The Help is one of those game changing novels. This is a novel that will likely be read by generation after generation. It is told from the viewpoint of Skeeter, Minny, and Abileen. So you don't just get Skeeter's naive view of things. In fact getting all three viewpoints only highlights Skeeter's naivete. The movie did stay very close to the book. In fact I recognized several lines from the movie as I read the book. The adaptation was nearly flawless. There were *some* scenes that had been tweaked a bit from the book, but not anything that changed the core story.
My bottom line, if you have not read this book you must. Then you must run out and rent the movie. You will be thankful you did, I promise.(less)
Holy Smokes, talk about adrenaline rush! I now understand why everyone is so eager to get their hands on Mockingjay the minute they finish Catching Fire. The cliffhanger is almost criminal! I really liked how Suzanne Collins further developed the relationship between Peeta and Katniss and it makes it really hard to decide if I am on Team Peeta or Team Gale. I also really enjoyed meeting some of the past victors, especially Finnick. It has me so excited for the second movie to be released. I am dying to see who they cast as Finnick. Who do you picture as Finnick?
Bottom line, if you have read The Hunger Games, then odds are you have already read Catching Fire. It is such a heart pounding thrill ride that just grabs hold and doesn't let go. There is just something about Katniss and the people of District 12 that captures your heart and that makes the ride that much more thrilling. So what do you guys think - Team Peeta or Team Gale?(less)
Fat Cat is a YA book about a seventeen year old heavyweight braniac, Cat. Cat is given a picture of a male & female Homo Erectus and is told that she has seven months to create a Science Fair project based off of this picture. After some major freaking out, she decides she is going to do an experiment where she will live the kind of life that our very first ancestors lived. No electricity, no technology, no processed foods. She can only eat what the hominid's could have eaten. She must walk everywhere & she has to give up her iPod, television, and cell phone. With the support of her family & her best friend, Amanda, Cat sets off on a scientific journey that will change her life.
As I sit here eating leftover tater tots & chicken strips, I realize that this book could do for the eating habits of high schoolers what Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver did for the eating habits of millions of adults. The book chronicles what eating clean did for Cat. From losing weight to clearing up acne, it becomes clear that her lifestyle change really is the healthy way to live. But the other thing that the author exposes us to is all of the emotional baggage that overweight people, especially kids, have to deal with. Primarily the self esteem issues. That is what REALLY hit home for me. I didn't have weight issues when I was a teen (that came later) but I had major self esteem issues due to physical disabilities and I could easily relate to the hurt feelings that Cat had regarding her relationship with an old friend. The situation was so familiar to me, it moved me to tears.(less)
On December 11, 2008 news reports all over the world were saturated with the headlines that Bernie Madoff was guilty of running the largest Ponzi scheme ever known to the people of America. Over 13,000 people had trusted Madoff with their fortunes. In most cases, vast fortunes. On December 11, 2008 over 13,000 people realized that their fortunes, vast or not, were gone.
Author and artist, Alexandra Penney was one of those people. Her whole world stopped and her worst nightmare had come true. She was penniless. That would be like me waking up to find that all of my teeth had fallen out. Teeth falling out is a common nightmare and apparently so is the nightmare of becoming a bag lady. Alexandra Penney is one of many successful women who have this nightmare. To discover that your nightmare has come real is at minimum, paralyzing.(less)
It was a bit hard for me to suspend my disbelief. Once I let my disbelief go and let myself get wrapped up in the story, I was swept away by the very enchanting Jessica, no matter which body she was inhabiting. The ending was wrapped up nicely, but it did not seem forced, so I was pleased with that. Overall, I would recommend the book, but be prepared for the sci-fi element of the premise. (less)
Put aside everything you think you know about Angels. Angelology is an absolutely wonderful, fast paced novel that is a mixture of factual history wit...morePut aside everything you think you know about Angels. Angelology is an absolutely wonderful, fast paced novel that is a mixture of factual history with a whole lot of fictional lore. Written in a way that will have you grabbing your Bible to do a little fact-checking of your own. I would say the concept is similar to The Historian, but with the action packed plot of a Dan Brown novel. I enjoyed Angelology so much that I am going to give it a "Best of" tag.
