Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A review of The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg

Firstly I want to give a MAJOR thanks to the publishers for allowing me to view a copy of this phenomenal book via NetGalley.

I always thank publishers at the beginning of a review when I've been fortunate enough to receive it in exchange for an honest review, but I'm seriously thankful because I'm in LOVE with this book....and now series.

The Paper Magician is a wonderful new story about a young adult female who is training to be a magician. I wont go into spoilers, but I'll just say 'WOW' does Holmberg have an imagination. She literally takes you through the heart of the book on a ride of your lifetime.

As far as the setting goes, I love a good period piece. I know alot of people may be saying that it doesn't feel in the right time frame, but I love the way Holmberg kept the setting distant, but still modern enough for modern folks to relate to. I honestly don't think it would've been as good if there was 1900's jargon being tossed about. Seriously though.

The book was so enrapturing that I read this in a day and a half (that being said I had a 4 year old running around whilst reading this so you may be able to read it faster....yeah it's that good).

I loved this and I think many others will too.

Personally I wouldn't be surprised if good old Tim Burton didn't pick this little diddy up. Just saying.

Five out of Five Stars from me :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review of A Grimm Legacy (1) by Janna Jennings

Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley and would like to thank the publishers for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.

First things first, I think that this book had a great idea behind it. Like many others, I too grew up on fairy tales and loved the idea of a few of them intertwined together. The author had a great idea here.

That being said, I don't think that the book came to fruition. The opening two pages had me hooked but unfortunately the book couldn't keep my interest. Things felt choppy and rather unreal. I wanted to connect with the characters but wasn't able to. It was almost as if there was a brick wall between me and the actual characters. Any time the dialogue began to flow, the author would chop it up with narrative.

There's an old saying with writing/reading that goes like this: 'Show me, don't tell me'.

Aside from that there were obvious grammatical errors as well as issues with it being 3rd person yet still throwing out the first person vibes.

Personally I couldn't make it past the third chapter. I wanted to...I promise I did, alas I couldn't.

This gets 2/5 stars from me....only because I think the author has room to revisit the story and grow a bit.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review of a Season for Martyrs by Bina Shah

Many thanks to GoodReads and the publishers of A Season for Martyrs for granting me with a copy of this book.

A Season for Martyrs is a truly beautiful book. Personally, I grew up in DC during 9/11 and had a dear friend pass on one of the planes. After that, I always wondered about life over in the middle east. I always wondered about the victims on Middle Eastern soil. What their lives entailed and how they were (a/e)ffected by bombings in their own country.

This book was a lovely read and gave me insight I had been curious about. To read into a life who was affected on her own soil by the turmoil surrounding her, was truly an appreciated opportunity.

I have no doubt that Shah will be an author to hear more from.

4/5 stars from me. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review of Animal Farm by George Orwell

Probably one of the most brilliant books I've read. Though it's a short read (not at all a bad thing), it definitely packs a punch.

While I wont waste time with spoilers, or give any little detail away, I will simply say that it will leave you thinking. Well...one little detail couldn't hurt eh? I nearly crapped my pants when a pig began walking around on his hind legs. Was I the only one who was intensely terrified by this? Seriously, chills up the spine at that moment.

Anywho. It's a grand read for anyone interested in thinking a little bit more deeply on the political and socio-economic happenings....especially given that these things are still relative, even decades after Orwell wrote.

5/5 Stars

Friday, November 7, 2014

Lentil Underground Review

I received this book as a Librarything giveaway and would like to start off by thanking Gotham Books for this copy.

This is a book about lentils....no really it is.

It's actually fairly interesting though and kept my attention much longer than any other non fiction I've read in a while.

Though I admit I didn't want to read 300 some odd pages about lentils and a great lentil farmer, I will say that the overall idea was interesting and was enjoyable given I like the idea of 'real' foods.

So with that being said, I give this book 3/5 stars :)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review of 'The Pinecone: The Story of Sarah Losh, Forgotten Romantic Heroine--Antiquarian, Architect, and Visionary'

Before reviewing, I'd like to state that I got the book from a GoodReads giveaway and would like to thank the publisher for the copy.

Now to the review....

The best way I can sum this book up is this: It's a beautifully written text book.

