At First Sight Spoiler Free Book Review

At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks

Intro:

At First Sight is the second book in the True Believer duology. I myself don’t think that you need to read True Believer first to enjoy At First Sight but it would make a little more sense if you did. This second book only touches on character introductions and descriptions because all was described in the first one. It also might start out a little weird for people if they haven’t read the first one.

Summary:

At First Sight continues the story of Jeremy Marsh and Lexie Darnell from True Believer. It follows their engagement, wedding and the birth of their daughter.

The Story:

The novel starts out with newly engaged Jeremy and Lexi visiting New York City so that Lexi can meet Jeremy’s family and also so that Jeremy can pack up his belongings for his move to Boone Creek, North Carolina. While there Jeremy has conversations with his father as well as his best friend, Alvin about his impending marriage. Alvin thinks that Jeremy is rushing things and only marrying her because she is pregnant while his father believes that Jeremy should follow his heart no matter what. While back in Boone Creek, Jeremy and Lexi plan their upcoming wedding and for the birth of their first child. Having only known each other for a few weeks at the start of the novel, they are still learning about each other and with that, have many arguments, mostly because of Rodney, a man who Lexi has known since childhood who has had feelings for her for years. Jeremy begins getting emails making him question the paternity of his child which makes him pull away from Lexi while trying to find the answers. In the end, the truth is revealed and they are married. For the rest of the novel, they prepare for their daughters birth, but not without some worry and concern over the babies health. The novel concludes with a tragedy that neither Lexi nor Jeremy could have been prepared for.

The Characters:

Jeremy Marsh ~ Freelance journalist and writer for Scientific American. Falls in love with Lexi when he goes to Boone Creek to cover a story. He was married once before but it ended in divorce. He has a hard time believing in things that he cannot see.

Lexi Darnell ~ Librarian in Boone Creek, North Carolina. She loves where she lives and although she lived in New York City for a short time with an ex boyfriend she wants to stay where she is. She falls in love with Jeremy after knowing him for only a week and discovers that she is pregnant with his child at the end of the first novel, True Believer. She believes in miracles.

Doris ~ Lexi’s grandmother. Has a special ability in which she can predict the sex of a baby before the baby is born, even if it is too early for the doctors to tell. She raised Lexi after her parents died in a car accident when she was only two years old. She is very well loved and owns a restaurant in town called Herb’s.

Rachel ~ Lexi’s childhood friend who is like a sister to her. She works at Herb’s and is a lot more adventurous than Lexi. She has feelings for Rodney, even though she knows about his feelings for Lexi.

Rodney ~ A childhood friend of Lexi and Rachel. He has had feelings for Lexi for years. He is a cop in the town and dislikes Jeremy from the beginning because he knows that Lexi has feelings for him. Eventually he falls for Rachel and they become a couple.

Alvin ~ He is Jeremy’s best friend from New York City. He questions Jeremy’s upcoming wedding and doesn’t really think that he should marry Lexi so quickly. He has tattoos and many piercings.

The Romance/Tragedy:

There is both romance and tragedy in First Believer. The romance between Lexi and Jeremy happens very quickly but they believe that they are meant for each other and they are madly in love. They are also excited to welcome a baby together. There is also the romance between Rodney and Rachel, although on a lot smaller of a scale, it works into the story pretty well. The tragedy doesn’t really come along until the last 30 pages or so but it is so unexpected, at least for me and so sad. It’s not something that anyone can prepare for, especially Jeremy and Lexi.

The Writing/Author:

The writing of this book is done beautifully. I love Nicholas Sparks and his writing and this book did not disappoint. It was everything you could hope for in a Nicholas Sparks novel. There was love, happiness, passion, heartache, healing, mystery. The writing was done in a way that made the story believable and not corny at all, as some romance novels can be. I sat there living this life with Jeremy and Lexi and watching them grow as a couple and as a family.

Issues:

As always, I have no issues with this novel. I love Nicholas Sparks and the way he tells a story. He has never disappointed me in one of his books.

Conclusion:

I loved this book. Not since 2010 when The Last Song came out, have I cried so hard. This book made me laugh, it gave me hope and it made me cry. It’s basically what happens anytime I read Nicholas Sparks! I 100 percent recommend this boo and give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

That’s my review for At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks. I hope you enjoyed it and definitely go and read it if you haven’t already.

Keep reading…Lola

Authors I Have Never Read But Want To

Today I decided to blog about some authors that I haven’t read yet but I have been wanting to for a while.

