Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publish Date: 6/28/1992
Website: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3617.Diana_Gabaldon?from_search=true
ISBN: 9780440212560
List Price: $7.35
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

My Comments:
I was excited to read this book after starting the Starz series. I've had the book forever and forgot that I had it. The book has not disappointed at all. I have finished the 800 page book in less than a week because I was just that excited to keep reading. I could not put this book down. The writing is wonderful and so descriptive it creates the world and life of 1743 easily for the reader. I could picture myself in every scene from the landscape, the people, and the action occurring in the scene.

I find it so interesting how Claire has to adapt her 1945 medical knowledge to what's available to her in 1743. Her innate need to help the injured drives her into danger and suspicion. The superstitions of the day are so dangerous and leave Claire, who uses knowledge and objective judgement, to be in constant fear of harm even when trying to help those around her. The writer's character development is great. It's almost as if you know these people at every page turn. My only irritation with the book is how Claire, for once, cannot listen to the advice Jamie gives her to be safe and stay put, especially once he leaves for the "hunt." I could have just strangled her myself in that scene and the turn of events.

The story's twists and turns leave you needing to read more and more to see if and when Claire will make it back to the traveling stones to possibly return to 1945. Her choices seem obvious to the reader, but you just do not know what Claire will choose until the last moment. The sacrifices that Jamie makes are almost heart wrenching. The trials and predicaments that are presented throughout the book are all together intriguing and draw the reader to another place and time experiencing the vivid adventures.

The TV series is doing a good job of translating the book to the TV screen. I hope that they stay true to the story as much as possible and not take too many liberties.

I am waiting for Dragonfly in Amber to arrive! Outlander Fan for life!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor

Author: Hazel Gaynor
Publish Date: March 1, 2012
Website: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5774172.Hazel_Gaynor
ISBN: 9780062316868
List Price: $9.48
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .

Ireland, 1912 . . .

Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

Chicago, 1982 . . .

Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

My Comments:
I thought this was a great read. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I really enjoyed the way the author intertwined current day with the 1912 memories of the characters. In this story, the author takes true stories from the Titanic and real people who sailed, changes their names, and adds historical fiction to really engage the reader. This was a book I couldn't put down and I loved every bit of the story. Titanic has always interested in and to put it with historical fiction only makes it that more exciting. The story is so engaging you do not really know up until the end of the book who survives and what they leave behind... to share with their family and the readers...

I loved the author's writing style. Even though you are flipping from 1982 to the 1912, the author lays the chapters out logically and the changes in time are easily made so that you are able to take yourself from one time period to another. She also writes this story so vividly you can imagine yourself in 1912 with all the splendor that Titanic was and even as Maggie and her party of traveling across Ireland to meet the amazing ship for their voyage to America... you can feel yourself riding in the traps, walking alongside Titanic in wonder, and amazed at all there is in the third class... even a sink in your cabin!

I look forward to more books from this author!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Publish Date: April 2, 2009
Website: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/295178.Gayle_Forman
ISBN: 0525421033
List Price: $9.99
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

My Comments:
This is a cute, quick read. A range of emotions is experienced in her whole 24 hour period to decide to live or die in her purgatory type state. I really liked the story and the idea that we have a choice under certain circumstances to choose life or death from a third party view, contemplating, evaluating and checking the pros and cons of our choice. It was exciting and a book I couldn't put down ... but ... the end was a let down ... not in the inevitable decision Mia makes but in that it was so uneventful and abruptly ends without any emotion (happy or sad)... it just ends. It just seemed to be so much build... memories, decisions, visitors opinions, etc. and then done. I am not interested in picking up the second book to this one. I read the first chapter and "boring"... on to a new book and author.

I liked the writing style of Gayle Forman, but I just wish the ending was more fulfilling ... some kind of closure rather than it seeming that you "have" to go to book two to get that closure... Nope, not doing it.

I am interested in seeing the movie being made about the story to see which way Hardwicke takes it in (same director as Twilight). She always has an interesting interpretations of the book.