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review 2014-05-31 20:26
Into Thin Air [Review]
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster - Jon Krakauer

I went into this book knowing what happened on Everest during the 1996 season. Or at least, I thought I knew. I had heard some of the stories. I knew which climbers didn't make it back, but until reading this book I don't think I really got it.


While reading this book I could feel Jon Krakauer's confusion, anger, shock and guilt coming through the pages and I feel like I went through many of the same emotions while reading it.


When I read all the small mistakes that added up to a huge tragedy, there were times I was utterly infuriated. Why are people that are clearly NOT qualified to do high altitude climbing putting their lives and the lives of those around them at such great risk? Why didn't the expeditions work together to get the ropes set ahead of their clients? Why did one guide decide to climb without supplemental oxygen? Why did another guide choose not to turn his climbers around at the assigned time? And the questions just go on and on.


Yes, there was a storm on Everest on the day in question, but the reality is that the storm would've been considerably less of an issue if it weren't for all the human error along the way. I'm ultimately left feeling sadness over the loss of life.


I feel like Krakauer did a good job of portraying all the different sides of the people involved as well as the decisions that were made. Despite the fact that Anatoli Boukreev felt he was portrayed as the villain of the book, I did not find that to be the case. He made a few questionable decisions as did many others on the mountain that day (including Krakauer himself) and I don't feel that blame for what happened was placed on any one person. The fact that Boukreev single-handedly saved three lives was featured prominently in the book.


After reading this book, I find myself wondering if anyone should be climbing Everest especially in light of the tragedy that took place on the mountain this year (16 Sherpas were killed in an avalanche while fixing the route through the Khumbu Icefall ahead of the western climbers) but I know that people will still climb it and sadly I don't think most climbers learn anything from these tragedies (in the book Krakuaer specifically mentions another expedition in 1996 that went up after the tragedy and also failed to turn around at the standard 2pm cut-off time and lost one of their climbers because of it.) 


Overall, an intense read. The fact that I felt so much anger and despair while reading it shows how well-written it is. Definitely a must-read if you have interest in Everest or high altitude climbing. 


I'm using this book for W in my A to Z Reading Challenge.

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review 2014-05-21 19:34
Nantucket Red [Review]
Nantucket Red - Leila Howland

When I read Nantucket Blue last year I really enjoyed it. It was summery but had substance. Admittedly it also had it's fair share of teen angst but this is YA so you have to expect that. At the time I gave the book 4 stars because of some of the unresolved issues, thankfully this book came along and resolved those things.


I ended up enjoying Nantucket Red even more than the first book. Cricket grew so much in this book. She learned a lot about herself and gained way more self-awareness than she had in the previous book. It was nice to see her grow up and make amends with her parents and Jules.


All the secondary characters were great. We got to see many of the characters from the last book in smaller roles and I'm so glad that Liz had a big role in this book. She's such a great friend to Cricket.


The only little thing that bothered me was the situation with Zack. I don't feel like it was really discussed as thoroughly at the end as it should've been in order to resolve everything that had happened and all the hurt that had taken place between them.


Overall, a great read, especially for summer. I was delighted to get to visit Nantucket again and follow Cricket's ups and downs.


Side note: You should definitely read Nantucket Blue first to really get the most out of this book.


I'm using this book for S in my A to Z Reading Challenge.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-05-20 13:53
Moonlight Becomes You [Review]
Moonlight Becomes You (Lucky Moon) - M.J. O'Shea;Piper Vaughn

Note: I read the Loose ID release of this book. I believe the new version released via Dreamspinner Press includes scenes from the prequel.


This book has languished on my TBR for ages. I actually purchased it from the now defunct Fictionwise if that gives you any idea of how long ago I bought it. I've been seeing it around quite a bit since the rerelease is happening and thought I should finally bit the bullet and read it.


Let me say that I found this book very engaging. Having said that, both of the main characters were really screwed up and at times I found both of them be major assholes. So while I was invested in their story, I didn't really like them very much.


I don't want to say exactly what happens but I think Kayden needs some serious therapy. I actually felt so sad for him at one particular spot in the book. The fact that he actually felt like he had to be someone else to have value was really depressing to me.


This is not to say that Shane didn't have problems as well. I think most of his revolved around the fact that he really needed to grow up. They both did some really nasty things to each other and normally this would've made me dislike them so much I no longer enjoyed the book. So kudos to the author that I not only enjoyed the book, but I really wanted these two assholes to get it right and be happy despite the fact I didn't like either one.


I have already picked up the freebies that go with this series so I can read them. And I bought the second book at the same time as this one so I will definitely continue the series and see if Nicky's assholery can be redeemed in The Luckiest.


I'm using this book for T in my A to Z Challenge.

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review 2014-05-08 20:28
Forever and a Day [Review]
Forever and a Day - Jill Shalvis

I love reading a Jill Shalvis book because I always know I'm in for a nice love story with plenty of humor. This book was no exception. There were a few really funny moments, plenty of great dialog and sweet love story.


This book featured a small child. This is normally a no-go for me. I just don't care for kids in my romances (plus this one also had an angry 21 year old sister that was more like a teen than an adult) and I usually won't pick up a book if I know there are kids in it. I make exceptions for some authors and Shalvis is one of them. She manages to right kids in a way that isn't annoying and that is clearly not easy to do since few authors have a knack for it. It also helps that the kids actually act like kids and not tiny adults.


There were some over-the-top moments that were a leaning a tad toward ridiculous (they usually involved Lucille and the Lucky Harbor Facebook page.) I'm sure many readers love those touches but for me they tend to be a bit much.


Overall though a really fun read with a great couple. I will definitely be visiting Lucky Harbor again soon.


I'm using this book for X in my A to Z Challenge.

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review 2014-04-11 19:51
The Girl With the Cat Tattoo [Review]
Girl with the Cat Tattoo - Theresa Weir

This book was not what I expected. First off, I thought it would be really light and cute. The truth is that there are some dark moments and it got a touch romantic-suspense-ish toward the end. I don't love romantic suspense, so this turn of events was not really a good thing for me.


Having said all that, the chapters from the cat's POV were rather charming. I'm a cat lover, and some of the things the cat was thinking made me crack up. My cat, Emmy, passed away a little over a year ago, but so many of the things Max thought reminded me of her.


I was less enthusiastic with the human POVs. I didn't feel like either one was developed enough. I didn't really feel like I knew the characters very well and consequently I didn't much care about their love story.


Add that to the fact that the plot was just a tad crazy and you get a 3 star read. I do think it's worth reading it for Max though, especially if you are a cat lover.


I'm using this book for Z in my A to Z Challenge.

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