1. Danielle Steel ~ I have seen many of the movies based on her books but I have never read any of them. I really enjoyed the movies that I did see so I am sure that I will love the books.

2. Agatha Christie ~ I have heard about Agatha Christie since I was a kid but surprisingly, I have never read any of her work. I have heard from people who love her writing and I have heard from people that don’t but I want to make my own mind up and hopefully pick one of her books up in the future.

3. Emily Bronte ~ Never read anything by her but I have been wanting to read Wuthering Heights for years. I bought the book from the library and can’t wait to pick it up.

4. Charlotte Bronte ~ I watched the movie Jane Eyre and since then I have been wanting to read the book. This is another one that I bought from the library and I am hoping to pick it up very soon.

5. Iris Johansen ~ I watched The Killing Game when it came on television and found out that it was based on a book so I went out and bought it.

6. Jodi Picoult ~ Like Danielle Steel, I have seen some of the movies based on Jodi Picoult’s books and really enjoyed them so I am looking forward to picking up the books. (After I posted this I realized that I have read My Sister’s Keeper)

7. Wally Lamb ~ I have been wanting to read She’s Come Undone for years and when I saw it at a local thrift store I had to pick it up.

So those are my top choices for authors I haven’t read but want to. There are some more but these are just the ones that I am really looking forward to and can’t wait to pick them up.

Who are some authors that you haven’t read but want to?

Keep reading…Lola

 

May BookCase.Club Unboxing

I am so excited for today’s blog. It is the unboxing for the BookCase.Club subscription box. This is a monthly subscription box starting at $9.99 a month with $5 shipping. Each month you get two books from the theme of your choosing. The choices are the following…

Blind Date ~ Paranormal Romance

Strange Worlds ~ Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Teenage Dreams ~ Young Adult

Thrill Seeker ~ Mystery/Thriller

Read To Me ~ Children’s (You get 4 of these a month)

Booking For Love ~ Romance

Quarterly Cookbooks ~ Cookbooks (2 every 3 months)

Quarterly Military History ~ Military History (2 every 3 months)

I wanted to play it safe since I didn’t know much about this subscription box so I chose the Young Adult box.


In the box you receive the two books that they chose as well as a booklet telling you about each book and all of their social media. The front has a quote by C.S. Lewis (I don’t know if it is the same every month)
The Quote is “We read to know that we are not alone.” ~ C.S. Lewis

The books I got this month (again I don’t know if every young adult box is the same) were Feuds and Rules Of Summer.

Feuds by Avery Hastings

Perfection comes at a deadly cost. Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads when she meets Cole. Davis has no idea that Cole is a rising star in the Feuds, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Then a deadly virus takes hold and her friends start dying. The Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole.

Rules Of Summer by Joanna Philbin

When 17 year old Rory steps off the bus it’s as if she’s entered another universe. She’s signed on to be a summer errand girl for the Rules. 17 year old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It’s the summer for taking chances.

Those are both the summaries from the pamphlet.

Both books sound really good and I am looking forward to reading them. I have even changed one of the books in my reading challenge and added Rules Of Summer instead.

You can find out more info on their website bookcase.club

They are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

@BookCaseClub

#BCCUnboxing

Keep reading…Lola

 

The Color Purple Spoiler Free Review

This is my review for The Color Purple by Alice Walker.


EditIntro:

The Color Purple is a novel written in 1982 by American author Alice Walker. It won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The novel is written in the form of letters and diary entries starting with Dear God.

Summary:

The novel takes place mostly in Georgia and focuses on the life of African American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s. It has also been adapted into a movie and a musical of the same name.

The Story:

The story centers around Celie, a 14 year old girl who is raped and beaten by her father. She writes letters to God describing the events as they happen in her life. Celie and her younger sister Nettie learn that a man only called Mister wants to marry Nettie but after their father refuses, he eventually agrees to marry Celie instead, as he needs a mother for his children and someone to keep his house. The children treat her badly and Mister beats her as well. Shortly after their marriage, Nettie runs away to their home and after her husband makes sexual advances that are turned down, he makes her leave. She leaves promising to write, but when Celie never hears from her she believes that she is dead. Time passes and Misters’ children grow up and leave home. Celie begins a special relationship with one of Misters ex lovers. She helps Celie discover that Mister has been hiding Nettie’s letters for years. Eventually Celie leaves Mister and starts her own life, although they do form a friendship down the line.