I know that may seem silly, but it's quite informative and the writer has written some beautiful sentences to enlighten the audience on Sarah. That being said, I didn't ever truly feel like I new who she was. It gave great detail about the history, her family history, town history, the likes. I never felt as though I knew her.

This is the kind of book I like to call a 'coffee table book'. One you put on a coffee table to glance through on occasion. Personally I likened to the pictures more than the story itself.

All that being said, I will still give the book 3 stars due to the fact that, well, it is a nonfiction book and was well done in that style. I will be passing this book on to my dad though, because he loves history and I think given the fact that he travels abroad often for work that he might find interest in this.

Thanks again GoodReads!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'

Bah, I loved this book.

Having and having grown up around folks with learning (dis)abilities I feel as though this is so close to what someone with autism (and some aspergers) deal with it almost makes me wonder if Haddon doesn't have a touch of it or has family who does.

To those who were bothered by some of the repetition of his habits and explaining his 'likes' and 'dislikes', this is true to someone who has this disability and Haddon simply allowed Christopher to come to life.

I think this book is beautiful not only in all of the escapades that go on, but I because of the fact that it actually was as though it was the book Christopher wrote. I was beyond surprised to find the appendix at the end (even though I skimmed it as I have dyscalculia and cringe at anything math related lol).

Brilliantly well done, Haddon. Brilliantly done.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review of Hollow City (Miss Peregrine 2) by Ransom Riggs

As with the first, I really did love this book.

For some reason I do feel as though the first one was better. Errr at least different. This book is just a different adventure. I feel like there was alot of running around and maybe a wee bit dragging out of finding Ms Wren, but alas, I still enjoyed the book.

The ending was quite lovely though. It did make me wonder, why is it that if that one Hollowgast let them slide by, why on Earth didn't the others?

Felt like it was a little silly. I did like it though. Ready for the next. :)

4/5 Stars

Review for Ransom Riggs' ' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)

I really enjoyed this book.

I'm not sure what all the hubbub is within the reviews on here about the book not being as 'scary' as the cover. Of course it's a little creepy, but it's also very fitting of the book. Not in the fact that the book is creepy, but because the characters within the book have peculiarities.

Didn't anyone teach people not to judge a book by it's cover? Alas we still do, yet just because you perceive the book as needing to be 'creepy', the cover is actually quite fitting. Don't downgrade the book just because you had different expectations based on the cover.

I digress...

This book captivated my attention from the first page. I thought it was very creative, and a wonderful escape from everyday life. Enjoying photography myself, I adored the fact that Riggs used old photography to enhance his book. Of course some of them are obviously photo manipulated, but they still add something to his novel.

I also have to note the underlying tones of the story. I do have to wonder if Riggs had relatives in WW2, or was trying to replant the memories in the mind of readers because of modern day politics. Am I seriously the only one who caught this? The similarities of the Peculiars being a dying race, even the sheer use of the name Hollowgasts...Holocaust! The fact alone that alot of the story takes place in the 1940s when he time travels is hint enough.

I have to wonder the simplicity of some of these readers, as the ones who give the book one or two stars. I crave books that make me think, and give me something to analyze and wallow in. Was the only big picture most people took from the book the fact that it wasn't 'creepy' enough? If so, please do stick to Twilight and the likes.

All in all, a wonderful story.
Thank gahd Tim Burton picked it up for a film. As I read this last year I was thinking to myself that it would make a great TB film :)

4/5 Stars :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review of JM Coetzee's 'SummerTime'

Somehow or another, I found this book at a Dollar Tree. That means it cost a dollar...which is a shame for the publishers because it's quite a good read, but also a good thing because J.M. Coetzee has gained a follower.

Being that this was my first find at a DT, I was quite surprised (who knew they'd carry such quality books!?!?). Although this is an autobiography, it felt more like fiction. That's not to say the stories inside aren't true, rather that they sincerely captured my attention.

What I found even more interesting is the fact that Coetzee kept himself at a distance. I felt as though he painted himself more of a shadow throughout the different stories, than the man this autobiography was about. Somehow Coetzee was able to use this toward his benefit, and I felt closer to knowing this shadowy figure, than one might expect. In fact he felt more real at the end of the book, than most people do near the end of their (auto)biographies.

