I typically love Emily Giffin books, but this one was too far outside my interests. The football lingo was boring to me, and the relationship between...moreI typically love Emily Giffin books, but this one was too far outside my interests. The football lingo was boring to me, and the relationship between Shea and Coach Carr did not resonate with me, at all. (less)
Sophia Kinsella's best book yet. Perfectly light-hearted. A laugh out loud piece for anyone whose ever used a cell phone or sent a text message. Loved...moreSophia Kinsella's best book yet. Perfectly light-hearted. A laugh out loud piece for anyone whose ever used a cell phone or sent a text message. Loved it! (less)
[i]Remember Me[/i] is just the light and funny read that I needed after all the heavy reading I've been doing lately. And I love Sophie Kinsella for t...more[i]Remember Me[/i] is just the light and funny read that I needed after all the heavy reading I've been doing lately. And I love Sophie Kinsella for that... she is my British Emily Giffin.
In the book, Lexi Smart wakes up in the hospital thinking that she's had a fall while out for a night with her friends. In reality, she's been in a car wreck and it's three years later, but amnesia has wiped that all from her mind. She doesn't remember how she got where she is in her career, she doesn't remember that she got married, and she doesn't remember a few other very important things as well.
I'm sure others would argue, but I had to put this book on the good ole "mystery" shelf because that's exactly what it was... what happened to Lexi Smart? The whole amnesia bit really panged me... honestly if it were me I don't think I'd be able to cope. Kinsella does a good job keeping the reader engaged though, with more twists and turns than you'd expect from a standard chick-lit book.
Unfortunately, I found the end slightly disappointing and almost up to par with the rest of the book. The last 40 or so pages really just felt to me like Kinsella had a deadline to meet and a story to finish so she decided to wrap it up as simply as she could. I was left a little feeling like "that's it??"
Overall good book. All the while I kept thinking what a funny movie this would make. (less)
**spoiler alert** Emily GiffinBest book to date by this author who brings to life the real drama of awkward situations.
Marian and Kirby meet face to...more**spoiler alert** Emily GiffinBest book to date by this author who brings to life the real drama of awkward situations.
Marian and Kirby meet face to face for the first time after 18 years, unraveling an adoption story and an entire web of secrets. This novel trends back and forth between the two and their stories, and as only Emily Giffin does so well, everything comes full circle with a few surprising twists along the way.
I really enjoyed this book, and read through it in only a few short days. It was the type of story that made me sad to put away, because you feel like you actually get to know and like the characters. As with most of her books, they bring a wave of nostalgia as I read her scenes depicting Manhattan (my stomping grounds for a couple years post-college).
I'm giving this book a five star rating because of how readable it is. I enjoyed it and I couldn't put it down. That being said, I can see this book not sitting well with two very distinct groups of people: those who are in Marian's shoes and have given a baby up for adoption, and those who are in Kirby's shoes, desperately in search of some sort of belonging because they were adopted. While the story is really nice, I imagine that compared to a lot of the true adoption/birth family stories that it's a lot of fluff. Unfortunately.
I do appreciate that Giffin painted a portrait of pro-life in this novel. I really hope that she has another book that continues with these characters. I'm dying to know what happens with Marian, Conrad, and Kirby! (less)
This was a decent enough story, but the content (opium dens, summoning the dead) just aren't of any real interest to me, so I had a hard time getting...moreThis was a decent enough story, but the content (opium dens, summoning the dead) just aren't of any real interest to me, so I had a hard time getting into the story.
I think I may have, in fact, enjoyed the book more had the book summary not hyped it up so much, promising a "shocking twist" that would leave us all blown away. After reading the book, I can tell you that nothing shocked me. I've read many reviews that say of the same. What event was meant to be that mind-blowing?
I wish I could give this book a more indepth review, but I returned it to the library too soon. Howe has a nice take on historical fiction. If you are interested in the early 1900's, this book takes a brilliant take on some of the events of the time.
Scary School sure is a crazy place! Poor "New Kid" Charles has no idea what's coming to him on the morning he first steps in front of Scary School, on...moreScary School sure is a crazy place! Poor "New Kid" Charles has no idea what's coming to him on the morning he first steps in front of Scary School, only to be greeted by the crazy giant squid living in the moat surrounding the building. Author Derek Kent (also known as Derek the Ghost) creates a fully imaginative world where the most mundane details become twisted and spooky, luring readers in to see just what will happen next at Scary School.
