Friday, January 20, 2012

Divergent by, Veronica Roth~Review

Divergent by, Veronica Roth
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

My Review:
This was an interesting dystopian YA book, Chicago been split into factions, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). I have no idea if the entire country/world was split like this too or if it’s just Chicago , was Chicago the only place left with people, I don’t know these were just a few unanswered questions I had. When you are 17 you take an aptitude test to help you decide which faction you will choose most choose the one they grew up in but some don’t as is the case with Beatrice (AKA-Tris) but she is different she has an aptitude for more than one faction which is divergent and divergent is not a good thing to be. But there seems to be things wrong with this society and the factions seem to be starting to turn on each other and in some cases themselves.

A lot of people have compared this to the Hunger Games because it was the last big dystopian book but I thought it was kind of a cross between it and The Giver, because this is supposed to be a perfect society but of course in the light of day is not.

I liked the characters, Tris was strong yet so insecure but when pushed will kick some butt, the little romance you can see coming a mile away but I did like Four because his attitude was really for his own good and the good of others.

The ending felt a bit rushed, with everything leading up to it and then when the fight does come it all happens so fast. And what a cliffhanger, I look forward to the next book in this series.

With all the hype surrounding this book I am happy to say I really enjoyed this one and wasn’t disappointed I may not have loved it as much as some but I still give it a solid 4 stars.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints by Sam Brower ~~Review

Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints by Sam Brower
Synopsis:From the private investigator who cracked open the case that led to the arrest of Warren Jeffs, the maniacal prophet of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), comes the page-turning, horrifying story of how a rogue sect used sex, money, and power disguised under a favßade of religion to further criminal activities and a madman's vision.

Despite considerable press coverage and a lengthy trial, the full story has remained largely untold. Only one man can reveal the whole, astounding truth: Sam Brower, the private investigator who devoted years of his life to breaking open the secret practices of the FLDS and bringing Warren Jeffs and his inner circle to justice. In Prophet's Prey, Brower implicates Jeffs in his own words, bringing to light the contents of Jeffs's personal priesthood journal, discovered in a hidden underground vault, and revealing to readers the shocking inside world of FLDS members, whose trust he earned and who showed him the staggering truth of their lives.

Prophet's Prey offers the gripping, behind-the-scenes account of a bizarre world from the only man who knows the full story.

My Review:
I always knew Warren Jeffs was a bad guy, I’ve seen the news reports and read Carolyn Jessop’s book but I didn’t realize he ranked right up there with Jim Jones & David Koresh in getting people to believe everything he says and to do things no matter how bad. I think it’s a good thing he was investigated and put in the spotlight because with his personality it could have ended the way Jonestown and Waco did. I also knew that he was a pedophile marrying young girls but what I didn’t know was that he was also a pedophile abusing young boys.

This was a very eye opening book, I learned much more about the FLDS than I knew before. It did bog down a bit in the middle but I just reminded myself that this was a 7 year investigation and that Sam Brower was extremely thorough. It is sad to see how CPS dropped the ball on the majority of these children and sent them back to their abusers, which is what they are no matter how brainwashed willing these girls may have been. This FLDS sect is not a religion that should be left alone for their beliefs this one is a full out Cult with the maniacal mad man at the helm, sexual abuse, kidnapping and quite possibly murder and attempted murder.

Sam Brower’s account of his investigation is one everyone should read as it doesn’t gloss over anything , in this straight-forward account Sam reveals not only what the FLDS did to its own but how they threatened and stalked him. He also reveals who helped and who hurt the cases against this cult, which was also very interesting.

The investigation into this FLDS cult did put some awful men in jail and brought national attention to what was going on inside the “walls” of this cult but, I think the worst part is, through it all not much has changed in their little world, the men who went to jail are seen as martyrs and are still in power from their jail cells. I just hope as Sam does that one day the hierarchy will admit it was wrong and the abuse will stop but for now who knows what is still going on there.

4 Stars
I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewer program

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown~~Review

The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown
This is the story of 3 sisters raised by a Shakespeare scholar who talks in quotes from the bard a mother who stayed at home but seemed melancholy at times, the sisters were close and not close 3 very different personalities Rose is the caretaker, Cordy (Cordelia) the wild child and Bean (Bianca) who wanted to make her way in the big city with all its trappings. Their mother has been diagnosed with cancer which brings Cordy & Bean home but is it the only reason or are there secrets that would have brought them home anyway?

You could fill up a notebook with all the great quotes in this book. Here are a few:

Instead, we were going to wrap ourselves in cloaks woven from self-pity and victimhood, refusing to admit that we might be able to help each other if we’d only open up. Instead, we’d do what we always did, the only thing we’d ever been dependably stellar at: we’d read.

“What I mean is, I still feel like me. It’s not like I wake up and think, I am a responsible adult. I just look in the mirror and see myself. The same stupid person I’ve been looking at for years.”

