Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Devil's Closet by Stacy Dittrich

Got this one in just before the deadline for the end of 2008... and I wasn't sure if it was going to happen. I hoped that I would end the year with a bang and a wonderful book, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. I can only give this book a C+.

Back cover:
Detective CeeCee Gallagher is no stranger to high-pressure cases. But this one could easily cost her career... and her life. A macabre serial killer is on the loose, leaving the bodies of his young victims made up to resemble dolls. With only a Bible passage sent by the killer to guide her, CeeCee will have to sacrafice everything to find him and end his reign of terror before another child is murdered.

There were a couple of things that went wrong with this book. First of all, it was only 292 pages long and more than half of the story was about CeeCee and her affair. I couldn't stand her and her whining all of the time. She was caught between her husband and the man she had an almost affair with a year ago. At the end of the book the author explains that she added this in because the topic, children being killed, was so tough to read that she had to break it up. This book cannot be categorized as a thriller in my mind because most of it was romance. The timeline was very difficult to follow and very few clues were given to the reader to try and solve it. I also couldn't stand CeeCee's calaliver attitude towards marriage and it wasn't just hers either. I think there were three divorces in 292 pages. I don't know... the book just really annoyed me. I read some other reviews on Amazon and they absolutely loved it but it just didn't work for me.

Up next is a library book, one for Library Book challenge. It is called Innocence by Karen Novak, a new to me author. I hope it is good. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years!! Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

StoriTelling by Tori Spelling

I was a huge fan of 90210 and still love to watch the reruns and also began watching Tori Spelling's reality show, so I was interested to read her book and see what it was like growing up as her. I also do have to admit to enjoy reading People Magazine and the like, so this book seemed to be up my alley. It was a fast read and I rate it a B.

From Amazon:
She was television's most famous virgin--and, as Aaron Spelling's daughter, arguably its most famous case of nepotism. Portraying Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210, Tori Spelling became one of the most recognizable young actresses of her generation, with a not-so-private personal life every bit as fascinating as her character's exploits. Yet years later the name Tori Spelling too often closed--and sometimes slammed--the same doors it had opened.
sTORI Telling is Tori's chance to finally tell her side of the tabloid-worthy life she's led, and she talks about it all: her decadent childhood birthday parties, her nose job, her fairy-tale wedding to the wrong man, her so-called feud with her mother. Tori has already revealed her flair for brilliant, self-effacing satire on her VH1 show So NoTORIous and Oxygen's Tori & Dean: Inn Love, but her memoir goes deeper, into the real life behind the rumors: her complicated relationship with her parents; her struggles as an actress after 90210; her accident-prone love life; and, ultimately, her quest to define herself on her own terms

The book was not that well written, though you do get a good idea of who the real Tori Spelling is. I have to admit I did not come away with a better impression of her as a person after reading it though I could hardly relate to her problems. I guess I would have had a favorable impression of her if I tried to place myself in her shoes, but some of her problems had me saying "come on... get over it!" However, I couldn't imagine growing up with a mother like hers. I couldn't believe some of the things her mother pulled and how incredibly selfish she was. Tori also comes away selfish as well and I had a hard time sympathizing with her regarding her divorce and second marriage. That being said, the book was enjoyable and a quick escape to see how the other half lives. I am not sure if I would read her next book coming out, but I am glad I got this from the library instead of paying the $25 to buy it.

Up next is a book called The Devil's Closet. I had it on my bookshelf and am in the mood for a good thriller. I hope to finish it before the end of the year, though I do have a lot of work coming up for my online job. I am so glad the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over and do plan on staying home and not venturing out much this next week. Have a great rest of the weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Whispers and Lies by Joy Fielding

About a month ago I read a book by Ms. Fielding and was hooked. I was sneaking in pages everywhere I could and just couldn't get enough of the book. So this past week when I was at the library just browsing and came across Whispers and Lies I had to pick it up. Wow... am I glad I did... this book was fantastic! An A all around!

From Amazon:
Terry Painter enjoys her quiet life in tranquil Delray, Florida, where the single, forty-year-old nurse lives alone in the house she inherited from her mother. When young, vibrant Alison Simms rents the cottage on her property, the two women strike up a fast friendship -- and Terry is swept into a fantastic new life: dinners out, shopping, makeovers, even flirting with the handsome son of one of her elderly patients. But nothing about her newfound companion is as it appears, as Terry discovers when Alison's closely guarded past comes to light. Now Terry is locked into a race to reclaim her own life -- before she opens the door any further to the stranger she thought she knew...

This book turns out so twisted and has a villian that is truly creepy. There were twists and turns everywhere and the reader has to pay close attention to the details and small things if you hope to catch the surprise ending. I didn't catch it until it was partly revealed and I actually had to stop and shake my head because it was so suprising. I just loved this book... the characters came to life, I could see the little Florida town it took place in, and the pages kept on turning. This is what a true suspense novel should be, and goes to show that you don't need the bloody, gory details to keep you hooked. I am disappointed that it is over, but I will be sure to recommend this book to anyone who loves a good suspense book. Right now I feel like jumping in my car and buying Ms. Fielding's entire backlist and not moving until I have devoured each and every word. Whispers and Lies is definitely one of my top books in 2008!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. I for one am happy that it is over for another year. I crave routine by nature and the holidays just throw everything out of whack for me. My new job is going great and I absolutely love it! The weather has been horrible, in typical Michigan fashion. Over a foot of snow, freezing rain, sleet, ice and now tomorrow thunderstorms and 60 degree weather with all of that snow melting and most likely leading to flooding before it goes back in the 20s on Sunday. Is it any wonder I can't shake this headache for the past week? Oh well. Happy Reading everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Teaser by Jan Brogan

I read several different reviews about Teaser from blogs and I believe Romantic Times. I know the premise interested me because I wrote this book down twice. I had really high hopes for the book, but I was left a bit disappointed and can only rate the book a B.

From Amazon:
Hallie Ahern, a Providence, Rhode Island, reporter and recovering gambling addict, is trawling online chat rooms in search of a story for her newspaper’s Web site when an anonymous source sends her a short video clip, a teaser. Featuring two girls striking provocative poses, the clip promises more to come. As Hallie follows up on the lead, staking out tech shops and high school hangouts in search of the girls in the clip, she discovers that men are buying the girls webcams and lavishing them with gifts to make sure they use them. But those gifts are only a taste of the perils to come.The paper’s new owners love the idea of an exposé that warns parents of the dangers of the Internet, but when girls start dying, and when Hallie’s boyfriend—a prosecutor with the Attorney General’s office—ends up on another side of the story altogether, the situation goes from dark to lethal.

The idea of this book was really good, but I thought that the topic could have been more fleshed out. Perhaps I was expecting more of a thriller type book and I would have to classify this as a cozy mystery. I don't think my lower rating has anything to do with the book itself, but just my expectations. Hallie is a very likeable character and I like those surrrounding her. This book is part of a series, though, so I would recommend that you read the previous books first as there were a lot of references to things that happened in the past and you would get a better understanding of her and her boyfriend's relationship. It was a good book, just not what I was expecting.

Up next is a book by Joy Fielding that I picked up from the library. I hope it is as good as the previous Ms. Fielding book I read and helps jump start my reading. I know with Christmas right here, the next couple of days may be lacking in the time, but here is to hoping. We keep getting hit by more and more snow and tomorrow is supposed to be real nasty, so I will be staying home until it is time to go to my mom's. Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage

I got this book from Border's awhile ago from the discount book section. It was a trade paperback and by an author I never heard of and the premise sounded very interesting. I decided to give it a try, and boy am I glad I did. I give the book an A-.

From Amazon:
"The memory starts here, in my apron pocket, with the gun."
So begins The Doctor’s Wife, a stunning debut novel about four people and the cataclysmic intersection of their lives. Michael is a rising OB/GYN at a prominent private practice in Albany, New York; he also moonlights at a local women’s health clinic. But Annie, his wife, has become tired of her workaholic husband’s absences, and the soccer-mom lifestyle has worn thin. She begins a passionate love affair with bad-boy, fading celebrity painter Simon Haas—an affair that quickly goes awry when Simon’s wife Lydia, who is also the model upon whom he built his career, discovers the truth.
Abortion, local evangelism, marital disenchantment, and the rifts of social class: Brundage takes on the fault lines of our era with a deft hand.

The Doctor's Wife touches on a lot of hot button topics in today's world including abortion, underage sex, affairs, religion, and marriage. I was worried how the book would be just a pro abortion read showing how some right-wing crazies are, but the book was so much more than that. The characters clearly came through the pages and you really get a feel for what each character feels and their motivations. While this book was a psychological suspense, it was so beautifully written and I was disappointed when the book came to an end. I would recommend this book highly and will be looking for more books by this author in the future.

