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Smashwords book reviews by Kendra Edens
- Second Hand Heart
on Sep. 17, 2011
Posted on: http://readersedyn.blogspot.com/2011/09/review-second-hand-heart-by-catherine.html
I have a goal of shortening my reviews, but I find I have a lot to say about this book primarily because I relate to it on a number of levels. First and foremost being experience with a child born with a heart condition. Two years ago, at the age of 1 week, my son was diagnosed with Velcardiofacial Syndrome (VCF). This condition occurs at conception, involves the absence of ½ of the 22nd chromosome, and unfortunately can manifest in over 180 ways in any combination. My son was afflicted with bilateral cleft lip, complete cleft palate, club feet, and a double aortic arch causing a vascular ring. At 10 days old, he underwent a vascular ring repair and began his second chance at life. He is one of the “lucky” children with VCF and has been thriving ever since the surgery despite ongoing medical care.
Second, just last month my family experienced the miraculous beauty of the Grand Canyon. Pretty sad that as an Arizona resident it was my first visit there. Every detail mentioned about the canyon was spot on!
Finally, and somewhat ironically, I read this book during a move because we had a 90 minute drive between the old house in Rimrock and our new house in Williams. The mention of Williams made me smile, as well as Vida’s visit to the Williams Visitor Center.
This book follows Vida, a 19 year-old who has come to terms with death because of her life-long struggle with a defective heart. At the last minute she receives a heart and suddenly everything changes. Also followed is Richard, the husband of the donor and his struggle with moving forward. The story, to say the least, is a spectrum of the human ability to cope.
What I disliked in the story was the absence of Vida’s father. His love for her is obvious, but I would have thought he would have played a slightly larger par considering the circumstances.
I enjoyed numerous components to the story beginning with the format. The story is told through a series of journal entries and e-mail correspondences. Readers are given a change of pace through the telling, effectively giving life to the voices sharing their innermost thoughts. I also appreciated the thoughts and discussions surrounding cellular memory. Whatever personal belief one may hold, the theory is definitely beyond intriguing.
I strongly recommend this book for all; especially those who blessedly remain unaffected by such traumatic events. The brief glimpse into such an experience is priceless. The tribute to and resiliency of humans and the ability to evolve, even in the face of such devastating circumstances, is both inspiring and not to be missed in this heart-felt story.
- The Princess & the Penis
on Oct. 28, 2011
Please see Reader's Edyn 4 full review: http://bit.ly/utrncb
So I first saw this book … looked at the title … read said title again … looked at the cover art … and decided that this was probably an odd choice for me. However, a friend had tweeted that it could be downloaded for FREE at the time. We all know that FREE downloads are irresistible no matter how many books we have collecting dust in our Kindles (figuratively speaking of course) so I clicked, purchased, and promptly forgot about the story sitting in my e-reader. *head desk* I should have read it sooner!
Luckily an author and blogger I respect hosted an appearance by RJ Silver a couple of days ago. *waves* Thanks Joan! Silver supplied a code to allow readers to download the book for FREE when I was struck with an odd sense of déjà vu. Turns out I had already downloaded both of the books, but had forgotten about them. *Bad reading obsessed blogger!* So I am here today to tell you NOT to repeat my mistake! Download and read = GOOD! Download and forget = BAD! You all following still? Great!
So The Princess and the Penis is fun, quirky, crafty, hilarious, and even spreads an underlying message from within. A bit of a twisted version of The Princess and the Pea meets The Princess and the Frog. I am a sucker for puns and Silver did a wonderful job of pulling out some stellar double entendres. Many of the taboos of sex are hinted to with snarky humor provided by the two Aunts. One thing I appreciated was that the story is written in an non-offensive manner despite the subject matter. But beyond all of the gleeful dialogue and innuendos is the message to help others. Plainly obvious was the comparison between princes: one who had it all while plundering his subjects, despite their hardships, only to maintain his lifestyle of extravagance – the other imprisoned by another’s jealousy because he was both fortunate and blessed with compassion for others.
Those with delicate sensibilities may not appreciate the beauty of the snark within the story. But humor aside, Silver has a positive message to spread and does so in a creative and entertaining way without cramming anything down the reader’s throat. That alone deserves attention. The book is inexpensive and supports a good cause. Download it and read it, or buy it and gift it to a snarky friend who appreciates such witty absurdity. You are guaranteed a laugh if nothing else. And of you don’t laugh; well … I just don’t see how that would be possible.