Tag: Kim

Video Review: What Happened that Night

Today Kim brings you a video review of What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron.  This novel left Kim thinking about many things.

What Happened That Night
Author: Deanna Cameron
Published: September 19, 2019
328 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Griffin Tomlin is dead. And Clara’s sister killed him . . .

Four months after the murder, the entire town of Shiloh is still in shock. For Clara Porterfield, the normal world has crumbled around her in a million chaotic pieces. Now Clara lives in a new reality, where her sister awaits trial for murder, her mother obsessively digs in a dead, frozen garden, and her father lives and breathes denial. At school, Clara is haunted by her classmates’ morbid curiosity—and all of the unspoken questions they won’t ask.

But none of them knows what she knows . . .
Now Clara’s sister wants something from her—the one thing in all of this that Clara isn’t ready to face: the truth about what really happened that night. Because this story didn’t die with Griffin Tomlin. There’s another story that needs to be told. And sometimes, the lies we’re told are nowhere near as deadly as the lies we tell ourselves . . . (

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Kim’s Thoughts on Educated by Tara Westover

Jessica listened to the audiobook of Educated earlier this year and now it is Kim’s turn to review it. Kim read it with her neighborhood book club. Jessica’s 5 star review is here.

Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Published: February 20, 2018
334 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

Kim’s Review:

What a crazy read. All kinds of feelings came out while I was reading this book. I’m gonna start out with some small criticisms. It did feel a bit extraordinarily embellished at times. I had a hard time believing that ALL of that happened within one family. However, I will  say that it is a memoir, not an academic historic work. There is room for more storytelling. My other issue is that I was hoping there would be more about her actual education. With a title like that, one would think this book would be more about schooling, when in reality, it’s far more a family saga. But those little things aside, I really enjoyed this book.

I have never in my life been more thankful for my family. My parents managed to raise independent thinking adults out of an environment of groupthink. Plus, my parents balanced discipline and love in a very effective way. So many things in this book were so familiar, yet I was shocked page after page. I also appreciated how she stayed away from sweeping generalizations about religion and politics. She so easily could have turned this book into a condemnation of any one group with certain beliefs, but she kept her judgements condensed to the people within the story. I think this would be a great book for the teens of today, to counteract some of the entitlement and whining. But I would recommend this book to pretty much everybody.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK 

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Twisted by Hannah Jayne

Twisted
Author: Hannah Jayne
Published: July 5, 2016
297 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

When her father is accused of being a serial killer, Bex becomes the ultimate bait in this game of cat and mouse

Bex is ready to start a new life in foster care. There, she won’t be known as a serial killer’s daughter. Though her father was never tried for the murders attributed to “The Wife Collector,” he disappeared after questioning. And Bex struggles with the guilt that she provided the circumstantial evidence that convicted him in the public’s perception—and drove him to abandon her.

But when a body turns up in her new hometown, all signs point to the Wife Collector. Bex’s old life isn’t ready to let her go. The police want to use Bex to lure in her father. But is she baiting a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?

Kim’s Review:

I hate to say it, but I was kinda disappointed by this book. I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis, but it just didn’t deliver. Most of the book, it felt like nothing was happening. And then when something finally did happen, it was predictable. I will say that it was easy to read and there were portions that showed a glimmer of hope that maybe there would be a good twist . . . But then nothing continued to happen. And if I read one more book with an idiot teen who refuses to do the obviously smart thing, I’m gonna chuck the book across the room. Half the story would have been resolved if she had just been honest with the police and quit thinking about only herself.

I also didn’t like how Jayne seemed so down on Nag’s Head and the Outer Banks. I happen to love the Outer Banks and the idea that having companies and stores to accommodate tourists, the main source of income for the area, is somehow a detriment, shows such immaturity. I wish I could say better things, but I really can’t. And I can’t really recommend this to anybody. I’m glad I read it, but I don’t think I’ll be picking up anymore of Jayne’s books.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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