A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Résistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark…

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
Published March 14, 2017 by Berkley Books
Format: Netgalley e-book; 368 pages
Historical Fiction
Also By This Author: Secrets of a Charmed LifeA Fall of Marigolds
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

When I first heard about A Bridge Across the Ocean, I was not aware of the paranormal aspects. I thought it was going to be purely historical fiction; however, the fact that Brette is able to see and speak with ghosts did not make this story fantastical. Susan Meissner wrote it in a realistic way that blended well with the other story lines.

I was originally drawn towards this novel because of the cover. This ship on the front looks very similar to the Titanic, and I have been obsessed with the story and legacy of the Titanic since the third grade. This novel has nothing to do with the Titanic, though. It revolves around two women, from Germany and France, surrounding the WWII era. One of the women, Simone, is a subtle part of the Nazi Resistance in France while the other woman, Annaliese, is the unfortunate wife of a Nazi official. They meet aboard the RMS Queen Mary, while traveling to America after the war. Decades later, Brette crosses paths with both women while searching for a ghost on the now memorialized Queen Mary.

Honestly, I was more interested in the flashbacks of Simone and Annaliese’s lives before, during, and even after WWII than I was in Brette’s present day journey of self discovery. Some of the flashback scenes are hard to read, but that’s typical of wartime settings. Brette is a pretty mild character, while Simone and Annaliese have stronger personalities and act, rather than react, like Brette does. I feel that Brette only serves to reconcile Simone and Annaliese’s storylines, which is where the meat of the story takes place.

“Her life had morphed into an existence defined always by losses.”

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction.
…you like books that have twists and unexpected endings.
…you don’t mind reading books with multiple narrators.
…you can enjoy a book even if you connect more with the supporting characters than you do the main character.

Final Musings

“Love is always what you get to keep when someone you care about dies. You will always have that love.”

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery – Audiobook Review

AnneOfTheIsland_2400x2400

Anne of the Island was published in 1915, seven years after the best-selling Anne of Green Gables, partly because of the continuing clamor for more Anne from her fans – a fan base that continues to grow today!

In this continuation of the story of Anne Shirley, Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Nova Scotia. Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as does Anne’s friend from Queen’s Academy, Priscilla Grant. During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa (Phil for short) also happens to be from Anne’s birthplace of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia. Anne, always the good scholar, studies hard, but she also has many life lessons. This book sees Anne leave behind girlhood to blossom into a mature young woman.

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
Published 2014 by Post Hypnotic Press (Originally Published 1915)
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours, 20 minutes
Classics / Young Adult
Also By This Author: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Emily of New Moon
Goodreads | Audible | Publisher
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Even though I’ve read Anne of the Island several times, and there are still five books that follow it, I feel sad, as if Anne’s story is over. Which it isn’t, honestly! Anne of the Island only marks the end of Anne’s beginning. So I will contribute these sad feelings to what I like to call a “book hangover.” Apparently it is still possible to be wrapped up in a book you’ve read and reread multiple times.

Anne of the Island is often regarded as the most popular installment of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne series, and that is most likely due to the fact that this novel is a culmination of events that started back in Anne of Green Gables. Anne finally gets to go off to college, after having put her education on hold to save up money through teaching. She also experiences romance in several different and, in one particular case, hilarious ways. Finally, Anne gets to see multiple dreams of hers realized, and the outcomes are particular surprising.

Although Anne of Green Gables is my favorite novel, Anne of the Island (and book #5: Anne’s House of Dreams, as well) holds a very dear place in my heart. There are so many sweet and sentimental scenes in this book that really pull on your heartstrings. Anne experiences heavier emotions, such as love and grief, but now as an adult. In Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, Anne is still growing up and learning about who she is and who she wants to be. In Anne of the Island, Anne has to actually make decisions about her future, and, as she says perfectly, “I do know my own mind…the trouble is, my mind changes and then I have to get acquainted with it all over again.”

Read This Book If…

…you’ve previously read Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea and you need more Anne in your life!
…you are looking for a book that makes you feel.
…you appreciate good storytelling.
…you love books that make you laugh, cry, swoon, and feel suspense.

