July 16, 2013

2 New Book Reviews!

Amber is my neighbor and friend--the one who invited me to the book club in the first place!  She is so cool, kind, easy-going, and approachable; I'm lucky to have a friend like her.  I love how she includes everybody--she's not about drama.  I'm excited she agreed to write a couple reviews, cause you get to meet her AND because I love both of these books, too!  Enjoy!

My name is Amber Hoskins.

I am a mother of three and run my own childcare business out of my home.  I love to read and enjoy getting together with my book club group each month.  Here are two books I love that I want to share with you!

"The Girl in the Green Sweater"

by Krystyna Chiger with Daniel Paisner

...is the true story of a Holocaust survivor, a little girl named Krystyna.  She grew up in the Lvov ghetto and was forced to live in the sewers under the city for over a year with her family and other Jews.  Most of the story takes place in the sewer, with Krystyna giving a first-hand account of what happened during the terrible ordeal.

To say that the characters in this book were anything but courageous would be crazy.  The everyday trials that they endured would have made me wish to die, but they carried on with a strong will to live.  These people triumphed through all the adversity they faced.  They were one of only three Jewish families from this area that survived the brutality intact.  This book moved smoothly for me and captivated my attention from the beginning.  I love that it's a true story and that it had such a good ending for the Chiger family.  This is a fast read.  Just a warning: some parts are hard to read because of the nature of what this book is about.

"These Is My Words"

by Nancy E. Turner

is a historical fiction novel, in the form of a diary.  Sarah Agnes tells about her life during the late 1800's in the Arizona territory.  This book is a grammatical mess in the beginning.  (Sarah has basic writing skills, but improves with practice as the book continues.)

The story starts with Sarah and her family living on a settlement near Tuscon with her family.  She's an intelligent, fiesty 18-year old, who knows how to use a gun.  Her skill with a rifle fends off indian attacks and other assaults.  By the time she hits age 21, she has endured a loveless marriage, started a profitable ranch, given birth to a child, and seen the death of her husband.

The core of this story is romance.  It was so easy to get lost in this book.  All of the characters were easy to love, especially Sarah.  This book had me laughing out loud on one page and crying on the next.  It was facisnating to see the development and maturity that Sarah goes through.  This book is on my top 5 list.  It is an easy-read.  Disclaimer: There is some violence (life is rough on the frontier, but it's not overly descriptive) and some brief sexuality between husband and wife (it's tasteful, not offensive.)  Don't let this keep you from reading this great book!

Thanks so much, Amber!  

Here's my two-cents:  Both books were freakin' amazing.  

Like any good friend, Amber lent me these two books...and I seriously devoured them. (Both caused all-nighters and reading hang-overs the following day.)  

The "Girl in the Green Sweater" is now an academy-nominated movie.  For good reason.  This story showed how much humans can endure when they have love and hope to cling to.  Seriously, think about it: the lived for a year in a SEWER!  I'm pretty miserable when I have to go in a porta-potty for 30 seconds.  One woman in their group even gave birth to a baby while living in the sewer...can you imagine!?  And, this is a true story!  I loved this book.  Though it was about a dark time in mankind's history, it showed the goodness of people and the depth of love that families and even strangers can have for each other.   It was uplifting, and unique--being from a child's perspective.

As for "These is My Words"...READ IT.  Oh. my. gosh.  I was under it's spell.  I was giddily squealing and bouncing on the couch at the fabulous love twists.  At one point, (of course when my husband walked into the room) I was SOBBING.  (He thinks I'm mental.)  I really liked how Sarah and her man (her second husband, not her first dirt-bag husband) were human.  Some romantic stories are SO far beyond reality, that it kinda makes me gag a little--this one was sweet enough to be satisfying, but real enough to be believable.  Man, this is making me want to go read it again. 
Oh, and I wouldn't worry about the sensuality--it's brief, and not too descriptive.  (Like PG-13, not R.)  I'm pretty picky about that, too, and I wasn't offended.  SO, yeah.  Read it, then come back and tell me what you thought! :)

Ps. I'd love to hear your opinion!  Have you read either of these books?  What did you think?

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