Saturday, February 26, 2011

Little Princes by Conor Grennan

A war-torn country, orphaned children, child traffickers, poverty, starvation, and wonderful volunteers to alleviate some of the pain.  LITTLE PRINCES lets us into this world of heartbreak and unbelievable circumstances that children and citizens have to endure.  Conor was a special person who fell in love with the children and had an obsession/passion to help the people of Nepal, especially those dear children, to find their families.

The story begins by telling us about the adventures of young men and women who bike ride for pleasure from country to country or come voluntarily to help at orphanages and then become completely attached and immersed in this life of innocent, exuberant children.  The book tells how you can and do become attached to the heartwarming children and their innocence and acceptance of their lives....they know nothing else and are happy.  Conor is an amazing young man who was determined to find the parents of the children who had been taken from their family by a man who said he would provide a better life for their children when in fact the children were left starving in the street. This man took every last penny and whatever these hopeful families had to give.

Giving up your time to travel to a third-world country to help children definitely takes a special person.  LITTLE PRINCES makes you appreciate what we have in terms of food, civility, and comforts.  I admire the volunteers who risk their own lives to help others in third-world countries.

The book was brilliantly written...the author is very expressive, writes with great detail, and makes you feel as though you are right there sharing all the experiences.  The description of the country, the villages, and its poverty is exceptional.  Kudos to you Conor for your work and dedication.  5/5

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress

A seven-drawer locked for each day of the week.  What is in each drawer?....well, all the things Georgia needs to make her nightly lovers believe they are the only of their mother, their favorite clothes, anything to make them feel "special."   When one of the lovers' wives finds out about the affair, nothing to do but empty that drawer....oh well......done.

Georgia had enough of this worry for now...she had her September luncheon to think of.  She couldn't disappoint the ladies...they looked forward to this luncheon each year, and she certainly couldn't let them know how poor she really was. 

She hadn't always been poor, and she hadn’t always been the pillar of society either….but then a letter arrived from someone who was keeping a secret for 20 years and who she told there was NO contact allowed whether it was in writing or through a phone call….this definitely wouldn’t work for her.  Things were not turning out the way Georgia had planned.  Everything ALWAYS went her way...she couldn't have this happen.   She will just send more money this time....yes…send  more money and it would be taken care of, but then she found another letter as she was cleaning and that changed everything even more.  What will she do now?  She knew…she always had a plan….and what a great plan.  You will love the was funny and had everyday situations that at times we all have to deal with.

This book had me laughing from the first page....I knew she was another Scarlet O'Hara even before the author commented about it.  I really enjoyed the book, and will definitely be reading his other books.  5/5

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Jane Austen Summer by Cindy Jones

Three losses in her life....the loss of her mother, the loss of her job, and the loss of her boyfriend. What else could happen, hopefully something good?  And something good did happen....Lily was going to London for the summer to participate in Literature Live.  How would she afford it?  She wasn't sure, but she had to attend and would think of some creative way to make the money she needed for the plane fare.

When Lily arrived at Newton Priors, she had no place to stay since she wasn't in the elite group so she seized one of the actresses's rooms that hadn't shown up....what a mistake that was to have to share the room with Bets.   Bets turned out to be one of the stars, unreliable, and also a thief. 
Bets's unreliability helped Lily get on the stage for one brief moment, but then Lily was relegated to be the tea-theater host.  Lily also found someone to replace her old boyfriend, but there were contingencies and pain attached to him...just like all aspects of her life had always been.  
Lily was glad she had "Jane Austen" around to help her solve some of the problems.  She did wonder about Jane, though - "Jane Austen had secrets.........And she never told me.  I would have told her something that important.  I told her everything.  Perhaps we weren't as close as I thought.  Perhaps the person in my peripheral vision wasn't Jane Austen at all."  Page 289
The book was not bad….the ending was memorable, but the book didn't have much action. Lily’s flashbacks and memories of her mother were very touching, and her enthusiasm about Jane Austen was contagious, but I guess you really have to be a true Jane Austen fan to pick up on all the little nuances and the excitement.    Rating 3/5.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Other Life by Ellen Meister

Happily married, pregnant for the second time, medical issues with the pregnancy and maybe with her husband...he was discussing the medical issues with everyone but Quinn.  Quinn was beside herself because everything seemed to be going wrong with her life, and most of all she couldn't get over the temptation to slip through to the other life.  
This other life...the life where she could talk to her deceased mother and her ex-boyfriend Eugene...not the life she was leading now where her mother and Eugene were absent.  She knew she shouldn't go there, but she couldn't help it.  When she slipped into the other world, she could forget for a little while.
Every time she saw a fissure in a wall, in a fireplace, in the matter where it was...she felt the pull and the need to go through the portal to the other life.   She always returned after "the trip," but was never satisfied that the disappearance into the other life would be her last...she just couldn't make it her last trip…the urge was too powerful.  Whenever Quinn slipped through the portal, my concern was that she wouldn't be able to get back to the present life.  :) 
The book told the tale of Quinn's life/lives that included her son, Isaac, her husband, Lewis, her brother, Hayden, and her nosy neighbor, Georgette.  They all had issues of their own and all seemed to rely on Quinn for help....little did they know that Quinn could use some help herself. 

The book will keep your interest and is what I am going to call on the other side of different along with many choices none of us wants to make in our life. :)  My rating is a 4/5.