21 03 2018

furies cover

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more

I was very disappointed in this book, in which I was unable to finish.  I put this in the category of smut.  You start out with incest, then go on to homosexuality, murder, tax evasion, and even trying to buy a jury off.  This book is also full of obscene sexually suggestive scenes, especially toward homosexuality.  I could not believe that you would have 7 year olds having a tendency toward this crude act.  If you could rate thisin the minus category, I would do that. This is like John Boyne wanted to get just about every sin in one book.

John Boyne

John Boyne is an Irish novelist, born in 1971. His first short story was published in 1993 in the Sunday Tribune and was shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award. He is the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Knock Down Ginger, Noah Barleywater Runs Away, and The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket. His books have been translated into over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


12 03 2018

the push cover

When Marcus moved next door to John, they knew instantly they’d be friends. Now John and Marcus do almost everything together. They go on lots of adventures, with Marcus pushing John’s wheelchair and John fueling their escapades with jokes. Through their friendship, the boys discover that their unique gifts make them stronger together.

Based on the friendship of real-life best friends Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, The Push teaches kids that people of all abilities have important roles to play and that we’re all better together than we are on our own.

This is a very enjoyable book about friendship.  We have a tendency to look at the outside…what that person looks like.  But these two boys saw something on the inside of each.  One in a wheelchair; one not.  But their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other.  The best part of this book was how the one boy helped his wheelchair-bound friend go places he normally would not have been able to.  Also, with this being based on the lives of the writer and the illustrator made this book that much better.

Patrick Gray

Patrick Gray has always had a love for writing.  Patrick spent time as a biologist, a construction worker, a high school teacher, a nurse, and a hospital service line director.  He now works with his best friend, Illustrator Justin Skeesuck at Push, Inc., where they help people overcome limitations in their lives.  Patrick lives in Idaho with his wife, Donna, and their three children.

Justin Skeesuck

John Skeesuck has enjoyed a successful career as a graphic designer for many years.  When a progressive neuromuscular disease robbed him of the use of his hands, he had to change course with his career.  Justin lives in Idaho with his wife, Kirstin, and their three children.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.


6 03 2018

lg cover fire falls

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

I totally enjoyed this book.  It was hard to put down.  You really get into the story of Clark and Olivia.  There were times I cried; times I laughed; and times I got mad.  You feel all emotions in this book, and really want Clark and Olivia to just tell each other what they are thinking.  Their true feelings needed to come out.  Karen Barnett has a flair that has you feeling like you are reading about friends.

Karen Barnett

Karen Barnett is the author of Mistaken, Out of the Ruins, and Beyond the Ashes.  She is a former Park Ranger as a Ranger Naturalist and Outdoor Educator at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Silver Falls State Park, and Mount Rainier National Park.  When not writing, Karen enjoys photography, hiking, and public speaking.  She lives in Oregon with her family.

I received a copy of the book from Blogging For Books for this review.