"BEFORE YOU KNOW KINDNESS is about a 12 year old girl who shoots her father by accident, causing him to lose all function and feeling in the arm. It is a sad story in many ways, but also shows how tragedy can change people in different and remarkable ways.
A large part of the book is dedicated to the animal activist cause. For me, it was pretty radical. The dad who was shot was an avid vegan and animal rights activist. This plays a huge role in the story.
I like Bohjalian as an author. I had to learn again that he takes his time and allows the plot to unfold slowly. I did not find this to be a quick read, but it was fascinating and very readable.
"John Shors has followed up his debut novel, BENEATH A MARBLE SKY with n equally wonderful book in BESIDE A BURNING SEA! This one is set during WWII on a remote island in the South Pacific. It begins with an American hospital ship being torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese with only nine survivors. Seven are Americans by birth, one is Figian and the last is Japanese.
With this group, Shors builds a story that includes love, hate, treachery, treason and joy in the midst of fear and desperation. The story of survival is amazing (yes, the 5 star word!).
When I started this book, I could sense that it would be good, but I could not conceive of just how riveting it would become and how totally invested I would become in it and the characters. I just loved it!"
"I love Kristin Hannah books! They are always good emotional and realistic reads. BETWEEN SISTERS was not my favorite of her books, but it was good and kept me reading. What else can you hope for?
This one really did explain the unbreakable bond between sisters, no matter how broken that bond may seem. The tenaciousness of Meg's determination to reconnect and ultimately save Claire's life was wonderful.
If you like Hannah's books too and have missed this one, pick it up. I suspect you won't put it down until you've read the last page!"
""BLUESMAN is Dubus's first novel. It's not well known like THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG and THE GARDEN OF LAST DAYS. This is a true coming-of-age story. Leo is about to turn 18 and he loves Allie. It is a summer of love for both of them with all of the angst and good and bad that such love brings. The time is 1967, deep into the Vietnam War (which we all know wasn't really a war). All the pathos and joy of first love is explored in detail. To tell any more would spoil the story.
I loved this book, especially after recently reading TOWNIE, Dubus's autobiography. Do you need to have read it in order to enjoy this book? No, but it fills in a lot.
I think if you liked his other books, you would like this one. It's not like either one, but his writing style doesn't change. Great read"
"Wow! This one is hard for me to review. I love Tess Gerritsen's books, but this one was really different and I can't say for sure whether I liked it or not.
This is set in two time periods: the "present day" and "1830". It goes back and forth between the two. The majority of the book is set in "1830". The vast majority! I found that after reading a large portion set in 1830 I had difficulty picking up the thread in the "present day" sections. In my opinion, the sections could have been split up better or when it switched to "present day" a minimal review could have been provided. That's not optimal but I don't know how else this problem could have been avoided.
After saying that, I have to say that the book WAS interesting. I didn't want to stop reading it, but it was difficult for me. In the last quarter of the book, things picked up, the chapters shortened and the suspense increased. The ending was a real surprise and I loved it!
If you like books that are medicine based and especially if you are interested in "childbed fever", this one's for you.
Overall I enjoyed the read; just not as much as the other Gerritsen books I've read."
"This was a quick easy read.Such fun! I think it would be best for pre-teen and teen boys, but I enjoyed it a lot.
It has a discovered body, a hidden case, very bad guys and FBI agents who come into a small town in Minn. and stir up everyone. Most especially it's about two 11 year old boys and their adventures during one summer break.
This was a barn burner of a first novel! Bard did a great job keeping my interest.
I did get a bit tired of the lengthy description of the rescue and the preparations. I don't really need to know how all the weapons are made. But, that is a minor complaint. I couldn't put this down and I'm soon to be reading the sequel, BRAINRUSH II......!"
"The only other Koontz book I've read is WATCHERS. This one could have been it's twin or at least cousin. I read it and it was mildly entertaining, but I was really disappointed that the two were so similar. I liked WATCHERS better."
"BROKEN VESSELS is a series of essays (as opposed to short stories) by Andre Dubus. I came to read it after reading all of Andre Dubus's books, including his autobiography, TOWNIE and loving them. he spoke much of his father in TOWNIE and I was curious to read what the elder Dubus had to say.
These were remarkable candid shots of this man's life. They felt so totally honest, as if he really wanted readers to understand him.
If you love Dubus's work (either or both of them), I think you will enjoy this book"
"John Shors has hit another home run with CROSS CURRENTS! This was a delightful book set in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand in December 2004. From the location and the time frame, you might think it's a book about the tsunami that swept for thousands of miles at that time, but, while that is part of the story, it is not all of it by any means. The tsunami happens in the last eighth of the book (approximately).
Most of the book is a simple, but complex story of love and families. The Thai people are wonderfully portrayed and the Americans are so real. Patch is the "main" character, who has made bad mistakes and is hiding from the Thai authorities. His brother, Ryan, brings his girlfriend, Brooke, with him to try and help Patch decide what to do. Each character is fully fleshed out and I found that I had strong feelings about all of them.
When the tsunami does hit, we find out what they all are made of. What a wonderful story of friendship, love, terror and loyalty. The strength of all of the characters is remarkable.
"This truly was an amazing book! The characters were basically likable and believable. Covering 30+ years and two continents, it was magnificent. There was a lot of medical info gently included, which interested me as a nurse. The author is a physician and he wrote about what he knew.
Emotionally, this book took me from laughter to tears and back again. A terrific read! Essentially, the book is about family. And what a family here! As some of you know, I don't rehash the plot; enough folks do that (sometimes to excess). I just try to tell you whether or not I liked the book and why or why not.
"J.T. Ellison is one of my favorite authors. I have read all of her books and will continue to do so.
A DEEPER DARKNESS is my favorite so far, hands down! This book took a secondary character from her "Taylor Jackson" series and brought her to life. It was so good! Ellison made "Sam" so real and such an interesting person that you just have to want more.
I really am looking forward to the next book. I'd like to see Sam star in another book.
"Having seen Becky's interview with Dr. Phil, the book was a lot of repeat. This is one of the most tragic stories I've ever heard of and yet totally redeeming. I can't even imagine the horror and terror this family experienced and still they stayed true to their faith and forgave the "bad guys". It was so awful that I'm amazed that any of them are sane.
If you want to read a difficult, but true, story of faith, give this one a shot!"
I love Kristin Hannah's books. They are always an entertaining read. That being said, this was not my favorite. I felt as if some of the characters were borrowed from other books (wasn't Meghann in another book?).
This book discusses the difficulties we all face in a long term marriage. Some deal with it differently, but most marriages go through some of the same feelings.
The book held my interest, but just didn't reach the heights I've come to expect from Hannah."
"DRAGON HOUSE is Shor's third novel. This one is set in present day Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Iris has lost her father and wants to fulfill his dream of creating a school for Vietnamese street children. Joining her on the trip is Noah, recently back from Iraq, where he lost a leg. He is headed toward alcoholism and drug abuse and Iris hopes this trip will help him find himself again. They have been friends since childhood.
This sets the stage for a beautifully crafted story of love, pain, redemption and joy in a city finally recovering from the war (which we all know was not really a "war"). You will cry and laugh and rejoice throughout this book. It is truly beautifully written!"