July 9, 2013Type by Alicia Hendley
I really enjoyed this book. Hendley did a beautiful job of weaving factual psychology with an intriguing fiction story.
The story centers around 12 year old Sophie who is living in a not to distant future where everyone's life path (career, spouse, etc.) is determined by their Myers Briggs Personality Test (MBPT) results. When extroverted Sophie learns she will be going to a different secondary school than her introverted best friend, she decides to take matters into her own hands and lies during the MBPT test in order to ensure she is classified with the same personality type as her friend and therefore put in the same secondary school. This little lie opens up her eyes to a world much bigger and more dangerous than she could ever imagine.
After discovering a very dark secret that The Association, the governing body of psychologists that rule this world, will stop at nothing to keep secret, she finds herself living off the grid with like minded kids who are determined to expose The Association and all their horrific practices. But with her dad a prominent and dedicated top psychologist for The Association, her troubles are just beginning.
Hendley did a wonderful job writing this book and pulling the reader into this dystopian society, leaving the reader with a cliff hanger at the very end and wanting more. I can't wait to read the next one!
June 24, 2013The Lightness of Dust by M.L. Weaver
Wow. I just finished Weaver's novel and already I can't get the story out of my head. Weaver does a fantastic job of weaving together 3 seemingly separate stories into one seamless plot.
In the novel we are introduced to three different stories, each taking place in three different time periods. The novel opens thousands of years ago with Kere, a dark haired, beautiful young woman awaiting the return of her new husband from his fishing trip. Everyday she climbs atop the cliff overlooking the sea and keeps a vigilant eye out for his return and waits for news of him, hoping that he will return before her abusive and greedy father can sell her into the service of the dubious priesthood. She knows that the priesthood will pay a large sum to her father in order to obtain control over her and her gift of healing. Soon her worst fears are realized and she finds herself in the service of the priesthood, who in the name of the gods, commit atrocities against the towns people in order to line their own pockets with precious metals. When a natural disaster threatens the harbor town, Kere finds herself faced with a mysterious stranger who offers her a terrifying choice that will change her life, and the lives of those she loves, forever.
At the same time, we are introduced to Samuel Freeman, an poor artists living in 1940's Seattle. Working as a maintenance man in the local theater to pay the bills, Sam meets mysterious and vivacious Lily, a beautiful blond woman who has sojourned all the way from Europe to Seattle to commission Sam to paint her portrait. But she does not want her portrait to be as she currently is, instead she wants Sam to paint her as she was when she was a young girl. As Sam endeavors to provide her with the seemingly impossible, they fall in love and spend their days wrapped up in passion and the joy of each others company. World War II breaks out and Sam decides to enlist, but before he leaves he presents Lily with her final portrait. Even though Sam can't explain what drove him to paint a portrait of what appears to be someone other than Lily, when he presents the image of a young, dark haired girl standing atop a cliff overlooking a harbor, seemingly waiting for something, Lily begins to cry and tells him it is perfect.
Meanwhile, in the current time, we find a young couple, Jake and his wife Elyse, who just moved to a new city because Jake was offered a tenure track professorship position at the local university. As Jake tries to find balance in this new stage of life, a bright young graduate student named Amanda bounces into his academic life. The lively and intelligent red head quickly makes herself a valuable member of Jake's research. As the months wear on, Jake finds his marriage soon crumbling due to his lack of time at home and he makes the mistake of drinking his troubles away and making a pass at Amanda one night as she works late in the lab. Amanda rebuffs his advances and Jake immediately regrets his mistake but Amanda's demeanor has an abrupt change and she soon wiggles her way into his home life and befriends his wife.
After a fight with his wife finds him locked out of the bedroom one night, Jake finds Amanda in his home, both unexpected and uninvited. While her words are calm and her actions patient, Jake is able to read between the lines and hear the veiled threats Amanda makes toward his wife. In an effort to protect the one he loves most, Jake attacks Amanda with an iron fire poker, knocking her down in a pool of blood that gushes forth from her head. But Amanda merely gets up unharmed from the confrontation and gives Jake a mysterious warning before leaving his house. Convinced that he is facing something other than human, Jake flees with his wife in an attempt to escape Amanda, but they are unsuccessful. As his wife finally begins to believe Jake about Amanda, she has a miscarriage and is rushed to the hospital. In the midst of the terror and excitement at the hospital, Amanda appears and offers him a terrifying choice that will change his life, and the lives of those he loves, forever.
This is a very well written novel. There are some things I would have preferred to have better explained in the novel, such as why does the choice always come with tragedy that is gleefully administered (what twists the characters into this)? But overall, I would highly recommend this book. I can't wait to read the next one!
May 21, 2013
Western Wishes (Dream Agency #1) by E. Jaye
This was fun read with a surprising twist. Jaye's ability to inject character insight and substance into this story while still maintaining the romantic plot was a wonderful treat. I look forward to reading book #2.
May 09, 2013I just finished reading, You are Mine, by Janeal Falor! Please see my review below.
This is a good debut novel for Janeal Falor. Her writing style is easy to follow and makes for a good weekend read for her YA readers. I enjoyed her unique take on the warlock theme and her ability to weave in strong female mentors into the main character's life. :-)