This site is basically targeting all of you book lovers out there who may be in the process of looking for a great book to read! I have a lot of things to say, so sit back and enjoy a quick peek inside some amazing works of art. This site is also for authors. if you would like to have your book considered for review, please email me at ashley.denis@maine.edu <3 Ashley

Sunday, October 19, 2008

WILLOW IN A STORM- JAMES PETER TAYLOR & KATHLEEN MURPHY-TAYLOR

well, I have had this book sitting on my shelf for a few months before I finally got around to reading it. I was actually kind of dreading it, thinking it was going to drag on and talk about pointless details of a man's life in prison. I also thought that maybe it would just be too damn depressing. Neither of these things happened. Yes, the book was long, and full of detail, but I would not have gotten rid of any of it; I feel it was all neccissary for the book to be as powerful as it was. Although the book was depressing, I also think that it was just as inspirational, so it had a good balance. Below is my review that I did for www.frontstreetreviews.com. This memoir is amazing and it would benefit everyone to read it. I would not recommend it to teens, only because some of the subject matter can be traumatic to read.


This was an extremely powerful memoir. If ever there was a book that successfully exuded raw, human emotion, this is the book. James Peter Taylor endured years of torment, abuse, frustration, depression, unfairness, and punishment. What is amazing is that this man lived through all of this to tell his story.
James Peter Taylor grew up in a household that was not all that healthy. His father abused him in many forms. He did have a lot of positive, influential family members, but they seemed to pass on when he was just a boy. James got hooked up with some bad people, had some head injuries, and before he knew it he was in jail. James spends a little while in jail for crimes that aren’t too major, then when he gets out, he commits his biggest crime; in the midst of trying to rob a bank he kills someone. This is the setting for what becomes his 40+ years in the prison system.
What shocked me the most, and tugged on my heart strings the hardest was the fact that our fellow human beings can treat a man so poorly. Yes, James Peter Taylor murdered a man in cold blood. Yes, he deserved some form of punishment. His entire stay in the prison system was not simply to pay for his crime of murdering a man; a big portion of his stay was due to people in a seat of power, who held a grudge, lied, falsified documents, and just didn’t care about this man’s life. I cannot think of a time when I have felt so much disgust for my fellow human beings. James Peter Taylor paid for his crimes, but who is going to pay for the crimes that were committed against him?
Another issue in this story that totally shocked me was the fact that this poor man was raped more times than I can count. He said that in order to stay safe in prison he had to act feminine so that a male lover would claim him as his own and offer him protection from the other inmates. How sad that it is a well known fact that things like this go on in the prison system, and yet we do nothing about it. If a man or woman is raped out in the community, we as human beings balk at the notion of someone committing such a horrendous crime and we do all we can to make sure the rapist is punished; yet when this happens in prison, we turn a blind eye. It is disgusting.
I think that this story was meant to shock and awe its readers. I think that it was also meant to show the world that there are people out there that maybe do things they regret, but that they can come out of their experience a better, and changed person. It is a beautiful and uplifting story to know that this man has found happiness after having so much of his life spent behind bars. I would recommend this story to anyone; especially those who work in the prison system, or have a seat of power that have maybe turned a blind eye on some injustices that are being done to people. Shame on them. I hope this book opens their eyes and makes them realize that it’s time to take action.

Monday, October 13, 2008

WHERE ANGELS FLY-STEPHANIE GIBBS

hmmm i had some major disappointment with this book. It just wasn't right from the start. It would have been totally awesome to do a story about soldiers and to get so intimate with them, but this was very poorly done in my opinion. I'm not sure if you'd call it bad writing skills or what, but I had to force myself to get through it.

anyways, you may not agree, it's just my humble opinion.

