Historical

Book Review: The Girl Who Came Home : A Novel of the Titanic

Author
Gaynor, Hazel
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Wavered between 3 1/2 and 4 stars on this one. I actually liked the end very much, and didn't know it was based on a true story, which made it much more poignant. I have read TONS of books about the Titanic over the years, both fiction and nonfiction, and this is one of the better novels, in my opinion.

Reviewer's Name
Krista

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Author
Shaffer, Mary Ann
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This was a wonderful book written by the characters in the form of letters to each other. The story line was engaging. Historical fiction that takes place shortly after the Nazi occupation of an island between England and France. It felt as if you had spent time with new friends at the end of the book. Charming!

Reviewer's Name
Angie

Book Review: The Book Thief

Author
Zusak, Markus
Rating
2 stars = Meh
Review

This book was too long and the author tried too hard to make it deep and poetic. But I read the whole thing, so it wasn't bad. I liked hearing about Hitler's reign from a German non-Jew perspective. Death as a narrator was okay, I guess. I don't know, it just didn't really work for me. Also, although it's technically a teen book, I think it's more suited for adults.

Reviewer's Name
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Book Thief

Author
Zusak, Markus
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This book is AMAZING. On my first read-through, I'll admit I did not have high expectations for it, and it started off a bit slow and confusing. The story quickly picks up though, and it's even more impressive (and makes more
sense) on rereads. It's about a girl growing up in Germany during World War II, and the story is brilliantly told. It's narrated by Death; a completely original idea. If you enjoy reading and writing, you should read this book: It describes the power of words and shows how a book can save your life - literally.

Reviewer's Name
Annie

Book Review: The Other Typist

Author
Rindell, Suzanne
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Gone Girl meets Gatsby in this story set in a 1920s Manhattan police station. A fashionably "unreliable" narrator, Rose Baker tells the tale of her introduction to life in the Jazz Age fast lane, led by the other typist at the station house, Odalie. Good girl Rose ends up in luxurious surroundings, sinful speakeasies, and oceans of bathtub gin before becoming involved in various criminal activities. But is it really Odalie at the helm of Rose's loss of innocence and eventual institutionalization? I can honestly say I'm not sure what the "truth" of the story is, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. A highly recommended first novel.

Reviewer's Name
Alan

Book Review: Honolulu: A Novel

Author
Brennert, Alan
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This is a gripping tale of four "picture brides" dreams, challenges, and successes set in scenic Hawaii during the early 1900's. This author brings us to places not in the tour books. Instead, he describes the life of everyday and impovished people with a frankness that is both informative, overwhelming, yet hopeful.

Reviewer's Name
Tina Marie

Book Review: These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

Author
Turner, Nancy E
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a must read! The characters and the imagery of the time and place bring you right into Arizona at the turn of the century. Written in a diary format and loosely based on the memoirs of the author's grandmother the authenticity of life in territorial Arizona is felt in every description of the land, people and time. Sarah exemplifies the life of so many women from my ancestral past. Strong, courageous, kind, funny, loving and smart. Her quest for an education and fulfillment of dreams touches the heart. I found at the end of the book I yearned to know more about this incredible women... If you do too, don't miss the sequels "Sarah's Quilt" and "Star Garden".

Reviewer's Name
Rhonda

Book Review: Hattie Big Sky

Author
Larson, Kirby
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Historic books are so tough to get right. The history might be accurate but the prose downright boring, or the prose might be fantastic, but the facts totally off-base. For "Hattie Big Sky" the author took bits of her grandmother's past, combined it with several trips to Montana, and countless hours of research, to create a fantatic heroine with the flavor of the Old West who lives in that remarkable era of the 1918-1920 where there was still the possibility of obtaining manifest destiny. Hattie's a plucky little 16-year-old whose uncle left her a claim in Montana, all 300+ acres of claim, that she has to 'prove up' by a certain date if she wants to keep the land. She heads out, on her own, for Montana to make good on her uncle's claim. This is literally one of THE BEST historic novels I have read in I don't know how long. It's what you would call 'clean' teen historic lit. It's even got a spiritual angle since Hattie does an awful lot of praying, but you never feel preached at, which is refreshing. Teens and adults alike will enjoy this book, not only because of its heroine, but because it feels fresh and original, and it's always fun knowing a story is inspired by real-life events.

Reviewer's Name
Carissa