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Julie Matthies has commented on (9) products.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Julie Matthies, February 5, 2014

It is rare that I find a book that is a 5 star story told with 5 star writing, this is such a book. I knew 15 pages in that I would fall in love with A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I read it much slower than my normal read - to savor, absorb and prolong the experience of reading this novel for the first time. Marra performed this fine balancing act of humor, compassion and the horrors of war without, it appeared, trying. If I had to recommend one book to someone, this would be it.
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice
The Lemon Orchard

Julie Matthies, January 28, 2014

Luanne Rice is one of those authors I'd love to meet. Her writing is authentic and heartfelt and with each novel I read by her I can sense her personal connection to the story. And I love that. She draws me in and makes me feel connected. The Lemon Orchard brings a human element to a very hot topic, immigration, specifically illegal immigrants. It will make you think, perhaps even change your view on this very controversial issue. But this isn't a dry political story. This is a rich love story, or more accurately, stories, between two unlikely lovers and the overwhelming love a parent has for their child.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Always Watching by Chevy Stevens
Always Watching

Julie Matthies, January 28, 2014

Chevy Stevens does it again. Creepy, haunting, suspenseful, rubberneck twists - Always Watching doesn't disappoint. Who doesn't love a good religious-cult-in-the-woods mystery?
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
And the Mountains Echoed

Julie Matthies, January 28, 2014

This is the first book I've read by this author and I finished it wanting more. Each story is filled with both sadness and joy - much like life. With each story told we are reminded of how the choices we make in life direct our paths and how our choices affect others. The author expertly weaves the stories together and made me feel strongly for the characters he created - some I loved and rooted for and others I loathed. Excellent story, writing and character development.
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(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Julie Matthies, June 11, 2013

I've owned this book for quite some time but put off reading it because I'm not a huge fan of war movies or books. I don't like seeing or reading about violence so I try to avoid it. But this book got so many good reviews and I own it so after bumping it to "next month" since the beginning of this year, I finally bit the bullet and read it. And I'm glad I did? I'm not sure. I think Louis' story is amazing and it is important not to forget our history. I know I'm in the minority when I say this, but I wasn't in love with this book. I enjoyed reading about his childhood and his time in the Olympics but then the author lost me. I felt Louis' story got bogged down with facts and statistics that didn't really add to his story. That section of the book was painful for me to get through. I almost thought I didn't want to continue. I was glad I did though, and then I wasn't.

The story really picked up when he crashed into the Pacific. But then, when he was captured, the story was filled with so much violence, I was back to not enjoying it at all. I enjoyed it again once he was back home and found how he overcame his emotional scars incredibly encouraging and uplifting. I ended up rating this book 4* but how I got there was a roller coaster of 1* to 5*s depending on which section I was reading. I do think the author did an amazing amount of research while writing this book and I do recommend it to anyone who particularly enjoys reading about war.
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(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

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