“My Story” by Elizabeth Smart

My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Non-Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction, Memoir, Spiritual, True Crime

Ten years ago, fourteen year old Elizabeth Smart was abducted at knifepoint from the bedroom she shared with her younger sister.

Now, Elizabeth shares her story in this heartfelt memoir about terror, love, faith, and healing.

Elizabeth spent nine months as the prisoner of Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. During that time she was starved, brutalized, and chained to a tree. She lived in constant fear for herself and for her family. In order to keep her under control, Mitchell would threaten her family daily, saying that if she even tried to escape, he’d kill them. He got into their Salt Lake City home once, who’s to say he couldn’t do it again? Throughout this nightmare, Elizabeth’s love for her family and her faith in God kept her going. It is because of these things that she survived and that she was later able to get her life back together.

I can remember when Elizabeth Smart was abducted. I was only a kid, but I recall seeing her picture on the news and hearing Oprah talk about her. When I heard that she was writing a memoir, I knew I had to get it and read it. I got it for Christmas this year (2013) and it did not disappoint. Smart reveals the details of her capture and subsequent imprisonment. She talks about her captors and their personalities as well as the way they would treat her. I knew she was kidnapped, but I didn’t previously know the extent of the brutality that was inflicted upon her. To be held captive only miles from your home knowing there’s nothing you can do to escape… that must have been so crushing. The torture she endured was physical, emotional, and mental. No wonder she eventual grew to do what she was told! He threatened the lives of her and family every day! Mitchell was an evil man who did truly evil things to her. But she managed to stay strong through her faith. It was her hope that got her through. A truly great an inspiring read. I recommend it to everyone ever. 

Content warning: Kidnapping, sexual assault, abuse of a child. 

“The Passage” by Justin Cronin

The Passage (The Passage, #1)The Passage (#1) by Justin Cronin

Post Apocalyptic, Paranormal, Horror, Sci-Fi
Paperback, 784 pages
Published May 17th, 2011 (first published 2010)

Amy is six years old when her mother leaves her at a convent. Amy befriends a nun there named Lacey who would do anything to protect her. Somehow Lacey knows that Amy is special. She doesn’t know how she knows this or how exactly Amy is special, but she is. A few days into her stay at the convent, government agents come for Amy. They claim to be taking her to child services, but Amy and Lacey both know their true purpose is a sinister one. However, one of the special agents, Agent Wolgast, comes to love the little girl during their time together. He too senses there is something special about her. And he will do anything to help her escape. Even so, what unfolds around them is unstoppable. Humanity’s only hope is Amy. That burden is Amy’s alone, and she carries it with her on her long journey into a dark future.

This book tells an apocalyptic tale of the United States torn apart by the unexpected result of a nightmarish experiment and the one girl who can save humanity. If you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll love it. I got really into it at first, loving every minute of it. However, as the story went on I was a little confused. There is a shift from one group of characters to an entirely new one that I was not expecting. At first, I really didn’t like it, and eventually lost interest. I persevered, though, and finished it! Once I got over the initial shock of this character changeover, I grew to like it again, and did enjoy the way the story panned out. In the end, there are some ways that the plot from the beginning are tied in again and I appreciated that. Looking back, it was a great story. My only complaint is that its length did cause me to lose interest in the middle, and I am no stranger to long books. To me that says that the length of his particular book may have been unnecessary. All told, it was a good read and I would recommend it.

“Pandemonium (Delirium #2)” Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
YA Dystopian

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.The old life is dead.But the old Lena is dead too.I buried her.I left her beyond a fence,behind a wall of smoke and flame.

In Pandemonium, Lena is now on the other side of the fence and part of the resistance. It’s not exactly what she expected, and she has become someone she did not expect to become. Pushing aside thoughts of her life in Portland, she has become part of a new pseudo family in the Wilds.

In the second instalment of the Delirium series, we follow Lena back and forth in time, jumping from her arrival in the Wilds to her present involvement in the Resistance in New York City.

I found this book amazing, but slightly less amazing than the first. One of the main draws of Delirium was Lena’s relationship with Alex, and that is not present in this novel. That being said, I did enjoy this novel quite a lot. It was great seeing Lena change and grow. It was action packed, fast paced, and intense–all the things you’d expect from any YA dystopian worth its salt. If you like dystopians, and enjoyed the first book, then you would definitely enjoy the second! But, chances are, if you’ve read the first book you don’t need me to tell you to read the second. You probably already have.

Sorry it has been so long!

Hey guys!

I’m sad to say that it has been over a month since my last post. I’m sorry about that! The Christmas season came upon me and I got bogged down in shopping and hours at work. Not only so but I have been stuck in the same book pretty much since the last time I posted. However, I’m back now and have a few reviews coming your way!