Book Review · Books

The Stone Rainbow

Jack recently came out to his mom and is slowly befriending Cody, whose teaching him how to swim. He hangs out with his friend Ryan and likes to get advice from Ryan’s girlfriend Clare. Life is improving from the previous year when things felt hopeless.

When cute new kid Benjamin starts talking to Jack in art class, Jack is surprised since Benjamin is the school VP’s son. Jack can’t tell if Benjamin is just being polite, or actually likes Jack. He doesn’t know of any other gay kids in their town.

When Benjamin and Jack have to make an art project for class, Jack is surprised how out Benjamin is. He makes a rainbow out of stones he colors and then writes the meaning behind the different colors. Jack is concerned for his safety once everyone in town knows Benjamin is gay. Benjamin on the other hand is out and not shy about being obvious.

Benjamin starts talking about how their small town should have a Pride parade, but Jack knows with how conservative their town is there’s no way they’d get it approved. When there’s an incident Jack has to decide if hiding who he is, is worth it.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. If you haven’t read Caterpillars Can’t Swim you can still read The Stone Rainbow without being lost as to what happened in the first book. A lot of times sequels don’t live up to the first book. This one surpassed it. This book is a powerful story of friendship, family, community and being true to who you are no matter what others think, or do.

Book Review · Books

The Grace Year

Some books leave you breathless, in shock as though you’ve survived a war. The Grace Year, is such a novel. This book sucks you in from the first sentence and still holds on after the last one is read.

Tierney is about to go serve her grace year with other ladies of her county. Some have been chosen to be brides when they return and others have not. Tierney didn’t expect to get a veil, but she got one from the last man she expected. They’ve heard rumors of what the grace year is like, away from the county, for them to rid themselves of their womanly magic. When they arrive at their encampment they are shocked to discover there’s more to it than they thought.

Kirsten is the pretty one of the group, who leads with an iron first. She is angry because she thought she would getting married to the man who chose Tierney. She doesn’t realize Tierney is just as shocked as Kirsten. Tierney tries to ignore her, but when Kirsten gangs up against her with the other girls, Tierney is banished from the group. The challenge with this isn’t just not having access to the supplies they were given for the year, but out in the forest there are poachers. These men hunt the grace year girls. Can Tierney survive outside the encampment? What has made the other girls turn on her? Why do the poachers kill the grace year girls?

This novel discusses what superstition can do to a community. It’s fascinating to me how the view of women after their period has started has changed through out history. Not only that, but the view of the Eve of the Bible as being evil and that just being a woman means you are marked as being a temptress, that women are meant to be reined in by men and for a woman to stand up for herself is a huge sin. This book explores what the stance of women being the weaker sex does physically and psychologically to a woman and how it affects the community.

I received a complimentary digital copy of The Grace Year by Kim Liggett from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own accord. I haven’t ever read Lord Of The Flies, The Hunger Games, or The Handmaiden’s Tale, but if you loved these books then you’ll want to grab a copy of this new book this fall. If you’ve also, read an early copy of this engrossing read please message me. I want to chat about this book!

Book Review · Books

TubeĀ 


If you haven’t heard of Ksenia Anske then its high time you have. I discovered Ksenia via Twitter who was searching for beta readers for her first novel, Siren Suicides. Since I loved the idea back in 2012/13 to get to read an ARC I signed up to review. This novel was intense, descriptive and I couldn’t wait to read more novels from her. This lead to reading Ksenia’s other novels (Rosehead and The Badlings) that have been self published. When I was asked recently if I wanted to beta read Tube I jumped on board.

Knowing a bit of Ksenia’s personal background Tube took on an even more vivid picture in my mind. Tube is a fictional novel about Olesya, a Russian ballerina. She is dating her dance partner for Swan Lake, Dima. Olesya wants to be intimate with him, but for some reason every time they go to be intimate she freezes up. They are on their way traveling on a train as a troupe where Olesya encounter’s her five-year old self.

Her little self hands her Tube, the toy locomotive that her father gave her as a gift when she was little. It was from America and considered fancy. She hears a man’s voice calling for her younger self and realizes it’s her papa’s ghost.

Olesya tries to figure out why she was given back this old toy when she’d thought she’d gotten rid of it years before, after her papa unexpectedly died. She doesn’t understand why her mama never grieved her papa’s death. Her mama tried to force her to throw away Tube, but younger Olesya kept the locomotive piece. It was her one thing that reminded her of her papa and her happy memories of playing with the train set.

Olesya meets a man who works on the train named Yuri. This man has talent to see through people’s facade and notices when they are hurting emotionally. At one point Yuri mentions to Olesya that he can see she has a hole in her. Yuri wonders what or who has caused her so much pain. She hasn’t told him about the pain of her past, so she wonders how he knows. When Olesya confinds in Yuri that her papa’s ghost is on the train Yuri is very concerned. He’s heard rumors there is a ghost living on the train.

At first Olesya thinks somehow Tube can open the locked compartments, but of course the toy locomotive won’t fit in the key hole. She is able to see the invisible hole in her that Yuri can see. Olesya wonders if maybe putting Tube in the hole will open the door. It hurts very much, but the compartments open.
Olesya is brought back to relieve what occurred between her and her father, a different memory for each compartment. The only challenge is that her papa’s ghost doesn’t want her finding out. Little Olesya tries to keep her papa’s ghost from stopping grown up Olesya from visiting all 8 compartments. She only has so much time before they arrive at their destination. Will Olesya discover the reason in time?

Ksenia covers topics that aren’t for the faint of heart. Parent child relationships can be challenging. We hope our parents have our best interests in mind, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. If you were raised in the 80’s stranger danger was taught. What do you do if it’s a parent you are supposed to trust? What if you love your parent and want to think the best of them?

If you are interested to learn more Ksenia click here to visit her lovely website. She is the most down to earth author I know and have had the pleasure of meeting in person. Ksenia cares about her readers and their feedback. You can download her novels for free, or if you want to help support by paying for a paperback copy. Either way Ksenia wants you to be able to get to read her wildly unique novels. Tube is truly a testament to the powerful of the human spirit and love.