75 Books...More or Less! discussion

Archive (2009 Completed) > Jackie's 75 Book Challenge and Counting

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message 1: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) This is the first time I'm really keeping track of what I'm reading. The books I have listed in my profile are only a portion of what I've read in 2008. I couldn't remember all of them prior to joining GR.

I'm looking forward to the challenge and learning about some good reads from my fellow challengers. :-)

message 2: by Karol (new)

Karol Jackie, glad you've joined us!

message 3: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Thanks Kay!

message 4: by Jackie (last edited Feb 08, 2009 05:44PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 1. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Finished: 1/4/09

This book actually turned out better than expected. The beginning was a bit confusing, but once I kept going it was hard to put down. The protagonist, Gemma Doyle, is fiesty and witty. When she enters Spence Academy she meets Felicity, Pippa, and Ann. This is when the story turns into a Victorian version of Mean Girls. It's wonderfully catty and delicious. Just a warning, even though this book is labeled YA it deals with very serious issues and has supernatural elements that get more intense as the series continues.

message 5: by Jackie (last edited Feb 08, 2009 05:28PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 2.Remember Me?by Sophie Kinsella
Finished: 1/14/09

Lexi Smart suffers from amnesia due to an accident. She wakes up completely confused and with a new and improved life. Or so she thinks. As she learns more about her life it turns out its not the perfect existence she thought it was. She goes through some hilarious moments as she discovers her true self. This was a typical Sophie Kinsella read: light, fluffy, and comical. It's perfect brain candy!

message 6: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:04PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 3. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
Finished: 1/18/09

Surprisingly, I liked the sequel better than book 1 of the series. The plot turns darker and more intense leading to a fast paced read.
Gemma and the girls don't lose any of their wittiness or cattiness as they learn more about the Realms and the magic they've come upon. The characters actually become more developed as they have to battle both outer and inner demons. Again, this one is not for the faint of heart as the issues in this one become deeper and more intense.

message 7: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:04PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 4. In the Highlander's Bed by Cathy Maxwell
*I did the audiobook
Finished: 1/24/09

This is the first audiobook I heard thanks to my library adding a new feature on their website for audiobooks. The narrator was pretty good on some parts. Overall, the story was as expected- a cheesy romance. But hey, sometimes I just need fluff to break up my day. :-)

message 8: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 5. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Finished: 1/30/09

Although, I feel that Libba Bray threw in everything even the kitchen sink in this one I do believe that it was a good conclusion to the series. Again, Gemma and the girls must deal with very serious issues on both internal and external levels. As they attempt to restore the Realms they must look inside themselves. The result is a harrowing journey through darkness and into light.

message 9: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Finished: 2/8/09

This book was definitely an emotional rollercoaster and not for the weak hearted. Claire is on her Scottish honeymoon with her husband, a historian, when suddenly she finds herself traveling back two hundred years. And so begins Claire's journey to get back home. Along the way she meets her husband's six-times grandfather, who turns out to be a brutal sadist, along with her soulmate and a cast of colorful characters. The story is both long and heart wrenching, but well worth reading.

message 10: by Maria (new)

Maria Elmvang (kiwiria) Outlander is one of my most favourite books EVER! I absolutely LOVE it.

message 11: by Liz (new)

Liz (busy91) OK OK Outlander is moving up the TBR list.

message 12: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) LOL...it is a good book, but beware there is violence and some other behavior that is not for the faint of heart. I didn't know this before getting into it.

message 13: by Maria (new)

Maria Elmvang (kiwiria) I was 16 when I read it first, and have probably reread it every second year since then :)

message 14: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 7. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Finished: 2/18/09

Percy Jackson has always known there was something different about him and this difference wasn't exactly a good thing. Soon he finds out what sets him apart from the other kids in his class. This is when the mayhem begins and Percy's life is never the same.