Up next is a library book is called Teaser by Jan Brogran. I placed this on hold awhile ago, and it came in a couple of days ago. I hope my reading mojo has come back because I flew through The Doctor's Wife once I had the time to read. We got the expected ten inches of snow and I had a snow day yesterday where I got a lot of reading in. Today is my hubby's birthday, so I am going to be spending some time with him... but I am sure I can get a few pages in here and there. Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Award and Reading Update

J. Kaye awarded me with another great award that really brightened my day!

I really appreciated it since today I have been feeling kinda down. I want to pass this along to some other bloggers.

Barbara from Heidi's Books.

Kris from Not Enough Books

Holly from What Were You Expecting?

These are three bloggers who I love to read and have made me feel so welcome (not excluding the lovely J.Kaye) so I just wanted to extend the love.

An update on my reading... since I finished my last book, I have read maybe 40 pages out of a book. I finally finished my training last night, though I worked this morning and have to go to my other job in a little. We are supposed to get walloped with a huge snow storm tonight with 10 inches, so I am assuming it will be a snow day for me tomorrow. I plan on reading and maybe wrapping some presents. That's it... I want to read!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dead Game by James Neal Harvey

This is an older book that has been on my shelves for awhile. Last time I was looking for a book I pulled this one off along with another book. This was a good book, and I enjoyed it. I give it a B.

From Amazon:
A murderer who's been discharged from a hospital for the criminally insane rapes and kills a young woman in her Manhattan apartment, leaving behind clues that point to NYPD detective Ben Tolliver as the killer. To Ben's horror, he realizes that he knows the victim, and thinks he may know the identity of the murderer as well. What he does not realize is that he's the target of a twisted genius.

This book was a good example of what a psychological suspense novel should be. The reader knows who the killer is in the first pages, though it doesn't take away from the suspense. The killer is truly a psychopath who has a lot of problems yet isn't stupid. The way he is able to trick and decieve so many different people is frightening in it's own right as you wonder how many people can "trick" the system. The only problem I had with the book was the ending was a bit fast and the author could have given the reader a bit more. This was part of a series, but I definetly did not feel like I missed out on anything. If you ever come across this author at a used book sale or the library and enjoy a good psychological suspense, I would urge you to pick it up.

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I do know that I have a busy couple of weeks coming up. Work is going to be crazy this week and I still have Christmas shopping left to do. I was so ahead of the game at Thanksgiving and I stopped, so now I will be scrambling. I hope everyone else is getting ready to relax and enjoy the holidays and not running around like me! Take a minute to enjoy a nice warm drink (this morning it was 50, when I left for lunch it was 18!) and a great book! Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Soul To Take by C.N. Bean and Book Buying Meme

I have been without the internet since Wednesday morning and it has been driving me nuts. I finally got it fixed this morning and have a ton to get caught up with, so this review is going to be short. I give this book a B-.

From Amazon:
Milwaukee homicide detective Rita Trible races against time to find a brutal serial killer stalking young boys only to uncover the secret life of a Catholic priest that the Church will do anything to hide and discover that her own child may be targeted by the murderer.

This book had so much promise. I thought that the premise was so interesting and could have had a good look into the inside of the Catholic Church scandals. However, I was left so disappointed. First of all, the main character, Rita, was so incredibly unlikeable. She is the head of the department and all of the staff disliked her and it wasn't difficult to see why. I couldn't stand her and would have hated to work for her. She didn't trust anyone and was the type of person who had to do everything herself. I hated the relationship she had with her son, who had lost so much. The writing wasn't that good either. Everything was just told to you instead of allowing the reader to see what happened. For example, the questioning of suspects doesn't take place and the author just tells you what happened. The book was almost 400 pages, so there was plenty of time and space to show the reader. Also, the time period just jumped all over the place without allowing the reader to see it. You would be reading along and all of a sudden, the author would mention that 5 weeks had passed since the last paragraph! The reason why I ranked it higher was because there was so much promise with the whole story idea.

J. Kaye tagged me a couple of days ago for a book buying meme. I just now saw it, so I will answer it real quickly. The question was if you plan on buying books for the holidays, how do you pick them out.

I do buy a few people books for the holidays. I have two young nephews and I like to give them books as part of their gifts. I just pick out whatever I think looks real cute for them. It may be something that I have read to a class that I have subbed for or what I have seen around. I am somewhat selfish, though, and tend to pick books that I would like. I always get my mom a couple of books for her stocking stuffers and when I do, I pick out something by an author I enjoy or would enjoy as we have a lot of the same reading interests. For another person I buy books for is on topics they like. Sometimes I hate buying books for others because I end up buying books for myself and then I am spending money on myself when I shouldn't be. I won't tag anyone, but if you want to play along, let me know!

I have so much going on right now and my head feels like it is going to explode! I am starting another job which I have to do training for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night on top of working all day. I was so far ahead on my Christmas shopping and even had everything wrapped but I haven't done any since Thanksgiving and have to get a move on. It doesn't help that DH's bday is 5 days before Christmas. Oh well, I know everyone is a bit busier during this time of the year, so I don't want to spend too much time complaining and whining. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Valentine by Tom Savage

This is an older book that I must have picked up from the used book store or a library used book sale. The back cover is all bent and there are some loose pages. I decided to pick it up and give it a try and it was all right. I give it a B.

Back book cover:
Jillian Talbot has it all: a beautiful home in New York's Greenwich Village, a string of bestselling suspense novels, a handsome and adoring lover.
She has something else too. A silent stalker. A secret admirer who sends her pink, heart-shaped messages- with an unmistakable warning in blood-red letters.
A killer has invaded her privileged sanctuary. He will imprison her in a nightmare ore real than the fiction she creates. And, as the price mounts ever higher for a crime Jill once committed but only her nemesis can remember, he will meet her at last at the hour of his triumph. Her judgement day.

This book was just o.k. At times it was a bit predictible, but the ending was a bit surprising. I think part of it was just the main character, Jill, was a bit unlikeable and kind of full of herself. She was constantly rolling her eyes and getting frustrated (before someone was stalking her) at fans and their interest in her and her writing. That just drives me crazy. If you don't want fans, then don't pick a job in the public eye. It is the same with celebrities. Besides that, Jill receives one card in the mail and starts freaking out right away. It was just a little bit too much to swallow. I did like the opportunity the reader has to get inside the head of the killer and to learn how and why he was doing the things he was doing. That always adds to the suspense and understanding of everything. I also was suprised that the author was a man... the voice of the book seemed definitely female to me.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I may ask my hubby to go select a few books for me to choose from. Even though I have over 600 books to read, every time I go to look I swear I can't decide on anything. It has been so cold here that all I feel like doing is laying on the couch wrapped up warm reading something. I am so ready for warmer temps already and it isn't even officially winter yet! Ugh! Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sleep No More by Greg Isles

This was my first book by Mr. Iles, though I do have several more sitting on my TBR shelves. I have been meaning to read one of his books and decided to grab this one off of the shelves. The premise sounded so interesting, though I was just a bit disappointed. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
In Sleep No More, Greg Iles returns to the territory of some of his best-loved works, the steamy and hypnotic small town Mississippi where Iles himself grew up. John Waters is a husband and father happy with his lot in life, though he has not always felt that way. Years earlier he escaped an obsessive love affair, which he feared might consume him. The woman in question disappeared after Waters married, and later he heard that she was killed in New Orleans. But now, Waters has an uneasy feeling that she has resurfaced to trouble him - and entice him - once again. A woman he meets casually stuns him with a smile and a secret only this former lover would know. But when this alluring stranger is suddenly murdered, Waters's quiet life is enveloped in a whirlwind of guilt and suspicion, revealing the shadowy sides of love and friendship, and the terror that can result when passion becomes obsession.

The description sounds just like my favorite type of psychological suspense. A psycho coming to wreak havoc on the seemingly "perfect" little family. The depths that someone would go to in the name of love. Unfortunely, the book also contains one little aspect that I could have done without... the supernatural. I am not sure why, but I just really do not like books that deal with supernatural, unless it is psychics. I know it is popular in fiction today, however, it just isn't my cup of tea. That being said, however, the writing was excellent and I was throughly enthralled with the book. I have been working a lot this week, so while it took me a couple of days to read it, last night when I had some free time I read over 200 pages and finished the book. I really recommend trying out Mr. Iles books, and know that another one of his books is in my near reading future!

I am not sure what I am going to read next. However, I went to a local B. Dalton bookstore in our mall for a gift and they were going out of business. Everything was 20% off and I didn't buy anything! I am sticking to my ban of buying any new books. I was quite proud with myself and just had to share it with you. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Lost Girls by Lin Hendler

I got The Lost Girls from one of the library book sales I went to earlier this year. It sounded interesting and I grabbed it off of my shelves when I was looking for something to read, however, I was pretty disappointed. I give it a C.

