I finally managed to catch up on one of the series I'm currently reading. Dexter by Design is the fourth book in the Dexter series, and the last one tI finally managed to catch up on one of the series I'm currently reading. Dexter by Design is the fourth book in the Dexter series, and the last one that has been published so far. That is until September 2010 when the next book is due to be released!
Dexter just got married and he returns to Miami from his honeymoon just in time for a series of grotesque murders. As usual Deb turns to her brother for his insight and help with the investigation, but the Dark Passenger is telling Dexter that there is more to this serial killer than meets the eye. At a turn of events, Dexter finds himself more involved than he would like to be when Deb is viciously stabbed and the situation becomes a lot more personal. Dexter wants revenge and in his rash decision he may have broken the Harry code, which results in a few suspicions being raised. The next thing he knows his family is being targeted, just what he needed for some people to raise an eyebrow. Things are not looking promising for Dex!
This is another fantastic book in the Dexter series. Lindsay has created a character that you can't help but love, and no matter what Dexter does I still find him fascinating. Too bad the other characters are not as strong and are even irritating at times. The best example of this is Deborah, who has bothered me since the second book and wish she would just get her act together. One downside of this book is that it can get repetitive, both within itself and the previous books in the series. If I was Lindsay I would have reduced the amount of coincidences too, it makes Dexter seem like he's losing his edge and only gets through it because he's one damn lucky guy. Nevertheless I loved the story and I couldn't stop reading until I finished it! Dexter's new family is much more involved in this book, it is something I find interesting for someone who claims to be heartless, and would love to see how Astor and Cody's characters are developed.
As I said for the other books, although I enjoyed them all nothing beats the first book. This one has a mean ending and I hate that I have to wait so long for the next book - Dexter is Delicious - to be released! ...more
I have always been quite skeptical about audiobooks, to me it just didn't seem right if you're not holiding a book in your hands and being able to fl I have always been quite skeptical about audiobooks, to me it just didn't seem right if you're not holiding a book in your hands and being able to flip through the pages. I finally decided to give it a try, and I was so sure that I was going to hate it that I was utterly amazed when I instantly started to like it.
In this collection of humorous essays, David Sedaris starts by chronicling his childhood and moves on to his relocation to France. I think it's a known fact that Sedaris had quite an interesting childhood and his essays reflect much of this, including the relationship he had with his parents and siblings. By the looks of it however, it seems his adult life is nothing less.
From the very beginning until the end of this book I could not stop laughing. The author has a way to say things that made me burst out laughing, especially the way he compares things, it is just brilliant. My favorite essays were those about his move to France. Getting accustomed to a new culture, learning the language, trying to hold on to his heritage, and how other nations view Americans, these essays were all so amusing and people that have been through a similar experience can definitely relate to it. I felt that the fact that the narrator of the book was David Sedaris himself was a big plus, I simply loved how it was read!
This book has not only made me want to read more from David Sedaris, but also give other audiobooks a try, so there is no doubt that you will see more of these reviews in the future! The only drawback I found is that it seems I tend to forget things more when I am listening instead of reading, so I had to go back a few times, does that happen to anyone else?...more
Recently I participated in my first book swap, and this is the book I ended up with. It was probably the most "stolen" book throughout the swap, and tRecently I participated in my first book swap, and this is the book I ended up with. It was probably the most "stolen" book throughout the swap, and the real reason that I stole it was to get another chance to pick the book I wanted. However the game ended unexpectedly when someone opened the last book and I got to keep Garden Spells. I am so glad it turned out like that or I would have never read this book!
In Bascom, North Carolina, every family has its own characteristics. The Waverley family is bestowed with magical abilities, and this makes them a peculiar bunch to the rest of the town. Whilst Claire has accepted this and is using it to her advantage, her sister Sydney has not and she has always tried to detach herself from her family. When things turn bad for Sydney however, the only safe place she and her daughter Bay can return to is back home in Bascom. Once back, Sydney and Claire have to learn to accept each other to be able to live together again, the two sisters have to confront their past in order to work out their differences.
