Tag Archive: realistic-fiction



Emily, GoneEmily, Gone by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bette Lee Crosby writes good stories. This did not disappoint.

At least this mystery wasn’t about murder. I knew that could be done. Still, it is about a kidnapping. It was interesting to see the crime from all sides. The characters are well developed. They keep you reading to see what each person was going through, how would they solve their personal problems. The book showed how love could make their choices harder, or drive them mad in trying to live with it all. Still, it was a hard book to put down.

Though a spiritual path is evident, it isn’t overdone. The characters believe a certain way and it is part of their journey.

By the way, this was free through Kindle Unlimited. Though I like reading Ms. Crosby’s work it is usually more expensive than I can afford, so I am glad they made this one available this way.

As a genre, I think that this could be called a cozy mystery sans murder. I think women may find it better than men, though the men in this book are strong and level headed. But the stories are more about birth and baby loss, so it might be hard for those who have lived through this kind of circumstance.

Otherwise, try it, you might like it!

View all my reviews


Have You Seen Luis Velez?Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I give this book ten stars? I loved it so much that from 60% I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, turn off the fan (I was getting cold!). I barely moved! I was so immersed in this book!

As a writer, unpublished, I hear that a book needs lots of tension. I didn’t feel that in this book, at all! All I can see is that I loved the characters, right from the start and adopted them into my heart. Then I didn’t want to leave their world.

I usually don’t read books with the main character male. Especially a teen. Since I entered my sixties I go for strong fems by fem authors. That is because most of my life I was subjected to only males by males and I want to see more people like me in books and movies. All I heard growing up when I asked about that, was that boys needed encouragement to read. Then why I would ask as an adult, did those non-readers, lower grading people get better jobs? Why did the world circulate around the males?

But this book didn’t center on a male of privilege. This seventeen-year-old had none of the usual adolescent angst. When would that girl give it up to me; didn’t seem to be on his radar. Rather he was more anxious about his family where he felt he didn’t belong, or how he didn’t even feel he fit in his skin. He only seemed to have one friend and that one is leaving as we meet this guy. And he is sweet to a little kitten. Heart won over!

Then our protagonist befriends an elderly blind woman. Both characters are so well built that they feel like family members to the reader.

The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, is a genius! She keeps the reader engaged. I should mention, she is the author of Pay It Forward. I loved that book, too, and the movie. Well, I love the concept but it was an extreme tear-jerker. This one was more heart-warming (fewer tears more cheering the characters on) with a similar message of how positive life can be by being kind and caring for other people. I may need to actually buy this book and study it!

By the way, I got this book through Kindle Unlimited along with the Whispersynched Audible. The narrators brought the book to life.– I just looked up the book on Audible and it seems there is only one narrator! Michael Crouch. That was a surprise! I don’t normally like male voices doing females. But Mr. Crouch did an amazing job! I actually thought there were about three narrators acting it out! Wow!

Maybe this should be required reading for the world?!!! I highly recommend it! In case you haven’t noticed.

View all my reviews


Fruit of the Drunken TreeFruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Though this story takes place in the 1990’s in the times of drug lord Pablo Escobar in Bogotá, Columbia, it’s lessons are current for us here in the USA. It centers on two young girls and how they affect each other and each others’ families.

I actually finished the book a couple days ago. I needed time to think about how to review this. Besides what I said above I just couldn’t decide. If you want to know more about the book go read the reviews on GoodReads. Many just write out the story themselves. Why bother with reading it with all that information? I don’t like to include blurbs about the books I read. I figure there are plenty of those out there. My review is to tell future me what I thought and possible current events or life events and how they might have influenced my feelings. If that helps others, I am glad. So for my future self: remember when they separated babies from parents because of a need to get rid of illegal immigrants? How many of them were seeking asylum from life similar to what the characters in this book were living with? I have friends who lived through being held up by guerrillas. I don’t believe that these people are taking away our jobs. Watch how the costs of foods go up as citizens take back the farming jobs. Just saying.

Anyway, this book was well written, at times even poetic. It kept me up as I couldn’t leave the characters when it was well past time to sleep. I think everyone should read this book. Even if it doesn’t change your point of view, it could help educate on the history and peoples of South America. And if it feels factual, like a true story, know that the author did live through a lot of what the book tells about. The girls playing with injured Barbies. The dreams of the girl’s leg with sock and shoe that the main character saw on TV news minus a child’s body. These are just a couple incidences that felt too real to be fiction.

When I rate a book with five stars I know that I will remember it. It affected me deeply.

I’m so happy that NetGalley had it for me to read for review.

View all my reviews


The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This audiobook (CD) was in the put-away-bag at the library and I couldn’t resist. I knew it was a fairly recent movie so I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Ah, but I wasn’t crazy for it. You would think it would do it for me. I used to take the train to work every day. I know how that imagination can take you places the train doesn’t. In fact, riding the train was how I wrote my first book. So that part of the first character grabbed me. That she had stories in her head about the people she saw in the homes she passed made her an interesting character to me. But somehow I mostly didn’t like her.

It was when the next character voice came in that I perked up my ears. Her voice reminded me of Gilly, Sam’s crush on Game of Thrones. I guess it is just her accent but having that familiar voice had me listening more closely. And I did like this character.

About the time I got into the story my CD player gave up. I ended up using my credit on Audible to get the audio onto my Kindle. That worked out better.

It has been over a week since I finished this book. Lots of life has happened since. So my memories are eroding. Still, I remember how I stayed up until 3 the last part of the book. It was well written and kept me interested.

The narrators: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher were fantastic and different enough to keep me from getting the characters confused.

As the librarian had warned me, don’t read the last bit at night before sleep it is a thriller and it will keep you awake. Still, it was a good read. I’m glad I read it.