Audiobook Review

I’ve been listening to many different audiobooks lately, and I can tell you that a narrator can either enlighten or ruin a story. Colleen Winton does a fantastic job at bringing Anne Shirley and the rest of the rest of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved characters to life. I would love to know if there were plans to have her narrate the rest of the Anne series, because I would definitely enjoy listening to them!

colleen-wintonAbout the NarratorColleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer…and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honored with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

Anne of Green Gables Giveaway: Three Winners

If you are interested in this audiobook, enter into a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Colleen Winton’s narrations for Anne of Green GablesAnne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island! Good luck!

Anne of Green Gables Tour Banner.png

I’m reviewing Anne of The Island as part of a blog tour hosted by Jess at The Audiobookworm. Stop by the tour page to check out other blogger’s reviews for Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island!

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery – Audiobook Review

AnneOfAvonlea-2400x2400.jpg

Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), this book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. We learn of Anne’s doings from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones: Mr. Harrison and his foul-mouthed parrot, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora (sweet and well behaved) and Davy (mischievious and in constant trouble). Anne matures, slightly, but she gets into a number of her familiar pickles, as only Anne can: She accidentally sells her neighbor’s cow (having mistaken it for her own), gets stuck in a broken duck house roof while peeping into a pantry window, and more.

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
Published 2014 by Post Hypnotic Press (Originally Published 1909)
Format: e-audiobook; 9 hours, 5 minutes
Classics / Young Adult
Also By This Author: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of the Island, Emily of New Moon
Goodreads | Audible | Publisher
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Anne of Green Gables Teaser 2

It’s amazing what you pick up from a book when you listen to the audiobook version, even if you’ve read the book countless times before. I have read and reread Anne of Avonlea several times since I was in elementary school, but I had never connected with this quote before now: “She seemed to walk in an atmosphere of things about to happen.” What a perfectly lovely description of Anne!

In Anne of Avonela, a lot of things do happen to Anne: she becomes a teacher, she turns a grumpy old neighbor into an unlikely friend, and, my personal favorites, she stumbles upon an enchanted cottage in the wood and helps to reunite two lost lovers. In this novel we discover Anne the opportunist, who never shies away from the prospect of an adventure.

Besides Anne, we also reconnect with Marilla, Diana, and Gilbert, and we are introduced to several new brilliant characters, including Mr. Harrison and his spiteful parrot, Ginger, ethereal Ms. Lavender, and the polar opposite twins, Davy and Dora (more on Davy down below!). L.M. Montgomery is a master story teller and through these complex characters she tells the most delightful and inspiring stories.

Like many other second installments in a series, it’s may be easy to overlook Anne of Avonlea as merely a bridge between Anne of Green Gables and Anne of the Island, but I have always regarded this novel as one of the best in the series. Anne is becoming more of who she will be as an adult, but she still has her typical mishaps and serendipitous adventures that made the world fall in love with her in Anne of Green Gables.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy classics and/or young adult fiction.
…you love novels with romantic depictions of nature and rural 19th century life.
…you prefer character-driven books.
…you’re looking for a new audiobook to listen to (keep reading below!).

Audiobook Review

If you read my recent review of Anne of Green Gables, you already know that I really enjoy Colleen Winton’s talents as a narrator. In Anne of Avonlea, Ms. Winton continues to bring L.M. Montgomery’s beloved characters to life in her own dramatic way. My favorite aspect about this audiobook is Ms. Winton’s portrayal of darling Davy Keith. Davy is without a doubt one of my favorite characters in the Anne of Green Gables series. He is mischievous, adorable, and spunky, and his antics are depicted wonderfully by Colleen Winton. I always smiled when she said Davy’s trademark line, “I want to know!”

I’m really looking forward to listening to Anne of the Island; I’m positive that Colleen Winton will do a fantastic job with the next series of characters we meet!

colleen-wintonAbout the NarratorColleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer…and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honored with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

Anne of Green Gables Giveaway: Three Winners

If you are interested in this audiobook, enter into a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Colleen Winton’s narrations for Anne of Green GablesAnne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island! Good luck!

Anne of Green Gables Tour Banner.png

I’m reviewing Anne of Avonlea as part of a blog tour hosted by Jess at The Audiobookworm. Stop by the tour page to check out other blogger’s reviews for Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island!