The Waverley's are such a fun family with their special abilities, especially Evanelle who gives people things which they don't know what to do with, but will eventually need. This book has such a homely feeling, it made me want to be part of the Waverley family. I loved the quirky characters, including the magical tree in the Waverley's garden who also happens to have its own magical ability. This made for a delightful read, and although the ending was slightly predictable, it was still very enjoyable. I kept thinking about this book even after I finished it and it has become one of my all time favorite books.
I never expected to love this book so much, but it came in a perfect time when I really needed a feel good story, enhanced by magic and a little bit of romance. I now really want to read more from Sarah Addison Allen, and can't wait to get my hands on The Sugar Queen by her. ...more
This book was suggested to me by someone while playing a recommendation game. As soon as I checked it out I immediately thought it would be an interesThis book was suggested to me by someone while playing a recommendation game. As soon as I checked it out I immediately thought it would be an interesting story so I added it to my ever growing TBR (to be read) list, or as I saw someone call it once, Mount TBR. I had never heard of Harlan Coben prior to this so I looked around for reviews of his books and they all had good things to say about them.
David Beck and his wife Elizabeth were visiting the family lake house when they were brutally attacked. Elizabeth was murdered that night and David was left for dead. Now eight years later, someone is playing a nasty joke on Dr Beck by sending him anonymous emails which lead him to believe that Elizabeth is still alive. But how could that be? When Elizabeth's body was found she was identified and her murderer had been caught and jailed. Dr Beck knows that it is impossible, but the hope that he will see Elizabeth once again sends him in pursuit of her. Unknowingly Dr Beck ends up being a suspect for several crimes and things are not looking good for him.
This book is truly brilliant, just a few pages in and I was hooked. It was impossible to put it down. The story is fast paced, and with Dr Beck running from the police it made for lots of action and suspense. There are also lots of twists throughout the plot which keeps you asking what is going to happen next. However the biggest twist was definitely the ending, I never saw it coming! Coben leads you to believe that everything has fallen into place and that the person behind it all has been identified, that is until you read the last lines and you find out that it is actually a different story entirely. This was a well thought out story and I liked Coben's style of writing, I just love it when a book sucks me right in and I can't stop reading. I nearly ruined the book for myself because for a reason unbeknownst to me I decided to skim over the last page when I was still early on in the book. It did reveal one thing but I didn't really get the ending then, so I'm happy that it didn't ruin the story. Just one piece of advice, try not to do that as much as you can.
I will definitely be reading more books by Harlan Coben, in fact I purchased The Woods along with this book because I read good reviews for it too. Oh and I also just learned that Tell No One was made into a movie so I will have to check it out as well. Even though I rarely ever like movies that are based on books, I still want to watch them to see what they managed to come up with! ...more
I forgot where I got to know about this book, but I do remember that as soon as I read what it is about I was interested in it right away. A couple ofI forgot where I got to know about this book, but I do remember that as soon as I read what it is about I was interested in it right away. A couple of months later I was at the airport waiting for my flight back home, and as I always do I stopped at the bookstore. As soon as I went in, the first thing I saw was a huge pile of The White Tiger books, so I obviously had to get it.
Balram Halwai is an Indian entrepreneur. When he hears that Premier Wen Jiabao of China is going to visit his country, Balram decides to tell him about the life in India that he will no doubt not be told about on his visit. That is the life of an entrepreneur coming from a lower caste. In his letter, Balram tells Premier Jiabao about his childhood in poverty, his life in Delhi as a servant to Mr Ashok, how he became a wanted man, and ultimately an entrepreneur in Bangalore.
The journey of Balram to become an entrepreneur brings out the extreme difference between the poor and the rich in India. I found Balram to be quite an interesting character. He hated the people that were corrupt and immoral, and did whatever it takes to get what they wanted, but in the end he too became one of these people. However, the sad thing is that it doesn't seems that there was a clean way of getting out of the rooster coop he was in, there are simply no opportunities for someone that is born in 'the darkness' to free himself. I think this is the message that the author wanted to get across, and he did it by first getting the reader's empathy for Balram, so when his actions become unspeakable you still feel for him and believe that he had to do what he did to gain his freedom. What I thought was quite unsettling was his views on white people, and it makes me wonder if that is a common belief amongst these people. This was an easy and fast read, sometimes being satirical too, even though the topic is not a light one and it raised many questions while I was reading it.
