Thursday, April 30, 2015

Little Fish: a Memoir from a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer

Little Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of YearLittle Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting coming of age story about a young artist leaving Paw Paw, Michigan, and experiencing the big scary city of Baltimore for her first year of art school.

It's autobiographical, so I don't want to knock it too much, but sometimes thought there were way too many words on a page. Sigh. That's probably mean of me to say. But I loved the pages that were more graphic novel-ish. But I feel like some of the lists could have been shortened.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)Fairest by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a big fan of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, so I was looking forward to reading this to find out what made Levana evil. I was thinking it would be a Malicifent-type plot, and I was close! Does Levana have the right to be evil? No. But I kinda understand how she turned out to be such a downright evil being. So looking forward to Winter, which is due out November 10, 2015.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

The Inventor's SecretThe Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ahhh, this was much better than the Nightshade series! It's not exactly great fiction, but an enjoyable romp through a steampunk alternative America where Britain won the Revolutionary War. The alternative history parts I loved, as well as the mechanical devices. Can I get sucked up through an air compression tube, please?

Charlotte had plenty of eye-roll moments--"Oh, woe is me, how can I be attracted to two sexy brothers at the same time?" but I didn't mind too much. I was pleasantly surprised, since I wasn't a fan of this author's wildly popular book series.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

The Remaining: Aftermath by D. J. Molles (Book 2)

Aftermath (The Remaining, #2)Aftermath by D.J. Molles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know how sometimes I need a trashy romance novel? Sometimes I need a shoot-'em-up thriller with a handsome stud as the lead character. And this novel worked perfectly!

Continuing after The Remaining, Captain Lee Harden is still gathering up survivors and trying to function as the most basic level. Food, water, and safety are hard to come by, and the Infected are starting to act like pack animals when hunting prey.

As always after an international disaster, the crazies come out of the woodwork and Capt. Harden has to decide who to trust. Of course, he picks correctly. Because he rocks! He's like Capt. America with better weapons and special forces training.

Lots of gun and military talk in this series and I'm off to place the next book on hold!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell.

Flesh and BloodFlesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sigh....I give up on you, Kay Scarpetta. After finishing Disk 5 of the audiobook, I'm just plain bored. Marino is annoying, and I don't understand why you can't just take off on vacation with Benton--isn't there somebody who can take your cases when you're not at work?

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Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gretchen is Adolf Hitler's good little niece--she listens and believes everything he has to say, and loves when he treats her as a favorite. But things start to change when she witnesses her brother beating up a Jewish man for no reason. Her brother is becoming increasingly violent and scary, all with uncle's blessing. After befriending a young Jewish boy who says he will help Gretchen discover the truth about her father's death, she rebels against everything she has been taught.

Unbelievable at times, yes, but still an interesting look into Hitler's inner circle during his rise to power in Munich. I appreciated the author's note that told me what characters were fictional.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly

Of Irish BloodOf Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I gave up on page 312 of this book. Why? Because I was finding everything possible to do in my house except read this book, so that's a problem and it means that it's time to move on!

I loved the premise of this book, but it gets bogged down in the middle when the main character Nora Kelly is middle-aged and living in Paris. She grew up in Chicago, in the thick of Chicago Irish politics and the poverty, but escapes when her hoodlum lover gets aggressive. She moves to Paris to be around a famous dressmaker, and then she gets involved with the Irish rebellion movement before World War I.

I love history. I love Ireland. I love learning about Americans living in Paris. But all those together couldn't make me finish this book that was boring me. Sigh. Better editing would have made this 500 page novel a better book.

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Tempting Fate by Jane Green. Read by the author.

Tempting FateTempting Fate by Jane Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

DO NOT CHEAT!!! This book is a handbook for the worst possible think that could happen if you cheat on your husband during your midlife crisis. I found myself chuckling as I listened to it because it really is like a worst case scenario handbook. However, it's a great chick lit book about relationships, which is what I wanted at the moment.

Gabby is British and happily married to Elliott and living the perfect suburban life in Connecticut. But when she meets a gorgeous, younger, and rich man in a bar, she starts to behave like she's not happily married. And then her world starts tumbling down. I loved the look into her marriage, as well as her relationship to her two daughters--Jane Green really knows how to write that stuff.

