The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is a prequel to the famous Hunger Games series. The novel follows President Snow during his youth, before he became a ruthless power-hungry leader. Coriolanus Snow is an eighteen year old boy living in the Capitol. The Hunger Games is a new concept in which the twelve districts are punished by having to sacrifice two children to fight to the death amongst the other eleven districts. Only one child may survive, and this year Coriolanus’s class has been chosen to coach them. Coriolanus is given the worst district of all, District Twelve. This
In If You Come Softly, Jeremiah and Ellie are seen by society to be on opposite poles, however through clashing events, their worlds collide. Ellie, a Jewish American girl is learning of Jeremiah’s African American culture. During that time, they are faced with backlash from others that continuously attempt to separate them. Despite this, the pair manages to fall in love and become an interracial couple. Across many obstacles, the pair still believes that they fit perfectly in each other’s worlds.
This book is a quick read and very fast paced. I would recommend this book to basically anyone
The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich is a collection of eclectic and often surreal short stories centering around love and romance. For the most part, I very much enjoyed this book. It was an incredibly fast read, but I thought that it ultimately matched the book’s funny and slapdash style. Typically I wouldn’t consider a book’s being “slapdash” to be a good thing, but with The Last Girlfriend on Earth I didn’t really have a problem with it. In fact, I think the book’s thrown together nature adds to its predominantly light and breezy feeling. The Last
"We're all performing our bruises"
It’s eighty-two degrees and I sit on sun drenched concrete, hot pink book in hand, pebble- small crimson strawberries staining my left hand and right knee. Suddenly, a fluttery brown butterfly wiggles between my thigh and the ground, crouching against my skin. I shriek- being the put together young woman i am- and then quiet, carefully shifting to stare at this beautiful thing that has chosen me to rest against. It flutters upwards too quickly, shooting straight into my neck where its wings rustle kisses much too softly against the most intimate sections
When Le Cirque des Reves appears out of thin air, in the middle of the night, you can't help but be curious about what is inside. And once you step inside, you will not be disappointed. Intricately organized as an elaborate stage for two magicians - Marco and Celia - to compete on, the various tents and stages amaze the nightly visitors. However, the magicians don't know the full details of their competition, nor who they are competing against, and the story that unfolds is one of romance, magic and heartbreak.
Erin Morgenstern has written a mesmerizing tale of forbidden love. The Night
A quick read with a poignant message, Our Souls at Night is a moving story of two elderly neighbors who find themselves lonely after both their spouses have gone, one by choice and one by death. In an act of bravery, Addie visits her longtime neighbor, Louis, and propositions him to be her sleeping partner. Addie has no hidden agenda or sordid intent; just a desire to sleep next to another person again. Taking her up on her offer, Louis and Addie get to know each other all while sharing their nights together. A wrench is thrown into their arrangement when Addie’s six-year-old grandson needs to
There are so many fantastic things about Mr. Nobody that I would definitely recommend it, but there are also many annoying things that could turn someone off. So here is my endorsement, with caveats.
See it: The story jumps all over time and parallel existences. We (try to) follow the protagonist, Nemo, as he lives different lives as himself. It’s not chronological, so sometimes it takes a moment to orient yourself in the storyline. Despite the potential for confusion, the multiverse is actually one of the strong points of the film, if you let yourself be carried along by the stories. You
Facing hard moments is not easy for anyone, especially Jean Perdu, the self-proclaimed literary apothecary who prescribes books to people based on their emotional state. He has essentially shut himself off, emotionally and physically, from the world since he was left by his lover over twenty years ago. Now fate has led him back to that very moment of heartbreak when he is forced to open a door, again emotionally and physically, and give away some of his last few possessions to a friend in need. Amongst those items is a letter his lover wrote to him on that fateful day. After reading it, he is
Let's face it, light-hearted love stories are not my go-to genre. Were it not for the well-crafted recipe of humorous dialogue, characters with quirky faults, and attention to vulnerable emotions, this love-at-first-sight story, would simply be fluff. But it's not. Instead it's the decadent ganach filling the inside of our storytelling pastry that literary so-so fluff only wishes it could be.Rainbow Rowell is a master at creating an underdog you can't help but root for. Lincoln finds himself in a lonely job monitoring company emails and unexpectedly falls for a woman whose messages keep
Philadelphia, 1944. The world is at war and yet Maddie and her husband, Ellis, and their friend Hank don't seem to notice. Having been forced out of their home after a drunken outburst at a New Year's Eve party, Ellis and Maddie are cut off completely from his well-off family. After throwing the final insult and claiming his father was a liar when he saw the Loch Ness monster in Scotland decades before, Ellis plans a reckless trek across the Atlantic with Hank, and Maddie is forced to go with them against her wishes. They believe that they will find the monster, prove their worth to Ellis's
Starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, About Time is a sentimental movie about a unique family with a special gift. At twenty-one, Tim learns from his father that all the men in the family can travel in time, back to any moment in their own life. Tim becomes determined to make the most of his talent and use it to find true love. It doesn't work out great at first but a chance meeting with Mary starts a journey of a lifetime. About Time is charming, clever, intelligent and very funny. In the end, Tim learns to appreciate life and cherishing the people around him. It's a great date movie
Power, lust, fear, and destruction are all words that could describe the story of Serena by Ron Rash. The novel's namesake, Serena, is an eerily beautiful woman who is obsessed with money and the destruction of both nature and her enemies. She is married to George Pemberton, the owner of a timber company responsible for clearing a large portion of the North Carolina landscape in 1929. One side of the story describes Serena's push to rid the landscape of trees and beasts alike. She captures the minds of every man working for their company as well as her competitors who would like to stop her so
Camryn and Andrew both have secrets. And when they unexpectedly meet on a Greyhound bus they prove that fate can’t be ignored. Andrew has decided to take a bus to Wyoming rather than catch a flight to see his father. Camryn has hopped on the bus with no particular destination in mind. From the moment Andrew steps on the bus, he is drawn to Camryn, and their first contact is intense. She thinks he is pompous, he thinks she is beautiful. Both Camryn and Andrew have their own issues but their bond soon develops from travel companions to friends to exactly what each other was missing and needs
Beautiful ruins is a remarkable love story that spans decades and two continents. Pasquale, a young Italian who is trying to make his family's humble hotel marketable to American tourists, is struck by a beautiful American tourist who comes to stay. Her name is Dee Moray and she has been diagnosed with stomach cancer while filming Cleopatra and has been sent to Porto Vergogna - Pasquale's small fishing village - to rest before going for treatment in Switzerland. She is waiting for another man to come take care of her but finds a much-needed friend and confidante in Pasquale. A friendship that
Based in Roman Egypt, Agora is about a female professor and philosopher, Hypatia, who teaches young men about science. Encouraged by her father, she surrounds herself with information in the great library of Alexandria and is constantly testing new scientific theories. She is quite content to live her life researching but several men would like to marry her, including Orestes, one of the disciples that she teaches, and Davus, her slave. Love, however, is not the only thing that Hypatia has to worry about. Although their world seems calm and peaceful, an uprising by Christians begins to brew
Single mom Jess is having a hard time of it. Working by day as a cleaner and by night as a barmaid, she is doing her best to support her young daughter, Tanzie, and stepson, Nicky—not to mention Norman the dog. But it’s not just making ends meet that is the problem. Jess’ husband, Marty, is living with his mother while recovering from a breakdown and seems to have forgotten that he has a family to support. One of Jess’ cleaning clients, Ed, is a software genius running his own company with pal Ronan. But Ed has just made the biggest mistake of his career, a mistake that is threatening to send
The Girl You Left Behind is broken into two time periods: the first in 1916 with Sophie Lefevre struggling to keep herself and her family alive in a German-occupied town in France. Her beloved husband Edouard, a French artist who studied under Matisse, is fighting at the Front. When the local Kommandant takes an interest in a painting that Edouard did of his wife, Sophie is forced to make life-altering decisions regarding how much she will do to survive the war and save her husband.
Almost a century later, Liv Halston is a young widow in London, still recovering from the sudden death of her
The Shoemaker’s Wife is a love story set in the early 1900’s, first in the Italian Alps when Enza and Ciro meet and leave a very distinct impression on each other, then later in New York City where they meet up again by chance. Both of their lives are shaped by their childhoods - Ciro being raised in a convent by nuns with his brother after his father passes away, & Enza as the oldest child of five with the pressure of keeping her family financially afloat. When a scandal causes Ciro to leave the convent and come to America, he becomes an apprentice to a shoemaker and quickly learns the trade
Forget what you think you know about mermaids. Ariel and Disney have no place in this horrific tale of tragedy and death, love and desire, by Anne Greenwood-Brown. Lies Beneath begins with Calder White stating that he hates the cold almost as much as the draw he feels to join his family on the yearly migration. Ever since Calder was taken in by the woman he refers to as his mother and her three daughters, Calder has felt trapped. And while this may seem like a normal everyday problem, it is not. Calder and his sisters are mermaids, and not the sing-song type. They kill for survival as they
The month of Febraury seemed like a good time to read a romance. So I selected one with good recommendations, A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh. This book is more like a short story or novella, so there's not much detail here.
The lovely Lady Annabelle Ashton disgraces her aristocratic, but financially diminished family, when she leaves the community ball without a proper chaperon. She is, however, accompanied by her father's dashing new coachman. This unladylike conduct will surely ruin her chances of marriage to a wealthy, but unattractive suitor arranged by her father the Earl of