Classic/Historical · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

23718102| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

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My thoughts: Goodnight Mister Tom is my all-time favorite book from when I was a child. I think I read it for the first time when I was around 10 years old, maybe younger and before my 18th birthday, I must have read it at least three times more. I loved it. But I have never read it on English. My copy of the book probably has been lost throughout the years or is at my mothers. So I though, since I’m going to by a new one, why not on English. And I’m really happy because the way it is originally written, certainly put some life in the story that me as an reader not could get from a translation. And it blew my mind how good it made it.

The book is a really sad story, but still a really happy one to. It takes place in the WW2 and for the most part you get to follow Will. He is an evacuee from London, who goes to live with this old and grumpy man who really do not want a kid in his house, but has to due to regulations. Mr Oakley is not as bad as everyone thinks. He just hit a ruff spot when young and never really got the help he needed to get out of it. He just found a way to survive through the years but never really live. Will and Mr Oakley finds a way to survive with each other and later on it turns to not only surviving but also living. There is a lot of characters in the book and they all have their own traits and personality’s. They are great described and funny to follow.

I don’t know why I loved this book so much as a kid. Maybe because it gave me the knowledge that in a bad situation, there is always hope. And even if they say blood is thicker than water, it has nothing to take too when it comes to friends and people who choose to be your family. Not are family just because you was born in to it. Wonderful, wonderful story!

I love Mr Tom so much and it is the book who really sparked my love for reading I even named my Kindle, Mr Tom, due to what that book has done for me. And this is such a cry story. Just saying. 😉

Do you have one of those story’s from your childhood that somehow changed you?

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · War/Military · Young, New adult/College

Salt to the sea – Ruta Sepetys

25614492.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in one another tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

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My thoughts: Wilhelm Gustloffs shipwreck is the greatest in maritime history. Over 9000 people (that’s almost 8000 more than Titanic) lost their lives and yet, almost nobody knows anything about it. I certainly didn’t. My interest for war, historical fiction and that I didn’t know anything about this disaster, was a big reason for me to choose to read this book.

In this book we are following four characters  who all seek peace and freedom from the war that are breaking there country and family’s apart. Some of them, I like more than others but that I think was done with purpose and I understand it in the end. It is a great story, that do play on my emotions and now after i’m done, I do feel a little emotional drained.

It was a really thrilling read and as first book for me to read by Ruta Sepetys, I’m really pleasantly surprised. It started off quite slow and it is a slow burner through most of the book and I did lose interest there for a while, but I really wanted to know how it would end, so I picked it up again. The last chapters went past extremely fast and suddenly the book was over. I do not usually like books that are slow and then all the action is happening right before the book is ending. But it did work in this one. It is a really good book and that I lost focus has really nothing to do with the book itself, but with me who sometimes don’t have the patience for slow burners.

It is a hard read, just have to warn you. There is some terrible human fates that are happening and even if the book is fiction, it is hard to deny that this and probably even worse have happened in real life. I understand why Sepetys won the Goodreads Choice Award 2016 for this book. It is that good.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · War/Military

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

2728527.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: “I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

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My thoughts: This is an brilliant, work of art. Brilliant! That you could write a complete story like this, with good character development and fantastic environments and different story lines, just by the form of letters, is beyond me. It is really fantastic and I’m completely in love. I love Juliet, Isola, Kit, Sidney and not at least Dawsey. I love them and that the book eventually ended, made me a little sad.

In this book you get to follow Juliet. An unmarried writer who tries to find herself now that the war is over. London is a broken city and she lives temporarily in a borrowed apartment since her old one got bombed to ruins. She is an strong minded book lover who will not settle, but feels lost in the new world. We get to follow her trough letters to her best friends Sophie and Sidney. Later on to her new friends on the island Guernsey. She wants to write a book but are not happy with the subject she first had chosen. In a pursuit for something she care and want to write about, she travels to the island too meet hear new friends and finds more than just a book to write.

To write a book completely trough letters is an brilliant idea in my opinion. I cannot see the book been written in any other way now that I have read it. I must say that at first I was skeptical. But it gave me as an reader the freedom to imagine and use my mind to fill in the blanks that where not written in words. It felt liberating somehow. The book is written with warmth and humour even though the aftermath of the war is a huge part of this book, and it makes it emotionally hard sometimes.

But as great as it is, it has one flaw in my opinion. First I gave the book a five star rating but after my emotions had settled down and I started to really think about it, I wanted to end it to four stars. That is because of the ending. It ended perfectly, but it went to fast, did not fit in with the rest of the book and I got the feeling that the authors just wanted to get it done. Be over with. But then I looked in the book and wondered, should I really take of a star for ten pages in the end that was not to my complete liking? It felt unfair so I left the rating as I first had put it.

This books also comes as an movie in 2018. I love movies made on books I have read and really looking forward to it. 🙂

 

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense · War/Military

Midnight captive – Elle Kennedy

23398610.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive

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My thoughts: I thought this book was going to be a love triangle since that is the impression I got from the synopsis. So, to be honest, I have been avoiding this book because I really don’t like that kind of drama. But since I have loved pretty much every book before this one, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I just needed to get it read and done with it so that I could read the next book in the series. I just hoped it was not as a big part of the book because it is always the same thing. One girl, two guys and it is just exhausting. Well I can happy announce that this is not one of those books. There is no real love triangle and it made me so happy. This book is the 6th book in the Killer Instinct series. It is a standalone series with small stuff that twines them together. But Kennedy does a great job with recapping that if you want, you can read in which order you like. But as always, I do recommend that you read it in order.

The series is awesome and there is no difference here with this book either. I totally love Bailey and Sean who are the main characters. They are like oil and water and have a history that is not that great. Which makes them fight all the time but it never gets boring or too much of it. Sean is a little rougher around the edges than the other guys in the books and are not from the same kind of military background. He is a former IRA soldier who, with his brother, has been running their own business for the last eight years.  Bailey is a little more mysterious and you do not know that much about her. The truth will come out eventually and it is somewhat cliche, just to warn you, but still a good story.  I love it. There is sparks and fireworks in every chapter they are together in and it is freaking awesome.

I loved the story. Somewhat unusual compared to the other books and much more personal. And even a little sad. But it was perfect for these two characters. I hope it is/comes a book for Sean’s Twin brother, Oliver, to because, hot damn I need to read that one.

I do have to warn that this book ends one somewhat of a cliffhanger. Not a serious one but still.

Classic/Historical · Non-fiction · War/Military

War’s unwomanly face – Svetlana Alexievich

4025275.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: This book is a confession, a document and a record of people’s memory. More than 200 women speak in it, describing how young girls, who dreamed of becoming brides, became soldiers in 1941. More than 500,000 Soviet women participated on a par with men in the Second World War, the most terrible war of the 20th century. Women not only rescued and bandaged the wounded but also fires a sniper’s rifle, blew up bridges, went reconnoitering and killed… They killed the enemy who, with unprecedented cruelty, had attacked their land, their homes and their children.

Soviet writer of Bychorussia, Svetlana Alexiyevich spent four years working on the book, visiting over 100 cities and towns, settlements and villages and recording the stories and reminiscences of women war veterans. The soviet press called the book”a vivid reporting of events long past, which affected the destiny of the nation as a whole.” The most important thing about the book is not so much the front-line episodes as women’s heart-rending experiences in the war. Through their testimony the past makes an impassioned appeal to the present, denouncing yesterday’s and today’s fascism…

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My thoughts: I feel bad for giving this book only an three in rating. But it is not like I rated the history or something like that. It is the books broken structure that bugs the hell out of me. Let me start from the beginning.

In 2015 Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel price in literature. I bought this book back in 2014 (yeah it as been in my bookshelf for 3+ years) and that she later on won a Nobel price has just gone pass me. Maybe I would have read it earlier if I knew it but oh well. Got to it eventually.

It is hard to write a review on a non-fiction book. This is history. This is true stories from a female perspective. Stories about how they stood at the front line with all the male soldiers and fought for their land. It is hard to believe. Some of them wasn’t even older than 16 year. I’m lucky enough to be born in a time where the war still was “fresh” and people who survived it still live and remember. In a time where most followers on Instagram, biggest lips or most money not was the most important in the world. I do, however, regret that I did not ask them more about that time. How was it for my family? Now, I have the stories in books and movies and it is not until now that I realized that all those stories is mostly told by men. And non of them is told by my family. So I will probably never know.

I’m not gonna talk so much about the books contents. It is hard stuff to read, hard stuff to hear and terrible. Just so terrible that there is no words to describe it. It gives you nightmares and it is hard to image a time like that. Hard to image that type of patriotism where you fight until death for your country. I left my country on my own free will, I don’t even know if I would be willing to fight for it if it ever came to that. That is how different our countries and time has taken us. We women (and men) today, should respect and celebrate those women who stood up like that, with fear and children on there backs. Fighting for what was theirs. Fighting for there country and a future for their children.

The big problem I have with this book, and the reason for its low score, is the structure. It was hard to remember who is who, it kept jumping back and forth in time and place and was just mostly confusing. Eventually, so that I would not quit the book, I started to ignore names. I started just to read the stories and listen for the history. Now I can’t say who did and said what. That is to bad, but the stories and history that these women told, is forever lodged in my head. And even if the structure is bad, I feel that everyone should read the book. Not for the history of it but for the perspective. And to have something who weighs against all the stories out there, who have been told by men.