From Amazon:
For anyone who's ever felt lost in an angst-filled world, The Lost Girls offers a moving account of several young women estranged from the society around them. Ranging from urban Los Angeles to small-town America to England, the book follows the adolescence of Hannah and Becky, two best friends who must discover themselves amidst high school pressure, drugs, and confusion. The book also chronicles the travails of Laurel and Alexis, two girls who have opulent homes and an upscale high school but still submit to the drug culture that can't be separated from their lives.

I am not sure what to say about this book. If it was any longer, I wouldn't have finished it but it was only 142 pages long so I felt compelled to finish it. I was so confused when reading it, though. It jumped between characters and it was hard to find connections between chapters and I was constantly looking back to determine who was who. It was just a very confusing read and I guess I was just expecting more. I was looking forward to reading it but was very disappointed. I am not even sure how to classify this book.

I am not sure what I am going to read next but I think it will be a good suspense. Happy Reading everyone!

Monday, December 1, 2008

November Wrap-Up

I decided to do monthly wrap-ups for mainly myself, though I do enjoy reading others in case I missed a review. Without further ado...

I read 11 books in November, bringing my yearly total to 118. (I have beat my yearly goal of 115 books... yay!)

They were:
The Final Victim by Stephen Cannell
Schooled by Anisha Lakhani
Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek
Secret Weekend by Thom Racina
Missing Pieces by Joy Fielding
The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay
Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla
Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

My highest ranking were Tomato Girl, Missing Pieces and Too Close to Home, though I would probably say Missing Pieces was my favorite. My least favorite was The Stingray Shuffle.

Total number of pages: 3,956
Yearly total number of pages: 44,335

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

I read about this book on someone's blog, and as someone who loves children and is somewhat obsessed with missing child cases this book sounded like the perfect read for me. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Life changes in an instant. On a foggy beach. In the seconds when Abby Mason—photographer, fiancée soon-to-be-stepmother—looks into her camera and commits her greatest error. Heartbreaking, uplifting, and beautifully told, here is the riveting tale of a family torn apart, of the search for the truth behind a child’s disappearance, and of one woman’s unwavering faith in the redemptive power of love—all made startlingly fresh through Michelle Richmond’s incandescent sensitivity and extraordinary insight.Six-year-old Emma vanished into the thick San Francisco fog. Or into the heaving Pacific. Or somewhere just beyond: to a parking lot, a stranger’s van, or a road with traffic flashing by. Devastated by guilt, haunted by her fears about becoming a stepmother, Abby refuses to believe that Emma is dead. And so she searches for clues about what happened that morning—and cannot stop the flood of memories reaching from her own childhood to illuminate that irreversible moment on the beach.Now, as the days drag into weeks, as the police lose interest and fliers fade on telephone poles, Emma’s father finds solace in religion and scientific probability—but Abby can only wander the beaches and city streets, attempting to recover the past and the little girl she lost. With her life at a crossroads, she will leave San Francisco for a country thousands of miles away. And there, by the side of another sea, on a journey that has led her to another man and into a strange subculture of wanderers and surfers, Abby will make the most astounding discovery of all—as the truth of Emma’s disappearance unravels with stunning force.

I had so many mixed emotions while reading this book. At times I wanted to hate Abby and other times I wanted to hate Emma's father and throughout most of the book I hated the police. The Year of Fog is so well written and really tugs at the reader's heartstrings. When I picked this book up from the library, the librarian told me it was a tearjerker but such a wonderful book, so I was somewhat warned. Most of the times I hate reading something that will make me cry, because if I take a look around the world there are tons of real life things that can make someone feel down and depressed and when I read it is to escape. That being said, this book was an exception to the rule and I quickly read it. I have a hard time classifying this book but really can not recommend it enough.

I have been following the Caylee Anthony case since it broke in July. If you haven't heard, she is a missing three year old girl who is presumed to be dead by the police and by the hands of her own mother. Her mother never reported her missing and it finally took the grandmother to call it in a month after someone last saw Caylee. There has been evidence released that shows there was a decomposing body in the mother's trunk, a hair with a death band around it, a trunk that was saturated with chloroform and searches on the mother, Casey, computer three months before Caylee went missing on chloroform, neck breaking, and household weapons. With Casey behind bars facing murder charges, the grandparents are holding on to the fact that this little girll may still be alive. A lot of people have been crucifying the grandparents and I can't imagine how they can live their lives each day, not knowing where their precious granddaughter is. I will admit that I am somewhat afraid to have children because of all the bad that is out there in the world today and I think this book just goes to show that there some good can come out of horrible things.

The ending of the book left me somewhat disappointed, but without giving away spoilers, I really can't discuss more about it. It was a heavy read, and I admit I did little else today but curled up on the couch reading it. I really believe this book will be with me for awhile. Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler

I mentioned in my previous post for picking this book up to read and I was not disappointed. The perfect light, easy, comedic read that I finished quite quickly. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
When Chelsea Handler needs to get a few things off her chest, she appeals to a higher power -- vodka. You would too if you found out that your boyfriend was having an affair with a Peekapoo or if you had to pretend to be honeymooning with your father in order to upgrade to first class. Welcome to Chelsea's world -- a place where absurdity reigns supreme and a quick wit is the best line of defense.
In this hilarious, deliciously skewed collection, Chelsea mines her past for stories about her family, relationships, and career that are at once singular and ridiculous. Whether she's convincing her third-grade class that she has been tapped to play Goldie Hawn's daughter in the sequel to Private Benjamin, deciding to be more egalitarian by dating a redhead, or looking out for a foulmouthed, rum-swilling little person who looks just like her...only smaller, Chelsea has a knack for getting herself into the most outrageous situations. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea showcases the candor and irresistible turns of phrase that have made her one of the freshest voices in comedy today.

Ms. Handler is very funny and her true voice clearly comes through in the book. The thing that I believe leads to the book being even funnier is the fact that Ms. Handler's stories are not outrageous and funny in a way that is unbelievable. If you ever watch her show, you can hear a lot of the same phrases and expressions that she uses on the show and in her book. The book contained about 14 different essays ranging from boyfriends to getting sucked into dog sitting for a friend when she doesn't even like dogs. At times the book may be offensive to some who do not like graphic language, but I still enjoyed it. I think I am going to check out her previous book.

Up next is The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond. It is the last of my library books and I would love to be able to finish it by tomorrow so I can add it to November's count. I doubt I will have the time, however, because this evening my hubby and I have bowling and tomorrow I have lesson plans to do. However, I was able to get my cleaning and laundry done today so it may all work out. Happy Reading!

Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla

I read one of Mr. Kalla's previous novels, Rage Therapy, quite awhile ago and absolutely loved it. I have been meaning to read one of his other books for awhile and finally got Blood Lies from the library. It was a good book and I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Ben Dafoe, a young emergency-room doctor and part-time crime-scene consultant for the Seattle Police Department, is haunted by addiction. Two years earlier, a cocaine and crystal-meth habit claimed the life of his identical twin, Aaron. Now Ben walks onto the scene of a savage stabbing to find that the victim is his former fiancée, Emily Kenmore—another loved one who fell prey to drugs. Part of the carnage in Emily’s bedroom is a single streak of blood caked on the wall.

When the DNA from that sample matches Ben’s, he becomes the prime suspect.

Convinced his identical twin is still alive and somehow involved in Emily’s death, Ben goes on the run, aiming to find Aaron. Working under an assumed identity at an inner-city clinic, Ben desperately searches for Aaron while playing cat-and-mouse with the authorities.

But someone is determined to thwart his hunt at any cost. In the story’s final twist, the truth hits closer to home and more lethally than Ben ever imagined.

At times, the book was a bit predicitible and it tood me awhile to get into it. However, looking back I realized I wasn't giving myself much time to read and get a chance to get involved with the book. I feel like this past two weeks I have had ADD or something and cannot focus on much for too long and it is driving me up a wall. The author does a great job of throwing in some red herrings and tricking the reader into who they believe is responsible for the killings. While this book is classified as a medical mystery, I am hard pressed to call it so. While there are some medical aspects, they are quite limited. I will say that I really liked Rage Therapy much more though and if you are interested in trying out this author I would pick that one up first.

Up next is Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler. I have been a fan of her tv show on E! and her comedy for awhile, so when I heard about this book I placed it on hold. It is been forever since I did and it finally came through. It is a light, funny read so far and I am enjoying it. I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2009 Suspense Thriller Challenge

This one is a no brainer for me to enter since I love thrillers and suspense novels. Here are the rules that the lovely J. Kaye is hosting. Here are the rules!

2009 Suspense & Thriller Reading Challenge
This is for the ones who finished the 2008/09 Suspense & Reading Challenge are ready for another. Rules of this challenge:
* Read TWELVE (12) different sub-genres of thrillers in 2009.
* You do NOT need to select your books ahead of time. Also, you may change as you go. * Your books can crossover into other challenges.
* You don't need a blog to join in this challenge. For those who do, this is important. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your S/T books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed.