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – Audiobook Review

AnneOfGreenGable_2400x2400.jpg

Anne, a young orphan from the fictional community of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia (based upon the real community of New London), is sent to Prince Edward Island after a childhood spent in strangers’ homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their 50s and 60s, had decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm. They live at Green Gables, their Avonlea farmhouse on Prince Edward Island. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley. Anne is described as bright and quick, eager to please, talkative, and extremely imaginative. She has a pale face with freckles and usually braids her red hair. When asked her name, Anne tells Marilla to call her Cordelia, which Marilla refuses; Anne then insists that if she is to be called Anne, it must be spelled with an e, as that spelling is “so much more distinguished”. Marilla at first says the girl must return to the orphanage, but after a few days she decides to let her stay. Marilla feels that she could be a good influence on the girl and had also overheard that another disagreeable woman in town might take Anne in instead.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Published 2014 by Post Hypnotic Press (Originally Published 1908)
Format: e-audiobook; 10 hours, 7 minutes
Classics / Young Adult
Also By This Author: Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Emily of New Moon
Goodreads | Audible | Publisher
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you are probably aware that Anne of Green Gables is my all-time favorite book. If you didn’t know that, you can just look up to my blog’s header and see a copy of Anne there, in-between Jane Eyre and Persuasion, two other favorites of mine. Despite the fact that I adore this novel, I have never actually written a book review for it! But recently I joined an audiobook tour for the first three Anne books, and now I can finally tell you why I love this series so much.

Anne Shirley is one of the most lovable literary heroines you will ever come across. Since I first discovered Anne when I was in 5th grade, I have only met one person who did not like Anne of Green Gables or its imaginative heroine. Anne Shirley is dramatic, unwavering, a tad bit naive, and full of soul and wonder, and every time I read the series I discover something new. I’ve looked up to Anne in each season of my life, from being a young, self-conscious red-headed girl myself, to going off to college and living my dreams, to getting married and being in a new, foreign town, I have always been able to relate to Anne and learn from her mistakes, misadventures, and life lessons.

If you have never read L.M. Montgomery’s most famous masterpiece, I urge you to pick it up now! Even if you are a middle-aged man, I am sure you will enjoy it, if only because you find Anne’s enthusiasm and melodrama entertaining.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy classics and/or young adult fiction.
…you love novels with strong characters who possess deep hearts and realistic motives.
…you want a book that can make you laugh, cry, and fall in love.
…you’re looking for a new audiobook to listen to (keep reading below!).

Audiobook Review

I’ve read Anne of Green Gables at least five times (it is my favorite book, after all); but I have never listened to it on audiobook, and I was very pleased with Colleen Winton’s narration! She has a pleasant and non-distracting voice, and each of her voices for the different characters were appropriate and fitting. It’s always frustrating when you’re listening to an audiobook and the narrator’s voice, tone, and/or pronunciation distract you from the story. Fortunately, this is not the case with Colleen Winton’s reading of Anne of Green Gables.

Sometimes I have a difficult time reading classics. The old-fashioned syntax and depictions of every day life can make me zone out sometimes. L.M. Montgomery’s writing is so flowery, however, it’s like reading poetry, so I’ve always been hooked on her novels. But if you also have a hard time reading classics all the way through, I’d recommend trying to listen to audiobooks instead. Often times it’s easier to understand what’s going on in a classic novel when you’re listening to a dramatic reading of it. I found it enjoyable to listen to this audiobook of Anne of Green Gables during my work commute and while doing housework.

colleen-wintonAbout the NarratorColleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer…and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honored with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

Anne of Green Gables Giveaway: Three Winners

If you are interested in this audiobook, enter into a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Colleen Winton’s narrations for Anne of Green GablesAnne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island! Good luck!

Anne of Green Gables Tour Banner.png

And stop by the tour page to check out other blogger’s reviews for Anne of Green Gables :)

 

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Paper Hearts (The Heartbreaker Chronicles #2) by Ali Novak

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college. Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…

Paper Hearts (The Heartbreakers Chronicles #2) by Ali Novak
Published July 4, 2017 by Sourcebooks
Format: Netgalley e-book; 384 pages
Young Adult / Romance
Also By This Author: The Heartbreakers, My Life with the Walter Boys
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Paper Hearts was a quick, heartwarming read that I really enjoyed, even if I had some issues with the plot. The novel follows Felicity, an over-achieving high school student who is desperate to earn enough money and extracurricular experience to get into Harvard. While working a charity masquerade ball, she unknowingly meets Alec, a guitarist for The Heartbreakers, the most popular boy band in the world.

