It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover

This novel grabs you and sweeps you into a story  of love, lust and betrayal. At turns comic and tragic, It Ends With Us explores abuse from those who are supposed to protect and love us and those we fall in love with.

It Ends With Us

Lily Bloom is fresh out of college when she meets a young doctor who is just finishing his residency. And even though there is an immediate attraction, they both go their own ways. He’s not interested in a serious relationship, ever,  he insists and she’s busy starting her own business.

Eventually Ryle and Lily meet again, both having never forgotten each other. They fall in madly love and marry.

But a young man from Lily’s youth, her first love, enters the picture. Atlas was a homeless high school student. Lily helped him survive while at the same time doing her best to prevent her father from being abusive to her mother. Lily’s father had been abusive to her mother for years. Atlas was her best friend and she leaned on him to help get her through the heartache of watching the continued abuse of her mother.

Years later, Lily and Atlas reconnect as friends and nothing more, as they both have a profound and deep respect for the other.

 Lily is in love with her husband, she trusts him and respects him. The first time he strikes her, it’s deemed a mistake, he didn’t mean to and he’s sorry. He loves her and does everything he can to make up for his actions. At first, Lily blames herself, just as her mother did.  But is she strong enough to stop it? Or will she endure it, making excuses, just as her mother did. When Ryle sees Lily and Atlas innocently talking it sets into motion a series of events that will shatter their marriage.

Domestic abuse is insidious, the abuser often excuses his actions by shifting the blame to his wife, or girlfriend. This enthralling novel explores how the abuser and his victim unwittingly conspire though co-dependency, and how the abuse can dangerously escalate.

I highly recommend this exceptionally well written novel. I  couldn’t put it down.

 

 

Dark Matter

Dark matterDark Matter, by Blake Crouch, is a mind-boggling foray into the world of Multi-Verses.  This novel is exciting and terrifying by turns,  and it gives rise to questions of our universe. Jason Dessen is a college professor of physics in Chicago, and  husband to the beautiful artist, Daniela and a father to their son, Charlie. His life is picture perfect and he’s happy, except there are the times when he wonders what turn his life would have taken if he’d stayed with his research instead of marrying and having a child.  One night he goes to meet a colleague who has won a great scientific prize, the one he should have won.  That’s when improbablity meets probability.

This novel is based on the idea that our lives are a matter of random choices with equally random outcomes, but with far reaching consquences. What if we’d taken another path, instead of the one we are on?  What if another version of Jason Dessen, the one who didn’t marry, who did the research that enabled him to change his destiny,decided he wanted the other Jason’s life?

This fictional account is well written and researched. It poses many questions about our universe. It’s a great read!

 

The Murder of the Groveland Boys

Devil in the GroveIn the deep south during the Civil Rights movement, Citrus Barons ruled Florida and got rich on the backs of cheap Negro labor instituted by the Jim Crow laws. The KKK was a powerful and deadly force.

This was a dire time for negroes in the south, many were held in peonage-forced labor-by the rich Citrus Barons. Local law enforcement fully supported this practice. In 1949 a young woman falsely cried rape and the hunt for four negro boys ensued by Sheriff Willis V McCall who ruled Lake County, Florida with an iron hand. McCall was a violent sheriff and a KKK member. Many negro homes were burnt to the ground and hundreds of negro men and boys fled to the swamps where they were chased down. The lynching of negroes was a common practice of the times. Thurgood Marshall, a  civil rights activist, a prominent lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice became involved. His life was threatened and one of his law clerks was murdered during the investigation.

This is book, based on factual evidence and court proceedings, is a stunning look at race relations and law enforcement of the deep south.

I highly recommend this Pulitzer Prize winning book. It is an in depth look at racism at its worse. These were not the good old days, these were very dark days for America. As we are held in thrall by current events, we are reminded of how deep seated prejudices scar our nation. We must never again allow political demagoguery and bigotry to worm its way into our public consciousness.

 

 

 

A Must Read

WildCherlyStrayedWild by Cheryl Strayed

From lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail  5 Stars!

This is a gut wrenching memoir of a young women’s search for meaning and self discovery.  It is without a doubt the best memoir I’ve ever read. Cheryl’s voice is so real; her honesty is profound. After reading it I was obsessed for days about hiking and I almost bought a pair of trail boots…  Every emotion known to humans comes through her words in exquisite detail…a wonder of a novel!

HATE HAS NO MEASURE

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Hate has no measure. Hate is  beyond measure. Hate is evil in every sense of the word. Hate will never drench the flame of Love. For it is love, it is love, it is love, it is love, it is love, it is love a million times over that will conquer hate.

