Category: Books



The Great AloneThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since our cruise to the inner passages of Alaska, I have been a fan of all things the ‘last frontier.’ Yes, the Kilchers show is a part of my adventures. So when this story made its way to my attention, I had to partake.

Julia Whelan, the narrator, pulled me in. She was able to act the various characters well enough to distinguish them from each other. Her males are a little stilted, but, as I said, she made it clear who was speaking.

The author writes a many-layered tale, with a bit of education mixed in with some ‘bring your Kleenex’ moments. She captures the feeling of living in a place of long summer days and a never-ending night of winter, learning to live off the land, living in a small community, being the child of an abusive parent, so many levels of the life of this young teen in Alaska. I couldn’t stop listening. This book is the reason for sleep deprivation of the week. I just couldn’t put it down.

I know I will look out for more books written by Kristen Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan.

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The Sweetness of WaterThe Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though this was a well-written story and the narrator, William DeMeritt, did a fantastic job. It is too tough to handle at bedtime. The very things that make this a great book for everyone to read, are what made it hard to swallow when it was time to gentle into sleep. I suggest reading this earlier in the day. The history plays true. The awakening, though fiction, portrays real-life that still plays out in some peoples’ lives. I highly recommend reading this book

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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of LifeWhy Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a lot more fun than the last book I read. I really enjoyed hearing Lulu Miller tell her story and someone else’s while showing what had influenced her life.

I wanted to be a marine biologist in my way younger days. So this book was up my alley in many ways. Of course, that only lasted for ninth grade, and I learned that math was required for that and being an astronaut. Still, the love of the non-existent fish (and space travel) lingers in my life.

My friend recommended this, and I was able to find it on Libby. I didn’t want to do anything but listen to this story, so I got it done far quicker than most books. Lulu Miller did a great job weaving her life with one she admired. I felt like I was with her experiencing everything with her.

If you get the chance to read/listen to this book, I highly recommend it!

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Fortune FallsFortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fun book! Though aimed at middle grades to young adults, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My friend and her granddaughter were co-reading this. They shared on a Zoom friends-meet how much they were enjoying it. I started looking around to see if it was on Libby. I couldn’t afford to buy it right now. Thankfully my friend gifted the Kindle version to me. Yay! And thank you!

Imagine a town where superstitions come true. Sadie lived there and was considered unlucky. What an adventure she takes us on while making us question those beliefs!

If you want to take a break from the adult reads, this will fit the bill. I am amazed at the vocabulary and writing. I believe young me or my kids would have enjoyed this even more than I did, which seems an impossible bar to reach!

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The Butchers (Breeders #6)The Butchers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are many different reviews on this book, low stars and high. I’m giving it five stars as I still care for the characters and the situation enough to make it through the whole series. And I look forward to the new book in a takeaway series in the future but in the same place.

What I hate has nothing to do with this book, except the way books have to be labeled. Yes, it is nice to have a guideline of readability levels. But maybe we need something that says, this is gory and has a lot of killing and blood. There is a romantic element but no sex. There are gender issues addressed in the way of this series’ settings.

But here’s my thing: Why do young adult books have to have young adults? I remember being a young adult and loving science fiction. The more, the better. Those characters were men, not anyone that looked like me. Still, I consumed them. Am I happier to see books that reflect every age of me now? Absolutely! I’m not ever depicted in exciting books, adventures, etc. Auntie is the closest to me. I think all of us need a variety of types of characters to get to know. What we relate to are the places, flaws, ability to rise above, etc. 71 year-olds are people who need all that, too!

The reading level is easily accessible by middle grades though a parent or teacher may want to talk to the child about it. Certainly, children these days watch shows on the media that contain all that is here. And for many, the survival of our characters teaches how one might be to be out in the New Mexico desert with bad guys everywhere out to kill you.

But barring all those elements, this story pulls me in. From the very beginning, The Breeders. I do agree that it is hard to differentiate between characters. Even having the title of the chapter as the heads up for the viewpoint, the character Sounds the same until he/she bring up individualized things. I’m not sure how to fix that confusion that happens if you are reading by listening only to text-to-speech. But I somehow got used to it and felt the new chapter beginning.

All-in-all, I loved these books enough to overcome the issues presented. I’m looking forward to reading more by Katie French.

