Book Review – Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4) by Nicole Peeler

Posted October 24, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 0 Comments

Book Review – Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4) by Nicole PeelerEye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True #4
Published by Orbit on August 1, 2011
Pages: 342
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, Tempest's Fury

three-half-stars

Nothing says "home" like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.

Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she's not the only thing that's been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.

Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped...and Jane's just the halfling for the job.

Jane True Series

Tempest Rising (Jane True, #1)Tracking the Tempest (Jane True, #2)Tempest's Legacy (Jane True, #3)

Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)
Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2)
Tempest’s Legacy (Jane True #3)

Alright, it’s official. I love Nicole Peeler. There, I’ve said it. I’m SO glad that I finally got off my ass and read her Jane True series because it is truly a wonderful, hilarious, hell of a good time series. In the fourth installment of the Jane True series, after an altercation with a group of humans who attacked Jane and Anyan, Jane uses a power against them that no one knew she possessed. She used so much magic that she practically fell into a coma for the better part of a month. When she wakes, things aren’t much better; actually, they’re quite worse. Jane’s friends inform her that Phaedra’s evil group has been searching out the locations of four ‘locks’ that are around Rockabill that when unlocked will unleash and ancient power. It’s up to Jane to locate the locks and get to this ancient power first so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

I won’t continue to gush about my love for this series, I’m sure everyone is fully aware by now, since this will now be my fourth review of this series and I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record. As far as new thoughts and feelings, I must say I am so glad that Jane and Anyan are still ‘together’. I absolutely adore those two.

I loved seeing Iris go through her healing process after what she suffered in the 3rd book. It made it all the more real that the author didn’t simply glaze over that whole ordeal and transform Iris right back to her normal funky self.

It never ceases to crack me up how Jane’s libido has a life of its own and it’s almost a completely separate entity form Jane.

’Now I can do the slurping! My libido crowed, causing me to blush. I hated when I blushed at my own sex drive.’

I had this horrible feeling that I was going to be left with some massive cliffhanger about midway through the book. Fortunately, that feeling was short-lived as Nicole managed to wrap it up quite nicely. All I have to say though… poor Jane and Anyan. Lol Can’t they get cut some slack here??? I can’t wait for the fifth installment; this series just keeps getting more and more exciting!

If you have yet to read this series, well… what are you waiting for?!

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Book Review – Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright

Posted October 24, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 2 Comments

Book Review – Love in Mid Air by Kim WrightLove in Mid Air by Kim Wright
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on April 1, 2010
Pages: 321
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the community. She finds herself cutting through all the instincts that say "no" and instead lets "yes" happen. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. There are consequences for Elyse, her family, and her circle of close friends, all of whom have an investment in her life continuing as normal. But is normal what she really wants after all? In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find--and follow--her own path to happiness.

An intelligent, sexy, absorbing tale and an honest look at modern-day marriage, Love in Mid Air offers the experience of what it's like to change the course of one's own destiny when finding oneself caught in mid air.

There are some books that need to be read when you’re at the right place in your life to be able to fully appreciate it. If you’re super happy in your current relationship I could see this being a very negative book, from that perspective. If you’ve had your relationship ups and downs and even occasionally daydream of simply running away from life, I believe you’d be able to understand this book more.

This was a very powerful book, and at first glance not a very happy one. Elyse Bearden is a married mother of one who has realized lately that her marriage is stale. After meeting a man on a plane ride home that she later begins to have an affair with, she begins to really question what she wants out of her marriage and what she wants out of her life. She doesn’t fall in love and daydream about running away with this man, but he alone has transformed her thoughts and her overall expectations.

‘Thinking about him is addictive, I know that from yesterday when I became so drunk with memory that I took to my bed like some old-time Hollywood starlet.’

Finally coming to the conclusion that she can’t stay in this marriage and continue to live the way she has been. She unfortunately realizes that if she really wants to leave, she’s going to have to leave a lot more than just a marriage.