She never managed to find herself in these books no matter how hard she tried, exhuming traits from between the pages and donning them for an hour, a day, a week. We think in some ways, we have all done this our whole lives, searching for the book that will give us the keys to ourselves, let us into a wholly formed personality as though it were a furnished room to let. As though we could walk in and look around and say to the gray-haired landlady behind us, "We'll take it."

"There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future."

"We all have stories we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves we are too fat, too ugly, or too old, or too foolish. We tell ourselves these stories because they allow us to excuse our actions, and they allow us to pass off the responsibility for things we have done-maybe to something within our control, but anything other than the decisions we have made."

This a book for the reader and lover of books it also reaffirms that you can go home again. These sisters each with their own set of problems 2 who ran far from home and 1 who never wants to leave. The growing up the looking at your life and analyzing everything you’ve done and how it brings you to who you are now. This was a very enjoyable book and I fell in love with these sisters and their parents watching the sisters bond through their troubles and differences.

I highly recommend this book to readers and book lovers whether you are a Shakespeare fan or not I think you will enjoy this character driven book.

4 ½ Stars

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Librarian's Favorite Books of 2011

5 Stars
Sarah’s Key by, Tatiana de Rosnay
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by, Lisa See
Madame Tussaud by, Michelle Moran
Revolution by, Jennifer Donnelly
The Bird Sisters by, Rebecca Rasmussen
Rivermarked by, Patricia Briggs
The Peach Keeper by, Sarah Addison Allen
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by, Rebecca Skloot
The Kings Speech by, Mark Logue
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by, Ransom Riggs
I Shall Wear Midnight by, Terry Pratchett
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by, Fannie Flagg
The Eyre Affair by, Jasper Fforde
Love You More by, Lisa Gardner
Trespasser by, Paul Doiron
The True Meaning of Smekday by, Adam Rex
The Legacy by, Katherine Webb
Dracula by, Bram Stoker
We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates by, Theo Coster
A Christmas Carol by, Charles Dickens

4 1/2 Star
The House on Riverton, The Forgotten Garden & The Distant Hours by, Kate Morton
Changeless,Heartless, by, Gail Carriger
Nobodies Album by, Carolyn Parkhurst
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by, Helen Simonson
Left Neglected by, Lisa Genova
Seer of Sevenwaters by, Juliet Marillier
You Had Me At Woof by, Julie Klam narrated by, Karen White Audiobook only available
A Discovery of Witches by, Debrah Harkness
The Wake of the Lorelei Lee by, LA Meyer
Maisie Dobbs by, Jacqueline Winspear
Ashfall by, Mike Mullins
The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown
Ingenue by, Jillian Larkin
The Winter Sea by, Susanna Kearsley

4 Stars
Sidewalk Thoughts by, Mickey Renner
My Bonny Light Horseman & Rapture of the Deep by, LA Meyer
Year of Wonders by, Geraldine Brooks
O Pioneers by, Willa Cather
Live to Tell by, Lisa Gardner
Room by, Emma Donaghue
Wicked Appetite by, Janet Evanovich Available in Hardcover & Audiobook narrated by, Lorelei King
The Art of Racing in the Rain by, Garth Stein
A Northern Light by, Jennifer Donnelly
The Reversal by, Michael Connelly
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by, John Elder Robison
Water for Elephants by, Sara Gruen
Blameless by, Gail Carriger
Skellig by, David Almond
Crunch Time by, Diana Mott Davidson
Dead Reckoning by, Charlaine Harris
Smokin’ Seventeen by, Janet Evanovich
Dragontime by, Anne & Todd McCaffrey
Forever by, Maggie Steifvater
The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life Available in paperback & Audiobook & I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl available in audiobook only by, Laurie Notaro narrated by, Hillary Huber*-
Variant by, Robinson Wells
The Night Circus by, Erin Morgenstern
The Woman in Black by, Susan Hill
Hide by, Lisa Gardner (Re-read)

3 ½ Stars
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by, Jacqueline Kelly
Still Life by, Louise Penny
Storm Front by, Jim Butcher
Bloody Valentine by, Melissa De La Cruz
The Demon Trapper Daughter by, Jana Oliver
The Sherlockian by, Graham Moore
Lost in a Good Book by, Jasper Fforde
Water Witch by,Deborah LeBlanc
Save Me by, Lisa Scottoline
Lethal Lineage by, Charlotte Hinger narrated by, Karen White Available in Audio only
The Lantern by,Deborah Lawrenson
Praise Jerusalem! by, Augusta Trobaugh
3 Stars
The Murderer’s Daughters by, Randy Susan Meyers
American Gods by, Neil Gaiman
I am Number Four by, Pittacus Lore
The Haunting of Hill House by, Shirley Jackson
Deck the Halls by, Mary & Carol Higgins Clark
Mary Bolelyn Mistress of Kings by, Alison Weir

2 ½ Stars
The Twentieth Wife by, Indu Sundaresan
City of Bones by, Cassandra Clare
The Winter Ghosts by, Kate Mosse
The Borrowers by, Rebecca Makkai narrated by, Emily Bauer Available in Audio Only
The Ballad of Tom Dooley by, Sharyn McCrumb
The Red Pyramid by, Rick Riordan