Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, September 21, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #92 - The Day The World Came To Town

Today's review is for

The Day The World Came To Town
Author: Jim DeFede
Pages: 260



This book was written after the events of September 11th.  The story is about the people of Gander, Newfoundland (Canada), who got 38 planes that were grounded when American airspace was closed.  For a week the people of the small town fed, housed, and clothed 7000 people.  There generosity quickly got national attention and became a story of hope and resilliance in the wake of hatred.

This was a pretty good book.  I have seen the musical "Come From Away" that is about many of the heros of Gander and how they came together as a town to help stranded people.  There are 100s of stories of passengers who were given free clothes, medicine, groceries, shelter, and friendship when they couldn't get home.  The people of Gander took a terrible situation and gave Americans some peace.

To this day - 17 years after 9/11, the people of Gander are remembered and visited by the passengers that were there that horrible week.  The passengers have raised over 1 million dollars in scholarships for the Gander high schoolers and many have worked to give back what they could to a town that dropped everything for them.

It is nice to see a story about people who are truly selfless.  The people of Gander didn't think about what would be their "thanks" for taking in these people - they just did it because it was what they do.  Their generosity prooves there is faith still to be had in people.

Stars: 4

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #91 - The Outsider

Today's review is for:

The Outsider
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 576



This story begins in a small town named Flint where a terrible murder of a child has taken place.  The two police detectives on the case feel like they have all the envidence they need to make an arrest - finger prints, eye witnesses and DNA evidence, so they decide not to pre-interview their suspect in case it tips him off and he runs.  There are a few problems though.  For one - the suspect is a well liked, well respected member of this small community.  And two - the suspect has a solid alibi of his own. 

The police detectives aren't buyin his alibi and are set to take the suspect to court.  As the evidence expands, it is looking more and more like the detective's suspsect could never had committee this crime.  He would have been in two places at once.  More tragedy strikes affecting many of the families involved, and the suspects lawyer decides to hire a private detective to find out the truth once and for all.

But the truth is hard for anyone to believe and it will take a lot to convince the police detectives they have the wrong man.

This was a pretty good book.  I am a huge Stephen King fan, and this book didn't disappoint.  I liked that more than half of the book was more mystery than horror, and that kept the plot line moving.  The ending wasn't - great - felt like it was a bit "out there".  But that is typical of King.  He doesn't always wrap his stories up well.  This one ended in a bit of a mystery that I couldn't quite decide what to do with.

IF any of you read the Hodges Trilogy King wrote, then you won't be disappointed to see that a character from those stories is in this book. 

If you are a King fan - check this one out.  You won't be disappointed.

Stars: 4

Saturday, September 15, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #90 - I Let You Go

Today's review is for

I Let You Go
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Pages: 377



This story takes place after a horrible car accident.  Jenna Gray ends up in a small Welsh town trying to escape the memory of the accident, and the loss of her child.  She meets a few nice people but doesn't ever reveal her past to them.  She wakes in nightmares of the accident and can't seem to fully escape.  She starts to heal by walking along the beach and taking pictures of words she draws in the sand.

The other part of the story revolves around the Bristol police officers who were on the case of the car accident.  They have been searching for a year for the driver who fled the scene of the accident, but the case has gone cold.  One officer cannot let it go and continues to search for leads to mkght bring the town some peace.

This was a pretty good book.  After reading quite a few duds in a row, I was relieved for finally read a book that I wanted to stay up late to finish.  There are quite a few surprises in this book that you don't see coming and I think the story is well written.  (well - the author uses the word fortnight a few too many times, but I digress). 

The plot twist is worth this book.  It takes a while to get there, but I think that is what makes it so good.  You are SURE you know where the story is going until.....it turns completely around.  I was so intrigued and surprised, and I finished the book in 2 days just because I had to see what the end was going to be.

I encourage you to read this one.  It is a mystery, thriller and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Stars: 4

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #89 - The Light Of The Fireflies

Today's review is from another free Kindle book

The Light of the Fireflies
Author: Paul Pen
Pages: 338



This is a story of a family that was forced to live underground.  A young boy has never known anything but living in the basement with his parents, his grandmother, and his older brother and sister.  All of his siblings had been badly burned in a fire no one will talk about.  They tell the boy that the basement is all there is - that there is no where else for him to go.  The basement keeps them hidden and protects his family from a terrible secret that the young boy knows nothing about.

