Monthly Reads

Monday, June 29, 2015

I go through times where I can read several books a week and then other times where I only read a couple a month. Because I spent a lot of time earlier in June working on Claire's book, I didn't spend much of my free time reading other ones. Here are mini reviews of the two that I did read:

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The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
This book was a quiet, slow read. That being said, the timeline of the story actually moved quite quickly, lightly and thoughtfully touching upon brief moments in the lives of its characters just enough to let you know how they were faring. It would then zoom in and focus on detailed moments, closely examining their importance. I love when stories do this. I'll be honest, I had no idea what this book was about when I ordered it or when I began reading, and I liked it that way. I just knew that I'd seen this book on every list everywhere and that has to mean something, right?

The main character in this story, Tom, takes on the job of light keeper on a deserted island off the western coast of Australia so he can remove himself from society while he deals with the PTSD he is struggling with after WWI. In the closest small town on the mainland he meets a girl, Isabel, and they communicate through letters for a while before he proposes and she joins him on the island as his wife. As the sole inhabitants on the island with the lighthouse, their heartache truly begins when Isabel has repeated miscarriages. One day years later, a boat washes ashore with only two passengers: a dead man and a tiny, weeks-old infant baby girl. And here the struggle between heartache and moral principles begin. You'll have to read it to find out more.

This book has been picked up by Dreamworks as a movie, currently in post-production, directed by Derek Cianfrance, featuring Michael Fassbender as Tom and Alicia Vikander as Isabel. It is said that it will possibly be released at a film festival this fall, and will probably be more of an indie release than a full-theatre one.

The Heir by Kiera Cass
If you haven't heard of the Selection series, you need to go look it up! The Heir is the fourth book in this series, which was a surprising addition to a set of three that everyone suspected was complete. And not only do we get this fourth book, but a fifth one too! Kiera Cass went to the same college as me, which was one of the first things that drew me in (were we in creative writing together!? I'll never know!) and honestly, who isn't attracted to those covers?

If you aren't familiar with the first three, here's a little backstory: America Singer lives in a world that has been compared to the districts of the Hunger Games, but everyone is mixed in together. (Can we please stop comparing every dystopian and divided-society book to THG? This world is unique enough to stand on its own!) America's world is a post-war, dystopian North America whose population is divided into seven castes, each depicting the limits and careers of its people. America is a five, the artist caste, and she has very little chance of ever moving up in life, something she's fine with. The King has other plans, though, as he offers up a "Selection" as a way to find a wife for his son, Prince Maxon. This is where "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor" comparison comes from, and I get that; it was very "The Bachelor"-esque. America ends up as one of the 35 "contestants" in the Selection against her will... the rest, well... you'll have to read it. There is war and drama and various love stories, and I loved and drank up every minute.

I guess the title and blurb of this new, fourth book in the series will give a lot away, though. Sorry 'bout it. The Heir picks up 20 years later, and if you loved the first three you'll love this one too. I called this series my "guilty pleasure," because it's definitely YA made for younger teen girls, but I think anyone who loves a good, entertaining read with well-developed and lovable characters will really enjoy it. I can't wait for book four!

Also!.. I was OVERJOYED to find out that Warner Brothers has purchased the film rights to this series!! Finally! After a failed pilot for a TV show of this series several years ago that was never picked up, the studios have made a smart move by listening to the fans of this series and riding the momentum of the YA-books-to-movies success we've seen so often these past few years. I may be the only person sitting in the theatre over 30 when it comes out, but I will be there!

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Speaking of books, I can't post these little reviews without one last plug for Claire's book! When Faults Collide is available now in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble (online only) and will be available on Kindle starting this Wednesday, July 1st (pre-order available now!)

You also have two more days to enter my giveaway of one paperback copy! The giveaway ends tomorrow night at midnight. I'm so excited send it to the winner on Wednesday!