Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

TITLE: Black Sun
AUTHOR: Rebecca Roanhorse
LENGTH: 450 pages
GENRE: fantasy (based on pre-Columbian indigenous peoples of the Americas; LGBTQ+ characters)
ISBN: 9781534437678
REASON FOR READING: discovered it on Goodreads

Summary (book jacket):

From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.

Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this story. The back-and-forth in time and different characters/settings the chapters focused on took a few chapters to get used to, but as long as you pay attention to the time & location heading each chapter, it isn’t all that confusing. I think the back-and-forth timeline was utilized in a great way here, because chronological order would’ve left the story with large jumps through time.

I loved the characters and the settings. Most of the fantasy I read is young adult fantasy, and while this isn’t so mature that an older teenager couldn’t/shouldn’t read it, it definitely felt like the audience was meant to be adults and I could pick up on those subtle differences. The main characters are Naranpa, Okoa, Xiala, and Serapio, all of whom come from different backgrounds and different clans. I’m not well-educated on pre-Columbian indigenous tribes in the Americas–a large fault of the American education standards I plan to rectify in the homeschooling of my children. I would say I know more than most people I know personally, but there is a lot to be desired because of the vast difference between those nations. Roanhorse described the characters and settings well, and I can only hope my imagination based on what I know of indigenous nations is near to what she was attempting to (fictionally) portray. This might be jumping the gun, but I could see this and the future two books of her trilogy become an amazingly beautiful & fantastical film–an indigenous production from top to bottom hopefully, if it ever did come to fruition.

I cannot pick my favorite portion of the story because anytime I picked it up to read, I couldn’t put it down. The character of Okoa was less developed than the other three; however, based on how the book ended, I can only imagine he will receive his due diligence in the next book(s). I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment, which I hope comes out sometime in 2021.

Saving Savannah by Tonya Bolden

TITLE: Saving Savannah
AUTHOR: Tonya Bolden
LENGTH: 252 pages
GENRE: young-adult historical fiction (post-WWI/influenza pandemic, women’s suffrage movement, pre-Harlem Renaissance, Red Summer)
ISBN: 9781681198040
REASON FOR READING: I found this title on a list of YA books by Black authors about Black stories and it sounded like an interesting setting I’ve never explored before

SUMMARY (book jacket):

“There must be a change! And if last night taught me anything, it’s that I must be part of that change! Part of making the world as it ought to be!” 

Savannah Riddle is lucky. As a daughter of an upper-class African American family in Washington, DC, she attends one of the most rigorous public schools in the nation–black or white–and has her pick among the young men in her set. But lately the structure of her society, including the fancy parties, the Sunday teas, the pretentious men and shallow young women, has started to suffocate her.

Then Savannah meets Lloyd, a young West Indian man from the working class, who opens Savannah’s eyes to how the other half lives. Inspired to fight for change, Savannah finds herself drawn more and more to Lloyd’s world.

Set against the backdrop of the women’s rights movement, the Red Summer, and the anarchist bombings of 1919, Saving Savannah is the story of a girl who must decide how much she is willing to risk to “be the change” in a world on the brink of dramatic transformation.

My Thoughts: I really loved this book. I love history, and this is a point of time that I don’t know much about, especially from a Black perspective. And reading it at this point in history–with a new pandemic and a resurgence in the much needed Civil Rights movement–is so apropos. The setting is 100 years ago, and yet, the story seems so fitting for our current time.

Savannah is almost done with school and ready to be her own independent woman. And yet, she wants more out of life than the life she’s currently living. She feels her social circle is shallow and tedious, and she, having kept up on current events during WWI and the influenza pandemic, knows there are bigger and more important things out there. Spurred on my her uncle’s advice–“Purpose is a powerful antidote to the doldrums. Get engaged with something, take hold of life, stop being a mere observer” (p35)–she looks into how the other half lives, as they say. Seeing how the poor are living, and how Blacks of any class are being treated during this Red Summer, opens her eyes and encourages her to get involved and make change.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the author’s note in the back. It is FULL of information Bolden used when creating her story. And all of her sources–it feels like a goldmine to me, a starting point of people and events I need to research more. This is a book I plan to buy and I plan to use this in our homeschooling when my kids are at the right age to read this. As a person who graduated with a bachelor’s degree to teach social studies, and a minor in history, I did not ONCE learn about this “Red Summer”, nor how Washington DC had been the “Black mecca” in the US. And that is a problem, in my opinion. The most I learned about Black history and POC was in my Intro to Ethnic Studies course as a university freshman which I don’t believe had anything to do with my degree. It was my favorite class in all four years. But I digress…I think this is an excellent book to read in whole or take in part for this time period of US history (1918-1920).