I thought this book was really creative and well done. When I started reading I thought the writing was too juvenile (yes, I know it's a YA book, but still). As I became more comfortable the writing didn't bother me as much and I fell right into the story.

message 15: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 8. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Finished: 2/24/09

I admit when I picked this up after reading Outlander I was super excited to get back to Jamie and Claire's world. However, I felt quickly disappointed when the first chapter started 20 years later. These chapters were interesting enough, but I was too anxious to get back to Jaime. :) Once the story went back to past I was happy once again. I just love the world Galbaldon has created and I simply can't get enough. I admit a few parts in the middle dragged on a bit, particularly the chapters were the reader along with the characters are waiting for the impending war. It seems like not much is happening. However, by the last couple of chapters the pace is picked up and once again readers are swept in a whirlwind. I didn't like this one as much as Outlander, but it was enough to keep me wanting for more.

message 16: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Finished: 2/28/09

I really give this book 4 1/2 stars. I have to admit this is one of the few books I've read in which I've teared up. There were many parts that were emotionally heartwrenching and poignant. However, I didn't get give it 5 stars for a couple of reasons. Although the writing was well done for the most part there were a couple of cliches and points that Hosseini hits the reader over the head with. I didn't have too much sympathy for the narrator, but I was able to understand where he was coming from and I did feel his guilt over the decisions that he had made. His actions made me think about what would I have done in his situation. I hope to believe that I would have acted differently.

message 17: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:05PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 10. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Finished: 3/17/09

Book 3 in the series is non-stop action. I loved every minute of it!! This one had the feel of the original Outlander, except of course that Jaime and Claire are much older. I can't reveal much for fear of spoiling, but I will say that fans of Outlander will not be disappointed.

message 18: by Jackie (last edited Mar 22, 2009 06:06PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 11. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Finished: 3/21/09

I didn't read the jacket of the book prior to reading this so I didn't expect this story to be so dark and disturbing as it was. This goes back to the original Brothers Grimm fairytales, not the ones with happily ever after. The story is written in deceptively simple language, but its contents are deep and even disgusting. Definitely, not for the faint of heart. However, underneath all the disturbing material there is a beautiful coming of age story with moments of strength and resilience.

message 19: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 12. Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
Finished: 3/22/09

Romance novels are my guilty pleasure and well, I needed it after reading a disturbing book. I didn't know that this one was part of a series, so unknowingly I read it without reading book 1. I don't think I missed that much since some of it was recapped in the first few chapters. The story over all was about Kev and Win with family matters interspersed within their love story. The Hathaways are definitely a rowdy bunch and I look forward to reading book one to get to know them better. Although this was a typical cheesy romance with the brooding, dark man protecting the fair gentle women it was still pretty good. Kleypas did a very good job with the dialogue and the chemistry between the two characters.

message 20: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 13. Charm School by Susan Wiggs
Finished: 3/25/09

I seem to be on a romance kick. This one was about an "ugly duckling" who was born into the perfect socialite family, which of course she doesn't fit in too. As she tries to find her way in the world she decides to board a ship headed to Rio as a translator. Here she meets Captain Calhoun and his rowdy crew, along with his mom and aunt Rose who they visit while in Rio. Together the other characters along with the freedom of ship life help Isadora Peabody come out of her shell and turn into the beautiful swan that she really is.

The story dripped of cheese, but it did seem to charm the pants out of me. Overall it was a nice story with a good message, however, I felt that the message was beat over the reader's head over and over again.I did like that the two love birds didn't start out liking each other and it wasn't until towards the end where they really came together. This element added to the tension between the two, which was a nice change of pace from typical romance novels.

message 21: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 14. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Finished: 4/1/09

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I think this is a perfect beach read or lazy weekend book. Stephanie Plum as a novice bounty hunter learning the ropes is hilarious. She does go through some serious moments, but even in a serious situation she manages to make the reader chuckle.

My favorite passage from the book:
"I slogged through the first mile, then it got really bad. I'm not one of those people who finds their stride. My body was not designed to run. My body was designed to sit in an expensive car and drive. I was sweating and breathing hard when I turned the corner and saw my building half a block away. So near and yet so far. I sprinted the last piece as best as I could. I came to a ragged stop at the door and bent at the waist, waiting for my vision to clear, feeling so fucking healthy I could hardly stand myself."

message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicadowell) Jackie wrote: "3. Rebel Angels by [a:Libba Bray|2526|Libba Bray|http://ph..."

