First off you should know that I HATE the phrase "big girl panties" with the fiery passion of 100 suns! Isn't it amazing that I even picked up this boFirst off you should know that I HATE the phrase "big girl panties" with the fiery passion of 100 suns! Isn't it amazing that I even picked up this book at Hastings? The embarrassment suffered by my husband when taking it up to the counter to purchase was absolutely priceless!
I bought the book because I thought it was a cute idea: big-ish girl Holly meets personal trainer Logan (described as "hotter than Lucifer's loincloth") on a plane. After chatting a bit he asks if he can take her on as a client and help her to get healthy. Outwardly she's not his "type" at all, but she is witty and kind and strong and eventually he falls for her. That's the gist of the book.
Holly is so relatable and likable as a character, it's impossible not to root for her. She's never been a thin woman but has had some recent tragedy in her life and has just "let herself go" (pardon the cliche.) Logan is an honest guy who likes his life a certain way even though he doesn't really seem to understand himself all that well. Holly basically turns his world upside down, but in a good way.
Big Girl Panties is really well written and just a good, fast read. It is one of those books that illicits strong emotions from the reader - I personally alternated between laughter and tears. Any book that can do that for me deserves 5 stars, but I'm giving this one 4. The end of the book has Holly fleeing Logan to go back to a life that was hell on earth for her and I just couldn't "see" Holly really doing that. It is the one thing that didn't ring true for me and it made it hard to enjoy the eventual happy ending.
I recommend Big Girl Panties (HA! sounds so funny!) if you're looking for a fun story with that all-important happily ever after. I really enjoyed reading it and will probably pick up the next book Stephanie Evanovich writes. ...more
I've been reading Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series since the beginning (of time - it sometimes feels like the beginning of time!) Hit List isI've been reading Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series since the beginning (of time - it sometimes feels like the beginning of time!) Hit List is book 20 in the series and I feel entitled to really be irritated with LKH at this point in the game over some very small things. It's a bit of a good news/bad news situation I'm afraid - I enjoyed the story very much, but the writing, well we'll get to that in a minute.
First, let me applaud the story - the story is good! Anita is back to crime fighting, which is her forte really. These days she uses different supernatural powers to locate and destroy the bad guys, but I am happy with her growth in this area. Hit List brings back our old friends, Marshals Ted Forrester, Bernardo Spotted Horse, and Otto Jefferies, along with a few "second-tier" weres from St. Louis, but the big four are MIA - Jean Claude, Richard, Micah, and Nathaniel.
The "bad guys" in Hit List are the predictable Mother of All Darkness and, her loyal guard the Harlequin. I am happy to finally have that dark cloud (pun intended) dissipate, although there are no guarantees with Mommie Dearest - I wouldn't put it past LKH to bring her back somewhere down the line.
Hit List is not all bad - its really not even mostly bad. The problems I have with the book may even stem from me out-growing the series a bit. After 20 books, you just get a little tired of some of the writing. For example, Anita always has "guy moments" and "girl moments," never just moments. I also get irritated by the way she portrays non-supe men - they all think she's just a little, tiny, cutie-pie, underestimate her skills with weapons, are completely unevolved, and think she's sleeping with all the men in her life. It's the same thing in all her books really, I don't know why I'm surprised.
I am also afraid the LKH is running out of men - perish the thought! She seems to be laying the groundwork for Anita to have sex with Edward and Olaf later in the series, which is sacrilege I tell you! For very different reasons, fans of the series may not survive this turn of events (and Anita might not either.)
There are also inconsistencies in Hit List that annoy me. When we first met the Harlequin back in boon 15, Harlequin, LKH told us that you must never speak their name unless they have contacted you already. They are very old, very powerful, and to speak their name signs your death warrant. In the beginning of Hit List, LKH is very careful not to let her characters speak their name out loud, but on page 67 Anita does say the name, and there are no repercussions. I even thought, "oh yay, Anita doesn't care anymore - she'll say 'Harlequin' instead of 'they who must not be named', etc." But then later in the book, she's back to not mentioning their name - a small thing, but a big one, basically cracking the mythos of her series. Nobody caught this during the editing process? I'm not even a super-careful reader and it struck me!
