I have alluded (or more like outright stated) in my previous reviews my love of anything to do with witches and magic. Even thinking about anything re...moreI have alluded (or more like outright stated) in my previous reviews my love of anything to do with witches and magic. Even thinking about anything remotely to do with magic instantly brings me back to a much more innocent place in my life. Ever since this, okay I’ll say it, obsession with this type of world started, I’ve been searching for books about magic that would take me back to the wonderment I first felt by watching something about it (Charmed) and reading something about it (Harry Potter). Some of the books have been good, but most of them have been a tad on the mediocre side. Magic or Madness, unfortunately, falls under the latter.
First of all, the main character, Reason was completely inconsistent. No 15 year old is that naïve. It just doesn’t happen. After a while, it did start to grate a little. In fact, every time Jay-Tee was getting annoyed at the same thing and wanting to punch Reason, I kept thinking that she should totally go for it. And as the story progressed, I was wishing for naïveté to come back because Reason was starting to turn into a damn idiot. But going back to the inconsistent part, she was taught to be on guard and a bit on the paranoid side. However, she just stands by and swallows all the fake crap that people tell her. It was like everyone else was saying “Dance, puppet, dance!” and Reason was all, “I shouldn’t…but OKAY!!!!” And then there are moments when she starts being wise (after like 24 hours which also makes it inconsistent) and then goes back to being an idiot. In fact, I found reason and Tom (her maybe love interest in the future) both idiots. Tom was all “I have to SAVE Reason”, yet all he does for most of the book is stop by a café or a restaurant to eat something. He was equally as useless as Reason.
The only characters I even remotely liked were Jay-Tee and Esmeralda. I found Jay-Tee to be refreshing and I’ve always been drawn to “troubled” characters. Mostly because they tend to be less annoying than the actual goody-goodies in YA books (and this is coming from someone who was a complete goody-goody in high school). I was also extremely intrigued by Esmeralda. So much that I was hoping that she would narrate some chapters of the book (yes I know it’s a YA book so I should’ve known she wouldn’t). Again, it could be my love of “troubled” characters shining through. The magic in the Magic or Madness was also intriguing. It’s too bad that it was only lightly touched upon in this book.
So, Magic or Madness was a bit of a bust for me. I just didn’t find Reason’s portrayal realistic. Neither was Tom, come to think of it. Will I read the second book? Probably. But only because of that interesting storyline involving Esmeralda that I think may come up. But it sure as hell won’t be anytime soon.(less)
I had a goal this year to read 100 books by December. And so as I reached book 99, I started to look for a book in my shelves to be number one hundred...moreI had a goal this year to read 100 books by December. And so as I reached book 99, I started to look for a book in my shelves to be number one hundred. You see I wanted my goal to end with a bang. And while some of the books I read this year were mere disappointments, I didn't want book 100 to end up being one of those. So, I picked My Enemy's Cradle from my shelf. It killed two birds with one stone. Being my 100th book and satisfying one of my other goals which was to diminish the pile of books that I have had for more than a year.
My Enemy's Cradle didn't disappoint. I thought it was utterly amazing! I found myself feeling terrified for Cyrla with the danger she was in. This book had me enthralled and kept me turning the pages in record time. I was surprised that I actually liked the romance in the book. Usually I find myself not liking the romance in most adult books because it either comes out as cheesy or terribly contrived, but I thought the romance was intriguing and I found myself rooting for these two characters to make it through.
I actually had no idea about the Lebensborn Organization. And I love it when historical fiction books tell me about some part of history that I didn't know about, so that was a plus with this book. Anyway, if anyone is thinking about picking up this book, don't hesitate and just read it. It's a beautiful book with a fast pace and an intriguing main character that you root for until the end. This is definitely staying on my keeper shelf. No swapping for me. (less)
I loved and adored Will Grayson, Will Grayson, not only because it was fantabulously awesome, but also because my latest string of read books (about f...moreI loved and adored Will Grayson, Will Grayson, not only because it was fantabulously awesome, but also because my latest string of read books (about five or so) have mostly been disappointing with most of them only rating, at most, a three. And right when I was losing faith in books that are very kick-ass and full of win, along comes Will Grayson, Will Grayson which, you guessed it, kicked-ass and was delightfully full of win.