Click to join suspense-thriller-challenge

This is the list of sub-genres of thrillers we've discovered so far:
Action thrillers - often feature a race against the clock, contains lots of violence, and an obvious antagonist. Treasure hunt, search for a lost archeological site, the world's lost meteorite, a mystery lost to time--action-adventure brings back our childhood fantasies of being the adventurer. Examples are Sahara by Clive Cussler, Thunderhead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston
Amateur Detective mystery - solved by an amateur, who generally has some profession or affiliation that provides ready access to information about the crime.
Comic Thrillers - a thriller played for laughs, whether through a spoof of the genre or wisecracking interplay between the protagonists.
Conspiracy thriller - In which the hero/heroine confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only he/she recognizes. The Chancellor Manuscript and The Aquitane Progression by Robert Ludlum fall into this category.
Cozy mystery - takes place in a small town—sometimes in a single home—where all the suspects are present and familiar with one another, except the detective, who is usually an eccentric outsider.
Crime thriller - offers a suspenseful account of a successful or failed crime or crimes. This subgenre often focuses on the criminal(s) rather than a policeman. Crime thrillers usually emphasize action over psychological aspects. Central topics of these films include murders, robberies, chases, shootouts, and double-crosses are central ingredients. I think the Dexter series would work well here.
Eco-thriller is where the protagonist must avert or rectify an environmental or biological calamity - often in addition to dealing with the usual types of enemies or obstacles present in other thriller genres. This environmental component often forms a central message or theme of the story. Examples include Nicholas Evans's The Loop, C. George Muller's Echoes in the Blue, and Wilbur Smith's Elephant Song, all of which highlight real-life environmental issues.
Futuristic Eco-thrillers are of the Science Fiction genre that proposes ideas that will or may occur and include such works as Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy and Ian Irvine's Human Rites Trilogy.
Erotic thriller simply put consists of erotica and thriller. The genre includes such books as Basic Instinct by Richard Osborne, and Fatal Attraction.
Disaster thriller - In which the main conflict is due to some sort of natural or artificial disaster, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc., or nuclear disasters as an artificial disaster. Examples include Stormy Weather by Carl Hiaasen, Tremor by Winston Graham, and the 1974 film Earthquake.
Drama thriller - In which the story consists of the elements of a thriller and drama film. These films are usually slower paced and involves a great deal of character development along with plot twists. Examples include The Illusionist, The Interpreter and The Prestige.
Forensic mystery - solved through the forensics lab, featuring much detail and scientific procedure.
Futuristic mystery/thrillers - a crime set in the future.
Hard-boiled mystery - is tougher and grittier than soft- or medium-boiled stories. They often incorporate violence, no-holds-barred descriptions of crime scenes, and sexual encounters. They usually feature a lone-wolf private detective who is cynical yet quixotic. Think Sara Paretsky, Ian Rankin, Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly, James Elroy, Clyde Ford (The Long Mile). Historical Thriller are thrillers set in the past, usually combined with other subgenres. This particular subgenre is rather uncommon. Examples of this are Black Order by James Rollins and The Jester by James Patterson and Andrew Gross.
Hitman Thriller would be where victims are being hunted by a hitman. Dean Koontz's The Good Guy is an example.
Horror thrillers has the conflict between the main characters are mental, emotional, and physical. Examples of this include World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks and 28 Days Later: The Aftermath by Steve Niles. What sets the horror thriller apart is the main element of fear throughout the story. The main character(s) is not only up against a superior force, but they are or will soon become the victims themselves and directly feel the fear that comes by attracting the monster's attention. Other well-known examples are Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs.
Inverted mystery - one where the killer is know and the story is about how the police go about proving and catching the killer- The Columbo movies were based on this genre.
Legal thrillers are where the lawyer-heroes/heroines confront enemies outside, as well as inside, the courtroom and are in danger of losing not only their cases but their lives. The Pelican Brief by John Grisham and the Jack Swyteck novels by James Grippando are good examples of the type.
Literary thrillers concern rare books but this one was about art crime. (added by Violette Severin)
Locked Room - mystery in which the crime is apparently committed under impossible circumstances (but eventually elicits a rational explanation).
Medical thrillers are which the hero/heroine are doctors or medical personnels working to solve an expanding medical problem. Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, and Tess Gerritsen are well-known authors of this subgenre.
Military Thrillers - a thriller featuring a military protagonist, often working behind enemy lines or as part of a specialized force
Murder Mystery - focuses on one type of criminal case. Usually, there is a murder victim, and the detective must figure out who killed him, the same way he solves other crimes.
Mob Mysteries or Thillers are about mobsters, and their life account. It can describe the crimes they have committed, or the mob's general development.
Police Procedural Thrillers - a crime thriller that follows the police as they work their way through a case.
Political thrillers where the hero/heroine must ensure the stability of the government that employs him. Good examples are Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn, Presidential Games by Alvin E. Hargis, and Happy Holidays: A Political Thriller by J.D. Smith. Private Detective mystery - Focused on the independent snoop-for-hire, these have evolved from tough-guy "hard-boiled" detectives to the more professional operators of today.
Psychological thrillers have (until the often violent resolution) the conflict between the main characters is mental and emotional, rather than physical. The Alfred Hitchcock films Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, and Strangers on a Train and David Lynch's bizarre and influential Blue Velvet are notable examples of the type, as is The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (who also wrote Strangers).
Religious thrillers were popularized by the blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. This subgenre uses the rich and long history of religion to build stories with high stakes and deadly politics. More examples are Map of Bones by James Rollins, The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry, and The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi.
Romantic thriller is where the protagonists are romantically involved.
Sci-Fi thrillers - Michael Crichton's first novel, The Andromeda Strain (1969), still ranks as one of the top science fiction thrillers of all time. What could be scarier than microscopic killer germs run amok? Representing the larger end of the weird-creature spectrum, Mammoth by John Varley (2005) imaginatively spins a yarn starring a billionaire, a brilliant nerd, and a gifted animal wrangler whose newest charge happens to be a woolly mammoth.
Serial Killer thriller is an extremely popular subgenre of thriller. In this subgenre, a serial killer is terrorizing a group of people with horrific violence. The detective's goal is to stop the killer before he takes his next victim. Examples here are The Skin Gods by Richard Montanari, The Narrows by Michael Connelly, Seduction in Death by J. D. Robb Spy thrillers (also a subgenre of spy fiction) are where the hero is generally a government agent who must take violent action against agents of a rival government or (in recent years) terrorists. Examples include From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming, The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum, and television series such as Mission: Impossible and 24 (the latter demonstrating a break from the norm by Robert Ludlum, as it is as much a psychological thriller as a spy thriller.)
Supernatural thrillers are in which the conflict is between main characters and a supernatural powers. Carrie by Stephen King and Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan are notable examples of this genre. This type of thriller combines tension of the regular thriller with such basic horror oriented ingredients as ghosts, the occult, and psychic phenomenon; the supernatural thriller combines these with a frightening but often restrained film. They also generally eschew the more graphic elements of the horror film in favor of sustaining a mood of menace and unpredictability; supernatural thrillers often find the protagonists either battling a malevolent paranormal force or trapped in a situation seemingly influenced or controlled by an other-worldly entity beyond their comprehension.
Techno-thrillers are work that usually focuses upon military action, in which technology (usually military technology) is described in detail and made essential to the reader's/viewer's understanding of the plot. Tom Clancy defined and popularized the genre with his The Hunt for Red October, and is considered to be the "Father of the Technothriller."
Terrorist thriller is when someone blows up a building and are usually from the middle east or destroys something. True-Crime thrillers - The most famous book in this nonfiction genre is Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (1966). The author spent months in the Midwest painstakingly retracing the steps of two young rural killers -- and then wrote about it chillingly. Another excellent and more recent true-crime book is Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule (2004), the true story of the notorious Green River serial killer who terrorized the Seattle area for decades.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay and Another Challenge

I became a fan of Mr. Barclay when I began reading his series featuring a stay-at-home dad and the mysteries he gets thrown into. His books always seemed to have a honest, down-to-earth, and slightly humorous side to them and Too Close To Home was no exception. It was a great read and I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
“The night they killed our neighbors, we never heard a thing.” In a quiet suburban neighborhood, in a house only one door away, a family is brutally murdered for no apparent reason. And you think to yourself: It could have been us. And you start to wonder: What if we’re next?Linwood Barclay, critically acclaimed author of No Time for Goodbye, brings terror closer than ever before in a thriller where murder strikes in the place we feel safest of all. Promise Falls isn’t the kind of community where a family is shot to death in their own home. But that is exactly what happened to the Langleys one sweltering summer night, and no one in this small upstate New York town is more shocked than their next-door neighbors, Jim and Ellen Cutter. They visited for the occasional barbecue and their son, Derek, was friends with the Langleys’ boy, Adam; but how well did they really know their neighbors? That’s the question Jim Cutter is asking, and the answers he’s getting aren’t reassuring. Albert Langley was a successful, well-respected criminal lawyer, but was he so good at getting criminals off that he was the victim of revenge—a debt his innocent family also paid in blood? From the town’s criminally corrupt mayor to the tragic suicide of a talented student a decade before, Promise Falls has more than its share of secrets. And Jim Cutter, failed artist turned landscaper, need look no further than his own home and his wife Ellen’s past to know that things aren’t always what they seem. But not even Jim and Ellen are ready to know that their son was in the Langley house the night the family was murdered.Suddenly the Cutters must face the unthinkable: that a murderer isn’t just stalking too close to home but is inside it already. For the Langleys weren’t the first to die and they won’t be the last.