Suspenseful, Fast Paced

The Illuminate Files is a fast paced and exciting science fiction story told almost exclusively in interviews, texts and by a slightly deranged Artificial Intelligence. 51Kn2ohB8FL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Kady Grant and Ezra Mason are to teens living off world in an isolated planet in the far future. When their mining planet gets blasted not only with devastating bombs, but a horrible virus that causes the infected to become killer zombies, these two must find a way to save everyone on the rescue star ships.

And so begins this convoluted story that just keeps you turning the pages with twist after twist. Kady Grant is one kick @** heroine with steel for nerves. All of the swear words are redacted, so anyone can read this novel. The schematics of the starships and battleships are fantastic.

Great dialogue and wonderful writing makes this novel a must read! The sequel is due out in September. :o)

 

The Power of Words

The Bird and the Sword, by Amy Harmon 4 Stars

This is a fantasy story about a young girl whose words can become real. In 41ifwVwC9fL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_her world, those with gifts like healing or shifting or telling, are being hunted. It is against the law to have magical gifts. Lark sees her mother killed in front of her for something Lark did. So she doesn’t speak. Her words are only in her head, but still, they have magic. Tiras, the son of the King who killed Lark’s mother is secretly gifted as well.

There is evil about in the land. Strange flying creatures are killing people everywhere and Tiras, fully grown and now  king after is father’s death,  has come for Lark and he needs her and her words to combat the new evil.

So this is the story of their fight for good over evil and along the way they fall in love. But love has its dangers too.

The writing is excellent and is a nice read. I fully enjoyed it and recommend it. I think YA readers will really enjoy this novel.

 

 

 

 

Court of Mists and Fury

Four Stars for the Court of Mists and Fury514U7MT9OIL__SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

Eventually, I got into the story and it was surprisingly good. Though the first few chapters put me off and I think they could have been improved on. Having said that, the rest of the novel was  exceptional for a fantasy novel.  It was the initial graphic sex sequence that put me off more than anything and fortunately, there was only one more.

The characters of Rhys and Feyre are fully realized and totally believable. They are exceptional characters and I fell in love with both of them. Though I’m not generally a fan of fantasy, I was able to suspend my disbelief and I cheered for both of them.

Feyre is a woman who graves independence over love and protection. She is her own woman and consequences be damned. I love that about her! Rhys is a man for all seasons. His evolving love for Feyre is clear and concise, and he is ready to sacrifice himself to not only save her, but to save his people. He wants to protect her, but he also recognizes she cannot be owned. She is his equal partner in everyway.

The writing is terrific, filled with emotion and gut wrenching moments. The story moved forward in a logical progression with twists and turns that kept my interest. There were times when some of it fell a bit short, logically, but all in all it was a great read. The ending is a cliff hanger with a promise for more danger and excitement in the next book. I anxiously await her next installment in the series.

Curently Reading, A Court of Mists and Fury

Disappointed to say the least. I rarely give a bad review, just lucky I guess to find good reads, but…514U7MT9OIL__SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

This is the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.

First off, the leading lady, Feyre has become a whiney version of her former self. Complaining about everything. The book goes on and on about trivial things and I put it down in exasperation. Picked it up again, thinking, well….

Secondly,  I gasped, and not in a good way, regarding the ubiquitous graphic sex scenes. Sara J. Maas?  I’m surprised. I wasn’t expecting all that stuff from you. Now, I don’t mind some sex scenes, if done in an artsy way, but…EW! It didn’t make sense and didn’t move the story forward in any way.

If someone else has read this, please tell me the story gets better, because I’ve about 500 pages to go and at this rate I’ve wasted $8.99 on my Kindle.

If I do manage to slug my way through, you can bet I’ll do an HONEST review.

These Broken Stars

I seldom read co-authored novels and I didn’t mean to this time, but I’m glad I did! 

Four Stars ****

Broken Stars is actually an excellent story, character driven over plot, and well written. The two protagonists, Lilac and Tarver have great chemistry and their dialogue, both verbal and inner, is authentic and interesting. It’s mostly a chic-lit novel. 61Wgw9CXQfL__SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

The two meet on board the galactic starship, the Icarus. Lilac’s father is a mega businessman and the richest man in the universe. He is the builder and owner of the starship.

Lilac is his privileged daughter, haughty to those beneath her like Tarver who is a war hero. She must behave this way to avoid entrapment by those who seek her fortune, and to keep her father from destroying anyone who he feels is beneath their status.

The Icarus goes down on a terra formed planet that is uninhabited, or so Lilac and Tarver , the only survivors of the thousands on board, think.

While they struggle to survive, the two become close, though it is only through many travails that they come to rely on each other.

No spoilers here, but there are surprising twists and turns before the inevitable conclusion. The ending is satisfying. The characters are so well drawn I hated to see them move on. I think another novel just about their lives in the future would be worth the read.