This debut novel introduces us to all that Scary School is, with each chapter focusing on a specific character or scenerio within the Scary School walls. You'll meet characters like Sue, the amazing Octo-Chef, and find out what crazy consequences there are when one student mentions to Ms. Fangs that she only has one fang, and therefore should only be Ms. Fang.
Even as a 20 something who doesn't usually read about paranormal situations, this book kept me thoroughly entertained throughout. I was not expecting Scary School to be such a funny place. It certainly makes my own school experience sound boring!!
I think this book is perfect for boys and girls alike who love to let their imaginations take them to new places. The chapters are the perfect length, and the 3rd grade reading level makes this book easy to navigate whether a child is reading alone or with a parent. What really drew me to Scary School the most was the combination between 11 year old Derek the Ghost's narration and the cool illustrations by Scott M. Fischer, which can be found on nearly every page. Their work together on this novel really brings Scary School to life!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. (less)
I received Echoes from a dear friend who is a big fan of Ireland (spending several years there herself) and of Maeve Binchy. This is the first book th...moreI received Echoes from a dear friend who is a big fan of Ireland (spending several years there herself) and of Maeve Binchy. This is the first book that I've read by the author.
To be honest, the first third of the book seemed extremely slow going to me. I thought that the character backgrounds that Binchy plotted out were extremely vast and overdone. BUT, by the time the storyline really picked up, I was entranced. I'd already developed emotions and opinions about every character, and Binchy really has a way with using a plot to play on those emotions and question your loyalty to those characters. Brilliant. As the title might suggest, Echoes is a book that might echo the lives of many young-and-deep-in-love couples today, even though this book takes place in the 1960's.
This book offered a lot of surprises, and though I'm sure that even though many would categorize this novel as "chick-lit" that I certainly don't. It's not fluff. It's substantial, dramatic, moving words that pull you into the world of a small Irish town. Definitely would recommend and I look forward to reading more of Binchy's work. (less)
**spoiler alert** Adopted Ed is a beautiful children's book in which we follow the journey of a young boy, Ed, as he learns that he is adopted. Author...more**spoiler alert** Adopted Ed is a beautiful children's book in which we follow the journey of a young boy, Ed, as he learns that he is adopted. Author Darren Maddern speaks from the heart in this Suessical style book, as he was adopted too. It touches base on the issues of what it means to be adopted, how to overcome other people's thoughts on adoption, and the feelings of emptiness that adopted children often have later in life that prompts them to search for information on their biological parents.
My favorite line from the book is when Eddie approaches the bully that has been harassing him about being adopted, and he says, "My parents chose me, yours were stuck with you!"
Adopted Ed is a beautifully moving story that is the perfect way to introduce your child to the subject of adoption and to better educate them. It's full color illustrations by Erin Fusco leave us with characters we are eager to learn more about and a realistic world that we can relate to.
The story ends with a list of celebrities that we all know who were adopted. What a wonderful way to showcase how unique and individual each person is!(less)
Little Bee is a good, well written book. However, because of all the hype surrounding it, being the magic type of story that would change my life, I t...moreLittle Bee is a good, well written book. However, because of all the hype surrounding it, being the magic type of story that would change my life, I think I dove in with exceptionally high expectations, which just weren't met.
I really did want to like the characters and engage in this story in a more personal way, but the storylines of death, murder, suicide, and infidelity kept me from relating at all. Time after time I found myself thankful that I didn't know any of these people.
I did love Charlie's character... he was the light of my reading. Children often have a way of weaving their way into stories that give it the little bit of sweetness that we need.
I do think that Chris Cleave's look at the situation in Nigeria is bold and a much needed eye-opener. Being that he is a man, I found his take from two women's perspectives to be quite believable. (less)
The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw is a story about actions and consequences. LeCraw does a beautiful job sequencing the events that can unfold from one single choice and her writing style is captivating. The story itself, however, was not.
It may have been the hype revolving this book that ultimately ruined it for me. Receiving an ARC from the publisher, the book came dripping with praise from other authors and readers. My expectations were extremely high going in, and thinking back I think I would have enjoyed it much more had I been expecting... less.
The story reads very much like trashy romantic beach read meets Desperate Housewives mystery meets emotional soap opera. The mystery and the concept of the story were precise and kept me reading more, however, I had trouble connecting with (or even appreciating a single one of) the characters. It seems like each character had so much emotional baggage that was only minorly relevent, that the reader was left with much unwanted grief.
