Sunday, March 9, 2014

Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon

Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon

Summary from Goodreads:
When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy, crashes headlong into new kid Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music, and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by, and Samuel returns to find his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go.

Deeply romantic and poignant, 'Running Barefoot' is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind us to our homes and families, and the love that gives us wings.

5 Stars

Read February 2014

Young Adult, ebook on Nook

My Review:
I had a friend recommend the book, A Different Blue, by Amy Harmon.  I have not read it yet.  But when I saw Running Barefoot for free one day on Barnes and Noble, I snatched it up.  

Wow!  I loved this book!  I'm not sure what I expected, but this wasn't it.  First off, the story was set in Levan, UT.  I have lived in UT before, but never in this kind of rural area.  It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the culture of this small town.  I enjoyed learning about the people in the town, how they lived their lives, and what kinds of hopes and dreams they had.

Second, the author made one of the main characters an American Indian.  I am not familiar with much of American Indian culture.  Again, it was a fascinating look at a culture.  I have a minor in Anthropology and I love learning about other cultures and in this book I got to learn about two.  

Third, the main female character was a young teenager and we follow her through her life until she is a young adult.  She was a strong young woman who did her best under all circumstances.  She had a lot of adversity, but seemed to keep going and work through those trials.  I admit I was in tears in parts of this book.  She was also a musician and I loved hearing about the songs she would play and listen to.  I wished I had continued playing the piano!  She also read her scriptures and had verses that inspired me as she would write them and study them.

Fourth, this book had a great love story.  It warms my heart just now thinking about it.  It was an unusual romance with people from different cultures and backgrounds.  It started as teenagers and evolved when they were adults.  

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good, clean romance as well as learning about cultures with which they may not be familiar.  

Warnings:  Difficult adversity, but nothing graphic or violent

I would let my 16 year old daughter read this book.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore

Summary from Goodreads:
A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want?

Except for maybe her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840’s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.

While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.

After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza's life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt's death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

5 Stars

Read March 2014

Received e-book from the author for an honest review

My Review:
When I first heard that this was a ghost story I was disappointed.  I'm not a huge fan of ghost stories.  However, as you can tell by my rating, I loved this book.  Even though this book had a ghost, it was not what I consider a ghost story.  This story had mystery, romance, suspense and drama.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and ghostly aspect of the story.  It was the backdrop and setting for the two main characters to experience their own story.  That part of the story was set in a Puritan town in Massachusetts.  It is not an area of the country I am familiar with and the author described the area well enough that I could picture the setting without the setting becoming the main focus.  

This book brought two people together that from the beginning look like they are so different.  However, as we the reader get to know these characters we realize that they have more in common than we thought.  I liked seeing the two main characters working together and the wonderful, fleeting moments they had together.  There were lots of twists and intertwining of the two lives that was unexpected.  I was definitely routing for them and hoped that their fleeting moments would lengthen out.

Warnings: Some violence described and some read/dreamed/remembered (including murder and rape)

I would let my 16 year old read this book.