Really good read.

4/5 Stars

Friday, July 18, 2014

Review for RJ Palacio's 'Wonder'

Yes Yes Yes!

I loved this book. Although I believe this was meant to be a middle grade read, it seriously transcends age range. R.J. Palacio has done well in writing a book to inspire many a generation.

While most would assume it's a book about 'not caring what people think of you, and just be yourself' yadda yadda, I felt a stronger undertone. For me, it was more so a book about living life to the fullest, and treating people with compassion. Simply to look past what people are doing in the moment, and accept them as they are.

R.J. did a wonderful job in making Auggie real. She showed us how a real little boy would deal with the hand he was dealt, not some middle aged woman writing as a ten year old.

I personally loved the book so much I gave it to my brother as a high school graduation gift. If there is a book for anyone to read, where they can be inspired before jetting off into the world, it's this one. A beautiful life lesson.

Kudos to you R.J. Kudos to you.

4/5 Stars

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review of SlaughterHouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Really a phenomenal read.

Coming across a classic that I hadn't read yet, I almost felt obligated to read it. At first I wasn't sure what to expect, but once it got going, it was easy to escape into.

When it flipped into the story of the book that was written, I was almost thinking that at some point it would flip between the author and the book, but it never did. Honestly I thought the 'time traveling' was going to throw me off of the book, but it really didn't and I was able to follow fairly easily and was quite enjoyable.

Billy Pilgrim was a sweet character with an exceptional personality.

Phenomenal read, great departure from the usual rehashing of modern day reads.

5/5 Stars from yours truly.

Review of 'Season To Taste' by Natalie Young

I wanted to like this....Actually I REALLY wanted to like this.

I was provided this copy through a Goodread's giveaway (Many thanks to the publisher for the copy in turn for an honest review).

Ahhh, Honesty.

I truly hate having to give a book one star, simply because of all that goes into a book, and the creativity behind it. Yet when it comes to 'Season to Taste', I regret that I have to give it one star.

After reading about 60 pages, I had to put the book down. Actually, I did skim through the book in hopes that *maybe* it would've gotten better...but did it? NO.

(Did anyone else somehow end up with a 'crunchy' book? No seriously, any time I opened the book it felt like nails on a chalk board. I think it had something to do with the binding. I can't complain though, as I didn't have to pay for it...)

Unfortunately I felt this book choppy....and EXTREMELY dragged out. I feel as though you find out the majority of the story in the first 20 pages, and even those are fairly repetitive. Lizzie kills her husband. Instructions to cook husband. This is how Lizzie killed her husband. Instructions on how not to feel bad about killing husband while eating him.

I do realize that as the book goes on it introduces the character of 'Tom', and maybe for some it gave a total plot twist....but I felt simply confused on it all. I guess because I didn't feel like wasting my time reading it.

The syntax seemed off. Things felt choppy. Words were used that I felt strange. Strawbs? WTF IS A STRAWB? Label me an ignorant American, maybe I'm just not up to date on English language, or British slang.

One more problem that I have is this: the main character's name is Lizzie. At first I couldn't pin why this felt so awkward....until the old rhyme started ringing through my head... "Lizzie Borden had an axe, gave her daddy forty whacks"...I do realize that she didn't kill her husband, but simply the fact that Lizzie Borden was the first major female axe murderer in the media, I found it hard to picture her as her own character.

Sorry, I really do hate to have to give a book such a negative review...but I had high hopes. From the viewpoint of someone who quite enjoys macabre, I really couldn't get into this one. Such a shame, could've been an interesting read.

Alas, A 1/5 star book in my honest opinion

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Following Zippy

Ohhhhh the story of Zippy.

This book has been my book baby, the one I've dedicated my time and love to since January. I've spent probably hundreds upon hundreds of hours working on this little sucker. Edits upon edits....and just when I thought I was through and sent it to beta readers, I realized how much more editing was necessary. I was almost appalled that I'd sent the beta copy to readers. Though it had been edited copious times, when I reread it there was so much more to give.

Alas, after about ten more edits (after the previous 20+, with the beta copy), I feel completion.

Finally the story seems to be complete, on many layers. Finally I'm ready to get this baby out there.