At the age of 11, the boy desperately wants to see the outside world.  But he lives in fear.  Fear of the "Cricket Man" and "The One Up There" that brings the family food and medicines but it never seen.  When his sister has a baby and no one is telling who the father is, the young boy plans his escape.  With his oldest sister's help, he finds out the truth and soon realizes he can no longer stay below ground.

This story was disturbing.  This is dysfunctional family at its best, and when the big reveal about where the baby came from, why they were in the basement, and other family secrets came to life - you just are left feeling disgusted.  I do like, though, how the authro went back and forth through time - to the time before the family was forced into the basement, and to the time the boy was young, and then 15 years into the future at the end of the book.  So I will give credit for that.

The story is not for the faint of heart.  There isn't much to like about any of the characters.  Their actions are unforgivable and in the end, you just want the little boy to escape and be done with the story.

It is hard to recommend it because the story is very disturbing.  So I would say skip it

Stars: 3

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #88 - We Were Mothers

The next two reviews I am doing are not from books that were recommended to me.  They are free Amazon Prime books that I received as a member (we get a free Kindle book each month).

We Were Mothers
Author: Katie Sise
Pages: 311



This is the story of 4 women whose lives are entertwined by families and friendship.  Cora has discovered a journal in her baby daughter's room during her twin's birthday party.  The journal belongs to the daughter of her neighbor and friend, Laurel.  The journal entry that was left for Cora to see reveals an illicit secret.  Within days, Laurel's daughter is missing and the close families start to fight one another while they search for Laurel's daughter.  Secrets are revealed and the women discover things about their husbands that they never knew they could be capable of.

This book was okay.  Because it was free, I didn't mind reading it.  It is a fast read.  I did not like the characters very much, and I am thinking the author has a real problem with men.  Not one man in this book had good qualities.  They were all awful people.  It was a bit much - how all the men turned out to have horrible secrets.

Eh - I would skip it.  I don't think it is worth reading. 

Stars:  2

Monday, September 3, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #87 - Future Home of the Living God

Today's review is for

Future Home of the Living God
Author: Louise Erdrich
Pages: 288



This is a dystopian future novel where the human race is reversing - going back to primitive days.  Evolution is reversing itself.  Women are giving birth to pre-primitive spiece and most don't survive.  26 year old Cedar is pregnant and now she has to hide.  She is sure her baby will be different, but all pregnant women are rounded up and kept in camps or hospitals until they give birth.  She doesn't know what the fate of these women or babies will be, so she hides.

I honestly can't write more about this book because I wouldn't encourage anyone to read it.  It was that terrible.  I should have done a better job reading the reviews before I chose this one, but this year's challenge is all about reading recommendations from others.  This idea of the book was what drew me to it.  I am a huge fan of dystopian future novels and it has been awhile since I have read one.  But this one I should have stayed clear of.  AND - I should have stopped reading it because I could barely get through it.

This novel went....nowhere.  It was random, and strange, and none of the characters were ever fully developed.  None of the characters were likable.  It was overly religious, but even that didn't make much sense.  And the ending just....ended.  Nothing was wrapped up, and it wasn't even a satisfying cliff hanger.

IT was just terrible.  Stay far far away.

Stars:  1

Friday, August 31, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #86 - Neverwhere

Today's review is for

Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 400



This is the story of Richard Mayhew who rescues a hurt young girl one night and ends up in the Underworld of London.  He no longer exists in London above where he had a life, a fiance, and a good job.  Now he is stuck in a world of forgotten people and places.  He befriends the girl he rescues - Door, and travels with her as she tries to discover who murdered her family.  Richard, Door, and her bodyguard, Hunter, travel between London below and London above all while being chased by two monsters as Door tries to bring a key to an angel that will unlock the mystery of her family's death.  And Richard is hoping that this will help him get home.

This was a pretty good book.  I am a Neil Gaiman fan, and this one did not disappoint.  It didn't drag, and you become invested in the characters and the story.  The only flaw I would say would be the ending.  Well - I wouldn't even call it a flaw - just predictable.  The ending was very predictable.  But the concept of the book was very neat.  The development of a parallel world - a parallel London - was well described and probably how many of us would imagine an underworld.

Check it out.  I think it is worth your time.

Stars: 4