My name is Liisa and I'm a Jill-Shalvis-aholic. Who knew?! (Not me!) Through a series of random events, including random tweets and Facebook posts, I...moreMy name is Liisa and I'm a Jill-Shalvis-aholic. Who knew?! (Not me!) Through a series of random events, including random tweets and Facebook posts, I discovered Jill.
I found her to be witty, full of positivity and humour. Would it translate into a book? Hell yes.
OK, so these aren't heavy tomes of philosophical debate. In fact they fall more into the "boom chicka wah wah" category but they are enjoyable, easy to read, funny, captivating, unputdownable and yes, at times, predictable. The ideal holiday read? Escapism? Whatever you wish to call them, to me they are delightful!
Highly recommend the Wilder series - my first foray into Shalvis's world but it won't be my last!(less)
I'm not a fan of hyped books. I am always wary and extra twitchy when a book is lauded. So it was with hesitation and trepidation that I picked up "Th...moreI'm not a fan of hyped books. I am always wary and extra twitchy when a book is lauded. So it was with hesitation and trepidation that I picked up "The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith (now commonly known as JK Rowling's pseudonym).
Oh what a delight!
It took me a little while to lay to rest that this was JK Rowling's work and stop comparing it to the Harry Potter series. Not to mention overly critique her foray into adult literature (having not read A Casual Vacancy). Once I passed that, it was sublime. Pure enjoyment. Lost in the plot (one of JK's greatest strength's is her ability to paint a vivid picture so complete with detail you can feel it, taste it and sense it!) and following each twist and turn until the conclusion.
I can only hope there are many more to this series. J'adore!(less)
“Viola in Reel Life” by Adriana Trigiani (of Big Stone Gap fame) is the first in a series of books about Viola Chesterton, a 14-...moreWhat a charming book!
“Viola in Reel Life” by Adriana Trigiani (of Big Stone Gap fame) is the first in a series of books about Viola Chesterton, a 14-year-old-girl and aspiring film maker as she enters her adolescent years.
This tale sees Viola sent to an all-girls Boarding School in South Bend, Indiana; a far cry from her native and beloved New York City. Determined not to enjoy it, Viola documents her life in film and despite her best efforts, soon embraces this new adventure.
Some reviewers complain that Viola can be self-absorbed, temperamental and shallow. But for me, that’s part of the charm of this book. It was enjoyable to read about first boyfriends, first kisses and new friends through the eyes of experience. To remember how it felt when the biggest problem you faced was what to wear to the school dance. And it struck me how talented Adriana Trigiani truly is – it would be easy to write, as an adult author, about a mature and ‘wise-beyond-her-years’ teenager but I think it takes true talent to write about ‘normal’ teenagers and what challenges they face.
That being said, it’s not all fluff and lip gloss. Adriana Trigiani manages to weave a tale filled with multi-dimensional characters, highlight some ‘big issues’ and throw in a supernatural element to add to the enjoyment.
It may be classified as young adult fiction but I found it charming and highly likeable. (less)
As winter draws on, it's the perfect time to delve into a Nora Roberts trilogy. Like a pair of comfy old slippers or putting your PJs on at 5pm, Nora...moreAs winter draws on, it's the perfect time to delve into a Nora Roberts trilogy. Like a pair of comfy old slippers or putting your PJs on at 5pm, Nora Roberts tales are a guilty pleasure.
No Pulitzer Prize winning writing here... no (real) surprising twists and turns or even multi-faceted characters. Nope, in fact these tales, like so many of Nora's, follow a tried and true formula. Throw in a hint of mystery (supernatural in this case) and a love story (you know the fluff I'm talking about!) and voila, you have nearly every Nora Roberts tale in a nutshell.
