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text 2018-04-24 21:35
Between Shades of Gray
Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys

 A lot of details and concepts in Between Shades of Gray give insight into Ruta Sepetys's life.  For instance, she is Lithuanian and is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee.  This surely explains why she made Lina and her family Lithuanian.  Also, Sepetys was raised in a family of talented artists, readers, and musicians.  This could be why she chose to make Lina an artist.  I really like how she incorporates her own interests and background into her characters.  I found on Ruta Sepetys's website that she is a "seeker of lost stories."  This is certainly reflected in her novel.  Between Shades of Gray tells the story that is so important, but so overlooked.  Most people know about the Holocaust and how the Nazis forced Jewish people in camps, but fewer people are aware of the Soviets deporting people to labor camps during the same time frame.  Sepetys could have written about the Holocaust, but she chose to bring insight into a little-known event.  Ruta Sepetys ultimately tells beautiful stories while including details from her own life.

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review 2018-04-21 20:13
Gray Hawk Terrapin - Moss Whelan
I did enjoy this book very much! Worlds of fantasy, stepping through unseen doors and crossing magical bridges and encountering fantastical creatures-- it was a tale that as a child I would have adored and read again and again.
Mool lives in Vancouver, but her father has been dead since she was small and she has never had really any friends except for an imaginary green lion named Inbrel and two talking mice names Robert and Pierre. Her mother has received word that she must go to help take care of her ailing brother, Mool's Uncle Matthew. Mool does not want to leave the only home she has ever known, but upon arriving at their destination, can't quite believe where she is. Nothing is as it is supposed to be and her mother informs her that this "other" world is actually where she and Mool's father are from. The land of Terrapin and her "imaginary" friends Inbrel, Pierre, and Robert actually live here. Danger abounds-- children are disappearing, Inbrel is illegally arrested, there is a war going on and no one can be trusted. Mool reluctantly makes "friends" with Olga her cousin and they have many adventures together trying to find Inbrel and avoid capture themselves. Mool doesn't think much of herself until she discovers her destiny, which is something she would have never guessed. I received this book from the author for an honest review, and it was a delight to read!


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text 2018-04-19 23:15
Tea's TBR Thursday - April 19, 2018
Under His Kilt - Melissa Blue
A Perfect Holiday Fling (Moments in Maplesville) - Farrah Rochon
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated - Alison Arngrim
Cheer Up Love: Adventures in depression with the Crab of Hate - Susan Calman
You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain - Phoebe Robinson,Jessica Williams
Dueling the Desperado - Mimi Milan
Are You There Coffee? It's Me, Mom - Kianna Alexander
Cafe Au Lait - Liane Spicer
An Uncommon Protector - Shelley Shepard Gray
Howard Haskell Takes a Bride - Merry Farmer

I haven't done a TBR meme post in a while due to being in limbo about the status of our leaving England's shores for the US - turns out we are staying put a year, so we will be moving next summer. So I have lots of time to get through all the books I stuffed my NOOK and Kindle with. At least I can focus on grad school applications now.


Anyway a bunch more books were added to my TBR pile (which now stands at 257 ebooks) in the three weeks I haven't done a TBR post.


Added to NOOK:

1. Frey by Melissa Wright

2. The Robber Bride by Jerrica Knight-Catania

3. Verity, Clarity, Adversity, and Purity (Cursed series #1, 1.5, 2, 3) by Claire Farrell

4. Marrying Miss Marshal by Lacy Williams

5. Wishful Romance, Volume 1 by Kait Nolan

6. The Sweetest Thing by Lilan Darcy

7. When You Got a Good Thing by Kait Nolan

8. Once Upon a Campfire by Kait Nolan

9. Bitter Roots by C.J. Carmichael

10. Down Deep by Virna DePaul

11. Atlantis Riptide by Allie Burton

12. Love Like This/For Now and Forever by Sophie Love

13. The Duke in Denial by Alexandra Ainsworth

14. Once Upon a Christmas (anthology) by Various Authors

15. Lone Star Love (anthology) by Various Authors

16. You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

17. Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman

18. A Search for Refuge by Kristi Ann Hunter

19. On a Cold Christmas Eve by Bethany M. Sefchick

20. The Chef's Mail Order Bride by Cindy Caldwell

21. His Prairie Princess by Kit Morgan

22. Catherine Finds Love by Karla Gracey

23. Brony's Destiny by Karla Gracey

24. A Bride for Carlton by Karla Gracey

25. Winter Eve by Lia Davis

26. Opal by Juliet James

27. Under His Kilt by Melissa Blue

28. The Prequel by Mona Ingram

29. Return to Love by Christine Kingsley

30. Star King by Susan Grant

31. A Perfect Holiday Fling by Farrah Rochon

32. Bruised by Stacey-Deanne

33. Desperate by Sylvia McDaniel

34. Rocky Mountain Haven by Vivan Arend

35. A Dangerous Nativity by Caroline Warfield

36. Rebel Cowboy by Nicole Helm

37. Stardust by Kristen Strassel

38. Doc's Town by Cheryl Phipps

39. Pride of Africa by Tori Knightwood

40. Strange Tango by Michelle Dayton

41. Spring in Sweetwater County by Ciara Knight

42. An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepherd Gray

43. The Lieutenants Online Love by Caro Carson (technically a pre-order)


Added to the Kindle:

1. Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

2. Café Au Lait by Liane Spicer

3. The Corner of Forever and Always by Lia Riley

4. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim

5. Dueling the Desperado by Mimi Milan

6. The Dancing Lady by Mimi Milan

7. Howard Haskell Takes a Bride by Merry Farmer

8. The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

9. A Radiant Soul by Kianna Alexander

10. Drifting to You by Kianna Alexander

11. Are You There Coffee? It's Me, Mom by Kianna Alexander

12. Welcome to Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

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quote 2018-04-16 16:21
"Mother pulled a bundle of rubles from her pocket and exposed it slightly to the officer. He reached for it and then said something to Mother, motioning with his head. Her hand flew up and ripped the amber pendant right from her neck and pressed it into the NKVD's hand. He didn't seem to be satisfied. Mother continued to speak in Russian and pulled a pocket watch from her coat. I knew that watch. It was her father's and had his name engraved in the soft gold on the back. The officer snatched the watch, let go of Jonas, and started yelling at the people next to us.
Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother's was worth a pocket watch" (Sepetys 26-27).
Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys

I think this quote is really significant because it emphasizes how the NKVD do not see any value in the lives of their victims.  They do not stop to consider that these people are mothers and fathers and children.  They only are concerned with their own comfort.  

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review 2018-04-09 15:03
2/5: "Grey Mountain" by John Grisham
Gray Mountain - John Grisham

When The Lehman Brothers bank goes bust in 2008, Manhattan lawyer Samantha Kofer finds herself out of a job, alongside a lot of other lawyers. With a glut of legal talent on the streets and a lack of jobs, she’s forced to take a job in Western Virginia for free, encountering a different world of problems…

In New York, Sam was a proof-reader who worked eighty hours a week, her eye on a nice corner office and a salary in six figures. In Western Virginia, she meets people who need a new will writing, people who have been thrown out of their homes for bad debts, people on Meth with kids. She plays social worker as well as lawyer to a fair few of these clients. And to her surprise, she discovers that actually being a lawyer who helps people has its own rewards.

Plot wise, there’s no actually not that much going on in this book. It’s more like a series of vignettes, strung together to form a novel.

Behind most of these cases is the appalling destruction of Western Virginia by the mining companies. They will come in, strip a mountain – as in tear it down, with all the environmental damage that entails – then move on. The terrible working conditions and the mess they leave behind is not their problem.

The environmental subject is clearly something Grisham feels strongly enough to write a novel about, but the mining-companies-are-awful thing does get wearing after a few hundred pages. Yes, we know, John: mining company bad. Mining company awful. No argument here (I’ve looked on Google Earth). Let’s move on with the story.

There was a semi-feminist feel here as well. Most of the men Sam meets are evil and even the good ones bend and break the law when it suits them. Sam and her all-female team of lawyers are the only morally pure characters in the book, practically the only ones standing in the way of the nasty male miners.

Grisham is fine when he’s working in a courtroom or a corner office. His dialogue is sharp and witty, and his legal knowledge seems outstanding. Unfortunately, his descriptive writing is his weakness. And when he’s telling you how great the unspoiled areas are of West Virginia, he doesn’t immerse you in it. You don’t feel the breeze or smell the trees. In a book with such a heavy outdoor setting, it’s a hindrance.

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