View all my reviews

Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


1Q841Q84 by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fulfilling. That what I think describes finishing this book. It kept me going. I wondered what would happen next. With fantasy, anything is possible, even if it is in 1984.

And that brings me to the next thought. We didn’t have cell phones and internet access the way we do now. Often I would think, check your cell and realize that couldn’t happen then. They had pay phones and word processors. If a person had a computer it wasn’t user-friendly. So one has to keep that year and those thoughts in mind.

Next was the curiosity of the two moons that signify to our main characters they weren’t in true 1984 but an alternative reality. That was why Aomame called it 1Q84. I loved her name. She was the main character, by the way. I craved Edamame the whole time I was reading it. Yes, the ‘mame’ part means pea. I love how often the author used that theme.

I loved the characters. But I felt the description of their clothing or appearance over done. In fact, this book needed a good editor to go through and get rid of all the unneeded repetition. I often felt like throwing the book (my Kindle) across the room. I wanted to get back to the story and see what happened and telling me one more time about the two moons or the wrong clothing or any of the millions (I may exaggerate here) of other times something was repeated. I understand that the author wanted to stress certain things but it insults the reader to do that too often. But who am I to say that, an unpublished author of 12 books compared to his mass of highly acclaimed novels. Just trying to be true to what I felt as I read it.

This book took me ages to finish. It must be hefty in hardback. It was a library book so I had to spend every moment reading as I have two more books that are due next week. Still, it was worth the struggle and I miss the people already.

Stop reading this review here as this might be a spoiler. I wish I could read more of what happens next to the main characters. And I felt there were threads in the two-moon world that I wanted to see worked further. Well, maybe that didn’t reveal too much after all.

If you get the chance, please read this book. My friend, Patty B. was right. This was a very good book!

View all my reviews


The Rules of MagicThe Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That was fun. I usually love Alice Hoffman books. And though I liked this one and was kind of sad finishing it, it was slow. It was so wordy while not getting anything done or convincing me that anything got fixed.

As the movie, Practical Magic deals with the curse of the family that should never fall in love, that is the theme here, too. And since romance novels bore me I found myself doing other things than reading, so it took longer to finish than it should.

Don’t get me wrong, it is worth picking up and reading. Would be a great vacation read. But if you are like me, the book, the characters, don’t seem to gel until near the end. I must admit to misting up near the end so I must have finally gotten into it.

I wish I knew how to improve this read. Maybe I needed the audio rather than text-to-speech? A real voice or bunch of actors playing the story for me? I do remember pulling out of the book thinking ‘show don’t tell’ but then as I looked at it I couldn’t figure out how that could be done.

Don’t take my word for it. You may love this book. Like is as far as I can reach.

View all my reviews


The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

View all my reviews


Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how, sweet! One of my GoodReads friends, Lovely Primrose, recommended this to me. That was a long time ago. I couldn’t afford it so I put it on hold from my library. It seemed forever before it came my turn to read. Of course, I ordered the large-print version. I was glad. It was quite comfortable for my eyes to read. Even more, it was a joy for my heart.

Romance. Yuck! That’s what I usually think. But this book grabs you right from the beginning. You get the story from Eleanor and Park’s points of view. The angst of the story wasn’t ‘does he/she love me?’ but rather the angst of not fitting in. And it shows the inner beauty of these two people.

You get to see how their lives work at home and it all becomes clear why they act the way they do. Even though it was a hefty one, because of being large-print, book, I found I didn’t want to stop reading. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading. And… I am sad it came to an end. I would love to see a book two. It isn’t needed except for the fact that I miss the characters. It ends with a satisfactory feeling. But… please, please, please??

I recommend this one for anyone young at heart.

View all my reviews


The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a delightful series! I am sorry to be finished with book 2. I do hope there will be more. For the young adult this widens the world to seek out life beyond the comfort zone. For those of us that are older and for whatever reason bound to our situation of home and hearth, this lets out our wanderlust. We travel with Ginny and her friends to fulfill the requests of her belated Aunt Peg’s ‘scavenger hunt’ listed in her 13 blue envelopes.
For me, it was during a couple weeks of the summer when I chose to watch over other walls than my usual four. I was house sitting for relatives and friends. It would still be me sitting somewhere. But it got me out of my bed and on other sofas. Meanwhile, reading this special book, I felt I was really traveling, after all. packing and unpacking was involved. So though my real life was spent doing my usual within the same city I live in, I was in London, England, Amsterdam, and Paris.
I read finished reading this over a week ago, already returned the book to the library. But I loved it so much that I think when I feel the wanderlust, I will look this series up again. It was that much fun.

View all my reviews

 

ACORN PONDS GLAMPING SITE : Shropshire

Glamping at its best!! private, own kitchen, own shower and loo, peaceful, wildlife, no kids!!

Jamoraquai

Hello World! :)

Mukhamani

My Reflections and Expressions

SMC

Savage media contender

Team Follow Through

Comical and Crazy observations of an imperfect world written by perfect people.

Rain Coast Review

Thoughts on my life... by Donald B. Wilson

Renard's World

My Personal Space On The Web To Post Anything That Tickles My Fancy

Jules Pens Some Gems...

Bits of sparkles to entertain***** No ads, no spam, no awards - Thanks

Starlight and Moonbeams

and the occasional cat

Fun with Philosophy

Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

Storytellers Cape Cod

Stories need to be told.

Giuliland

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Quaint Revival

quirks, quips & photo clicks

pensitivity101

An onion has many layers. So have I!

Light Motifs II

creating order out of chaos, and vice versa

Bearded Reviews

Films, TV shows, books and more

Jyotichamp

#motivation#life#discoveryourself#

%d bloggers like this: