Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

And the mountains echoed – Khaled Hosseini

17345748| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and stepmother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari – as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named – is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their heads touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand. Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways in which we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us.

Untitled

My thoughts: I loved “A thousand splendid suns” and I don’t know, maybe I had expected something as strong as that. Or maybe I had expected a story that make you feel fulfilled when ending. Neither happen here in my opinion. I found the writing somewhat confusing and it was hard to keep track of all the characters. I had particularly trouble with every chapter change because you did not get to know which character you now following. Most of the characters are so remotely connected that it does not work at all and it was not until the end you started to understand who this person really is and what connection it has to the main character. It kept me sitting like this throughout 90% of the book.

Capture.JPG

I have read some reviews and found that it is not only me who feel this way or perceived this books as a bunch of different characters telling me about their own life history. The red thread and “main” character, you hardly see and some of the connections is just so farfetched that it is weird. The story in the beginning is good and I do get the point with the book. I do however find it flat when you do not get to follow the “main” character more than like 20% of the book.

I did however like the ending. It was a nice end with its way of tying the last strings together, even though I did not find it great since I did not get that happy, finally, good for you feeling. I give the book a strong three star rating due to that Hosseini is a great writer and he do writes in a way that snares you to the story. Any other author, I would probably have DNF it.

Contemporary · Romance · War/Military

Dear Aaron – Mariana Zapata

35404657.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.

What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

Untitled

My thoughts: I really like Zapata and her way of writing. This is the third book I read by her and I still just loves her and she is one of my favorite authors. Yes I can say that after three books. This book, however, is probably the one I like the least of those I have read. And that is just because it is so god damn slow. I did expect some slowness since that is her thing. Slow burned, contemporary romance is what she do. So I was prepared and didn’t expect anything else. But I didn’t know that I had to wait like 90% of the book for something to really happen and at 40% I was actually ready to give up. I don’t have patience for slowness. But I did keep reading and I’m happy for that. It is a great book. But it would not be the first one I would recommend by her if anyone asked.

I did, however, really liked Ruby who is this nerdy, a little social awkward young woman with big dreams but also a lot of fear. She is trying to do some good because she is a genuinely nice person. Then we have Aaron, who kind of just float through life right now. He doesn’t know what he want out of life, he has no near relationship with his family and comes from a different kind of background than Ruby. But they spend 9 months just talking, getting to know each other, before stuff happens and things evolve. Just a great, great story. But so slow!

In some way I feel that this book is unfinished. There was parts that I didn’t really understood and others that was needlessly. And there is a pretty big part of the book (can’t say what because I do not want to spoiler you) that was kind of boring because nothing really happen until the end. And I found that the end was somewhat unfulfilling. Gosh is sounds like I didn’t like this book at all, but I did, I promises and I think that you would to. Probably even more than me.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense · War/Military

Blind Ambition – Gwen Hernandez

25156320.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: IT’S ABOUT TO GET HOT IN THE JUNGLE

Rescuing a kidnapped aid worker from St. Isidore’s dangerous rebels is just another day at work for former pararescueman Dan Molina. But his mission falls apart when the woman—who once shattered his heart—refuses to leave the island.

Alexa Alyssandratos can’t return to her life as a nurse on the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island, but she won’t leave until she’s certain the orphans she cared for—especially one sick little girl—are safe from the rebels. Denied their ransom, a would-be dictator and his soldiers are hunting Alexa, and Dan is the only person who can protect her. Old passions reignite as she and Dan race to save the children before they disappear forever.

Untitled

My thoughts: Okay, So I’m going to make this review short, because I have a feeling that if I think about this book to long, the more fault I will find with it. And I enjoyed the book and do not wish to make it worse in my mind than it already is.

In many ways this is a hot story. We meet Alexa, who have devoted her life to other people. She is a nurse in a corrupt and broken society on a little island outside of Haiti. When she is kidnapped by the rebels, her estranged father calls in the only man she regret she ever left, but she (in her mind) had her reasons and due to that, had to hurt him. Bad! Dan, who have spent the last three years getting his life back on track after the whole Alexa catastrophe, reluctantly takes on the mission to go in and save her. But she has a mind of her own, refuses to follow the plan and leave without the one person she has allowed into her heart. And Dan has no other choice than to help.

It was a great story and I really like those plots that’s are about a couple, running from bad guys, in the jungle and uses what they have with and around them to survive. I find it highly exciting and I love to sit in my couch, safe and sound, reading about that couple running for their life and do MacGyver tricks to survive. Unfortunately my biggest problem with this book is that constant rant about how she hurt him, how he hurt her, how she doesn’t deserve better, how he doesn’t deserve someone like her and it goes on and on and on. All the reasons are legit but I do however feel that Dan maybe have been overreacting and all that happened after is entirely his fault. And that Alexa’s reasons may be a little too far fetch but hey, what do I know? But done is done and I do understand that. However it was tiring and tedious to read it over and over. There was no end. Not even at the end of the book, but it is still somewhat of an Happy Ending.

So I give the book a three star rating. It is a good book but not a great book.

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.

Untitled

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 · 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…

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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.

Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Thriller/Horror

The Redbreast – Jo Nesbø

465226| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.

1999: Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.

Untitled

My thoughts: I read the first two books in the series about Harry Hole in 2013 and 2014. They where not my favorites and I gave them both a two star rating. They did just not do it for me for several reasons. If it was not for that I bought the three first book at the same time and already had the book in my shelf, AND I have this 30 Books Before 30 list, I would probably not have read the third book. But now I’m so happy that I did. Because this was great. A five star rating, terrific, nail biting and heart wrenching great.

The story is awesome with the time jumps back to second world war and some of the people there. And Jo have done great work to make the history and past woven together with the present. You get a lot of clues trough out the book and, maybe I’m just stupid. but I could not for my life figure it all out hand how it all hanged together. I had my theories. In the end I did get a clear picture and felt really satisfied by that.

However, there is one “teeny tiny” event that did not get its rightful closure and that kind of stuff usually pisses me off. But, there is several more books in the series and I hope that in the future we will get full closure on it so I’m okay. And I as a reader do know the truth.

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.

Untitled

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.