It’s Been Awhile….

Sorry everyone! Been busy the past couple days, but I did finish two books! Firelight and Between Shades of Gray were simply amazing. I finished Firelight in a day and a half, and started and finished Between Shades of Gray in the same day. Here are my reviews of both:

For a summary of Firelight, it is about a girl whose true form is a draki, a descendent of dragons. She and her mom and twin sister fled their home for a desert, and her mom wants to make her kill off her draki and become a human forever (I know – you thought your mom was bad). But Jacinda wants her draki to survive, so gets close to a hunter that goes to her school. As they fall in love, Jacinda is conflicted between two of her instincts: that of a draki in danger, and that of a girl in love.

This story is immediately intriguing. Written in the first person, you are always first – and sometimes only – one to know what she is thinking and feeling. As her anger at her mom grows, and her desperation to stay a draki increases, the author has you sitting on the edge of your seat just waiting to see what Jacinda will do. You get caught up in the suspense and fear and the worry. It was these emotions that drew me in deeper, and these emotions that will tug at your heart, eliciting your sympathy and compassion for this particular draki.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruby Sepetys is also a heart-wrenching book, though in a different manner. This book was based on World War Two, and takes place in Lithuania, which was taken over by the Soviet Union, not Hitler and his Nazis. The main character is a teenage girl named Lina. Lina is an artist. She had hopes of entering an arts program the year that the Soviets came and took her, along with her mother and brother, to a work camp along with several hundred others. Her father had been separated from them for a while, and she eventually finds out that he is in a prison camp. She has decided to pass along drawings through the hands of thousands in hopes that it will reach her father, and he will be able to come and find them. This story is about the horrors of the war not just for Jews, but also for millions of others.

Sepetys catches readers in the net of her story right from the beginning. Also written in the first person, this book begins with the fear of a young girl, confused and being forced from her home with her family. In that very first night, she saw more horrors than she would ever wish to see, and probably wouldn’t have seen if she hadn’t lived through that war. And her nightmare continued for 12 years. This is the story of a war, so if you are a very visual reader, be careful. I felt sick through some of this because of the descriptions, and could only imagine what the people really felt as they lived through these events. It is an amazing book, enlightening, and empowering people to be thankful that all they have are a few lousy worksheets to do for homework, instead of having to look forward to freezing to death in a camp in the arctic circle with no shelter, even though there are cozy brick buildings less than a hundred yards away.

I encourage you to read both of these books – one for the entertainment, and one for the learning experience. I trust you know which is which, and that you’ll appreciate each of them for their worth.

Sincerely loving this whole blogging thing,
Yours truly

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