Monday, October 17, 2016

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

October - Bestsellers

My mother, a huge fan of Gaiman, had this book autographed and then gave it to me. As soon as I saw the theme for this month, I knew I was going to pick this one up. Gaiman is a bestselling author, and for very good reason, and this book is one among many that have earned a spot at the top of any list.

In true Gaiman fashion, this is a story set in the mundane world, completely possible events happening interwoven with elements of the fantastic. The story follows a man who has gone home for his father's funeral and decides to visit the house of a childhood friend. But sitting in front of the pond in her yard, memories come rushing in, of an event he had forgotten, that was so incredible it is hard to believe fully, and yet looking back on it, he never questions the validity of the memory.

The story moved a little slower than I would have liked, although I think that may have been due to the fact that this wasn't the book I wanted to be reading right now. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. And of course I did, because Gaiman is such an incredible writer, there is no "not liking" his works. I am so glad that I got to read this one, too, because it was all such an incredible tale with an ending that left me thinking simply "wow, huh".

I think this is going to be one that I come back to again in the future, to see if it is different for me, because it was great even n my slight disinterest this time around. Have you read Gaiman? Have you read this one? What do you think? Let me know.

Attack on Titan v. 9

I have been reading the series since I started it two months ago, reading on the mangas between other books and when I was out of the house (yes, this was my purse book). Finally I have reached the point at which the anime stopped with volume 8. Here in volume 9 is what comes next in the story! And wow, in just one manga, a total of 4 chapters, so much more of the story has been revealed, only leaving me with a ton more questions! It is nonstop action for our characters as they are not given a moments rest before the next attack occurs. And we get to see more of the 104th training corp Eren was a part of as they are watched closely and backstories are revealed. Because there are more secrets among these new recruits than anyone could have guessed!

If you are looking to pick up where the anime left off this is the book to pick up. Although,  would recommend reading volume 8 because there was a single scene in it that may prove to be important as we move forward.  Or, you can wait until 2017 when, rumor has it, season 2 will finally be released!

Let me know if you do, did, or will read the manga, I love finding fellow fans of this incredible series!

Friday, October 7, 2016


I discovered Joe Jimenez at this year's Texas Teen Book Festival. I attended a panel, "Pieces of Me", on which he spoke and I discovered that I just had to read this man's work. Quickly I dashed back to the book sales, picked up a copy of Bloodline, and hurried to the signing tent to have him autograph it. Actually, I intend to send it to my friend, Abby, so I didn't have him personalize it to me. But I got to shake his hand, tell him his words on the panel were amazing, and confess I just couldn't wait to read this book. I'm glad for that opportunity.

Bloodline is the story of Abraham, a junior in high school with no real male role models to speak of. When he gets suspended from school the second time, for his third fight, his grandmother decides to invite her other son, Abraham's Uncle Claudio, to come live with them to give the boy direction. What follows is Abraham's struggle to deal: with his uncle being back, his growing feelings for his friend Ophelia, his uncontrollable desire to fight. It's the story of a boy struggling to grow up.

Two things I need to say about this book as a warning: 1) It's written in second person. With this, Jimenez makes you live the story, makes you feel Abraham's struggle. It is now a popular style of writing, and that's ok, because it adds to the impact Jimenez delivers it with. I actually, really enjoyed this style for this story! 2) This is the story of Hamlet. There are some differences, a few details changed to make this story its own, but it is Hamlet, know that.

With those two things clear, I have to say this was a really good read. At first I wondered if I could make it through, not only because of the point of view, but because it seemed far too heavy in metaphor. But as I read on, it grew on me. We feel things n ways that are sometimes hard to describe except by comparing them to other things. Jimenez effectively captures emotions raging in this young man and makes t easier to grasp while giving it more depth. I began to love his writing quickly. Just a few chapters in and I couldn't put the book down. It was an incredible story.

I really look forward to passing this book along, to hearing what my friend thinks of it, to discussing it with her. I would love it if everyone gave it a chance. I think that a lot of people would love the tale Jimenez tells. So go read it! And let me know what you thought of it!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Sisters

In the beginning was Mabel and Bertie. In the summer of 1927 Mabel knew something would soon happen to Bertie and that the only way to escape would be to take her sister away. She thought she planned out the only way things could be done to give them a restart at life. Only, something went wrong. Bertie never got on the train. Suddenly both Mabel and Bertie are thrown out into the world, alone and uncertain, and full of emotions they keep tucked away from prying eyes.

What follows is a story like most others, Mabel finds herself in photography and unusual friendships, Bertie marries and devotes herself to making sure her little family holds together. But the original tragedy colors everything.

Jensen weaves a tale that may seem simple enough, only that there is a thread running through all of it that most of the characters are never aware of even as it changes things for them permanently. This family that hides truths about what they are doing, what they feel, and they change the course of each other's lives with these hidden facets. Amazingly, something that happened in 1927 effects the great-granddaughters in 2007, even as the child has no idea of the events that occurred.

Not only is this an amazing story to show how tragedy colors each and every one of us without us having gone through the event itself, Jensen is an incredible writer. Her imagination is vast as she develops this family and chronicles their lives. At the worst moments in the book she gives us just enough of the scene to make it stick with you, make you cringe, without having to take it too far. And her characters are so diverse and real that you can't help but feel for each and every one of them.

I am so glad that picked up this novel and I will be looking for more of Jensen's works in the future! I recommend everyone pick this book up!