Monday, 18 December 2017

Audio: Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously - and at great risk - documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. 

Audio CD, Unabridged , 6 CDs, 7 hours, 47 minutes
Published March 22nd 2011 by Penguin Audio
Historical fiction / YA

My thoughts:
I read some reviews, and the author talked about it at the end too, what you ask? That people do not realise how many millions and millions of people that Stalin murdered. What school did you go to?!

Lithuania is occupied by Soviet. Her father is a professor and in the night they are taken away. Fascists bourgeoisie pigs as they are. They are sent to Siberia to work. To die.

Lina is 15 and loves to draw. Her brother Jonas is 10. Her mother has a coat filled with things to sell. I thought they had it bad first, but it actually gets worse. We only follow them for a year but it is a horrible year filled with death, tears, but also so much love. Love for each other and the will to go on. To survive and to get back to Lithuania (of course I googled, damn, either they were denied entry when the Soviet started to release prisoners in the 50s, or they were discriminated against.)

I cried, how could I not. There was this one part with a baby that just broke me.

I am so grateful for those that fought so we could keep our independence. We could easily have been the Baltics. No one should have to live under that Communist regime of terror.

It is a good book, it is a sad book. There is so much hope in the face of despair and I do not know how anyone could have survived what they did. But people survived, against all odds.

Narrator Emily Klein 
I liked her voice for Lena, but to be honest she did not really do all the other voices that differently. But in the end it worked anyway cos the story was good.

One thing, in print it was surely obvious but here it was tricky with the flashbacks. Suddenly i was all wtf is Lena doing?? Oh, flashback. 


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Carole's Sunday Review: Shadow by the bridge

Author: Suzanne Zewan
Title: Shadow by the Bridge
Genre: Historical Fiction & Mystery
Pages: 368
Published: November 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

11-year-old Fritz Reynolds recalled his father telling him that man is the only creature who can find amusement in killing. Little did he realize that those words would become the theme for his teenage years growing up in the rural hamlet of Linden, New York. In this coming-of-age story, Fritz takes us back to a simpler time when neighbors gathered at the general store to listen to radio shows, drank barrel-aged cider, and worshiped at the Baptist church every Sunday. All was picturesque in his close-knit farming community until terror was unleashed on them. 

Gotta love a good mystery especially a murder mystery in a small town in the middle of nowhere. 

This story follows Fritz who sees a murder happen before his very eyes however he couldn't identify the killer so there was no reason to say anything so he didn't. He kept it to himself. Years pass and Fritz and the town tried to forget that horrible murder. Well...the past repeats itself and murders start haunting the town again. 

This was a good mystery...I was completely in the dark and I had no idea what was going to happen. Yes, this was a true story, but I had no knowledge on this so I was along for the ride. I felt bad for the little town because it is scary to have people you know slaughtered and you have NO idea who did or even why. Scary stuff. I really felt for Fritz that he kept such a dark secret for so long. I think he should've said something. MAYBE he could've helped. IDK. But yes, I get that he was a little kid and was scared to say somthing. 

But yes, this was a fun read. I really enjoyed it. There were some parts that seemed to drag on and on, but those slow parts were worth it in the end. 

I do wish we had more of a closing in the end. But sometimes life doesn't end with a little bow on top. 

If you need a good mystery, this is a good one for you to check out especially since it based off of a real one so it makes it even better. I should do some research and learn about the real deal. Poor Fritz! Poor little town! Poor murder victims...but so good overall. I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Movie Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Director: Luc Besson
Writers: Pierre Christin (based on the comic book series "Valerian and Laureline" by), Jean-Claude Mézières (based on the comic book series "Valerian and Laureline" )
Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen 

2h 17min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy 

My thoughts:
I read the book, and that made me want to watch the movie. I did not have high hopes cos sci-fi is tricky. It can be bad silly, it can be too tech, it can be too dull. But this was amusing.

Though Valerian was as much as a d*ck as in the books. I just do not like that guy. First he was all hopeless, but then he was like super agent. Whatever Valerian, you are a d*ck. It just felt a bit too much you know, especially in these times. He was all Laureline wink wink. Did not like the actor either.

But Delevingne was good, and saved the day.

Rihanna can not act, tragic. Totes ruined her part.

Action, aliens, a few jokes. I enjoyed it.

Oh and cried. Damn! Oh these hormones!

So sure, you can watch it. It was amusing.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Seeking Mr.Wrong - Natalie Charles

Lettie Osbourne has lived her whole life by the book. Sweet, predictable, and certainly not living life on the edge, she’s always been content to make a living as a kindergarten teacher who writes adorable children’s books on the side. After her fiancé leaves her, Lettie decides she is perfectly content to accept her fate as mother to her beloved dog Odin and favorite auntie to her niece and nephew.

But then everything changes.

When Lettie’s publisher decides to sell only erotica, her editor convinces her to turn up the heat and throw some spice into her vanilla life. Lettie sets out to find the perfect man to inspire her writing...and finds him in her school’s vice principal, Eric Clayman. As Lettie and Eric grow closer and her writing gets steamier, she’s left wondering: is Eric Mr. Wrong? Or Mr. Right? 

My thoughts:
I wanted something I could read fast. I dnfed one and then I started on this one. It felt light and cute so I gave it a go. Though my tablet was dead so I borrowed bf's so I could read it since this book is free now in May on xoxo after dark.

Lettie writes children's books and then boom drama, her editor wants her to write, srsl? Ok fine I can believe it (not really but I will roll with it.)

And she has a hot new boss too. Though that first meeting, ehh, srsly? What was he thinking (but fine I will roll with it.)

So these two slowly get closer, even though they should not. She writes. There is some drama and then they live happily ever after.

Cute and light.

Well....cute...too cute

ebook, Ebook , 300 pages
Published February 13th 2017 by Pocket Star, Gallery, Threshold
Contemporary romance
Free on xoxo after dark for a few weeks


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