This is the first book I have read about this topic, and although I have watched the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire', I didn't quite understand what it meant to belong to a lower caste in India before I read this book. Of course I also remind myself that this is fiction, but it seems that this has become such a popular topic to write about lately that it feels like these authors want to get a message across. ...more
After reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which I really loved, I decided to pick up another Austen novel and chose Mansfield Park because I hAfter reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which I really loved, I decided to pick up another Austen novel and chose Mansfield Park because I had read that it is different from her more popular books.
In this novel, the ten year old Fanny Price is taken from her poor parents' home to live at Mansfield Park and be brought up with her rich cousins. Here the difference in class becomes very apparent, her cousins feel superior to her so they ignore her most of the time, however her cousin Edmund is different and he becomes Fanny's only friend. While her uncle is away in Antigua, the Crawford's arrive in the neighborhood and as they become closer to the family the story unravels into a moral and social dilemma.
It started a little slow and halfway through the book I was still waiting for something to happen, it just seemed to dwell on the day-to-day lives of the Bertrams and the Crawfords, without giving much importance to Fanny. I found some of the characters in this book to be really hateful, I especially hated Mrs. Norris and how she treated Fanny, taking credit where it was not deserved and spoiling Fanny's cousins. At times I just wanted to talk some sense into their heads to stop being so selfish. The two characters that I liked from the very beginning were Fanny for how sensible she was and Edmund for how kind he was to his cousin when everyone else pretty much ignored her, and as the story developed I also started liking Sir Thomas Bertram more and more. The last two hundred pages is when the story started to get really interesting. I really wanted Henry Crawford to be successful in his quest, I believed that Fanny changed him. I certainly was not expecting the ending, it seemed that the character's lives were too dull for such things to happen to them so it came as a surprise to me, and although I was disappointed in some of them I was also very happy with how it ended. At the end of the the book I realized that the time spent getting to know the characters in the beginning was well worth it because it gives you a better understanding of their actions.
I love the detail that Jane Austen puts into her characters, it makes you feel like you know these people and you're part of the story. Although Mansfield Park is not as edgy as Pride and Prejudice, it's still a great classic and I would recommend it to any classics or Jane Austen fan....more
I first heard about The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as a movie and thought it was one to watch. I later found out that it is based on a book and that gI first heard about The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as a movie and thought it was one to watch. I later found out that it is based on a book and that got me even more interested. I normally prefer to read the book first so I held off from watching the movie until I read it.
Bruno is the nine year old son of a Commandant in Nazi Germany. Due to his father's job his family is moved from their home in Berlin to Auschwitz. Bruno does not understand why they have to move and he certainly doesn't like it. Their new home is not as nice as the one in Berlin and he misses his three best friends for life, besides there is nothing to do here and he has no friends to play with. From his bedroom window he can see lots of other kids at the other side of the fence, all wearing striped pyjamas, but he is not allowed to go over there and play with them. One day Bruno is out exploring when he finds Shmuel, a boy from the other side of the fence. Bruno and Shmuel become friends, and from this friendship Bruno starts to discover what is really going on around him.
This is easily the saddest book I have read this year and what made it worse was the innocence of the two boys who really didn't understand the meaning behind the concentration camp or why they were supposed to be enemies. Throughout the book you encounter little hints of what goes on at the other side and how the Jews were treated, which the nine year old Bruno does not seem to apprehend but you obviously do. However nothing prepared me for the ending. Since I know that this book is geared towards young adults, I think I was naive as to how bad it could get and I was really shocked. I never thought a book could do that to me! The only thing that bothered me about this book is that sometimes the writing was mediocre. This was mostly due to long sentences that had no punctuation and never seemed to end. However, since I was so wrapped up in the story I was able to overlook this and it didn't hinder me from enjoying the book any less.
