Tag Archives: book review

Paris Letters

17586508Title: Paris Letters
Author: Janice Macleod
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although this story was lighter and more happily-ever-after than I expected a memoir to be, I ended up enjoying it for what it is – the non-fiction version of chick-lit.

Janice Macleod is tired of her life. Although she has achieved success at her dream job as an advertising executive, she feels personally and professionally unfulfilled. A chance conversation leads her to the realization that simply saving $100/day could buy her a year of freedom in Europe. After saving and selling to make her dream come true, she finally moves to France where she begins to piece together the life she didn’t know she was looking for. Continue reading


Filed under Memoir, non-fiction

Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews

17333319Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

The writing in this book was as beautiful as all the reviews say. Hannah Kent has the rare skill of finding new metaphors which speak right to the soul without relying on the familiarity of a cliche. The emotions, the tension, and the scenery were all very vividly brought to life. I was less impressed with the plot. Although I knew to expect this to be sadder than my typical fare, I was surprised by just how bleak things got. I was also unimpressed by the main characters’ naivete and inability to escape the bad situation which led to her present plight. Finally, while I loved the inclusion of “primary sources” and the real feel they gave the book, the author’s use of a report to unemotionally wrap up the ending felt very anticlimactic. The writing impressed me enough that I would still be happy to read more by Hannah Kent. Continue reading


Filed under Fiction, Historical Fiction

The Secret of Raven Point

16130674Title: The Secret of Raven Point
Author: Jennifer Vanderbes
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This book was darker and more depressing that my typical fare, so I think it’s a testament to the author’s superb writing skills that I was blown away anyway.

Juliet Dufresne has always looked up to her brother so once he enlists, becoming a nurse is an easy choice. When her brother is reported missing in action, Juliet is determined to find out what happened to him, even if that means lying about her age. However, once she reaches the front, her only connection to her brother is  a man so shell-shocked, he may never speak again. Juliet will have to work hard to balance her desire to learn more about her brother with her duty to her patient. Continue reading


Filed under Fiction, Historical Fiction

Touch of Power

Touch of PowerTitle: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although this dragged a bit for me, the writing was practically perfect and the world building was fascinating.

Avry is the last of the healers. After a plague the healers couldn’t cure decimated the Fifteen Territories, all of the healers were hunted down and killed. On the run, Avry is eventually captured by a band of men who, surprisingly, value her healing skills over the bounty for turning her in. Unfortunately, they want her to heal the man Avry blames for the healer’s demise. The decision she has to make is a tough one, since he might also be her land’s best chance at peace. Continue reading


Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult

Sex and the Founding Fathers

sex and the founding fathersTitle: Sex and the Founding Fathers
Author: Thomas Foster
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: This book included a lot of interesting stories written in a not very interesting, not very organized way.

Sex and the Founding Fathers does not directly deal with sex and the founding fathers, as you might expect. Instead the author examines how people have remembered the founding fathers and their sex lives throughout history. He argues that how we view the founding fathers says something about our values. We like to imagine that the founding fathers were paragons of virtue. How we remember them shows what we think an ideal American should be like. Continue reading


Filed under Biography, History, non-fiction

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment – Author Interview and Giveaway

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment PB CoverAs I mentioned in my review last week, I was blown away by the realistic characters and vivid descriptions in Jennifer Epstein’s The Gods of Heavenly Punishment. I’m therefore particularly thrilled to have Jennifer join us at Doing Dewey today for an interview and a giveaway. Read on to learn more about the inspiration and research that led  up to this fantastic novel. Continue reading


Filed under Blogger Events, Fiction, Historical Fiction

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment PB CoverTitle: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Author: Jennifer Cody Epstein
Source: from publisher for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although the story was a bit sad for my tastes, this beautifully written book captivated me with vivid personalities and intriguing, interconnected stories.

The defining event of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment is the firebombing of Tokyo in WWII. However, what the book is really about is people and the way they affect one another. Fifteen-year-old Yoshi’s experiences leading up to and following the firebombing will be “shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.” (source)

Continue reading


Filed under Fiction, Historical Fiction