Archive for the ‘Marisa Book Review’ Category

All the Light

All the Light We Cannot See received a lot of publicity because it was a National Book Awards Finalist, so there is no need for me to sing its praises (although I would… because IT DESERVES LOADS AND LOADS OF PRAISES).  WWII, France, Germany, orphans, a blind girl, young love, Nazis… you get the gist.  But IT’S AMAZING.


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How many times have I written recently that I started reading a book and had no idea what I was getting into?! I feel like that has happened to me a lot lately.  Well The Museum of Extraordinary Things is no exception.  Wow was this book … nuts!  Coralie’s father runs a museum in their home, with  – – extraordinary things, like a 100-year old turtle, and the Wolfman.  Coralie herself is forced to be the “mermaid” and has practiced staying underwater for long periods of time so that she can be in the tank when visitors come in.  Coralie of course wonders what life is like outside of the museum and soon runs into a photographer near the Hudson River when she is doing one of her late night practice swims.  The events that occur once Coralie meets Eddie are… nuts! Read it to believe it!

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Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling reminded me of a Revolutionary War book, but set in the future, but set in the past… ?!?  A young princess has been raised in the country by guardians and when she becomes of age, she has to go back to the castle and reclaim her throne.  Throw in some magic, some really bad historical laws put in place by her dead Queen mother, a jealous Uncle who wants the throne, and an evil Queen of a neighboring region, and you have exciting fantasyworld stuff on your hands!  It seemed like Princess Kelsea was in the US, so it was semi-Hunger Games in that it was a bit dystopian, but the people still lived like they were in the 1800’s, because somehow all of the knowledge they had gained was lost.

I really loved The Queen of the Tearling and it was a fun read!  It was only disappointing when I realized that it is meant to be a trilogy, but the second book had not yet been written. Thankfully, last I checked, the second book will be released in June 2015!

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The Nightingale takes place in the french countryside, beginning just before the Nazis invade France.  The main characters, Vianne and Isabelle, are sisters.  Vianne is living in the family home with her husband and daughter, Isabelle is away at boarding school, and their father is in Paris.  After their mother died when the girls were young, the father was not the best caretaker and they all became estranged.  Vianne’s husband soon has to join the French army and Vianne is forced to grow a bit of a backbone and take care of things on her own.  Soon she is dealing with a Nazi captain that is stationed in her home, amidst her worry for her best friend and neighbor, a Jewish woman.  Isabelle, on the other hand, decides to actually participate in the Resistance, unbeknownst to her sister, bringing much mystery and baited breath to the tale.

This is a riveting book because it’s not clear who is meant to be the hero / main character. There are many plot twists and times where you are reading with bated breath that it is such a quick read due to the fact that you will not want to put it down!  I highly recommend The Nightingale; the only problem was that when I was done reading it I couldn’t find another book to read right away because it left such an impression on me!

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Talk about the perfect summer read! Bittersweet has mystery, jealousy, romance, money, and murder!

Mabel is the dowdy college roommate of Genevra (Ev) Winslow (of “the Winslows”). Every summer the Winslows retreat to their land bordering Lake Champlain in Vermont where years ago the patriarch purchased land and built many cottages. Each arm of the Winslow family has its own cottage, and Ev is hoping this is the year that she gets her own cottage (separate from her parents) so she ropes Mabel into coming along to help her make it respectable. Mabel is all too willing to help as her glimpse into Ev’s seemingly perfect rich life has planted a seed in her mind of how wonderful and idyllic it must be at Winloch.

Once Ev & Mabel arrive at Winloch, Mabel begins to see some parts of the Winslow family (and Ev) that are not so perfect. She sees the perfect facade but soon sees it as a facade and begins to see that nothing is as it seems!

Bittersweet was such a fast read I was sad to finish it – – the perfect vacation or beach read!!

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SworntoSilence   PrayforSilence   BreakingSilence  

It seems so weird to me to actually put this into writing, but I really enjoy reading this series of mysteries that are based on … murders in Amish country, Ohio.

Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in a small town in Ohio, and has to deal with some pretty gruesome murders that relate to the Amish community.  Lucky for her she used to be Amish and so she speaks Pennsylvania Dutch.  The Amish people still don’t completely trust her because they don’t trust any English, but she is the best of the worst, so to speak.

To add a bit of tension and some romance, Kate gets the help of John Tomasetti, an agent sent by the state to assist with the investigations (John and Kate both have some dark secrets in their past).  The books are quick reads, the mysteries and murders are hard to figure out, and there are always twists and turns.  If you are looking for a page-turning murder-mystery, I recommend the Kate Burkholder series as something a little out of the ordinary!

  1. Sworn to Silence
  2. Pray for Silence
  3. Breaking Silence
  4. Gone Missing
  5. Her Last Breath (haven’t read this one yet!)
  6. The Dead Will Tell (release date June 2014)

Note – Sworn to Silence became a made-for-TV movie on Lifetime (titled “An Amish Murder” and so of course I watched it (really? that title?)).  It was starring Neve Campbell of Party of Five fame, and was pretty hilariously done.

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What can I say about this book? I have actually been avoiding posting a review of The Goldfinch because I am nowhere near a good enough blogger to write a description or synopsis that can do it justice.  When books have praise blurbs written by the likes of Stephen King, they don’t need little old me telling the Internet my thoughts.  But, I jotted down some thoughts anyway:

  • How about this: The Goldfinch recently won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and it is easy to see why.

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