I have now watched the movie right after reading the book. I must say that I was very pleased with how true to the original story they kept and it was just as good as the book, which is rarely something I would say for movies based on books. Of course there were some minor details in the book that were missing in the movie, that always annoys me a little because it's those details that make the story more real, but I'm glad that they didn't spoil it. ...more
This was the first book that I have won from participating in a giveaway! I had been wanting to read this one for a long time, so when I received theThis was the first book that I have won from participating in a giveaway! I had been wanting to read this one for a long time, so when I received the email to tell me that I won Water for Elephants I was thrilled.
The story is told from two different perspectives, that of 93 year old Jacob, and the same Jacob at the age of 22. In 1931, the young Jacob finds himself unexpectedly joining a traveling circus after a family tragedy leads him to quit school. There he meets Marlena, the equestrian on the show, and as time goes by their affection for each other keeps growing. However Marlena is already married to August, the animal trainer who is a certified paranoid schizophrenic. The time he spends with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth is further complicated due to the struggle circuses everywhere were going through because of the great depression, which made Uncle Al, the ruthless owner of the circus even more difficult to deal with. Now at 93, Jacob cannot grasp the idea that he is getting old and he can't believe this old man's body is his, neither can he accept the fact that he has to live in an assisted living home. One day a visiting circus arrives, and while eagerly waiting for his family to take him to the circus, his memories are triggered and the younger Jacob takes over to tell the story.
Most of the time when I start a book it takes a couple of chapters to actually decide if I am liking it or not, however I liked Water for Elephants from the very start! It was an easy and enjoyable read, and although it might be considered as chick lit this book is very well researched and gives you just enough detail to make you feel like you know what it's all about. The characters just come to life, I loved the young Jacob and Marlena, and felt so bad for the older Jacob. In this book, even the animals are given a personality, especially Rosie the elephant who was definitely a favorite of mine because of the fact that she has more human characteristics than some of the other characters. In the end it turned out to be very moving, with a pleasant surprise included as well. It made me so happy to know that Jacob found a way to be content again.
The book finished with a note and a conversation with Sara Gruen. I really enjoy reading these as it gives you an insight on the author's thoughts, and what was the idea behind the story. In fact I was really impressed to learn that most things in this book are based on real life events. I would have never thought! ...more
I have been meaning to read something by Bill Bryson for a while now and I finally picked this up from the library. Being that I'm more familiar withI have been meaning to read something by Bill Bryson for a while now and I finally picked this up from the library. Being that I'm more familiar with England, I chose this one first, although his titles all sound so tempting.
Before writing this book, Bill Bryson had been living in England for a number of years when he decided to move back home to the U.S. However before he left he decided that he needed to take a farewell trip around Britain, which he then chronicled in Notes From A Small Island. Bryson starts his trip in Dover, where he arrives by boat from Calais, just like he did the first time he came to Britain, and travels up North as far as Scotland. During his tour, he stops at various small towns and cities where he often stays at shabby hotels, visits museums, galleries, and historic sites, as well as go to the local pubs and restaurants. His insight on each of these is often hilarious.
From the very beginning this book was laugh out loud funny and he can poke fun at pretty much anything, good job I was reading this at home. It was especially interesting to read about places that I have been to myself, and most of the time realized that the things he was saying were so true. Although I must say that I was quite disappointed about his views on Oxford, since I have been there many times and love it. Sometimes it seemed that he got a little whiny, and I found his attitude towards people serving him in restaurants was often snotty, but I chalked it up to being away from his family and home for so long. I guess that is my excuse for not wanting to believe that he is that kind of person. The biggest downfall of this book is that it made me want to pack my suitcase and go to England to visit all these places, even the ones which Bryson didn't like!
All in all I really enjoyed reading this book and I am already planning on which Bryson book to read next! ...more
I normally do not read a lot of young adult fiction, but in the past year I have come across a ton of young adult books which I want to read. So thisI normally do not read a lot of young adult fiction, but in the past year I have come across a ton of young adult books which I want to read. So this year I have decided to include more books from this genre, and that started when I was at the airport in London waiting for my flight back home. As usual I went to the bookstore to pick up a book or two, as is my custom, and Need was one of the books I got. I couldn't wait to read it, so I started it as soon as I got home.
