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Search tags: Januarys-Reading-Challenge-First-Things-First
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-01-27 20:22
One Door Away From Heaven
One Door Away from Heaven - Dean Koontz

The Main Characters and Synopsis


Micky Bellsong is looking for a future that doesn't consist of only her good looks. She wants a life of substance and purpose. She wants to believe in herself like her Aunt Geneva believes in her...but she is stuck in her painful past. She finds her purpose in a little girl named Leilani Klump.


Leilani, an intelligent and endearing nine year old is counting down the days until she is killed by her serial killer step-father or until she escapes, whichever comes first.


Then there is a little alien boy named Curtis, that is on the run from alien hunters and the government--with a Border Collie friend he has picked up on the way. He wants to help heal the world before he leaves the Earth.


A private investigator named Noah works to take care of a sister that as a young man he failed to protect from his more-than dysfunctional family. He's looking for redemption...


Somehow, Dean Koontz brings them all together in an incredible story that I couldn't put down.


Koontz makes reference later that he designed this book to bring light to something called Utilitarian Bioethics with which he wholeheartedly and passionately disagrees with. He says this inhumane practice seeks to harm the disabled, frail and the elderly. So, that is the underlying theme here.




I picked this book up because one of the prompts for a reading challenge was to find a book with the word "one" in it. This particular book captured me because a review said it was about shape-shifters and aliens so I thought it might be up my alley.


I really liked it and will probably read Koontz in the future. For one, he has the easy 'I was meant to do this' writing style that Stephen King has, and you can see how he made mass market paperback status (as I call it).


The characters are incredibly likeable and diverse. The serial killer in this story is not likeable but his part is written very well and you love to hate him (that's the point and it works).


I loved loved the two kids in this book. They were endearing and the stuff they said made me smile and broke my heart numerous times and sometimes all at once.


I also liked how the book is action packed and constantly moving. For a 600 something page book, it didn't seem lengthy at all and my eyes didn't glaze over from irrelevant points and words . I wanted to pick it up to read again.


For this type of book, I thought there were lots of thoughtful quotes strung throughout ( that I wish I had highlighted or made note of so I could share them here)




I have only one negative....While I'm glad it ended the way it did, I was disappointed with the ending. It felt that the ending was just thrown together quickly because there were so many pages already or perhaps he wasn't sure exactly how to end it. It lacked the meaning and oomph I had expected--it felt like the characters were not present and that at the end Koontz just wanted to make his case ( when the characters were already making that case and would have done that naturally for him.)


Ok, so that's all I have to say. The end.






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review 2015-01-04 16:38
A Boy and a Bear
Emory's Gift - W. Bruce Cameron

My one son has a special connection with bears. So, even though I wasn't looking to purchase a book I could not resist the story line of this one. He plans on taking it to school on Monday so I had three days to finish it--and finish it I did. I had not planned on this book being my first read of the new year, but yet it was my first read. Sometimes, the unplanned are even more special than the planned. At least this is what I've noticed in my life.


I do think this book is special. It's extremely touching and a book that means a lot to someone that has lost someone. Though it is somewhat ( a tad) slow to start and a tad slow to end, the characters are so likable I couldn't put it down. I laughed and I cried which rates a book pretty high in my world. 


So what's it about?


Charlie Hall's mother dies and he's left with a huge void he can't fill. His father is a kind man but he has turned inward in his grief, and Charlie has a hard time communicating with him. As if his mother's death is not tragic enough, Charlie must navigate the turbulent waters of Junior High School. ( ugh-Junior High!...I swear if someone offered me a billion dollars on the condition that I'd return to the past to re-do Junior High I'd say NO WAY but that's another story!:) Poor Charlie--I felt so terrible for him and he's such an endearing little guy too. I think the worst part is that Charlie felt very much alone in the world ....until he is befriended by a Grizzly bear (which is the coolest part)! And this Grizzly bear is no ordinary bear!


You'll probably like this book  if you have faced some tragedy, hated Junior High and you are an animal lover.  Or you'll like it if you've made peace with unplanned changes in your life or if you just find something appealing about a boy making friends with a bear.



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text 2014-12-10 14:00
Sock Poppet's 2015 Read-By-the-Month Reading Challenge


I've seen quite a few people saying they have a hard time with yearly challenges and they feel like failures because they are unable to complete them. I know it can be very difficult to keep going when you see a long challenge list staring at you.


So . . . my challenge this year will be delivered monthly. That's right, you won't know what each month's challenge will be until about a week or so before the month starts.


Since people are already starting to plan their challenges and because December can be super busy for many, I will present the first month's challenge now.




1 ~ I will list 4 book prompts each month related to a theme.


2 ~ Choose one prompt and read the book. (For those with more time, choose two or more prompts.)


3 ~ Post a link to your review/post of the book(s) you read in the group. 




4 ~ Using books for multiple challenges is perfectly acceptable, but a book can only be used once within this challenge.


5 ~ That's it. Choose a book to read each month in 2015 and you will have completed this challenge!


January's Reading Challenge ~ First Things First


This month you will read:


1 ~ a book with the word "One" or "First" in the title.


2 ~ a book by an author who is new to you.


3 ~ a book that is the first in a series.


4 ~ your first book of the year.


Now see how easy that is. All you have to do is read your very first book of the year and you've completed the January part of this year's challenge.


Or you can push yourself a little and choose one of the other prompts. Or two or three. The decision is yours.




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