Mr. Barclay is an excellent writter. He allows the reader to really place themselves into the middle of the story and really understand where everyone is coming from. For example, the author never describes what the inside of the Cutter home looks like, but through his honest descriptions and feelings of the characters, I began to imagine a house decorated in the way I thought the Cutters would do so. All of the characters are flawed but not so much that it is unbelievable. I also love that Mr. Barclay always tells the story through the dad's point of view and I appreciate that. I can't think of another book that is like that and it is interesting to read about. The mystery was also well written and there were a lot of twists and turns that keep you on your toes trying to figure everything out. I did figure out some of it but it was only with about 30 pages left. I will continue to be on the lookout for more of Mr. Barclay's books, but am disappointed I have to wait a year for another one.

I have three more library books to get through and the next one up is Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla. I read one of his other books and I really, really enjoyed it so I am hoping this one is just as good. Discussing library books brings me to the next challenge I am going to sign up for. It is called 2009 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge. The rules are the following:

** The first is to read 12 books from your local library in 2009.
** The second is to read 25 books from your local library in 2009.
** The third is to read 50 books from your local library in 2009.
You decide which one of the three challenges is best for you. Here are the guidelines:
1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.
2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.
3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.
4) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your library books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed. If you don’t have a blog, leave the URL blank.
6) Our goal is to read 12, 25, or 50 books checkout from our local library in 2009. Please decide which when you sign up and don’t change it
.7) These can be audios, downloads, children’s, YA. As long as it’s a book, format and target age group does not matter.
8) Feel free to post a link to your reviews in the comment section below. That way, we can visit your blog and read your review.
9) If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or email me at Comments usually get a quicker response.

Because I am trying to read more of my own books for another challenge, I am only going to pledge 25 books for this challenge. I am sure I will read more, but I am not sure which ones they will be yet. Probably more of the newest releases that come out in hardcover. I am a huge lover of my library, and I encourage everyone else to do the same!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

I placed a hold on The 19th Wife from my library after reading some reviews about it. I am very interested in the Mormon faith and the topic of polygamy. I love the t.v. show Big Love and figured this book would be right up my alley. It was a good book and I rate it a B+.

From Amazon:
Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain.Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.

It took me awhile to read this book and I think the book and me had to do with this. I have been horribly sick this past week, extremely dizzy and exhausted. I was up a couple of days for only 6 hours or so spread over a day. I couldn't walk and I definitely couldn't concentrate on reading. Part of the book was written as a 19th century book, and at times I had a hard time with the language. But this was a well written book and I can say I learned a lot about the history of the Mormon church, dating back to the beginning of the church. I often read Natilie Collins' blog, who is an author and is no longer a Mormon. I am not quite sure why I am so interested in the religion, but I figure any knowledge is worth it. I would have liked to see more the modern day story, however, but I really do not have any big complaints.

Yesterday I finally started feeling somewhat normal and today I had more energy where I was finally able to get a lot of things done around the house that had to be put off. I went to the doctors and they were not able to find anything really that they could pinpoint. I think that the cause of my sickness was a combination of two things.... 1. I have recently reduced medication I take daily, as I am trying to get off of the meds and 2. I have extremely low blood pressure and it is a possibilty that is causing the dizziness. I have never felt as bad as I did this week and wouldn't wish it anyone. I pray that it is coming to an end, though, and while I am a bit dizzy right now, I have been pretty good all day. I didn't even turn on my computer for a few days so I have a lot of blogs to catch up on. Tomorrow I plan on getting to all of that and get some reading in and try to salvage this month! I hope everyone had a fantastic week and an even better weekend and Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2009 100+ Books Challenge

I am going to enter my second challenge for 2009. J. Kaye is hosting this one, and as each year I make a goal to read over 100 books, I decided that this would be the perfect fit for me.

Here are the rules:

1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.

2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.

3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.

4) If you don’t have a blog, please join our Yahoo Groups.

5) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your 100+ books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed.

6) All books count: children’s, YA, adults, fiction, non-fiction, how-tos, etc.

7) Feel free to post in the comment section or on Yahoo Groups your monthly progress as well as your favorite books that month.

Let me know if you choose to join!

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey

I really enjoy Carl Hiassen's books, I read that Mr. Dorsey's books are often compared to his. I decided to get one awhile ago, and decided to pull this one from the shelves to read. Unfortunely, I was a bit disappointed with the book and can only give it a C.

From Amazon:
When serial-killing local Florida historian Serge A. Storms is off his meds, no one is safe -- not Russian hoods, Jamaican mobsters, spoiled frat boys, women's book clubs, drug dealers, bad Vegas-rejected local lounge acts -- especially when $5 million in cash in a bugged suitcase is still racing up and down the Eastern Seaboard. But in the oddball circus known as the Sunshine State, little things like astronomical body counts tend to get lost in the shuffle.

I just couldn't get into this book. I am not sure if it was me or the book itself. There were quite a few humorous parts where I had a big grin on my face, but there were so many little details and history thrown into the book that it was boring me. I had to force myself to pick the book up and read, and it shows. It took me over 5 days to read it, and while I was busy, if it was a good book this wouldn't have been a problem. I am not sure why I didn't just give up on it, but I kept reading and forced myself to finish it tonight. Ugh... I won't do that anymore. There are just too many books and not enough time. The book wasn't all bad... but I just couldn't get into it.

I have three library books to read now. Holds came in, so I am going to get in to them. I am not sure which one I will read first, but hopefully it will be something that grabs me. Happy Reading!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My First Ever Challenge!

So I am going to enter my first ever challenge. It is called RYOB 2009 and I am excited to join it.

Head over to Books 'N Border Collies to enter! The rules are pretty easy to follow:
1. Set a number of books you would like to read from your own collection.
2. Read your books between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009
I plan to read 40 books. I have no idea which ones those will be since I have over 600 books to read and I hate feeling like I have to read a book. Let me know if you are planning on joining as well!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Missing Pieces by Joy Fielding

I have several books by Ms. Fielding on my shelves and when looking for something to read, I decided to pick this one up and give it a try. This was a really good book and had me turning the pages. I even tried to sneak a few pages in tonight when I was out to dinner for my mom's birthday! I give this an A-.

From Amazon:
How far will a mother go to protect her family from a madman?An unrivaled master of psychological suspense, Joy Fielding has written her most chilling and intricate novel yet--a compulsively readable look at the razor-thin line between daily domesticity and nerve-shattering terror.It had to end in blood. Family therapist Kate Sinclair, healer of lost souls, perfect wife and mother, has suddenly become trapped in a nightmare of her own. Her teenage daughter has just discovered sex, lies, and rebellion. Her ex-boyfriend has returned to threaten her marriage. Her once-peaceful hometown is being awakened by chilling headlines: Another woman is missing. Kate can sense the darkness gathering around her, can see the mistakes, the missteps, the missing pieces. She is afraid of what tomorrow will bring.Enter Colin Friendly, a man on trial for abducting and killing thirteen women--the handsome, "misunderstood" sociopath Kate's troubled sister plans to marry. Colin loves women to death. He can't wait to see Kate and the girls again. One dark night when they are home alone, disarmed, ready for bed...

This was such a good book. The writing was done so well, and Ms. Fielding has a wonderful way with convincing the reader that they are a fly on the wall watching everything going on. The writing was just so believable and you could feel all of Kate's feelings and the loss of her life as she knows it. This book had it all, including mother-daughter relationships, sister relationships, marriage, and suspense. The only thing I felt was lacking a bit was the suspense. I think that there possibly could have had more written about it, but it was still an excellent book. It has been awhile since I have tried sneaking pages in during red lights.

I am not sure what I am going to read next... I am excited about reading right now, but afraid that I may not fully enjoy the book as much as I would if I hadn't just finished Missing Pieces. I am tempted to read another book by Ms. Fielding, but I think I am just going to see what jumps out on me. Right now I am watching the Wings Penguins game which is a rematch of the Stanley Cup Finals. As I type this, we are winning... of course! Go Wings and Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Secret Weekend by Thom Racina

Secret Weekend is an older book that I have had on my shelves for awhile. I decided to pick it up because the premise sounded really interesting and I figured it would be a quick read. However, I was a bit disappointed and give it a B-.

