Books, books, books…

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

June O’Donnel is trying to leave the ghosts of her town behind her. She has decided that after her last year of high-school, she’s going to explore the world. Just like her dad had wanted to do, before he passed away seven years ago. That is until Sal Angert enters the picture.

The O’Donnel’s and Angert’s have a family feud that has been going on for generations and generations. Sal is the eldest son of June’s father’s mortal enemy Eli. No matter how much June tries to avoid Sal, their paths keep intertwining.

In this intriguing story, there is also a little bit of forested magic that begins to reveal secrets from the past. Do these new revelations mean that June should let go of the old hatred for the Angert’s that has been so instilled in her, or does it mean that she should hate the Angerts even more than she already did?

This is a FANTASTIC novel! From the first page you are drawn into the complex characters that Henry creates. The magical aspect that is also interwoven into the story also adds a lot of compelling elements to the plot. It never seems to fantastical as to become a “cheesy” reading. You are drawn into the story deeply, and keeps you intrigued from the beginning to the end.

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Dystopian genre, my first love, and The Red Queen doesn’t disappoint! Reds and Silvers both inhabit the Kingdom of Norta. Currently Norta is ruled by the “Silvers”, the group of people with silver blood and supernatural powers. They rule over the “Reds” the lower class people with red blood and no power.

Mare Barrow is a Red, who lives with her parents and younger sister. Mare spends her time pick-pocketing for a living as the Silvers keep the Reds powerless and poor. When Mare learns that her best friend, Kilorn, is about to be conscripted into the war, Mare plans to join a group called the Scarlet Guard. This group is comprised of Reds who want to bring equality to the Reds. During a daring plan to steal from a Silver, Mare meets Cal, who listens to her sorrows and gives her money.

The next day, Mare is taken to the King’s residence and is given a job. She learns that Cal is actually the son of the King. During a “Queenstrial” where Silvers attempt to win the hand of Cal, it is discovered that Mare also has supernatural powers. The kingdom, fearing this will cause an uprising within the Red’s community, force Mare to become engaged to Maven, Cal’s brother.

Mare has to come to grips as she learns that she is a rare mixture of Silver and Red. As she becomes closer to Maven, can her feelings for Cal ever be completely extinguished? And is trusting a Silver something that a Red should do, or will that trust ultimately lead to the downfall of an entire community?

Love, love, love this book! If you like any type of dystopian literature, you will not be disappointed reading The Red Queen!

The Red Queen Book Trailer

 

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The Life We Bury

the life we bury

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

What secrets are hidden deeply in someone’s past? When Joe Talbert is assigned to write a biography for his college English class, he has no idea of the story he is about to uncover. Growing up with an alcoholic mother, and helping take care of his autistic brother, Joe dreams of a better life.
His life takes a turn when he is introduced to Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam veteran living out his last days in a nursing home. Carl, diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, has been recently released from prison where he was sentenced for the rape and murder of his 14 year old neighbor 30 years prior.

As Joe delves into the life of Carl, he finds it increasingly difficult to understand how a soldier who seems to have such a high-moral values would be capable of the heinous crime for which he was committed.

Along with the help of his neighbor and potential new love, Lila, Joe sets out to discover the truth about the crime, and uncover secrets long buried before it’s too late.

I really enjoyed this novel, and the audio version which I listened to was very captivating. It’s a story that draws you in and looks at the good and evil within the world and people. There are enough twists and turns in this novel that it will keep you guessing until the very end.