Not much going on. I've been watching some the Paraolympic games. I have also been watching PBS more this week. Pledge break and some very excellent shows. Finally cleaned up e-mail from when I went away two weeks ago. I did go to a concert this week--Celtic Nights. I did not have a ticket. I went on a whim and scored a front row seat. I also went out to lunch Friday. I had a copy of THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O'Brien. This is THE BIG READ book for 2014 in Pittsburgh. My waiter said he had read it and we talked about the Vietnam War and the effects of it. He was probably in his 20's. I was a kid while it was happening. To him it was history. We both agreed that Tim O'Brien had to have lived it because the book was so realistic. We also agreed that the returning soldiers were not treated right by people. I knew some who went to that war and came back very messed up. Now on to my reviews for the week:
OODLES OF POODLES by Linda O. Johnston
4 out of 5
Oodles of Poodles is an enjoyable cozy mystery. It is the fourth book of the Pet Rescue Mystery series but I was able to read it as a standalone. The director of Sheba's Story is murdered. Lauren Vancouver, the head administrator for HotRescues animal rescue shelter, is on the set to ensure that the animals in the movie are being cared for and not abused. She stirs up people when she asks questions trying to clear her friend Carlie, the vet for the animals. I liked the characters. I liked how they interact with each other and are not afraid to get mad with one another and let their feelings be known. I also liked how each dog mentioned is given a breed and a name so I could picture what the dog looks like. This was a fun read. Naturally, I did not figure out the murderer. I want to read the earlier books in the series as well as her other series, Kendra Ballantyne, Pet Sitters Mysteries.
CHAMPION by Marie Lu
5 out of 5
I loved it. There is a lot of action in this book. The Colonies come to war against the Republic. Can it be saved? I love June and Day. I hated for this book to end. I loved this series as much as I loved The Hunger Games trilogy. Champion was as good as the first two books in the series. Now I'm at a loss what at do without June and Day. Fantastic series.
CASSIE'S HOPE by Adriana Kraft
5 out of 5
Cassie's father gets her to agree to spending 6 months training their filly, Cassie's Hope, for the Land of Lincoln Stakes race. Trying to figure out why Cassie's Hope fails to place in her races, Cassie takes the horse to Wyoming to race on a small track where she meets Clint Travers. When it appears that someone is tampering with Cassie's Hope, Cassie and Clint work together to discover who is the culprit. Along to way it is suggested that Clint may be the culprit. In his anger and pride Clint leaves Cassie. Can it work out for them? Can each forgive the other for the hurts against each other?
I loved Cassie and Clint. These two stubborn, prideful people remind me of Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Both are sure they're right that they don't give the other one the chance to deny or defend themselves. Neither is perfect and both have legitimate fears to overcome. It is when they are honest with themselves and each other that they are a joy to watch. When they close down, I just wanted to smack them upside the head. These are two well developed characters that I wanted to overcome their fears and realize they are stronger with each other.
The secondary characters are also well developed. Tug O'Hanlon, Cassie's father, struggles to recover from his stroke while providing encouragement to Cassie in the face of the setbacks in racing Cassie's Hope. Her friends are a wonderful support system for her. Clint's children are adorable. I loved the wisdom of Clint's grandmother and his sister, Silver Hawk. Both see more than Clint wants them to see.
The world of horsing racing is depicted as it is. The tragedies and the triumphs, the setbacks and the comebacks. I felt I was in Cassie's shoes as she knows everything is going well with her filly but come race day the prancing horse is dull and lifeless. I felt the defeat Cassie felt as she could not figure out what is happening. When the truth comes out I could feel the shock and pain Cassie felt.
Cassie's Hope is the first book of a series. I cannot wait to read the rest of the books. I'm hoping that Silver Hawk gets a story. Other than Cassie and Clint, she stood out for me.
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O'Brien
5 out of 5
|I know this is labeled fiction but there is a realism here that told me the author had been there and gone through these things. There is a starkness in the prose that cuts to the truth and does not embellish it. Very powerfully written. It left its mark upon me. This is not a book that I will be able to work away from and forget.|