I wont give away too much, as I want much to be desired, but I will leave you with a few things to marinate in:

1. Have you ever questioned your place in the world?
2. Do you feel it necessary to find your place in the world?
3. The possibility of something bigger than yourself, something more deeply rooted than your two legged being who's only existed a mere few decades, some ulterior being or force pushing you forward in the world? Pushing you forward, simply because your little string of a life somehow intertwines into a big yarn ball of the world? The possibility of your life, being a mere piece of a puzzle.

I dare you, contemplate on this a little...Feel free to post here, or just diddle it away in a notebook...That is until you're able to wrap your sweaty little hands on Following Zippy (which shouldn't be but a month or two coming ;)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review of ScrewTape Letters by C.S. Lewis

After reading 4 or 5 books back to back that were YA, I had the itch to get my hands on something a little more mentally stimulating. That's not to say that YA isn't fantastic, it is, especially given that it allows you to escape into a different world. I just wanted something a little more to marinate in.

That being said, The Screwtape Letters isn't a book that will take you on a vacation in your mind (at least it didn't for me), however it was a really interesting read. It was truly enlightening for the most part. I'm not one for highlighting, but I highlighted the crap out of this book. There are many things that I'll definitely want to revisit.

4/5 Stars.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hard Copy or Digital....that is the question.

Ahhh to be hard copy, or to be digital...that is the question.

Sitting on my end of the computer screen, after having released my eBook format of Death by Numbers before the print copy, I can't help but wonder what the preference of reading format a book is to the reader. Of course, statistics are now showing (at least through some studies based on Amazon) that eBooks are really selling just as much, if not more than the in hand versions of books.

Both have their benefits. It's much easier to carry ten digital books in one lightweight device, than it is to carry around ten paperbacks...or hardbacks (yikes! I think I just threw out my back thinking about it). Isn't there something comforting in flipping through the pages of a book in hand, though?

Personally, I prefer to have a print copy of a book. Even though eBooks do tend to be cheaper (and more profitable for at least self published authors, mind you!), I just enjoy seeing the book on the shelf. For the ones deemed 'to-read' in my head, it gives me more of a need to read them, as if they're begging me to pick them up; rather than if they're just sitting in a digital file. I also tend to enjoy eye-balling my previous reads that are collecting dust. They become somewhat of a trophy, each one conveying a sense of nostalgia for a world once traveled.

Anywho...what's your preference? I'm sincerely curious.
-C.B. Burdette

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Giveaway Time!

With the eBook format of Death by Numbers already being out, I figured that the release of the print copy needed something special for the launch.

So! In celebration of DbN's release on the 25th of this month, I'll be doing a giveaway over on GoodReads for a signed copy of DbN.

For information on entering, just head over to GoodReads. It's a pretty simple process. I believe all you have to do is sign up for GoodReads (which if you're an avid reader and haven't yet....you're missing out), and click the entry form.

Easy, No!?

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Death by Numbers by C.B. Burdette

Death by Numbers

by C.B. Burdette

Giveaway ends April 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Impatience and Releases

As some of you may have found out on Friday, I have the tendency of being a fairly impatient person.

Originally, I'd planned on releasing both the eBook format, as well as the print version of Death by Numbers, on April 25th. I got both versions back of the company I used to format the book and sent the information about the print copy over to my cover designer to have the Create Space book wrap created. After about thirty minutes, I had a revelation. I now had all I needed to get the eBook published. Normally, a traditional press will release the print version of a books about three months prior to the release of a epub edition. Being the rebel that I am, I considered this an opportunity to go against the grain and release the kindle format prior to the release of the print copy. 

Of course, the print version is still set for the 25th. For those of you Kindle lovers, you are now able to be the proud owners of the Death by Numbers first book. I'm aware that many of you are also Nook lovers and ye shall have to wait around 90 days if you're simply set on having it in digital format, due to KDP Select program regulations. Print will be out much sooner than that, though ;)

Honestly, though. Why are you still reading the blog, when you could by now be sitting through a few tragedies.

Hope you enjoy,
C.B. Burdette

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A little behind Death by Numbers

Want to know a little secret? A little secret about my novel, Death by Numbers, that I'm so feverishly pumping info about via social media?