The Characters:

Celie ~ The main character who is raped and has two children while a teenager by her father, which he gives away shortly after their births. She is then given away to marry Mister where she suffers beatings as well. She eventually gains her independence with the help of Misters’ sometimes lover, Shug.

Nettie ~ Celie’s 12 year old sister. She runs away from home shortly after Celie’s marriage but is forced to leave when Mister makes sexual advances towards her. Celie never gets the letters Nettie promised and believed her to be dead, although she is taken in by a missionary couple and moves to African where she becomes a missionary as well.

Shug ~ Blue’s singer who is also Mister’s lover. She becomes Celie’s friend and eventually her lover. She becomes a mentor for Celie and helps her become an independent and assertive woman. She helps Celie discover the hidden letter from Nettie and helps her start up her own sewing business.

Mister ~ The man that Celie marries. He originally wanted to marry Nettie but their father said she was too young and so he settles for Celie instead. He abuses Celie  and uses her to help raise his children. Shug makes him realize that he has treated Celie badly and eventually seeks a friendship with her, at times even helping her sew.

The Romance/Tragedy:

For me the novel had both. I thought it was tragic the way that Celie grew up being raped and beaten by her supposed father, mothering two of his children that were taken away shortly after their births, being forced to marry a man that also beat her, was mistreated by his children, and spent years thinking that her sister was dead. I also loved the romance between Celie and Shug. Although not a central part of the story, I loved that Celie felt love and compassion from someone other than her sister. I thought it was the most beautiful part of the novel.

The writing/Author:

I loved how this book was written. At first Celie is writing to God about her daily life. She is uneducated and you can tell that through her writing. Later on in the novel. she is writing to her sister Nettie and Nettie is writing letters to Celie but you can see the difference trough their writing because Nettie is more educated and a better writer. I love being able to see the comparison between the two.

Issues:

My only issue with the novel is that we don’t get more of the romance between Celie and Shug. I really wish there was more of that in the novel  but other than that I loved the novel.

Conclusion:

The Color Purple is a novel that has been on my TBR for years and when I finally got around to reading it, it did not disappoint. I loved seeing Celie evolve as a character throughout the novel and I really enjoyed the contrast in the writing styles of Celie and Nettie. This was definitely worth the wait and think everyone should read it at least once in their lifetime.

So that’s my review for The Color Purple. I hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I did. I am now looking forward to seeing the movie.

Keep reading…Lola

 

I Am Malala Book Review

Today I’m reviewing the book, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban. It was written by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb.


EditIntro:

I Am Malala is the true story about a girl who is shot because she stands up for women’s education.

Summary:

Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997 in Swat District of Pakistan’s Northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Her family is Sunni Muslim and of Pashtun ethnicity. While in Pakistan she lived in Mingora with her parents and two younger brothers. In 2008, she began speaking about education rights and even wrote a blog for BBC Urdu anonymously about the growing influence of the Taliban in Swat and of her life there. The Taliban had taken over the Swat Valley and banned television, music, girls’ education and women going shopping. They also hung the bodies of beheaded policemen around town. As of January 2009, all girls were banned from attending school and the Taliban began blowing up hundreds of girl’s schools. In February, after the boy’s school reopened, the Taliban lifted the restrictions on girls’ primary education where there was co-education. A few days later the Taliban leader announced that he was lifting the ban on women’s education and that girls could attend school until exams were held in March but they had to wear Burqas, which is a garment worn by women to cover their bodies when they are in public. In May, the Pakistani Army moved into the region to regain control and Mingora was evacuated and Malala’s family were separated. Her father went to Peshawar to protest and lobby for support while the rest of the family went to the countryside to live with relatives. Her father received a death threat over the radio and Malala decided that she wanted to become a politician, not a doctor like she had always wanted. In July 2009, they were able to return to their home. Malala spent the next couple of years giving speeches and speaking out against the Taliban and advocating for girls’ education. In 2012, Malala was planning the Malala Education Foundation, which would allow poor girls to attend school. She became more recognized and started to get death threats in the newspaper and under her door. In the summer of 2012, the Taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill her. In October 2012, as she rode the bus home from school after taking an exam, she was shot by a Taliban gunman. The bullet went through her head, neck and ended in her shoulder. After the shooting she was sent to a military hospital in Peshawar, where doctors had to operate after she had swelling of the brain. After a five hour surgery the bullet was removed and the following day she needed to have part of her skull removed to allow room for the brain to swell. Two days later she was moved to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi where she was given a 70% chance of survival. On October 15, 2012 she was sent to the United Kingdom for further treatment. She was released from the hospital in January 2013 and a month later had surgery to reconstruct her skull and receive a cochlear implant to restore her hearing. On her 16th birthday in July 2013, Malala made her first public speech since the shooting to the UN to call for worldwide access to education. In October 2014, she was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. On her 18th Birthday, she opened a school near the Syrian border for Syrian refugees. The school is funded by the Malala Fund and offers education and training to girls aged 14 to 18.

