A 2007 National Book Award finalist, Sold tells the story of a thirteen year old girl named Lakshmi who lives with her family in the mountains of Nepal. Her life there is simple and beautiful, but when the monsoons destroy her family's crops, Lakshmi's step-father tells her that she must earn money to support the family. She is taken away by strangers, sent to India under the impression that she will become a maid in the city. Soon, however, she learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. This book is written in incredibly powerful vignettes, an unusual poetic style that portrays extremes of both horror and beauty. Taken from interviews of women who have been rescued from sex trafficking, Sold is a devastatingly real account of slavery as it exists today in our world.
EPIC read! This sci-fi/fantasy novel had me hooked right from the beginning. I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi/fantasy, but I could not put this book down! It is so addictive. Take a chance and check this one out. You will not be disappointed.
A heart-achingly beautiful love story about Sorcha, a strong young woman with 6 doting older brothers who are turned into swans by an evil enchantress. Sorcha, the only person who can save them, undertakes a seemingly impossible task that ultimately takes her away from her forest in a fantastical adventure that is full of sorrow, violence, adventure, magic, and amazing love.
Rubin's personal story traces a year of experiential techniques to cultivate a happier life. Breaking her project, and book chapters, into themes by month, the reader follows her development as she incorporates and applies a variety of approaches in her quest for contentment. Written from a position of privilege, its natural to question how universally applicable her message may be; nevertheless, you'll find yourself cheerier during, and hopefully after, this read!
Are you looking for a fantasy story that has a strong heroine who is not necessarily beautiful, adventure, magic, amazing horses, gorgeous prose and just the perfect amount of romance (not romance that gets shoved down your throat so hard that you want to gag romance)? Then Robin McKinley is the author for you! The Blue Sword is a great place to start. It begins with our heroine, Harry, who must move far from her lush, verdant Homeland to the bleak desert of a distant continent, Damar. She finds herself falling in love with the harsh beauty of the desert, as if something is awakened in her blood. When she is kidnapped by the magically-powerful king of the desert little does she know what's in store for her. Thus begins Harry's adventure as she learns about her magical heritage and becomes a desert warrior in whom the fate of her world resides.
This sweet novel follows a Chinese teenager's recovery from tuberculosis in a remote Japanese village on the eve of the Second World War. Tsukiyama's straightforward, elegant style belies the complexity of characters and emotions that her well-crafted story unfolds. A tender and easy read that will unexpectedly remind you of life's simple gifts.
Sixteen-year-old Jacob no longer believes the stories his grandfather told him when he was a little boy. Fairy tales about children with mysterious abilities, such as a girl who could levitate, a boy with bees living inside him, and a girl who can start fires with her hands. He decides that Grandpa's sepia-toned photographs of his strange friends must be fake. When his grandfather is mysteriously murdered, Jacob travels to the island where the stories took place and finds, not only the children, but the truth about himself. This first novel should appeal to readers who like quirky fantasies with a touch of horror. Grade 8 - adult.
Before reading Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, I - like many others, I'm sure - only knew Carrie Brownstein from IFC's absurdist masterpiece Portlandia. I did know that she was once in a punk band, but I didn't know any other details from Brownstein's earlier life. It speaks to the transcendent, heartbreaking nature of the themes in this book that despite going in mostly blind, I was more moved by this memoir than by any other I've read in recent years. In this book, Brownstein lets you into the explosive, transformative, complicated world of the Riot Grrl movement, of Olympia and Portland during the 1990's. She demystifies and contradicts the perceived glamour of being in a successful touring band, even as she details how those few moments onstage each night were what temporarily obliterated her anxieties and fears, her loneliness, and made it all worth it. She writes about her life the same way she plays guitar and sings in her band, Sleater Kinney: masterfully, all cards on the table, allowing for and celebrating imperfection. I find it hard to imagine that any reader would not find something in this memoir that speaks deeply to them, or would not see something of themselves in Carrie Brownstein's candor, vulnerability, humor, and hunger for something nameless. This book has stayed with me long after I finished the last page.
While I usually refrain from zombie books, The Girl with All the Gifts, was a treat to read and one of the best endings I’ve experienced in a while. Melanie and the other children wait in their cell daily until it is time for class, Melanie’s favorite part of the day. Unlike regular school children, these pupils eat larva for lunch, and attend school in a highly secure military structure after the virus has taken most of the planet. When everyone is forced to leave camp, boundaries between Melanie and the military personal (including her favorite teacher) become fluid as they fight for their survival among zombies who do not have the rare intellect Melanie features.