This story had me torn. I really liked what the story was written about, and I give a lot of kudos to Stephanie Gibbs to write a very real life story about what it is like for soldiers in the war. On the other hand, I was not a big fan to how it was written.
For starters, the story is about a reporter, Logan, who is sent to Baghdad to film the war. She is set up to stay with the 101 Airborne Division. She meets the soldiers and throughout the story she films the happenings of the war.
Logan gets to know these soldiers and respects and appreciates them all. She also meets the medical doctors there and forms a special bond with one in particular. I would add more to the story, but that is it. I feel as though Stephanie Gibbs did not introduce her characters well at all. She did a great job at dialoging them talking amongst each other, but I was never really interested because I felt like I was reading the dialogue of strangers. I think it is one of the most important jobs for an author to make his/her readers connect with the characters and fall in love with them; in this instance, this did not happen. Had we really gotten to know Logan and the soldiers, her dialogue would have been spectacular because you would have really had an appreciation for their personalities.For example, within the first few chapters, Logan meets the soldiers and a few pages later they are all acting like best friends; laughing, joking, wrestling, and talking about serious life issues. In reality, people don’t do that. It takes time to warm up to people and be able to become that friendly and adjust to such a new situation like war. I think that was the biggest part that made this story so unrealistic; there were no way the characters would have been able to be as intimate together as she portrayed in such a short amount of time. Everyone basically worshipped the ground Logan walked on, and she didn’t even do anything special.What I also thought was rather random was the fact that a few of the characters were born again Christians. Throughout the story, Stephanie Gibbs had them convert people. One minute the person would be making fun of the fact that so and so was so into his religion, then in the next they would suddenly have a feeling wash over them and just like that, they were ready to commit to God. I don’t buy that. People don’t do that. It is unrealistic.
Like I stated above, I really think the idea of the story is great, but I don’t think the ultimate goal was achieved here. I would not read this book again, nor recommend it.


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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

THE ELF AND THE PRINCESS: THE SILENT WARRIOR TRILOGY, PART 1-ANNA DEL C. DYE

Being a big fan of fantasy, I was looking forward to reading part one of this trilogy. After the first chapter I became a little skeptical, thinking maybe this was intended for a much younger audience. What I instead found was that Anna del C. Dye had done an absolutely spectacular job at turning this into a book that lured both young and old readers alike. I think I can describe it best by comparing it to Harry Potter. With that series, any age group can read it and fall in love with it. This is the same for The Silent Warrior Trilogy; I loved it, my ten year old cousin would love it, and my mother would love it. This alone proves the immense talent of Anna del C. Dye.
Adren is the sole survivor of her homeland, Menarm. While all of her people are being slaughtered, she is up in the mountains training with a skilled warrior to learn how to fight like him. Adren’s mother, the queen of Menarm, allowed her daughter to enter into this training after much begging on Adrens part. Paletin, the Prince of the North Kingdom, is the one who discovered the ruins of Menarm. Adren’s mother, who kept herself alive until someone happened upon her land, gave him a letter with instructions on it, and then died in his arms. Vowing to avenge her death and follow out with her wishes, Paletin seeks out Adren.
Adren and Paletin follow the letters instructions to head to Lothia, the elf city, to meet Tadren, one of the head Elves. On their way, they get sidetracked and realize that a big battle is about to take place. The same group that killed everyone in Menarm is spreading out, hoping to cause more destruction. Adren and Paletin decide to help fight them, as they both are extremely efficient warriors. Adren decides that she does not want anyone to know that she is a woman, for fear they will not let her fight, so she dubs herself the Silent Warrior and stops talking altogether with a helmet on her head.
Once the fighting is done, Adren soon meets many important people who help her unlock the secrets of her past. She finds out not only who her true parents are, and who she really is, but also her soul mate. Anna del c. Dye does an amazing job at keeping the reader entertained. She really gets you to fall in love with all of the characters. With her knowledge of swordsmanship, I felt as though I was right beside the brave warriors as they fought for peace and freedom.
I particularly liked how she did not go into too much detail of the battles. Don’t get me wrong, Anna del C. Dye did not leave you without description of everything going on, but I find in a lot of fantasy books, when there are big battles, the description goes on for pages and pages and pages. I feel as though she gave her readers just the right amount of detail to be able to picture it all happening in your mind.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that is well put together. It is very evident to see the amount of planning and precision that Anna del C. Dye took in writing this. She will not disappoint!


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