Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #74 - Dust

Todays' review is for

Dust
Author: Hugh Howey
Pages: 466



This is the final book in the Wool trilogy.  When we last we left, Juliette had brought back Solo and the kids from the other silo.  She was trying to figure out how to dig a tunnel from her silo to his - to proove to the people that other silos existed.  Lukas has made her mayor.  People are uneasy and don't believe her that there are others out there.  That other silos talk to each other and are centrally controlled by one group of people.  She is determined for her people to know the truth.

This is an okay book.  Like a lot of trilogies I have read, the books tend to be on a downhill slide in quality to the finish line.  This one did not hold my attention as well as the others.  There were many pointless side stories, and it just seems to drag.  The ended it all "Bright and shiny" as expected.  Just a bit disappointed after investing 3 very large books in this series.

The overall concept of the Wool trilogy is a great one.  Different idea.  And this book just could have been better. 

Stars:  3

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #73 - When Breath Becomes Air

Today's review is for:

When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Pages: 231



This is the author's own story.  Paul is a promising neurosurgeon who finds out he has stage IV lung cancer.  The future he and his wife imagined together evaporated.  Now his life is full or treatments, and a ticking clock.  The doctor's won't tell him how long he has to live, so Paul starts to write this book.  He and his wife decide to have a child even knowing that he might not be there to see her grow up.  They try to squeeze a lifetime of experiences into a small amount of time.

Paul died in 2015 - after a very short battle with cancer.  His wife completed his book and made sure it was published.

This was a good book.  It is always sad, and alarming, to read the words of someone who is going through a terminal illness.  How they become shadows of their former selves.  And how sometimes, no matter how hard they fight, sometimes the cancer wins.

Check out this book.  It gives some perspective on how we are only given a finite amount of time.

Stars:  4 1/2

Monday, June 4, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #72 - Atlas of Forgotten Places

Today's review is for

Atlast of Forgotten Places
Author: Jenny Williams
Pages: 369



This is a story that is told from the perspective of Sabine and Rose.  Sabine is a native German who spent 18 years in Africa as an aid worker.  After burning out, she returned to her native land.  Rose lives deep in the heart of war torn Africa.  She has recently fled from being captive among the rebels.  She is having a hard time fitting back into her community - they view her as a traitor. 

Sabine gets a call from her niece, Lily's stepfather to say that she has not returned home from her trip to Africa.  Like Sabine, Lily went as an aide worker, but just for a short time.  Now, she is missing.  Sabine - since she is familiar with Africa - agrees to fly there and search for Lily.  She meets Rose, and a man named Christoph, and together they head deeper and deeper into dangerous territory in search for Lily. 

This book was just okay.  I wanted to like it more, but it was just not well written.  The characters were glossed over quite a bit - you didn't really get into the heart of their past until the very end of the book.  The author almost seemed like she was keeping secrets just to keep them, but it didn't add anything to the story.  You didn't really feel like rooting for Lily - who was portrayed as a spoiled child who shouldn't have been there in the first place.

I would say skip it.  I think it could have been better told.

Stars: 3

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #71 - Cujo

Today's review is for

Cujo
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 497



This is the story of Cujo - a friendly, 200 pound Saint Bernard that was bitten by a rabid bat.  Cujo had not received any shots against rabies, so he immediately gets sick.  He is owned by a young boy, named Brett, who does not know Cujo is sick before leaving on a vacation with his mom.

Another family - the Trentons - are in the same town.  They have met Cujo when Brett's dad has worked on their car in his garage.  Mrs. Trenton's car starts to give her trouble while her husband is away, and she and her young son go to have it fixed and come face to face with a now rabid Cujo.

This book was not that great.  I am a big Stephen King fan, but this one was just a bit....boring.  It had intense sections - yes.  But the in between banter between the characters seemed all over the place.  It was hard to hold my interest.

This one was just....eh.  I don't recommend.

Stars: 2


Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #70 - Newtown

70 books down since January.  A new personal record

Today's review is for

Newtown
Author: Matthew Lysiak
Pages: 289



The author takes us into the story of the tragic day of December 14, 2012 where 20 children and 6 educators were killed during a school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.  Adam Lanza shot his mom, then went to the school on a killing spree, then killed himself.  But not before changing the lives of everyone in this town forever. 