From Amazon:
Audrey Goh kidnapped her boyfriend for a romantic weekend alone in her luxury high-rise apartment on Hawaii's scenic coast. The building's state-of-the-art security system would make sure that no one else got in--or out. But someone seems to have slipped through the empty building's cracks. Someone who has been watching--and waiting for--Audrey for years. Someone who has wanted her all to himself...

I thought this book could have been really good and suspensful. I wish the author had done a bit more with the buildup of things happening and allow the reader to get into the heads of the madman a bit more. I feel like almost half of the book was action when the guy had Audrey and it kind of took away from the suspense of the book. I also didn't really like the author's style and voice with the book. I knew I had read a book by this author before, so I looked it up and I saw I also had the same issues with that book as well. Because of this, I probably will not read another book by this author.

I hit two library sales this weekend. The one I went to yesterday was a monthly event, so the selections of books was a bit slim, however, I got 9 books. Today was at another library where they had the $5 bag sale. I got a bag full, but the weren't a ton of books to choose from. I guess I really can't complain, because I think got about 15 new books. I now have over 600 books that I have not read yet, which is a bit scary. I think I need to get busy and start reading off from my shelves and slow down on the library books. I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tomato Girl

Tomato Girl was another book I read about on several blogs, so I decided to place it on hold through my library. I started it last night and finished it today and was not disappointed while reading it. I give Tomato Girl an A-.

From Amazon:
For eleven-year-old Ellie Sanders, her father has always been the rock that she could cling to when her mother's emotional troubles became too frightening. But when he comes under the thrall of the pretty teenager who raises vegetables and tomatoes for sale at the general store that he runs, Ellie sees her security slowly slipping away. Now she must be witness and warden to her mother's gradual slide into madness.Told from Ellie's point of view, Tomato Girl takes the reader into the soul of a terrified young girl clinging desperately to childhood while being forced into adulthood years before she is ready. To save herself, she creates a secret world, a place in which her mother gets well, her father returns to being the man he was, and the Tomato Girl is banished forever. Tomato Girl marks the debut of a gifted and promising new author who has written a timeless Southern novel.

This book made me so mad, but in a good way where the book reaches out and grabs the reader by the heart. The things Ellie is forced to live with and deal with are so heartbreaking that I just want to jump right into the pages and fix everything myself. I could not believe the selfish acts of some of the adults in this book. This poor little girl forced to grow up so quickly and deal with things that I know would have a 40 year old struggling with was so sad. I think what even got to me more was that though the book is a work of fiction, I am sure there are plenty of children that deal with things like this in everyday life. However, the book was really well written and the author does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the story. I highly recommend this book.

That is it for my library books, so I am going to get something off of my shelves. I think a good thriller is in store right now, especially after reading two back-to-back regular fiction books. Wish me luck in selecting an awesome book and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I found a few reviews for Schooled at several different blogs. I always love to read books about teaching and teachers, so this book sounded right up my alley. It was a pleasant read and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
All she wants to do is teach. For Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students.
Turns out it isn't that easy.
Landing a job at an elite private school in Manhattan, Anna finds her dreams of chalk boards and lesson plans replaced with board families, learning specialists, and benefit-planning mothers. Not to mention the grim realities of her small paycheck.
And then comes the realization that the papers she grades are not the work of her students, but of their high-priced, college-educated tutors. After uncovering this underground economy where a teacher can make the same hourly rate as a Manhattan attorney, Anna herself is seduced by lucrative offers--one after another. Teacher by day, tutor by night, she starts to sample the good life her students enjoy: binges at Barneys, dinners at the Waverly Inn, and a new address on Madison Avenue.
Until, that is, the truth sets in.

You could tell that this book was written by a former teacher. The same excitement that Anna talks about while planning her year and these big lessons that the students are just going to love are so familar to me. I know even now with my after school class I teach I try to do some really cool and fun activities and the students just don't appreciate it or make mean comments about it. Anna also talks about her feelings and how hard it is to deal with students like this. The author does a wonderful job going in to the dirty side of cheating and teaching and discussing how some parents act and beahve. The ending was left a little bit unfinished in my opinion which lowered th rating. Overall though, a good book.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I know I have a book on hold that the library just called me for (Tomato Girl) and I will probably go pick it up but I may not read it right away. I think I am in a mood for a good thriller, but we'll see. Happy Reading and make sure you go and make an informed decision on voting!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Final Victim by Stephen Cannell

Final Victim was the other book I got from the library by Stephen Cannell. After reading the newer book, my expectations were let down. I can only rate this book a B-.

From Amazon:
A genius, hairless, seven-foot-tall psychopath, Leonard Land is many people wired into the cyber-subculture of Satanism and Death Metal. He is smart and cunning. He is quick, brutal and deadly. And he is everywhere. A renegade U.S. customs agent, a brilliant and beautiful forensic phychologist and a streetwise convict master hacker are on the trail of the maniac who is methodically slaughtering innocent women -- a hunt that is leading a trio of unlikely heroes across an imperiled nation...and deep into the darkest corridors of cyberspace. But there is no system the maniac cannot infiltrate, no secrets he cannot access. He knows he is being hunted...and by whom. And he's determined to strike first -- in ways too terrible to anticipate.

This book was dated and it showed. There was a lot of technological explanations and some of them were not necessary since computers are used much more than when this book was written. Also I felt that the explanations kind of slowed down the story and there would be a time when the suspense was really building, and all of the sudden there was this explanation about computers. I also missed the dry humor that was in the other book I read by Mr. Cannell.

Well, I thought I was getting better but have had a turn for the worse. I can't even breathe through my nose, it hurts to swallow, and my chest is in pain. I have a half day assignment tomorrow afternoon, but if I am feeling like this, I probably will cancel it. I have Tuesday off so hopefully I will be able to recover a bit. I am sure this isn't a cold, but probably a upper respiratory infection. I have a hard time sleeping which totally sucks. I can't focus on reading which makes it that much more worse. I mean when all I can do is lie around, I would love to just read read read! Oh well... enough whining! Happy Reading!

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Anniversary by Amy Gutman

The Anniversary is another book I got a recommendation from my library. It took me forever to read it, though I think it was more me than the book. I don't know why my reading has slowed so much, but once I put my mind to it, I finished it pretty quickly. I give it a B.

From Amazon:
Laura Seton has put her past behind her. Several years earlier, her former boyfriend was put to death after being linked to the murder of more than 100 young women. On the fifth anniversary of his death, a chilling note is left at her door-a note that might have come from her dead lover. Unbeknownst to her, two other women receive identical notes-someone is forcing them all to confront a past they've tried to forget. Steven Gage was a charming and elusive psychopathic serial killer. Five years after his capture and execution, his ex-girlfriend, the lawyer who defended him on Death Row, and the writer who turned his story into a bestselling true crime book reach the edge of terror as they are hunted by a shape-shifting shadow from the past. The anniversary is an edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller that will keep hearts pounding until the last shocking twist.

The book was an interesting and a good mystery. There were quite a few red herrings that threw me a bit, but about 75% through the book I had it figured out. I had a hard time sympathizing with the main character. The way she dealt with her daughter got on my nerves and it really irked me. I am not sure why this seems to be bother me so much lately, but I think it has to do with the students I come in contact with on a daily basis and the fact that me and my husband are starting to think about having a baby soon. Our 4 year anniversary is on Wednesday so I think it is getting close to time. Anyways, the book was good but nothing really special that made me go WOW!

Up next is another book by Stephen Cannell. This one is called Final Victim and does sound a little bit different. I plan on doing a lot of reading this weekend, so hopefully I can get through this one quickly. I have been sick for the past couple of days and normally when I am sick I love to read, but this week I have been so tired that I can't concentrate. I feel a bit better today so hopefully I am turning the corner. Happy Halloween and Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

At First Sight by Stephen Cannell

While looking through my library's available e-books and audiobooks available for checkout, I found At First Sight. It sounded interesting and I was reading a book that I couldn't get into I decided to try it. I really enjoyed it and give it an A-.

From Amazon:
Meet Chick Best—a middle-aged, selfabsorbed, disaffected, California millionaire. Other than his house and high-priced foreign cars, Chick’s most expensive possession is his trophy wife, Evelyn. Evelyn is good at spending Chick’ money, money that has pretty much run out. Another problem is his drug-addled sixteen-year-old daughter, Melissa. Though concerned about his life and family, Chick has resigned himself to a miserable state of acceptance. That is, until he, Evelyn, and Melissa take a Christmas vacation in Maui. With this, Chick’s life changes…
Chick experiences unrequited love at first sight when he observes Paige Ellis emerging from the hotel swimming pool. His obsession, exceeded only by his need to possess her, isn’t diminished when he learns that she is happily married. Instead, he befriends Paige and her near-perfect husband, Chandler. A short time later, back from Hawaii, Chick’s obsession compels him to drive to Paige’s house, where he runs down and kills Chandler in a drugstore parking lot. But this is just the beginning of Chick’s nightmare as his life spirals homicidally out of control, resulting in the destruction of everything he holds dear. Will Paige learn the truth about Chick before it’s too late?
Fast paced, filled with wry humor, murder, lust, and dead-on L.A. characterizations, Cannell has written his most explosively saleable novel yet.