Sounds like a good read. Im going to mark it on my list.

message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Jess, I hope you enjoy the series!

message 24: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 15. Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
Finished: 4/5/09

Stephanie Plum is up to her antics again while learning how to be a good bounty hunter. This time, however, she involves her Grandma Mazur, who is a real hoot. Together this duo is a force to be reckoned with. Just like the first one this is a light, entertaining, fast paced read.

message 25: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Jacki, I justy love this series as well, I'n on the 9th book and I still find them funny and entertaining!!!

message 26: by Jackie (last edited Apr 26, 2009 05:54PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 16. Fool A Novel by Christopher Moore
Finished: 4/10/09

I’m usually a big Christopher Moore fan, so when I heard about this book I was super excited to read it. Much to my disappointment this felt like it missed the mark. Generally when I open a Moore book I am cracking up from beginning to end. This was just a chuckle here and there at best. The hero, Pocket…well, I just found him to be obnoxious most of the time rather funny. The only part I enjoyed was the three witches and some of the footnotes. I thought Moore was able to capture the Shakespearean feel, but the content was lacking for me.

message 27: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 17. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Finished: 4/11/09

I give this book 4 ½ stars. This was my first Geraldine Brooks novel and I fell in love with her writing. It’s lyrical, rich and very descriptive.

This book is inspired by a true story of how a village faced a year battling with the plague. From this great tragedy that ensues many wondrous things occur. People’s true colors are shown, others find their voices, and some face their fears while others run away. I loved that there were several strong female protagonists including Anna, Anys and Mrs. M.

I deducted ½ a star only because I didn’t quite like the ending. It seemed rushed and I just felt that GB could have ended it better.

message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 18. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
Finished: 4/24/09

There were parts of this book that I did not really enjoy to the point that I wanted to throw in the towel, but because I’ve been so invested in the series and I know how DG works I stuck with it. Thank God I did because I really enjoyed it towards the end…enough to give it 5 stars.

I didn’t really like Jaime and Claire in America, but it was interesting to hear about life back then and what was needed to survive. I did enjoy the beginnings of Roger and Bree’s relationship, but that slowly fizzled for me towards the middle of the book. I started out liking Bree but then towards the middle she came off as obnoxious and bratty to the point that I disliked her. I’ve since then slightly warmed up to her. I hope that in the next book she comes off better.

What made me give this book five stars were the last couple of chapters where everything came together in a full circle. There were a couple of revelations that confirmed to me why DG is a genius and has millions of loyal readers reading 1000 pages and eagerly waiting for more.

message 29: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 19. Three To Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich
Finished: 4/26/09

I give this 3 ½ stars. Stephanie Plum is still trying to figure out the whole bounty hunter thing and in the meantime she’s still getting into crazy antics. This time, however, she has a sidekick by the name of Lula. Of course Morelli and Ranger make their appearance too. Stephanie even comes close to getting some. ;)

I think this series just gets better and better. I like that the books are funny, but there is a serious side to them as well. Evanovich knows how to strike the right balance.

message 30: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 20. The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn and Jeanette Oke
Read 100 pages: 4/28/09

Apparently I'm a sucker for a pretty cover. This book looked so promising sitting all pretty in the library bookshelf next to the other drabby books. It just screamed to get picked up. However, much to my disappoint the content was boring. I got 100 pages in and I just couldn't continue anymore with the snooze fest.

****Potential Spoilers****

There wasn't much to Leah who is the female protagonist. Her father suffered a lost and her reputation ruined. Um, okay what else? Yeah, she's now a loyal servant in her uncle Pontius Pilate's house, yet he wants to set her up in a "strategic marriage". Did I miss something here? Someone who wants to marry up is not going to want to marry a lowly servant...well, at least the last time I checked. Apparently, Pontius' power is so great and Leah is so wonderful Alban can't pass up.

Alban, if you haven't guess is the male hero. All brains and good looks. Oh, yeah and of course he's the stereotypical fearless leader who all the men respect and doesn't loose any of his men in battle. *yawn*

So there I pretty much summarize the first 100 pages for you. I would like to get repaid in time please.

I'm still counting it for my read challenge because I wasted time reading the 100 pages. I definitely won't be picking this one up again.

message 31: by Karol (new)

Karol Jackie wrote: "20. The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn and Jeanette Oke
Read 100 pages: 4/28/09

Apparently I'm a sucker for a pretty cover. This book looked so p..."

Aw, it's too bad you found a clinker. My MIL likes both Bunn and Oke separately, but she says when they write together it's not very good.

message 32: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Thank you for letting me know that. I haven't read either author separately, so maybe I will try that. I was bound to find a dud after so many great reads this year. lol.

message 33: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 21. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Finished: 5/14/09

This book is an absolute booklover’s dream. It includes suspense, mystery, loveable characters and to top it off beautiful language and prose. I went through an array of emotions reading this…from being intrigued to chuckling at Fermin’s antics to shock at the twist in the end. As a mystery book this just had me guessing from the first page and some parts even had me at the edge of my seat.

