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text 2017-03-26 22:20
.What I'm Reading | February 2017.

This post can originally be found at MissKatiEllen.

 

Although slightly later than usual I bring you my reads from February. I didn't get to finish as many as I would have liked, but that's what happens when you take a week off work for your birthday. As it was my birthday I decided that it only be right by picks were Disney related.

 

 

The first book I finished was Poor Unfortunate Souls by Serena Valentino. This is unfortunately the last in her villains series, which I'm absolutely gutted about. I love the world she's created, the references to other Disney Kingdoms, how some characters lives are already entwined. This story was about Ursula, but due to this amazing world that's been created I felt her story lacked compared to the previous two books. The story was kept interesting changing from different people's POW but I felt like there was so much more being hinted at, begging to be explored.

 

The second book I finished was Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell. This is her second Disney 'what if' retelling, this is completely unlike her first book. Due to the nature of Aladdin the beginning was quite literally the film and things only changed when Jafar got the lamp, whereas in this book we are in the dream world that Aurora thinks is real and we got chapter versions of what happened and 'what happened'. This book is much slower by comparison, A Whole New World was filled with constant fighting and things happening.  Aurora getting to grips with the dream, with herself, coping with two sets of memories. Discovering so much was a lie in both worlds. The books downfall is that you will her to be this strong girl but she keeps pulling this poor me routine, her life was a lie, she was abandoned, she grew up in the woods away from her family. Thank God Prince Phillip is there to throw in his point of view, growing up as a royal isn't everything either.

 

My final book was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I loved this book, I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't this; and that's not a bad thing either. What I enjoyed the most about this aside from the whole thing is her relationship with Zuanna. Their friendship is so believable, even if Zuannas over the top personality isn't. Although Karou never technically lies to anyone, flashing that smile she has and everyone shrugs off the weird things and chalks it up to it just being Karou. And Zuanna is like that too, but everyone has a breaking point and pushes the issues. Where does she go, what are these errands Karou is always disappearing on?? There is only so much a friendship can take until a smile no longer makes the cut. It's hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. Two worlds, one consisting of Angels and part human part animal, the other the world as we know it. Both as real and as the other.

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review 2017-03-26 19:48
It Happens All the Time
It Happens All the Time: A Novel - Amy Hatvany

By: Amy Hatvany

ISBN:1476704457

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 3/28/2017

Format: Hardcover

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

One of my all-time favorite authors, Amy Hatvany returns following Somewhere Out There (2016) with her most emotional and timely book yet: IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME — an exploration into two different experiences of rape.

View the author's powerful video. Author, wife, mother, friend, rape survivor.

A girl. A guy. Childhood friends. Consent. Rape. Their families. A tragedy which changes everything. A desperate need for justice and revenge.

There is one thing (well, more than one) you can come to expect from Amy Hatvany: She is not afraid to tackle tough issues of the heart, with honesty and superbly researched topics —critical for today’s contemporary woman, no matter the age.

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have grown up together. Best friends from an early age through teen years. Their parents were friends. Ty comes from and abusive father. The Bryants took Ty and his mom under their wing and have always included them in family activities.

Amber has had food and self-esteem issues throughout her life. Tyler battles his self-esteem issues with his father. Amber always thinking she is fat, to the point she almost lost her life. It is a topic her parents to this day are sensitive about when they note her eating habits.

Tyler has always been her very best friend. He has always been in love with her. The feeling has not been mutual. From Amber’s side, it is more friendship, not love. Now Amber has graduated from college and is engaged to be married. She returns home to visit with her family and runs into Tyler. Tyler stayed in town and become a local paramedic.

Both Amber and Tyler are experiencing things in their own individual lives. Both are troubled in different ways. Even though Amber is engaged to med student Daniel, Tyler is excited to have his old friend back in town. Deep down he always hopes he has a shot. Amber starts second guessing her decision to get married.

They go out and have too much to drink, which leads to a sexual encounter. Things get out of control and Amber says, “no.” Tyler does not stop. This devastating experience changes the dynamics of this couple and everyone close to them, including their family, forever.

Hatvany explores both sides of the story, combined with her own raw emotion and personal tragedy. A sense of powerlessness and self-destruction behavior.

Amber doubts herself. How could this have happened? Her best friend. How could not remember the events and how they unfolded? What happened to consent? She soon becomes obsessed with taking the matter into her own hands. She will force him into admitting what he had done. Was he more like his dad than he wanted to admit?

The characters grapple with themselves as well as one another. Exploring healthy and unhealthy ways people respond to and recover from trauma, including revenge, therapy, obsession, denial, eating disorders, drug abuse, sex, support groups, social withdrawal, exercise, legal action, and violence.

 

A compelling look at a topic of rape; which is brushed under the radar more often than we may expect. Especially when the victim knows the other party.

Furthermore, when the parents are friends and the person is someone you have trusted your entire life, and now has betrayed you. Shattered lives. Someone will have to pay for the injustice.

Often the law fails the victim. More than one will have to possess the courage to step up and admit their mistakes and be prepared for the consequences. When events are not always black and white. Moral lines are crossed.