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

A Single Thread by Tracy ChevalierTITLE: A Single Thread
AUTHOR: Tracy Chevalier
LENGTH: 318 pages
GENRE: fiction/historical fiction (1930s, England, embroidery, single women)
ISBN: 9780525558248
REASON FOR READING: I’ve read a handful of books by Tracy Chevalier and enjoyed them

SUMMARY (book jacket):

1932. After the Great War took both her beloved brother and her fiancé, Violet Speedwell has become a “surplus woman,” one of a generation doomed to a life of spinsterhood after the war killed so many young men. Yet Violet cannot reconcile herself to a life spent caring for her grieving, embittered mother. After countless meals of boiled eggs and dry toast, she saves enough to move out of her mother’s place and into the town of Winchester, home to one of England’s grandest cathedrals. There, Violet is drawn into a society of broderers–women who embroider kneelers for the Cathedral, carrying on a centuries-long tradition of bringing comfort to worshippers.

Violet finds support and community in the group, fulfillment in the work they create, and even a growing friendship with the vivacious Gilda. But when forces threaten her new independence and another war appears on the horizon, Violet must fight to put down roots in a place where women aren’t expected to grow. Told in Chevalier’s glorious prose, A Single Thread is a timeless story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life.

My Thoughts: I feel fairly indifferent towards this book. Firstly, it took a good 50-60 pages to grab my attention. The story was slow and winding; not exactly boring, not exactly enticing. Violet did indeed grow more confident throughout the story, especially at the end when she became that female lead we always hope will do what we want her to do, regardless of the time and place of her story. What drove my interest was the building tension between her and another character–I was interested in what would happen, if anything. However, if I hadn’t had the free time to spend reading, I’m fairly certain this book might’ve ended up sitting by my bed for days, unopened, because it wasn’t enticing enough to pick up too often.

I should like this book more than I did. A female lead with pretty feminist sentiments back in the 1930s–that should be something I’m very interested in. Maybe embroidery and ringing church bells, fairly boring activities in my mind, overtook any excitable feelings I had about the characters and their lives (outside those activities). Bored by context, excited by the storyline? Averaged out to indifference in the end, I suppose.

I imagine, years from now, I won’t remember anything about this book other than the two big things, if even those. It was fine to pass the time, but was unremarkable.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

Dear Girls Ali WongTITLE: Dear Girls–Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life
Ali Wong
LENGTH: 214 pages
GENRE: non-fiction (autobiography, memoir)
ISBN: 9780525508830
REASON FOR READING: Ali Wong is hilarious

SUMMARY (book jacket):

Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero), covering everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.

In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so heavily that she became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, and why you never see new mom comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads.

The sharp insights and humor are even more personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she’s learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal singles life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong’s letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and disgusting) for all.

My Thoughts: If you don’t like Ali Wong’s comedy, you probably won’t appreciate this book. At least if you dislike her comedy because of it’s crude & crass presentation. I could easily envision her speaking these words, assuming that her stand-up is a decent representation of her real personality. Which, after having read this, I can say is definitely the case.

Each chapter of the book focuses on part of her life and is its own “letter” to her two daughters, still toddlers today. It is mostly in chronological order of her life up to this point, and I definitely learned about her as a person. I know not every person that comes off as blunt or crude is that way 100% of their lives, but in writing this, we get to see a bit about her thoughts and emotions at a more intimate level that definitely round her out as a person, rather than just the part most of us know as the comic. I mostly feel similar to her in the motherhood arena, given that she grew up in a different time & place–how can her life seem so much different at only 5 years older than me?? I “got” much of what she said about her formative years, but people born in 1982 and 1987 seem to have had such different childhoods. Plus, let’s be real–San Francisco and rural Ohio aren’t exactly the same…

But I digress. I enjoyed reading about her time traveling during and after college, which I wouldn’t say surprised me, just that I hadn’t ever considered her to be such a serious person (although, travel doesn’t make one “serious”, as her antics abroad clearly display). It just goes to show you not to judge a book by its cover.

