This summer is truly special. It's the first time I'll be doing #SummerReads. My blog hits its first anniversary in August and I have some plans to GET LIT.
This List will be updated as I find more gems to read. Here is the list so far...*claps hands excitedly* I'm so excited!
#thesewords #summerreads2016 #getlit
When I read the first few words, I had no idea of what I was in for. Peter Bailey truly stepped out of the box for this one. He decided that walls, boxes anything to enclose his creativity must be eliminated and he came up with Walk in the Flesh. This book was a different kind of twisted sci-fi, thriller action mix that had me looking at the words like they were going to jump off the page. Let's talk about a few things.
The characters all seemed to have their own agenda. The main characters Neil and Ariana were worlds apart. Until, Neil botched a self termination which is required at the end of every mission. That's when Ariana, a bold pathologist, gets involved. She was a woman in a man's world. Having to fight everyday to prove herself to men who really didn't care or saw a woman fit to be in their field, let alone out of the house. When she gets the severed head that was supposed to be crushed, things go down a slippery slope. After time slipped away from her while examining the strange severed head, Ariana is visited by a salacious security guard and friends who intended to rape her. After hiding while they trashed her office, she was blamed for the damage and fired. To make things worse she was raped one day in the streets.
This is where the story started to make more sense to me. After a series of missions, a scientist trying to expose his boss for the acts Neil carried out and a disgraced pathologist loses her job, Arianna becomes Neil's mission. He was to find out what she knew after doing the autopsy on the severed head. If she knew too much she would be killed. Yet Neil went a bit rogue on the mission. They were ambushed at a meeting place. Neil easily took care of that and they made an escape. The plot was a bit all over the place for my liking and needed a more centralized point to refer back to. Neil was crazy, I get that. But was that the point? The experiment on Neil, was that it? When it's not clear in a plot, it's easy to lose the reader. This made the ending even more bland yet confusing. Neil was shot in the head after being on the lamb for a while. The scientists were all replaced, more guys like Neil were made and we heard nothing more of Ariana who was such a huge part of the story after Neil tried to kill her.
This book had alot of potential. It had a great and interesting concept but the execution could have been better. The characters felt more surface except for Neil. He was the most developed one.
I give this one a 3 out of 5 stars.
This book burned right through me. The story line, the characters' struggles and the emotions it evoked. Normally, I get technical when I'm dissecting a book. But I have to fangirl a bit.
I was excited, terrified, sad and damn near brought to tears. There were so many personal battles being fought in this one story that I felt I was going through it with them. There was a point when I had to put the book down and take a deep breath. Of course, I couldn't stay away too long. There was such anguish I felt for each character. For each moment of triumph I would exhale a breath of relief and wiggle with glee. I gotta say, "Sabaa Tahir, you got me with this one".
Ok, that was my blubbering moment. This book had a clear and beautiful writing style that struck the right notes. I could feel their emotions, hear the drums at Blackcliffs and see them in their masks as if I was there. The writing was bold and helped shape the world of Blackcliffs and Sera in a way that was believable. The changes I noted in the dialogue between the different characters was clear. You could discern the relationships as they grew and changed. That's what separates a good book from a great one. A friend of mine actually sent this book to me. Kim, you were right, I loved it.
Now let me make this clear. I am adding Elias to my band of fictional crushes. Tall, strong, masculine with the heart of a lion and soul of fire. Elias is my kind of guy. He was definitely 'an ember in the ashes' that glowed bright and hot. His struggle of being in the world of Blackcliffs but never apart of it, played out achingly beautiful. You know I love a character with a dark side. Elias was strong enough to fight the emotionless warrior they tried to make him.
In the end, it wasn't his stoic, steadfast best friend, Helena who saves him. Although she was in love with him, duty came first. She was made Bloodshrike and her first order was to execute him. Surprise, surprise the once scared slave girl Laia, who got a grip on a dagger, was the one who saved him.
After her world was ripped apart in one night, Laia, the Lioness' cub found her roar. She chose to fight back and save her brother. I saw enough tenacity in her to know that she was her mother's daughter. I mean coming out tougher than before, even after being the personal slave of the commandant of Blackcliffs, says it all.
The twists, turns and shadowy corners in this book left me gasping. I was completely engrossed in the story, the development of the characters and the unfolding of the prophecy.
I give this one a 4.5 stars. Go ahead, read it. I dare you. You won't be disappointed.
This book for me was a knock out, an absolute knock out. Well done Amy Harmon for delivering, once again, beautiful writing. She gives us the full Monte; complete characters and a gracefully well developed plot, all wrapped in brilliant writing.
I'm a city girl, born and raised, but I would live in Levan just to be Josie Jo's friend. She reminded me of myself at a younger age. This made Josie's character so relatable. Samuel was my 'dark knight' since the moment we met him. He was the gorgeous boy with a golden heart, bruised by tragedy and anger. We saw his tough exterior crack when he stood up for Josie-Jo. Her smile and growing love for him became the hammer and chisel that eventually set his heart free. Honestly, I had a bit of a crush on Samuel. He was that character that you'd want to stand up for you. It's a signature written into Amy Harmon characters. They have this strong exterior and are somewhat fragile inside while the main protagonist seems slight in form but has the heart of a lion and soul of a saint. I met such characters in another favourite of mine, "Making Faces" also by Amy Harmon. Anyone remembers Fern and Ambrose? It's a good signature to have in writing strong, complete characters.
