Library of Souls

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #3)Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 22nd 2015 by Quirk Books

400 glorious pages but I have to wait until September? OK I can do that. . . . NO I CAN’T!!!

Need this book NOW.

OK I’ll wait.

Patiently.

**chews the linoleum**

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Widow Walk by Gerard Lasalle

WidowWalkFormat: eBook
Pub. Date: 2012
Type: Fiction, Historical Fiction ~ Received free for honest review
Pages: 224
Read: 5/30/2015
Rating: Liked it ♥♡
Widow Walk is historical fiction depicting real and fictional characters and events.

Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey (Isaac Evers in the story) did take a company to the Palouse to fight.

Captain George E. Pickett, who later achieved enduring fame during the War Between the States, almost provoked an international war with his standoff of the Brits at San Juan Island.

The two statements above were taken from the book, I edited them to remove any potential spoilers. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is well written fictionalized account of a historical event. I enjoyed reading it. There were some questions that remained at the end of the book, but there is a follow-up book Isthmus which I haven’t read. I would think some of these unanswered questions will be answered in the follow-up book.

Having lived in the Northwest, the setting of this novel, I have been on Whidbey Island, I have stood on the bridge over Deception Pass so it was fun reading about places I’ve been even though the events took place several generations before my family lived there. I am a little embarrassed to admit I know very little about the history of the area, but it is obvious that Mr. LaSalle has done his research.

The first few chapters introduce us to the main characters, each chapter from the point of view of one person. This allows for excellent character development, it doesn’t take long for us to get to know the characters in the book. At the same time we are ‘meeting’ the characters, we are also learning about the area, and the relationship between the settlers and the indigenous people. There is a good mix of people in this book, good, bad, mentally ill, courageous, greedy and unscrupulous. Mr. LaSalle has done a good job with the people in this book, he does not resort to making them stereotypical characters. You feel for the characters, bad and good, and even though I thoroughly disliked some of them, I understood why they did the things they did.

The history of the actions of the settlers vs the natives is also explored, showing the good and bad on both sides. It is a fact that the whites or “the men from Boston” as they are referred to in this book, tried to wipe out the native population. It is touched on briefly in this book.

I believe this book will appeal to readers of historical fiction, those who are interested in the history of this country.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

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CressThe Lunar Chronicles #3

Format: eBook
Pub. Date: 2014
Type: Fiction ~ Library Book
Pages: 550
Read: 4/27/2015
Rating: Liked it ♥♡

If you have not read the first two book: CINDER and SCARLET, this review will contain spoilers. Also, it is best to read this series in order.

Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf (who are characters we met in Book #2) are on the run, from the authorities (who want to arrest them) and Queen Levana’s soldiers (who have orders to kill her, sort of). They realize their only hope of survival is to overthrow Queen Levana’s army. When they learn about Cress, they realize she is their best hope, she can give them the best chance of survival. The only problem is she is imprisoned on a satellite by the Lunars. The group of fugitives decide to rescue her. Unfortunately things don’t go quite as planned. Which means they have to change their plans.

Their new plan is not completely successful, and now Cinder is facing the possibility of war with the Lunars.

So lets just say at the end of this book, Queen Levana is super pissed and we meet the next fairy-tale character, Winter, an incredibly beautiful Lunar, one who doesn’t need Glamour, she is Queen Levana’s step-daughter.

The next book is due to be published November 10th 2015. I cannot wait.

This book continues the character development, the action continues, what I like it is there is pacing in the action, its not non-stop; there is romance, but it is not central and actually sweet, progressing gradually and subtly. And there are plot twists and a major cliff-hanger. LEt’s hope the next book is also not disappointing.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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ScarletThe Lunar Chronicles #2

Format: eBook
Pub. Date: 2013
Type: Fiction ~ Library Book
Pages: 452
Read: 4/24/2015
Rating: Liked it ♥♡

If you have not read the first book: CINDER, this review will contain spoilers

In this book we meet Scarlet Benoit, a French farm girl who’s grandmother is missing. She has red hair and her favorite item of clothing is a red hoodie. The police are not looking for Scarlet’s grandmother, so she decides she will. She meets Wolf, and learns he has information about her grandmother, he’s a street fighter and rather shady, she doesn’t know if she can trust him.

