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review 2020-08-10 02:22
The Places We Sleep
The Places We Sleep - Caroline Brooks DuBois Twelve year old Abbey is starting the school year at a new school once again. This time she is in Tennessee and her school is farther from her father's Army base than usual. Abbey has also managed to make a friend in happy and athletic Camille. She might even make friends with the artistic and cool Jiman. Then, September 11, 2001 comes. Abbey wakes up with her first menstrual cycle along with the news that will change her life forever. Once the news hits, Abbey's mother rushes to New York, her sister Rebecca is missing. Abbey is left with her father, her new body and a new world to navigate. As time passes, Abbey's father is deployed, and kids change their opinion about her at school, all the while her body keeps on schedule, slowly marking the months. Uniquely written in narrative verse, The Places We Sleep beautifully captures the thoughts of a preteen experiencing the trauma of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The writing immediately took me back to that day that connected so many of us across the country in fear. Just like Abbey, the day has been cemented in my mind. The verse perfectly captures the raw emotion at the time paralleled with coming of age. Through Abbey's eyes there is a deep look at the grief, depression and confusion that defined the months following the attacks. Between Abbey's Aunt, parents, and classmates there is a wide cross section of representation of how people reacted and were effected by many aspects of 9/11. Abbey shows that while an event may seem defining, the support of friendship and love can help you through. This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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review 2020-06-12 22:50
Review: Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks
Wrong Bed, Right Brother - Rebecca Brooks

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Amanda has been crushing on her coworker, Luke, for quite some time. But in six weeks Luke is going to move from New York to LA with his twin. If Amanda wants a shot with him, she’ll have to take it while on a weekend getaway with Luke and some others. But when Amanda sneaks into what she thinks is Luke’s room she finds herself in bed with Luke’s twin, Noah. Noah couldn’t be more different from his charming brother; he and Amanda are like oil and water. But Amanda’s mistake cracks something open in their antagonistic relationship and suddenly neither Amanda nor Noah can resist the pull between them. But Noah is leaving in six weeks and the two of them don’t even like each other, so nothing can happen…right?

Wrong Bed, Right Brother is a sexy and fun good time. Enemies-to-lovers isn’t my favorite trope but in this case it works oh-so-well. Amanda and Noah have seriously hot chemistry and I loved watching the sparks fly as their mutual attraction opened the door to something much deeper.

One of my favorite things about this story was watching Amanda realize how what she thought she wanted wasn’t what she really needed. Luke is a delightful fantasy: a charmer and a flirt who has a natural ease about him. He gets away with being self-centered because he’s hot and personable. Noah, by contrast, is quieter, organized, and has a more rigid personality. But there’s so much more beneath the surface. He and Amanda click from the start and the sparks that fly are fantastic to watch. But what made me really fall for Wrong Bed, Right Brother were the quieter moments, the conversations where Amanda and Noah realize that even though they’re so different they complement each other perfectly.

But just because they’re well suited doesn’t mean things are easy for Amanda and Noah. Amanda has had bad luck with men and her mother has pounded it into her head that she can’t trust them. And Noah fears that he’s Amanda’s second choice. There’s also added tension from Luke and the fact that Noah is scheduled to move across the country. A happily ever after requires risk in this story: risking your heart, risking trusting someone, depending on them. I was here for it from beginning to end. All the ups and downs were worth it because the romance just worked for me. In Wrong Bed, Right Brother Rebecca Brooks has delivered a fast-paced, wonderfully addictive, sexy as hell romance that I can’t wait to revisit.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-wrong-bed-right-brother-by.html
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review 2020-05-28 20:23
This book OMG
People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks

I love this book so deeply for so many reasons and always recommend it to other readers.

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review 2020-05-26 12:26
The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes
The Prisoner's Wife - Maggie Brooks

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this book was really well done. I enjoy historical fiction every once in a while and stories set during World War II really appeal to me. I am always on the lookout for something a little different and the premise of this story grabbed me right away. I love the fact that this book is based on a true story and was eager to see how a woman was able to hide within a PoW camp. Once I picked up this book, I was hooked right away and didn't want to put the book down. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

At the start of this story, Izzy is a farm girl in Czechoslovakia and Bill is a prisoner at a work camp that has been assigned to assist at her family farm. They are drawn to each other from the very beginning and fall in love in moments when they are able to steal a bit of time together away from everyone else. They marry and escape only to be captured a short time later. This is when things start getting very dangerous for both Izzy and Bill.

I felt for Izzy and Bill from the start. They both just wanted to be together but a war that they could not control had the potential to take everything from them. I tried to imagine what it must have been like for Izzy to live in fear of being discovered and how difficult it must have been to hide her gender in the living conditions within the camp. Bill was in constant fear for Izzy and was willing to do whatever it took to protect her.

This was a really powerful story. The descriptions in this book were very well done and I was able to form a mental image of what the conditions in the camp were Bill, Izzy, and the others that were in on their secret. Everything from their constant state of hunger to the physical pain was vividly described. I felt like I was there with them as they fought to take another step and leaned on each other for support.

I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction. I thought that this was a very well done and powerful story. I will admit that I would have loved to see a little bit about what happened to each of the characters after the story ended but I realize that most of the people being released from these camps would never know the fate of those they had come in contact with during their incarceration. I would not hesitate to read more of this author's work in the future.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from Penguin Publishing Group - Berkley.

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review 2020-05-23 13:40
Year of Wonders ★★★★★
Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks

I came to this book by an NPR article discussing pandemic lit. It's a fictionalized tale of the real English town that, struck by plague in 1665, chose to sacrifice themselves by quarantining the town in hopes of preventing the spread of disease to their neighbors.

 

At least, that's the framework for the story, but the real story is its characters and how they respond to the crisis, how they endure or find strength or break as they lose their neighbors and loved ones. How for some, it's business and opportunism as usual as they use legal means to take a valuable mine from an orphaned child because her dead father can no longer work it or defend it, or price-gouging for grave-digging services when the church graveyard is full and there is a shortage of able-bodied men. How the taverns are always full and the fearful mob inevitably looks for witches to burn. 

 

But it's also the story of neighbors looking out for each other, of a mother rising above the grief of her lost children to care for the dying and deliver the new babies when the doctors flee the town, of the religious leaders look past their fundamental differences to provide leadership to people in need, how a pastor and his wife work tirelessly to minister to the whole town, good or evil of spirit, deserving and undeserving. 

 

There are some odd twists at the end that surprised and angered and disappointed me, but overall the story had me fascinated throughout. 

 

Audiobook via Overdrive, and I strongly recommend you do NOT do this one on audio, because it's read by the author who may be a very good writer but is a terrible narrator, and yet I was so engaged with the story that even her droning voice couldn't put me off.  

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