The Story:

The book starts out talking about Malala’s father and then tells of her mother and father meeting and getting  married and talks of the births of her younger brothers. The majority of the book is about Malala growing up, going to school, how she spends her days and what her family life is like. She talks about her friends and schoolmates and what she hopes for the future. She talks about her culture and religion, about how the Swat Valley changes over the years and about what it was like when the Taliban took over. She goes in depth about her advocating for education and what she did to help girls receive an education. The story itself is at times heartbreaking. I found myself having to put it down and take a break before I could pick it up again. I don’t know if it was because the story is true and I found myself picturing this poor girl going through it or because it just had so many horrible things going on at times. I love how, although I don’t know Malala personally, reading her story made me feel as though I do. I watched her grow up, I listened to her speeches against the Taliban and advocating girls’ education, I witnessed her shooting, I was there with her in the hospital, I watched her recover and I rejoiced at the prospects of her future.

The Characters:

Malala Yousafzai ~ Malala was influenced by her father’s advocacy and through watching him, decided she wanted to be a politician. She is strong and stands up for what she believes in. Even after being threatened with death she still continued to speak up for what she was passionate about and ultimately almost her life for the cause. Malala is now 18 years old and still an advocate for education. She opened her own school in 2015 on the Syrian border.

Ziauddin Yousafzai ~ Malala’s father. He is a school owner and educational activist. His father was also an activist and that’s where he got his inspiration. He had a stutter but wanted to prove to his parents that he would be able to learn and to speak correctly. He inspired his daughter to stand up and speak up. He treated her no differently than he treated his sons.

Tor Pekai Yousafzai ~ Malala’s mother. She allows her daughter to pursue her dreams but she is also scared for her and for her husband as well. There are times when she wants to leave so that they will all be safer. She is always scared for her family, especially at night when she can hear gun shots.

Khushal Yousafzai ~ Malala’s younger brother

Atal Yousafzai ~ Malala’s youngest brother.

Not much is said about her siblings. She talks about how when they had to evacuate they had to leave their pet chickens and when they returned they were heartbroken because they had died.

Fazal Hayat “Fazlullah” ~ Militant leader. Lead the Taliban in Swat. He started an illegal local FM radio channel in The Swat Valley. He preaches forcing vice and virtue. He takes an anti-western Jihadi stance.

The Taliban ~ Islamic fundamentalist political movement. It is condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia Law, which has resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans, especially women.

Sharia Law ~ Religious legal system governing the members of the Islamic faith. Derived from Quran and Hadith. Deals with topics including crime, politics, marriage contracts, trade regulations, economics, sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting.

There are lots more people who are mentioned throughout this memoir but these are the ones that I feel are the most important to know about.

The Tragedy:

Malala is 15 when she is gunned down by the Taliban. Close to death many times, she pulls through and comes out stronger. She is taken away from the only home she has ever known and brought to the United Kingdom. She had to leave her school, friends, and most of her family. All of this is tragic and sad. Even though she was threatened she still continued to work toward what she wanted. She was shot standing up for what she believed in and when she recovered she still continued to stand up for education.

The Writing/Author:

I loved the way this memoir was written. I have never met this woman and I have never heard her speak. I just recently learned about her through this book, but I feel as though I know her through her writing. I was right there living through it and feeling everything she did. I feel like it was her telling the story the way she wanted people to hear it. I really enjoyed this memoir and I’m actually interested in learning more about Malala and what she has accomplished in her life so far.

Issues:

I actually had no issues with this book other than the obvious horrible things that had to take place for this memoir to come about.

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed this book. I had a hard time putting it down but also at times I had a hard time picking it up. Some of the things were so horrible and it’s just unbelievable that people had to actually live that way. I loved that in the beginning of the memoir, Malala talked about how boys were celebrated when they were born but daughters were not. She talked about how she was her fathers pride and joy and he didn’t celebrate her any less because she was a girl. That melted my heart. I loved how her parents didn’t conform to all the traditions, for instance Malala didn’t cover her face outside. I only came across this book because I had to look up political memoirs to read for the 2016 POP Sugar Reading Challenge but I am so glad that I picked this one. I am looking forward to keeping up with Malala and seeing what else she accomplishes in her lifetime.