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Review: The Barriers by Katie French


The Barriers (Breeders #5)The Barriers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fifth book in the Breeder series. Dystopia is different in any sci-fi I’ve ever read. This whole story from book one on has been quite the ride.

The characters by this book five are well rounded and though many each has a purpose. I felt myself nearly on the edge of my bed and far from sleep hoping for the best for these young people and their loved ones. There were a couple nights I had to force myself to put away the Fire at three or even four in the morning.

Thank goodness these are on Kindle Unlimited because when this book ended I could grab the next!

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Girl Love Happens: Season ThreeGirl Love Happens: Season Three by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my favorite of the series so far. The main character is coming into her own emotionally and using wisdom and care with others as she goes through the problems presented in her life. Tegan is far from a perfect person, but her growth is so fun to read about.

I love how T.B. Markinson writes. Her characters, even the secondary ones, all feel real. The situations feel plausible, and she brings wisdom to the story.

I like that we are getting to go through the college scene while Tegan learns about her sexuality. And as she learns how to help her mother adjust to Tegan’s self-discovery.

Though this book didn’t leave me on a cliff-hanger, it indicated that it would continue. I can’t wait to see how Tegan grows.

By the way, the book is free with Kindle Unlimited.

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Girl Love Happens - G&T Lesbian Romance Season TwoGirl Love Happens – G&T Lesbian Romance Season Two by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not too fond of angsty romance, regardless of gender. But most romances are with young people who have little experience or self-esteem to bring to the table. Somehow most of us grow up going through it. It wasn’t fun then, and it is sometimes excruciating to read about. I think I am alone in this thought pattern as romances of all kinds seem to flourish in books and movies. It is just the mechanism of two people learning to live with each other. That part I find interesting. Not the does she, does he love me. But how can I make their life better?

Add in new friends and their traumas or dramas, and the angst grows exponentially. And in this book, two lots of problems start growing. Luckily, I have grown to love the characters and watching their growth. I love hearing the thoughts of what I can do to help them through this from multiple levels.

This was the hardest book of the series for me. But this middle book can’t be skimmed through. In book three, the characters need to learn their lessons and move on to a more adult way of life. Yes, I am already halfway through that book. I am proud that they struggled and matured in book two to set up an even better next book.

I love best how the secondary character calms and reasons with our main character and was a voice of reason for what readers may be going through themselves. She gives such excellent advice and yet helps the love stay in front of all the relationships a person deals with, parents, grandparents, family friends, etc. This book points out how no one is an island. You have to include who raised you and who you’ve become and portray that to others. I don’t know many books that include that kind of wisdom.

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Girl Love Happens - Season OneGirl Love Happens – Season One by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

T.B. Markinson writes believable characters. In this book, the fiction felt realistic.

The blurb says it all:
‘Two college roommates are about to discover how awkward and sexy coming out can be.

Colorado, 1992. Tegan entered her freshman year of college with an open mind. As she tries to cope with a long-distance relationship, Tegan realizes it may not be the miles pulling her apart from her boyfriend. It may be her confusing feelings for her new roommate, Gemma. But when an innocent back rub turns into her first girl-on-girl make-out session, she isn’t sure if she’s ready for the world to know she’s attracted to women.

Gemma knows who she is, but she doesn’t expect Tegan to shout from the rooftops about their new relationship status. With the prying eyes of friends and jealous rivals, however, secrets may not stay hidden for long.

If you like tumultuous love stories, simmering chemistry, and colorful casts of characters, then you’ll love this first installment of T.B. Markinson’s smart, sexy series about coming-of-age as a lesbian in the 1990s.’

The book delivered a story I can’t wait to continue in book 2.

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger WorldThe Walking Dead, Vol. 16: A Larger World by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished watching the series, getting ready for season 11 and wasn’t prepared to let the TWD characters go. So I picked up the next in the comic series that I hadn’t read yet. I can’t believe how far behind I am in the reading.

The Kindle version is my favorite, so I can open up each frame, see details, and read the dialogue. Maybe after cataract surgery, I will be able to read books and comic books. Meanwhile, I’m glad this technology is out there for folks like me. And it doesn’t take up room in my already stuffed bookshelves.

This particular volume was about discovering Hilltop and meeting the character Jesus. I know this is the calm before the storm. But it was nice to have the reprieve, even if a little boring. Still, it was great to connect with the TWD family, even if it is different from the show’s characters.

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