Review - Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Title: Dead to You
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: Feb 7, 2012
Hardcover, 243 pages

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Dead to You was such an incredible concept and so close to being real that I was sucked in instantly. Lisa McMann wrote with such emotion for the losses of all the people involved.

Ethan was kidnapped when he was just seven years old. His brother was there when Ethan supposedly just walked right up to the car and got in, on his own accord. The anger and resentment that he has for Ethan is overpowering, but his entire life changed because of one action on his brother's part. Understandable. Then there's the youngest sister who is considered the replacement. Yet, Ethan and his youngest hit it off instantly. Every time she called him "Efan" I just melted!!

The way his parent's handles him after he is returned home is amazing. They give him a cell phone for which he has no one to call, but them. When he doesn't return home immediately his parent's are scared sick, instantly propelled back to the moment he was kidnapped. Lisa McMann writes these characters as if they are living and breathing. So hard to imagine it is just a book.

The ending is AMAZING!! And that is all I am going to say about that.

Read it!! Sensational and so worth every moment.

First book I have read by the author Lisa McMann, but I am really excited to read more of hers. She is just a wonderful writer and I hope the other books are just as thrilling.

Summary -
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

Review - The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston

Title: The Witch's Daughter
Author: Paula Brackston
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publish Date: Jan 18, 2011
Hardcover, 305 pages

Barnes and Noble

The cover of this book is what initially grabbed me. The boots are fabulous and against that beautifully colored skirt, I was instantly intrigued. I read the back and discovered it's about a witch and the curse her mother inadvertently placed on her. If anything I was sure this would be a fine read.

It completely went above and beyond "a fine read." It was SO much better.

If you've read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, this has a similar feel. It feels haunting and purposeful. The woman in this story is smart, strong and likable. In fact, I felt the detailing in the story pulled me and made me like each and every character for a different reason. I equally enjoyed the history put forth. I liked that it spanned many centuries and stayed believable.

Every other chapter has the present day story of the main character Elizabeth, told by Elizabeth to a girl who has wormed her way into her life and heart after centuries of being alone. Through this story Bess teaches Tegan of the trespasses of the man who has betrayed Bess her entire life.

Summary -
My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins…

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers' market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories--and demons—long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches.Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

Wordless Wednesday - The Birds

My sister and I used to go to the zoo together all the time with my niece. Each and every time my sister loved feeding the birds. I wanted to so badly, but got scared every time. I couldn't do it. She tried every time to get me to feed the birds. She was very patient with me, but I just couldn't do it. Just recently my boyfriend, niece and I went to the zoo again and I DID IT!! For the first time ever I actually stuck out my hand and had a bird (or two) land on it and then eat the apple. HOLY COW IS IT NERVE WRACKING!! It is so scary to have a live animal perch on my arm and eat. What if they miss? What if they peck my eyes out? What if - what if--- Animals are so amazing to me. I cannot get enough, but the fact is, they are wild and can never predict what they will do.

(not so) Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday - Tune In & Teaser

An incredibly beautiful song played during the Oscars that falls in the background. My niece used to sing this when she was younger. I think they sang it in a class when she was in elementary school. I just remember her cute Minnie Mouse voice singing this.

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting
by Michael Perry

"We are going rural in hope that we might become more self sufficient in terms of firewood, an expanded garden and perhaps a pair of pigs. Whether through prescience or too much nervous reading, we have developed a low-key doomsday mind-set regarding the imminent future, and we believe the time has come to store up some potatoes and teach our young'uns how to forage."

Review - Confessions of a Surgeon by Paul Ruggieri

Title: Confessions of a Surgeon
The Good, The Bad and the Complicated
Life Behind the O.R. Doors
Author: Paul A. Ruggieri
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publish Date: Jan 3, 2012
Paperback, 272 pages

Barnes and Noble

I absolutely love books that detail another part of life I wish I had time to experience. I have always dreamed of being a doctor. Who doesn't want to learn how to save people? Who doesn't want to live on the edge and experience anything and everything that can happen? Can you imagine holding someone's heart in your own hands? The possibilities are amazing.

I really enjoyed this book. Dr Ruggieri gives a very detailed behind the scenes look at being a doctor. Definitely details the good, bad and ugly. I really enjoyed reading about how Ruggieri feels he has no real human emotions when being a surgeon. He cannot feel the loss because the family has more; he cannot feel the stress at complications that arise because he has to fix them immediately; he cannot be mad at another surgeon who fumbles a surgery where he comes to the rescue and then is blamed for the problem. He must be robotic like and just get the job done. Not even close to being as serious as cutting open people, I feel his pain when it comes to working in retail.

I found the insurance and lab result information incredibly fascinating. He talks about how it can take up to a week MINIMUM to receive results back and then the doctor has to find the time in between all his other patients and to do's to read and research the results. With patients who call the day after a test is taken. The fact that a doctor cannot utter the word "cancer" until it is 110% sure. The stress of watching the patient beg for an answer and the doctor who thinks he knows, but cannot say until he has the papers in hand for fear of retribution.

Dr Ruggieri did a fabulous job of telling us how it really is to be in the O.R. room. I really enjoyed how much information he gave and how he told it in the experiences he had. Wonderfully written.

Summary -

As an active surgeon and former department chairman, Dr. Paul A. Ruggieri has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of his profession. In Confessions of a Surgeon, he pushes open the doors of the O.R. and reveals the inscrutable place where lives are improved, saved, and sometimes lost. He shares the successes, failures, remarkable advances, and camaraderie that make it exciting. He uncovers the truth about the abusive, exhaustive training and the arduous devotion of his old-school education. He explores the twenty-four-hour challenges that come from patients and their loved ones; the ethics of saving the lives of repugnant criminals; the hot-button issues of healthcare, lawsuits, and reimbursements; and the true cost of running a private practice. And he explains the influence of the "white coat code of silence" and why patients may never know what really transpires during surgery.

Ultimately, Dr. Ruggieri lays bare an occupation that to most is as mysterious and unfamiliar as it is misunderstood. His account is passionate, illuminating, and often shocking-an eye-opening, never- before-seen look at real life, and death, in the O.R.