The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

34927828The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

440 Pages

Published February 6th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Summary: Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Review: This is the first time in a long time that I have actually felt like I’ve wanted to post a book review. I can’t even remember the last book I reviewed on this blog. I got this book last year from the Book of the Month Club but like most of the other books I got from that, it sat on my shelf unread.

For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination with Alaska and living life in the bush. Do I think I could live that way myself, HA probably not. I would miss certain things about the modern world too much. When I finally started reading this I wasn’t quite sure where it was going to go. I hadn’t read the summary for awhile so I mostly forgot what it was about, except that it was Alaska. It didn’t take me long to feel a kinship with the main character, Leni Allbright. She was so relatable and everything that happened to her really solidified my attachment to her.

I struggled so hard with the moments of abuse in this book. Not just because it was hard to read but because I wanted to reach through the pages and throttle Leni’s horrible father. I also found myself getting angry at her mother because it was clear to see she was never going to do anything to free herself and Leni. Don’t get me wrong, I know it isn’t her mother’s fault and that abusive relationships are hard to break free from, but that’s just how I felt in the moment. I don’t want to say too much more about it because… spoilers… so if you want to know how that whole situation goes down, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

I absolutely loved the secondary characters that Leni encountered in their new home. Especially Matthew Walker and Large Marge. They were so good to Leni and helped her in any possible way that they could.

My heart broke so many times for Leni throughout this book. She did not deserve all of the terrible things that happened to her, and neither did her mother. There were moments where I was so worried, I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. This book was so well written, I felt like I was there in Kaneq. I had never read a Kristin Hannah book before but this book was so good I will definitely be on the lookout for more!

5 Stars

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

29748925Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Published March 28th 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

536 Pages

Goodreads Summary: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Review: Oh my gods… I was completely blown away by this book! I had a feeling when it came out that I would end up loving this book but I had no idea that it would become one of my new favorite books! I’m talking top 5 here people!  It was that good!  The writing is absolutely magical and so visual. I adored Lazlo Strange from the beginning. A quirky oddball who is also a great lover of books. Definitely can’t go wrong there.  Enter Sarai and I have a new ship to root for.  So many feels in this book, especially towards the end!  I was literally bouncing around in my chair because I was so nervous about what was happening.  Absolutely one of the most stunning books I have ever read. I can’t wait to read this book again, and again, and again… and I’ve only just finished it.  Officially obsessed.

5 Stars

Shelf Control – December 15, 2016

Shelf ControlShelf Control is a weekly feature from Bookshelf Fantasies!  The goal is to take a look at the books that are already released that you own but have not read yet.  I have MANY that fall under that category so this feature is perfect for me.  Check out Lisa’s inaugural post for more details!


10626594Title: The Scorpio Races
Author:   Maggie Stiefvater
Published: October 18th 2011 by Scholastic Press
Length: 409 Pages

Goodreads Summary: It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

How I Got It: I bought it.

When I Got It: Fall 2015… I think…

Why I Want To Read It: I read The Wolves of Mercy Falls series and had started The Raven Cycle series by the same author and knew I wanted to read everything that she has written so I bought it but for some reason just haven’t gotten around to it  yet. I’m really hoping to get to this early in 2017 because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Have any of you read this book?  What did you think of it?

RENEGADE RED Covers Reveal!

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*Want to look closer? Check out the large-size cover graphics at the end of this post.

 

RENEGADE RED REVEALED!

RENEGADE RED, the sequel to the award-winning novel SHATTERED BLUE will be available in THREE special edition covers, in both Hardcover and Paperback, in March 2017! Distribution from online sites and into bookstores will be random, so you have a chance to collect them all— the POET EDITION, the WARRIOR EDITION, and the very exclusive TRAVELER EDITION. Happy hunting, and learn more at LaurenBirdHorowitz.com!

Featured in USA TODAY!

Join Lauren and Zoe Cope, the designer of all three covers, for a live Twitter chat at 10am PST/1pm EST Thursday 9/22

Click on the photo below to go to Lauren’s Twitter page!

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Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her—Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.

Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?

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Silver Medalist

INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING BOOK AWARDS BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Finalist

USA BOOK AWARD BEST NEW FICTION 2015

USA BOOK AWARD BEST FANTASY 2015

INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD BEST FANTASY 2015

NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION 2015

“Must-read romances of 2015… I guarantee you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series”

–USA TODAY

“Anyone who’s ever fantasized about kissing a Fae will enjoy Noa and Callum’s first sexy kiss…Romantic sparks ignite…fast-moving…hip…lyrically concise”

Kirkus Reviews

“A fantastical tale of love and betrayal…colorful world-building…more than enough emotion and angst to keep any romance-loving teenager glued to the pages, and the promise of a trilogy will keep them eagerly anticipating the next book…VERDICT Librarians with a large fantasy readership should invest in the print version of this title.” – School Library Journal

“A book to fall for”

–BUZZFEED

“Not your average fairy tale… will have you clamoring for more of a story that you didn’t see coming…new and surprising.”

–HYPABLE

“Magic, action and a really, really attractive love interest… what more could you want?”

–GLITTER MAGAZINE

“A love story you won’t soon forget… A story of of protection sacrifice and love”

–SHE KNOWS.COM

A “Book To Lean On When The Going Gets Tough”

–BUSTLE

A “Book for All Ages”

–MARIA SHRIVER.COM

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For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.

But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?

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Lauren Bird Horowitz, screenwriter and novelist, has won an enthusiastic following for her innovative, lyrical poetic voice. Her debut novel Shattered Blue: Book One of The Light Trilogy, won the 2016 Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy. It was also listed as one of USA Today’s top romances of 2015, and selected as a notable book by BuzzFeed, Popsugar, Hypable, San Francisco Book Review, Glitter, The Culturalist, Teen Reads, Maria Shriver.com, Bustle and others.

Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, where she won several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction and Winthrop-Sargent Prize for writing. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America. Bird lives in Kauai and Los Angeles.

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Shelf Control – April 7, 2016

Shelf Control

Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.  Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available.  Take a look at your shelves and/or Kindle and post about a book you own but haven’t read yet.

13516154Title: The Song of Achilles
Author:  Madeline Miller
Published: Published April 12th 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing (first published September 20th 2011)
Length: 352 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.
But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

How I Got It: I bought it at a used book store.

When I Got It: About a year and a half ago.

Why I Want To Read It: I heard about it from a fellow blogger and after hearing about it once I continued seeing things about it.  It’s fresh in my mind today because I saw it one someone’s Instagram yesterday!  I love Greek mythology and Troy is one of my favorite movies so this book really holds an interest for me.  Not to mention everyone talking about how good it is.

Have any of you read this book?  What did you think of it?