Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: The Hour I First Believed

The Hour I First Believed is the first fiction novel that I have read by Wally Lamb. The tragedy at Columbine is at the center of this spiralling novel. Caelum Quirk and his wife Maureen both work at Columbine High School. While Caelum is at home in Connecticut dealing with a family emergency, Maureen is trapped, hidden in a cupboard in the library during the Columbine shooting. What I found intriguing about Wally Lamb’s approach to the tragedy is that he showed the reader the raw emotions of a survivor of the Columbine tragedy and those very close to the survivors. It was a unique perspective for me.  
However, The Hour I First Believed was so much more than just a survivor’s tale; it took the reader on a journey in Caelum’s family history when the Quirk’s move back to his family farm in Connecticut. I will confess that this part of the story was not my favourite as it went back through journals and diaries to delve into the secrets in Caelum’s family history.
The Hour I First Believed was a book I enjoyed for it gave me a perspective that I had not considered before. Unfortunately, I found that there were many storylines to follow and a few that I could have done without. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Mackenzie Blue ARC

Tina Wells has created a spunky and lovable character in Mackenzie Blue, aka Zee. In the first book of the Mackenzie Blue series, Zee is going in to seventh grade and things are not looking good. Her best friend has moved away, she is supposed to be helping Jasper who just moved from England, she desperately wants to win the Teen Sing competition, a new Music teacher and somehow her diary has gone missing. However, while these events were definitely speed bumps, Zee, with a true sense of self, finds her way.

What I really liked about this book is that Zee made mistakes and owned them. She is not perfect, but she is real. I loved the images, drawings, lists and texts. The book was fun with true messages through out. I even found myself laughing out loud at times. I immediately passed it along to some tween readers who also enjoyed the book immensely!

Disclosure: This book was sent to me as part of the First Look program with HarperCollins Canada