Book Review: Snowed by Maria Alexander

First Sentence:  "I want to kill the person who tore down my flyer."

Once I started reading Maria Alexander's Snowed,  couldn't put it down. What an awesome and unique story. Instantly memories of high school filter through my brain as I read - bullies and clicks, geeks and jocks, trips and tricks in the hallways. Now throw into the pot - a death, a dark past, love, electronics, skepticism, a dash of spice, a tablespoon of humor, and a cup of mythology. Mix it all up and you have an action packed story that won't let you go until the end.  Snowed has been selected as a finalist for the Bram Stoker award for superior achievement in a young adult novel.

Birthstone Bookology - A M E T H Y S T

Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

First sentence:  "If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."

Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, a historical fiction novel which left me misty eyed at the end encompasses two timelines.  The story started out in 1995 and takes the reader back into France during WWII and the French resistance from 1939 to 1941.  Two sisters, separated by distance and estranged from their father, get involved in the French Underground.  One sister in the present is sick with cancer and finds an old truck in her attic containing mementos of her life during WWII.   Memories takes the reader back during the days of the German takeover of France, resistance, fear, strength,  and survival.  The story is both haunting and beautiful and well worth reading.

Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T

Book Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

First Sentence:  "The afternoon was so cold, so relentlessly gray, few pedestrians passed the long island of trees dividing Commonwealth Avenue, and even little dogs, shunted along impatiently, wore thermal coats and offended expressions."

Daphne Kalotay's Russian Winter, a historical fiction novel, is one of those books that  sat in my stacks for a few years waiting for the time is right moment to read and appreciate. The story follows Nina Revskaya in a dual timeline.  In the present as an old woman, getting ready to auction off jewels from her life.  In the past as a rising ballerina star in the Bolshoi during the days of Stalin and the war in the Soviet Union.   Politics and oppression, rebellion and intrigue, life and death, play out in both the past and the present.  Kalotay took a dark subject and made it interesting, pulling me in and leaving much to think about at the end.

Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T