Zara's world comes to a halt when her father suddenly dies. To help her move on, her mother decides to send her to live with her grandmother in Maine, and although Zara loves her grandmother she is not too thrilled about leaving her home in Charleston. Once in Maine things do not seem too bad however, her first day at school went relatively well and it did not take her long to find new friends in Issie, Devyn and the very handsome Nick. Except one thing is still bothering her. Back when she was at home she thought that a guy was stalking her, and it looks like moving to Maine did not get rid of him. On her mission to find out who's following her, Zara makes a surprising discovery, one that is completely new to her, but what is more surprising is that it is not so new to the people around her.
I have read this book a couple of weeks ago and I still have mixed feelings about it. I liked the plot in general, but I think the story could have been developed in a better way instead of being cut so short. It feels like I barely had time to get to know the characters and their surroundings and before I knew it the story was over. Most of the time it is quite predictable and you can see what is going to happen early on. Once that happens it makes it a little frustrating that you have to wait a good amount of pages for it to be revealed. The characters are mostly likable, even though I may have wanted to yell at Zara a few times, I liked the way that she views everything around her. I also liked the bubbly Issie, but I can see where she may come across as annoying to some. In fact I missed Issie and Devyn when they got out of the picture for a while, but just when I started to wonder what happened to them they were introduced back in. My favorite character was without a doubt Zara's grandmother Betty, I thought her humor made the book more enjoyable. Having a grandma like her would be amazing. The other thing I wasn't a big fan of was the short sentences which occurred so often, such as "I pull away. He lets go. I walk over to the door." I don't get the point of having such sentences, or how they're supposed to enhance your experience when reading, I personally find these very tedious.
One thing that this book definitely did though, is make me want to read more young adult / urban fantasy books. Oh to be lost in a completely different world, one with faeries, werewolves, and young love! Isn't it so awesome! ...more
This is another book where I heard about the movie first, and then discovered that it was based on a book, so quite naturally I had to read it.
This boThis is another book where I heard about the movie first, and then discovered that it was based on a book, so quite naturally I had to read it.
This book is set in post WWII Germany and told by Michael Berg. It starts when he was 15 years old and Hanna Schmitz came into his life. Although Hanna was twice his age, Michael was seduced and immediately fell in love with her. For a period of time they were lovers, and one of the things that Hanna liked was when Michael read to her, until one day Hanna disappeared and left no way for Michael to contact her. Years later when he is a law student, Michael is assigned to a trial and there he unexpectedly sees Hanna again. This time things have changed, she is being trialled as a guard in one of the concentration camps and there is so much about Hanna that Michael doesn't know. As he sits through the trial he tries to understand her motive, until he discovers the secret which is keeping Hanna from defending herself.
I found this to be a very easy and a quick read, and although it is a short novel, the topics it deals with give you a lot to think about. I liked the two main characters in this book, yet I thought that Hanna was much stronger and at first I was a little disappointed when Michael discovered her secret. My initial reaction was that it was impossible for someone to behave that way, but thinking about it made me realize how much it must have meant for Hanna if she was willing to get a harsher sentence to conceal her secret. In the end I was eager to see what happened to Michael and Hanna, but again was disappointed by what she did. I may have been hoping for a happy ending though, and the fact that it did not happen could have something to do with why I was unhappy with Hanna.
I think I expected more from this book, probably because of all the hype surrounding the movie that was released in 2008, which I haven't seen yet because as always I like to read the book first. All in all however it was still worth reading and I think it would make a great book for discussion, it is surely good food for thought. ...more
I found the title of this book to be quite interesting and I was curious as to what the Potato Peel Pie was and what it had to do with a literary sociI found the title of this book to be quite interesting and I was curious as to what the Potato Peel Pie was and what it had to do with a literary society. Once I found out this was a book set in post WWII I definitely had to read it, especially since everyone I know raved about it.
