As I was walking down the aisles at Barnes and Nobles I stumbled upon Dear Edward, with its shiny gold BOOK CLUB sticker on it I decided it would be my next read. However what I didn’t know was the massive impact it would have on me. Dear Edward is a novel that revolves around twelve-year-old Edward Adler. Edward and is family are making a huge move to Los Angeles which is how they end up on an airplane with 183 other passengers. About half way to the destination the plane crashes leaving only one survivor Edward Adler somehow he is the only one alive. In this novel the reader really gets insight on what Edward feels throughout his journey of recovery not just physically but also mentally. When Edward is left without his sibling or parents custody is given to his aunt Lacey and uncle John. Edward awakens in the hospital trying to piece together the last moments of his life on the airplane. Shockingly Edward survived the plane crash with minimal injuries some bruised ribs and the most damaging area is his leg which he recovers from shortly and is released from the hospital. When Edward gets to Lacey and Johns home he is suddenly having to face the reality of his situation. Edward finds himself in a new room full of items that don’t belong to him and is wishing he could just be back in the hospital. But when Besa and her daughter Shay come knocking at the door Edward will soon find the comfort that he needs. Shay and Edward meet and Shay shares a story about Edwards brother Jordan and in that moment Edward is taken back to the crash. Edward constantly feels like it should have been his brother who survived not him and the reader really gets insight on were Edwards mind seems to wonder off to and the battle he has within. Edward finds himself at Besa’s front steps asking to speak to shay and once he makes his way to her room he is suddenly able to just be a normal kid. Not the “miracle boy” or the “lucky one” he gets to just be a normal boy. Edward finds comfort in speaking to Shay and soon finds himself sleeping in her room every night and creating an unspoken bond with her. Edward and Shay become each others savior throughout the book and soon Shay finds herself helping Edward face his new life. Edward soon realizes that his aunt and uncle are facing marital issues and can’t help but sense that it is his fault. Edward knows that his aunt had struggled with having multiple miscarriages but what he doesn’t know is she still is struggling, but is putting on a brave face to raise him. Throughout the novel the reader gets introduced to multiple people who were on the airplane with Edward and his family from the Afghanistan veteran on his way home from war to the unexpected mother to be. These passengers all belonged to a loved one whom they left behind and soon Edward is reading thousands of letters some from those loved ones and others are strangers whom offer Edward support. Edward is then once again transported back to the crash and finds himself wondering what everyone would want him to do. Ann Napolitano did an amazing job at introducing each character and telling their story in Dear Edward. The timelines did go back and forth from present day to before the airplane crash which i had no problem understanding. I loved every aspect of this novel along with each character. It truly captivated my heart and had me shedding some tears.
My first book to read for the year was The Whispers Of War by Julia Kelly I received an ARC from Gallery Books and Bibliofinder. I’ve started to be more and more of a historical fiction lover. The Whispers Of War did not disappoint one bit. It began with telling the story of three friends who go by the names of Nora, Hazel and Marie. These three childhood friends find themselves amongst the beginning of World War II. In the book the reader finds out the background of each women Nora who is a socialite and attends fancy balls and social outings. Hazel who works as a matchmaker and matches men and women who may have similar likings. Marie who was initially born a German but had been living in England since she was the age of 12. Throughout the book the three women hear more and more talk of the war and the internment camps. Marie is the one who is in true danger considering she was technically born a German and is an alien. When Marie becomes in danger of being taken to an internment camp the girls will do anything to protect her. Which then make the women think up an unimaginable plan in order to save Marie from the danger she may be in. During WWII the standards for a women was set and stone and they were not to be changed. However Nora, Hazel and Marie may just change the roles that women play. The whispers of War doesn’t have one timeline but two when Samantha is introduced as needing to travel back to England as a request from her deceased grandmother Marie. It is then that she meets Nora who sends Samantha back into time and tells a story of a lifetime. Along with Nora we see a romance start to blossom between Samantha and Noras Grandson. Overall The Whispers Of War was well written, I found the transitions from past to present flowed very well. I loved the fierceness of each women and the story behind them. I felt Julia Kelly dipped her feet into each section of the book equally love, war and sacrifices.
