Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Book Reviews

  I've been trying to branch out a bit and read a broader variety of books. I think I've succeeded as you will notice when you see the eclectic assortment of books I'm reviewing this weekend!

A Prayer for Owen MeanyA Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

  This is the story of a boy named Johnny and his best friend Owen.  It is ultimately a story of friendship, loss and faith exploration that follows the boys from their early childhood through their adult lives. 
    Owen and Johnny are inseparable from the time they are young.  Owen is abnormally short and extremely outspoken and his opinions greatly affect Johnny's outlook on life.  Even after a Owen hits the infamous baseball that causes the death of Johnny's mother the two boys share a special bond.  As they grow older they uncover secrets about Johnny's family and learn the strength of true friendship.
  I really am not sure if I loved or hated this book.  The writing is wonderful. Even the secondary characters are memorable. The depth of the boys friendship and the way the story built on itself were amazing.  What I didn't like about the book was how it could go from sweet to leud all in one sentence.  I do not enjoy leudness and it was frequent.  Because of this and the length of the book it took me a long time to read but I am glad that I finished it.  The story is definitely one that is going to stick with me.

Dogs of War by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox 
Dogs of War

  I am not usually a fan of graphic novels but my son loves them and he is into anything World War II related.  He is always checking out historical graphic novels from the library so when I saw this one on NetGalley I thought it would be a great opportunity to check it out and see if it was something appropriate for him.  I think it is targeted for middle schoolers and he is in grade school but it was something that we could read and discuss. To my surprise, I enjoyed it too. 
  Dogs of War is a collection of three stories about dogs and how they aided in the war.  Each one has its own unique setting but all of them explore the connection between a soldier and his dog.  The pictures were captivating and not overly gruesome for young readers.  My son spent half an hour looking it over after I finished reading it.  I love it when we find something that is both interesting and educational. 
I was able to review this book thanks to NetGalley.

Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood, #5)
Dragonwitch (Tales of the Goldstone Wood book #5) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

  The story begins when Lady Leta of Avien obediently leaves her kingdom to become the wife of the future king, Lord Alastair of the North Country.  He doesn't love her and she doesn't love him either.  It would be easier if he had some interest in getting to know her but he has no such inclination.  To ward off loneliness Leta finds sanctuary in the library and makes an unlikely friend in the Lord's tutor.  It is among the vast walls of books that long buried secrets begin to whisper.
  This book is one of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time.   It has epic adventure, unlikely romance, magic and enough secrets to make the pages fly by. I haven't read the other books in this series but I plan to go back and read them now.  The story made sense on its own but I want to learn more about the secrets and history of the Goldstone Wood.  This book has a permanent place on my book shelf.  My only regret is that I read it to fast...  next time I'm going to make myself linger so that I can enjoy the journey longer.
I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishing.


  1. Didn't they make the Owen Meany story into a movie? Something tells me my kids saw it and told me, and then they went back and read the book.

    It is amazing the difference dogs can make in aiding our troops, so i'm glad you found that book.

    As for reading fantasy, i'll run that series by my Little Girl, who loves fantasy.

  2. Way to branch out! I think sometimes I get stuck in my preferred genre, and stepping out is always a breath of fresh air--unless the darn book doesn't move fast enough. Then I just get annoyed. ;) Going to update my TBR list...