Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Disappeared

The DisappearedThe Disappeared
by Kim Echlin

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finished Book: August 24, 2011

About the Book ~
(Good Reads)

This story of passionate love between a Canadian and her Cambodian lover evokes their tumultuous relationship in a world of colliding values. Set against the backdrop of horrific loss, these two self-exiled lovers struggle to recreate themselves in a world that rejects their hopes. Spare, unrelenting, and moving, The Disappeared is an unforgettable consideration of love, language, justice, and memory set against the backdrop of the killing fields of Pol Pot .

My Thoughts on The Book~

I really WANTED to like this book.  My friend T, who is living in Cambodia, lent it to me.  The book was written as if the main character was retelling a story.  It was weird for me. No quotations (I hate that!).  I had a hard time following what was going on in the beginning.  It is set in Canada and Cambodia in a time I don't know a lot about.  That part was interesting.  I thought the love story was weak.  I needed more substance.  I had a hard time buying into the fact that a young teenage girl would devote her life to a boy/man that she really barely knew.  On top of that, she would be willing to leave the only life she knew to chase after her lover 10 years later in a country that was experiencing such turmoil.  And how sad was it that she fights for justice her entire life and never gets her wish. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Firefly Lane

Firefly LaneFirefly Lane
by Kristin Hannah

Hardcover, 496 pages
Published February 5th 2008 
by St. Martin's Press

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finished Book: July 24, 2011

About the Book ~
(Good Reads)

From the New York Times bestselling author of On Mystic Lake comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness. 

Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .

For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship---jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you---and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

My thoughts on this book ~

Second book in a row about two friends, two best friends.  However, this one is much more intertwined than the last.  I enjoyed this one more due to the fact that their friendship is weaved into their life.  They meet as young girls and stay friends their entire life.  I find it interesting that two friends can indeed stay best friends there entire life without distancing themselves or making other friends they relate to better at adults.  I certainly cherish my childhood friends, but we are not a part of each other's everyday lives.

I could relate to Vix the entire book.  That I loved.  I could sympathize with how she was feeling, all her insecurities, and hopes.  The author did a good job at keeping you guessing.  I thought I knew what direction the book was headed, then she sent me in a completely different direction.  I loved that.  I also really enjoyed the relationship between Vix and her mom, as well as Tully and Vix's mom.  I really loved her strength and relationship she had with both women.  The book is a reminder of the importance of friendship and love.  Friendship is an amazing thing.  It's not perfect, it's real emotion and from the heart.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Sisters

Summer Sisters
Summer Sisters
by Judy Blume

Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Dell (first published 1998)
ISBN 0440243750
My rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Finished Book: July 18, 2011

About the Book
In the summer of 1977, Victoria Leonard's world changed forever - when Caitlin Somers chose her as a friend. Dazzling, reckless Caitlin welcomed Vix into the heart of her sprawling, eccentric family, opening doors to a world of unimaginable privilege, sweeping her away to vacations on Martha's Vineyard, a magical, wind-blown island where two friends became summer sisters...

Now, years later, Vix is working in New York City. Caitlin is getting married on the Vineyard. And the early magic of their long, complicated friendship has faded. But Caitlin has begged Vix to come to her wedding, to be her maid of honor. And Vix knows that she will go - for the friend whose casual betrayals she remembers all too well. Because Vix wants to understand what happened during that last shattering summer. And, after all these years, she needs to know why her best friend - her summer sister - still has the power to break her heart..

My Thoughts on This Book

This was a book club selection.  Overall, everyone liked it.  Most of us remember Judy Blume from when we were MUCH younger.  It was interesting reading her as an adult.  Some of us liked it more than others, but overall, I liked it.  It was a good, easy summer read.  I thought the book had good character development, however it lacked a plot for the most part.  It followed the life of two life long friends.  I found myself finding bits and pieces of each friend while relating it to my own childhood friends.  If you are looking for an easy read, this is your book!