I loved every single character. I identified so much with Will Grayson number 1 because I was a bit like him in high school. I was outgoing and so not shy with my friends, but when it came to the mass population of my school, my general motto was "Shut up and keep your head down" (Of course, that was only in my freshman year of high school. After that my problem became not having the ability to shut up once unleashed. But that's okay I celebrate my flaws). I also loved Jane because, let's face it, there's a bit of a music snob in all of us. I was a little bit iffy about Will Grayson number 2 because at the beginning he had a little bit of the Holden Caulfield 'tude going on and I think Holden Caufield was full of crap, so therefore was annoyed by him. However, after a while, I did end up loving his character, too and feeling massively bad for him and his depression.
While all these characters were amazing in their own right, I do have to say that Tiny Cooper was my favorite. He was just so wonderfully gay and I love wonderfully gay people. I find the out and the proud so great and courageous. And Tiny Cooper was all of these things with an amazing voice and with the ability to write the most amazing high school musical in the world of high school musicals (yes Tiny's musical beat out the crap that is Disney's High School Musical and beat out Glee, just a little bit). I loved the musical. Frankly, I want someone to recreate this musical JUST so I could crash it. But not crash it in the way that would ruin it, but crash it in the way that I would just jump in telling everyone that my name, too, is Will Grayson and I appreciate Tiny Cooper. I would be singing, clapping, and crying with the best of them.
So, Will Grayson, Will Grayson? Full of all things that are fantabulous and awesome. It was also funny, poignant, and just heartwarming in the extreme. Amazing book all around.(less)
Okay, so I love books about the South. I don't know what it is about them that makes me love them so. Maybe it's the small-town charm that most books...moreOkay, so I love books about the South. I don't know what it is about them that makes me love them so. Maybe it's the small-town charm that most books about the South have or maybe the quirky characters that I always end up adoring. Or maybe it's just simply the locale. Frankly, I think it's just all of it. Sigh, they really do make me want to live in the South (even though I'm sure I'd miss the cozy New England winters), but until then, I can just live vicariously through books like Big Stone Gap.
I just loved Big Stone Gap. I loved and adored every single one of these characters. But I really identified with Ave Maria (Plus I think it sort of helped that I pictured Ave as Paget Brewster due to the many Criminal Minds marathon that I've been watching and I adore Paget Brewster). So, she's the town-spinster; 35 and never been married. And I identified with her because I usually find myself exasperated when people (mainly my family) usually start off a conversation with "You're pretty. I don't understand why you don't have a boyfriend." Which then, of course, continues on with "What exactly is wrong with you that you don't seem at all bothered by this?"
Okay, so I'm 21 and while I have had boyfriends, they weren't anything serious. I'm a college student and don't really want to focus on having a serious relationship right now, yet everyone else acts as if this is a cardinal sin. Ave Maria was also in this situation. She's so focused on what everyone else wants that she's not really sure what she wants, herself. Due to this, I ended up loving Ave Maria even more because she was so deliciously flawed on top of being funny and quirky. I really didn't mind one bit being in her head.
Now, back to the other characters. Let's start off with the men. Theodore and Jack: sigh. Seriously, I don't think they could've been written anymore swoon-worthy. Theodore was just the most amazing best friend and just so cute and cuddly. And Jack was just adorable and was such great boyfriend/husband material. I really just fell in love with both of them. And I totally loved the relationship that Ave had with both men. The romance was also so squee and aww-worthy. Oddly enough, the non-romance fan in me really enjoyed the relationship.
I loved Pearl, Fleeta, and Iva Lou (the book-lover in me loved Iva and her bookmobile to bits and pieces). Again I state that I adore quirky characters and these were all just so well-written. Every single one of the characters in Big Stone Gap had such great personalities and they, in turn, brought out another facet of Ave Maria's personality and it was all so great.
