Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cathy Reviews: Lies We Tell Ourselves + A Barricade in Hell

I'm pleased today to turn the blog over once again to my mother in law, Cathy, who is one of my bookish partners in crime and so nice as to help me out with reviews on occasion!

LIES WE TELL OURSELVES
Robin Talley
Young Adult/Historical
384 pages
HarlequinTEEN
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal."

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.


CATHY'S THOUGHTS
The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley is an historical fiction set in 1959. This was a time in our history where segregation was the norm. It was a time of ignorance and fear. Robin Talley captures these emotions with such accuracy that you feel the angst and anxiousness of the characters. She has done her research well and is able to instill these feelings and perceptions in story form and not in a preachy or textbook manner.

There are two main characters: Sarah, a high school senior that is one of several black students to integrate an all white high school, and Linda, a white senior whose father runs the town newspaper and has backward ideas about the differences between races. Before we truly get involved in the story of these two characters, Ms. Talley's opening chapters provide in-depth descriptions of the abuse and humiliation that the black students endure so that they can receive a better education. These chapters are so well written that our emotions rise to the surface, forced as we are to face a bigoted past as well as a barrage negative feelings concerning racial barriers.

Sarah and Linda are assigned to work on a project together. Though this does end up with both of them seeing life and each other differently, it is not written in an overly simplistic format. It is developed over time and with many rocky and violent moments that remind us that life is often neither simple nor easy. There is a twist that gradually becomes entwined in the story–a budding romance. The girls not only have to fight against racial barriers, but also against their developing sexuality.

We always hear that the past was such a simple time, well, this story shows another side, a side we should be aware of and understand. Ms. Talley has told a heart-wrenching tale that brightens with time. It is a story of strength, determination and change. It is well worth reading this story.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find Robin:



A BARRICADE IN HELL
Delia Martin #2
Jaime Lee Moyer
Paranormal Mystery/Historical
331 pages
Tor Books
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Delia Martin has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a twisted serial killer terrorizing her beloved San Francisco. Now it's 1917—the threshold of a modern age—and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan.

That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. But as young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side.

As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice—take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?


CATHY'S THOUGHTS
I wrote a review for Delia's Shadow and when I finished that book, I hoped there would be a sequel. I so enjoyed the historical setting of 1900's San Francisco and the fact that the story was a mix of genres I love: Romance, mystery, and paranormal. So my wish came true, and Jaime Lee Moyer wrote a follow up story. YEA.

In A Barricade in Hell, we find that Delia and Gabe have been married for a couple of years. Gabe is still the police captain and Delia has been learning to hone her abilities at helping ghosts move on. Ms. Moyer has a knack for merging plot lines beautifully. Gabe is tracking a serial killer and Delia is haunted by a young girl. As the plot thickens, both of them come to the conclusion that a traveling evangelist seems to be at the center of the chaos. They need to join forces to find out what evil is surrounding the city and making people disappear. I love a good mystery and Ms. Moyer knows how to give us only enough information to keep us turning the pages in search of answers.

Yes, there are ghosts in these stories, but they are such a part of the fabric of the story that they're not over the top. If you're unsure about ghosts, you will likely still identify with Gabe who believes in solid police work to solve the crime, but he also realizes that there might just be something else out there given Delia's ability. Even though this is the second in a series, it is a stand alone story. I would recommend reading the first though because the characters are so endearing and the book is such a fun read. As you might guess, I am hoping that I will be able to write a review for a third in the series in the near future.

Rating: 4/5

Find Jaime Lee:

These books were sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my (or in this case, Cathy's) honest opinion.

26 comments:

  1. I didn't know about the first one but I love to read about another peiod, always so interesting! As for the second one, I really enjoyed this one. This series is really great! I'm curious for more.

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    1. I understand that the first book might be a little heavier but very well written. So glad you like the series. I hope to read more about Delia and Gabe.

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  2. I'm so happy to hear you loved Lies We Tell Ourselves, Cathy! I loved it too, and I find myself getting anxiety flaring up for Sarah and Linda, although I felt more connected with Sarah at first.