‘When I was a teenager my grandmother used to tell me, “You marry the man, you marry the life,” and it seems to me logical, perfectly ordinary karma, that the reverse is also true. If I leave this man then I must leave this life.’

Simply put, this was a very heartbreaking novel. Elyse was a very vivid character and her story was quite authentic. The ending wasn’t your traditional tale of happily ever after; however, it is a tale of life continuing even when you didn’t think it could.

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Book Review – Bonnie (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #3) by Iris Johansen

Posted October 20, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 6 Comments

Book Review – Bonnie (Eve, Quinn and Bonnie #3) by Iris JohansenBonnie by Iris Johansen
Series: ,
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 18th 2011
Pages: 373
Genres: Contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Quinn

one-star

The truth has eluded her for years. . . . Now is she ready to face it?

When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life---until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape. But a new Eve emerged: a woman who would use her remarkable talent as a forensic sculptor to help others find closure in the face of tragedy. Now with the help of her beloved Joe Quinn and CIA agent Catherine Ling, Eve has come closer than ever to the truth. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes that Bonnie’s father is a key player in solving this monstrous puzzle. And that Bonnie’s disappearance was not as random as everyone had always believed . . .

The Eve, Quinn and Bonnie Series

This is the series that I have read the longest, at least a decade. I read all 11 of her Eve Duncan series and when the author announced that she’d be making a final trilogy to fully resolve everything, well, I was ecstatic. The Eve Duncan series chronicles a mother losing her child and never having the closure she needed, never knowing what happened to her, her daughter Bonnie simply disappeared off the face of the Earth. This kick started her career in forensic sculpting and she began helping other families who had lost children bring them home finally. So, this is essentially the conclusion to a 14 book series that I’ve read from the very beginning and loved. I had a lot riding on Iris Johansen being able to pull this off in making it feel the series came full circle and I wasn’t left with any nagging questions. I’m thinking I set the bar too high.

The writing seemed a bit too literal, especially since it’s such a long term series it seemed as if she was writing so that someone could jump into the series at any point and completely understand what was going on. I think people need to just read from the beginning so the author isn’t making statements like this:

”You’ve been trained in police sketching as part of your training, Eve.”

No shit? Trained as part of her training? Redundant much?

Bottom line, the constant repeating of everything that was gone over millions of times already was irritating. And I swear, the last 50 pages from the previous book were pasted at the beginning of this one. I appreciate the refresher but seriously?

The Ending

This is going to be one ginormous spoiler but I HAVE to say it. So if you haven’t read this book yet and still have intentions of doing so? Don’t click the spoiler button.

…I warned you

View Spoiler »

I have nothing more to say, but even if I did I don’t feel like wasting my time on this series anymore. It’s over, the big finale has been read after so many years of waiting, and I’m one seriously disappointed reader.

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Book Review – Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

Posted October 18, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 3 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia HabelDearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Published by Del Rey on October 18th 2011
Pages: 482
Genres: Romance, Steampunk
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A classic romance, suspense thriller, rip-roaring adventure, and macabre comedy all at once, Dearly, Departed redefines the concept of undying love.

CAN A PROPER YOUNG VICTORIAN LADY FIND TRUE LOVE IN THE ARMS OF A DASHING ZOMBIE?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the mores of an antique era. Sixteen-year-old Nora Dearly is far more interested in her country’s political unrest than in silly debutante balls. But the death of her beloved parents leaves Nora at the mercy of a social-climbing aunt who plans to marry off her niece for money. To Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. Now she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting a fatal virus that raises the dead. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and thoroughly deceased. But like the rest of his special undead unit, Bram has been enabled by luck and modern science to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

Dearly, Departed was quite enjoyable for me … at first. I found myself overwhelmed by the storyline because it had entirely way too much going on. I picked this up solely because it was a zombie novel (gotta love zombies) but then I was thrown into this odd dystopian society and THEN it transformed into this weird steampunk society where everything is set in ‘Victorian’ times. That was all just a bit too much for me and made it quite unbelievable and entirely too hard to follow. Suffice it to say I’m going to skip my typical summarizing of the story because it’s simply entirely way too much to summarize.

