Forget Me Not by Allison Blanchard

Forget Me Not by Allison BlanchardReview copy supplied by Allison Blanchard. Thank you.

Forget Me Not is the story of Adeline Jasely a teenager living in a small town called Great Falls in Montana. On the edge of the town is a Native American Reservation, not many of the kids on the reservation attend the local Great Falls school. The Elders of the Tribe like to keep them away from the “white” people and educate them in their own heritage and legends. Cole Dyami turns up at Adeline’s school one day looking like “an angel” and is drawn to Adeline, which she can’t understand why.

They embark on a whirl wind friendship one where they feel incomplete when apart. Adeline can’t understand these feelings and questions Cole after hearing the Elders talking about one of the Tribes legends. Their friendship is more that Adeline realises, there are more complicated forces at play, ones that Cole is resisting.

I found myself compelled to continue reading to find out about the legends and what happens to the couple. I did however find some similarities with another popular young adult series. I did wonder if the author had read this other series. I definately recommend Forget Me Not to the young adult audience. It is a fast paced read, one with a cliffhanger. I will be reading the second part to this trilogy when it is released.

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Force of Nature by C.J. Box

Force of Nature by C.J BoxReview by Mick Gillies

Review copy supplied by Allen & Unwin. Thank you

Force of Nature is the twelfth of the Joe Pickett series of novels.
After a triple murder Nate Romanowski (an escaped convict) becomes a definite suspect and decides to once again “go on the run”. Nate is ex Special Service and the deeds of his past are finally catching up with him. With no one to really trust he finally finds an ally in his friend and partner Joe Pickett – who himself becomes a target of Nate’s relentless pursuers.
Nate has a love of Falconry ” the ancient art of falconry with its “almost religious overtones” so be prepared for an education which Box delivers skilfully and with great depth as well helping us learn why Nate chose such amazing birds to covet.
Along the way we discover members of Nate’s military unit are being systematically “erased” and with Nate’s hiding in the harsh mountainous landscape we actually begin to understand the events and life that have been forged together to make him the hard “his life to the bone,” heartless man he appears to be but a man who has a deep sense of duty “upright and burdened with ethics.”
The chase takes us from the wilds of Wyoming to the snow covered hills of Colorado amidst bloodshed and awesomely described violence. However the theme of loyalty, ethics and pure doggedness continue as Nate uses all his instincts and wit to just purely survive.

I found this book a brilliant read and non stop nail-biting ride of adventure and relentlessness with amazingly described characters and vista.
I personally would recommend reading C.J. Box’s “Free Fire” and “Nowhere To Run” and “Cold Wind” (in that order) to gain a good strong hold on the characters and how they all fit together.

I give FORCE OF NATURE 5 out of 5 Stars

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The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

The Light between Oceans by M.L StedmanI had never heard of this book before I started the 2012 Get Reading Challenge. So like most books I read these days, I had no idea of the story line, I just dove straight in.

The story is set in the 1920′s and it follows the footsteps of Tom Sherbourne, a returned War Veteran who joins “The Lights” becoming a Lighthouse Keeper. He chooses this path to keep an even keel, a “normal” steady existence after the horrors of the front line. Tom is assigned a 3 month stint on Janus Rock, a speck of an island off the coast of Western Australia. The Island’s population is 1. Tom Sherbourne. He loves the routine of his job, knowing that he has to follow a set routine to ensure the light is lit at a certain time every day and it is out every morning. This routine is saving lives. Not only the ones out at sea, but his, keeps his head out of the trenches.

Until one day when Tom has leave and visits the mainland, he is enraptured by a young women feeding seagulls. Isabel Greysmark is a mystery to Tom, but falls in love none the less. They marry and the population on Janus Rock increases to 2.
During their time on the Island, they try to have a family, but nature has other ideas for the Sherbournes….. or does it?

I wasn’t immediately taken by this book, but I persevered. After a few chapters I started to feel a connection with the characters, which kept me going. This book has so many themes and topics that can be discussed. It would be perfect for a book club. The issues revolving around family and parenting, the different styles and what one would do to protect and care for their offspring, are just so involved and entwined, made me ask myself “what would I do in ‘X’ situation” (you will have to read to find out what the ‘X’ is). The ending wasn’t your average happy ending. I thoroughly enjoyed how M.L Stedman tied all the loose ends together and even though there really was no right outcome, the characters all carried their load as best they could.

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Talk to Me by Allison Dubois

Talk To Me by Allison DuBoisReview copy supplied by Allen & Unwin. Thank you.
I have a fascination with the possibility of “talking” to spirits and I have loved watching MEDIUM, the hit TV show which was based on Allison DuBois’ real life as a Psychic Medium. I have read Ms DuBois other books “Don’t kiss them Goodbye” and “We are their Heaven” and have been intrigued by them. So when I received her latest book from Allen & Unwin, I was excited.

“Talk to Me” covers an array of aspects of this intriguing ability to contact the “other side”. Ms DuBois explains how the spirits contact her and the signs for us to be aware of and open to instead of simply dismissing them. It has left me wondering if I am missing any? And who would be trying to contact me and for what reason?!

There are lots of stories of people Allison has “read”, both from her point of view and the person’s experience of having their loved one communicating through this method. I found myself thoroughly enthralled by Allison’s writing, yet skimmed over some of the personal encounters of being “read”. I’m not sure why I couldn’t connect with some of these stories, when there were others that had me in tears.

Allison delves into what it is like to have all three of her daughters, who possess this unique characteristic, and discusses how she educates them to ensure only the positive energies come through. With this learning process from a mothers point of view, Allison has conducted workshops for children and young teens who also have this ability. It would be a very scary and isolating situation for children who have no idea what is happening to them and having parents who either don’t believe or can’t explain the phenomenon. Having a mentor like Allison would be a massive comfort and relief for these young psychics. Read the rest of this entry

Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks

Lost memory of skin by Russell BanksReview by Mick Gillies

The story of a 22 year old sex offender living in Calusa, Florida, USA known to most as “The Kid”.

Having just been released from jail and serving a 10 year probation he has to wear a GPS ankle device that tracks his daily movements and restricts him from approaching schools etc and maintains that he lives within a limited perimeter of the town of Calusa, where he must regularly report in order to stay out of jail.

As a “life time” companion he as a pet iguana (Iggy-which he was given when he was 11 years old) who he cares for and who is his only truly trusted friend.

Having settled into living under a causeway along with other sex offenders and miscreants his life is altered when he and a few others are enlisted by a socialistic Professor as “lab rats” in a project he is performing. He in turn hopes that with knowledge he can help them regain some self esteem and hopefully cure whatever sexual aberrations they may have.

“What you believe matters, however. It’s all anyone has to act on. And since what you do is who you are, your actions define you. If you don’t believe anything is true simply because you can’t logically prove what’s true, you won’t do anything. You won’t be anything. You’ll end up spending your life in a rocking chair looking out at the horizon waiting for an answer that never comes. You might as well be dead. It’s an old philosophical problem.” Read the rest of this entry

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