Pure [Audiobook Review]

Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott 
Narrator: Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, Casey Holloway
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Pages: 480
Audio: 14.2 hours
Year: 2012
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Source: Library
Book Rating: 2/5
Audio Rating:3.5/5

Summary:

Pressia survived the detonations 9 years ago. But she is not left without scars. As her 16th birthday approaches, she prepares to live in hiding with her grandfather rather than turn herself over to the militia as required.

Partridge is a Pure. He has lived in a dome since before the detonations and bears no scars. But he wants out.

Pressia and Partridges worlds are about to collide.

My Thoughts:

With the two worlds – the one inside the dome and the one outside – this may actually be both post-apocalyptic and dystopian, but this book is all grit.

Pure takes place only 9 years after the apocalyptic event, which makes it unique. The main characters have memories (however vague) of the Before and of the Detonations. I thought this was an interesting storytelling perspective.

I had a lot of issues with the story. The science, for one. The fact that these kids couldn’t remember what life was like when they were 7 (I clearly remember the home I lived in and the school I went to when I was 5 and 6). The coincidences. I just didn’t BUY a lot of it.

This was a book club pick, but actually seemed like a book I would read anyway. However, I don’t think I’ll be continuing with this series. Someone tell me how it ends.

Audiobook Thoughts:

I had already fallen in love with Khristine Hvam earlier this year. Joshua Swanson wasn’t quite up to her level, but he reminded me a bit of Wil Wheaton and we all know I love his narration.  The remaining two narrators had smaller roles. The plethora of narrators made the book someone inconsistent, especially where they were reading the dialogue of the other characters. I think this would have been better with one narrator.

Live by Night [Book Review]

TitleLive by Night
Author: Dennis Lehane
Genre: Crime; Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Year: 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Library
Rating: 2.5/5

Summary:

I read this one months ago, so I’m going with the publisher’s summary today:

Boston, 1926. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent police captain, has graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.

Joe’s dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa’s Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream.

My Thoughts:

I read this one for book club. I think we chose it because Lehane is a local author (at least part-time) and the book largely takes place in Tampa. And it was fun to see Ybor City in its heyday, filled with rum, cigars, and dancing.

I didn’t love the book while I was reading it. I didn’t even really like it. If the book club wasn’t AT my house, I probably would have put it down and skipped.

But the, once we got talking about it, I started to like it more. I can’t even really recall what it was about the discussion, but it made me appreciate things I’d missed before.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever felt differently about a book after discussing it?

I Joined a Book Club and Actually Read the Books!

A few months ago I joined a book club that one of my young lawyers friends started. I haven’t said much about it because I wasn’t sure it would stick. But when I met these girls and they brought food that was labeled as Vegetarian, Vegan, or Gluten-Free, I knew I had found my people.

In October, we went with spooky reads. We read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Mist. Well, they read The Mist. I didn’t quite make it to that one (which keeps me a Stephen King virgin).

I’ve read We Have Always Lived in the Castle before. I read it in print last time, so I opted for audio this time. I may have enjoyed it even more this time. It’s so deliciously creepy.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was much less creepy. In fact, it was more of a comedy than a thriller. It was somewhat entertaining but nothing I would highly recommend.

In December, we are discussing Every Day by David Levithan (which I already finished and really liked). I am so happy I found a book club that I am actually enjoying.