Thursday, May 16, 2013

The River Between Us

Book:  The River Between Us
Author:  Richard Peck
Like/Don't Like:  I hugged it at the end so you know I loved it.

This is exactly the type of book that I love the most.  A great story, beautifully told, simple and thoughtful, not too long, and it very much carries you away.

It's about Tilly, a girl from southern Illinois, who meets two mysterious women from New Orleans just as her brother is about to leave for the Civil War. Ugh, war books, am I right?  But no, give this a chance.  Because it's so lovely.

Anyone who has read Richard Peck (A Year Down Yonder, A Long Way to Chicago) will know what a powerful writer he is without being show-offy.  He's not grand in anyway, but his words and phrases and pacing have such a way of putting your right there.  There were many times while reading that I forgot that it wasn't real. This book is meant for people who love to read.


Book:  Bitterblue
Author:  Kristen Cashore
Like/Don't Like:  Liked.  A pretty fitting end.

This is the last of the Graceling series and it finished pretty well.  Although not as strong as Fire, it fit with the series perfectly.

The last time we saw Bitterblue she was a kid hiding from her murderous father in Graceling.  In the 9 years between then and this book she has been crowned the queen and is trying to come to terms with what that means - a very common theme throughout the series.  Each of the women in the three books have unique positions and powers and are fearful of using them to their full capacity because they are all easily abused.  I loved this idea of emboldening young women to be conscientious of their powers and to use them.  I think that's what the series is so strong. 

But as a finale I thought Bitterblue could have been stronger.  It carried over the theme beautifully and most of my favorite characters were back but the story kind of plodded along at times.  There were a lot of extra characters that you didn't know what they were there for until the very end so they seemed to get in the way.  But the end did clear everything up nicely.  And I love these characters and places a lot.  I think I would love it a second time around.