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Archive for June 30th, 2015

Flame Tree Road

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Flame Tree Road by Shona Patel

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) 1870s India. In a tiny village where society is ruled by a caste system and women are defined solely by marriage, young Biren Roy dreams of forging a new destiny. When his mother suffers the fate of widowhood—shunned by her loved ones and forced to live in solitary penance—Biren devotes his life to effecting change.

Biren’s passionate spirit blossoms as wildly as the blazing flame trees of his homeland. With a law degree, he goes to work for the government to pioneer academic equality for girls. But in a place governed by age-old conventions, progress comes at a price, and soon Biren becomes a stranger among his own countrymen.

Just when his vision for the future begins to look hopeless, he meets Maya, the independent-minded daughter of a local educator, and his soul is reignited. It is in her love that Biren finally finds his home, and in her heart that he finds the hope for a new world.

Biren Roy is a young boy that grows up in rural India in the late 1800’s. There he learns of how sons are prized and daughters are dreaded. He also sees what happens to his mother when she becomes a widow. She is basically forced away from her family and treated as though she is dead. When he goes to school, Biren starts learning about British beliefs and he starts realizing the inequity women have in Indian culture.

Biren then goes to Cambridge to further his education and become a lawyer to fight for women’s rights. He meets Estelle and sees how she fights the social norms but dressing in men’s clothing and attending classes disguised as a man. When Biren returns to India he learns that he is going to basically be a middle man between the Indian’s and British governments. This and his ideas of how women should be treated don’t win him any favors and he starts to lose hope of ever changing traditional beliefs.

I have to say that I liked this story. It’s so heartbreaking and angering to know that just because a woman becomes a widow she is basically nothing to her family. But sadly women usually are looked down on throughout the years. I love how this fired Biren to stand up and create a change. He doesn’t always have a easy path and does lose his drive, but he does keep fighting.

It was interesting learning about Indian custom and how much of a difference there was between Indiana and British governments. I liked Biren. You couldn’t help cheering him on and Estelle was such an inspiration. I have to say that the ending is sad and makes you wonder about what really happened.

This is a good book and I recommend it for anyone. You will learn more about Indian culture and will encourage Biren to keep going.

For more information on Flame Tree Road or to purchase the book make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Shona Patel’s website.

I received this book for free from MIRA in exchange for an honest review.

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Exile (Guy Erma – 3) by Sally Ann Melia

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Thank God!

13-year-old Teodor has found a way to escape from kidnap, how long before he is safely home?

13-year-old Guy Erma has run away from everything he has even known and no longer knows what the future holds.

They escaped through dark tunnels and back alleys but they also discovered a hidden terror that now threatens their entire planet.

Two boys as different as two boys might be. Their adventure has forged an unexpected friendship, but do they really trust each other?

Dare they share their darkest, deepest secrets?

During the fight at the end of Hunter, Guy realizes that his opponent is not wearing body armor. He also realizes that he is fighting the kidnapped prince Teodor. Make a split second decision, Guy helps Teodor escape. The boys have to stay on their toes to escape the dome elite who are under the control of Chart Segat, the one responsible for Teodor’s kidnapping.

But things are going from bad to worse. In the beginning of Kidnap we are learn about the Sas Darona plague and poison pills. One of the pills has disappeared. While the boys are running they unknowingly stumble upon its hiding spot. Now, Karl Valvanchi needs to find the boys and find the poison pill before it is detonated.

This is an action packed race against time. I love the interaction between Guy and Teodor. Although they come from different backgrounds they have common goals and could easily be friends. I really liked Karl. I would like to learn more about him since everyone seems to look down on him. But he seems to be the one true person that really wants to and can help out with finding Teodor and the poison pill.

The Guy Erma series is great, action packed books. It’s hard to put them down and I admit that it is almost disappointing when you get to the end. I would love to learn more about this world and some of the characters. I really hope that there will be more to come from Sally Ann Melia whether it is more on Guy Erma or other books.

For more information on Exile or other books in the Guy Erma series or to purchase Exile make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and Sally Ann Melia’s website.

I received this book for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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