I should go on vacation more often.

The last time I posted a book review, I noted that I want to read at least one book per month, and I barely made it for January.  Well, last week, I was on vacation and read not one, but TWO books.  I loved having hours of time available to read, and sitting on a beach with a fruity rum drink made it that much more enjoyable.

ZeitounZeitoun by Dave Eggers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an excellent book about one family's experience during hurricane Katrina. Since I already knew so many details about the horrors of Katrina, I felt so anxious as I read about Abdulrahman Zeitoun's decision to stay in the city to ride out the storm. At some point, he notices people in line at the Super Dome, ready to take shelter, and I felt such a sense of doom knowing what happened there. The story is extremely well written and exposes the complete failure of the government and legal system before, during and after the storm. It was appalling, and I can't help but think about the hundreds of others who may have had similar experiences. I'm thankful that Dave Eggers brought this story to light, and feel it is required reading for everyone.

Little BeeLittle Bee by Chris Cleave

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by the promotion on the back cover of this book:
We don't want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in this book.

It is a truly SPECIAL STORY and we don't want to spoil it.

NEVERTHELESS, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this:

This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again--the story starts there...

Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds.
I thought the first half of the book, which takes you through the "terrible choice," and the reunion of these two women, was excellent and compelling. The story's told alternately from Little Bee's voice (a 16-year-old Nigerian girl) and Sarah's voice (a 30-something white British woman). But then a third character, Lawrence, came on the scene and the story started to lose credibility for me. The ending felt rushed and simplistic. After the teaser on the back of the book, it was also anti-climatic. I kinda felt duped.

So, I'd give the first half five stars, but the second half, only two.

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