Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Second Half of Found Reviews

Here is the second installment of reviews I found in my notebook.

Paper Children – Marcia Fine
Pages:  288
Sourced:  I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review
Genre:  Young Adult, Adult,  Historical Fiction

This is the story of three generations of women.  It is a story of discovery and keeping of  memories.  Marcia Fine is an author whose works are full of passion for history.  This story  is loosely based on her grandmother.  Imagine you grow up in an upper class section of Poland.  It is right before Hitler marches in.  You grew up in a life of privilege, you get married and you are suddenly moved to a new country with no servants.  Paulina had to learn to cook, clean and take care of her children all by herself.  You can say her life took a drastic turn.  I really didn’t like her husband Nathan.  Her situation and marriage were typical of the time period.

Sarah is the daughter who grows up wanting to be independent and follow her own path, irregardless of her father’s feelings on this.  She loves photography and ends up getting a job to photograph the Displaced Persons Camps in Europe.  It is here she makes a connection between the present and her past and that of her mother.  It is here we see her lose her faith.

Mimi is Paulina’s grand-daughter, Sarah’s daughter.  She is the one Paulina finally gives her paper-children to.  The “paper children” are the letters she received before the war.  They are all that are left of her family in Poland.

This book had so much to offer.  We took a historical look at the time periods and life for immigrants.  We learn more about the Holocaust and its effect on people around the world.  We learned how people were shaped in America by their past and their future aspirations.  Although  I did not like Nathan I understood why he was the way he was.  This was a wonderful book.  It is one that will stay with me for a long time.  I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Skipping Stones at the Center of the Earth – Andy Hueller
Publisher:  Cedar  Fort,  Inc.
Pages: 248
Source:  Received review copy from NetGalley
Genre:  Middle Grade, Fantasy

What a wonderful story.  The author has created a wonderful world for his characters.  Imagine you are a twelve year old boy living on an island in a hole in the center of the earth and you have the basic setting for this story. I would love to spend an hour with the author to ask him questions about the creation of such a fantastic world.  Calvin Comet Cobble is an orphan.  HE came to live at Hidden Shores Orphanage when he was five.  He’s twelve now and constantly finds himself in trouble.  No matter what he does, trouble always seems to find him.  It is hard to hide or lay low when you have flaming red hair.  One day he watches the gardener Mr. E. skipping stones across Arctic Lake.  A friendship is built and Mr. E. begins to teaching him the art of skipping stones.  This is a very unique island.  I loved the fact they named it Robert.  One half of the island, the half with the orphanage is in the sun.  The other half  of the island is in the shade and house a prison for the worst of the worst.  Calvin is curious about what actually happened to his parents.  Through a series of events he learns his father may actually be alive and living in the prison on the other half of the island.  He, Mr. E. and his best friend Berneatha set out to discover if this is true.  Let the adventures begin.
I had never heard of this author before this story.  It definitely won’t be the last time.  This is a book that I will proudly display on my shelves at school.  Young and old alike will find something to love about this book.

My Lunatic Life – Sharon Sala

Publisher:  Bell Bridge Books
Pages:  200
Source:  I received a copy from NetGalley for review
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Tara Luna doesn’t live life as a typical teenager.  She has lived with her uncle since the day her parents died.  He is constantly moving around.  He two best companions are two ghosts named Millicent and Henry, and oh, did I forget to mention she can read minds?
Tara has moved to a new school.  It is her senior year which makes thing even more difficult.  She deal with the stuck up cheerleaders, lands herself a boyfriend named Flynn.  Tara has used her abilities to help people at school and to get back at Prissy.  When Bethany, one of the cheerleaders disappears Tara decides she must use her abilities to find her.  She keeps getting little flashes of what Bethany sees.  Now if this isn’t enough to wet your appetite then let’s throw in the ghost that lives in the house Tara and her uncle have moved into.  A demanding ghost who insists she find  their murderer and get them justice.  The action just kept coming.  I love books with a lot of twists and turns where the action just keeps going.  The entire time I was reading I was thinking of the shows I used to watch, “Medium” and “Ghost-Whisperer”.    If you like ghost stories and paranormal stories then I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Star-Crossed:  Protostar - Braxton Cosby

Publisher:  FireFly Publishings
Pages:  356
Source:  I received an e-book copy from the author in exchange for a review
Genre:  Young Adult Science Fiction, Romance

From Goodreads:
On the brink of Civil War, the Torrian Alliance continues with its mission to obliterate Star-children across the universe in order to suppress an intergalactic evil. Following the recommendations of his Council, King Gregorio Derry has agreed to send his only son William, on a mission to restore honor to his family. What starts out routine, becomes a lot more complicated as an inopportune crash landing delays the assassination. During this time, William begins to form a 'connection' with Sydney that challenges his inner being. But this conflict is the least of his problems, as a conspiracy back on his home planet Fabricius threatens the lives of those he loves and his father's royal legacy. Along with that, he must unravel a hidden threat here on Earth that seeks to secure a vested interest that threatens both his and Sydney's safety. Will William be able to complete his mission or will he choose love, sacrificing everything he stands for?

My Thoughts:
First of all I have to say I love the term Sci-Fance.  It definitely explains the genre of this book.
The characters William and Sydney are well developed and the world building is fabulous.  Bring on the details.  I know a lot of people don't like details but I happen to be one that loves them.  It made it easier for me to visualize their world.  William is the son of King Derry and has been sent to earth to kill the Star-child, a threat to their world.  William finds the 17 year old star-child named Sydney.  Sydney has no idea she is a star-child or what that means.  William finds himself torn between what he has been ordered to do and the feelings he has begun to accept for Sydney.  When he defies the order he finds himself on the other side trying to protect Sydney.  This is just the first in this series.  I am so glad that there is another to come.  I hate having to wait so long for it.  If you are a lover of science fiction I believe you will really enjoy it.  If you are not sure if you like science fiction then I would say this would be a good one to cut your teeth on.  This type of science fiction will appeal to girls as well as boys.   For once I have read a science fiction book that did not talk over my head science-wise.  It is for this reason I will recommend this book.

About the author: 
Braxton’s fascination of science grew into an obsession for creating and exploring the untapped potential of the human spirit. On one unassuming Sunday in church, this self-proclaimed romantic heard the voice of God speak and decided to pursue a ‘calling’ to create a new genre of writing called “Sci-Fance”; merging the two genres of Romance and Science Fiction. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife and two children. Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer with a vision of continuously evolving and maximizing the untapped potential of the human genome. He believes that everyone should pursue joy that surpasses understanding and live each day as if it were the last. Braxton received a lot of his inspiration from watching the accomplishments and exploits of his famous uncle, comedic legend Bill Cosby.

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