It is 1946 and Juliet is searching for a topic for her next book. One day she receives an unexpected letter from Dawsey Adams, a resident of Guernsey who came across a book once owned by Juliet. Dawsey and Juliet start exchanging letters and soon Juliet becomes interested in Guernsey, the German Occupation and the society that Dawsey was a member of. It is not long before other members of the society start corresponding with Juliet, each telling her their experiences of the Occupation. Juliet falls in love with the members of this society and decides to visit Guernsey in an attempt to gather more material for her book. Here she meets some extraordinary people and learns about the hardships that the Occupation brought for the Islanders, and the courage they had to get through it.
I love reading historical fiction about WWII and I definitely recommend this one. It is written in the form of letters, mainly to and from Juliet, which is the main character. I thought this was a great way to portray the views of the different characters and it made their experiences seem more personal. I found myself attached to all the characters, especially Juliet where at times her wit really cracked me up. Although dealing with a topic like WWII and the suffering that the people went through in this time, it is told in a lighthearted and humane way so as to make the book very enjoyable to read. I really didn't want this book to end, but I was pleased with how it ended as I am a sucker for happy endings. Seriously though who doesn't love one? However I must mention that if you are looking for an in-depth book about the German Occupation in Guernsey, this is not it. You have to keep in mind that this is fiction which is pleasantly written and great for a light read, so you should not expect a lot of detail on the Occupation itself.
My favorite quote from this book was made by Isola in one of her letters to Juliet, when I read it I had to stop and laugh - "Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life." I think this holds true not just for men, but characters in books are generally much more interesting than anyone I know! ...more
I have had this book sitting on my shelf for a long time and I finally decided to pick it up. I am usually not a fan of short stories because I feel yI have had this book sitting on my shelf for a long time and I finally decided to pick it up. I am usually not a fan of short stories because I feel you don't have enough time to connect with the characters, but since these were novellas and a little longer than what is considered to be a short story it sounded promising. I ended up really liking Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, sort of liking Apt Pupil, and not liking The Body and The Breathing Method much.
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption ~ This is the first time I have read anything by Stephen King that wasn't a horror story, no scary situations and no gory details whatsoever. I'm sure that many people are familiar with the story of Andy Dufresne and how he broke out of prison as it was made into one of the best movies ever. It is told by Red, Andy's prison mate, and it leaves you with a positive message and a sense of respect for Andy which got what he wanted through his patience and determination.
Apt Pupil ~ I had no idea that Stephen King wrote any WWII fiction so this story came as a nice surprise. An American teenager discovers one of the most brutal Nazi war criminals living in his neighborhood under a false name. In turn for his silence he asks the old German to tell him about the atrocities that occurred in the concentration camps, including all the "gooshy" details. The boy's interest however turns into something more dangerous and horrible that unleashes the monster within both characters. The story started out good and kept my interest, but as it progressed it became more twisted and sometimes quite sick too.
The Body ~ This is a coming of age story about four boys that go on an adventure to find the dead body of a boy that was hit by a train. It is told by one of these boys who grew up to be an author and it really captures the process of maturing from childhood to adolescence really well. The premise was good however it seemed to drag on and after a while it got boring, it never seemed to reach a climax. It is not what I would call a bad story but it is just ok. It reminded me a lot of 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon', another book by King which I was not too crazy about.
The Breathing Method ~ It is Dr. McCarron's turn to tell a story at an obscure gentlemen's club, and the story he picks is about a young pregnant woman he met earlier in his career who mastered the Lameze breathing method which he suggested. This is a story within a story which turns out to have a horrible ending, in fact the ending of this last novella was what reminded me that I was reading a book by Stephen King, it just seemed like his sort of thing. This is also the shortest and the only novella in this book that has not been made into a movie so far. I did not particularly like this one either, and although the ending was quite suspenseful, it did bore me out a little as a whole.
The part I liked the most from this book was the Afterword, where King includes a background of how this book came to be. I really enjoyed reading this, even though it made me feel a bit bad that I didn't like the stories as much as the author hoped....more