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A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

splendidsunThe will to survive and accomplish is stronger than the oppressing forces.
Another brilliant book from Khaled Hosseini. This is the poignant story of two women who live in a society where they have no power of freedom. It is a vibrant tail of survival and what one has to do to protect oneself. Sometimes, one ends up hurting others in the process. It is also a wonderful love story between two women who become like mother and child, and the ultimate sacrifice that Myriam does to protect her “daughter”. It is a tribute to mothers and how they are willing to let go of everything for their children. But this story is also a vivid reminder of the daily struggles of women who live in an oppressive society, where they have been stripped off their rights to speak up, work, and just be. The amount of sacrifices the characters have to make throughout the book is heart-breaking. The ending is a happier one, of hope and resilience, of achievement and belief that one must not give up at their chance of happiness.

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“We Are All Made Of Molecules” by Susin Nielsen

coverA touching story about everything! This book will resonate with everybody. Not only are we all made of molecules, but we share a lot of them. The story is touching because it reaches a piece in all of us. It is told with candor and honesty, and the main characters are very lovable and relatable, no matter bow different and completely opposite they look on the surface. There are so many deep layers to this book: parenthood, divorce, loss, everlasting love, the world of teenagers, etc. This book is for all of us: for the kid we once were or still are, the parent, the man / woman, the sibling, the many different family dynamics. It’s brilliantly inclusive, because we are all made of (similar) molecules.

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“Men, Women & Children” by Chad Kultgen

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This story is a take on different relationships, though different characters and generations, with the aded layer of social media thrown in the mix. I like the mirror writing, showing how each party involved perceives a situation. The book is written in such a way that the reader empathizes with most, if not all characters. It has everything: social pressure, the importance of image, the need to perform, the search for who we really are, the pursuit of (a) happiness, the resilience of everyday life. I loved it. This was not a novel to me, this was a snapshot of people’s lives. The characters might have been on the extreme side of the spectrum, but all readers can identify with parts of them.  I felt that this book is a good read for parents with tweens, because it reinforces that our kids are growing up and we cannot avoid it, or remove them from the technology whirlwind around them. It doesn’t give answers about how to handle teenagers, peer pressure, or social media, but it’s just good to be reminded that all these things are here, they’re not going away and we will have to face them. However we choose to do it is up to us.  I don’t know how to put it, there’s something about this book that resonates, and the sometimes crude writing doesn’t take anything away.  This book definitely makes me want to buy Chad Kultgen’s other novels.

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Slivers of Life By Beem Weeks

slivers of life

There is a story for everyone.

This collection is so well written you can touch the characters, smell the places they visit, hear their voices. Some events are fun, some are sad, some you might never have experienced and some you have. It’s a collection of short stories about you, me, the guy next door, the family you used to know. Without giving anything away, I was particularly touched by the man who misses the noise of the trampoline. I could picture the hole in his heart, it was both beautiful and heartbreaking. This is the second book I read from Beem Weeks and once again, I was swept away.

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Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks

beem weeksAmazing book about good people in bad situations. The life of the main character could have turned out so differently if she had not gone to town that night, or if she had not met Pig, or if her dad had been able to look out for her, This novel is about a young girl with great talent, but not much control over her destiny, and how toxic encounters and survival instinct lead her to make some pretty tough life choices. I loved the book, I could feel the despair, fear, courage and lack of control that the main character experiences. Sometimes, people have to do what they have to do in order to survive. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always what they want to, but sometimes, they just have no choice. It’s a touching story, but with no self pity. It’s both sad because of the helpless situations she finds herself in and full of courage at how she handles herself. Been Weeks has written an absolute gem.

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Gossip (Desire Never Dies Book two) by Clara Grace Walker

gossipA book you cannot put down!! Suspense meets sexy meets contrasts. At first, it looks like the goodies are really good and the baddies are just plain horrible. But as the story unwinds, the reader has to let go of this simple view and accept that things are not always what they seem. As I read the chapters, more and more questions were hanging in the air, waiting for an answer. But once I finished the whole story, only one question remained: why have you not bought this book yet? It is such a great, well written novel.

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What’s inside your room 913?

room913I had to find out the mystery of room 913. Just had to. So I read the book in just a few days, giving up most of my home life, because this book could not wait. The suspense remains until the end but the author teases the reader by giving away little bits of information, sometimes false, sometimes real. The last chapter comes as a surprise, yet as the only logical explanation. I loved it. Beyond this story, It also made me think that we all have a room 913 in our lives, something that we want to hide from others, a place we crawl in when we want to isolate ourselves. When you finish the book, ask yourself this: what’s inside YOUR room 913?

 

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Ambient Light, an Angel McKenzie novel by Lorraine Adair

ambient light
Lorraine Adair tells a story of a good crowd caught in the web of a bad guy. Wrong time, wrong place, and drama follows.
The story is well told, the characters feel very real.  I got caught in the story pretty easily. But what I love most about the book is how the author changes the pace of the story telling. By doing so, Lorraine Adair invites the reader inside the novel. The book starts with a slow pace introduction of the characters and scene setting. Then, once the reader starts feeling familiar and at ease, chaos sets in, the pace picks up and the reader is caught in a whirlwind of events, in the company of the main character, Angel. And you don’t want to leave the book, until Angel is safe! Very clever writing.
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Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin

mystic tea

There are not enough stars to rate this amazing book. The writing is superb, the 400 pages flow naturally and easily. The characters are all so different and yet, all completing one another. I love everyone of them for their contrast, and their contribution to the story which is slowly revealed in a very clever staged approach. Without giving anything away, this is a story of how we belong together with all our differences and how eventually, things have a purpose. I was in tears the whole time I was reading the last chapter – good tears! The talent of this author is pouring out of the pages.