Meanwhile, Cinder has broken out of prison, she and Scarlet meet up, the connection is Scarlet’s grandmother, that could be considered a spoiler, but it was hinted at in the first book so I hope it is OK to mention it.

Soon all of them are on the run from Queen Levana, who really wants to capture Cinder for reasons known to those who have read the first book.

All I can say is WOW, this book is as good as the first. I think this may because it focusses on Scarlet while continuing Cinder’s story. The action is intense, the characters are likable, for the most part, except for the ones you aren’t supposed to like. I noticed no glaring mistakes or inconsistencies. A stellar second installment in the Lunar Chronicles.

Kiss of the She-Devil by M. William Phelps

KissSheDevilFormat: eBook
Pub. Date: 2013
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime ~ Scribd Book
Pages: 320
Read: 4/13/2015
Rating: Really liked it ♥♡

When Martha Gail Fulton left her part-time job at the library and discovered she had a flat tire, she drove back into the empty parking lot, upon leaving her vehicle, a car with three people drove into the parking lot, a man got out, approached Gail and shot her to death.

From the very beginning it was obvious this was not a random shooting, Gail was targeted by persons unknown. Two obvious suspects were her husband George and George’s mistress Donna Kay Trapani. Both however, had alibis. As police investigated however, they uncovered a conspiracy and a mistress that was quite the woman scorned. You know what is said about a woman scorned. Donna Kay Trapani would do whatever she needed to ‘get her man’.

Despite the lurid title, this is a solidly told tale of an adulterous mate, a long suffering wife and how it led to murder for hire. M. Phelps has done his usual solid job of research and his narrative is captivating and compelling. He has little respect for men who mistreat women and lets you know it, this includes unfaithful husbands. Although George had nothing to do with Gail’s murder, his affair set events in motion that led to it. I don’t want to say any more. Just know this is a very interesting account and M. Phelps has told it well.

Afraid by Sharon McGovern

AfraidFormat: eBook
Pub. Date: 2008
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime ~ Memoir
Pages: 240
Read: 3/28/2015
Rating: Really liked it ♥♡

The abuse started when she was four, Sharon’s stepfather was helping her learn to ‘wash’ herself. It continued for years. At age 10 it went from touching and rubbing to rape. The only one Sharon told was her best friend. He kept her quiet by threatening her mother and also by making her look like a liar. He did such a good job of it that even after he was gone, her own mother didn’t believe her when she told her she had saved a family from drowning.

When Sharon told a social worker what she wanted most in the world was to “go to sleep and never wake up” because “my dad keeps having sex with me and I can’t do it no more.'” The social worker’s reply was “Do you know what will happen to you if you go around telling lies like that about your dad? You’ll get him into serious trouble. Don’t let me hear you talking like that again.” Further convincing her that she would never be believed and never get away from the abuse.

Although the abuse suffered by Sharon was horrific, and she doesn’t suger coat it, it is not related in a gratuitous way. This book isn’t just about what happened to her. Sharon relates how she coped with the abuse, why she never told anyone and most importantly how she survived. In fact she did more than survive, she went on to have a good life and even managed to get the authorities to file charges against him. She was responsible for him going to prison where he couldn’t hurt another child.

Although I have some doubts about the clarity of her memory of events that happened when she was younger than 4, this book is a compelling read, at first heartbreaking, but reading how Sharon overcomes everything will mend it.

Night by Elie Wiesel

NightFormat: eBook
Pub. Date: 1958
Type: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Memoir ~ Library Book
Pages: 115
Read: 3/25/2015
Rating: Really liked it ♥♡

A concisely written account of the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald from the viewpoint of a teenage boy that survived the experience. Besides learning about the hardships suffered, Elie Wiesel gives us an idea what it was like to live it, we understand how this experience changed his feelings toward God, toward his father and actually, it changed everything. It puts a personal face and feeling on the horrible Holocaust.

