Review – Beartown by Fredrik Backman

 

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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 – Daughter of the Pirate King

 

 

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Title: Daughter of the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Rating: 3/5

Links: Goodreads Amazon

 

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller was an enjoyable read. I was able to surmise our main character’s secret, but that did not ruin my reading experience.

 

Our main character, Alosa, is the daughter of the Pirate King. She is the only person he relies on or puts his trust in. He convinces her to have herself captured by a rival band of pirates in order to obtain the missing pieces to an elusive treasure map. She possesses many skills that make her a strong female character. She is physically strong, agile, skilled in combat, clever, self-assured and is a well-respected leader. She puts her crew before herself. With her being a female captain, she has also decided to have a crew made up of many strong, capable women.

 

The characters can be a bit frustrating with the whole will they won’t they thing, but it’s not a deal breaker. I don’t think I’ve read a book based on pirating which definitely made for a refreshing read. While she is aboard the pirate ship with her captures; she is forced to spend a great deal of time with the first-mate, Riden. This book is not subtle about the hate/love relationship that they have for each other, but I still find myself anxiously awaiting for the time that they finally confess their true feelings. I do greatly enjoy the romance portions of books and that may not be your thing.

 

This plot moves smoothly and the characters are well developed. There is a lot of girl power in this story and if you enjoy that and this genre then you will like this book.

Where the Crawdads Sing Review

 

Where The Crawdads Sing

Book: Where the Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Rating: 5/5

 

Delia Owens created a beautiful, breathtaking debut novel.  This is one of the most wonderfully crafted mysteries I’ve ever read. Meet Kya, also referred to as the Marsh Girl. You are brought alongside Kya as she grows from a young, timid, little girl into a woman shadowed by prejudice and hardship. This book flashes back and forth from past to present time setting. In this small North Carolina town, one of its other well known residents, Chase Andrews is found dead. Delia developed magnificent character foils. Where Kya is known for being the poor outcast; Chase is the star quarterback whose family is well off and has a prominent business within the community.

This book explores prejudice, racism, love, loss, and the human condition. Reading this story was an extremely visceral experience. I could feel the magnitude of Kya’s isolation. These characters are very well developed and the plot flows expertly.

The Invisible Library Review

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Book: The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman

Rating: 4/5

      Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library is a fun, whimsical story following a librarian on a mission to collect books from different realities. The librarian, Irene, is given her first apprentice Kai. We follow them into this other world on a quest to retrieve a specific book for the library. They have to deal with several obstacles and they end up playing detective in order to find what they are looking for. This book is fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read anything quite like this, so it was refreshing to read something that hasn’t been overdone. Cogman’s influences shine in this novel. Her love for books really brings the story to life. This is a great read about a character that also enjoys the reading life. It feels very meta. Cogman makes many references to beloved characters and authors, such as Sherlock Holmes. This one will make your literary heart happy.