My initial reaction said, I do think that this was a very well written first novel on LeCraw's part. I usually do not find myself reading murder mysteries, but I can say that I enjoyed this one. The pool in the story holds a lot of symbolism for the book (as the title might suggest) and I think that the overarching theme could have been held together a little more solidly, with more of an outcome at the end, but overall I liked the book. 3 stars. (less)
I really enjoyed Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder! More so than I thought I would. Typically, I usually can't find myself getting into fantasy type boo...moreI really enjoyed Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder! More so than I thought I would. Typically, I usually can't find myself getting into fantasy type books, but I did feel that Snyder captured a unique world. The book was essentially dripping with adjectives, and the world of Ixia really came alive to me. I thought that the character relationships were well thought through, and I especially enjoyed the relationships between Yelena & Ari & Janco.
I thought that some of the story lines were a little too risky to be in the "Young Adult" market, but call me old fashioned! I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
Sidenote: Ixia largely reminded me of the world from "The Legend of Zelda" games. (less)
I received this book for free through First Reads.
Wench is a story about four slave women in the 1850's, and their summer trips to a white summer res...moreI received this book for free through First Reads.
Wench is a story about four slave women in the 1850's, and their summer trips to a white summer resort in Ohio where their owners use them as mistresses, as well as subject them to other unthinkable things. The characters are represented with the situations they face, by fear, love, jealousy, longing, and hope.
Dolen Perkins-Valdez does a brilliant job portraying the character Lizzie. Lizzie is a slave from a young age and is brought into womanhood believing that her master Drayle loves her, and in turn she loves him too. The heart of this book lies in Lizzie's own heart, as she learns to trust herself and her true feelings for the events that are taking place in her life.
I had a hard time getting into this book because I couldn't feel what the characters were feeling. After pages of deciding that emotion was extremely lacking, I realized that lacking emotion was exactly the point. The trials and tribulations that these slaves went through in their daily lives made them to harden their hearts as a way of survival.
There were many excerpts I struggled to read because they were so real, so gut wrenching. As far as these plots go though, Perkins-Valdez was very tactful in her writing, and I did appreciate that.
A very bold breakthrough novel. I would have liked to have heard more about the Abolition, but coming from the slave's point of views we are meant to understand that we (the reader) only know as much as the slaves do. (less)
I just couldn't get into River Cross My Heart. The story opens with the tragic death of a young girl, and the following plot always comes back to that...moreI just couldn't get into River Cross My Heart. The story opens with the tragic death of a young girl, and the following plot always comes back to that scene, and how a family and neighborhood are changed because of the death. I don't know if it is because the reader doesn't know the character that passes away, but because there were so few details I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters, but rather felt that I was reading the news.
Breena Clarke writes beautifully about 1920's Georgetown, nearly to an extent that you feel like you're there in the Bynum's kitchen as the smells of Thanksgiving dinner take over the house. I truly commend the writing style of this first novel.
The protagonist, Johnnie Mae, lives a troubled life from the point of her sister's death, and many of the scenes with the pool, river, and her friend Pearl left me puzzled. I feel like this book left a lot of things unresolved and walk away somewhat scratching my head.
This book is my favorite Emily Giffin book to date. As I started reading, there were moments when I couldn't help but roll my eyes, as with the last t...moreThis book is my favorite Emily Giffin book to date. As I started reading, there were moments when I couldn't help but roll my eyes, as with the last two books. BUT... then I asked myself, exactly why do I keep reading? I think that answer is that Giffin's books are full of characters that consistently make choices that I myself would never make, and something in that intrigues me. That, and, her writing on New York and all its haunts take me back to the time when I lived there, so much to a point that I can feel chilly autumn air and the smell of the village.
Anyways... I thoroughly enjoyed Baby Proof. I feel that Giffin did an excellent job displaying the world of publishing, and that Claudia is her most real character to date. I didn't find the book predictable at all, and it was interesting to read this outlook on the things we will and/or won't do for love. An easy read and the perfect companion to cozy up with on a cold November day. (less)
Such a well written and well thought out book! The complex world that Audrey Niffenegger creates draws the reader in and takes you to a place where ti...moreSuch a well written and well thought out book! The complex world that Audrey Niffenegger creates draws the reader in and takes you to a place where time travel is really possible and the consequences are both of vast amazement and trouble.
I really enjoyed reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I have not yet seen the movie (always prefer to read the book first) but look forward to now. I appreciated how much detail Niffenegger went to to bring us the intimate world of Clare and Henry, the majesty of the Meadowlark home, and the pain and suffering of miscarriage.
As far as the characters are concerned, I was a little apprehensive about reading a story in which the main character meets her husband at age 6. There were instances in which I felt sorry for her, with her whole life already predestined before her, and I believe that she could have done better than Henry. However, those circumstances would not have made the book work, and I think The Time Traveler's Wife is a remarkable story of a romance over the course of time. Some of the explicit language took away from the lovey dovey feelings I was hoping to feel, but I think they better explain what kind of person Henry is and where he is coming from.