I don’t know if it is just me but 2019 went by so fast, I was lucky to have read some really great novels. However these two novels by Kristin Hannah really left a lasting affect on me. Both novels focus on a multitude of themes and emotions that really make the reader feel connected and part of both stories.
The Great Alone was the first book I read I had no clue what to expect from this novel I had only seen its beautiful cover all over social media. One day I stumbled into a thrift shop and saw the cover sitting on the shelf and immediately grabbed it and purchased it. I was completely taken by it in the first chapter and couldn’t put it down. The Great Alone is a novel written around a family of three Lenni being the daughter of Ernst and Cora Allbright. At the beginning of the novel the background of Ernst is briefly gone over and the reader gets a little glimpse of the PTSD that he suffers from. Ernst had come home from the Vietnam war and when he did things got dark and twisted in his mind. In 1974 the Allbright family is having trouble surviving due to Ernst not being able to keep a job. However when Ernst gets news that a buddy from the Vietnam war has left him a piece of land in Kaneq, Alaska he sees this as a fresh start and immediately packs the family up and moves to Alaska. However as good as things start out they easily begin to take a downhill spiral. The harsh living conditions that are presented to the Allbright family makes Ernsts PTSD worsen day by day and in all of this Lenni begins to see who her father really is. Cora keeps a brave face and tries to be as positive as she can and is constantly walking on egg shells unsure of when her husband might be triggered. Cora and Lenni begin to carry the weight around the house and start to meet friends the reader gets to experience the comfort and love from the community that surrounds the Allbrights. Lenni begins to create a bond with a boy named Matthew who she learns suffers from a harsh upbringing just as she does. Kristin Hannah somehow managed to create this wonderful novel in which two innocent children come together and with the damage and heartbreak that they both experience they find themselves creating a safe place in each others arms. I completely loved every aspect of this novel and the way the timeline flows so well, it is easy for the reader to be pulled in. I also felt like Kristin Hannah really dug deep into the depiction of Ernsts PTSD and really made the reader see him in different forms.
The Nightingale was another book I had no clue what to expect, I was aware it was set back into a different time period and I knew it was set in France. Two sisters Vianne and Isabelle must survive what will become the most terrifying time in each of their lives. Vianne is a mother and wife and her husband just leaves for the war. However Vianne has a positive mindset and does not think the Nazis will invade France. Not until she see the marching soldiers and gets a knock on her door from a German captain who demands she hands over her house or let him live with her. Vianne finds herself having to accept the captain in order to survive. On the other hand her sister Isabelle who is the polar opposite of Vianne and is extremely independent and knows she is destined for something great. However when she falls in love with Gäetan a man who is passionate about fighting the Nazis it is then that she sees him for what he is. Unfortunately Gäetan betrays her and she fuels her sadness and anger with the passion to rescue as many people as she can even if it means putting herself at risk. I loved the powerful emotions that were brought into each sisters heart along with the growth that came with each sisters struggle. Kristen Hannah takes the reader back into the time of WWII and shows the other side of the war, the war that women and children battled while their husbands and fathers were gone.
Both of these novels really stayed with me and that is why they are my top two reads of 2019, Kristin Hannah is an all around amazing author. If you are looking for a good read I highly recommend either one of them!
Hello and welcome to my blog! By now you should know that I am a lover of coffee just by my blog name and photo. No like really! I will drive an hour in San Diego traffic just to try a new coffee shop. I also love books my mother tells me when I was the young age of three I would tag along with her into what used to be called Borders and I would skim through whatever book I could find as she picked out hers that she was going to purchase. So reading I guess has always just been my thing, I love all genres and have found myself getting into young adult more and more as well as historical fiction. I hope if your visiting my page and reading my reviews you keep coming back and seeing whats new!