Ok, back to this lovely book...
After the death of her mother, Jo didn't really have a female figure until she followed the white Cadillac up the hill and heard the music that made her cry. Of course, her Aunt was there but Mrs. Grimaldi breathed life into young Josie. The character of Mrs. Grimaldi was eccentric and passionate which added a bit of colour not only to the small town life of Josie but to the book as well. Josie discovered her gift of music which would be the tool to save her from a destructive path later on.
The plot had an interesting spin on a classic love story. She didn't realize, she had fallen in love and he fell in love but felt it was wrong because of the age difference. That's the ticket! Josie sounds like an older child but met Samuel when she was 13 and he was 18. Also, he was Navajo. Age and culture somehow couldn't keep these two apart. The plot thickens after Samuel graduates and leaves to join the military, he begins to write to her about his experiences. Of course, the letters got less and less until they stopped altogether. It was years later when Samuel came home to visit and ended up helping Josie birth a foal, that, things changed. That was one moment, I felt Samuel was between a rock and a hard place of having to turn her away from him. He saw the heartbreak but knew it wouldn't look right for a twenty something year old man be with a teenager. My mind completely understands but my heart screamed, "No!" and "Who cares?!" on behalf of Josie.
Tragedy struck just before Josie's wedding to Kasey Judd. The morning after graduation Kasey died and left Josie. The third fixture in her life to leave her. Oh, you thought Amy Harmon would stop there? Shortly after, her father had a stroke, on the morning she was packing for college. The point that Jo doesn't leave, everyone else does, was driven home.
Samuel came back when Josie needed it most but didn't expect it.
Josie sank into a black hole and when Samuel came back to find her there, he used the very things she used to help him. He let her realize that it's ok to leave; it's ok to walk away and follow your heart. Of course, their love finally comes forward and Josie is finally set free. I My heart simply melts for both Samuel and Josie who finally were free to love each other and find the beauty of life.
I must say I love Amy Harmon's books. She gives you real love and drama. I give this one
#thesewords #romance #amyharmon #runningbarefoot
Brave and honest are two words I will use to describe the author and his book. John Davis decided to be brave and write this memoir. He was very honest about his life. What's more refreshing? At first, I thought I was in for a 'story' in a sense. I quickly realized I was not reading someone's story but I was reading their truth. I was immediately drawn in.
There was no verbal fancy foot work. There were no hidden messages. There was simply John Davis' truth. I liked that he was very vivid in the opening. I was taken back to that frightening night with young John. I could feel the anger and frustration between his parents. I could also feel John's fear. There is one thing that is apparent and that is the descriptive writing in this book was very present. He did just the right amount of describing, not too much where the story gets lost in the words but not too little where you can't visualize what was happening. Although, I would have loved to get more of a physical visual of John while he was growing up. It would have helped in those stand out moments. For example to know how tall he was compared to his father; that would have bolstered the point of how John feared his father regardless of how tall or bulky he got.
The characters not only had roles in the book but John's real life. It is obvious why some were more prominent than others; such as his father and mother. In the early onset of the book we see that John mostly admired his father and that fueled his need to please him. His father wasn't the sit down and talk or play catch type of father. However, he taught John lessons he thought were important the best way he knew how. Giving random bits of advice was one example. But before long he would grow to hate his father. That's when John holds nothing back as he goes into the darker part of things. His mother made me angry. Of all the persons I thought would protect John, would have been his mother. Yet, I could see why she became cold and almost uncaring. After years of abuse and living in fear, it seemed like her maternal instincts switched off although it was still obvious that she loved her boys. Overall she faded in and out for me and I wanted to see more of John's relationship with his mother.
Later on the book, after a hardened John, finally seemed to shrug off the weight of fear. It was brought to light, what I believe to be the actual reason for the book, that he hadn't dealt with his past. His true past hit like a ton of bricks when his mother revealed his true identity and that of his real birth father. Long over due Mom! It seemed like her maternal instincts came back but with a sting. John of course went looking for his father and after a long search, he found him, in the obituaries. I felt my heart break a little for John. But for someone to put their life on paper for the world to see, he was obviously releasing a lot pent up heart break. I applaud him for that. Being united with his blood relatives three months after his birth father dies, it was one hell of a band aid for everyone involved.
I never expected to see a phoenix rising from the ashes when I picked up this book. But I see John Davis. A man who chose to rend his heart and show others, that it's ok to be vulnerable. I lift my hat off to you good sir. I give this one 4 stars.
#writeronfleek #thesewords #bookblogger #booklover #readingmatters
Hello, I'm Tammy and I love books! I love writing and reading them. I love them so much I just can't stop talking about them.