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   ASR 2016       SRP 16 YS       YAsrp16   
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The Lake by AnnaLisa Grant
This was a free book for Amazon Kindle. The story line itself was okay, with Layla, the heroine, being a young girl who has led a tough life. At age 12, she survived a horrific car crash -- the same one that killed her parents. She goes to live with her grandparents and immediately learns that her grandmother blames her for their death and does not allow Layla to speak of them or the accident at all. For five years, she feels her hard life is penance for killing her parents, but after both grandparents die, she goes to live with her Aunt and Uncle, who are her only remaining relatives. Life takes a quick turn and she now has a wonderful life -- more wonderful than she thinks she deserves. She falls in love with Will, who is the son of a very wealthy, powerful man, but his father will not allow them to be together. Apparently Will's father will stop at nothing to get his way, and they hint that he has probably had people killed in the past to protect his interests, but it all seems way over the top and far-fetched. I felt driven to finish the book, just for closure, but the end of the book is not an ending at all! The Lake is the first book in a series of three, and had I known everything about it that I do now, I never would have started reading. If you want ANY sort of closure at all, you must read all three books. The second is equally as unresolved (yes, I read that one, too, but will not waste my time reviewing it separately). All in all, there were a few redeeming qualities in the stories but not enough of them to justify the MANY flaws. Far-fetched, sometimes ridiculous, story lines, countless spelling errors and misused common sayings, the lack of closure at the end of books 1 & 2... Do yourself a favor and pass by this one, even if you see it being offered for free.
The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal is a delicate blend of the history of aristocratic dynasty and their collection of netsuke which survived the glory and sunset of its collectors.
The author is the descendant of the Ephrussi dynasty and the keeper of the collection of netsuke he described in the book.
This fascinating story will walk you through the days of glory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the times of Anschluss when the Jewish families disappeared in concentration camps and lost everything.
If those ebony pieces could talk, there would be one more captivating and gripping story. You will enjoy the stylishness and sophistication of this book.
A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber is a quick read (I read it in an afternoon!). It is fairly predictable: unfaithful husbands, divorce etc., but what makes this book interesting is that the wife and mother-in-law create a few simple rules in order to get on with their lives. If you are in need of a "feel good " book, then read this.
This was a book I didn't want to put down, but many times had to just to catch my breath and clear my head. Very powerful, very sad, very inspiring.
A heartbreaking, inspiring, horrifying, informative novel based on the life of Sarah Grimke - one of the earliest women to fight against slavery and for women's rights. Recommend highly!