit unsatisfying as a whole. The beginning was interesting but a review on Goodreads talks about how it apparently took 14 years for the author to research and publish this. It feels like it, without the heavy hand of a good editor to really sort out what should have stayed and what should have been left. A book that came to mind after reading this was 'The Headmaster's Wager', which focused on the conflict solely before, during and after the Vietnam War. I think this book might have been stronger if the author had stayed in Taiwan. That the narrator couldn't quite escape her past in the US was of course very interesting, but I'm not sure it fully worked.

 

That said, it was worth the read and I'd certainly be interested in other books by the author. This might be best for a snowy weekend/weeks or a long period of time (like recuperating from an injury). Made for a good borrow from the library.

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text 2014-10-26 02:48
Green Island—relaxing springs, grueling prisons

Zhaori Saltwater Hot SpringsTo get to Green Island you can take a plane or boat from the Taiwan mainland at Taitung. It takes about 40 minutes by boat. Several of the passengers in my group felt nauseous from the choppiness of the ride. I felt fine.

After we arrived on Green Island most chose to take the diving tour,. I rode the glass bottom boat with my oldest nephew. After dinner and a bit of souvenir shopping, we bedded down early. In the morning we would watch the sunrise from Zhaori Saltwater Hot Springs.

We rode our rented scooters in quiet darkness half-way around the tiny island to the hot springs. There was a brief wait to enter the resort since a popular activity on Green Island is watching the sunrise from Zhaori Saltwater Hot Springs.

According to its website, Green Island is one of only three places on Earth where saltwater hot springs are found. We bathed in all three of the seaside pools, enjoying their different levels of warmth and salinity. Although there were many of us bathing in the pre-dawn light, people spoke quietly and I felt at peace.

The sunrise was spectacular, just enough cloud cover to ensure a richness of colors.

Before leaving Green Island, we visited its Human Rights Culture Park, parts of which formerly housed political prisoners. Opened in 2001, the park commemorates the many years Taiwan spent under martial law, and the many voices suppressed during that period.

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review 2014-05-10 20:58
"Anne of the Island," by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery
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review 2014-03-05 23:50
Book Review of Leaving Green Island by Em Barrett
Leaving Green Island - Em Barrett

** "If you enjoy Emily Giffin or Jennifer Weiner, then add Em Barret to your list!" ~The Indie Bookshelf ** 

** Honorable Mention ~ Beach Book Festival 2013 ** 

More than simply a modern love story, Leaving Green Island is a poignant yet lighthearted tale of friendship, family and the search for a place to belong in the complex world of today's twenty-something women. 

With a new job at a prestigious Chicago law firm and an engagement ring on her finger, everything seems to be falling into place for Brecken Pereira these days. However, all this perfection quickly unravels when Reed Whalen, Brecken’s first love, unexpectedly resurfaces. The complicated history of the enigmatic Reed unfolds as the two summers that Brecken spent as a teenager on posh, exclusive Green Island in northern Michigan are interspersed with her relatable and humorous modern day trials and tribulations. 

After Reed's reappearance, Brecken is torn between her longing for the past and the life she has carefully built for herself since Reed vanished years before. Her true-to-life and complex relationships with her two best friends provide the backbone that supports Brecken, both as the life she knows quickly dissolves around her and as she struggles to pick up the pieces. 

This unputdownable novel is certain to pull on the heartstrings of anyone who ever had a first love. 

{This book contains underage drinking and a bit of explicit language and sexual content.}

Review 4****

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a wonderful contemporary romance that I really enjoyed.

Brecken Pereira is a wonderful character. She is an Associate in a law firm, and engaged to a doctor. I liked her very much, but wanted to shake her every so often, because she made some questionable decisions. She has some wonderful friends and roommates that keep her grounded, but the sudden return of an ex has her completely confused.

Reed Whalen is a jerk! Sorry, but that's my opinion. He may be gorgeous, rich and charming, and have an excuse for his terrible behaviour, but still, if I was Brecken, I don't think I would have been as forgiving. However, he does have a few redeeming qualities.

This is a book that I would not normally have picked up if I had seen it on the bookshelf in a store; not that I've got anything against the cover, or even the blurb for that matter. However, when the author offered me the chance to read this book, I thought it would be a nice change from my usual choice of paranormal romances. I'm glad I took the chance, because this story was a delight to read. The story is told from Brecken's point of view and has several flash backs to her teen's, when she spent two magical summers on Green Island, with her best friend Lizzy. 
This is not only a romance, but a story of friendship. I loved seeing Brecken and Lizzy's friendship blossom and grow. They are both lucky to still be friends into adulthood. Not many friendships survive beyond school, but these two are more like sisters than friends. I also liked the dynamics between Brecken and her other friends too, especially her other roommate, Nevada, who comes across as a bit ditzy at times, but she is actually very shrewd and insightful. 
However, it is the relationship between Brecken and Reed that intrigued me. I was a little disappointed not to get to know Reed a little more. He was certainly enigmatic as a teenager, which added to his charm, but I wanted to get to know the older version better. Sadly, this was not to be. However, the author did a fantastic job in bringing their story, and all the characters to life. The only problem is that I cannot relate to this book as others may do. I was not exactly the most popular child, nor the most social party animal (and I'm still not), so I never really had a "first love" experience as such. Sad, but true. Nevertheless, I felt for Brecken when her heart was broken. The end of the story left me feeling very happy.

Em Barrett has written a heart-warming coming of age tale full of romance, love and friendship that touched me deeply. I loved her writing style which, although not as fast paced as some books I have read in the past, flowed wonderfully from scene to scene. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I don't think it will be the last.

I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the mention of underage drinking and smoking, as well as some bad language and scenes of a sexual nature (not explicit). I do, however, recommend this book if you love Chick Lit or contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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