So why bother reading them if you know what is coming? Because, as 'predictable' as they are on one hand, Nora writes, for the most part, extremely likeable characters (in this case: Cal, Fox and Gage). It's an easy writing style that make the pages turn quickly and although 'light', there's just enough hint of the darkside of life to keep it interesting and 'edgy'. It's winter escapism - like hot chocolate or putting on your favourite pair of slippers - Nora is tried, true and easy reading ... the kind that can bring you comfort after a tough day at the office or facing the crowds Christmas shopping. A lightly-entertaining read that often makes you smile and forget your cares for a couple of minutes.
If you're looking for a life-changing, remarkable and high brow book, this isn't it. Nor is this the tale for you if you're looking for complex and surprising characters. But if you want something to get lost in for an hour or two, a story that's easy to dip in and out of, then this is a great Winter read.(less)
Quite simply, a surprisingly authentic and captivating read. There are so many things to adore about The Cold Dish: the unusual yet beautiful setting,...moreQuite simply, a surprisingly authentic and captivating read. There are so many things to adore about The Cold Dish: the unusual yet beautiful setting, the host of flawed but likeable characters and each twist and turn that leaves you wanting more.
The Cold Dish is a stand-apart, first-class thriller. A tale that simply can't disappoint. Highly recommended.(less)
I am in two minds about "Crystal Gardens" by Amanda Quick. I liked the story and characters well enough but at the same time, I felt it lacked finesse...moreI am in two minds about "Crystal Gardens" by Amanda Quick. I liked the story and characters well enough but at the same time, I felt it lacked finesse. Although readers could “sense” (excuse the pun!) where the story was going, there were often large, gaping gaps between chapters. So much so I often had to go back a page or two to check I hadn’t skipped forward by accident.
The predictable twists and turns ensured this book is firmly ensconced in the “summer” read category of anticipated storylines and that “guilty pleasure” feeling of reading slightly low-brow literature.
There was, however, one element of "Crystal Gardens" that I MUST mention. Psychical. This appeared as every other word (or did it just feel that way) for the first few chapters of the book. Not only did I get it (straight away I hasten to add) that the lead characters had extraordinary abilities but good gracious, there are other words to use. Off the top of my head, I can suggest supernatural, spiritual, extrasensory, clairvoyant or the author’s other favourite word, paranormal! However I would have preferred the author to set the scene and then trust that “we got it” rather than the constant reminders. It may seem fastidious but it detracted enormously from the storyline.
Overall I felt there was a promise made with the characters, premise and storyline that didn’t quite hit the mark. Overall? Enjoyable. (less)
I can’t bring myself to read one more page of this series. I can’t.
Admittedly I didn’t finish this book (I couldn’t *whimpers...moreI. just. can’t. do. it.
I can’t bring myself to read one more page of this series. I can’t.
Admittedly I didn’t finish this book (I couldn’t *whimpers*) but what I did read was a regurgitation of the first. (See my review of Fifty Shades of Grey for all the reasons I loathed that instalment).
I should have realised it would be mind-numbing, eye-rollingly bad when it begins with Ana’s declaration that she has left Christian and will never succumb to him again only to turn the page to find she has accepted a lift from him and in said lift, sits on his lap and they are reunited. Gag.
The main reason I loathe this series is the glorification of what amounts to abuse. Ana lives in constant fear of an ever-changing, unpredictable partner. She scrutinises his moods in microscopic detail and is quick to blame herself when his temper flares up. I don’t find that entertaining reading in any genre. (less)
I have discovered that there are two types of people – those that loooooooove “Fifty Shades of Grey” and … well, me.
Always reticent to read a book wi...moreI have discovered that there are two types of people – those that loooooooove “Fifty Shades of Grey” and … well, me.
Always reticent to read a book with major hype, I was intrigued when I read how one woman ripped her book in half (ripped a book? Sacré-Cœur!!) so she could finish it and her friend could start it (hello? Buy a second copy) and then I was given a free copy. What could it hurt (excuse the pun!)?
Ugh. Mental eye rolls. A disbelief I was actually reading this sh…err, schtick! Although I hadn’t read anything this poor in quite some time, it felt familiar and then I realised. A poor man’s “Twilight”. Echoes of Bella and Edward woven in the story.