I actually love premises like this, when a celebrity falls for a non-celebrity, and they have to try and make their relationship work despite the different lifestyles and social circles. Paper Hearts was no different. I was immediately pulled into Felicity and Alec’s journey, and I had a hard time putting the book down as they grew closer together. There were some really sweet scenes, and fun ones involving Alec’s band mates.

The only issue I had with Paper Hearts was with a couple of the minor characters, specifically Felicity’s mom and sister, and the way that part of the plot is resolved. It seemed very out of character and unrealistic to me, and I would have given this book a lower rating if it wasn’t for Alec and Felicity.

Read this book if…

  • You enjoy contemporary YA romances.
  • You love books with adventure and road trips!
  • You’re like me and you like reading about fictional celebrities falling in love with non-celebrities.
  • You’re in the mood for a relatively clean but romantic book.

Final Musings

Paper Hearts is actually the second book in Ali Novak’s Heartbreakers Chronicles series. The first book, The Heartbreakers, follows Alec’s friend and band mate Oliver, whom you meet in this novel, too. I haven’t read the first book, but I don’t think it’s necessary to be able to follow and enjoy Paper Hearts. I will probably read The Heartbreakers sometime, and since there are 2 other members of the Heartbreakers, I’m hoping Ali Novak will continue her series with two more books.

Also, the entire time I was reading this book, I had My Paper Heart by The All-American Rejects playing in my head. Flashback to early high school :)

Bucket List Update!

We are almost halfway through the year, and I thought it would be fun to see how far I’ve progressed on my 2017 Bucket List :)

  1. Eat at 10 local restaurants – We’ve probably eaten at 5 or 6 local restaurants, including 1 or 2 new ones.
  2. Go berry picking – Yes! Killian and I finally did this and it was such a lovely afternoon. We picked blackberries at Lewis Farms a few weeks ago and it was the perfect time to go. There were so many ripe berries, and Killian was a natural at picking them. Afterwards we ate some homemade blueberry ice cream and it was absolutely delicious. Lewis Farms just closed for the season :( but next year we’ll be back!

  3. Read at least 10 classics from my Classics Club list – Well I’ve been slacking on this one! I’ve only read 8 classics this year, and only 3 were on my Classics Club list. I’ve been halfway through Cranford for nearly two months now…
  4. Gardening – I definitely enjoyed some gardening time earlier this spring! I planted a lot of flowers in the front yard and my husband and I started an herb and vegetable garden in the back yard. We’ve already eaten the first round of radishes (they were too spicy for me but my husband loved them) and we’ll be able to eat some green beans soon! It’s nice to be able to go outside and pick some herbs to season dinner with, and gardening itself is very relaxing.

    The petunias around the mailbox are HUGE now,, and so are the plants in the back yard.

  5. Write a novel! –I think the reason I’m actually writing this blog post is because I’m procrastinating on my book. But I really am writing a novel this year! At first I was going to write about this one book idea I had been musing over for almost 3 years, but then one day about 6-8 weeks ago I got a new idea that started consuming me. I outlined it and wrote several scenes within a week, and then I decided to just put the other story on the table for now. I don’t have a title for the book I’m currently working on, but I can tell you that I’m about 30 pages in and it’s of the time travel/historical fiction persuasion. My goal is to have the first draft completed by the end of the year, hopefully sooner :)

    img_0921.jpg

    This quote has been really inspiring to me while I hash out my first draft.

  6. Take a week off– We’re planning on taking a week vacation around labor day, hopefully to the mountains or someplace refreshing and secluded.
  7. See Hamilton! – Ha, ha, silly me got the dates wrong for this tour. Hamilton is coming to Charlotte next year :( but speaking of musicals, has anyone else become obsessed with Dear Evan Hanson? My husband and I fell in love with this performance at the Tony’s and now we can’t stop listening to it!
  8. Finish decorating my library – I did this! My happy place is all decorated and organized (with the exception of a couple of boxes), and I do most of my writing up there, now. It still serves as our guest room, so I try to use it as much as possible when we don’t have guests, but I also write a lot at the local library.
  9. Finish reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix with Matt – Ha, I forgot that I put this on my bucket list. We did finish GoF, but we are only two chapters into OotP. I need to start reading it again!
  10. Volunteer more – This is still something I need to work on. I’ve done more volunteering at the library, but I’m still looking for some new organizations to volunteer with.