Add in the British accent of the reader (the author in this case) and I was happy and could overlook the breath intakes and occasional cut-off world.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill

Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a BallSometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adorable illustrations and perfect for storytime--gives kids the opportunity to make silly faces, pigeon step around the room and curl up into a ball to go to sleep.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

The Burning Room (Harry Bosch, #19)The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not a faithful Harry Bosch reader--in fact, I don't even remember the earlier book in the series that I read about him. But I was able to jump into #19 of the series pretty easily and the author is going to make me read #20 because of the horrible cliffhanger at the end! Ugh!

Bosch is a year from retirement from the LAPD Open Unsolved Case unit, and he has a new partner, Lucy Soto. He isn't too sure what to think of her, but at least she's bilingual, so that's a plus. The two of them are on the hunt for a murderer years after the shooting occurred because the man just died after the bullet was lodged in his spine. Soto gets him involved in a case that is close to her heart--she barely survived an illegal daycare fire when she was a child. The two cases pick up speed as they uncover more clues and I found myself liking Soto as much as Bosch. I'm hoping she stays around.

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Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Funny GirlFunny Girl by Nick Hornby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barbara Parker doesn't want to be stuck in Blackpool, England, forever. She doesn't even stay long enough to wear her Miss Blackpool crown--she runs off to London. She's beautiful with a shape to die for so she doesn't stay working in a department store long. An agent snaps her up, but she doesn't work as a model like he wants her to. Instead, she wants to be a funny girl like Lucille Ball and act. Things fall into place for Barbara--she makes it big in a TV comedic sitcom in the 1960's on BBC.

This was an odd Hornby book. I loved High Fidelity and Slam, but this one was just off. The first quarter of the book is great--Barbara is funny and her experiences rising to fame are spot on. But then the plot stagnates just like the TV show Barbara (and Jim). I was bored. I had to force myself to finish the last half of the book, and the way Barbara is suddenly grown up and elderly at the end seemed really forced. I wish the entire book would have been her rise to fame--that was the fascinating part for me, along with her relationship to Dennis.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Sister to Honor by Lucy Ferriss

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img alt="A Sister to Honor" border="0" src="" /></a><a href="">A Sister to Honor</a> by <a href="">Lucy Ferriss</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Afia is a Pakistani teenager who is attending Smith College while her older brother Shahid plays squash for Enright.  Shahid is her keeper--he's supposed to make sure that her virtue remains intact so that she can be properly married off after college.<br><br>But things get tricky. She begins dating a man, and that is strictly forbidden.  Photographs are posted on social media of her touching that man. And then her family gets involved. <br><br>Afia's family is strict--some more than others--and she needs to be punished for disgracing her family. <br><br>Does Afia ring true to other readers? I'm having trouble understanding how she could break some religious rules and adhere to others so faithfully. I connected more with the female squash coach then Afia, which makes me wonder if Afia's characterization was a bit off.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Any Other Name by Craig Johnson. Read by George Guidall.

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img alt="Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, #11)" border="0" src="" /></a><a href="">Any Other Name</a> by <a href="">Craig Johnson</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I broke all reading rules and listened to #11 in this series when I haven't read any of the previous books! But I've watched and loved the TV show, so I knew I would understand what was going on. <br><br>Sheriff Longmire should be in Philadelphia with his daughter who is about to have a baby, but instead he's heading over to a neighboring Wyoming county to investigate the suicide of a policeman.  Turns out his death is connected to a string of missing girls, and, of course, Longmire digs too deep and ends up solving the case and almost losing his life.  <br><br>I found myself smiling a lot as I was listening--Longmire is such a great character--sarcastic, smart, and witty, all while wearing a cowboy hat. <br><br>I'll be adding the rest of the series to my to-listen list--I loved George Guidall's slow and western narration!
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Monday, April 6, 2015

The Accident by Chris Pavone

The AccidentThe Accident by Chris Pavone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this author's other romp, The Expats, much better than this one. Too much about book publishing for me.

A mysterious manuscript lands on the desk of a publisher, an editor, and a producer, and all other sorts of people in "the bizness" and then people start dying. The manuscript is a tell-all about a media mogul and someone doesn't want it published. I think the biggest problem for me was that I didn't care about The Author (hated how his identity was kept a secret when you knew who it was) or the media mogul.

The jumping back and forth didn't improve things, and neither did The Author being referred to as such when we knew who he was. The big twist at the end didn't feel like much of one to me. And I don't think people in the book publishing business can act like super-secret spies--dodging bullets and shooting weapons. Just seemed too unbelievable to me.

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