I found each and every one of them to be an enjoyable addition to the story, but the multiple change in point of view added to the ‘entirely-too-hard-to-follow-ness’ that was going on for me. I thought it was an interesting touch when one of the POV’s was even the ‘villain’, but it didn’t work for me overall.
Bram was my favorite… he was charming, interesting, and quite funny. You could almost forget that he was a zombie.

’I gave her as long as she needed, all the while mentally designing my tombstone. R.I.P., Captain Abraham R. Griswold. He was completely useless and made girls cry.’

I think that was a part of the problem though… I didn’t want to forget he was a zombie! Zombies aren’t supposed to be mistaken for humans! I think I was missing the overall zombie-ness about him.

The zombie’s in ‘Dearly, Departed’ were an odd bunch. They were all infected with what is known as the Lazarus syndrome which caused people to come alive a few short hours after being pronounced dead… but they didn’t all come back the same. We had the Gray’s who are your typically moaning, limb dragging zombie-types. Then there’s a zombie army that fights the Gray’s. The members of the zombie army are zombies but they stayed fairly human, as far as personalities go… they still looked just as gruesome as normal zombies.

’I desperately wanted to roll my eyes, but we were discouraged from doing so. The muscles around the eyes are always some of the first to go.’

Well shucks. I was so hoping to like this more but unfortunately this really didn’t work for me.

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Book Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Posted October 15, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 1 Comment

Book Review – Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Pages: 424
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

three-stars

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters. But angels burned the doorways to their world, and she was all alone.”

I was so excited to get my hands on this quickly after it was released, but what was even quicker was my disappointment. Sorry guys, am definitely in the minority here, obviously.

’He was standing over her, and his eyes were molten. They were wide, his orange irises ringed around in white, and he was holding, one in each hand, her crescent-moon knives.’

And what does he say?

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

And what’s her response?

‘Just then, lit only by the flicker of his wings, the sight of him was so… right, somehow. He was right.

I’m sorry… what?? What exactly is right about that situation someone please tell me? Now, speaking hypothetically, if I had weird magic eyeballs on my palms I would’ve blasted his ass right out the front door.

Overall, the story was beautifully written but I fear that that was the only redeeming factor and the only reason I gave it 3 stars. Maybe I’m just not cut out for fantasy novels; maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Either way I didn’t enjoy this as much as many of you did, although I can certainly see the appeal, even if it didn’t have the same affect on me. Like I said, the writing was beautiful, and the author certainly created an extremely detailed world; however, I can’t help but feel that it was all just too much. The storyline was incredibly original and I applaud Laini Taylor for that, but what truly brought it all down for me was the romance. The romance was too typical, too cliché, too star-crossed lovers, too… overkill.

By the end, I wasn’t left with much desire to even pick up the next book in this series but I suppose we’ll see what happens. As it stands now, I’m still glad I read it and experienced the talent known as Laini Taylor, but I also wish that I had been able to enjoy it like many of you have.

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Book Review – The Gremlins by Roald Dahl

Posted October 15, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Middle Grade, Read in 2011 / 0 Comments

Book Review – The Gremlins by Roald DahlThe Gremlins by Roald Dahl
Published by Dark Horse on September 12th 2006 (first published 1943)
Pages: 56
Genres: Historical Fiction, Kiddie Books
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Witches

five-stars

The story of the The Gremlins concerns the mischievous mythical creatures of the title, often invoked by Royal Air Force pilots as an explanation of mechanical troubles and mishaps. In Dahl's book, the gremlins' motivation for sabotaging British aircraft is revenge of the destruction of their forest home, which was razed to make way for an aircraft factory. The principal character in the book, Gus, has his Hawker Hurricane fighter destroyed over the English Channel by a gremlin, but is able to convince the gremlins as they parachute into the water that they should join forces against a common enemy, Hitler and the Nazis, rather than fight each other. Source: Wikipedia

With full-page color illustrations and with several black and white illustrations by the Disney artists throughout.

