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review 2017-07-25 16:46
Here
Here - Richard McGuire

I found this book through Google. I just wanted an adult comic to read.

 

It was OK. It only gets two stars though because it's super white. There are Native Americans and black people in them, but other than one appearance in 1777 where two black men carry a bloody sheet (and maybe something more? That time is never revisited...) black people don't exist before 1990 and Native Americans stop existing after 1624. Other non-white people only exist if you read between the lines (like, maybe this ambiguously shaded person isn't white, and maybe the woman with the long dark hair is Asian... maybe).

 

From what a Google search of the language in the book the Native Americans are Lenape, but I have no idea how accurate the art/depiction of them is.

 

So the concept is interesting, but the book lost me with the execution.

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review 2017-07-01 16:45
Here and Gone Review
Here and Gone: A Novel - Haylen Beck

If you're going to write the same old shit, the least you could do is write with some flare. But no. Not here. Haylen Beck goes through the motions, traveling a road of cliches and uninspired prose into a congested horizon filled to bursting with mediocre writers.

 

In the first six percent this book has someone daydreaming while driving, only to come back to reality mere seconds before running headfirst into a semi coming the other direction. And someone's *coughtheauthorcough* read Uncle Stevie's DESPERATION. Collie Entragian called. He wants his bag of weed back. Tak!

File this under: Life's too short to read the same book with a different title.

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review 2017-07-01 01:56
Here and Gone: A Novel - Haylen Beck

This was an intense book whereby a woman fleeing from her husband with her two kids is pulled over by a policeman. He pulled her over because her car looked overweight and he was worried about her with all the bad roads around. Then, lo and behold he finds a bag of marijuana when he has her open the trunk. So, now he has a reason to arrest her. He radios a deputy to call the tow truck driver and to come and take the kids someplace "safe". The woman is placed in the back of his squad car and together the policeman and her wait for the deputy and the tow truck. After this, they leave and she is put into jail. When she asks about her children and where they are going, the policeman says "What children?".

Now, the woman, Audra, is seriously wondering what is going on here. Did these cops take her children, did her abusive ex husband set this up, what is she going to do. She wants her children. No one believes her when she says the cops took her children. She is held in jail for the marijuana, but because they can't find the children, they are not able to charge her for child endangerment. The news of the missing children get out and Audra is immediately considered guilty by the public. There are news reporters and TV crews getting the word out about what is happening. Audra maintains her innocence and realizes it is up to her to find her children because no one believes she did not hurt her children.

A page turner that I definitely enjoyed.

Thanks to Crown Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-06-27 14:20
A Book About Existence Found In A Place That Nobody Knows It Exist.
Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

Stories of slice of life may not be anyone's cup of tea (or coffee). There are times when I read such stories, I don't get move by how its meant to be written. When I read My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, it was messy to me. Yes, its the point of view from a 7 year-old girl that her grandmother send her a quest of fairy tale stories that sort of mixed up with reality... for me, I can't tell which is which. Then came the unexpected spin-off - Britt-Marie Was Here and I find it much better than Fredrik Backman's previous book before this one.

 

Britt-Marie Was Here focus on the title character herself. In the previous book (not a sequel, mind you), she was annoyingly weird (to me that is), a nagger and fussy like hell. But here we get to see and understand who Britt-Marie truly is. Her life, what she was before and who she is now is deeper than we think. After what happen to her in My Grandmother Asked Me... , she traveled to Borg, a fictional place that nobody knows of and literally, its like non-existence. As Britt-Marie gets a job in a recreational center, she encounters unexpected characters that will change her life or how she change theirs. Plus a conversation with a rat, soccer and lots of baking soda and Flaxin plus cutlery. Oh yes - this book and like all Fredrik Backman's books has that same formulated story and theme. In A Man Called Ove, we have those kind of unexpected characters and a cat. In My Grandmother Asked Me..., we have an apartment of unexpected characters too and a dog (even the car Renault is a character of its own). There's no difference here. I can see how his books are written now. But is Britt-Marie Was Here a one-trick pony? Well... yes and no.

 

You see, there's some thing I enjoy reading this book and its just what message Backman is trying to say here. Its a good one and there's some realism about how people are too comfort in their current lives and afraid to break free and do some thing for themselves when their whole lives are about doing some thing for others. When we try to assure ourselves that the right way is to go back what it was before, its what's happening now. The book does show us that scenario... but of course, I can't give out that ending but I can say, its one I believe that is good. And then of course, Britt-Marie always felt nobody thinks she exist that she makes herself known she does and in the end... well, I can't reveal that either. What I enjoy most is how now the chapters are short and direct, it is a much easier feeling of reading that I took my time no longer than I had with the last book.

 

I can't say that this book is great but its a read that gives me a subtle warmness towards it, that I like when it comes to slice of life. And this is one of those books that I would say its worth reading for those who are lost in a course of their lives should pick this up.

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review 2017-06-19 17:22
Here and Gone/Haylen Beck
Here and Gone: A Novel - Haylen Beck

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.. It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them... Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

 

This book was quite harrowing, and had my nerves all over the place as I read it and became invested in the lives of all involved.

 

From the very beginning, I was scared for this family--the opening scene has Audra driving through arid desert with few inhabitants, looking over her shoulder at every turn. Surely enough, as we know it will, the worst happens. I couldn't put this one down--it sickened me and I was desperately anxious to reach the end and have good things happen to these characters.

 

This wasn't particularly a mystery novel as we knew throughout what had happened, how it had happened, and why. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to race through this book to find out what would ultimately occur.

 

Underneath the ultimate plot of kids disappearing, there were some interesting tropes. Abuse was handled well in this book, and Audra's background with her husband was sickening. A lady who she stays with plays a role I did not expect and had a fascinating personality.

 

I felt like Danny, the man mentioned in the blurb, was kind of unnecessary. I wish he hadn't existed or that he'd been better worked into the plot. Though this is not at all a romance, it felt very much like a knight-in-shining-armour trope. His background was interesting to read about though, and I would have enjoyed more of him instead of less.

 

There were two children who I felt received the unfortunate end of the stick and I would have liked to have seen this resolved; however, this might have been out of the scope of the book so I can understand why their ultimate fates weren't included.

 

Overall, this was a really engaging read that I recommend quite highly

.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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