I don't know, peeps. I still recommend the series, but start at the beginning when the books were still new and good, and quit when you tire of it all. I'm a total completist, which means that I'll probably be reading these books from my rocking chair in the nursing home. I'm just a glutton for punishment I guess, with nobody but myself to blame. ...more
I am a snob. I have spent years avoiding books that everyone else is reading - books that make The New York Times Bestseller List - and have paid theI am a snob. I have spent years avoiding books that everyone else is reading - books that make The New York Times Bestseller List - and have paid the price time and time again. Well people, I've learned my freakin' lesson here. I hadn't even heard of The Help until I saw the first movie trailer, and as it had been a bestseller for more than 40 weeks by that time, I was slightly behind the times. So, I give up, officially! I have purchased a subscription to The New York Times Review of Books and hopefully, I will not be caught unawares again.
As you can see, I have not posted an actual review in sometime and not because I haven't been reading. Basically, I've been reading "trash," not that there's anything wrong with trash. I actually quite enjoy my version of the old "bodice ripper" (basically, instead of "girl meets boy", girl meets werewolf, or vampire, or any number of other supernatural being.) The only problem with these books it that I really don't have anything to say about them...
Anyhow, as I was reading four of these paranormal romances, I was also reading The Help. In case you've been living under a rock, a short synopsis: The Help is about the the relationships between white women and their black maids/nurses in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60s. Some of the relationships are wonderful and touching and others are, well, about what you'd imagine they'd be living in that place at that time.
The Help is a fantastic book. Of the 30 or so books I've read this year, it easily makes the top three. The Help is narrated by three very different women: considerate and attentive Abileen, a maid for a woman who does not seem to love her children at all, bold and saucy Minny, a maid who has been fired 19 times for basically having a smart-mouth, and Skeeter, the young white woman who notices that there is something wrong with the way white people treat black people in Jackson, Mississippi, and decides to do something about it.
Each woman does her best to fight the status quo from within. Abileen tells her young charges stories of "Martian" Luther King to illustrate that a person's skin color doesn't matter, Skeeter creates a typo in the Junior League newsletter to emphasize the stupidity of the people around her, and Minny does something so "terrible awful" that I won't mention it here and spoil the surprise if you haven't read the book. In using these three unique women to tell the story, Kathryn Stockett has crafted an insightful and genuine novel that could easily be nonfiction, there is so much truth between the covers.
If you've not read it, pick it up immediately if not sooner! The Help is a book worthy of reading and examination, especially if you happen to be lucky enough to know someone who grew up in Mississippi during that time (I see a "book discussion group" in my future with my mother and sister!) While reading The Help, I laughed out loud, I cried, I even threw my book across the room at one point (which is something I've only ever done once before in 33 years.) I cannot recommend this book enough, and nothing I've said here seems an adequate description of the depth of this novel. You simply must read it. And when you've finished, come back and discuss it with me!...more
What can I say, I really didn't care for this cheesy prequel to Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. Basically, I wish it had not been "advertised"What can I say, I really didn't care for this cheesy prequel to Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. Basically, I wish it had not been "advertised" as a part of the series - perhaps I wouldn't have had the displeasure of reading it.
I give it two stars, only for the flashbacks and insights into Julian's past. The rest of the book was pure camembert!...more
I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars on this one. I loved the descriptions of the Louisiana swamp and its inhabitants, and the story was fast-paced and exciI'm torn between 3 and 4 stars on this one. I loved the descriptions of the Louisiana swamp and its inhabitants, and the story was fast-paced and exciting, but on the other hand I found the accent of the people forced and it served to distract me from the story. I know the way people from Louisiana sound and reading the author's interpretation of the local dialect was disappointing. Maybe it's just me, but I was so busy reading the words exactly as Feehan had written them (all of the "don'" do thats and "goin'" to do thats,) that I felt like I missed some of the magic in the story - seriously, the word "don'" had to be used at least a hundred and fifty times!
