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review 2018-06-06 01:19
The Lifters by Dave Eggers
The Lifters - Dave Eggers

'The Lifters' made me question my decision about not reviewing books before their release date. I hated this book so much, I felt like it would be unfair.

I know, I know, someone was kidding themselves about their influence on bookface. I also didn't realize I'd stop reviewing books for six months. So many of you have read this incredibly lazy book who could have avoided it!

Dave Eggers was my favorite author the summer I read 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius', but he was replaced after, and none of his other writing have ever sparked my interest aside from an essay here and there. So, when I saw the arc for his new MG book I was pleased to bring it home.

Granite, or 'Gran', is unhappy because his family has been forced to move away from the coast to his father's old hometown in the middle of nowhere. Worse still, his father must commute so far to get to work that he's often not home.

The town of Carousel is full of quirky residents who are divided on POLITICAL ISSUE and are so distracted by it that they ignore the many problems of their community, including the sinkholes opening all over town. Gran discovers one girl, Catalina Catalan, who is a Lifter, who sneaks out at night and works underground to combat the forces gnawing away at it.

I found nothing to wonder at in this story. Eggers goes and explains most everything that isn't a lazy allegory right away. The allegory of the force tearing apart the town (and the WORLD) is driven home eventually and is all the more...uninspiring...for the waiting.

This is a humorless book written by a smug adult who doesn't remember why kids love reading, or fantasy, and delivers a knee-jerk of a novel that gives the illusion of instruction. What kid wants to sit through a 'it'll get better if you just believe in yourself' sermon that doesn't actually give them any tools to MAKE it better? So I'm shelving this with 'The Education of Little Tree', 'Go Ask Alice' and 'Mein Kampf', because fuck this book.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-23 09:00
Love Letters,Are they?
Love Letters to the Dead - Ava Dellaira

 

What actually is required to sort out a problem is to share it with your closed ones!Your family or your friends or anyone whom you trust.Because sometimes the only solution of the problem is sharing.And that's what Ava Dellaira's novel :'Love Letters to Dead' teaches.

            The style with which ava has presented an emotional as  well as a frightening journey is praise worthy!There are many instances when the reader is awestruck with what has happend to the protagonist.The pain and suffering is so real that many of the people can relate it to.Whether it's about the hesitation of talking to people at the first day of school or being honest with everyone.

 

           

(spoiler show)

 Laurel loved her sister (who is dead) very much.It's been one year still she was not able to free herself from that deadly incident.(what  that incident was,well you have to know it for yourself by reading!)In the meantime she began writing letters to all the great personalities and legends most of whom were singers.She began to understand the pain and intention with which they have written and sung songs.She discovered about their life,their sufferings ,their daily struggles etc.Cut short,she began to understand life.She comprehend the poetry and find beauty in it.In all as she was alone from inside she found company in other things.

 

                But very soon she realized what love means.A kind of love which your friend and family showers on you! And that was the end of her endless pain.

 

        It may seem to you that something drastic has happened and the very cause is you.And you just take the whole guilt of it forever in your life which does no good other than make your heart heavy and hate yourself but opening it up to someone lift it up like a bubble in the air.

 

          

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review 2018-05-09 14:27
"Letters To My Husband" by Stephanie Butland - grief, loss, guilt, more grief and a lot of love and compassion
Letters To My Husband - Stephanie Butland

THERE OUGHT TO BE A WARNING when a book will make you cry from the first page.

Not cheap, easy to manipulate tears but the more expensive kind that are a muscle memory of loss.

 

I knew the book was structured around a young widow writing to her freshly dead husband but I hadn't expected a wave of raw grief to drown me on the first page.

 

The torrent that swept me away also submerged Elizabeth, the widow, unmooring her completely until her only escape is to refuse to accept that her life with her husband is over, so she writes to him about her grief and her anger and her physical inability to engage with a world that no longer has him in it.

 

When the first tide of emotion ebbed, the true structure of the novel emerged. This is more than a lament. It's an empathic and compassionate exploration of how women deal with grief, loss, anger and betrayal and how they can sometimes help each other find hope and perhaps, forgiveness.

 

The story is told in three timelines. At first, we get NOW, in which Mike, Elizabeth's husband is dead. Next, we get THEN which tells the story of how Elizabeth and Mike met and built a life together. The story moves, almost metronomically between these two periods, with THEN sometimes deepening the grief and pain of NOW and sometimes qualifying our acceptance of what we thought we knew. Just as I was beginning to find the NOW THEN, NOW THEN dance wearing, BETWEEN is introduced and the focus widens from Elizabeth and Mike and the world starts to move forward.

 

What I liked most about the book was the honesty with which emotions were faced. We experience the loss of a husband, a son, a lover; the extinction of the possibility of Elizabeth having a child with Mike and the difficulty of supporting sisters and daughters through such grief. The woman here feel real. They are not "what-would-you-do?" soap opera characters. They are trying to do their best in a situation where there a no pain-free options.

 

This powerful, well-written book was Stephanie Butland's debut novel. I came to it after reading her fourth and most recent novel, "Lost For Words." which I thought was a little tighter. I suggest reading "Letters To My Husband" first and then "Lost For Words"

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review 2018-04-30 21:35
Sam's Letters for Jennifer
Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson

Still reeling from the recent loss of her husband, Jennifer is trying to focus on writing her column before the deadline when she gets a phone call.  Father John Farley tells her that her grandmother has fallen and is in a coma.  She rushed to Lake Geneva to see Sam who cannot speak to her.  When she went in to her grandmother's house that first time she noticed stacks of letters with her name written on them.  They were numbered and she started with the first one.  She had wanted her grandmother to tell her her story and this was the way she decided to do it.  While staying at her grandmother's house she hers a loud scream and looks out to see a man run down the dock and dive into the water, completely naked.  She ignored him and continued to read the letters but later he came to her door to reintroduce himself.  He is someone Jennifer knew as a child when she spent summers with her grandmother.  She tried to keep him at a distance and work on her column but he kept coming back.  As she read the letters, she learns some shocking things she never knew about her grandmother and grandfather and has to resist the urge to read them all at once.  Her grandmother asked her to read them a few at a time.  The man came again the next morning and dove in the lake but this time he wasn't naked.  He eventually grew on her and she ended up telling him about her husband and how he died.  Eventually he told her his story and she was shocked.  She ended up spending more and more time with him while also visiting her grandmother every day and hoping she would wake up.  

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quote 2018-04-30 08:58
You are my light, you are my endless summer.
Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson

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