Strange the Dreamer

519By0NHlmL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I don’t often give 5 stars, but this fantasy novel earns every single star.
Strange the Dreamer is totally captivating. Laini Taylor has woven a magical story with lush and evocative writing and wonderful characters.
Lazlo Strange is an orphan and a dreamer. His parentage is a mystery. Saved by strict monks when he was just an infant, he lives a lonely life, but hears fantastical stories from an aged monk. Later, Lazlo serves as a junior librarian in a scholarly library. He is obsessed with the mystical city of Weep. A city lost in time until one day a hero called the Gods slayer arrives from the city of Weep and nothing will ever be the same for Lazlo. He is enlisted with others to travel to the city of Weep. The terrible Gods who ruled the city are dead, or are they? A young and beautifully blue Goddess enters Lazlo’s dreams. Her name is Sarai and she is half Goddess and half human, a God spawn. From Sarai, Lazlo learns the truth about Weep. Here Lazlo learns about love and longing and so does Sarai.
Events unfold leading to heartbreak and tragedy, but will love endure? Will love conquer all?
This is such a beautifully written novel, and I am so looking forward to the sequel.

The Edge of Everything

The EdgeZoe and her young brother, Jonah are alone in the mountains during a fierce blizzard.  Well, except for the two labs and someone, a very nasty man who wants to kill the dogs, drown them in the lake. This is where X comes in, except that’s not really his name. Where he comes from, most of the inhabitants don’t have names. Well,  at least not any longer.  Zoe names him X because that is the shape his silhouette makes against the orange light. And the orange light is coming from him.

This young adult novel is engaging and keeps the reader turning the pages. Zoe, Jonah and X are interesting characters. The story is fast paced and by the end, the reader is looking for a sequel.  I know I am.

Defy the Stars

51phu4LV+GL__SY346_Defy the Stars is a Science Fiction novel and a good one. It is fast paced and the characters are well developed.  The developing relationship between Noemi, a fighter pilot from off planet and Abel, an android who is more human than most humans, is incredibly believable and engaging.  There are no super heroes here, but both of these characters embody the best of human nature. This novel is both character driven and action driven. The best of both!

I couldn’t put this novel down. I hope the author writes a sequel and it seems there may be one.

A Piece of the World

Christina

Andrew Wyeth’s  iconic painting, Christina’s World, has always fascinated me. The image of a girl in a pale pink dress crawling through a field of grass toward a distant house on the horizon raised a number of speculations.  The answer to those speculations are answered in this wonderful piece of historical fiction. The author has painstakingly reconstructed the life of the actual Christina and her world.  Here, we also get glimpses of Andrew Wyeth, the man behind his art.

There is a fine comparison between the life of an isolated girl and that of an artist who spends hours alone with his work. But it is Christina herself who emerges as a complex woman-girl who desires love but is incapacitated by a debilitating illness. In many ways, Christina is as stubborn and as enduring as the generations old home she is irrevocably tied to.

A Piece of the World is a wonderful accounting of the life and times of Christina Olson. It is rich in detail and pathos. The reader is immediately immersed in Christina’s world, the unending labor of farm life and the heartbreaking details of thwarted love.

All in all, this is a compelling read.

The Life We Bury

61kacypw28l-_sx331_bo1204203200_What happens when a simple college English assignment turns into a life and death struggle. University of Minnesota college student, Joe Talbert has been assigned to write a biography of an elderly person. As it happens, the only elderly person available at the nearest nursing home is convicted rapist and murderer, Carl Iverson who was released from prison after 30 years because he is dying of cancer.

Carl asserts his innocence and the more Joe investigates the more he believes Carl is not the person who murdered 14 year old Crystal Marie Hagen 30 years ago.

As Joe uncovers more evidence, he puts himself, his autistic brother and his new friend, Lila into the crosshairs of the real killer.

The Life We Bury is a suspenseful and beautifully written novel about a fallen military hero who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I loved this novel and I just couldn’t put it down.