Powerful storytelling. Emotionally gripping. Struggling with the aftermath of rape, and domestic violence.

For fans of Diane Chamberlain, Heather Gudenkauf, Jodi Picoult, Liane Moriarty, Jennifer Weiner, and Sarah Pekkanen. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions. Another winner by Hatvany!

On a side note: When posting a review, I often link to the previous book, read by the author. However, when I scrolled back to reference all the books I have read by Hatvany, I noticed each book was a "5-star rating!" How often does an author consistently deliver consistent quality, high-charged absorbing and timely issues?

It is rare. Why I wanted to include all the book reviews here by the author, for those of you which may be new to Amy Hatvany. An author you will soon move to the "top" of your favorite author list. Each book one is uniquely different with a critical takeaway message.

2011 Best Kept Secret
2012 The Language of Secrets
2012 Outside the Lines
2013 Heart Like Mine
2014 Safe With Me
2016 Somewhere Out There

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy. Stunning cover. Would make a great movie.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/08/19/It-Happens-all-the-Time
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review 2017-03-26 19:17
When your world is going up in flames who better to fall in love with than a fireman...
Cleansing Flame - Andrew Grey

'Cleansing Flame' is the second book in Andrew Grey's series 'Rekindled Flame' and while I did enjoy the first book a tiny, tiny bit more it wasn't enough to really make a difference on my rating.  'Rekindled Flame' which is the title of the first book as well as the series was a really solid 4 star read for me while this one was a little bit of a weaker 4 stars but still quite enjoyable.

 

Dayne's life over the past couple of years hasn't been good it started with a car accident that left him seriously damaged and with a new best friend named 'Pain' and grieving the loss of Jeff the man he loved and thought he was spending forever with. Barely a year later he's burying his mother and now at the start of the book he's back in school trying to get himself turned around and essentially remaking his life only to arrive home and find his home going up in flames. Dayne's pretty much at his limit of how much crap he can handle having dumped on him and really 'can you blame him?' I know I couldn't. 

 

I really like Dayne...sure he has the occasional pity party but he keeps going, he doesn't just give up and wallow in it and I think a lot of people would. He's smart and determined. Truthfully he's not really asking for much he just wants to get on with his life and get out from under the damned black cloud that seems to want to follow  him everywhere and it's when he's at his lowest trying to fight back the tears and despair that are threatening to drown him that the world gives him a glimmer of light in the form of an incredibly kind hearted and attractive firefighter named Lawson...someone he'd met earlier that day at the local historical society.

 

Lawson's attractive, friendly and as kindhearted as they come and he doesn't hesitate to offer Dayne a place to stay when he realizes that this sweet attractive man whom he'd had the chance encounter with has no one to call on in his time of need.  It takes a bit of fast talking from Lawson with strong dose of help from their mutual friend Mason to persuade Dayne to at least accept Lawson's offer of a place to stay for a few days.

 

Now don't be thinking that these two men head off to Lawson's house and fall into be and live happily ever after...nope sorry just like real life it doesn't happen that fast for them. There are obstacles both within their control and not and then even when they do begin to work things out it's still not a smooth road but it's not an over the top WTF angst filled one either.  However, have no fear while it took a while for the sparks to ignite between these two once they did things were definitely hot. 

 

We get to see a bit of Richard and Mason, they're the MC's from book 1 and while they by no means over shadowed the story in this book, they were definitely a nice addition to the story. Having MCs and secondary characters from previous books show up in subsequent books is something that I love happening when I'm reading a series.

 

There's also a secondary part to this story that relates to Dayne and Lawson's first encounter at the local historical society that I really enjoyed I found this part of the story to be incredibly sweet touch adding an opportunity for Lawson and Dayne to get to know each other better and help their relationship grow. 

 

Like the first book in this series, 'Cleansing Flame' is a sweet, low angst, romance that makes for a relaxing and enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to seeing whose story is next in this series and how hot those flames will burn.

 

********************

An ARC of 'Cleansing Flame' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-26 17:19
Kaum zu glauben, aber es ist amerikanische Geschichte
Der Zug der Waisen: Roman - Anne M. Fröhlich,Christina Baker Kline

Inhaltsangabe

New York, 1929: Mit neun Jahren verliert Vivian Daly, Tochter irischer Einwanderer, bei einem Wohnungsbrand ihre gesamte Familie. Gemeinsam mit anderen Waisenkindern wird sie kurzerhand in einen Zug verfrachtet und in den Mittleren Westen geschickt, wo die Kinder auf dem Land ein neues Zuhause finden sollen. Doch nur die wenigsten erwartet ein liebevolles Heim. Stattdessen müssen sie als billige Landarbeiter, Haushaltshilfen oder Näherinnen harte Knochenarbeit leisten. Auch Vivian stehen schwere Bewährungsproben bevor, bis es ihr nach entbehrungsreichen Jahren endlich gelingt, einen Ort der Geborgenheit zu finden und ihrem Leben eine neue Richtung zu geben. Aber erst Jahrzehnte später vermag sie, durch die überraschende Freundschaft zu einem rebellischen jungen Mädchen, das wie sie seine Eltern verloren hat, das Schweigen zu brechen und wahren Frieden zu finden.

