Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Trafficked: The Terrifying True Story of a British Girl Forced into the Sex Trade, by Sophie Hayes Sophie Hayes had known her friend Kas for years. He was there for her when her boyfriend left her, and was sweet and kind. Sophie didn’t hesitate to accompany Kas to Italy for a long weekend holiday; after all, their trip to Spain had been delightful. But once there, Kas changed. He stopped being the gentle man Sophie loved and overnight became an abusive monster. Sophie was forced to commit unspeakable acts, selling her body to pay Kas’ debts to drug dealers. Sophie became lost in the world of human trafficking – though as a well-educated, middle-class girl from the suburbs she was not the usual “prey.” She was forced to accompany Kas to Paris where the money was better and then back to Italy where Kas could control her better. Sophie was forced to depend on Kas for food and shelter, but was beaten and humiliated daily. She had no money, was cut off from family and friends, and had no way to escape. Trafficked is a powerful, true story about trust, humiliation, and the strength to endure the horror of the worst kind of betrayal. Sophie's story is especially important because it is not unique. Human trafficking can and does happen in communities everywhere, and few victims are able to break free. Though Sophie was rescued, her trafficker continues to pursue her, as she works to end the suffering of others. Highly recommended.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Author's writing style is passive and too fast for the time period she's showing. The book is a work of fiction and includes a disclaimer stating the the author factionalized real people and true accounts. I had a hard time swallowing her disrespect for both Laura and Rose, though. While it is true that Rose edited and assisted Laure in writing the Little House books, Albert's depiction of Rose's resentment and loathing of the job is not fair. And Laura certainly had some talent of her own! I got mighty tired of reading how bitchy Laura was and how self-centered Rose was. Not likable at all, and no one for the reader to identify with! I would not recommend Wilder Rose, simply for the writing style and the depiction of characters.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Monster on the Hill, by Rob Harrell Charming story of a town in need of a monster to protect (and scare) them, of friendship and confidence, of not judging others and of synergy. The artwork is fresh, and the story is suitable for all ages. Very enjoyable, and highly recommended.
Monday, July 1, 2013
The Humans, by Matt Haig Interplanetary Xenophobes, beware! "The Humans" is a must-read story about the condition of being human; our foibles and weaknesses, our strengths and character. As the reader followers the first-person narration, he is drawn into the descriptions of human emotions, interactions, and our own understanding of the human-ness of our world. Our protagonist has been sent to destroy the knowledge of certain information (though not the information itself), and in doing so discovers that our inferior predicament is, in many ways, more desirable than his own. Especially love. And sunsets. And friendship. And why these things mean so very much to us as humans. The story itself is fascinating, from a sociological point of view, examining our collective thoughts in fine detail, mixing them with a dash of Dickinson and a jar of peanut butter, and somehow returning them in such a way as to make the reader almost jealous of each new discovery. The writing is easy, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, always captivating. Highly recommended!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Great, unique story, emotional, visceral. Realistic characters portraying emotions believably. Beautiful language. I made a list of questions as they came to me when I started the book and ticked them off as they were answered, but was pleased that not all the questions were answered. That left me still thinking about the book when I'd finished and pondering, which to me is always a sign of a really great read. I keep returning to it to re-read passages that I found especially magnetic. So what makes us human? How do the living go on living when someone they love more than anything dies? What makes us "us"? And how would we react if the cycle of life and death were changed? We count on death just as we count on life; what would we do if we couldn't be sure of the very basics of existence? Would be truly live if we thought physical death were temporary? Would we even appreciate our loved ones? I highly recommend The Returned, and can see it as a discussion book in libraries. I will definitely present it to my reading groups! But I shudder to think what they will do to it to make a television series!