Just like her other books, The Girl Who Chased The Moon had a few of the magical qualities that I have come to expect and love from Sarah Addison Allen, the story just didn't touch my heart like the others did. And while that has me a little disappointed, it won't stop me from reading her future works.(less)
Hush is the first book by Kate White that I have had the pleasure of reading. Let me tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love it when an author write...moreHush is the first book by Kate White that I have had the pleasure of reading. Let me tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love it when an author writes a smart heroine. I love it when an author works in hot button issues into their plots. I love it when an author shocks me with the "whodunit". Kate White has done all of that with her new book.
I think I have figured out why I like these books so much, Larsson doesn't just tell us about the characters. He get's in their heads, his character d...moreI think I have figured out why I like these books so much, Larsson doesn't just tell us about the characters. He get's in their heads, his character development is far beyond anything I have ever read. I also love how he sets the story up without it seeming forced or rushed.
Larsson once again takes us on an emotional, fast paced ride through Sweden as Blomkvist and Salander try to clear her name without getting themselves killed. I can not think of any other author that writes in a way that literally makes my heart race. His talent is truly one of a kind and I will certainly mourn when I finish the third book in the trilogy, due out in May.
Set it the beautiful Adirondacks, Second Time Around, is a book that proves it is not too late to follow your dreams. The ten years following their co...moreSet it the beautiful Adirondacks, Second Time Around, is a book that proves it is not too late to follow your dreams. The ten years following their college graduation have not been the easiest or the happiest for any of the girls. They are determined to get it right this time. When one of the girls buys their home during the college years, the girls discover that you can go home again. The money that Arden left them is just what they needed to get their lives back on track. Second Time Around is a well written novel with real and engaging characters. You learn to adore the girls and root for their success. Whether it be for their happy marriage or successful careers, you WANT to see them succeed. I thoroughly enjoyed Second Time Around. The camaraderie and friendship is something that Beth Kendrick writes well and all women can relate to. I look forward to reading more from Beth Kendrick.
I have been a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain's for quite a while now. Her writing has been compared to Jodi Picoult, but I will go a step further and s...moreI have been a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain's for quite a while now. Her writing has been compared to Jodi Picoult, but I will go a step further and say that her writing, while similar in genre, is better than Picoult's. Why, you ask? Well because I don't have the violent urge to throw the book at the wall when I come to the end. Once again, Ms. Chamberlain has written a touching story with characters that find their way into your heart.
I wouldn't say Miss You Most of All was a horrible book, yet I would encourage you to run out and buy it for the beach bag. It is a "Lend Me" book for...moreI wouldn't say Miss You Most of All was a horrible book, yet I would encourage you to run out and buy it for the beach bag. It is a "Lend Me" book for the nook. So if there is a nook owner interested in reading it, leave a comment with your email address.
Allie Larkin has written an achingly sweet novel that shows us that unconditional love can be found in the most unexpected places. Savannah Leone is a character that worms her way into your heart, much like a puppy dog does, and you just want her to be happy. You cry when she cries, you laugh when she laughs, and you cheer when she takes the initiative to go after what she wants, no matter how much it scares her. (less)
The Passage is so much more than "just another vampire" story. To compare it to the Vampire Lit that is saturating the market would be grossly inaccur...moreThe Passage is so much more than "just another vampire" story. To compare it to the Vampire Lit that is saturating the market would be grossly inaccurate. I have seen The Passage compared to Stephen King's The Stand. Or even Michael Crichton's medical thrillers. It is an epic novel, make no mistake about that. Even though Justin Cronin's imagination permeates throughout the story, there is enough element of reality intertwined that the story will scare the crap out of you. I slept with the hall light on last night, just because my heart was racing as I forced myself to put the book down.