I never intended to like it. My real focus had been on my book baby, my first novel that I felt a calling to write and share the story of, which is at the opposite end of the genre spectrum from DbN. It was (and still fairly is) my primary focus when it comes to my novels. I finished writing it back in January, and had completed the editing by mid-February. It wasn't until I had sent queries out to about 300 publishers and agents that I started to get curious about self-publishing. I'd read about it and though it seemed interesting, I was hell bent on the fact that traditional was the way to go for me, mainly since I had no clue in hell how I could do all the work on the publishing side. After a little research I began to realize that regardless of whether I tried the traditional route or the indie, self-pubbed route, I'd have to put the marketing on my shoulders.

The main interest in my first novel that I've gotten back so far has been from small publishers, or those who are self-proclaimed publishers, but when they send you the contract info they also tack on a fee for 'editing and marketing'. What the heck? No seriously, that's called vanity press, guys. I may be fresh, but I didn't just exit my mother's birth canal last night. Even the other small traditional publishers offer little for the money they take. Do they do the editing for you? Yes. Do they handle the book covers, regardless of their bad tastes? Oh yes. Personally, I was so weirded out by the fact that I'd be handing over at least 80 percent of my royalties (without a measly advance may I remind you) to a publishing company who would have me doing just as much of the work as if I'd self published, that I began to wonder about self publishing. Of course, I wanted to keep my other novel in circulation. That book is my prime steak. The one that is a story that I felt necessary to tell. Even a snarky small press took the time to tell me how good of a story it was even though they were up to their eyeballs in this and that and had little time to do anything, but they were interested even though my grammar 'should have me out the door'.  As well as my foul language that I allowed one of the characters to display...when he was going through a dark moment....that they took out and sent back to me with the language removed. Needless to say, what the hell asshole?

I digress.

I was beyond curious about self publishing, to the point where I decided I'd create a little series of novellas to test the waters, because I wanted to give my main book the chance it deserves floating through various in-boxes. There are tons of short stories online available via Amazon who have a great following and there was nothing like my books that were floating around as a mini series (mostly romance or erotica with gorgeous eye candy on the cover). Each short I'd publish would be one story in the 'Death by Numbers' series, and even though they wouldn't have a direct connection, they would cross paths in some way or another. As I continued writing I began to fall in love with the characters and even though they were only around for a brief moment, I still felt they shined and connect into the next so well. Then it hit me that I'd be doing a disservice to my stories if I didn't let them shine a little brighter. So instead of the original idea that I had for them to be ten separated  shorts, I decided to let them all chain together in the same book and cross each others paths a little bit more.

About half way through the book I realized that there was something larger at hand for the characters, regardless of if they knew it or not. They hadn't just crossed paths by happenstance, but that there was a bigger issue at play that in the end takes the book in a totally different direction than I had planned. Thus, my novellas have turned into a story where they vaguely intertwine together at the very end of the book to give light on an even larger concept than simply their deaths.

Even though I planned for this book to only be an experiment, I've really fallen in love with it.

Enter gushy meme face here.

-C.B. Burdette

Friday, March 28, 2014

Beta Readers and Book Covers

It's official. After hours on end drenching my keyboard with sweat and blood, I've finished (at least hopefully finished) the final edit of my second novel. The book is a suspense novel that may, or may not ;), lead into another book. Really it'll all depend on how well the book is taken. I made sure to leave it on a note that would allow for a second book, but not necessarily need one.

Now time for putting it to the test. I've done a little search through some forums on goodreads and found a beta reader to do a partial read on it to get an overall vibe. I'd like to get a few more beta readers before deciding whether or not to leave it alone or do a little more drafting. If anyone out there reading this is interested in doing a partial read, don't hesitate to email me.

This means it is now time for me to go on the hunt for a book cover! Of course, it isn't as though I haven't already been on the hunt, it just means that now I have to make a decision.....ugh I hate making decisions. At first I couldn't help but cringe at some of the 'art work' I was coming across, until yesterday evening I came across a phenomenal indie author book cover site. They have some very beautiful (oh yes, these are beautiful) pre-made covers, and a wide variety to boot! Finally I've stumbled upon a page where real graphic designers have made their mark on book covers. About damn time.