The characters themselves were beautifully developed. Everyone had a flaw and a vulnerability that just made them jump off the page. The plot was not fast paced until the last couple of chapters, but it was so well done that I didn’t mind the pace. Once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down. When I put it down I was thinking about the book and when I could get back to it.

A must read for booklovers!

message 34: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 22. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
Finished: 5/17/09

On the back cover of this book Publisher’s Weekly is quoted as saying, “If Indiana Jones were female, a wife, and a woman who lived in Victorian Times, he would be Amelia Peabody Emerson.” This quote fits my sentiments quite well.

Amelia Peabody is witty, charming, intelligent, and a formidable force to be reckon with. She is well ahead of her time. After she inherits a good sum of money she decides to see the world. This decision leads her into some hilarious antics across Egypt. Along the way she meets some characters. There’s the beautiful and gentle Evelyn who helps to soften Amelia’s image. There are the two hot archeological brothers Walter and Emerson. There are even strange visitations from a pharaoh and a mummy. Together this cast comes together to create a charming mystery.
I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.

message 35: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 23. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Finished: 5/20/09

I audio booked this one and I’m pretty glad I did. I don’t have much experience with audio books, this is actually my second one but it left me wanting for more. Neil Gaiman reads his own work and he does a really good job of it. His voice was very engaging and he did a good job distinguishing the voices of the characters.

As for the story, I thought the concept was just really creepy but done in such a cool and creative way. Nobody “Bod” Owens ends up getting adopted by the colorful characters of the graveyard after his parents and sibling are murdered. The story takes us through Bod’s childhood in the graveyard. Although, I don’t believe this story is suited for young children I loved that it contained so many lessons. There are bullies to be dealt with, murders to be solved, and friendships to be made. With a cast of endearing characters this story was very charming and I hope that Gaiman writes a sequel on Bod’s adventures.

message 36: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 24. Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
Finished: 5/21/09

I think book 4 is my favorite out of the series I’ve read so far. I was cracking up every other page. Of course Stephanie Plum is up to her usual bounty hunter antics. However, this time she has a cross dressing “straight man” drag queen along with tag-along team Grandma Mazur and Lula. There’s also Ranger and Morelli, both always present for a good time. ;) Together this team is a formidable force to be reckoned with.

message 37: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 25. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Finished: 5/23/09

I give this 3.5 stars. This book has a very charming old school type of feel to it that I absolutely adored. Eighteen year old Sophie, gets cursed by the Wicked Witch of the Waste. As a result, Sophie decides to strike out on her own and find her own destiny. She ends up coming across Howl’s Castle and ends up meeting a colorful cast of characters: Howl, Michael, and Calcifer.

The book warns that nothing is as it seems and that is very true. At first I did not like Howl, but after awhile he soon grew on me and by the end of the book I found him endearing. There was a couple of twist and turns that I enjoyed. Overall it was a charming book and even though this is part of a series it stands well on its own.

message 38: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 26. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Finished: 5/27/09

I audio booked this one because I enjoyed The Graveyard Book read by Neil Gaiman so much I figured this one had to be well done too. I was not disappointed. Like The Graveyard Book, the concept of this book is very creepy and almost disturbing. Young Coraline discovers a secret parallel world spearheaded by some evil thing that is known as “The Other Mother”. The Other Mother is the creator of this other frightening world where she traps children by promising them goodies and free reign.

I loved the audio book on this one. The gothic music playing in the background and Neil Gaiman’s voice added to the disturbing plot and at times my skin crawled listening to the story. I wouldn’t recommend this one for young children but children who don’t mind getting a little scared will like this one.

message 39: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 27. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
Finished: 5/28/09

I give this book 3.5 stars. This one is a romantic suspenseful mystery featuring NY lieutenant Eve Dallas. Eve is on a perplexing case involving a savvy serial killer exhibiting a taste for prostitutes and voyeuristic tendencies. When the granddaughter of Senator DeBlass, keeper of morality, shows up dead all hell breaks loose. In the process of trying to solve the case Eve meets Roarke, a handsome dark haired blue-eyed Irish billionaire. When these two meet sparks fly but don’t think for a minute that it is a cheesy dumb romance. The premise of the book lends to an intelligent fast paced read.

