Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Off Season (Anne Rivers Siddons)

I would have rated this higher expect that I detested the ending, well really the last half of the book. I also do not like talking animals, at all. For what it's worth, I actually quite enjoy endings of this type, but this one was too rushed to be believable and I don't feel like the conclusion was dealt with appropriately.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beyond Reach (Karin Slaughter)

So I really just cannot believe how this one ended. And I can't write anymore than that without giving it away. Shocked.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Faithless (Karin Slaughter)

So this one I really enjoyed because (like the fourth) it broke up the monotony a bit. I also am really beginning to dig the way Slaughter works social commentary into her books. I know that some find the focus on DV and rape to be a bit much, but I do think these are real issues that are symptomatic of some of the least appealing parts of our culture, so I like that she takes it head on.

That said, still can't stand Lena. Feel no connection to her character whatsoever (and not just because of the obvious, DV issues).

Indelible (Karin Slaughter)

At first, I thought I would hate this book. The idea of flashbacks to trace the development of the two main characters turned me off. But I felt like they were well done and the addition of another murder mystery within the main action was interesting. Well done.

Still am really not digging Lena. Which isn't good because the book that started me reading these so quickly is focused on here (book 6).

Indelible (Karin Slaughter)

At first, I thought I would hate this book. The idea of flashbacks to trace the development of the two main characters turned me off. But I felt like they were well done and the addition of another murder mystery within the main action was interesting. Well done.

Still am really not digging Lena. Which isn't good because the book that started me reading these so quickly is focused on here (book 6).

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Faint Cold Fear (Karin Slaughter)

Just ok. Perhaps a little worse than the first one but I didn't call the killer, which is always a bonus with suspense. Lena is *really* annoying me though. Her character just doesn't make sense... she's like a ball of cliches.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kisscut (Karin Slaughter)

I actually liked this better than the first Grant County book because I was totally surprised at the ending. Can't really reveal why without spoiling the end, but suffice it to say that Karin Slaughter does a great job of weaving together seemingly unrelated events and tweaking our stereotypes to surprise us.

From my TBR list.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pemberley By the Sea ( Abigail Reynolds)

So I expected to love this book but I really didn't. It was fine, but the dialogue was super stilted, the relationship between the two main characters was annoying and not Austen-esque in my opinion. Meh at best, and the ending seemed totally unbelievable and far too quick.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Room (Emma Donaghue)

This was a fantastic read. Hard to get through at times, certainly, but not as much as I expected honestly. Telling the story from the point of view of the five year old was genius, I think, and am amazed at how well the author seemed to be able to put us right in the story. The book was sparse and felt claustrophobic at times, which I'm sure was intended. Anthropomorphizing the objects in the room was a stroke of genius. Fascinating book, and I blew through it. I guess I will have to check out some other Booker Prize short list members.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blindsighted (Karin Slaughter)

This is the first read by this author. Awesome suspense, though the violence is a bit brutal. And I'm not sure how the rest of this series will play, but I liked the discussion of women as victims and how that might impact their interpersonal relationships.

As a heads up: If you intend to read this series start with this book. I inadvertently picked up the fourth book - for whatever reason I had it down as the first book and in the first chapter it discussed a TON of plotlines in this book. So read them in order.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Holly's Inbox (Holly Denham)

V. funny, very quick, a modern novel of letters. I enjoyed the humor and I also liked the ending. Holly and her friends are vibrant characters and I found it oddly compelling. Good chick lit!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The First Wife (Diana Diamond)

I have no idea how this made it on to my TBR list but it's terrible. I think this is one of the worst books I've ever read. The writing is stilted, the voices are robotic and the female lead is literally one of the dumbest characters I've ever read. Would not recommend.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Easy Prey (John Sandford)

So the first Lucas Davenport book I've read in a while. I think I am over being too immersed in them but I found the predictability of this one a little too much - not in that I had any idea who DID do it at the end, but just that I knew that all the people that Lucas thought might do it differently didn't because, well, that's just how the books work. That said, Weather was back (briefly) and the end of the book hints that she might be back more so I will definitely be picking up the next one.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

House Rules (Jodi Piccoult)

I feel like I say this every time I read a Piccoult book : I think I'm kind of disillusioned by her. Yet, I keep coming back.