-C.B. Burdette

(If you're interested in beta reading a few chapters give me a shout: BurdetteCB@gmail.com)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Gender of Writing

Similar to my tendencies of indecisiveness of whether or not to blog, I've had the constant battle of whether or not to upload a photo of myself for the corner "About Me" section.

Every author blog I've yet to stumble upon has the all too familiar author headshot sitting in the corner, starting at the reader on the other side of the screen. I'm sure that this gives some sort of personalization with the reader. When people can look at a photo and go 'Ah, that's who wrote this', I'm sure it gives them a sense of connection. I do have to wonder though, to what cost? Isn't the best part about reading a book the mysteriousness of story telling? Doesn't that somewhat become shaded over with some invisible haze when we find out the gender of authors?

Being that this is a worry of mine, I keep my pen name to a neutral, unrelated to gender, name. I can't help but fathom how one's writing becomes depicted in the subconscious dwellings of our mind when we become aware of an author's gender. I feel it can put limitations on writers. "Women know best of this subject, and men prevail in writing on those topics" are things that come up, even nowadays, generations after gender equality has been legally established. Even in modern times we have stigmas as to what's right for either gender.

Though, I'm not sure how long it could last, I like remaining gender neutral. I wouldn't want someone judging my work for how a male or female writer should write. Quite honestly I don't want it to be judged at all, but would rather it be a story to take someones mind off the everyday hassles of life. Then again, what is life without some sort of judgement. It's one of the main things as a modern society we do have to dwell upon. Turn on the television and you'll see judgements happening left and right.

Of course, I don't have any pieces of work floating around quite yet. At the moment I lack the need to be judged, however when they are out there, I'd hope for at least a minuscule amount of time that they could be judged for what they are, rather than for whom wrote them.

Your gender anonymous,
C.B. Burdette

P.S. I'm not completely insane. I do in fact realize that the majority of people reading this at the present time are well aware of my masculinity/femininity as you all are friends and family. Eventually there shall be others ;)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Decision of Blogging

The decision to take my writing to the blogging realm has been a bi-polar hell.

"Oh every author should have a blog!" They all say. But what in the dickens is a writer supposed to write about on their blog? Especially an author who's yet to be published. One of the likes who's still sifting their first creation through the in-boxes of countless publishers and agents. One who has yet to get a strong hook in the mouth of either to reel in for dinner. One who would like a strong bite, yet has only felt nibbles.

Do I write about my work? That is, the work that I care for everyone to see. The work of which I bled out of my fingers for months to land in the hands of readers, yet only is only drifting from trash folder to trash folder? Or do you write little short stories to appease to the likes of readers surfing the web. Pulling them in one by one with your miniature adventures that last only a few paragraphs long. 

Although I'm still not 100% sure as to what it is that an author should post on an 'author blog', I did do a little research and guess what? Apparently you can use a blog like everyone else. Letting people get a little piece of the person who wrote the novel they so dearly love. Or in my case, the author of the novel they've yet to even hear of.

It was an interesting little 'diddy', when I realized that 'Holy Hell!', I can just blog about me. Me the author, rather than 'me' the character in my book, or 'me' the campaign manager of my self-published (or yet to be self-published), or simply published, book.

This was the turning point upon which I decided I would blog. It felt cool and breezy when I realized I wouldn't have to think so hard to blog.

Perhaps, this could actually be beneficial when my novel does launch, regardless if it ends up published by some traditional publishing house, or by the lone C.B. Burdette pubishing.

C.B. Burdette
(I will keep you company once a week. Promise ;))

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review of 'Sarah's Key'

Allow me to let you in on a little secret....I always have a hard time rating books as '5' stars. Similarly I have issues with giving a book '1' star. I feel like extremes are wonky with books. I save the '1's for excruciatingly painful books, and '5's well, it has to be damn amazing and touching.

That being said, and given that you have eyes, I've given this one 5 stars. The flow of this book is amazing. The weaving in and out of the present day and the past is amazing. The interconnectedness between the two stories is beautiful.

Personally I'm a HUGE fan of the WW2 era, so much to learn and something that should never be forgotten.

Rosnay has a way with words, and most definitely storytelling. She strums our heartstrings at the end of the book.

Truly beautiful, very well done.