Tag: 5 stars

Double Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab! We both gave it 5 stars and so far it is my top read of the year! We will see if anything can top this one for me!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author:  V.E. Schwab

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: October 6, 2020
448 Pages

Book Description:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
Dates Read: January 13-26, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
Jessica’s Review:

Oh My GOSH!!! This one will be tough to beat as my #1 pick of the year so far, and we still have so much of the year to go! Addie gives you so many feelings, wonderful yet bad! I thought I was going to be ugly crying at the end of this one, but no  I did not, but my heart was still broken at the end (but in such a good way!)

On the eve of her wedding that she does not want, Addie LaRue prays to a god of some kind for the wedding to not happen.  A deal is made and now Addie will now live until she no longer wants to and will become his.  Living basically forever, Addie is suddenly forgotten once a person turns away from her. Imagine a life of never having a home and constantly moving and no one remembering you except for a slight memory of seven freckles on her cheeks….. Until one day she is in a bookstore and hears three words she never thought she would hear again: “I remember you”.  How does this man named Henry remember her when no one has for over 300 years?  This begins a new adventure in Addie’s extended life.

Again, prepare yourself for ALL the feelings you could possibly feel in this novel!  The author’s writing is just beautiful with so many worthwhile quotes in it.  It can be a slow moving novel that moves in two directions: Addie’s long 300+ year life going from the past to present day, and also Henry’s perspective. The devil/demon himself who goes by the name of Luc, pops up off and on throughout Addie’s extended life, bringing the pain that Addie feels to the surface.

There are some surprises that pop up throughout, and I thought I knew how the novel was going to end, but no, it went in another heartbreaking direction. I can say this: I will remember Addie and her story.

This novel is very highly recommended.

Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Kim’s Review:

I’m still dealing with my feelings after reading this book! It was emotional, to say the least!

I went into it not really knowing what to expect, and I’m glad I did. I read the description long before I bought the book, so I knew I was interested, I just wasn’t dependent on the description. And this is definitely one of the more popular reads right now. Jessica gushed over it, so of course I was gonna read it.

It actually had me from the beginning. Some books try to ease you into the story and takes a few chapters. Not Addie! Everything started at the very beginning! I liked Addie right away. She was relatable and human. I think my only real issue with the entire book was the way Addie, despite her many years, still seemed to act like a teenager. But even this was tempered by her extreme cynicism so I’m not even gonna complain about it. The whole theme of the book seemed to be that time should never be taken for granted and I certainly pondered that long after I closed the book. There’s even a part of me that would love a sequel, but I actually liked the open way Schwab ended Addie LaRue.

Overall, this was an awesome read!! I couldn’t put it down and I had all the feels while reading it! The characters were likable and the ending tied everything up! There are some objectionable elements so I wouldn’t call this completely teen safe, but I’d still recommend it to pretty much everybody!


Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Friant Video Friday: Book Review: Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

Today Kim is bringing you a video review of the coffee table book Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals with photography by Christopher J.Payne and an essay by Oliver Sacks.

Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals
Photographer:
Christopher J. Payne

Published: September 4, 2009
209 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

For more than half the nation’s history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients.

The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendent Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas.

Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness. But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings–and the patients who lived in them–neglected and abandoned.

Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors (some designed by such prominent architects as H. H. Richardson and Samuel Sloan) and crumbling interiors–chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; brightly colored toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.

Accompanying Payne’s striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings). Sacks pays tribute to Payne’s photographs and to the lives once lived in these places, “where one could be both mad and safe.”

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Conclave by Robert Harris

Conclave
Author:
  Robert Harris

Published: November 22, 2016
287 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The Pope is dead.

Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election.

They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.

Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

Kim’s Review:

Robert Harris has reawakened my love of tiny details. Normally I’m not that detail oriented with anything in real life, but you offer to take me on an hour by hour tour of the actions of Chamberlain at Munich or, in this case of the College of Cardinals picking a new Pope, then you bet your booty I’m gonna say yes while jumping up and down and feeling out in my pants. I acknowledge that a book about the Conclave is probably not that appealing to most, and certainly not to Catholics. If there’s anything I learned from this book, it’s that very little within the Vatican has to do with religion and politics play a bigger role in Conclave than the Holy Spirit. Since I’m not a Catholic, I wasn’t offended by anything I read, however, I wouldn’t recommend this to any Catholics.

There were certain things that I thought were relatively predictable so at first I was feeling smug that I had figured it all out barely halfway through. But then I got to the end, where I realized that I had been so distracted by the predictable, that I completely missed the twist. And oh what a twist! I really liked this book and I’d recommend it to any who love those little nitty gritty details of culture and history.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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