Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls crop

I had to keep my wits about me, since French men were my Achilles’ heel. In fact, if Achilles had been French, I probably would have carried him around until his tendon healed.

Based on a true story this book accompanies three woman whose lives intersect during and after the Second World War.

The author’s extensive research is evident and her soft, subtle, understated way of storytelling spins a comforting and nostalgic cloak around the reader. But don’t be fooled into thinking this book doesn’t pack a punch, the tranquility  only emphasises the enormity the impact of war has on humanity.

None of us knew how wrong we were that morning as we stepped put of the train and fell headlong into hell.

The realistic characters and the portrayal of their environmental influences, such as the propaganda and indoctrination, allows a deep connection between the reader and the story. Each character is portrayed with such complexity that I found my opinion of, and feelings towards them constantly evolved over time.

Recommended age: 15+4 Star

 

Title: Lilac Girls
Author: Martha Hall KellyLilac Girls
Publication Date: 5 April 2016
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Source: ARC
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New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.— Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

I'll Meet You There crop

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

My blood was carbonated, and I was awake and young and alive, and screw everything because this moment was mine.

This book is still at my side 12 hours after I finally put it down in the early hours of this morning. Oh the feels! The characters still sing to me from between the pages, enticing me to meet them again next to the pool at  the Paradise Motel.  I wish there was a sequel I could read right now! I’m not ready to say goodbye.

It was the stunning cover that initially caught my eye, and I ‘m thrilled that the story lived up to expectations. Luckily I have my copy because I know I will want to read it again. And again.

Heather Demetrios you’ve been added to my list of ‘auto-buy’ authors.

And I stood there on the knife’s edge of us, holding my breath, time expanding so that I felt every drop of rain, every thud of my heart.

Recommended age: 14+5 Star

 

Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios I'll Meet You There
Publication Date:
3 February 2015
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Company
Source:
Prize in online blogger competition

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If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.     — Extract from Goodreads.com

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij - YA Book Review

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij – YA Book Review

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij. I was sucked into the story right from the beginning and I loved the passionate, gritty, complicated characters.

The story was intense and the build-up towards the revelation of a family secret riveting, but the anti-climax stopped the story in its tracks.  After such anticipation, I was disappointed at the little effect the revelation had on the relevant family members and it was this that ultimately let the book down.

Despite just missing a 5-star rating, this is a beautiful story and fans of Katie McGarry will love it. And just look at the cover! I ♥ it!4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: One, Two, ThreeOne Two Three 1
Series: Broken Dreams # 1
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication Date:
26 June 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Source:
Free copy from author in
exchange for an honest review

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When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love. 

Last year,seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her one-time prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least, a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. 

When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?   — Extract from Goodreads.com 

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Romance Ahead… Bookish Couples for Valentine’s Day

Created using Picmonkey.com

Created using Picmonkey.com

Bookish Couples for Valentine’s Day. It’s almost Valentine Day and the shops are full of (mostly tacky) red and pink heart-shaped items. While I don’t appreciate the commercial side of the day renowned for its high expectations and grotesquely overpriced novelties, I am a sucker for romance. It might be possible I read more soppy happily-ever-after love stories than I admit. Shh!

This year with my husband across the ocean, my date will be a romantic book. Any suggestions as to which one I should download to my Kindle?

Everyone has at least one favourite bookish couple. I have so many that it was difficult to narrow the choices to fit into this post. These are in no particular order.  Click on the image to read more about the book.

Have you met any of these couples?  Who are your favourite bookish couples?  

Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Romance Ahead… Bookish Couples for Valentine’s Day

Noah & Allie couple

Echo & Noah couple

Pelagia and Captain Corelli Couple

James and Nuala couple

Eleanor & Park couple

Elizabeth and Mr Darcy couple

Edward and Bella couple

Anna and Étienne couple

Allyson & Willem couple

Karou & Akiva couple

Top Ten Tuesday reduced

 

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

 

Scarred by Joanne MacGregor

Scarred by Joanne MacGregor

Scarred crop

“And he sees me, recognises me. Time stretches out slowly and sweetly like a piece of soft toffee. . .”

Scarred is a tender, sensitive story of hope and redemption.

Then he looks back into my eyes and this time his are full of deep revulsion.

While the book started off on a high and the words glide easily across the pages throughout, the plot was predictable, and I thought the twists revealed too early.

In contrast, it was the complex characters that stole the show and I loved getting to know them. The alternating PVO’s allowed insight into their thoughts and drew me in. I particularly loved the witty banter between Sloane and Luke that emerges in the latter part of the story.

Hell is the guilt that termites holes into my happiness. . .

Recommended age: 12+4 Star

Title: Scarred
Author: Joanne MacGregor
Publication Date: 29 September 2015Scarred
Publisher: Createspace
Source: Free copy from author
in exchange for honest review

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Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful.

Sloane Munster had the perfect life, until she didn’t. Now seventeen year-old Sloane is trying to reboot her life after a serious accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatized.

Starting her senior year at a different school, she recognizes Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once had a crush on, in her new class. But when she smiles at him, he glares back with revulsion and she’s sure he’s disgusted by her ugly scar. No matter how hard she tries to keep out of his way, life keeps bringing them together and despite misunderstandings and guilty secrets, the chemistry between them sparks. Meanwhile, tensions are mounting at their school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.

Sharp with bittersweet humor, Scarred is an intense, beautiful, compelling story of life, death, damage, and fighting for love against all the odds.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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