I had heard about this book from a few sources but I never got around to picking it up. Finally I was waiting for the new #1 Ladies Detective Agency B...moreI had heard about this book from a few sources but I never got around to picking it up. Finally I was waiting for the new #1 Ladies Detective Agency Book to come out (which it does today!) and since I was in the mood for a cozy mystery I decided to use this book to pass the time. When I saw it was recommended by no other than Alexander McCall Smith, I took it as sign that now was the time to finally read it.
What I didn't expect was how much I would like it! I love Maisie. I could not put this sweet heart warming book down. I haven't loved a book so much in a long time. The mystery was perfect and the soldiers and Simon broke my heart. It made me think about the soldiers fighting in the middle east today. I've already put the next book on hold at the library. I hope I can catch up so I can join in Bookclubgirl.com's Mad for Maisie read a long concluding next month with an author interview with Jacqueline Winspear herself discussing the latest book in this series. I can now be counted among the mad for Maisie(less)
Another hugely entertaining novel in the Maisie Dobbs series. In this novel Maisie takes on the task of locating the final resting place of the son of...moreAnother hugely entertaining novel in the Maisie Dobbs series. In this novel Maisie takes on the task of locating the final resting place of the son of a client who was shot down during the war in France. She also finds herself looking for the final resting place of her best friend Priscilla's brother. The tasks require her to go to France and face down some of her personal demons from the war. In this novel her relationship with doctor Deene deepens and she suffers a breach of trust with her mentor Maurice. This series does not shy away from difficult topics such as homophobia. The plot of this book relied on a series of implausible coincidences to bring everything together but in the end I didn't really care. I am still mad for Maisie.(less)
I had this one sitting on my shelf for awhile and after a push from a teenage friend who declared it one of her all time favorite books I decided to g...moreI had this one sitting on my shelf for awhile and after a push from a teenage friend who declared it one of her all time favorite books I decided to give it a go. By the time the story starts, the protagonist Hannah has already killed herself. Before she did she mailed out tapes detailing the parts that all of the people in her life played in her her decision. After each person hears the tapes they are to mail it out to the next person on the the tape. Some of the things that Hannah accused people of were rather minor and petty but some were of a criminal level. Although no one incident alone was enough to set Hannah on her course each incident lent itself to something else until there was a snowball effect. The reader experiences the tapes through Clay, a one time possible love interest of Hannah's who may be the only innocent person on the tapes.
So I had a few complaints about the story. I find it rather doubtful that the people on the tapes would be mailing them out to other people. There is some implied threat by Hannah if they don't but it was weak. Also there is an awful lot of stuff happening in a short time. Drunk driving, murder, suicide, and rape just to name a few. Although I have no doubt that these issues affect high school students every day, the fact that so much happens to such a small group of people stretches the imagination. Lastly I didn't find Hannah's decision to enter the hot tub plausible. She had seen the boy in question rape her friend and she gets in the hot tub with him. Why? All of that aside there is a powerful message to this book. Kids can sometimes be so thoughtless. A throw away moment to one person can be life altering to another. We could all be kinder to one another and in a fishbowl like high school that kindness could be critical. Kudos to Asher for presenting the message in a non preachy way. When he gets something right like the list of who's hot and who's not it brought so many memories of high school flooding back and not all were good. I can see now from my position in life that what other's think of you does not define you. It's a hard message to get my high school daughter to understand. My daughter is an intrinsically kind person but even so I am going to have her read this book. It's always good to remember that you don't know what the people who are next to you are struggling with. In any case everyone can use a friendly smile and a kind word. It could make all the difference.(less)
I read this when it came out but since the daughter showed an interest in the series ahead of the movie we decided to listen to the books on CD. The b...moreI read this when it came out but since the daughter showed an interest in the series ahead of the movie we decided to listen to the books on CD. The book is in two parts. The first chapters deal with Katniss's feelings about surviving the hunger games and how it has changed her and the relationships in her life. The constant running of her internal dialogue grated on my nerves at times but maybe because it was the second time I was experiencing it. To me the book really takes off in the second half when Katniss and Peeta make a return to the games along with the other previous victors. This sets up the introduction of a whole new set of characters including my favorites, Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason. Who needs Gale or Peeta when you have Finnick. During most of the first book Katniss erroneously thought that Peeta was out to kill her. This time around she is sure that Finnick is trying to do her and Peeta in. Poor Katniss has trust issues. If only she could get better at reading people. Quibbles aside the action in the second round of the Hunger Games is even better than the first. The end of the book leaves you hanging as to the status of the rebellion. Fortunately for everyone, the third book in the trilogy is out so no one has to wait long for answers. I can't wait to see who is cast for the role of Finnick Odair in the second movie. You can vote for your favorite choice of actor in the poll over at Entertainment Weekly. (less)