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Display Name: Marsap

Marsap's Book Lists
100+ Book Challenge 2014 (105 titles)

100+ book challenge 2013 (53 titles)

Book challenge 2011-2012 (62 titles)


Marsap's Comments    
Cover ArtMy brother Sam is dead
by Collier, James Lincoln, 1928-
This novel is told from the view point of Tim, a 12 year old living in New England during the Revolutionary war. It is a tragic story of how politics and war can destroy a family. Tim’s family and the town that he lives in are loyalist to Great Britain. When Tim’s older boy, Sam, runs away and joins the revolutionaries Tim is left behind to help his parents eke out a living in the war-starved economy. Tim doesn't understand what all the fighting is about, and why his father is so angry at Sam. As the war drags on Tim questions his own loyalties and whether the price of freedom is worth all the ravages of war. This book is aimed at 8-12 year old reader. The novel is violent, dark and depressing at times, though is does a good job of presenting the complex issues of war. I do enjoy historical novels and children literature—but I didn’t find myself thrilled with this novel—it was a little too basic for me and it became a chore just to finish it. 2 ½ out of 5 stars.   posted Apr 24, 2014 at 2:25PM

Cover ArtJuliet : a novel
by Fortier, Anne, 1971-
This book is modern day re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with warring families, a look at Italian history, a family curse and, of course, love. The story follows Julie Jacobs (aka Giulietta Tolomei), following the death of her beloved Aunt Rose, when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister Janice. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy. This sets the stage for Julie's trip to Siena to follow clues in search of her family's great secret and possibly a great treasure. The text alternates between Julie's modern day discoveries in Italy and the historical background of the story of Romeo and Juliet (who Julie may be directly descended from). I think this book could be described as historical fiction as well as a thriller, though I felt it was a little thin as a romance. The historical retelling of the Romeo and Juliet was the more interesting part of the novel—some of the modern characters were just a little too silly or obnoxious—leaving the novel somewhat uneven. A 3 ½ out of 5 stars.   posted Apr 7, 2014 at 11:19AM

Cover ArtBefore I go to sleep : a novel
by Watson, S. J.
Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep—the result of a car accident and a severe head trauma. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he must explain to her their life together on a daily basis. With the encouragement of a new doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory and so that some of her memories will be retained. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? Can Christine herself be trusted to be telling the truth? I loved the first-person narrative and the often conflicting episodes of memory resurrections. The ending was a surprise—though I had some suspicion of what was coming about 2/3 into the book. A fast paced book with a compelling plot. 4 out of 5 stars.   posted Apr 4, 2014 at 3:23PM

Cover ArtThe last werewolf
by Duncan, Glen, 1965-
Jake Marlowe is reported to be the last werewolf. Over 200 years old, healthy, Jake has slipped into a deep depression, considers taking his own life and ending the werewolf legend An anti-occult group has vowed to destroy him for sport and a group of vampires want to keep him alive for selfish reasons (a werewolf bite allows them to go out into the light.) But something happens—Jake may not be the only living werewolf after all. I wanted to like The Last Werewolf. It’s an intriguing premise for a story. However after the first 100 pages I could hardly tolerate the pretentious writing style. Jake as a character was just a bit too pompous and I found after a while I really disliked him as a narrator (frankly I would have been happy if he had just ended things). I kept plodding on and did finish the novel. The ending, when a new character is introduced redeemed the novel slightly for me. However, I really have no interest in reading the 2 remaining books of this trilogy. 1 ½ out of 5 stars.   posted Mar 28, 2014 at 3:24PM

Cover ArtI am the messenger [sound recording]
by Zusak, Markus.
A young adult novel, I am the Messenger tells the tale of 19-year-old Ed Kennedy an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. After accidentally preventing a bank robber from escaping, Ed receives his first playing card with three addresses written on it. He understands that he needs to deliver a message to each of these places, but the card offers no further instructions. Relying on his intuition alone, Ed starts touching people’s lives and trying to understand what he has to do. The messages vary from simple (buying someone a ice cream cone) to horribly complex and painful (saving an abused wife and daughter). The final question to be answered is who is sending Ed the messages. I found this book a wonderful example of how anyone is capable of making a difference in another’s life—whether through a small gesture or a large one. I found myself truly engaged in this book—and found the premise clever and the writing sweet, sad and humorous all at the same time. A 4 ½ out of 5 stars.   posted Mar 10, 2014 at 10:38AM

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