Book Review: Burial Rites

Burial RitesImage
Hannah Kent
Historical Fiction based on true events
Published: September 10th 2013

                Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
                Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Toti, a priest Anges has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’ death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.
                Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?


                Burial Rites is based on the true life account of Agnes Magnusdottir the last person executed in Iceland on January 12th, 1830. She, and man named Friorik Sigurosson where charged for the murder of Nathan Ketilsson, and Petur Jonsson that took place on March 14th, 1828. They were executed by beheading.
                This was a fascinating and beautifully told story. Burial Rites is one of the best tales I’ve read in a few years. It is one of those novels that leave a mark on your soul; the story will linger with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
                The writing was beautiful; I found myself becoming immersed in the language and haunting thoughts of Anges as she awaited her fate. I found her relatable; my heart was broken for her most of the story. I wished the book would end differently; despite knowing that it was based on a factual event.
                Anges was a great lead character. I really enjoyed reading about her life from childhood up until she ended up on the farm. By the end of the book I felt like I knew her personally, but not in a way that I found myself overwhelmed by information in regards to the development of the plot.
                I also ended up liking the family at the farm by the end of the book. It was beautiful to see them all come together. The courage and strength the lent Anges in the end was unfathomable in it’s greatness. Despite the coldness and perhaps even hatred they all felt towards her in the beginning, it was so lovely to see some of them turn around and offer her pity, understanding and compassion in the end.
                Overall I thought the book was well written and developed and though we don’t know how the actual events took place it was interesting to read one possible side to the story. I greatly recommend this book to my blog readers, I don’t think you’d regret it!


BOOK REVIEW: Insurgent

Insurgent (Divergent #2)Image
Veronica Roth
Dystopian YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: May 1st 2012


One Choice can transform you… Or destroy you

                Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves – and herself – while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
                Tris’ initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grow. And in the times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable – and even more powerful.
                Transformed by her own decisions but also by her haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so

                Divergent ended with such a fantastic bang, that I knew despite already having purchased Insurgent I was going to be waiting to read it until Allegiant come out.  I was really excited when I could escape back into the fictional world that Veronica Roth created.  The world building and back story that she has created came through flawlessly in Insurgent, a book that was considerably more action packed than Divergent.
                Insurgent runs high on emotions as politics, family loyalties and friendships are called into question and tough choices have to made. The overall emotional intensity of this books sets it apart from other Young Adult fiction novels that I’ve read and I found that refreshing.  Veronica Roth has a way of exploring more mature themes but in a way that regardless of your age you’re able to identify and relate too.
                The relationship between Four and Tris is constantly tested throughout this book, and despite their differences, personal issues and their young age they deal with them maturely, with unconditional love and compassionate understanding once they allow each other in. They’re both hurting for different reasons and together they are stronger than they ever would be apart. Together, they are an unbreakable force, they are a team and one that I certainly wouldn’t want to tangle with.
                Four’s family background and beliefs are called into attention quite a few times in this book and we learn a lot more about him, mostly why he is the way he is today.  He had very strong character development through out this novel. His loyalty to Tris is unwavering, he is heartwarming to read.
                Over all Insurgent was a good read. It left you waiting for the next and final installment in the series.
                I will be posting the review for Allegiant tomorrow and then will be posting a discussion piece on the series as a whole.
                Let me know what you thought of this book! I’m interested in knowing.

Book Haul: August (Kinda)


                Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book haul but I’m here and I’m back in full action so I thought I’d update you on a few books that I’ve added to my personal library recently.
                Which books have you hauled this month? I’m always interested in hearing about new books and of course interested in what you’re reading!

Flesh and bone: Book 3 – Jonathan Maberry
Soul Screamers: Volume 3 – Rachel Vincent
Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Omens – Kelly Armstrong
Shades of Earth: Book 3 – Beth Revis
The Third Twin – Ken Follett
Fall of Giants: Book 1 – Ken Follett
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
Inferno: Book 4 – Dan Brown

Book Review: Obasan

Joy Kogawa
Children’s literature (I may disagree with this), fiction
Published: 1981
4/5 Stars

                A powerful and passionate novel, Obasan tells, through the eyes of a child, the moving story of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. Naomi is a sheltered and beloved five-year-old when Pearl Harbor changes her life, Separated from her mother, she watches bewildered as she and her family become enemy aliens, persecuted and despised in their own land. Surrounded by hardship and pain, Naomi is protected by the resolute endurance of her aunt Obasan and the silence of those around her. Only after Naomi grows up does she return to question the haunting silence.


                Oh my gwad, this book actually made me tear up and that next to never happens! In fact I cannot remember any other novel that has made me tear up before. I will be honest with you folks I had to read this for a study on Canadian authors and wasn`t expecting to enjoy this so much in fact I usually hate books I have to read for school…probably because I`m being forced to read them!
                The book took place from Nomi`s point of view as both an adult and as a child (before and after WW2) and there is a whole lot of stuff in here I don`t think little children should be exposed too so I`m slightly confused as to why this is classed as Children`s fiction. There is a scene of sexual abuse and some graphic details regarding the bombings in Japan, graphic enough it might scare them? I found it disturbing and hard to hear at any rate.
                I ‘enjoyed’ the story, at least the way it was told. I learned a lot about Japanese Canadians that I did not know before even though I am a Canadian. I guess even in Canada we don’t like to throw out ‘dirty laundry’ around. I think this is something that we should know about however, it should be talked about and discussed in detail so that it never happens again. The story follows Naomi’s family as they travel through ‘work camps’ to farmer fields in Alberta where they slaved away on turnip farms even after the war and suspension was supposedly ‘lifted’. This book discusses who was actually involved with the decisions in regard to anyone of Japanese descent as ‘enemy aliens’ despite many of these people having lived in Canada for generations and it goes on to talk about how all their belongings were sold and they were never compensated.
                It then follows Nomi to an adult where she finds out what really happened to her mother when during her entire childhood it was talked about in hushed voices and not discussed at all. It turns out her mother was affected by the bombings in Japan shortly after Pearl Harbour and well… though she didn’t die exactly I can’t really say more either because then it’d be a huge giant spoiler and I’d be a huge giant meanie.
                Anyways I really enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I ever thought I would have. It was very eye opening espically considering I had almost no idea any of this stuff happened… most of what I heard was from my Grandparents… and to be honest they may not have been so… honest themselves? It’s/was hard to get them to talk about these things. The only things I ever heard weren’t the greatest and don’t deserve to be repeated or said anywhere at any time in history.
                I think I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the World Wars; it was really nice to actually learn about other aspects of the war that aren’t quite so openly discussed.  So if you’re a history buff pick this up, I do not believe you’d be disappointed!
                Have you ever read this book? Let me know what you thought about it, or maybe why even you wouldn’t be interested in it? I love conversations! : ) let’s talk about books!
                —Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend! ❤