Sunday, July 7, 2013

34. The Mine

By:  John A. Heldt
Rated 4 stars

I enjoy time travel books.  I also enjoy a well written romance novel.  Happily this is both. 

I liked the fact that he only transported his character back to 1941, an era which I am at least familiar with as I was 6 years old in that year.  My memories of what life was like in 1941 are a tad bit fuzzy and are from the pov of a child but there was a good bit that came across as familiar to me. Right off I had a kind of coming back to a familiar place. I realize this makes me a little unique among readers. 

I also liked that the main character did not blunder around but recognized immediately what had happened to him and immediately set about figuring out how to cope with his drastic change of circumstances.

None of the characters are larger than life.  Well maybe Joel was a tad bit too resourceful but he was a man in a very tricky situation so I forgave him.  All of the characters felt real and were likable.  In other words these were all people that you felt could easily been real and furthermore were people I would have liked.  

And lastly I found it refreshing that the author did not introduce a villain to add tension to the story but let the story create it's own tension.  There were a couple of baddies but they were strictly background and only served to set the story in motion and then they faded away.

Publishers Description:

In 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

Friday, July 5, 2013

33. Where She Went

By:  Gayle Foreman
Rated 3 srars

I purchased this audiobook the minute I saw it was out and available on audio. It is a sequel to "If I Stay" and I am sorry to have to say that I was disappointed with it.  I loved "If I Stay" but this one just didn't have the charm and poignancy the first book had.  It felt flat - especially when compared to it predecessor.  Still I'm glad I bought it because I really wanted to know "Where She Went."

 Publisher's Summary:

 It's been three years since the devastating accident... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is L.A. tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock-star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I StayWhere She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

32. Shadows of the Titanic

The Extraordinary Stories of those Who Survived

By"  Andrew Wilson
Rated 2 Stars
Audio Book

The book is a non-fictional account of the lives of a selected group of the survivors.  All of them very deeply effected by the experience, some of them so much that it changed the entire course of their lives.  A few were unable to cope and committed suicide. Some of them did not leave notes.  The author described the dying thoughts and actions of several people as if he had been there and was privy to their last thoughts.  This really bothered me.  It bothered me a lot.  I felt like the author was being disrespectful  to the people he was writing about.  These were real people!  He didn't even write any kind of disclaimer that explained why he decided he had the right to co-opt their last minutes. And then as a result of that I had another issue.   How much credence can you give to anything in the book once you feel the author did at least part of his research in thin air.

I did finish this book and had it not been for that I would have rated it at least four stars. It was well written and the subject of the book was interesting to me.  I just couldn't get past that author presumed to write about dying peoples last thoughts and actions in a way that he could not possibly have known about.