Monthly Archives: April 2012

Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer


Ever since the Harry Potter movie series (which came out long after I read them), I vowed to read a movie’s book before I watched the movie.  I find it far easier to view the movie with its overwhelming lack of character and plot development after I read the book.  I’m so entrenched in the characters and their lives and feelings and I learn things along with them – and that’s something a movie repeatedly fails to deliver.  Trying to read a book after viewing the movie leaves me wishing I knew the characters first before I saw the shadow of who they are on the big screen.

Thus, when the movie companion to this book was released, I made it a point to read the book first.  I could tell by the previews for the movie that this book would require a lot of my attention to the characters, their experiences, and an open mind to experiences and feelings I might not have felt myself.

Ultimately, I was right – there were a myriad of feelings I’ve never really had to delve deep into, and this book made my boots heavy.  I get the sense that I am missing an entire dimension; I’m missing a whole layer of understanding that adds depth and understanding to this subject matter.  I want to connect, but I’m not sure I can at this point.

The premise of the book is heartbreaking – a young boy who lost his dad in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks finds what he believes to be a scavenger hunt “sent” by his departed Dad.  A curious key within a blue vase up on a high level shelf in the back of a quiet closet kickstarts Oskar’s quest through the streets and boroughs of New York.  He is looking for the owner of the key, someone he’s certain knew his dad.  Someone who will have known his dad well enough to provide knowledge so deep it will further connect Oskar and his dad together, even posthumously.

Parallel to Oskar’s plight is a deep and painful life history of Oskar’s grandmother and grandfather.  Their lives are tragically connected, and while their relationship is sparse, tense, and full of rigid rules, there’s a higher connection that cements them together in a way that makes sense : Anna.  Horrifying imagery of the Dresden bombings and the fallout thereof, this portion of the story is gripping.

Overall, I’m left feeling a little bewildered.  I’m feeling like I either don’t get it on a cellular level because I haven’t experienced tragedy quite like Oskar and his grandparents have, or I’m supposed to feel bewildered.  Oskar’s life was flipped on its ear in one unanticipated moment, as were his grandparents’ lives.

I enjoyed how much feeling this book evoked in me.  Re-living the 9/11 attacks through the point of view of Dad in the book was brutal.  I recommend reading the book, and if I ever get around to watching the movie, I’ll let you know if I recommend that, too!


Rating: 3/5

Fate’s Design Book Tour

Fate’s Design

Fate Series Book One

A summer vacation in Italy with her twin sister, Morgan, is just what Megan Romano needs. But instead of fun, wine, and relaxation, she finds unexpected romance. Alexandros DiPiero, a sexy and mysterious Italian businessman, falls for Megan the minute he lays eyes on her, but Megan knows it’s too good to be true.

Increasingly haunting dreams that warn of danger and destiny plague Megan’s every sleeping moment. As her nightmares become deadly and her love life heats up, Megan will come face to face with her worst fear.

Buy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

This tour will run from April 23rd and through May 31
Th Author is working with Promotional Book Tours to give away 3 Prizes for this tour – Grand Prize NOOK Simple Touch or Kindle Touch or $100 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (It’s the Winners Choice) Second Prize is a silver ‘Love’ Necklace, and third prize is an ecopy of Fate’s Design.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Club Content Contest (2): Cherishing a Hotel Moment

Twisted Sense note: This is a contest entry – not written by me, but a contestant in the Club-Content running! Please see the links at the bottom of the post

Our last hotel visit was not for a vacation. It was a stop towards our new life in a new city in a new state. In August 2007, three months after we bought our first house, the housing bubble burst. We decided to have Riley thinking that we’d still be ok, however, we had to close our custom cabinet company about a year later.

Work was not easy to find in Florida since the construction industry was huge there. Work was especially hard to come by for someone who had been his own boss for over 10 years. We came by some unscrupulous companies and individuals that just wanted to hire cheap labor. The money coming in wasn’t paying the bills and with a baby on the way (wouldn’t you know it, I get pregnant and all hell breaks loose!), the added expenses were terrifying.

A few months before Riley turned one year old, we decided to look elsewhere for steady employment. I expected to move to North Florida, but North Georgia became the answer. A woodworking company in Summerville, Georgia needed an estimator, which was what my husband had been doing for years. Salary, benefits, vacations, it seemed wonderful! A week after Riley’s birthday, Chris went up there and was put up in an efficiency hotel until he could find a house to rent.

The two weeks we spent apart was the worst weeks of my life. Little did I know that the upcoming week in the efficiency was going to be just as bad! Imagine a fresh one year old in the tiniest square box you’ve ever seen. The hotels were pretty much up the side of a mountain, smack dab next to the main road coming into the city of Rome. There was no where in Summerville to live, so Rome was the nearest city south. There was no where for him to run or play or even to take a walk with his stroller. I would have usually relished in getting out to do the laundry, but there were no doors in the designated laundry area and my son likes to roam. We were out of that efficiency as fast as we could!

It was an emotional time for me. I was away from my family for the first time in a place where I didn’t know anyone. Chris had befriended the guy that stayed in the room next to us. I feel awful that I don’t remember his name now or what he did for a living. He was there with his company and he would go from city to city doing what ever hard labor was needed. When I pulled up to the hotel that first night, he helped bring everything up to the room that I had brought. He was a redneck for sure and I felt home again!

That next day was Easter Sunday. As we were getting ready to go to a new church, he went to the Dollar General next door and bought an Easter bunny (only pink ones left!) and some candy for Riley and placed it at our door. We didn’t know it was from him at that time, but he always kept his door open and we were able to ask him if he saw the person that put it there. Of course I cried right then! That was the kindest act of love I had witnessed from a stranger. I will never forget that day or ever get rid of that bunny!

I'm reading and voting at today!

#bloghop #Giveaway: Latter-Day of the Dead by @kevinkrohn



The Hop!


Thank you to Walking on Bookshelves and Forbidden Passions Reviews for hosting this giveaway!  Check out the other blogs that are a part of this hop (links at the bottom of this post), too.  They’re each giving away a book (or books) of their own – lots to win!

My Giveaway!

Latter-Day of the Dead by Kevin Krohn

I’ve obviously gone on and on about this book, so I am eager to give it away to someone to enjoy it as much as I did.


Excerpt: Harrowing cries escaped the contorted faces of our flock. End of Days was a known truth but never a faced reality. Once the madness broke…we feared it would never subside.

From my review: At the end of the book I kept looking down at the progress bar and feeling very apprehensive and even a little anxious that the content was running out while the action and intensity was heating up. At the end I literally said out loud, “You did not end it there.”


Here’s Where You Win It:

a Rafflecopter giveaway