    I haven't read Delia's Shadow yet, but it sounds like both books are well worth the read, and the ghosts theme is not too scary or too silly, so I must add them to the wish list!

    Thank you for your reviews, Cathy!

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    1. Lies was a book filled with emotions that definitely touch you. The Delia books are goods ones to curl up with on a cold night!

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  3. Lies We Tell Ourselves sounds like such a painful and powerful story. I think I would struggle with it mostly because I don't do well with emotional reads. I turn into a complete mess!

    I need to try the Delia Martin series for sure. It seems to be the kind of book that I would really enjoy. The ghosts sound interesting.

    Lovely reviews, Cathy!

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    1. Nick so glad you liked the reviews. Lies was an intense but thoughtful read. When reading Delia you can lose yourself in some fun.

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  4. I've relieved to learn that The Lies We Tell Ourselves didn't come across as preachy or too textbook-like because I was worried that it might. I'm not big on ghost stories, but the way that you described Moyer's world makes me want to give hers a try.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads.

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    1. Lies does give a full on look at the times of segregation but enveloped in a touching story. If you like historical settings, don't worry about the ghosts, you'll love the characters.

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  5. These are both ones I need to read still!
    Great reviews Cathy, I am excited to read Barricade in Hell, I just loved Delia's Shadow.

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    1. Glad you
      Inked the reviews and have fun seeing how Delia has grown in Barricade!

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  6. Lies We Tell Ourselves just about broke my heart. I loved it, but it's not the type of book I can read often. The romance felt a bit superfluous to me, at least until the very end. I have yet to read A Barricade in Hell even though I liked Delia's Shadow. I actually have a copy so I'll probably read it this weekend.

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    1. Lies would make a great book club read. Lots of history and depth. Enjoy Barricade this weekend. It's going to be cold so cozy up with this great read.

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  7. I read another review for Lies We Tell Ourselves and I am convinced I must read it. It is hard to believe that we aren't that far removed from such hatred, and this is the era when my parents were teens. I am going to read that one. I love the Delia's Shadow series, and I am anxious for the next book. Terrific reviews, Cathy!

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  8. Lies was definitely a look back at my teen years and it gives me shivers to think how painful this time was for so many. I am with you on adding to the Delia series. I hope that Ms. Moyer is hard at work on the next one or three!

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  9. I'm glad you enjoyed Lies We Tell Ourselves! It sounds like the author did a wonderful job of capturing the historical feel and emotional side during this turbulent time.

    I still would love to pick-up the Delia Martin Series - it has all the trademarks I enjoy in a story. Wonderful reviews, Cathy :)

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    1. Both books are very different in nature but both are well written and tell a wonderful story. Well worth reading

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  10. I just read another fantastic review from Heather @ Buried in Books, it sounds like a powerful and motivating read! Fantastic review!

    I haven't read the Delia Martin series but it sounds like something I would really like :)

    Thanks for the fab reviews!

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    1. Lies is a powerful book and is nominated for fiction on goodreads!
      The Delia series would be a good one to have on hand for the cold days of winter

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  11. About the 2nd one, I so need to get book 1 from the library soon

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    1. Once you read Delias Shadow you won't want to stop and you will move to Barricade. Have fun

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  12. I want to read that second series. It was like it was written just for me! I love Historical Mystery! :)

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    1. If you love historical mystery you will definitely love this series. Enjoy!

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  13. Lies We Tell Ourselves is definitely one of those books that caught my interest because of blogger's reviews like this.Otherwise, I would've passed on by. Wonderful review, Cathy.

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  14. hey i loved the second book more, lovely reviews :D

    you can check my Blog here:
    http://cachereads.com/blog/

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  15. The Lies We Tell Ourselves was such a powerful novel. I really enjoyed it and found myself completely immersed and emotionally involved. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well!

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  16. Great review Cathy! I don't think I have added Lies We Tell Ourselves to my shelf but it sounds very interesting.

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