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Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Good summer reading

One of my reading group members described this book as "knock you over the head obvious"...and it was. If you're looking for mystery and suspense, look elsewhere; but if you're looking for a light summer beach book that will keep your attention, this is it.

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Room

Staying engaged in the first part of the story took some willpower but I'm so glad I finished the book. Donoghue's decision to choose a 5 year old as the storyteller was brilliant, as we were able to see the world through the pure and innocent eyes of a child. Great read.

The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dramatic, Dark
Real Page Turner

The story is told through four different perspectives and at every turn, more secrets are revealed. The characters and their back stories play an important role in their present decisions.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
A Secret Gift

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
Solid story

In 1941, Stalin invaded Lithuania & Estonia and deported the counter revolutionists and nationalists to Siberia. Among the 1.5 deportees was 16 year old Lina Vilkas, her mother, and younger brother. Her father was also taken while working at the University, and Lina and her family never saw him again. Between Shades of Gray tells the story of this Lithuanian family's deportation, the conditions they lived and worked under, as well as their determination to survive and ability to hold on to love.

This book was quite an interesting read as I never really studied much about Stalin's regime during WW2. However, Ruta Sepetys left a lot to be desired in her writing. The lack of character development made it difficult for me to feel a connection with Lina and the others, despite the atrocities that were committed against them. Perhaps the author tried to "dumb" the book down for her intended audience (YA)? It is such a shame as this was a page turner. I just didn't feel the sense of humanity one usually feels when reading this type of subject matter.

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