Thursday, June 30, 2016

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

20912424Genre: Coming of Age, War, YA

[The War That Saved My Life] by [Kimberly Brubaker Bradley] is a well told story of a young girl in London who has a mother that is ashamed of her. She uses World War II as a way to escape her mother with her young brother to the countryside when children are evacuated from the city. They are placed with a single woman who is suffering from demons of her own.

This coming of age story shows how we all fight wars within ourselves each day and sometimes it takes allowing others to help you to win those wars.

Last Days of Last Island by Bill Dixon

6790764Genre: Non Fiction, History, Disaster

[Last Days of Last Island] by [Bill Dixon] shows that being rich doesn't always come with common sense. In the mid 1800 in America the rich were looking for new ways to enjoy their wealth. In Louisiana the plantation owners found a beautiful island off the coast. It had great views and fishing. Also the breezes were a nice change from the temperatures inland in the South.

The catch is this "island" was little more than a large sandbar. What we know as barrier islands. This did not deter them from building it up as a resort for the well to do. What could go wrong?

There was no weather forecasting as their is today and the Gulf Coast was as prone to hurricanes then as it is now. There also was no easy escape since the only way to the island was by boat.

[Dixon] tell the tragic story of life and death on Last Island during the Hurricane of 1856. The research is well done and the narrative makes the saga of the inhabitants real in this pre Civil War natural disaster. Although he does get quite repetitive with details it was still a very informative read.

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan

9306975Genre: Paranormal, YA

[Jenny Pox]by [J.L. Bryan] is a different twist on teen paranormal. No stupid sparkly vampires here! Instead teens with special powers all in the same small town.

Jenny can kill with a touch but does her best to protect everyone even though it brings her ridicule and bullying.

Seth can heal people with his touch.

Ashley can control people with hers and she does for her own benefit.

No one knows about these powers except the person with them until an accidental encounter between Jenny and Seth. All the pieces begin to fit.

This was a really enjoyable story and the fact that the teenagers had normal teenage personalities and issues made it all the better. I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Adrian's Eagles(Life After War #4) by Angela White

13613242Genre: Action/Adventure, Post Apocalyptic

[Adrian's Eagles] is the fourth book in the [Life after War series] by [Angela White]. After the world collapses survivors ban together to build a new world. Unfortunately not all people remaining are of the good variety. Even within Adrian's own there are a few rotten apples and traitors.

The characters are what make this story. [White] makes you want to hate Kenn and cheer for Angie. You feel sorry for Brady because he just wants to do the right thing. The twists in the relationships hold your attention and certain characters have developed a lot since the beginning of the series.

Wolf and Iron by Gordon R. Dickson

19355895Genre: Post Apocalyptic

[Wolf and Iron] by [Gordan R. Dickson] tells of survival after a socio-economic collapse. The characters are strongly developed and Jeebee's relationship with wolf drives the story as her learns to survive using his instincts. It follows the format of post apocalyptic stories so it is fairly predictable but the characters and relationships are what really drive the plot.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A New Darkness by Josh Vasquez

23642859Genre: Action/Adventure, Zombies

I enjoyed [A New Death] so much I made another trip to historic Savannah to get the next book [A New Darkness]. [Josh Vasquez] continues the story of the band of survivors to try and find safety in a world full of zombies. Unfortunately, zombies aren't their only worry since there are still bad people out there as well.

This was a nice continuation since it picked up right where the last book left off. The development of the characters continues and drives the plot as your investment as the reader grows.

A New Death by Josh Vasquez

21866800Genre: Action/Adventure, Zombie

I picked up [A New Death] by [Josh Vasquez] from the E. Shaver bookstore in historic Savannah. The fact that is was a local author and zombies appealed to me. I was not disappointed. As a resident of Savannah I can tell you the [Vasquez] makes the setting very real. I have think of the book each time I walk into my local grocery store knowing that is where the zombies first attack the main character.

As for the characters, they are very much like real people. That makes the story even more compelling since you can develop an attachment to them. If you like action, adventure, and/or zombies, this is a must read.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O' Donnell

15818333Genre: Coming of Age,YA(mature)

[The Death of Bees] by [Lisa O'Donnell] is a coming of age novel set in Glasgow, Scotland. The characters are realistic and make you feel for them although the dialogue is hard to understand at points because it is the true way they speak in the poorer parts of Scotland. This does not deter but rather enhances the characters who had to survive on their own and take care of each other even before their 'parents' die and get buried. They learn to care not just for each other but also outsiders who really do have their best intentions in mind.

Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

18114594Genre: YA, Action/Adventure, Future

Could you imagine being the cause of a civil war? That is exactly what Phillip is facing. How will he protect his family and himself?

[Trent Reedy] did a good job creating a very possible situation and showing the consequences in [Divided We Fall]. Although the novel is fiction with a dystopian feel it is something that could actually happen, which makes it more compelling.

The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

18505836Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

[The Girl Who Came Home] by [Hazel Gaynor] will appeal to fans of the movie Titanic. Fortunately this story has more depth and more believable characters.

[Gaynor] tells the story of Maggie, and Irish girl, who is leaving her home to travel to America with her aunt after the death of her mother. Maggie does not want to leave unlike those she is traveling with since she is in love.

This novel does a good job mixing history with fiction and making it believable. It is also told as a memory to Maggie's granddaughter, Grace, who has made her own sacrifices for family. It is an enjoyable read with a slight twist at the end.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Channel Blue by Jay Martel

21460441Genre: Humor, Satire

[Channel Blue] by [Jay Martel] will make you question everything you know. In light of world events that are happening right now maybe we need to show a nicer side of humanity. If you are a fan of Kurt Vonnegut or Cory Doctrow you will enjoy the absurd but humorous spin [Martel] puts on humanity. The question is are you a comedy or tragedy?

The Loss(Zombie Ocean #4) by Michael John Grist

29924961Genre: Dystopian, Zombie

[Michael John Grist] continues the saga of the [Zombie Ocean] in this fourth installment. The action and adventure are there as always in [The Loss]. There is also compassion and loss. Some loose ends get tied up but the uncertainty of this new world remains.

[Grist] is a masterful story teller with an emphasis on character driven novels. I have yet to be disappointed by anything I have read by him, in fact I look forward to reading more. If you like to read about humanity and all it's ups and downs you must read the [Zombie Ocean] series.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink


Genre: Nonfiction

I received [Five Days At Memorial] by [Sheri Fink] free in exchange for an honest review.

[Five Days at Memorial] is a comprehensive account of the tragedy that happened at Memorial Hospital in the days following Hurricane Katrina. The weakness in this text was the massive amount of legal language. Although the legal ramifications that happened due to this event. It would have been more powerful if there was more emphasis on the human stories.