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review 2017-07-11 22:00
The Orphan's Tale
The Orphan's Tale - Pam Jenoff

I really enjoyed this novel. I feel that although I didn’t love the main character like I should, I admired the secondary characters for who they were and what they stood for. The main character Noa, she frustrated me too much. From the beginning, she wanted her independence but she didn’t have the persistence and zest to back it up. Concealing a Jewish infant, masquerading this child as her own, I felt that Noa needed to have the drive to perform any job that is offered to her which would then provide for their needs. Instead she balks at the job the circus needs her for and she considers her other options. As she is working with Astrid, her attitude becomes childlike and tiring. She puts too much on the line as the story progresses, not just herself but others including Theo, the child she claims as her own. I found myself wanting to know more about Herr Neuhoff, the owner of the circus. This man seemed to have deep motives for what he was doing with his life and I became curious. Each year the circus was losing more money, as the war continued, their route become more constricted, the group that made up his production consisted of an extensive group of individuals, individuals that Herr felt very close but could hurt him and the business considerably. What was Herr Neuhoff all about? I also liked Astrid, I thought she was very genuine and you knew where you stood with her. Yet there was a cautious side about her. Astrid liked to push herself, she tried to make herself a better person and she tried to help others reach their potential. The ending was not what I expected, I didn’t shed a tear which surprised me, as I have heard from many individuals that they cried at the end of this novel. I felt sorry for both Astrid and Noa as the story wound itself down.

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review 2017-06-21 18:18
Orphan Island
Orphan Island - Laurel Snyder

The boat would come view, the horn would blow and the children would line up on the beach just waiting for the boat to come ashore. It happened every year, or so they thought. They didn’t know it if was exactly a year, they didn’t count the days but they figured it was a year. A male or female child would be the sole occupant on the boat and they would gently lift them out and the child would join the others on the island while the Elder from the island would take the spot in the boat. After saying good-bye to everyone on shore, then they would quickly be pulled out to sea, never to be seen again. Why? Because this was the rules and they obeyed the rules. The Elder of the children who was now left on the island would be charge of the new child who had just arrived. They would teach this new child the way of the island. Why? Because this was the rules and they obeyed the rules. The island is made up of rules, rules that the children follow and have been following for years. So, what would happen if one of them decides not to follow one of the rules? Could not following one rule really do any harm? No one had really explained the rules to these children, they have just been following them because that was the way they had been taught so they knew of no consequences. So, what could happen if Jinny says no and doesn’t follow one of the rules?

 

What a great novel. I loved the island characters and their relationships with each other. I liked how they relied on one another and accepted one another. Trust, values and honesty played a big role in this novel. I felt there was a lot of unanswered questions in this novel, which I didn’t feel take away from the novel but could be used as conversation tools for children as they read this.

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text 2017-06-01 04:09
New June Releases That Are On My TBR
Forbidden Fruit - Stanley Gazemba
High as the Heavens - Kate Breslin
With You Always (Orphan Train) - Jody Hedlund
The Little French Bistro - Nina George
The Underground River: A Novel - Martha Conway
The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues: A Novel - Edward Kelsey Moore
The Unquiet Grave: A Novel - Sharyn McCrumb
A Fierce Love: One Woman’s Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage - Shauna Shanks
The Secret History of Jane Eyre: How Charlotte Brontë Wrote Her Masterpiece - John Pfordresher
Beneath a Burning Sky - Jonathon Burgess

First, I must say that this month is the month of beautiful covers. There's only a couple in this line up that don't scream, "Buy me!" Super thrilled for all the historical fiction from Bethany House Publishing. Y'all know how much I love my historical fiction. I'm revisiting some authors and enthusiastically picking up some reads by authors that are new to me. The two books that I'm eager to get into are Forbidden Fruit by Stanley Gazemba and A Fierce Love by Shauna Shanks. Both have awesome covers.

 

I'm a sucker for covers. I've been known to rebuy books with better covers. Most often I actually prefer UK covers to US. If you didn't know I prefer paperbacks to hardcovers. The aesthetic of hardcovers on the shelves are better, but hardcovers are heavy and cumbersome. Paperbacks feel better in my hands and are easier to transport. Okay, I've gone on tangent.

 

Are any of these awesome titles on your tbr? 

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review 2017-05-06 12:30
Orphan X: Thriller (Evan Smoak 1) - Gregg Hurwitz,Mirga Nekvedavicius

Orphan X: Thriller (Evan Smoak 1) - Gregg Hurwitz

 

Gregg Hurwitz hat mit seinem neuen Psychothriller „Orphan X“ ein hochspannndes Buch vorgelegt. Nicht umsonst hat sich Warner Bros. die Filmrechte daran gesichert und wird den Roman auf die Kino-Leinwände bringen! Das Buch hat es wahrlich in sich...

Evan Smoak, oder auch OrphanX, wird als verwaistes Kind durch Jack John als Teil eines Regierungsprogramms und innerhalb des streng geheimen Orphan-Projekts zu einem gnadenlosen Killer ausgebildet – gestählt, trainiert und nach Plan jeglicher Moral und menschlicher Gefühle beraubt. Was zählt, ist die strikte Befolgung von "Geboten" - Verhaltensregeln. Es gibt zwar nur wenige Orphans, doch die, die fertig in die Welt entlassen werden, sind so etwas wie unsichtbare Tötungsmaschinen. Lautlose und vom System vergessene, denn von der Regierung beauftragte, identitätsfreie Killer. In Evan jedoch siegt nach Jahren vieler erledigter Auftragsmorde "das Gute" und er wechselt die Seiten, steigt aus dem Projekt aus. Abgewandt vom System, mit neuer Identität, aber einer Menge Fähigkeiten. Er bleibt seinem Handwerk treu, doch sucht er sich seine Ziele nun selber aus – er wird zum Nowhere Man. Er hilft Menschen, sich ihrer Peiniger zu entledigen. 10 Gebote, die ihn leiten. 1 Nummer, die ihn ruft. Immer nur 1 Auftrag. Und doch gerät alles außer Kontrolle - und durchkreuzt seine penibel eingehaltenen und präzise durchdachten Regeln. "Gebot 4: Es ist niemals persönlich." Das ist nun anders...

Mir gefiel der Thriller sehr, sehr gut. Er ist actionreich, überraschend und durchweg spannend. Das Grundgerüst des Romans war absolut logisch und toll konzipiert. Die Figuren sind allesamt gut dargestellt und bestens durchdacht. Evan wirkt zu Anfang noch ein wenig undurchsichtig, entwickelt sich aber im Verlauf des Romans zu einer durchaus sympathischen und herzlichen Figur. Die Nebenfiguren, insbesondere Evan's „Hausmitbewohner“, lockern die Geschichte des Öfteren stark auf. Es gibt mehr als eine witzige Stelle, bei der ich herzhaft über eine Szene lachen musste! Zudem ist der Thriller so flüssig geschrieben, dass man das Buch kaum mehr aus den Händen legen mag. Insbesondere da die Story permanent neue Spannung und Action bietet. Einige Wendungen waren überraschend und unerwartet, passten aber inhaltlich gut und trugen sehr zur Klärung einiger Fragen bei. Ich fand, das Buch hatte durchweg ein gutes Niveau und es gab keine unlogischen Passagen. Gregg Hurwitz lässt den Leser zudem auch etwas tiefer in seine Protagonisten blicken. Es stellt sich immer auch ein wenig die Frage nach dem Sinn dessen, wie Orphan X handelt und entscheidet. Dabei wird jedoch nie zu sehr aufgetragen. Auch hat der Autor es vermieden, Klischees wie das große „Happy End“ zu bedienen. Das Buch hat ein Ende, mit dem man (wie ich finde) kaum rechnen konnte, aber sehr gut "leben kann". Es passt perfekt und rundet das Gesamtpaket auf beste Weise ab! Ich habe das Buch verschlungen und war tatsächlich ein wenig enttäuscht, als ich es nach über 400 Seiten zu Ende gelesen hatte. Ein gutes Zeichen, es wird nicht mein letztes Buch von Gregg Hurwitz gewesen sein! Absolute Lese-Empfehlung, 5 Sterne! 

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review 2017-05-01 03:47
With You Always by Jody Hedlund
With You Always (Orphan Train) - Jody Hedlund

 

 With the death of their parents and struggling on the streets while trying to keep her family together, Elise Neumann is lucky to have stumbled upon a place that could offer shelter to her family and her a well needed job. With faith and a bit of luck Elisa finds herself in a building town and finding herself meeting someone again by chance.

 

 Thornton Quincy has lived in the tall shadows of his Father and twin, but with his father's health failing, a contest pits the brothers against one another to build a town and marry in six months time. Thornton's plans go awry when he meets Elisa again and starts seeing things from a different perspective and who truly sees him...

 

 Jody Hedlund works always show the strength in the human spirit. She never preaches to the reader, she shows the reader the bad and good in life she doesn't stray from the harshness of life, but shows the one can overcome the bad. Elisa and Thornton both show this, Elisa takes a chance to make a living for herself and her family but isn't scared of standing up against injustice and giving someone a push in the right direction and believe.

 

 Through Elisa's eyes, we see how poor immigrant women who came to the US in hope and didn't find nothing but heartache. Elisa may be soft spoken but has a spine of steel and is able to keep her family together the best she can and even help Thornton who she met in a trying time (in the middle of a riot no less) But even Elisa can't stop things, good or bad, from happening. She only has her inner faith and her strength to help her through and love.
 Thornton had to find himself, he was a better man but him seeing it took a bit longer. He to loved his family and turned a blind eye to even their worse faults. He finally stood as his own man and showed who he truly was with help from Elisa.
 

 Elisa and Thornton love grows slowly as they learn about one another and show and prove something not only to one another but to themselves. By the end you can see together they can face anything and everything with by each other's side.

 

 The only trouble I had with the book was the very rushed ending and while it left it open for the rest of Elisa's family, the ending just went by in a fast and felt a tad jarring.

Hedlund placed the reader in a time not talked about but truly made it vivid with amazing characters and place I look forward to more from this series.

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