Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich


Stephanie just returned from what was supposed to be a relaxing trip in Hawaii. Unfortunately it ended up with her spotting a criminal on her bond sheet and bringing the two men in her life Ranger and Morelli to help her out. Instead it was a big jealous mess, with Stephanie leaving all of them to return home to Jersey. Jersey isn't much better. Her cousin's bond office is still under construction, her arch nemesis might be dead (maybe that's a good thing?), and there are lots of skips she needs to find.

Enlisting the help of Lula, the two get in to more trouble than they solve. It's a typical Stephanie Plum book. Easy to read, fun, with lots of shenanigans. The only thing I find is that after 18 books in this series, I kind of wish that Stephanie would just pick a man already rather than leading the two of them on. I feel bad for them.

First Line: "New Jersey was 40,000 feet below me, obscured by the cloud cover."


Saturday, June 03, 2017

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala


Sonali was in Sri Lanka on Boxing Day in 2004 when there was an earthquake in the ocean that caused a huge tsunami to rip across the water, coming on to shore in many countries in the region, killing more than 200,000 people. The book starts in her hotel room that morning with her husband, two boys, and family friends. Her family friend notices the tide start to look different, then the water start to come in. She urges them to leave and the family runs. Sonali doesn't even have time to notify her parents next door.

This book has one of the most chilling starts I've ever read. It's a first person account of Sonali leaving her hotel room, running for safety, and the wave overtaking them. She loses contact with her family and struggles to stay alive. Books don't usually impact my dreams, but I actually had nightmares the night after I read the start of this book. It was riveting.

Sonali finds out that none of her family survives. Right after the wave, she winds up at the hospital, hoping that one of her family members will show up and completely in shock. Sonali has absolutely no filter on her thoughts during this time and honestly I feel less of her because of this. She thinks some pretty horrible things of a child that survives.

The rest of the book focuses solely on Sonali's grief. She is, understandably, destroyed by losing her whole family: husband, two children, mother and father. She shuts herself away in a room of a family member in Sri Lanka, not returning to her home in London for years. She tries alcohol to sooth her grief. Eventually it gets to the point where remembering doesn't hurt her, but helps her. However, this part of the book reads like it should be her journal rather than a book for public consumption.

If you're looking for a book on the tsunami, this is not the book for you. This book is completely about grief and what happens to a woman who loses her entire family.

First Line: "I thought nothing of it at first."