Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Last Orphans

I was lucky enough to be offered an advanced copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I'd like to take a second to say that I am very impressed by the publisher of this book.  It is the first time that I have ever heard of Clean Teen Publishing, and I appreciate what they are doing.  They are offering disclosure about the content of their books, similar to the disclosure ratings you will see on TV or video games.  They do not censor the work, but tell you honestly what you are getting into before you get into it (such as this book contains drugs, violence, sex, foul language, etc), that way you can decide if a book is appropriate for yourself or your children before you read it.  Kudos to them for that.

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris is an apocalyptic story in which all of the adults in the world have died sudden and violent deaths, leaving only children and teenagers alive. The survivors struggle to find safety, the older ones taking charge of the younger. Many parts of this story were very graphic and violent, describing in detail the deaths of the adults and bloodied corpses.  

The premise for this story is intriguing, making me wonder what would happen in such a world. Parts of it were very sad, as an adult with young children I couldn't help but think what would happen if my kids were in this scenario and it did pull on my heartstrings.  I couldn't help but think throughout the book, what is happening to the babies.  The young ones who are too young to walk or open doors, left to starve to death in the homes.  It was only alluded to briefly, closer to the end of the book, but it was a thought on my mind throughout the story. 

My favorite character in the book was Tracy.  This girl is tough as nails, doesn't take crap from anyone and is a hero.  I love reading books that have strong female characters who think for themselves.  Tracy is definitely one of these women.

This book had me gripped right to the very end.  It was fast paced, full of action and very descriptive.

I will definitely be reading the next part of this series to see what happens to these orphans.

The Peterson Gang: Unlikely Friendships

I recently had my first experience of reading a book that someone I know had written.  This experience really showed me how much an author pours their heart and soul into every book they write, putting a little piece of themselves on every page.  It definitely gives me a new appreciation for all of the work that authors do.

The Peterson Gang: Unlikely Friendships by Muriel Chesterton is a story that follows the lives of a group of friends that met in secretarial school after the war. I really liked this book because I found the characters genuine and easy to relate to.  They are normal people.  They laugh, cry, have adventures and obstacles, love and heartache.  I feel like I am sharing such a personal part of their lives and really get to know them.

My favorite character is Ben, I love how he is who he is, take it or leave it. He sticks to his guns even if his choices may not conform to what people expect of a young man his age. He doesn't want kids, and there is no changing his mind.  This was so interesting to read, because having three children myself I don't often get to think of how life is for people on the other side of the fence who have no children and no desire to ever have any.  I adored how Doris didn't try to to change Ben's mind, it shows how strong they both are by living their lives the way they want to live them and not how they are expected to live them.  I also enjoyed Ben's little quirks, like his neatness. A place for everything, and everything in it's place. It reminds me a lot of someone I know, and was a pleasure to read. 

I look forward to seeing what happens to the Peterson gang in the next parts of this series.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Little Prince

I love it when I get a chance to read a book that has been on my 'to-read' list for a while.  When I end up finishing the book, I usually end up thinking 'why didn't I read this sooner?'.  This is one of those books.  The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry is classified as a children's book, but I think that people of all ages can take away from this story.

The little prince is a beautiful story, one I would love to share with my kids, and one that I would love to re-read myself.  I am interested in reading the French version of the story, to be treated to the beautiful prose in it's original form.
It is a great story, because you can take from it whatever you like.  It can either be a whimsical tale of a prince who flew to Earth then returned to his home to be with his flower.  Or it can be a story so wrought with meaning and emotions that it takes many readings to wrap you head around it.  I love a story like this, because each time you read it, you gain a new perspective on something.
As a parent reading this story, it puts the innocence and imagination of my children into the spotlight of my mind so that I can make sure I appreciate it more, and stop being so concerned with other matters of consequence.
Everyone should read this book.