Yet it is an insidious little beast. Somewhere around the middle of the book, right at the point of putting it down (or throwing it in the bin), it ensnared me. Enough to see it through.
What I liked about ”Fifty Shades:
1. The emails between Christian and Ana – the only witty moments in 528 pages. These were the turning point for me in continuing on rather than calling it a day.
Yup. That was it.
What I disliked about ”Fifty Shades:
1. Easily the first that springs to mind is Ana’s ”Inner Goddess”. I am groaning as I even recall it. 2. Ana’s cavalier and often schizophrenic reaction to being dominated and feeling “debased” (her words). I couldn’t help but think of the damage this could be doing to vulnerable women and impressionable teenagers. 3. Christian. Sigh. Part of me really liked him (especially the part that imagined he looked like Ian Somerhalder). Part of me loathed the author for making him a one-dimensional caricature. Towards the end of the book I swear I saw hints of two-dimensions creeping in but maybe that was my hope for character redemption. 4. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. The same phrases. The same scenes. The same drama. Over and over and over again. 5. Ana, 21 going on 12. 6. The cliché, poorly-researched, potentially damaging portrayal of degradation and domination. This is not about the lifestyle but rather glamourizing abusive, degrading behaviour towards an insecure and vulnerable woman. A woman with no self esteem and a desperation to do anything for some semblance of affection. Throw in vague mentions of child abuse and you pretty much get ”Fifty Shades of Grey” in a nutshell.
Perhaps I am a hopeless optimistic. Perhaps it’s the mere hope that there will be redemption by the author, characters and storyline but I have started the sequel. In my opinion there is nothing about this book that warrants hype. Yet I know, somehow it will find its way to your bookshelf. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think of it. (less)
I was generous in my rating for the abysmal “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen”, disappointed even further with “Sizzling...moreWhat is wrong with me?
I was generous in my rating for the abysmal “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen”, disappointed even further with “Sizzling Sixteen”; yet not only did I purchase “Smokin’ Seventeen”, I dived straight in full of hope that the Evanovich of old would be back.
Again, what is wrong with me?
As a rule, I try not to give bad reviews. I can’t help but think to all the work the author has put into the piece and after all, it’s all subjective. It’s only my opinion. Reading “Smokin’ Seventeen” I’m not actually sure if ANY work had been put in to it at all. Regurgitated storyline with none of the Evanovich humour. Predictable “twists and turns” pointing to the killer from the start. The only new development is lead character, Stephanie Plum, has become a ho.
Note to self: Do. Not. Read. Explosive. Eighteen. Just don’t do it. (less)
I had a fleeting knowledge of “The Hunger Games” in only a way you can when the hype spills out onto magazines, tag lines and sneaks into conversation...moreI had a fleeting knowledge of “The Hunger Games” in only a way you can when the hype spills out onto magazines, tag lines and sneaks into conversation. It wasn’t as though I ignored the hype – it just wasn’t for me; a series of books, aimed at children, about some kind of macabre Olympics in an unknown time and an unrecognisable place? No thank you.
Exceptional books have a magic that allows for them to somehow weave in and out of your environment, often ignoring your own resistance to find themselves on your bedside table. So here I was. “The Hunger Games” downloaded to my Kindle and a determination not to like it one bit.
And I didn’t like it. I didn’t even adore it. There was a new level of adulation I have for “The Hunger Games” that I still don’t quite know how to describe it. The pure adoration I feel encompasses everything to an extent it devours it. I adored the characters and their authenticity and complexities. The adventure consumed me to a point where it’s easy to lose yourself and lose time as you turn the pages. The only reason I didn’t finish it in one sitting was the innate need for the story to live longer.
“The Hunger Games” has the extraordinary ability to never really leave you – it filled my dreams and my days are spent wondering how the journey will unfold for the characters I’ve grown to love.
I haven’t felt this way about a book in such a long time, I don’t really know if I have ever really felt this way. Bereft at finishing “The Hunger Games”, my only salvation is I have the remaining books of the triology, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”, to console me.