Book Review

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

I feel like one of the few people who never saw the movie adaptation of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas when it came out. I had completely forgotten about this book until I stumbled onto it earlier this week in the library. Honestly, I was a little concerned about how well the subject of World War II and the holocaust would be handled – I’ve read a few books that romanticized the topic. Thankfully, this book treated the subject with dignity and respect that the subject demands. Further – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a beautifully written, fascinating coming-of-age tale of a German boy set in the most horrifying of settings.

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Artsy Reader. This week’s topic is The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover. To me, a book hangover is when you can’t stop thinking about the last book you read and you can’t get into the next one you’re reading. I’ve had a few of these recently – especially in my five star reads.

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Book Review

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Ok – I know that by 2020 you likely already have a pretty set opinion on the Twilight series. Trust me, I read them when they first came out over ten years ago and have a pretty strong opinion on them, but I recently saw them in the library and decided to give them a go again. Why? Because I read them at the height of their popularity, when it was also cool to hate them. So – was Twilight any better than I remember it being? Unfortunately, not.

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

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Book Review

Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I only recently started reading the mystery genre – and the Lovely Bones was one of the biggest books of the 2000s, let alone in the mystery space. I never saw the movie, and before reading this I had no real idea what the book was about. I went into it with fairly high expectations due to its popularity. Unfortunately, this one really fell short for me.

The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

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