Literary Life    |    Reflections    |    Chasing My Bliss

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sarah's KeyMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

On July 16 & 17th 1942, 13,152 Jews were arrested in Paris and the suburbs, deported and assassinated at Auschwitz. 1,129 men, 2,916 women and 4,115 children in the Vel' d'Hiv roundup.

This is the tragic story of Sarah Starzynski, an 11 year old girl who was caught up in the roundup and Julia Jarmond a journalist assigned to do a story on the incident for the 60 year anniversary.

The beginning of the book is narrated by alternating the first person of each of the main characters between the past and the present in very short chapters. This structure of writing keeps you intrigued and flipping pages wanting to know more about Vel' d'Hiv and the fate of this little girl and her family.

About halfway through the book, the story is then told only through the narration of Julia Jarmond, and I found at this point the book lost something. The shock and disgust that dominated the first part of the book soon evolved into a much less emotionally gripping tale of Julia's determination to find out what had become of Sarah's fate.

I think if told more through Sarah's character this book could have been more powerful. Still a powerful and emotional story that you will never forget.

Zakhor, Al Tichkah.

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Between Sisters My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every relationship is unique but none is more special than the bond between sisters. Even if circumstances long ago created distance in miles or in emotions, sisters have a distinct capacity to regain the connection and kinship that defines what sisterhood really means.

Kristin Hannah captures just this in Between Sisters. A heartfelt story of estranged sisters who find there way back to one another. A definite tear jerker and one worth picking up.

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

Friday, July 17, 2009

Are You There Vodka? It's Me, ChelseaMy rating: 5 of 5 stars

I officially have a girl crush.

This book is freakin' hilarious. I have never laughed so hard reading a book before. I couldn't hold it in. Tears were pouring down my face and at some points I had to stop and share with my husband because it was just so out there that I couldn't believe that this was a memoir and not just a comedy routine.

I must admit some of these stories are so extreme it makes you wonder whether they have been over embellished but at the same time you are laughing hysterically thinking, "Oh No!! She couldn't!" while the tears start running again. As she states in the book, she has no problem admitting that she is a compulsive liar and is known for not knowing where the truth ends and where the lies begin, so you can keep that in mind while reading this.

I never saw Chelsea Handler do her stand-up but this reads like mini bits and I could picture her doing all of these stories in her routine. I was going to share a glimspe of her humor but I can't choose, their are so many good parts and I don't want to offend anyone who reads this with her racy topics.

There is a lot of off-color humor and offensive material throughout the book so if you are sensitive this book is NOT for you. But, if you don't offend easily pick up this book and make sure you empty your bladder before reading otherwise you may pee your pants from laughing so hard and give yourself a few hours of free time because you won't want to put this book down.

The Beach House by Jane Green

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Beach HouseMy rating: 3 of 5 stars

Typical Chick-Lit.

Everyone is divorced, having an affair or going through some earth shattering problem. They all meet in Nantucket at the Windermere house. They become family and live happily ever after.

Not the best of Green's books but it was a fun fluff read. I loved that she wrote a book completely on US Soil and still used British words to describe things. It helped remind me why I love British Writers so much. I mean honestly doesn't having a row sound so much better than having a fight?

The characters were easy to relate too and all the different story angles were all written in enough details to make you really soak up the story. The book did seem rushed about halfway through like Green was going to miss her deadline but all in all a good light read.

At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

At First SightMy rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not sure about this one. It had a lot of twists and turns but it was kind of boring and did a lot of backing up to remind everyone about True Believer. The story had me at the edge of my seat at times, nervous for the characters and I did cry at the ending but was pretty disappointed in the actual story itself.

Jeremy seemed to whine a lot. A whole lot. He was miserable and I started hating his childishness. Lexie was starting to get to me as well with her absentmindedness. I don't know. Just not the best Sparks book. Glad I finished it but I found myself skimming ahead a lot to see if it was worth reading further. Not normal for me and his work.

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks

Thursday, July 2, 2009

True Believerrating: 2 of 5 stars

This had all the makings of a good Nicholas Sparks book. But, it wasn't his best work. If someone else would have wrote it maybe I could have given it a better rating but for Nicholas just wasn't anything spectacular and even then it probably would have received a 2.5 star rating.)

I enjoyed the characters and of course am now reading the follow up book, At First Sight with higher hopes but the storyline was too overplayed. -- Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy will do anything to keep girl. -- Very sweet story, but nothing over the top to make you love it.
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"You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." ~ Paul Sweeney