Romance · Suspense · War/Military

Rekindled – Kaylea Cross

19547589.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis:He left her when she needed him most…

Four years ago, Dr. Grace Fallon lost everything that mattered in a terrorist attack she barely survived. Now she’s stronger than ever and in Pakistan with a UN-sanctioned team for the most important assignment of her career. She’s dedicated her life to eradicating the world of chemical weapons, and long ago accepted the inherent risks associated with her job. Until the man whose memory has haunted her for so long suddenly reappears and inadvertently makes her the target of one of the most dangerous terrorists on the planet. Forced to accept Alex’s protection, it’s impossible to deny the white-hot attraction still burning between them. And while she trusts him to guard her from this new threat, Grace must once again decide whether to risk her heart to the man who once shattered her entire world.

Now he’ll risk everything to win her back…

Four years ago, NSA agent Alex Rycroft left Grace because had no choice. But never again. Malik Hassani has escaped custody, he’s on the run, and has locked onto Grace as a means to target Alex. This time Alex will do whatever it takes to protect her—and convince her to give them another chance. Walking away from her nearly destroyed him and now that she’s back in his life, he can’t let her go. When the unthinkable happens and Grace’s life hangs in the balance, he’ll sacrifice everything to save her—including himself.

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My thoughts: I’m glad I finally got the chance to learn more about Alex and his history. He is the oldest character in the books and the most mysterious. I really liked the plot but it was somewhat slow written. And I feel that in a situation as the 5th book is taking place, should not be slow. At all! I did however like that I got to know how it would go with Dunphy. The 4th book quite ended on a cliffhanger when Dunphy regarded. It was hard to read but with a great end. Perfect when it comes to the circumstances.

Alex end Grace though  is quite slow and some what repeatably. Grace is hurt and I understand that but then they dont really talk about it. It just “fixes” itself and that was an downer.

The story about the terrorist is as exciting as ever. Cant say to much about it without giving out spoilers.

There is one more book in the series. It is an short book on 160 pages and more or less suppose to wrap any loose ends. I have read the five books in the series and will at some point in the future read the last one to. Just to be done. But I dont really feel the need to it. This book did not end on any cliffhangers and what ever question i sit left with is not that important to get an answer to. But I will still read it.

DNF · Romance · Suspense · War/Military

DNF – Renegade by Catherine Mann

6587714| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: X|

Goodreads synopsis: Untamed and Undercover: Third in the Dark Ops series.

Tech Sergeant Mason “Smooth” Randolph lives to push boundaries. But he never anticipated how far outside the box he would land when an in- flight accident sends him parachuting into Nevada’s notorious Area 51- and into the handcuffs of sexy security cop Jill Walczak.

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My thoughts:
Nope, nix, nada, never! I did not finish this book. Reason? Well it is boring. There is really nothing that keeps me going. The characters is stereotypical with no depth. The whole serial killer story is just not as center of attention which it should be when four/five is dead. The whole “in the killers mind” is just childish and not wherry believable and I think most of it is because of poor writing skills.

Sorry Catherine but I just don’t think your books is anything for me. This was the third book. I was not that excited after the first two but when I´m not even able to finish this one, I just feel that i have tried my best and it is time to devote my reading time to something that i would enjoy.

Romance · Suspense · War/Military

Blind Fury – Gwen Hernandez

20878943| GOODREADS | AMAZON | My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodread synopsis: When always-play-it-safe Jenna Ryan starts questioning how her brother died in Afghanistan, someone decides she must be stopped. Permanently. Her brother’s best friend—a sexy thrill-seeker she can’t stop thinking about—won’t reveal what he knows about the fatal shoot-out, putting Jenna at odds with the only man she trusts to keep her alive.

Former special forces operator Mick Fury would give his life to keep his best friend’s irresistible sister safe. He took an oath to stay silent about their last mission, but Mick’s will is tested by the white-hot attraction to Jenna he’s tried to ignore for years. Now he must risk everything—even falling in love—to protect her from the truth that could destroy them both.

My thoughts: First book in a new series for me and I was actually pretty exciting to start it. I love this kind of romance books with an “soft” alpha male, military and suspense stories. It´s an emotional book with a really good start but then it get kind ow slow and in the end when it started to get really thrilling, I was just done. Done with the slow paste between Jenna and Mick, done with the yes/no situations that are all the way through the book.

Mostly it is not a big deal for me, but Jenna was totally destroying it for me. I understand that the history between her and Mick was not that easy but come on. I just wanted to hope in the book and shout to Jenna “grow some freaking spine”. I was totally on Micks side. I understood his reasons and that it was not easy for him. She knew that. He told her, and still she had to act like a immature teenager.

But other than that I did like the story. I liked that the “mystery” was totally believable and the end made me considerably more open to read the next book in the series.