This was Roald Dahl's first book and preceded the British publication by several months. The story was optioned by Disney and was intended to be made into an animated film, but it was never produced. A note on the copyright page states: "The RAF Benevolent Fund will receive the author's share of the proceeds from the sale of this book." Dahl's next children's book, James and the Giant Peach, published eighteen years later.

“In this most beautiful green wood there lived a tribe of funny little people who were quite different from the rest. They had funny horns growing out of their funny heads and funny boots on their funny feet, and with these boots – and this was funniest of all – they could walk upside down under the branches of the trees. Oh, it was a happy and peaceful life that these little men led – until the humans came.”

And so begins the story of the Gremlins who were torn from their homes when the humans decided to build a factory for airplane production. The Gremlins knew it was time to act and ‘to get revenge for the loss of our homes. We will make mischief for them, and we will harry and tease the men who fly them, until we obtain some satisfaction for all the harm that has been done to us.

The pilots finally figured out a way to appease these pesky Gremlins: feeding them Transatlantic-special-deliver-airmail stamps. By feeding them this delicacy, they were finally able to talk to the Gremlins and explain why they tore down their home and that it was to save their homes from all being destroyed. The pilot asked the Gremlins to help and that if they assisted and were victorious that they would give them a patch of forest back to them to be their new home.

Interesting Facts
This was actually the very first children’s book that Roald Dahl ever wrote. ‘The Gremlins’ is a story set in the 1940’s when we were in the midst of WWII. This story was originally meant to be a film by Walt Disney but was dropped and never completed but the book was still published. This is considered to be a quite rare book as fewer than 5,000 books were published worldwide.

Thoughts
This was an adorable book that I stumbled upon. Highly recommended to anyone given the opportunity to read it!

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Early Review – Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Posted October 14, 2011 by Bonnie in Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 / 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Triangles by Ellen HopkinsTriangles by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Atria Books on October 18th 2011
Pages: 529
Genres: Contemporary, Verse
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Crank, Burned, Fallout

five-stars

THREE FEMALE FRIENDS FACE MIDLIFE CRISES IN A NO-HOLDS-BARRED EXPLORATION OF SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.

Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-athome mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?

Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?

Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.

As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters. Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost.

Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers.

’Two lines that never intersect are parallel. Two lines that intersect forming ninety-degree angles, are perpendicular. Perpendicular lines cross each other. Crossing lines. Today I’m thinking about how easy it is to be perpendicular. And about how, while parallel lines may not intersect, parallel lives too often do.’

Thoughts
I got this off of Galley Grab and it went on my list of ‘I might read… maybe’. Truth is I had heard about Ellen Hopkins YA books and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle the harshness of the subjects that she writes about and if her YA books were harsh I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her adult novel. I picked it up one morning when I had some time to kill and was completely blown away. This woman is an amazing writer.

’Falling to pieces. That’s how my life feels. Fractured. Crushed. Disintegrating. And the weird thing is, it’s all because of that stupid little word: love. I’ve fallen in love with *name omitted*, and it’s tinting everything normal about me with shades of insanity.’

I could go into the storyline and what it’s all about, but the summary of the book pretty much says it all. The storyline wasn’t what made this book amazing though, it was the writing. The author also did the most amazing thing with the formatting of each page that really added something spectacular. I’m not often a fan of POV changes, and this book switches the POV often between the three main characters, but it totally worked in this situation. She also used a different font to differentiate between the characters which I thought was a brilliant touch.