I really enjoyed this. It had humor and I loved the way it was written. Told from both Paige and Chick's point of view, I loved getting into both of their heads. The humor was very dry but this book jsut grabbed me. I only read about 70 pages last night and finished the book in about a hour and a half today. It would be a stretch to call the book a mystery or thriller but it was still fun. This was the first book I read by Mr. Cannell, though it won't be my last. I checked out another book by him and will probably read that after another book I have. It definitely broke me out of my mini reading slump. I was reading a book by Phillip Margolin, but it didn't grab me. It was told from different time periods and there were so many characters that I was having a hard time keeping everything straight. It took me three days to read 100 pages, and when I had time which I normally keep for reading available, I found other things to do. I finally gave up on it, because I figured time is too short to read books that I am not engrossed in.

After doing some cleaning, laundry and lesson planning, I plan on starting The Anniversary by Amy Guttman. I am excited to read which always happens after reading a good book! I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Tutor by Peter Abrahams

I got The Tutor from one of the library book sales I went to . I have to admit the first thing that drew my attention was the title of the book. Being a tutor and teaching kids I grabbed it. This book was not really about tutoring or teaching, but was still really good. It was such a well written book and I really liked it. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
When Scott and Linda Gardner hire Julian Sawyer to tutor their troubled teenage son Brandon, he seems like the answer to a prayer. Capable and brilliant, Julian connects with Brandon in a way neither of his parents can. He also effortlessly helps Linda to salvage a troubled business deal and gives Scott expert advice on his tennis game. Only eleven-year old Ruby—funny, curious, devoted to Sherlock Holmes—has doubts about the stranger in their midst who has so quickly become like a member of the family. But even the observant Ruby is far from understanding Julian’s true designs on the Gardners.For Julian, the Gardners are like specimens in jars, creatures to be studied— and manipulated. Scott is a gambler with no notion of odds, festering in the shadow of his more successful brother. Linda is ambitious, hungry for the cultured stimulation Julian easily provides. Brandon is risking his future late at night in the town woods. And Ruby—well, she’s just a silly little girl. And in that miscalculation lies the Gardner family’s only possible salvation.

Mr. Abrahams is just a fantastic writer. All of the characters really seem to come to life and even though it is really easy to identify their faults, you really come to like them and can almost see some of yourself in them. I especially loved Ruby- "the silly little girl". Some of her interests truly remind me of myself and I can relate to her feelings on her relationship with her brother. Besides the characters, the suspense was well done. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed which reflected my lower grade. I did some research on the author and was surprised that the Mr. Abrahams is the author who wrote the book that the movie The Fan was based on. I loved that movie though it has been forever since I have seen it. I am definitely going to keep this author on my list of those to keep my eyes open for.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I did receive the next George Shuman book from Barbara in the mail yesterday. I don't think I am going to jump right in to it though, since I just finished the previous one. I am going to browse the shelves and find something that has been sitting there for awhile. Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

18 Seconds by George Shuman

I got this recommendation from Barbara on Heidi's Books after reading her review on the second book in this series. She is being kind enough to send it to me but said I had to get the first one in the series and read it first. I grabbed it from the library and checked it out and am so happy I did. It was a really great book, and I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Thirty years after a deadly traffic accident landed Earl Sykes in prison, he is back on the streets of Wildwood, New Jersey -- and back for revenge. He is also feeding his perverse appetite for abducting young female victims -- the same crimes he committed years ago for which he was never caught.
Police lieutenant Kelly O'Shaughnessy is bewildered by the disappearance of several young women from the boardwalk -- crimes horrifyingly reminiscent of unsolved cases from the seventies. Reluctant to ask for help but desperate to stem the bloodshed, Kelly enlists investigative consultant Sherry Moore. Blind and beautiful, Sherry has the extraordinary ability to "see" the deceased's last eighteen seconds of memory by touching the corpse. As they join forces to discover the killer's identity, the women unwittingly become the hunted -- each step drawing them closer to the deadly clutches of a homicidal monster.

I was expecting this book to be more about Sherry Moore, but it was much more than that. Sherry is a really likeable character and seems like someone I would love to be friends with. The story was really well written and I will admit that I was a little weary about reading about psyhics since most of the time I don't like paranormals. However, the author does an excellent job of incorporating police work along with the visions that Sherry sees. I also liked that we got inside the mind of a killer, even though it meant all along that the reader knows who committed the crime. The only thing that kind of disappointed me was the fact that at the end of the book there was a big hurricane coming. Sometimes I feel that an author takes an easy way out with a storm and making things difficult at the end. I am probably just nitpicking here, but it did bother me.

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I do know that it will be something off of my TBR shelves. No more library books for awhile as I have so many to read and my husband has kept asking me why I feel the need to check books out from the library when I have my own mini-library downstairs. I think I may use a random number generator to decide what I am going to grab, however my books aren't in alphabetical order right now and sometimes it is hard to find that book. I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Six Random Things

O.K. here goes my first meme. Holly from What Were You Expecting has tagged me for 6 Random Things about me. She also gave me an award that says she loves my blog... which has me questioning her taste (jk)!

1. I am left handed. No one else in my family is left handed so I am not sure where this came from. I am always told that I have excellend handwriting and they are shocked when they discover I am left handed.

2. I have know my husband since I was 16. We were off and on until I was 21, when we got engaged and married 2 years later. We celebrate our 4 year anniversary in a couple of weeks.

3. I have had a dog my entire life and can't picture my life without one.

4. I played basketball for nearly 10 years and still like to play but I hate watching it on t.v.

5. I am the first one in my entire family (including my extended family on both sides) to receive a Bachelor's Degree, but there was never any question that I would get on.

6. The only type of pop I like is Diet Coke and it has to be a fountain pop. When I was in NYC I had the hardest time finding it and seriously went through withdrawls.

I am not going to tag anyone, but if you choose to do this, let me know! I love getting to know more about all of you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Flesh Tones by M.J. Rose

I have always enjoyed Ms. Rose's books and this was onoe from her backlist that I hadn't read. I picked it up from my library and almost gave up on it. I stuck with it, and read pretty much the whole thing last night, but was still somewhat disappointed. I give it a B-.

From Amazon:
In a New York courtroom, a woman stands accused of a controversial crime. Genny Haviland, thirty-eight, is said to have drugged and suffocated legendary painter George Gabriel. For two decades the tempestuous Gabriel has challenged audiences with his wild work. And in the end, the prosecution claims, he alienated the woman he first seduced, then enslaved—enough to cause his own death at her hands.Yet in Genny’s mind there rests another story, one that started twenty years before . . . one in which a college girl on summer break met an older, attractive artist—and began a forbidden affair she would never forget, a shadowy, sensual union in which she was more helpless and more powerful than she would ever imagine. Then the discovery of a shocking secret blew it all apart: Genny’s father was Jonathan Haviland, the renowned gallery owner who could make or break Gabriel’s career.Now Genny contends she was only easing her old lover to a painless death, allowing him to escape the awful illness that was slowly eroding his sanity and self. But is that the whole truth? Or was Gabriel indeed killed—but for far more sordid reasons, from a motive driven by scandal and the threat of financial ruin? How much would Genny do for the man she professed to love, or for the father who has always loomed darkly in the background of her life?

I really couldn't stand Genny and thought she had the weakest personality. She kept saying how deep her love was for Slade, but to tell you the truth, I thought it was really more obsession and ruled by sex. Some of the things she did were unspeakable and was just sick and tired of hearing how wonderful Slade Gabriel was. He was so selfish and full of himself and I could feel no sympathy for him or Genny. This book angered me more than anything, but I will say Ms. Rose does write a good story and just because I hated the characters, it was compelling. Am I glad I read this book? I am not sure. I don't know if I could recommend this book to someone else.

