Review – Beartown by Fredrik Backman

 

beartown

 

Title: Beartown

Author: Fredrik Backman

Publisher:Simon & Schuster

Rating: 5/5

 

This was my first introduction to Backman’s writing. He expertly handled this story dealing with such delicate subject matter. His use of multiple perspectives only enhanced the impact of this poignant story. He truly had his finger on the pulse of what it is like to live in a small town. It felt like a real place and so did his characters. This story is absolutely fantastic. It’s a page-turner, but it’s also extremely thought provoking and a great conversation starter. There is so much about this book that makes you cognizant of the topics that we need to cover with our children or just have open dialogue about as a society. There are so many topics in this that are relevant issues right now and that we see frequenting our newspapers. I think everyone should read this in order for us to be able to have greater empathy and to foster the deeper discussions we need to be having regarding these divisive issues.

 

This story was heartbreaking, but we see it happening far too often. I can’t wait to dive into the sequel and see what is happening in their community.

 

I don’t want to give too much of this one away, so here is the Goodreads synopsis:

 

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Overeturns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

 

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

 

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

 

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

 

Have you read this one? What did you think? Have you read the sequel?

Review – Enchantée by Gita Trelease

 

 

enchantee

Title: Enchantée

Author: Gita Trelease

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Rating: 4/5

     Gita Trelease’s debut novel Enchantée was exactly like the title, enchanting and delightful. This is a very unique story. It is young adult, fantasy, and historical fiction. I enjoyed Trelease’s story telling immensely.

     This story takes place in Paris in 1789. Camille Darbonne must take care of her brother and sister after her parents death. They contracted smallpox along with her younger sister who has been left weakened by the disease. Times are hard for the Durbonne children. Camille must use magic that allows her to turn metal scraps into coins in order to feed and house her family. Her brother has taken to drinking, gambling, and putting his sisters at risk. It all falls to Camille to make sure they survive.

 

    She discovers a form of darker magic  that allows her to transform herself into  ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ in order to gain entry to Versailles among the aristocrats to use her powers at the gambling table. The aristocrats are analogous to the magicians who benefit at the expense of the lower class. For magic, one must pay a high price. Who will pay the highest price? Lazare and Camille are a symbol of hope, change, and the blurring of class lines. The country is teetering on the edge of  Revolution as Camille is being tempted by the allure of the aristocracy and la magie. 

 

    The writing is beautiful. I loved the setting and could really feel the time and place. The slow build of the romance was perfect. Our female character is strong, resilient, and independent. This book will be published February 5, 2019.  Do yourself a favor and add this to your TBR list for early next year!

 

   Thank you Netgalley and Flatiron Books for my free eARC copy of this book. This is an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What’s On My Bookshelf Tag

Happy Saturday, book friends! I was tagged by Jess and Teagan at Fiction No Chaser . Go check out their blog if you haven’t yet because it’s fantastic!

RULES:

  • Link back to me so I can see everyone’s answers! (Delightful Narratives)
  • Also link back to the person who tagged you!
  • Name one book for each category; try not to repeat books to make this more fun!
  • Tag at least 5 people

A LIBRARY BOOK

I went to the library this week and came home with a nice, little bookstack. I picked up The Death of Mrs. Westaway, Beartown (my current read), The Burned Page, Dear Mrs. Bird, I Am I Am I Am, and Fruit of the Drunken Tree

A BOOK I GOT AS A GIFT

Red Rising

A CHILDHOOD BOOK

Dear American Series

A MAGICAL BOOK

Throne of Glass – I’m just obsessed with Sarah J. Maas!!!

A ROMANTIC BOOK

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – A love that defies societal norms. A little Shakespearean with a hate that spans the ages (Romeo and Juliet)

A STEAMY BOOK

A Court of Mist and Fury – Oh definitely! This entire series really! 

AN OLD BOOK

A 1950’s set of Sherlock Holmes books that were my husband’s grandmother’s.

A BOOK THAT MAKES ME HAPPY/LAUGH

Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? – I just love Mindy Kaling!

A BOOK THAT MADE ME EMOTIONAL

Currently Beartown!

A BOOK WITH AN ENDING I DISLIKE

Allegiant, for sure. I stopped reading and didn’t even finish the last little bit. I was so mad.

A BOOK I WISH HAD ILLUSTRATIONS

The Hush, Hush Series.

A BOOK OR GENRE I LOVE TO READ WHEN IT’S RAINING

I don’t really have a preference. It’s just nice to be stuck inside reading sometimes. Sitting on the sofa with a warm blanket and drinking some hot chocolate.

NOMINATIONS

As always, no obligation on tags EVER! Just have fun.

Review – The Shadow of the Wind

 

theshadowofthewind

Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Publisher: Penguin Books

Source: I purchased for a read along

Links: Goodreads , Amazon

Rating: 4/5

   The Shadow of the Wind was equally dark and beautiful. The prose was eloquent and witty. I feel like it takes immense talent to write a story that is both disturbing and comical. This story is set in Barcelona in the year 1945. Daniel’s father owns a bookstore and he has a deep love of stories and words. He happens upon a book, The Shadow of The Wind by Julian Carax. This is a very rare book and not much is known about its author. It becomes Daniel’s ambition to learn more about the author and his writing. While he is trying to learn more, he ends up in the midst of a darker, dangerous plot. Someone has been destroying all of Carax’s work.

   This story has several elements. It’s a story about the love of reading and writing. There’s a mystery with several twists and turns. Also, there is a love story and a city that is in a severe state of turmoil post-war. There are characters that are deeply troubled and circumstances that absolutely break your heart.

   Zafón perfectly portrays a post-war world. There is tremendous chaos and people have seen or done some deplorable things. It may have permanently altered others; while  some characters demonstrate considerable resiliency. I feel like a great example of this would be Fermin’s character. He is definitely a shining light in this dark tale. He tries to find humor where he can despite his circumstances. War leaves no one untouched though. There will always be shadows left behind.