What She's Reading Now

Have you ever had that one book that seemed to haunt you, saying "read me, please!"
Well this is that book. It's been following me around for a couple of years now, and it started when my boss recommended it and kept telling me about it. And then, thanks to the Literary Junkies Book Club, I heard even more people recommend it. 

So this holiday, I've dove in.


From the back cover: 
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives

So far, it's "okay." I'm intrigued but it's not like some of the other books that I wasn't able to put down. 
Have you read it, is it one of your favorites? 
If so, let me know so I'll be encouraged to keep reading! 

And just in case I couldn't get into it and then would be left without a book over the holidays, 
I went to the library and checked out this book: 

The Orchardist 
Book Description: 
 At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a solitary orchardist named Talmadge carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century. A gentle, solitary man, he finds solace and purpose in the sweetness of the apples, apricots, and plums he grows, and in the quiet, beating heart of the land-the valley of yellow grass bordering a deep canyon that has been his home since he was nine years old. Everything he is and has known is tied to this patch of earth. It is where his widowed mother is buried, taken by illness when he was just thirteen, and where his only companion, his beloved teenaged sister Elsbeth, mysteriously disappeared. It is where the horse wranglers-native men, mostly Nez Perce-pass through each spring with their wild herds, setting up camp in the flowering meadows between the trees.

One day, while in town to sell his fruit at the market, two girls, barefoot and dirty, steal some apples. Later, they appear on his homestead, cautious yet curious about the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, Jane and her sister Della take up on Talmadage's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Yet just as the girls begin to trust him, brutal men with guns arrive in the orchard, and the shattering tragedy that follows sets Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect them, putting himself between the girls and the world, but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.

I thought it sounded intriguing! I have a ton of books on my To Read List on Goodreads.com but couldn't find any at the library, unfortunately.
 They didn't even have a copy of 
One Hundred Years of Solitude

 One Hundred Years of Solitude 

 Which I have been wanting to start too. It's on my list of 2013 must reads.

Speaking of those, I made a couple lists of my 2012 favorites and must reads for the coming year for a guest post for Lanaya at Raising Reagan (go say hi, she's pretty amazing) 
so I thought I would share my lists.

 Clockwise from the right; Wife 22, Gone Girl, The Light Between Oceans, Tiny Beautiful Things The Fault in Our Stars and Unbroken. These aren't in any specific order, but if they were, Gone Girl would be number one for sure. (Click on the titles to read my reviews!)

Click on each title to read more about the book on Goodreads.com! 

Happy Reading Friends!

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

   
The Fault in Our Stars
 
 
 
I wish I had enough words to describe this book to you. I'll just start with giving it this rating:
 
From GoodReads.com:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
 
********************
Let's just dive right in, shall we?It sounds a little despressing, I know. Cancer, kids, it just doesn't get much sadder than that. And usually, I tend to shy away from sad books.
 
 Unless it's about an unrequitted love. That stuff reels me in everytime. But this. This book is amazing.
 
Hazel is a child who is old enough to see her future and she is way to pessimistic for a 16 year old girl but how could she not be? She lives in the reality that she is dying. The way Hazel lives in matter of fact, which makes me sad. The machines that keep her breathing at night, the medicine and the way her parents look at her...they are all her reality.
 
And then she meats Augustus after being forced to go to a cancer support group.
 
And thus is a love story I'll never forget.
When does love become more than just love?
Here, in this story, is the answer.
 
I always thought I would describe a book the best that I could when doing a review, so that you would get a great idea about the plot and whether or not you'd want to read it.
But I can't really describe this book. It's sad, but hopeful at the same time.
Hopeful because the emotion is so real that it makes you realize that hope, love, friendship and healing from hurt are all possible.
 
The most heartbreaking part in the book is when I realized why Hazel was hesitant to let Gus love her back.
"I'm like a grenade, Mom. I'm a grenade and at some people I am going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualities, okay? I just want to stay away from people and read books and be with you guys. There's nothing I can do about hurting you, you're too invested. Just let me please be here."
 
She didn't want Gus to love her because she knew he'd lose her. She wanted to save him the pain. I guess that's a pretty good indentication of young love. I wanted to tell her, that  even then when you know you'll probably lose someone, it's still worth it to love.
 
Just read it. Here are my highlights/favorite passages:
 
"I liked Augustus Waters. I really, really liked him. I liked the way his story ended with someone else. I liked his voice. I like that he took existentially fraught free throws. I liked that he was a tenured professor in the Department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointment in the Department of Having a  Voice That Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin."
 
"You gave me forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful."
 
"I fell in love like you fall to sleep. Slowly, and then all at once."
 
There are many more, but the contexts won't make sense unless you read it.
 
Happy reading, friends.
 
 


Book Review: The Healer's Daughter

The Healer's Apprentice

Goodreads.com Description: 
Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny

My Rating:

I really enjoyed this book. I considered my glass half full because the book was an easy read with a lot of great imagery that brought out the 1300s and midevil living. I love reading about the flowing dresses, heroic knights, castles, secrets and the notion of true love's first kiss.

 There's an element of mystery to the book that I loved. Rose is an innocent young woman is also very smart. She lives in a part of the castle, learning how to be a healer from a woman who took her in as a child to teach her. The author does a great job of subtlely letting you know there's more to the story than Rose knows but doesn't relieve too much. The princes who Rose describes in the first couple pages had me intrigued. They sound so regal, I couldn't help but imagine who would play them in movies. I picked Chris Hemsworth for Lord Hamlin and Scott Caan for Rupert.


Nice ehh??

Anyway what was I talking about? Oh yes, the books.

There's a mystery involving Lord Hamlin's betrothed, a woman whose life has been threatened by a conjurer and whose parents have kept her in hiding for years. Lord Hamlin's mission is to find the conjurer to secure his bethrothed safety before they can marry.

Rose meets the two princes because Lord Hamlin is injured and she doctors his wounds. They become friends and soon enough, Rose falls in love with him. How could she not? But his brother, Rupert, also falls in love with Rose.

I wish I talk more about the book, but to do so would give too much away so I will just let you find out for yourself. Read this book if you love the mid evil period  mystery, a little make believe and a good love story. It was wonderful because it would truly a love story that had a happily ever after ending.

The reason this book didn't get a full glass rating is because, unbeknownst to me when I started it, it's a Young Adult book. Which pretty much just means there were just pecks on the cheek when what you reall want are passionate scenes. If this were a "smut novel" as my hubs calls them, there would have opportunities for some really steamy encounters ;) The young adult version means it was a little watered down for my taste, which made scenes seem a bit boring to me when otherwise, they could have been pretty exciting.