The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea by Susanna KearsleyWhere to start on this one? First of all, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley had me bursting into tears with a sudden plot twist that I DID NOT expect. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not uncommon for me to get emotional when reading, but I usually see it coming. You know a book is good when you are so invested in the story that you feel for the characters and their hardships and that’s what happened to me with this one.

The Winter Sea is a great book and I’m excited to have found it, it being the first novel I’ve read of Kearsley’s. This is an interesting story, the narrative switching between author Carrie, who is writing a historical fiction novel focusing on the 1708 Jacobite invasion into Scotland, and Sophia, the woman Carrie is writing about. In a twist of fate, it turns out that Carrie is more deeply entangled in Sophia’s story than she could have imagined. Carrie and Sophia’s lives seem to mysteriously mirror each other, both making a life for themselves and finding love along the way.

Kearsley has written a beautifully sculpted novel that portrays the passion an author has for her characters and how their story becomes engrained in her own life.

I really recommend this one, especially to all those historical fiction lovers out there!

Library Lovin’

I’ll come right out and say it; I LOVE the library. The public library is a dear friend of mine; always sharing books with me without asking for anything in return. Besides a request for timely book returns, which I try my best to follow through on, the library is a giver.

During one holiday season, most of my on-hold books all became ready at once, leaving me to check out 30 books during one visit. To many staring eyes, I carried my 3 bags of books out with a beaming smile. Although I’ve been raised to be familiar with the library (thanks mom!) I still feel like I’m getting away with something when I walk out carrying the newest Liane Moriarty novel at no cost to me. In my head I’m thinking, “I can’t believe they’re letting me read this new hardcover book listed at $27.95 for free!”

Besides the free books aspect (definitely the biggest draw), the library brings all sorts of people together in the union of book love. The sticky fingered five-year-old standing behind the curly haired retiree standing next to the business suit clad gentleman carry the latest iPhone. The library is a community and a getaway all rolled into one.

I should point out that my city’s library system is very well stocked and makes it pretty easy to find the books that I want. Do any of you use the public library??

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherI haven’t been reading many young adult books these days, but I’m glad I started again with Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Hannah Baker, a high school junior, has just committed suicide and classmate Clay Jensen is sent reeling when a box of anonymous cassette tapes show up on his doorstep. Hannah has left behind 13 haunting tapes that explain her story and the events that led to her depression. The tapes are passed from one person to the next, each having a role in Hannah’s tapes and her life.

Through her tapes, Hannah explains how seemingly small events spiraled out of control to create a snowball effect on her life. It was quite sad to hear how alone she felt and the impact a rumor had on her life as it grew and changed how her peers viewed and treated her.

This book brings light to suicide and shows us how much our actions, no matter how small, can affect those around us. While a rumor can hurt, a seemingly small gesture of kindness can make a world of difference as well.