Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book 45 Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17)Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It hurts me to give a Stephanie Plum book a 2 star rating, but it really was only okay. Maybe it's gone on too long, I don't know. Some of the writing seemed tired. Do we really need Stephanie to keep blowing up cars? Does Grandma Mazur need to try to pry open a casket at another viewing? I've loved Stephanie's shenanigans, but this book just seemed to recycle everything and I want something new and funny. The identity of the killer wasn't even a surprise. Hope 18 is better.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book 44 of 2011 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

MiddlesexMiddlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 While this is a book about a hermaphorodite, it's more a family saga. I loved Lefty and Desdemona's story. So very sad and tragic with moments of supreme happiness. That happiness makes the sad parts sadder for some reason. Callie/Cal's story is important, but not the meat of the book as I thought it was. And not really as tragic as it could have been. The interlude in SF was seriously hopeless but somehow  necessary. Overall, I give this a thumbs up as an interesting Greek family saga. I also learned some genetic stuff, I wonder if it's factual? Hmmm. Glad I read this, sorry I took so long!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book 43 of 2011 Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another YA book that tells a very sad story. We follow Clay Jensen on a completely terrible journey. He' listening to a series of cassette tapes recorded by his classmate and crush Hannah Baker. Hannah committed suicide 2 weeks earlier and mailed out this box of cassette tapes. In the tapes she tells her '13 reasons why' and each corresponds to a person. Each person is directed to mail the tapes to the next person on the list or risk having all the tapes released to the public. There is also a map that goes along with the tapes.

Poor Clay. He listens to the tapes wondering when he will appear and what it was he did or didn't do to be included as one of the 13 reasons why gradually become more distraught. We don't see the effect of the tapes on any of the other 13 and that disappoints me, but the effect on Clay is terrible to read.

I don't like Hannah. How selfish of her to tell everyone after the fact what was wrong with her. I felt like her tapes were meant to hurt. She became a bully, the same as the people she accused of being her 13 reasons

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book 42 of 2011 The Land of Painted Caves by Jean Auel

The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, it's finally finished. This one took a long time. I did read some other things in between since it was so long.
While this book was nowhere near as good as the others in the series, it was still a must read for me. I needed to see the series wrapped up. I read some reviews before I started it and was disappointed to find that many people gave it only one star. I chose 3 stars because I did like it. I would definitely put it as the worst of the series, but it was not awful.
The one thing that I along with most reviewers hated was the repetition. I really don't think it was necessary. I realize that this book was a long time coming, but I think most fans of the series didn't need the repeated reminders of what went before. And I don't think that too many folks will attempt to read this one without reading the others. If they do, they'll probably give up thinking it's not a great book. Too many descriptions of caves. Ms. Auel became obsessed with caves. I know that's the title of the book, but if you've seen (or read about) one cave drawing of a deer, bison, cave bear, cave lion or big red've seen (or read about) them all. I also got tired of having the 'Mother's song' sung or recited over and over and over. I know it played a significant part in the conclusion also, but enough is enough.
This series has confirmed for me that a series can go on too long. (Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes anyone?)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A to Z Reading Challenge

Read a book for each letter of the alphabet.  I decided to go back and enter all the books I've read in my alphabet list. Still have some letters to complete and they are not looking real easy. 

The Art of Keeping Secrets  by  Patti Callahan Henry
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian  by Sherman Alexie
Beastly  by Alex Flinn
A Bend in the Road  by Nicholas Sparks
The Cracker Queen  by Lauretta Hannon
Crooked Letter Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Devil Bones  by Kathy Reichs
Duma Key  by Stephen King
The Edge of Sleep  by David Wiltse
Envy the Night   by Michael Koryta
Flesh and Bone  by Jefferson Bass
Fallen  by Karin Slaughter
Fallen  by Lauren Kate
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  by Steig Larsson
The Girl  Who Played withFire  by Steig Larsson
The Girl  Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest  by Steig Larsson
Grave Surprise  by Charlaine Harris
Grave Peril   by Jim Butcher
Georgia Bottoms  by Mark Childress
The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins
Hush Hush  by Becca Fitzpatrick
House Rules  by Jodi Picoult
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
Lucia, Lucia  by Adrianna Trigiana
Looking for Alaska  by John Green
Lisey's Story  by Stephen King
The Land of Painted Caves  by Jean Auel
Murder List  by Julie Garwood
Mockingjay  by Suzanne Collins
Middlesex  by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Ninth Judgement  by James Patterson (Maxine Pareto)
Pretties  by Scott Westerfeld
Room  by Emma Donoghue
The Straw Men  by Michael Marshall 
The Silent Girl  by Tess Gerritsen
Summer Knight by Jim Butche
Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
Specials by Scott Westerfield
Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
Total Recall   by Sara Paretsky
Torment  by Lauren Kate
Thirteen Reasons Why  by  Jay Asher
Uglies  by Scott Westerfeld
Wild Fire  by Nelson DeMille

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book 41 of 2011 Torment by Lauren Kate

Torment (Fallen, #2)Torment by Lauren Kate
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The promise of this series isn't fully realized in this 2nd book. I enjoyed the first much more. This book starts with Luce being spirited away to a boarding school on the California coast. There are 'normal' kids as well as a number of Nephilim at this school. Here she learns bits a pieces more of her story with the fallen angel Daniel and all little about some of her past lives. She also learns more about the 'shadows' and now knows that they are really called announcers and that they can show her the past. Daniel is still keeping too many secrets and Luce is having a difficult time figuring out who is good and who is bad. The book ends on a cliff hanger so I'll probably read book 3 just to see where the series is going.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book 40 of 2011 Envy the Night by Michael Koryta

Envy the NightEnvy the Night by Michael Koryta
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed my first novel by Michael Koryta.

Frank Temple III found out 7 years ago that his father, a US Marshall, was also a contract killer. Those 7 years he has drifted around the country trying hard to come to terms with the loving father he knew being the monster that the public perceives him to be. He believes that the son of one of his father's buddies, Devin Matteson, is the informant that gave his dad up to the FBI. When this informant heads back to the isolated cabin on a Wisconsin lake from Miami, Frank heads there to kill him. On his way to Wisconsin he encounters a vehicle that he is sure is occupied by Matteson. He is involved in a crash with the car and it isn't who he thinks it is. By the time he gets to the lake, he discovers that Matteson isn't in the cabin on the island in the lake and that it's occupied by a mysterious lady and a gray haired man. A pair of assassins arrive from Miami and some innocent locals become involved.

This book kept my interest from beginning to end. There were just enough twists and turns but not too many. It was just dark enough but not too dark. I became very involved with Frank, Nora and Ezra. This is why I like series of books. I get to stay with the characters I love and follow their lives. With 'stand alone' novels, when it's over, it's over and you never know what happens to the characters after. Is it weird that that makes me sad? Probably, but it does.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Book 39 of 2011 The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

The Silent Girl (Rizzoli and Isles Series #9)The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rizzoli and Isles are quite a team. Isles was not around much in this installment, but that was okay with me. She isn't as interesting a character as Jane in my opinion. I enjoyed this book right up until the end, but did not like the ending. That's why 3 instead of 4 stars.

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