The author discusses the children, the tragedy, and the aftermath in the year following the tragedy.  Drawn from first hand accounts, emails, police reports, and interviews, the author pieces this horrible tragedy together.

I had a hard time with this book.  And not because it was written poorly (the writing was okay), but the story is incredibly tragic.  I didn't live far from Newtown when the tragedy happened, and my youngest two children are the same age as the children killed that day.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of those children and think what they would now be like as 12 year old children.   On how much my children have done in the last 5 1/2 years that these children will never get to experience.

I cried with each chapter.  The story is very very hard to read.  The details of the day and how those children suffered and the children who survived - what they saw and heard - is almost too much to comprehend.  They were babies. 

Since Sandy Hook, there have been many more school shootings.  Too many.  And nothing changes.  I have always said - if nothing changed after 20 innocent 6 year olds were killed - then nothing will.

Take a look at this story.  Make sure you have your kleenex near by.

Stars: 4

Thursday, May 24, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #69 - The Things We Keep

Today's review is for:

The Things We Keep
Author: Sally Hepworth
Pages: 351



This is the story that takes place in a home for folks who have Alzheimers.  Anna is only 38 years old but has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers.  After she found out, she left her husband and moved in with her brother.  But when she accidentally starts a fire that harms her young nephew, she asked to be moved to a facility. 

In the facility she meets another young person with Alzheimers named Luke.  Luke and Anna begin a relationship as their memories slowly slip away.  Eve - a new cook with a checkered past - comes to the care home to work and care for the patients.  Her young daughter, Clementine, who has been uprooted from everything she knows, tries to make sense of her new life. 

Around them swirls a life that neither Eve or Anna ever expected.  Both trying to hold on to what they knew yet knowing that they cannot.  And when a tragic accident forces Anna and Luke's families to separate them, Eve tries to figure out a way to bring them back together.

I have mixed feelings about this book. first - it is a fast read.  The story moves quickly and the chapters go back and forth between different characters.  The story is heartbreaking to think of a woman as young as Anna having dementia and quickly losing her ability to remember anything. 

What I didn't like about the book was the whole involvement in Eve in Anna and Luke's love story.  Eve is a cook - not a nurse or a doctor - yet she feels she is a bit of an expert on what Anna and Luke need.  She doesn't know their whole story, doesn't know why the tragedy happened, and yet she feels it is her responsibility to make sure these two get to spend time together since they are "in love"?  I don't buy it.  IT was just too unrealistic, and I found myself rolling my eyes at that part of the story.

I cannot say to skip the book.  This piece above is not the biggest part of the book, and so I think it is worth a read.

Stars:  3 1/2


2018 Challenge - Book #68 - Shift

Today's review is for:

Shift
Author: Hugh Howey
Pages: 580



This is book two in the Wool Trilogy.  This book takes us back in time to the year 2039 when the silos first became an idea.  The main charater - Donald - is a senator who has been brought on the project to help build the silo.  He was an architect before we ran for government office, so he is to design something that can go underground for over 100 floors.  He spends months and months profecting the design.  When it is finally put into place, he finds out that it wasn't just for one silo, but for 50.  And that instead of them being used "in case", they would be used to save the human race.

The book starts to jump forward a century at a time.  People who were placed in the silo in 2039 are being woken for 6 month shifts to keep the silos running.  Donald is awake and starting a shift, but his memory has been wiped and he thinks he is a man named Troy.  He is given a daily pill to keep his memories at bay, but as he starts to refuse the pills, he starts to remember who he was and what happened.  Each time he is awake, he remembers more and tries to solve the mysteries of why the silos exist, what happened to his wife, and what is happening in the other silos.

I liked this book as much as the first.  It opened the world and gave us an insight on how it all began and who is running the silos.  We learn the reason they were put into place and see how they evolved to where they were during the first book in the year 2300.  We also get to see how Jimmy (aka Solo) started alone at the age of 16 until he was found by Juliette.

I encourage you to read this series.  I am looking forward to reading book 3

Stars:  4 1/2