Book Review · Books

Lion


I saw the movie, “Lion,” before I bought the book. Usually I like to read a book first before seeing the movie, but in this case I’m glad I did. The movie is so verbatim of the memoir I felt like I was just reading the movie via words vs visually through a movie.

This is the memoir of Saroo from India getting lost and separated from his brother Guddu at five years old. He begs to go out and help his brother gather what food they can find for their family.  Being little Saroo is sleepy with it being late at night so he rests on a train station bench. Guddu tells him to stay put and he’ll be right back, but when Saroo wakes up his brother is nowhere to be found. He looks around the station and even in some of the trains.  Thinking his brother will find him inside one, Saroo lays down for more sleep. The next thing he knows is that waking up the train is in motion and he’s stuck on the train.

Saroo winds up far from home with a limited vocabulary of how to express where his home is and who his family is. A few people try to help him with no success locating his family, so he winds up in a scary orphanage. Thankfully a nice Australian couple want to adopt him, so Saroo gets to fly for the first time. His new parents are loving and patient. Saroo even gains a brother, another adoptee from India.

Saroo keeps his memories of home in the back of his mind, to never forget them. He loves and thrives in his new home, country and family. After college he decides he wants to find his family. How to find it with the minimal information he remembers as a little five-year old? Welcome the lovely technology of Google Earth.

This memoir is beautifully written. It tugs at your heart, your sense of what makes up a family and how memories can bring miracles. Go see the movie first though. You won’t regret it.

Book Review · Books

The You I’ve Never Known

Ellen Hopkins never disappoints and The You I’ve Never Known   is her best yet. This thick tome follows the story of Ariel and her journey coming to terms with her sexuality. Her father is a mechanic who has quite the temper and paranoia of them living anywhere for, too long of a time. Ariel wonders why they don’t stay in any place very long. That is until they land in Sonora, CA.

With her new home comes making new friends with Monica and Gabe. Ariel has never had a boyfriend before and she’s not sure if she just might like girls. Monica is a closet lesbian and Gabe is the cute nephew of her dad’s current girlfriend. Ariel is leery to open herself to having friends since her dad always would yank her away to live in a new place.

When Gabe and Ariel discover one of Ariel’s rich classmates injured in a horseback ridding incident Ariel is in the lime light for saving her classmate’s life. Her dad is livid because the media is involved and that was one of his big rules. Don’t talk to or be seen by cops and don’t be interviewed. Why not Ariel has no clue why he’s so paranoid.

Growing up Ariel’s dad told her how her mom abandoned them to run off with her lesbian lover. Seeds of hate and distrust have been sown since Ariel was little. Sure she’d love to have a mother figure in her life. Every time they live with a new girlfriend of her dads a part of Ariel hopes this one will stick, but they never stay around long enough.

Will Ariel ever have a mother figure in her life? Will her mom ever reappear? Why has her dad kept them moving from place to place for her whole life? Can Ariel start to establish roots in Sonora? Read this gripping book and find out.

Book Review · Books

The Book Jumper 


The cover of this book is gorgeous. I love the color blue, so the color scheme is pleasing to my eye. The silver font is enticing. The storyline hooked me even more than the cover. Who wouldn’t love to experience their favorite book and be inside the story?

Amy Lennox gets whisked away to an island in Scotland by her mom for school vacation. She has no idea what awaits her. Amy discovers there’s more to her family than meets the eye. Her grandmother lives in a big, old house. There are cliffs and moors. There is a secret library with classes on how to be a Book Jumper. Amy meets fellow book jumpers William and Betsy McAlister. They are relatives of the warring house that due to a truce band together to make sure that nothing alters the stories they jump into.

When a story character winds up dead in Scotland Amy and Will join forces to figure out whose set on killing storybook characters. Who will be a friend and who is a foe? Who can they trust? Is all as it seems in Scotland?

This novel was outside my usual reading preference. I don’t normally read fantasy. This novel does mention current social media networks like Facebook, which with the story being set on an island in Scotland threw me off a bit, but it is set in modern times, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I love the concept of being inside a favorite story, so the premise of this book got me enthusiastic to read it. If you love fantasy and want a fun read I highly recommend The Book Jumper.