At the heart of this novel is the plight of human survival. The characters are real and their struggle to survive is real. Your heart races, your blood pounds, and you feel as if you are there with them as they fight the Virals. The size of The Passage is massive. 836 pages is a lot of book, but the story carries you along at a rapid pace. If you decide to take on the challenge of The Passage, you will not be disappointed.
Husband and Wife is a well written novel with characters so intricately written it could have been you or me. But make no mistake, it is raw with emotion and at times, it felt as if I was intruding on a very private moment. A good book, but be prepared for the difficult subject matter. (less)
Nancy Pickard is an incredibly talented author. Her mysteries are subtly written and deeply engaging. The characters are rugged, rough, and exactly what you will find in a small Midwestern town. I thought I had the "whodunit" figured out, but I was wrong. I wasn't really shocked at the big reveal, but it was not who I had pegged for the real killer. Overall a great book to escape with on a cold night.(less)
The Island is a wonderful beach read about relationships between sisters, and mothers and their daughters. It is an achingly sweet story with a satisf...moreThe Island is a wonderful beach read about relationships between sisters, and mothers and their daughters. It is an achingly sweet story with a satisfying end.
Thin Rich Pretty would be another excellent beach read. It was a fast read, but had a pretty important message. Perception is everything. What you perceive to be the truth may be nothing more than misunderstanding one person's way of communicating. I really enjoyed Thin Rich Pretty. It was well written and fun to read. (less)
Good Enough To Eat was a very realistic portrayal that millions of women can relate to. Ms. Ballis was honest. Just because an obese person loses weig...moreGood Enough To Eat was a very realistic portrayal that millions of women can relate to. Ms. Ballis was honest. Just because an obese person loses weight, does not mean that they do not struggle every minute of every day against their cravings. It was great to see that communicated in a book like this one. The story is well written and one that can even be seen as inspirational to those of us who fight the battle daily. And have no fear, those of you who enjoy cooking can find the recipes for everything mentioned at the back of the book.
It is so very obvious that Sara Gruen is a committed animal lover. All you have to do is read one of her books to know that her love for animals is va...moreIt is so very obvious that Sara Gruen is a committed animal lover. All you have to do is read one of her books to know that her love for animals is vast. That love is evident in every word she wrote in her new book, Ape House. Having said that, I will say as a reader, I became so emotionally attached to the bonobos that there were some points in the story where I found it hard to continue reading for fear of what would happen next. Nothing was too graphic, I just let my imagination get ahead of the story and I was afraid I was right. I was not, but I needed to push through to figure that out.
I would not say that Ape House is better than Water For Elephants. I am not sure any book could be better than the book that became America's favorite book, but Ape House *is* a good book. It is well worth the read and you will find that Ape House will do for bonobo's what Rosie did for elephants. You will learn to love them!
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Love, Lust, & Faking It. Jenny McCarthy's incredible wit and raunchy sense of humor make this book so very entertaining and fast to read. Before you know it, the book will be over and you will be looking for your Spouse or Significant Other. . .(less)
The Long Road Home is the first book that I have had the pleasure of reading by Mary Alice Monroe. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth at which Ms...moreThe Long Road Home is the first book that I have had the pleasure of reading by Mary Alice Monroe. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth at which Ms. Monroe goes to paint the whole picture. While I enjoyed the story and the characters, there were several times that I thought 400+ pages was 150 pages longer than it really needed to be. I enjoyed the character development of CW & Nora, but some of the subplots just caused my eyes to glaze over and were unnecessary. Overall The Long Road Home was a good read & I look forward to reading more by this author, but honestly, I would not be surprised to see the book turned into a Lifetime Movie. One I might even watch!(less)
When an author has such a phenomenal debut as Lisa Genova did with Still Alice, she has to live up to some pretty high expectations. Her new book, LEFT Neglected , is a pretty strong follow up.
Lisa Genova has written another intelligent novel about how it takes more than a drive to succeed to survive a tragedy. It takes a whole team of people to cheer us on, lift us up, and show us what are the really important things in life. Still Neglected can be purchased in January from anywhere books are sold. (less)