So I’m about halfway through after all! 4.5/9 bucket list items, since #7 isn’t applicable this year, unfortunately. But I’m excited that I’m actually making progress :)

Mini Reviews

Where have I been?? It’s been 2 months since my last post, and I’ve missed blogging! But I have good reasons for taking a hiatus. April was an emotionally exhausting month that I still haven’t completely recovered from, and I’ve spent most of May reading, which really makes up for my reading drought in March and April. I feel like I can breathe again now that I keep flying through book after book.

So here are some mini reviews for the Young Adult books I’ve read over the past few months:

PS I Like YouP.S. I Like You by Kasie West – A modern Young Adult adaptation of You’ve Got Mail. This book really surprised me, mainly because Kasie West is a hit or miss author for me. I’ve previously read The Distance Between Us (did not finish) and The Fill-In Boyfriend (which I enjoyed and previously blogged about). P.S. I Like You was exactly what I needed to read this month. April was brutal and YA contemporary romances have been comforting to me. P.S. I Like You was adorably cute with themes of friendship, misunderstandings, and second chances.
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Everything EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I had been wanting to read this before the movie comes out later this year, and the premise was very promising: a girl who can’t go outside because she may die falls in love with the boy next door. I’ve always been a sucker for tragic romances, so it was easy for me to get into this book. The writing is sentimental and gripping. It also includes email exchanges between the two main characters, and I love when books incorporate modern communication technologies. Everything, Everything has a twist at the end that I did not see coming, and honestly I’m still trying to come to terms with it weeks later.
I think the film will be true to the book, and I’m happy with the actors they’ve chosen. Also, the soundtrack will probably be phenomenal, based on the trailers I’ve seen.
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥ (3.5 if I’m being honest)

The Start of Me and YouThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – This book should really have its own post, because Emery Lord is a genius who can make you laugh and cry every other chapter. I fell in love with Open Road Summer and I still listen to the playlist I made while reading it. The Start of Me and You was different but still emotionally gripping. I love how Emery Lord incorporates mental health and healing into her books. The main character in The Start of Me and You is struggling with grief, fear, and moving on, and her journey inspired me a lot since I’ve been dealing with those same things recently. Also, there’s an adorably dorky romance in this story, and it’ll make your heart smile.
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline – My husband and I flew through Armada a few months ago, and we were so excited when our Ready Player One hold became available at the library. Ready Player One is fully laden with video game and nerd references. 95% of the video game references and allusions went straight over my head, but I still enjoyed the story. It’s hard not to compare this novel with Armada, and I’d have to say that I preferred Zack’s character over Wade’s.
One thing about Ready Player One that did fascinate me, though, is the idea of internet anonymity. As it is in real life, the characters were able to be whomever they wanted to be, while hiding, enhancing, or even creating certain traits and behaviors. It’s interesting how the internet allows users to be confident and honest about who they are and yet most people hide behind a mask (or in Ready Player One’s case, an OASIS avatar) while communicating with people they will probably never meet in real life.
My one problem with Ready Player One is how critical Ernest Cline is of religion (and I say Ernest Cline because, even though it’s Wade narrating, it is painfully obvious how much Cline hates religion). As a reader and a Christian, I felt disrespected, as if the author was jumping through the pages to yell at me).
Steven Spielberg is working on the film adaptation coming out next year, and I am anxiously awaiting to see how that turns out! The story’s villain is played by Ben Mendelsohn, who played Orson Krennic in Rogue One (I’m sure he’s a great guy in real life, but he plays villains so well that I hate the character of Sorrento even more knowing that Mendelsohn is playing him).
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

This week I also finished Every Last Word, a YA novel by Tamara Ireland Stone that features a main character with OCD. It was really resonant, and I’m looking forward to getting a review up soon! I have lots of thoughts to muddle through.

In the mean time, what are some 2017 releases that should be on my To Be Read list?