One of my favorite parts of this was reading about her relationship with her husband. Her husband wrote the afterword, and even from his perspective, it appears they are remembering their story similarly. I gotta say, she is definitely lucky she “trapped his ass” as she so loving states because, while they don’t have a perfect relationship (newsflash, no one does), they both seem to understand what they need to do to make it all work for them. And he does sound like a catch in the super-supportive-partner category. I loved learning that the four of them tour together–I think that is such a sweet thing to do and is sort of humble, if that’s the right word to describe it.

I might have a sort of odd “rating system” in that I only give books a 5 of 5 if they are books I would read multiple times, but this is one I could see putting on my shelf at home and just picking up and reading it, in whole or in part, at any given time. It’s funny because I didn’t pay any attention to the book jacket for this book, and just thought to myself that “heartfelt & hilarious” was the best way to describe this book. Apparently so does whoever wrote the book jacket.


“The best word to describe parenting is ‘relentless.’ It’s a tennis-ball-launcher machine of tasks and mind puzzles and compromises and poo and pee and spit and barf with unlimited balls loaded. It’s always something.” p132 (I feel this to my core!! Really, p132-138 is probably felt across-the-board by all parents.)

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis

TITLE: Give the Dark My Love

AUTHOR: Beth Revis

LENGTH: 368 pages


GENRE: young adult fantasy (alchemy, plague, undead/zombies)

ISBN: 9781595147172

REASON FOR READING: love this author


SUMMARY (Goodreads Summary):
When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

MY THOUGHTS: Okay, honestly within the first few sentences, I was like, “Ugh, really? A zombie book?” But it didn’t take long for me to realize the zombies weren’t as big a thing for the whole story as I anticipated. Yes, by the end–which is actually revealed in part in the prologue–the undead are important to the story. But they gradually become important as the story progresses.

I’m no expert on the history of alchemy, but I always thought it was the quest to change other elements into gold. If that’s the kind of alchemy you’re expecting in this book, well, you’ll be introduced to another version.

After the beginning, I was skeptical, but I’ve loved all four of Revis’ books I’ve read before so it was worth giving it a go. The four other books are sci-fi–this introduction to her fantasy world turned out quite gripping. I found the book harder and harder to put down the further I read. It appears to be the first in a series, and I’ll definitely be reading future installments.

Also, I’d like to give a quick nod to Revis for including a female general, a female governor, and a lesbian/bisexual (I’m not sure one or the other was specified–I know they’re not the same) as characters very nonchalantly. Small details that you might not even realize, and weren’t made to appear out of the ordinary at all, just like they should be.

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

21853678TITLE: The Secrets of Midwives
Sally Hepworth
LENGTH: 309 pages
GENRE: fiction (midwives, birth, mother-daughter relationships, family, babies)
ISBN: 9781250051899
REASON FOR READING: library bookclub

SUMMARY (book jacket):

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

MY THOUGHTS: I absolutely loved this book! The subject of midwifery is one I’ve been really interested in over the past couple of years. Birthing a child did pique my interest in some areas I never thought of before–the birth process in general (hence the midwifery) and breastfeeding, to name a few. This book followed three story lines simultaneously, one for each of the midwives. That concept took a few chapters to get used to–I’m used to the concept with two characters, but throwing in the third threw off my rhythm a little at first. Once all the stories started to differentiate from each other, it was easier to understand. There were questions concerning each woman that made me keep wanting to read–I’m convinced that I could’ve read the whole book in one sitting if I’d had the time to do so. Concerning Neva, I wondered if she would reveal whom her baby daddy was AND who she’d end up with, if anyone, by story’s end (I didn’t really think they’d be the same man). With Grace, I wondered how her apparent hatred for the medical community would be important to the story–I also wondered why she had such a strong hatred, which was never specifically said, though I’m sure the three decades of being overlooked as NOT an expert (which midwives most certainly ARE) would be more than enough. And Floss, she had some kind of secret and, until right before it was revealed, I wasn’t sure what it was. As the revelation got closer, I figured it out for myself and couldn’t believe I’d missed it before.