The twist in this story is that it takes place in the future. Although I don’t generally read things set in the future this one was enjoyable because the things described were relatable and can be easily pictured. I look forward to the rest of the series.

message 40: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 28. High Five by Janet Evanovich
Finished: 5/30/09

Stephanie Plum is at it again with her wily crew of misfits. In this one Stephanie is looking for her missing uncle Fred and in the meantime begins working for Ranger to earn some extra cash. Of course this sets Morelli on edge leading to some good chemistry between him and Stephanie. Some cars get blown up, some people show up dead, a midget or “small person” to be politically correct moves in, and chaos ensues. It’s just all in a day’s work for The Bombshell Bounty Hunter.

message 41: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 29. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Finished: 6/2/09

I don’t know what Stephanie Meyer stories have but they’re like freaking crack…utterly bad for you but totally addicting. I thought Midnight Sun was even better than Twilight and I was actually mad when I got to that last blank page and there was no more story. I understand Meyer’s reasons for not continuing but man I wish she would just get over it and continue writing. I found Edward’s mind and his side of the story fascinating. It just explained a lot of his actions in Twilight. I loved that even he found himself obsessive and creepy. For some reason his recognizing his own actions as disturbing and being in his mind just made him less creepy for me and for some reason I sympathized with him more. I hope that one day (soon) Meyer does decide to indulge her fans and finish this story.

message 42: by Jackie (last edited Jun 11, 2009 07:09AM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 30. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Finished: 6/11/09

I originally read this book years ago when the whole Harry Potter phenomena was just starting. Back then only a few of the books were out so when I finished one I was eagerly anticipating the next one along with everyone else. Book 7 came out and since it had been so long since I had read book 6 I wanted to do a re-read of the series. Of course life got in the way along with other books on my mountain TBR so I never came up with time to do a proper re-read. Since discovering audio books (thanks to GR) I decided to get the audio book and relive the experience this way. What a great option! Jim Dale is the narrator and just does an excellent job bringing the story to life. The moment the audio started I was transported back into the wizarding world along with Harry.

In the years since reading this story I forgot about the genius that is J.K. Rowling. What looks like a deceptively simple children’s story is actually an epic tale about good versus evil. There are so many little details included that you can’t help but feel part of Harry’s world. When I originally read this book I gave it a four. It was okay for me but now that the whole series has been out and I’ve read up to book 6 I see how each piece fits in. I’m going to stick to my original impression of the book which was 4 stars, but I will give the audio five stars for Jim Dale’s work and also because I’m able to appreciate it more now that I know what is to happen.

message 43: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1814 comments Jackie wrote: "26. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Finished: 5/27/09

I audio booked this one because I enjoyed The Graveyard Book read by Neil Gaiman so much I figured this one had to be..."

I love Neil Gaiman and his narration of his works is terrific! You should also try Stardust if you liked Coraline and The Graveyard Book. Oh, and if you have kids... Stardust is meant for adults ,not kids (there's a little bit of 'adult content' at the beginning) and it doesn't end where the movie did.

message 44: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Already ahead of you Stacie! I read Stardust last year as part of a group read for The Next Best Book Club (GR group). I really enjoyed it and did notice the difference in the endings. Funny how they made the movie so much more dramatic than the book.

message 45: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 31. The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
Finished: 6/12/09

This is the second in the Amelia Peabody series. In this one Amelia and Emerson have settled in their new home in England with their little terror son Ramses. Amelia is not very motherly at all so it is funny seeing her interact with the very precocious Ramses. After a few months of settlement Emerson and Amelia both begin to get the itch to go back to Egypt for another excavation except with Ramses to consider future excavations are at a halt. That is until they get an offer they can’t refuse from the newly widowed Lady Baskerville.

Lady Baskerville’s husband found a new tomb believed to belong to royalty. However, as soon as the tomb is open the Pharaoh’s curse reins its ugly head. All those associated with the tomb start dropping dead or seeing the white lady which in Egypt is the symbolism of death. The story of the Pharaoh’s Curse makes its way into the gossip paper and of course no one wants a part of it for fear that the Curse will get them. Of course, the Pharaoh’s Curse is no match for the fearsome duo- Amelia and Emerson. When Lady Baskerville asks them for their help they both pretty much jump at the chance. Leaving Ramses behind with Walter, Evelyn and their terrified children Amelia and Emerson go off on a new excavation filled with mystery and murder.