That’s my review for I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban. I hope you enjoyed it and by no means does this review come close to what this book is really about and how amazing it truly is. I recommend it to anyone.

Keep reading…Lola

 

How To Read More Books

This Blog post is a little different than what I have posted in the past. This is a list of things that I think can help you read more books. Enjoy!

1. Turn off your phone. If there are no distractions, chances are you will read more.

2. Carry a book at all times. If you commute to work, if you travel or if you are waiting in lines or waiting for an appointment these are good times to pop open a book.

3. Have another book ready before you finish the one you’re reading/ Make a TBR. Having a list of books you want to read and having them at your disposal is the easiest way to keep reading.

4. If you are not enjoying a book, stop reading it. This only goes for free reading. If you have a book you need to read for a class assignment then definitely keep reading it otherwise you will get in trouble!

5. Schedule time for reading. Make time each day that is strictly for reading whether its for 30 minutes or 2 hours. You can also go to bed a little earlier at night and read before falling asleep.

6. Keep a reading log and share it. This way you know what you’ve read and what you like so you are less likely to grab a book that you don’t like too much. Also you could get recommendations this way if you share.

7. Get a Kindle or other E-Reader. Amazon has a lot of good free books. If you don’t want to buy a Kindle you can also just download the Kindle App for free on your phone. All you need to do is make an Amazon account.

8. Join A Book Club. This can also bring to your attention books that you may not have thought to read before but turn out to be amazing.

9. Subscribe to BookTubers. They have lots of good book ideas and most have reviews so you can browse and see what interests you. I love Hails Hearts Nyc, Alita Joy, Super Space Chick and TheBookHoarder.

10. Start a blog. You can interact with other readers and get ideas.

11. Get on Goodreads. You can see what other people are reading and what they like. You can also get recommendations based on things you have read.

12. Subscribe to a book service. These you have to pay for monthly and some are pricey but its a good way to get new books that you can read.

Those are just some ideas. If you have any let me know.

Keep reading…Lola

April Book Haul

Here are all the books I picked up in the month of April. Most of them I got used at $1 or $2 a piece. I hope you enjoy..

I went to two different Goodwill stores and picked up quite a few good books that I have either wanted to read or that I have been wanting for my collection because I loved them.


The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne, Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare, Carrie by Stephan King, The Pact by Jodi Picoult, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares and The Killing Game by Iris Johansen. The Color Purple by Alice Walker, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, It by Stephan King, Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, Northern Lights by Nora Roberts, Footloose by Rudy Josephs and The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult.
The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Da Vinci Deception by Thomas Swan ans Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen.

I also got The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling on my Kindle.

That’s my April haul. I am looking forward to every single one of these nooks whether I have read them or not. What has everyone else been reading and buying?

Keep reading…Lola

2016 Reading Challenge: April Results

These are the books that I read in April. I read more than I thought I was going to. Most of these books are part of the 2016 POP Sugar Reading Challenge and the others are free reads. There are a couple that are getting reviews so look out for those in the next couple weeks as well.

photogrid_1485459313707

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey ~ Science Fiction Book

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey ~ Free Read

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton ~ Free Read

Paper Towns by John Green ~ Book About A Road Trip

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland ~ Free Read

Utopia by Thomas Moore ~ Book about a culture you are unfamiliar with

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov ~ Classic From The 20th Century

Cinder by Marissa Meyer ~ Based On A Fairy Tale

The Gray And Guilty Sea by Scott William Carter (writing as Jack Nolte) ~ Free Read

The Color Purple by Alice Walker ~ National Book Award Winner

Review will be coming for this one. Such a good read!

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai ~ Political Memoir

A review will be coming for this one soon as well.

If There Be Thorns by V.C. Andrews ~ Free Read (Just realized I used the book Seeds Of Yesterday!)

Those are the books I read in April. I checked a lot off my reading challenge list and read a few just for fun as well. I read some really amazing material this month and I’m looking forward to May.

Keep reading…Lola

Also…I forgot to mention that I also read Flowers In The Attic and Petals On The Wind by V.C. Andrews in the month of March. The books are on my Kindle and I forgot to include them so I read more than I thought last month too!!!