The River [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

July 8, 2021

The River by Peter Heller
#throwbackthursday

The River by Peter Heller (cover) Image: white text over an abstract swirl of red leaf shapes

Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Wilderness Survival/Thriller, Friendship

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of an atmospheric wilderness survival thriller, The River by Peter Heller.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The River is a story of wilderness survival and friendship with a generous side of suspense/thriller. Wynn and Jack are college friends who enjoy the mountains, reading, and fishing, but they get more than they bargained for in this wilderness canoe trip. Instead of days filled with fishing and reading and nights of stargazing, they attempt a rescue as they face starvation, a forest fire, and a dangerous stranger.”

 An atmospheric wilderness thriller…..

Continue here for my full review of The River …



QOTD:

Have you read The River or is it on your TBR?

The Forest of Vanishing Stars [Book Review]

July 6, 2021

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel (cover) a woman wearing a red coat stands with her back to the camera looking out over a valley....planes fly overhead.....white text on the red coat)

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Poland/Germany, Survival, Jewish

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“You are a warrior. You are a hero, and a fighter, and a savior. You are a caretaker and a life giver.”

Thanks #NetGalley @GalleryBooks for a complimentary eARC of #TheForestOfVanishingStars upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars is inspired by true stories of survival in the expansive forests of Poland during WW11. The movie Defiance with Daniel Craig depicts one of the largest hidden groups.

Yona is stolen from her wealthy Germany parents when she is two years old (1922) and raised in the wilderness by an elderly eccentric herbalist and visionary. In 1941 when Yona is a young woman, her kidnapper dies and she is left to fend for herself in the forest. She is surprised to stumble upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazis. After her fear subsides, she is determined to teach the group all she knows about surviving in the forest. However, they teach her about community and friendship after living her life in isolation. Told in one straightforward timeline from one perspective, this is a story of found family, finding people to trust, and of survival.

My Thoughts:

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Sparks Like Stars [Book Review]

June 2, 2021

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi (cover) Image: gold and white text on a black background)

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Afghanistan, Asian-American Literature

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Nadia Hashimi, the author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, tells the story of Sitara Zamani who lives a privileged life in Kabul Afghanistan in 1978. Sitara’s father works for the progressive president and the children from the two families play together. When Sitara is ten years old, the communists stage a coup and Sitara is the only survivor. She is smuggled out of the palace by a sympathetic guard and into the home of an American diplomat. Years later while working as a successful surgeon in America, Sitara (now known as Aryana) is confronted with her past which causes her to ask questions and awakens strong feelings of anger and revenge.

My Thoughts:

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Project Hail Mary [Book Review] #FathersDay

June 18, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Any Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut is tethered and floating in space near a gold and black object

Genre/Categories: Science Fiction, Space Mission, Friendship, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Middle School science teacher Ryland Grace finds himself on a desperate space mission to save planet Earth. He wakes up on a spaceship hooked up to tubes without a memory of how he got there or how the two people next to him died in their beds. Although he senses he knows them and realizes their importance, he can’t remember his own name or his purpose for being there. In dual timelines, we hear Ryland’s backstory (as he regains his memory) and experience the dangerous present reality. Ryland finds an unexpected ally in his quest to save Earth from extinction.

My Thoughts:

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The Warsaw Orphan [Book Review]

May 28, 2021

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Kimmer (cover) Image: two children walk along the railroad tracks away from the camera

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, WW11, Poland, Jewish, Survival

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Welcome to my stop on the Summer 2021 Historical Fiction Blog Tour. Thank you for the invitation, Justine. Thanks #NetGalley @Harlequin @GraydonHouse for a complimentary eARC of #TheWarsawOrphan by Kelly Rimmer upon my request. All opinions are my own. Pub Date: 6/1/2021.

Harlequin Historical Fiction 2021 Blog Tour Banner (showing the covers of three books)

It’s 1942, and teenage Elzbieta lives in the middle of German-occupied Warsaw. She doesn’t like the Germans who patrol the streets, she resents the curfews, and she’s mostly uninformed about the hardships endured by her Jewish neighbors. On the other hand, she has heard about German brutality and is keeping a secret about her own true identity. Elzbieta makes two friends: her neighbor Sara who involves her in a dangerous world of smuggling children out of the Ghetto and Roman whose family lives in the Ghetto and is in great danger. This is a story of war, family, survival, and love.

My Thoughts:

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Paper Hearts [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

May 20, 2021

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott
#throwbackthursday

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (cover) Image: hand stitched title on a blue background...stitched star in upper left corner

Genre/Categories: WW11, Holocaust, Jewish, Young Adult, Poetry (free verse), Friendship, Survival

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of the poignant and compelling Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott, a title on my lifetime favorites list.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“In Paper Hearts, two unforgettable girls find themselves tragically imprisoned at Auschwitz during the Holocaust and become friends. Through the bonds of friendship and a bit of defiance, Zlatka and Fania find threads of hope and a will to live. In this true story, Zlatka, along with the help of a few other girls, masterminds making a surprise birthday card for Fania. A secret project that would be a crime punishable by death if caught, each girl signed the paper hearts card with her hopes and wishes for happiness, love, and freedom. This heart is a symbol of defiance and is one of the few artifacts created in Auschwitz that has survived and can be seen today in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre in Canada and in the image below.”

a beautiful, memorable, and gently written story of friendship and survival…

Continue here for my full review of Paper Hearts ….