I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I believe that it would have been just as brilliant of a read had it been about 150 pages shorter. There were many scenes and dialogue that I just felt could have been left out, and may have taken away from the magic of the plot just a tiny bit. (less)
Emily Giffin makes a bold move in Something Blue by telling the story from the perspective of Darcy. After reading Something Borrowed, the reader is n...moreEmily Giffin makes a bold move in Something Blue by telling the story from the perspective of Darcy. After reading Something Borrowed, the reader is naturally inclined to "side" with Rachel, and this new perspective does take some getting used to. For about the first half of Something Blue I still couldn't stand Darcy and wondered why Giffin thought it would be a good idea to make her the protagonist of an entire novel. However, if you hang in there, what emerges is brilliant writing. Giffin displays how people grow and change given the circumstances in their lives, and it is truly very interesting how everything comes full circle in the end. (less)
I loved "The Lace Makers of Glenmara." I found this short read absolutely charming and enchanting. Barbieri's storytelling really engaged me, and with...moreI loved "The Lace Makers of Glenmara." I found this short read absolutely charming and enchanting. Barbieri's storytelling really engaged me, and within the first few chapters I felt like I was in Glenmara myself.
I enjoyed reading the novel from all of the characters angles, and believe that it added a lot of flavor to the story. The so many intricate themes going on in "The Lace Makers of Glenmara" we woven so delicately together, just like lace. A bittersweet read celebrating friendship, adventure, and letting life lead us to where we belong. (less)
I would have given Veil of Roses 3.5 stars if the half star was available, but being that it is not... the highest I will rate is a 3 star.
The theme...moreI would have given Veil of Roses 3.5 stars if the half star was available, but being that it is not... the highest I will rate is a 3 star.
The theme behind the story has an extremely winning concept. A woman's Iranian family gets her a three month visa to the United States in hopes that their daughter will find a suitable husband and gain citizenship. Being that life in Iran is far from ideal, the story speaks of the pressures and frustrations with finding a husband who will also allows her to live a free life in America.
Though I enjoyed the characters and scenes in this book very much, I could not help but think the entire time that "something is missing." For one, the plot does not leave much to mystery, and the outcomes are sometimes almost painfully predictable. Second, this book is lacking historical facts. I decided to read this book mainly as a way to learn about Iranian culture and the true emotions of women who have to live their lives by nothing but rules. This book is lacking both. The most we learn is that there have been 'revolutions' in Iran in to which these circumstances have made things the way that they are. The author would have done well to dig a little deeper into Iranian history to help us connect with Tami (the protagonist) a little bit more.
I did enjoy what a light read this was and appreciated the coming together of Tami's English class as a focal point of the story. (less)
Something Borrowed definitely brought me back to the time I spent living in Manhattan, with the people, the attitudes, and the all too real deceit amo...moreSomething Borrowed definitely brought me back to the time I spent living in Manhattan, with the people, the attitudes, and the all too real deceit among groups of friends.
I started the book expecting a bunch of "fluff," but was drawn in by Emily Giffin's writing style. Reading this book was as fluid as a conversation with an old friend. I couldn't put the book down! I felt like the narrator Rachel's confident, and even though I couldn't stand some of her actions, I just had to know what was going to happen next.
The ending was not what I expected, which separates Something Borrowed from the all too familiar chick lit read. I look forward to reading the next book in her series, Something Blue. (less)
After reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, I am thoroughly disappointed in The Mermaid Chair. First of all, the main plot of the book is...moreAfter reading The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, I am thoroughly disappointed in The Mermaid Chair. First of all, the main plot of the book is completely unoriginal. Mother begins to drown in crazy illness, mother's friends encourage daughter to come home to mom, daughter enters bought of self discovery back at home. Ya-Ya Sisterhood sound familiar?
I think that the problem I had with this book was the protagonist, Jessie. Jessie is an empty nester going through what is obviously a mid-life crisis. She's whiney, selfish, and above all thinks that the world revolves around her. The text is just begging with the reader to sympathize with this character, but I just couldn't. I felt that the other characters were underdeveloped and that I didn't get a chance to know them.
What I enjoyed most about The Mermaid Chair was the story of Jessie's parents, and their marriage. Still, I was left without any "a-ha" moments to which will keep this book in the back of my mind.
Whereas I do find Sue Monk Kidd to be a brilliant author with unlimited potential, I do think this one was a miss. (less)