So, yeah, I have much love for Big Stone Gap. There is no doubt in my mind that I'll be re-reading this one for years to come and it'll be like being reunited with old friends. This is just the kind of Southern charm I look for when reading a book about the South (down to craving the corn muffins). Big Stone Gap is highly recommended and I for one can't wait to read the other installments.(less)
My finding of The Book Thief was a bit serendipitous. Not my finding as in actually knowing about the book (since this book was highly talked about wh...moreMy finding of The Book Thief was a bit serendipitous. Not my finding as in actually knowing about the book (since this book was highly talked about when I first joined Goodreads), but my actual finding of it...in the store. I was just entering the thrift store I frequented at the time (is there a better place but a thrift store to find books? I think not.) and I remember thinking "God! If only I could find The Book Thief in this place instead of having to pay full price for it!" (I was a broke college student then, actually I still am). And lo and behold, there it was! On the second shelf hidden behind yet another copy of a James Patterson novel. Oh, you would not believe how fast I snatched that book up (It was only two dollars, after all, for a hardcover in mint condition)!
This happened about two years ago (or at least a year and a half) and I've only now just read it. Why did I wait so long? Because this was one of those books that was hyped up like you wouldn't believe. So many people were talking about the greatness that was The Book Thief. My expectations, which were already quite high, went through the roof. Of course, then comes the inevitable thought "This will never live up to my expectations" and so it kept falling further and further down the Mt. TBR. Finally, after two previous failed attempts at getting into the story (only made it to page 30 both times), I buckled down and said "I WILL READ THIS". And I did. While it didn't exceed my expectations (or reach them, but again I say "Through the roof!"), I will say that The Book Thief was a really great book.
I loved that this book was narrated by Death (or The Angel of/Grim Reaper, whatever you want to call him or it--whatever!). The author could've taken the easy way out and had Liesel narrate the book. I'm certain that the flow of the events would've been done in a "normal" way had that been the case. What do I mean by normal? Well, a lot of the time, Death tells us the events that are about to come. He just spoils it for you (not really)! He'll just come right out and tell you what's going to happen in the next part because he's just not into building suspense or curiosity. That's kind of what I liked about him. For the most part, he was dispassionate. The events just were what they were. And then something would happen, which would make Death be in awe of humans; whether it be at their extreme capacity for evil or their extreme capacity for goodness.
As a reader, I have much love for the written word (as I'm sure everyone on GoodReads does), so I could understand how Liesel found words to be completely beautiful, yet heartbreaking, especially since that's how I was feeling when The Book Thief ended. I was sobbing my eyes out through the last 150 pages. In fact, those last 150 pages were five-star caliber. It was the rest of the book that ultimately led me to give this four stars instead of the five that most people are giving it. I just kept thinking "Okay, this is pretty damn good, but am I missing something? Why am I not just automatically loving this?" In fact, I spent a majority of the novel in like. Again, it was the last 150 pages that made me fall in love. So, I took the majority of like and the rest of love, put it together and ultimately decided on the four star rating.
So, pretty great novel. I personally think that it was a tad (just a teeny, tiny, tad) overhyped. But if you take out all the hype, you still have a tremendous novel that will touch and simultaneously break your heart. And really as readers what more can we ask for? After all, The Book Thief makes me value the written word that much more.(less)
Dr. Diana Duprey, an abortion doctor, is found dead, floating in the family pool. The suspects include her husband Frank, who is the town D.A. who fou...moreDr. Diana Duprey, an abortion doctor, is found dead, floating in the family pool. The suspects include her husband Frank, who is the town D.A. who fought with her last, Rev. Steve O'Connell who visited Diana in her home even though she had a restraining order in place, and her daughter Megan, who also argued with Diana the same day.
"The Abortionist's Daughter" is sort-of whodunit mystery wrapped around a controversial issue. The mystery aspect of the novel was predictable at best. I guessed who had murdered Diana halfway through the book. That didn't stop the book from being enjoyable, though. One thing I liked about the book is that it didn't shove certain views down your throat. Hyde didn't put down people for abortions and/or people against abortions.
One thing that absolutely bugged me was the "blossoming" relationship between the cop investigating the case and the victim's daughter, Megan. Was I supposed to be rooting for that relationship? Because I wasn't. That could not have been more inappropriate. It wasn't sweet or romantic. The novel would have been better off if that particular route had not been taken. So, two stars.(less)