As many of you already know, this author writes in verse, and I was not expecting to fall in love with that style of writing as I have. She would write in verse and then often between POV changes she would insert a poem… which was simply remarkable.

This was my favorite piece of hers:

Spilling a Secret
What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It’s not
possible to predict
what will happen
if you
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can’t
tell
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
friend’s well-being
will
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
it be
mended again?
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
okay
when it all falls to pieces?

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Audiobook Review – The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Posted October 14, 2011 by Bonnie in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 / 0 Comments

Audiobook Review – The Crucible by Arthur MillerThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Published by L.A. Theatre Works on October 1, 2001
Length: 1 hour and 59 minutes
Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Arthur Miller's classic play about the with-hunts and trials in 17th century Salem is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially-sanctioned violence. Written in 1952, The Crucible famously mirrors the anti-communist hysteria that held the United States in its grip. Directed by Martin Jenkins.
A L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Richard Dreyfuss, Stacy Keach, Irene Arranga, Rene Auberjonois, Ed Begley, Jr, Georgia Brown, Jack Coleman, Bud Cort, Judyann Elder, Hector Elizondo, Fionnula Flanagan, Ann Hearn, Carol Kane, Anna Sophie Loewenberg, Marian Mercer, Franklyn Seales, Madolyn Smith, Joe Spano and Michael York

I never actually read this in school; however, I was very familiar with the storyline itself. The Crucible. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said?

This story was based on historical people and real events and was a very authentic depiction of paranoid and hysterical people in a tiny village. Despite knowing this was mostly factual, it was still hard to imagine such an unfortunate situation occurring. This village had laws established but it blew me away how everything was handled. These people were accused of crimes that many of them were innocent of yet they were denied a fair trial and the accusers were believed 100%. This is a prime example of what happens when there are gaps in due process and when local governments infringe on an individual’s civil liberties: chaos.

The scene that I will forever remember was where they speak about Giles Corey and the torture he suffered through. Giles had been one of the individuals accused of witchcraft (falsely) but he refuses to admit guilt or innocence as he is educated in the law. The law at the time stated that anyone who refused to enter a plea could not be tried. To force a plea, the townsfolk proceeded to pile large stones on top of his body in an attempt to get him to admit to his ‘crimes’.

At the end of the audiobook I listened to there was an interesting tidbit regarding what followed in future years that I was unaware of.

‘Twenty years after the last hanging, the government awarded compensation to the victims still living and to the families of the dead. However, some people were still unwilling to admit their total guilt. The town was still divided into factions for some of those compensated by the government were not victims at all, but informers.’

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Book Review – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Posted October 14, 2011 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 1 Comment

Book Review – Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 22, 1999
Pages: 220
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

Another on my list of Banned/Challenged books. And another book that I apparently failed to be given as a reading requirement when I was younger. And yes, I’m starting to feel like a broken record at this point. But at least I’m getting around to reading them! Better late than never.

Speak is a moving and heartbreaking tale about a young girl who is keeping a dark secret from everyone including her family. This kept secret cost her all of her friends who all hate her for what she did, yet she still lacks the will to speak the truth.

’I am BunnyRabbit again, hiding in the open. I sit like I have an egg in my mouth. One move, one word, and the egg will shatter and blow up the world.’

Speak is the story of her healing, coping, and coming to terms with it all. It was a truly enthralling tale that kept the pages turning despite the sadness each page is steeped in. To me, this was such a vivid and accurate depiction of a teen girl suffering through high school and the blowback from her kept secret. I may not have been able to personally relate to what happened to her, but I think everyone could relate in some way to how she was treated in high school by her classmates and how she felt. I don’t look back on high school (or school in general) with fond memories, I wasn’t popular by any means, and I often found myself dreading going to school. Reading about how she felt, how she was treated, definitely struck a chord with me.

It was such a touching novel and I was so pleased that she finally found her resolution in the end and that she finally found the ability to speak.

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