Amelia has definitely not lost her wit in this second book and the chemistry between her and Emerson still has fire in it. There is a whole new set of colorful characters and Peters does a beautiful job describing the setting which puts the reader right there in the story. I hope that the rest of the books contain the same magic as the first and second book.

message 46: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 32. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Finished: 6/14/09

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, but man those vampire brothers sure have done a number on me! Whew! I didn’t know vampires could be so hot. This is my first paranormal romance, beside Twilight which I don’t really count because there wasn’t much action in that series. These vamps would kick Meyer’s sparkling vamps in the ass and ask questions later.

A band of brothers called The Black Dagger Brotherhood take on soul less humans known as Lessors. These are not your typical vampires though. They’re six badass, leather wearing, weapon wielding defenders of their race. Each one has their own book and the first in the series is Dark Lover. It sets up the vampire and Lessor world along with introducing us to the Blind King or Wrath.

I loved that J.R. Ward not only knows how to write a steamy scene but she also knows how to develop and flesh out her characters. Her characters actually have some depth and are not the one dimensional characters you would usually find in a romance book. She also inserts humor. The brothers are not badass all the time, sometimes they like to chill. It just makes them more endearing. My only complaint is that the Lessor world is really not that interesting. I hope that this part of the story improves as the series progresses.

message 47: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 33. Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
Finished: 6/15/09

This is the second in the series of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. This one tells the story of Rhage and Mary. Rhage is a cursed brother dealing with an inner dragon that endangers everyone around him. The only way he can deal with his dragon is by having sex and fighting. Mary is a woman who has dealt with many hardships in her life. She’s insecure and alone in the world. So naturally these two are meant to be together. :P

At first I like Mary as a heroine, but then she started annoying me a bit. Especially when she put up with Rhage’s womanizing at one point. So not cool. Rhage has the opposite effect on me. I started out not liking him that much and then he grew on me by the end.

Now that J.R. Ward has established the vampire world and we’re learning more about it there’s some things that are annoying me. The constant use of “shitkickers” instead of boots, the references to rap music and rappers, and the “wannabe down” street language that the brothers use amongst themselves. It reeks of corniness. Additionally, the Lessor world is still corny. I kind of skim those parts just in case I need to know it down the line but it’s still not interesting. I’m still looking forward to reading the next one though just to figure out what’s Zsadist’s deal.

message 48: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) 34. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Finished: 6/20/09

This is third in the series of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. It tells the story of Zsadist. I think Zsadist so far is my favorite of the brothers. Zsadist was a blood slave who was used and abused by his Mistress. Eventually he is able to escape his imprisonment with the help of his twin Phury but the experience forever haunts him and leaves him bitter, untouchable, and pretty much
soul less.

This is where Bella comes in. Her relationship with Z really starts in Lover Eternal when she first encounters him. His hard personality intrigues her but he ends up running her off since he knows he’s not good for her. In Lover Awakened their story picks up. This time Z lets her in a little only because she needs comfort but he finds himself falling for her. I thought Ward did a good job with their interaction and with conveying Z’s abusive past. I really felt for him and wanted to comfort him myself at times.

The Lessor world has also become a more interesting plot line now that we have learned more about the power plays and of how the Omega, their leader, operates. Unfortunately, Ward continues her overuse of the word shitkickers, the constant references to rappers and the outdated street lingo but the series has definitely gotten more interesting.

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Jackie (thenightowl) 35. Hot Six by Janet Evanovich
Finished: 6/20/09

In this one Ranger gets accused of killing the son of a major gun dealer. Ranger enlists Stephanie’s help in order to gather enough evidence to prove his innocence. Of course, Stephanie botches the whole expedition and ends up endangering herself. She also ends up acquiring Grandma Mazur as roommate and a dog with an eating disorder named Bob.

By now this series is a bit too formulaic but because of the humor in them I’ve kept reading them. Not to mention Morelli and Ranger are hotties and I like the chemistry they have with Stephanie. Unfortunately, Evanovich seems to be running out of steam because this one was not as funny as the previous one I’ve read. I’m hoping that the humor picks up again in the next one.

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Jackie (thenightowl) 36. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Finished: 6/24/09

This is another re-read for me. I actually listened to the audio book this time with Jim Dale as narrator. Jim Dale’s voice just adds an extra oomph to the story. It made me fall in love with the story again even though Chamber is not my favorite in the series. It’s nice taking a look back though to see how everything in the previous books fits in the series. I’m discovering little things that I previously didn’t pay attention too.

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