I highly recommend this book.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub. Date: 1999
Type: Fiction, Young Adult ~ Library Book
Pages: 198
Read: 3/24/2015
Rating: Liked it ♥♡

I have heard a lot about this book and eventually decided I needed to read it. It is about Melinda Sordino (written in first person from her point of view, not my favorite style of writing) who called the police during an end-of-summer party, now that school is starting she is OUTCAST. Her friends won’t speak to her, even strangers hate her. Even before I read a spoiler about what happened at the party I had a pretty good idea and I was right. Even so you might find this review has a few spoilers.

Melinda decides the best way to survive is to stick to herself and keep quiet, living life inside her head. Unfortunately a teacher singles her out as a ‘trouble-maker’. She copes by sitting alone against the wall in lunch with the rest of the losers. She cuts classes, then starts cutting school, even though her old friends are not talking to her they are not mean girls, so Melinda cannot hate them. This makes things worse. She has trouble sleeping. Avoiding her parents is easy since they are decidedly un-involved in what is happening to their daughter, leaving notes and money for pizza if they are not going to be home. The only time they show any interest was when her grades started falling, even then they have no interest in why.

A short book, quick read but one that is very well written, Ms. Anderson has done a great job catching the thought patterns and speech patterns of teenagers. I have one complaint, I couldn’t understand how everyone knew she had called the police but no one knew why. Before I read the book I thought they must have heard why, if they knew she did, but didn’t believe her. I just re-read the part where Melinda is remembering the party, and it is explained. I do this sometimes, read books so fast I miss stuff. So it’s not a mystery and it now makes sense. Not that it bothered me horribly before, I still thought it was a good book.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

CinderFormat: eBook
Pub. Date: 2012
Type: Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy ~ Library Book
Pages: 390
Read: 3/17/2015
Rating:Liked it ♥♡

It started with the troll under the bridge. He was only trying to collect the toll and the poor thing got battered by the biggest billy goat gruff (Truth About Three Billy Goats Gruff). Then there was The True Story of the Three Little Pigs followed by The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. Then “The Wicked Years” series by Gregory Maguire along with his other re-tellings of popular fairy tales. I discovered a Steam Punk version of the Wizard of Oz, actually it was sent to me by the author. I need to find it and read the next installment. I probably enjoy these because I’ve never liked fairy tales, tales of child abuse and misogyny, women were either wicked queens and witches or helpless princesses waiting for a man to come save them. Fathers remarrying because taking care of children is women’s work. YUCK.

Along comes Cinder, a well know fairy tale turned into Steam Punk Science Fiction/Dystopian novel. The next book in the series is “Scarlet”, pretty sure you can guess whose story that is. Cinder is an orphan, abused by her ‘stepmother’ and ‘stepsisters’, having to do all the work and turn her wages over to her stepmother because she is also a cyborg. Her only friend is an android with a malfunctioning personality chip. Since this is Steam Punk she is a mechanic not a scullery maid, and she isn’t missing a shoe at the end, she is missing a foot. A cybernetic foot. She has a computer in her head and is able to store things in her leg.

The setting is New Beijing, the population has been ravaged by a plague that doctors can find no cure for. The lunar people want to take over earth. There is a handsome prince, and a ball, but no happily ever after. At least not at the end of this book.

Let me just say that a few chapters into this book I KNEW who Cinder really is, I uncovered the secrets of her past that will help her save the world. OH COME ON YOU HAD TO KNOW THAT WAS COMING! Then it was just a matter of time till Cinder discovered it and unfortunately her mortal enemy also. Oops, almost a spoiler.

This was a quick read, the story moved smoothly and the ending sets the stage for the next book. It’s gives us questions that we now have to read the next book to get the answers.