In the end, everything came full circle and the ending was just how I’d like–some strings tied up, some left open. I like that mix because I like to imagine my future for the characters a little bit 🙂

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

23278537TITLE: The Little Paris Bookshop
AUTHOR: Nina George
LENGTH: 365 pages
GENRE: fiction (France, Paris, bookshops, readers, books, relationships, cancer, lovers)
ISBN: 9780553418774
REASON FOR READING: library bookclub
Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.MY THOUGHTS:
I’m pretty ambivalent towards this story. It was good more than it was bad–parts of it, especially the traveling on the riverboat bit, were really quite lovely. I’m not sure the plausibility of Perdu and Catherine’s relationship growing as it did–it’s weird because I didn’t have any problem believing in Cuneo’s and Samy’s relationship, which started even odder.The setting and focus on books and reading was nice. Manon’s diary entries, towards the end of her part of the story, hit a little too close to home for me and actually upset me at times. Though I think that was more due to the timing of reading this book.

Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloé Kardashian

25434370TITLE: Strong Looks Better Naked
AUTHOR: Khloé Kardashian
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: non-fiction (personal development)
ISBN: 9781942872481
REASON FOR READING: Truth be told, I’m a fan of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Khloé is probably my favorite of the sisters because I think I’m more like her than the others.

DESCRIPTION (book jacket):
“Over the last three years, I’ve transformed my body, my mind, and my heart. I’ve never been stronger or happier or more grounded. I hope this book inspires you to build your own form of personal strength. One baby step at a time! That is my philosophy: Small changes and small steps can transform your life.
At the end of the day, it’s really quite simple.
Baby steps.
You want to be strong. You have to believe in yourself to get there. True strength comes from looking at yourself with fresh eyes, from having faith, from becoming your own cheerleader. Finding your inner strength is a journey. Nobody else can do it for you.
You want to be healthy. You want to be happy. Be mindful–about the way you approach life, and about the things you can do to change your approach to life.
It is not that difficult. I promise. If you begin with just thirty minutes of exercise a day, the rest of it–mind, heart, spirit–will begin to change.”
~~Khloé Kardashian

My Thoughts: I admit, when it comes to reading books written by celebrities, I’m skeptical. I have no reason to think so, but in the back of my mind I wonder things like “Did this person even actually write this book or did they hire a ghostwriter?” or “Why does this person think they have the ability to write a book, just because their name is big enough to get people to read it?” Skeptical as I might be, I really wanted to read this book. Khloé is the sister I think is most relatable for me–her and Kourtney are pretty even; Kim is the one I can’t stand, to be honest.

I think this book was really great. There are three parts–she focuses on health, heart, and mind. She doesn’t use fancy words or phrases, it really is a lot like listening to someone just talk. There are quite a few quotes throughout the book by wise, old people (MLK, Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, etc.) which help illustrate her points. I found her sharing her personal stories to depict how similar her life is to others’–though her job is obviously quite different from those of most. She motivates people to treat themselves better, treat yourself as well as you would treat someone else. (Makes me think of the Parks & Rec “Treat yo’self!” episodes 🙂 )

As You Wish–Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

21412202TITLE: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
LENGTH: 242 pages
GENRE: non-fiction (film production, actors/actresses, movie)
ISBN: 9781476764023
REASON FOR READING: One of my family’s favorite movies since the early 1990s has been The Princess Bride, so I just had to read this


