Author: Marisha Pessl
Published: June 5, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Enter a realm where fears are physical and memories come alive in this absorbing psychological suspense thriller with a sci-fi twist.
Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim–their creative genius and Beatrice’s boyfriend–changed everything.
One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft–the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world–hoping she’ll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.
Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions.
Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers . . . and at life.
And so begins the Neverworld Wake.
This cover drew me in. It’s so gorgeous and makes me want to stare at it forever. The description was just vague enough to make me want to read it to find out what’s going on. I will say that it is a pretty unique story.
This is actually going to be a short review, because I don’t want to give too much away. There have been several books that I’ve reviewed that I didn’t say much about because those books are best read without too much prior info. I will just say that there was some repetition that got a little tiring, and that’s the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
I really enjoyed the story and the mystery was very well done. The ending surprised me a lot! The characters were all likeable, if slightly annoying since they are teens. It was nice to read something different and I really have very little critique to give. This is absolutely worth the read. There is some language and sexual content, but not too bad; just enough to keep it for older teens. A really great book that I liked a lot!
Author: Elie Weisel
Published: December 4, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Translated by Marion Wiesel
A profoundly and unexpectedly intimate, deeply affecting summing up of his life so far, from one of the most cherished moral voices of our time.
Eighty-two years old, facing emergency heart surgery and his own mortality, Elie Wiesel reflects back on his life. Emotions, images, faces and questions flash through his mind. His family before and during the unspeakable Event. The gifts of marriage and children and grandchildren that followed. In his writing, in his teaching, in his public life, has he done enough for memory and the survivors? His ongoing questioning of God—where has it led? Is there hope for mankind? The world’s tireless ambassador of tolerance and justice has given us this luminous account of hope and despair, an exploration of the love, regrets and abiding faith of a remarkable man.
Elie Wiesel was one of the great heroes of the 20th century! His books have affected and touched so many people and his life has been an influence for good for so many years. He passed away 2 years ago and y’all know I’ve been on a Holocaust literature kick this year. This book is a short and easy read . . . but emotional like you would not believe! I finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas right before reading Open Heart, so I was already emotional. Elie Wiesel’s death popped up in my Facebook memories a little while ago and all the criticism and attacks made me angry and nauseous all over again. So, reading Open Heart again was actually more meaningful and emotional for me than the first time I read it.
I’m a strong believer in historical education, especially Holocaust education; reading how Mr. Wiesel questioned his teaching and writing, the information he conveyed, whether or not he said too much, killed me! His impact on the world should never be questioned or dismissed, and yet when he believed he might die, he did just that. I just wanted to cry . . . which I’ll admit, I did.
Another thing that struck me, was the idea that he acted like this was his first brush with death. Some would probably say that sounds ridiculous, considering everything he survived as a young kid; I found it refreshing and inspiring. He said that, in the Jewish tradition, he tried to live and focus on life and not death.
This book shows the mind of an inspirational, unselfish, and brilliant man and causes us to think about many things that either never occurred to us, or that we would rather not think about at all. Overall, I think everyone should read this book, especially now that Mr. Wiesel and many other Holocaust survivors have passed away. It’s encouraging, informative, emotional, heartbreaking, and inspiring all at the same time!
Published: June 26, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)
Or does she?
Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
I love the Jane series so so much! I read My Lady Jane last year and fell in love! It made me laugh so hard and made even me forget my historical nitpicking for a little while. So I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that they decided to write another book. (very, very excited!) We were on vacation at the Outer Banks and I bought My Plain Jane at the cute little indie bookstore in Buxton; shout out to Buxton Village Bookstore!
I read it in all of two days! I love the writing style; they basically talk to the reader every few paragraphs. I get that this story is a retelling of Jane Eyre, so the “dear Reader” fits in really well. And I love how they apologize to England in their dedication page for what they’ve done to a classic! My opinion of the classic Jane Eyre story is pretty weird. I love the book and I adore Mr. Rochester; I hate Jane. She’s whiny and stubborn and arrogant. Thank goodness, they fixed it in My Plain Jane. Jane isn’t my favorite character in this book, but I also don’t hate her. I love, love, love, Alexander! He’s one of those crush worthy characters. Charlotte is also pretty awesome. She’s smart and dissatisfied with her lot in life, so she actually changes it and does it with femininity and class.
Overall, the best way to describe this book is “a fun read.” It just made me giggle and smile and made me want to keep reading and never put it down. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously and it just wants to be enjoyed. I’d say that means it’s a great book, at least for me! I would recommend this for anyone looking to find the fun in reading. I doubt guy teens would like it, but it’s perfect for teen girls. I really love it!