The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – Book Review

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I really liked this book.  It’s the first in a series, which I found to be a little upsetting, since I like to read each book in a series one right after another – and the second one hasn’t been published yet.  No, I’m not too patient, and I hate to wait.

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The crux of the book, is what would have happened to the Greek Gods when the new religion began and no one believed in them anymore.  Would they have faded away, or would they have kept “living”, only with major changes?  Frankly, as someone who spent many summers delving into the Greek myths (yes, I am a giant nerd), I really loved how the myths have been interwoven into the novel.

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The main character is Selene DiSilva, otherwise known as the Greek goddess Artemis.  Selene lives in modern-day New York where she spends her time ass-kicking very bad men.  She is a hero on many levels, the plot is exciting with plenty of twists and turns and the character development keeps you interested.  I really want to know more of the back-story with the different god and goddess who are living among “us” and am looking forward to more adventures to come.  I highly recommend this book – it will satisfy your inner Greek myth nerd.

A Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy – Book Review

A Few of the Girls

 

I am a huge Binchy fan.  My heart stopped when I heard that she had died in 2012, and my first thought was that I’d never read another book of hers for the first time.  Thanks to Binchy’s husband and editor I’ve been treated to a few more “new” books.  This one is a series of short stories regarding – of course, I’m sure you’ve guessed it – women.

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No one writes a short story better than Binchy.  She pulls you right into the world of her character and immediately makes you care about her.  I loved some stories more than others, (not everyone is nice), and was totally engaged.  The stories are just stories of real life – no plot twists, no mysterious strangers to muck about.  Just life.  I love how fabulously Binchy wrote about life.

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All I can say is read Maeve Binchy.  She’s a cup on hot tea on a cold winter’s day; a soft blanket to snuggle into after a long, difficult time.  Do yourself a favor and read this and any other book she wrote.  Yes, I do highly recommend this book!

 

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende – Book Review

The Japanese Lover

 

This was a wonderful book.  I really enjoyed all the different aspects to it, including the characters of both Alma Belasco, the elderly resident of Lark House a truly exceptional home for the elderly; and her friend and helper, Irina Bazili.  I loved how Allende tells each of the women’s stories in a slow and measured way, leaving us wanting to know more, but at the same time not covering up the “bad” parts.

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This novel takes us from the terrors of World War II overseas regarding Alma’s family, to the truth of the Japanese concentration camps here in the U.S. and Alma’s friend Ichimel Fukuda experiences in one of the camps.

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This book chronicles Alma’s life along with her present.  The crux Alma’s story is the mysterious letters and flowers she receives along with the odd trips that she takes.  Irina and Alma’s grandson Seth find themselves intrigued by these facts and spend time trying to track down the mysterious lover they are sure Alma is hiding.  There is also a love story regarding Irina who is suffering from some sort of trauma from her own childhood and Seth.  This story was compelling and once again attention is paid to child sex trafficking; which by my standards needs all the attention it can get.

Even though some of this novel was hard to read since the issues were not always pleasant, I really enjoyed it.  There is character growth and you really feel that not only do you understand the characters, but they also have learned something along the way.  I highly recommend this book.

 

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender – Book Review

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I loved this book.  I’m usually not one for ghost stories or haunted houses, however this novel was much much more.  Delia is a teenager with an authoritarian father, a mother who teaches women’s studies, and a younger sister who is perfect.  Delia’s great aunt whom she’s never met has left her a house.  The family decides to spend the summer there and ready the property for sale.  However, the house is really the former site for the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females.  If that name doesn’t give you the chills, then nothing will.  And of course, it’s haunted.

Through a series of idiotic moves on her parents’ parts, Delia becomes a permanent resident of the hospital when she dies (or is murdered).  This is the best novel I’ve read from a ghost’s point of view.  Alender creates interesting and varied characters that are trying to do exactly what live people do – live their lives in peace and avoid trouble.  However, Hysteria Hall has more than enough trouble for both the living and the dead.

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I won’t go into any more detail, since I really do want you to read the book.  I enjoyed this novel, sat on the edge of my seat and cried at the end.  Just what you look for in a good book. I highly recommend this novel!