Hamdmade collection of heartshaped paper: Holocaust artifact



QOTD:

Have you read Paper Hearts or is it on your TBR?

The Woman With the Blue Star [Book Review]

May 4, 2021

The Woman With the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff

Woman With the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff (cover) Image: the toes of red shoes sit on a cobblestone path, a cloth with a stitched blue star rests beside the shoes

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Holocaust, Jewish, Krakow (Poland), Friendship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on the Pam Jenoff Blog Tour for #TheWomanWithTheBlueStar. Thanks to #NetGalley @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollins @ParkRowBooks for my complimentary eARC upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Woman With the Blue Star Blog Tour Banner

In 1942, eighteen-year-old Sadie and her parents are forced to flee the Krakow Ghetto to avoid being sent to a concentration camp. They seek refuge in the sewer system beneath the city. One day, Sadie looks up through the grate and makes eye contact with a young Polish woman, Ella. Putting her fears aside, Ella begins to aid Sadie by bringing her a bit of food. The story follows their friendship as Ella helps Sadie in any way that she can.

My Thoughts:

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Surviving Savannah [Book Review]

March 5, 2021

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan

Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan (cover) Image: a young woman from the 1800s stands at a railing with her back to the camera overlooking a harbor

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction, Shipwreck

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e arc of #SurvivingSavannah upon my request. Pub Date: 3/9/2021 All opinions are my own.

In 1838, a luxury steamship called the Pulaski (Titanic of the South) on route from Savannah to Baltimore sank off the coast of North Carolina as a result of a boiler explosion. One hundred eighty years later the remains are found and Everly Winthrop, a history professor, is given the task of curating the museum collection of artifacts. This compelling story of “surviving the surviving” is told in dual timelines from multiple perspectives. In 1838, the story follows Lily and Augusta (and their large family) as they board the ship and struggle to survive the blast. In the present day, Everly is especially fascinated by this family of eleven that was on board. As she pieces together the story of the survivors, Everly is also suffering from PTSD from her own heartbreaking story of loss and figuring out how she will “survive the surviving.”

a black and white drawing of the doomed Pulaski

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

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The Girl From the Channel Islands [Book Review] #BlogTour #Harlequinn

February 2, 2021

The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat #BlogTour

The Girl From the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (cover) Image: a woman stands in an open field beside a bicycle overlooking a small village and airplanes in the sky

Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11, Jewish, Channel Islands

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Jenny Lecoat’s the Girl From the Channel Islands. Thank you for the invitation Justine Sha!

a collage of four books on the historical fiction blog tour

Thank you #Netgalley #Harlequinn for my complimentarary e arc of #TheGirlFromTheChannelIslands upon my request. All opinions are my own.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

In June of 1940, Hitler’s army takes possession of the Channel Islands. Cut off from all help, the residents grow increasingly desperate. Hedy, a young Jewish girl from Vienna, is trapped on Jersey with no escape. In desperation, Hedy begins to work for the Germans as a translator, and she meets a sympathetic German officer (although he doesn’t know her whole truth). As Hedy’s life is in more danger every day, she decides on a dangerous course of action in an attempt to save herself from deportation to a concentration camp.

map of the Channel Islands

My Thoughts:

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Where the Crawdads Sing [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

January 21, 2021

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
#throwbackthursday

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (cover) white text over the image of a person rowing a boat on the water surrounded by trees

Genre/Categories: Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Life, Survival

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the page-turning Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.a story of survival.

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Living in the marsh outside a quiet, small town on the coast of North Carolina, Kya Clark, later known as the “Marsh Girl,” is abandoned by her entire family and learns to survive in the marsh on her own from the age of ten. One by one her older siblings abandon the family, her mother leaves when Kya is about seven, and finally, her father, a difficult, unreliable, and drunk man, leaves when she’s ten. Kya attends school for one day after a truant officer catches her. On that day, she is teased by the students, knows she’s hopelessly behind academically, and never returns. Preferring the isolation and safety of the marsh, she learns what she can through observing nature. Although she can survive on her own, she begins to long for companionship as she reaches her teen years. Two boys from town attract her attention. One of them turns up dead, and she is suspected of murder. The other becomes a life long supporter and friend. A coming of age story with a fair share of tragedy, mystery, and grit, this is an unforgettable read you’ll want to devour and recommend.”

Continue here for my full review of Where the Crawdads Sing ….



QOTD:

Have you read Where the Crawdads Sing or is it on your TBR?