As with all her series', Christine Feehan is a master at weaving her stories together and introducing new characters that I am certain to pine for in the coming year. Anxiously awaiting the newest installment in any of her series' is something that I find delicious. I hope however that her next book will focus more on the story instead of the way her characters sound....more
Twenties Girl is just the kind of book that I love to be able to recommend! I have not read Sophie Kinsella's wildly popular Shopaholic series, but ifTwenties Girl is just the kind of book that I love to be able to recommend! I have not read Sophie Kinsella's wildly popular Shopaholic series, but if they are anything like Twenties Girl, I know I'll fall absolutely head-over-heels in love with them. The story is a fantastic blend of romance, cozy mystery, and chick-lit, and is 100% laugh out loud funny.
Twenties Girl is a fast and absorbing read. A delightful, pure comedy that will leave you wanting to read more from this imaginative author, it is a book that is both engaging and satisfying. The characters are well developed and believable and there are enough twists and turns in the story to keep the reader guessing.
If you are looking for a smart, light-hearted and fun read, look no further than Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl: a story so genuine and full of heart that you will want to read it cover to cover without stopping. ...more
The writing in The Struggle is better than its predecessor, The Awakening - either that or I've just become more accustomed to L.J. Smith's style, butThe writing in The Struggle is better than its predecessor, The Awakening - either that or I've just become more accustomed to L.J. Smith's style, but more on that later I think... I was easily drawn into the story in this novel, hungry (pun intended) to discover what had become of Elena, Stefan and Damon, as well as supporting cast, Bonnie, Meredith, and "mean girl" Caroline. I can't say that I particularly like the place they end up in The Struggle, but I'm willing to pick up the next book based on what I read (as well as Smith's slightly annoying habit of ending each story on a cliff-hanger the size of Pikes Peak.)
The Struggle is an easy read and one that is entertaining enough to read in one sitting. The build-up to the climax of the novel seemed at times interminable, with brief heart-stopping moments of drama between Elena and Damon forcing me to plod along seeking some kind of real action, any old action would do. As far as brain-candy goes, The Struggle is actually the perfect weekend/holiday read - not something that one would call particularly unforgettable, but all in all a diverting enough read. ...more
What can I say? I was looking for some afternoon brain candy, and I definitely found it in L.J. Smith's The Awakening. I have been a fan of the t.v. sWhat can I say? I was looking for some afternoon brain candy, and I definitely found it in L.J. Smith's The Awakening. I have been a fan of the t.v. show The Vampire Diaries since it first aired last year. The t.v. series seems to be loosely based on the books, but in this instance I have to say that I like what is on my television much better than what I read in The Awakening.
The writing is a little dated, and use of some words and phrases really bugged me - that is until I realized that this book was originally published when I was a Freshman in High School! So, I tried to appreciate it from the perspective of a 15 year-old girl, which made it a little easier to enjoy. Unfortunately, the writing was just not that great, and no amount of me pretending to be a teenager again could make it any better.
Because I love the characters of the t.v. series, I will trudge on and read a couple of more books in this series. I would like to see what is going to happen with Elena, Stefan and Damon - despite the fact that the characters in the book are incredibly unsympathetic and very different from the ones I've come to know and love on t.v. I really can't recommend The Awakening too highly - especially for fans of the television series. In this case, I'd say sick to the story on your t.v. and you'll be much happier. ...more
Have you ever started a review thinking that there is no possibly way to describe such a fantastic book? I have been thinking about this book for daysHave you ever started a review thinking that there is no possibly way to describe such a fantastic book? I have been thinking about this book for days, trying to put my reading experience into words. Russian Winter is one of those novels you simply savor up to and beyond the last words on the page. I found myself utterly captivated by Nina's story and unable to put it down until I had discovered all of her secrets.
In Russian Winter, Daphne Kalotay has done a beautiful job of creating vivid and fascinating characters and a story full of mystery and of love and loss. The writing is elegant in its simplicity and manages to completely overwhelm and entertain the reader. Russian Winter is one of the best books I've read in 2010. Read it - you won't be disappointed. ...more