May 23, 2016

Review | Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Title: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Series: N/A
Genre: Adult - Historical Fiction
Publication: September 10th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Synopsis: Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Thoughts: I had a hard time getting into Burial Rites, partly because of the difficult name pronunciation and partly because the story sort of dragged on for the most part. While the premise was interesting, the story itself was boring and we did not learn much about Agnus until much later in the book. By then, I was already skimming the pages to get to the end of the book. I never really liked the characters much, and really did not sympathize for Agnus or the family she was staying with.

Burial Rites was uninteresting, and simply not for me. I made myself get through the whole thing but really wished I hadn't spent so much time on it :/

May 17, 2016

Review | Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Title: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
Series: N/A
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Publication: April 21st 2015 by HarperTeen
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Synopsis: When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

Thoughts: Things We Know by Heart was a cute read, and there were a few things I really liked about it, but mostly it was very meh for me. It's been a few months since I listened to it and I already have forgotten what I did (and didn't like) specifically about it to be honest but I do know one thing: it was too cheesy for me. That's saying a lot. I love the cheese but I just thought that it was too much for one book. I guess some of it was cute, but mostly, felt unrealistic.

This was my first Jessi Kirby book, so I'm looking forward to reading another book of hers in the future, and hoping for the best.

Review | The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Title: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
Series: N/A
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Publication: June 28th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Synopsis: One moment can change everything.

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

Thoughts: I sometimes enjoy books written in verse, but sometimes don't. I've had The Day Before sitting on my shelf for years, and maybe I missed when it was actually magical because for me it was forgettable. I didn't care for Amber much, and while her situation did seem like something that was hard to go through, I had a hard time feeling anything for her. I think this story would have been so much better if not written in verse, but to each their own.

I have enjoyed Schroeder's work, though, so I shall definitely give her other books a chance. The Day Before was not for me.