This book was particularly promising. As per usual she chose a contemporary topic (autism) and tossed it into a legal setting. The characters while familiar (a distressed family) were unique enough that I was excited to be reading it. Additionally, I honestly had never thought about the difficulties that autistic children (or adults) might face in a legal setting. The many accommodations that allow them to survive in other environments would be largely absent.

And yet? There were so many moments that felt too contrived to be real - the convenient history of violence displayed by Jacob, despite the repeated assurances throughout the book that autistic people in general are not violent. This was especially troubling because the attempted assault on a classmate (which seemed pretty violent, honestly) was not reconciled with the remainder of what Jacob's family and attorney thought of him. And as per usual, too many wild consequences to be believable.

I also really did not understand the role of the father here. The scene where we determine that he has autistic traits and the hint that it could be genetic was fine. But I really did not understand his presence at the end of the book at all. I also thought the ending was rushed, even more so than usual.

In the end the discussions of autism were interesting, and as per usual, I enjoyed the shifting perspectives. I also enjoyed the courtroom drama and as usual, I was strangely sucked in and read the book very quickly. Or as Jacob might say, "She had me at hello."


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heartbreak Hotel (Anne Rivers Siddons)

These is something reassuring about these novels, despite my lack of ability to feel nostalgia for the timeperiod, I almost do. I love the portraits she paints of whites trying to come to terms with the Civil Rights movement.

I had not previously read this novel, so I enjoyed it even more than the others that I have been rereading.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I, Mona Lisa (Jeanne Kalogridis)

I am ignorant of Italian history, but I found this novel to be entertaining, albeit in a campy way. A few too many coincidences and interesting turns of events for it to be believable, but it is fiction, right?

An interview with the author suggests that she is fastidious about attention to historical detail, which is admirable. I enjoyed it and it was thick enough to be satisfying.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Homeplace (Anne Rivers Siddons)

Another in my recently rediscovered zest for Siddons. The place is familiar but the time is actually more modern and this book deals with the fallout of the Civil Rights movement for one family (and their acquaintenances). Interesting central characters with a variety of odd relationships among them. Gothic and entertaining, just like I like my Southern novels. Has a great resolution and the sense of place is fantastic.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Good Daughters (Joyce Maynard)

I actually accidentally purchased this on my kindle. I intended to download a sample and instead but the whole thing. Don't regret it at all.

I really enjoyed this book, though admittedly it took a bit to get into it. And while I picked up on the foreshadowing, I definitely didn't call the ending, though I did find it a bit unbelievable. It's a great saga of the parallel and sometimes intersecting stories of two families.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nora, Nora (Anne Rivers Siddons)

Just a really great coming of age book, tinged with the southern charm that Siddons is so famous for. It's so interesting the sense of nostalgia we hold for that time and place, despite the horrid inequalities present.

Nora is a wonderful example of a person who drifts through life unattached. Normally I think of these people as unfulfilled, but I don't think she is. Troubled, yes, but I think she sees the world's beauty in a way that few people do. Certainty not me :)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hill Towns (Anne Rivers Siddons)

So I'm a little suprised at how much I adored this book. It's not what I think of as "high fiction" which (I think is my own made up word, but might be real. Who knows).

Anyway, I am becoming quite taken with the south, despite the fact that I abhor its politics and don't ever really want to live there. Books about the south have cropped up several times for me this year.

This book is more about Southerners than the south. I loved the main character, and in a rare turn of events was really rooting for her to have an affair. You'll have to read it to find out if she did.