Posts Categorized: Literary

New Release Review: Lotus

January 2, 2017 Fiction, Literary 13

New Release Review: LotusTitle: Lotus
Author: Lijia Zhang
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a slow paced book, but the character and relationship development were touching and believable.

“Surviving by her wits alone, Lotus charges headlong into the neon lights of Shenzhen, determined to pull herself out of the gutter and decide her own path.” However, she quickly finds herself working as a “massage girl” or prostitute while lying to her family about the source of the money she sends home. The men who notice her provide her many opportunities for a chance at security, but each also presents their own dangers. As Lotus struggles to make a decision, she finds it difficult to envision a life of her own due to the guilt and insecurity she feels. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Mirror Thief

May 10, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Thriller 9

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Mirror ThiefTitle: The Mirror Thief
Author: Martin Seay
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a big, bold, beautiful story with inspiring writing and an enthralling plot.

“The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. The Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage…for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however—a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose—has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten . . . Meanwhile, in two other Venices—Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today—two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret . . .  All three stories will weave together”, connected both thematically and by direct interaction or inspiration of each character by the others. (source) Read more »

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Review: All Stories Are Love Stories

March 27, 2016 Fiction, Literary 8

Review: All Stories Are Love StoriesTitle: All Stories Are Love Stories: A Novel
Author: Elizabeth Percer
Source: from publisher for review
|Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I enjoyed most of this book and it did remind me of Station Eleven, but the writing wasn’t as beautiful and I dropped a star because of the ending.

“On Valentine’s Day, two major earthquakes strike San Francisco within the same hour, devastating the city and its primary entry points, sparking fires throughout, and leaving its residents without power, gas, or water. Among the disparate survivors whose fates will become intertwined are Max, a man who began the day with birthday celebrations tinged with regret; Vashti, a young woman who has already buried three of the people she loved most . . . but cannot forget Max, the one man who got away; and Gene, a Stanford geologist who knows far too much about the terrifying earthquakes that have damaged this beautiful city and irrevocably changed the course of their lives. As day turns to night and fires burn across the city, Max and Vashti—trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium—must confront each other and face the truth about their past, while Gene embarks on a frantic search through the realization of his worst nightmares to find his way back to his ailing lover and their home.” (Source) Read more »

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Legacy: An Anthology (#30Authors)

May 18, 2015 Contemporary, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Magical Realism, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 7

Legacy: An Anthology (#30Authors)Title: Legacy
Author: Adria J. Cimino, Allison Hiltz, David Whitehouse, Didier Quémener, J.J. Hensley, Jenny Milchman, Kristopher Jansma, Lizzie Harwood, Marissa Stapley, Maureen Foley, Paula Young Lee, Piper Punches, Regina Calcaterra, Stephanie Carroll, Vicki Lesage
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

 

Last year, I was able to participate in the fun #30Authors event, connecting authors with bloggers and readers. This interaction led to the creation of Legacy, a collection of short stories written specifically for the anthology. This collection includes both fiction and nonfiction pieces, all connected by their exploration of the idea of legacy. Read more »

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Best European Fiction 2015

January 29, 2015 Fiction, Literary, Review 14

Best European Fiction 2015Title: Best European Fiction 2015
Author: Enrique Vila-Matas
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

 

I love unique translated fiction and wanted to add more diversity to my reading in 2015, so this collection of European fiction was the perfect first read of the year. This collection includes stories by authors from many different European countries, most of it translated and most stand-alone short stories. The few excerpts from longer works were also enjoyable and easily stood on their own. Read more »

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Well-Written Fiction in Mini-Reviews

December 7, 2014 Fiction, Literary, Review 22

Well-Written Fiction in Mini-ReviewsTitle: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Author: Anthony Marra
Source: Blogging for Books
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

18428067This is one of those books where the writing is so beautiful, I feel like the writing in my review will be inadequate to describe it. If I could tell you exactly how the author achieved the effects he did, I’d be a best-selling author myself. Instead, I can only give you my impressions. The writing was very concise but every word the author used seemed meaningful and carefully chosen. The author often repurposed common words and phrases to give them fresh meanings which made me think about the world in new ways. The author also juxtaposed the poignantly sorrowful and upliftingly hopeful in a way that made my heart ache. If I haven’t convinced you to pick this up, I hope you’ll at least check out the many other rave reviews in hopes they’ll convince you instead. Read more »

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The Story Hour

August 19, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Literary, Review, Women's Fiction 8

The Story HourTitle: The Story Hour
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: The author’s beautiful writing made me experience the character’s emotions very deeply, but the emotional impact of the ending was weak compared to the rest of the book.

Psychologist Maggie has always been willing to try unorthodox methods and has become known for her ability to help in tough cases. When she is asked to help Lakshmi, an isolated Indian immigrant who tried to commit suicide, it is clear that unorthodox methods are called for. Lakshmi understand therapy to mean making friends with Maggie and Maggie relates to Lakshmi too much to maintain her usual distance. As these two very different women learn each other’s biggest mistakes, their differing backgrounds and expectations of their relationship will threaten their friendship, making it hard for them to forgive one another.
Read more »

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

August 16, 2014 Fiction, Literary, Review, Translated Fiction 20

Colorless Tsukuru TazakiTitle: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Author: Haruki Murakami
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This book was written in the same beautiful, dreamy style I loved in 1Q84, but the ending felt a bit less climactic and a bit less resolved.

In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki was part of an inseparable group of friends. Coincidentally, the other four students all had colors in their name and Tsukuru didn’t, a fact that he found significant because he also believed himself to be the most average of the group. About a year after Tsukuru moved away, his four friends cut off all contact with him and refused to explain why. When, many years later, Tsukuru meets a woman he cares for deeply, he realizes that he needs to understand what happened with his friends before he can move on and believe he might be loved by someone else.
Read more »

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

August 6, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Literary 23

228044Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Author: Mark Haddon
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: The writing style of this book was unique and fascinating, but the plot felt incomplete.

Although Christopher has an incredible memory for factual information, he has a hard time understanding human emotions. He’s smart and logical, but also very sheltered. When he discovers that his neighbor’s dog has been killed, he decides to emulate his favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes, and try to find out who is responsible. In order to investigate, Christopher will have to do things outside his comfort zone and what he learns may be even more frightening. Read more »

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This Is the Water

August 5, 2014 Fiction, Literary, Thriller, Women's Fiction 19

18781340Title: This Is the Water
Author: Yannick Murphy
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although I found the second person narration a bit distancing, I thought the author used this perspective very creatively for a writing style that was both beautiful and unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

Swim team mom Annie worries about her marriage and enjoys that one of the fathers on the team flirts with her, even though she feels old and even though he’s married to her friend. She worries about her brother’s suicide and whether or not such things run in her family. She worries that her girls aren’t confident enough and whether or not she’s done enough for them. But when one of the girls on the swim team is murdered and Annie discovers a secret which could help catch the man who did it, all her other worries seem trivial by comparison.
Read more »

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