Storm the Castle Once More

Standing on the stage for the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Princess Bride, I felt an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude and nostalgia. It was a remarkable night and it brought back vivid memories of being part of what appears to have become a cult classic film about pirates and princesses, giants and jesters, cliffs of insanity, and of course rodents of unusual size.
It truly was as fun to make the movie as it is to watch it, from getting to work on William Goldman’s brilliant screenplay to being directed by the inimitable Rob Reiner. It is not an exaggeration to say that most days on set were exhilarating, from wrestling Andre the Giant, to the impossibility of playing mostly dead with Billy Crystal cracking jokes above me, to choreographing the Greatest Sword Fight in Modern Times with Mandy Patinkin, to being part of the Kiss That Left All the Others Behind with Robin Wright.
In this book I’ve gathered many more behind-the-scenes stories and hopefully answers to many of the questions we’ve all received over the years from fans. Additionally, Robin, Billy, Rob, and Mandy, as well as Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Fred Savage, Chris Sarandon, Carol Kane, Norman Lear, and William Goldman graciously share their own memories and stories from making this treasured film.
If you’d like to know a little bit more about the making of The Princess Bride as seen through the eyes of a young actor who got much more than he bargained for, along with the rest of this brilliant cast, then all I can say is…as you wish.

MY THOUGHTS: I loved this book! I don’t remember a time in my life when I hadn’t seen and loved The Princess Bride. It was a VHS that my cousin had in the early 90s, so the only time we got to watch it was when we were down at my grandma’s house, which wasn’t more than a handful of times a year because she lives two hours away. Since that time, it has been a must-watch practically any time the family gets together. On vacation, we end up with 4-5 copies of this movie on DVD at the same place because we’re never sure if someone else will bring it, so we have to bring it ourselves, just in case. It’s become very popular again in the last couple of years–I hadn’t seen it mentioned on social media much until then, but now it’s something I see there or actually playing on TV once every week or two.

That being said, again, I loved this book! It was so funny in parts and, truth be told, I was a little sad when it ended because now there seems to be nothing new to learn about a beloved film–I’m all caught up, so to speak. I would love it if there was a gag reel on the DVD (hint hint, for the next time it’s released!), just to see some of these stories that Cary talks about. I laughed out loud at times while reading this, which you wouldn’t exactly think about happening since it’s a non-fiction book. A few of my favorite parts were:

  • When Andre the Giant actually managed to drink so much that he passed out…in the hotel lobby where they left him because he was too big to move.
  • When Cary broke his big toe while playing on Andre’s ATV (or the fact that the ATV was the only way Andre could get around some of the locations because he was too big for the vans).
  • When Chris Guest knocked out Cary and he woke up in the hospital from the scene when Count Rugen knocks out Westley after the Fire Swamp with the butt of his sword.
  • When they filmed the famous sword fight, for almost a week. And that Cary and Mandy were the actually swordsmen, not some doubles (except the acrobatic flip).
  • And perhaps my ultimate favorite, when Cary described the scene when Count Rugen sucks a year of Westley’s life away and he talked about how hard it was for him to be serious with suction cups attached to his nipples with a comedian standing over him 🙂

I hope those didn’t spoil anything, and there were plenty of other funny parts. These are just the ones that stick out most in my mind, and the next time I watch the movie, I’ll think of these things and it’ll make the experience that much better.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

18143977TITLE: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
LENGTH: 530 pages
GENRE: historical fiction (France, Germany, WWII, soldiers, occupation, war)
ISBN: 9781476746586
REASON FOR READING: local library book club pick

SUMMARY (from Goodreads):

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

MY THOUGHTS: My favorite war to read/learn about is WWII, so it was no surprise when I found this book really interesting. It was a quick read. The story reads from three simultaneous storylines, but mostly going back and forth between the young French girl Marie-Laure and young German boy Werner. The chapters are very short, and the sections of the book go from the day they meet back to the beginning of how their lives first became connected. I was constantly intrigued because I wanted to know how they finally meet, if that was the case because I wasn’t sure it would end that well.

The only part I didn’t like about the book was the end, when we jumped from 1944 to the 1970s, and then further to 2014. Had this been an epilogue, I might not have even read it. I don’t usually like big time jumps like this. I actually would personally prefer for the story to end with a little mystery so I can think what I like about the characters’ futures. So, once the story hit the end of the 1944 section, I would’ve rather just had the story finish. No continuing from 1944 to 1945 with a completely undeveloped minor character and then on to 1974 and 2014. There was an air of mystery in the end, but not enough for me…