 

 

Meine Meinung 

Zwei Zeiten, zwei Generationen und zwei ähnliche Geschichten. Dies beschreibt die Geschichte um den Zug der Waisen vorerst sehr gut. Aber nur Vivian Daly hat diesen Teil der Geschichte miterlebt. In einer neuen Stadt, verliert sie ihre gesamte Familie und steht vor dem Nichts. Auf Hilfe hoffend, gerät sie an eine Organisation, welche sich Waisenkindern widmet und diese vermittelt. Auch das Wort „vermittelt“ trifft es hier sehr gut. Die Kinder, meist wirklich noch Kleinkinder, mussten sich im Jahre 1929 auf die Reise vom Osten in den Westen Amerikas machen, um eventuell eine neue Familie zu finden. Dies hört sich erst sehr schön an, aber dann hörte Wörter wie „kostenlos“, „Probezeit“ und „zurückschicken“ und dachte nur, dass dies nicht wirklich passiert sein konnte. Aber so ist es. Ein Teil der Geschichte. Vor allem im ersten Teil des Hörbuches wird der Schrecken auf Seiten und auf Kosten der Kinder unheimlich gut rübergebracht und solche Szenen bleiben auf jeden Fall in Erinnerung eines Hörers bzw. Lesers.

Ein Fakt, der mich ganz besonders erschüttert hat, war der Werdegang des Namens Vivian. Denn Vivian ist nicht ihr erster Name und der Weg dorthin war einfach schrecklich, wenn man bedenkt, dass sich mit einem Namen auch eine Persönlichkeit entwickelt.

 

Neben diesem Erzählstrang wird von Susanne Schroeder die Handlung der jugendlichen Molly im Jahre 2011 erzählt. Auch sie sieht sich als Waise und ist mit ihrer aktuellen Lebenssituation gar nicht zu frieden. Immer wieder bekommt sie zu spüren, dass sie in ihrer Pflegefamilie nicht erwünscht ist. Ein weiterer Punkt, der im Buch behandelt wird, sind ihre Sozialstunden, die sie abzuleisten hat, weil sie einen Diebstahl begangen hat. Auch wenn es eine wunderbare Sache war, die sie sich angeeignet hat. Und genau diese Sozialstunden sind es, die die beiden Generationen um Vivian und Molly zusammenführt.

 

Ich kann im Nachhinein gar nicht sagen, welche der beiden Sprecherinnen mir besser gefallen hat. Sowohl Beate Himmelstoß in Bezug auf Vivian, als auch Susanne Schroeder in Bezug auf Molly passten einfach sehr gut. Beide Sprechstimmen waren unheimlich angenehm.

 

Steht zu Beginn des Hörbuches die Geschichte um Vivian in der Vergangenheit doch sehr im Fokus, nimmt dieses im Verlauf nach und nach an Intensität ab. Die Autorin nimmt uns mit und fügt beide Leben nach und nach zusammen und diese Entwicklung und der Werdegang an sich waren sehr schön zu verfolgen.

____________________________________________________________

 

Wie die meisten Bücher, welche auf zwei Zeitebenen spielen, wechseln auch hier die Erzählstränge. Verwirrend beim Hören war nur, dass wenn sich die Geschichte im Jahre 2011 abspielte, es mehrere Male die Überschrift 2011 gab, so dass man immer kurz überlegen musste, ob es gerade einen Wechsel in der Zeitebene gab oder nicht. Dieser Punkt wurde wahrscheinlich eingefügt, um die einzelnen Kapitel in der jeweiligen Ebene nicht zu lang zu gestalten. Gewöhnungsbedürftig.

 

Ein weiterer Punkt, sind die Emotionen. Die erste Hälfte fesselte den Leser wirklich an die Geschichte. Da die komplette Lebensgeschichte von Vivian erzählt wird, kann dies nicht konstant aufrecht gehalten werden, aber vor allem ihre späteren Lebensjahre erschienen mir sehr emotionslos. Es wurde nur noch als Abhandlung von Ereignissen erzählt und ich hatte als Hörer Schwierigkeiten mich so schnell auf die verschiedenen Lebenssituationen einzulassen.

 

Mein Fazit

Egal ob hörend oder lesend, diese Geschichte kann ich jedem ans Herz legen. Vor allem den Hörern und Lesern, welche es wie ich nicht fassen können, dass es die „Orphan Trains“ wirklich gab. Dieses Buch vereint Vergangenheit und Gegenwart sehr gut und ist historisch gesehen sehr gut recherchiert.

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review 2017-03-26 15:42
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden

My favorite stories were:

 

Pop Art

20th Century Ghost

Better Than Home

My Father's Mask

Voluntary Committal

 

My thoughts on this collection cannot possibly make a dent in all of reviews already written about this book. Suffice it to say: I loved it and it gets my highest recommendation!

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