Up next is 18 Seconds by George Hamilton. I read about his second book from Barbara and Heidi's Books, and she is being so sweet and kinid to send the second book to me in this series. I went to the library and got 18 Seconds, so I am going to get started on it right away. Barbara had a lot to say about this book, so I hope I enjoy it as much as she has. My reading has been kind of off this week because my husband's uncle passed away. I am not very close with any of my in-laws because of some things that have happened, and actually try to stay seperate as much as I can. However, I am my husband's wife, first and foremost, so I have been by his side through all of it because I love him. I think he has been doing o.k., but he hides his emotions pretty well. Hopefully things will be calming down shortly. Happy Reading!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Married Lovers by Jackie Collins

Well as you all know by now, I love Jackie Collins. Whenever I pick one up, I know I am in for an easy and fun filled read. When I went to the used book sale at the library this weekend, I saw this one on the shelves (I checked out more books... it has to be some kind of disease) and read it this weekend. It was a good read, but not one of my favorites and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
Three high-powered Hollywood couples, two hot affairs, one underage Russian ex-hooker, a passionate murder—and the players’ lives are changed forever.
Cameron Paradise, a stunningly beautiful twenty-four-year-old personal trainer, flees Hawaii and her champion-surfer husband, Gregg, in the middle of one of his abusive tirades and makes her way to L.A. Tall, blond, with a body to die for, it doesn’t take Cameron long to find a job at an exclusive private fitness club where she encounters LA's most important players. She has plans to open her own studio one day, and while every man she meets comes on to her, she is more focused on saving money and working hard than getting caught up in the L.A. scene of wild parties and recreational drugs.
Until she meets Ryan Lambert, an extremely successful independent movie producer. Ryan is married to overly privileged Mandy Lambert, the daughter of Hamilton J. Heckerling, a Hollywood power-player son-of-a-bitch mogul. Ryan has never cheated on his demanding Hollywood Princess wife, but when he meets Cameron, all bets are off, especially since she’s seeing his best friend Don Verona, the devastatingly attractive talk-show host and legendary player.
In her latest sizzling blockbuster, internationally bestselling author Jackie Collins explores what happens when lust and desire collide with marriage and power—and the results lead to murder.

I enjoyed all of the characters, and as usual there was plenty of juicy sex, secrets, and superficial characters. These are all of the perfect things necessary for a nice, midnless read and it took some things off of my mind. The book is engaging and I always keep turning the pages. My mind is kind of fritzed right now, so I am just going to end the review now. In good news, I went to the used book sale again yesterday where it was free day. I got 61 books! I felt guilty, but there was a ton left over and the ladies working it kept telling me to get more. I honestly could have gotten more, but decided to share the wealth. I had Chris go and buy another bookshelve since my other ones were overflowing and it still wasn't enough. This weekend alone I got 94 books! I really need to be a stop to this.

All right, I still need to take my shower and do some planning for school tomorrow... and I can barely keep my eyes open! Happy Reading everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Beach House by James Patterson

I picked up this book at last week's used book sale and decided to grab it off of the shelves since I always read Mr. Patterson's book so fast. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with this book and felt like a lot more could have been done with the book. I give it a B.

Back cover:
Jack Mullen is a driven student of the law. His brother Peter is a servant of the rich, parking the cars of the Hamptons elite- and perhaps satisfying their more intimate needs as well. Then Peter's body is found on the beach. Jack knows the drowning was no accident, but someone's unlimited power and money have bought the cops, the judges, the system. Now Jack is learning a lesson in justice he never got in law school... and his astonishing plan to beat the billionaires will have you reeling- and cheering- to the very last page.

I just thought that some of this book was really far-fetching, though the more I think about it, maybe I am just being naive. The pure fact that the elite and rich can get away with anything they want is terrifying and definitely not what one wants to believe is true. However, the book was engaging and was a brainless read, which sometimes is necessary. I started reading this Thursday but didn't really get into it until last night when finally my eyes gave out. I was so eager to finish it though, so I woke up way too early to finish reading it. I love how Mr. Patterson always uses short paragraphs as there is always a place to end reading and I don't feel like I will forget a ton if I just read a page here and there.

Another local library had another used book sale and I went there today for the bag sale. I got a ton of books for $5.00 and some of them are in brand new condition! I couldn't believe it. Tomorrow is their free day and I may just go back and see what they have left. My bag was overflowing, but the ladies just chuckled at me and said they were glad to see younger people take such an interest in reading. That comment made me feel real nice, as I am constantly reminded of how old I am getting. While at that library, I also checked out two books so I will be reading those first. One is the newest Jackie Collins book, Married Lovers, and I only have a week for it so I will be reading that first. I plan on getting a lot of reading in today but I took some cold medicine that is making me real drowsy right now and I have some cleaning to do. I think I am going to lay down right now with the book and maybe take a little nap. I hope everyone has a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer MacMahon

I read and really enjoyed Ms. MacMahon's first book, Promise Not To Tell, and when I heard that she had written a new book, decided to put it on hold. This was a chilling, and in some ways, depressing read that I still enjoyed. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
While parked at a gas station, Rhonda sees something so incongruously surreal that at first she hardly recognizes it as a crime in progress. She watches, unmoving, as someone dressed in a rabbit costume kidnaps a young girl. Devastated over having done nothing, Rhonda joins the investigation. But the closer she comes to identifying the abductor, the nearer she gets to the troubling truth about another missing child: her best friend, Lizzy, who vanished years before.
From the author of the acclaimed Promise Not to Tell comes a chilling and mesmerizing tale of shattered innocence, guilt, and ultimate redemption.

I found that this book was somewhat predicitable, but there were some twists and turns that I wasn't expecting. The story was somewhat depressing, and I think it had a lot to do with the author's voice and her way of telling the story. With every chapter, we switch times to either present day or the past which I thought was handled well. I guess you could call the story a mystery, but it was much more than that. It deals with a lot of the characters and things that happened in their own lives and how it has shaped them to be the people they are now. I was kind of disappointed with the ending because I felt like the main character, Rhonda, doesn't get a happy ending, but I guess that isn't always what happens in real life. I think that is part of what is bothering me and I think part of it is because I am in somewhat of a funk in my own life, and the other part because I use reading as a means of escape. That all being said, I would recommend this book to others. I probably will read more in the future by this author, should she write anymore.

Well, we had to go buy a new fridge. It is so frustrating and seems like every month it is another unexpected expense. I am trying to not get upset, and repeating my mantra to not worry about things that I can't change. I am looking at the positive that we got a great deal, and while it does stretch our money and make things a bit tighter, we will not be in debt and we could be a lot worse off. I think that in these days with all of the economic crises, it is easy to get swept up with worry and I don't want to do that. Michigan has been in a one state recession for the longest time, so I think I am becoming more immune to everything. I am looking for the positives, one being that gas is down more than $1.00 from a month and half ago, and it helps me get through it. Our fridge had a mini fire which wrecked it, and I am thankful that it wasn't more serious and we could have lost much more. All right, enough with my ramblings... just trying to relieve some of my anxiety before I go to bed. I am not sure what I am going to read next, but it will be something off of my shelves. Happy Reading!

Monday, October 6, 2008

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

I wasn't a huge fan of Ms. Bushnell's previous books, including Sex and the City. While I liked the tv show, I didn't love the book (which is rare for me... I normally like the book better). However, I saw this book while I was in New York and it sounded like something I really enjoy, and it was. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over one of Manhattan's oldest and most historically hip neighborhoods, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into--one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell's new novel, One Fifth Avenue, this edifice is essential to the lives they've carefully established--or hope to establish. From the hedge fund king's wife to the aging gossip columnist to the free-spirited actress (a recent refugee from L.A.), each person's game plan for a rich life comes together under the soaring roof of this landmark building. Acutely observed and mercilessly witty, One Fifth Avenue is a modern-day story of old and new money, that same combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York's Gilded Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Many decades later, Bushnell's New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: They thirst for power, for social prominence, and for marriages that are successful--at least to the public eye. But Bushnell is an original, and One Fifth Avenue is so fresh that it reads as if sexual politics, real estate theft, and fortunes lost in a day have never happened before. From Sex and the City through four successive novels, Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute and, as one critic put it, staying uncannily "just the slightest bit ahead of the curve." And with each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. Her stories progress so nimbly and ring so true that it can seem as if anyone might write them--when, in fact, no one writes novels quite like Candace Bushnell. Fortunately for us, with One Fifth Avenue, she has done it again.

I love reading about New York society, and seeing how the "other half" lives. I find it quite humorous in what some of these people think are real problems that are worthy of worrying and being all stressed out about. What $8,000 pair of shoes they should wear to the next event, for example. However I will admit that I do fantasize about what it would be like to live like that. I loved the characters in this book, and while there were quite a few, they were easy to keep straight. Ms. Bushnell delves into each character enough that the reader gets the oppourtinity to know what is going on in their heads. I also love New York, so reading about it is a great pleasure. The only negative thing I can say about the book is that the ending felt rushed. I read some other reviews on Ms. Bushnell's books and those reviewers all said the same thing. That being said, it was a good read and much better than I expected.

Up next is my last library book I have. I feel like I haven't read one of my own books in forever, so I am looking forward to getting through it. I don't have the book in front of me, but I know it is by Jennifer MacMahon, I believe. I hope to get into it right now. Our fridge broke sometime yesterday and we had to throw away everything. This is putting a damper on my mood and as I wait for the repairman to give me a call, I hope a good book will be able to booster my mood. Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free Books!!!!

I got two books from the thrift store today and realized I already had both of them. If anyone would like them, please let me know and I will send them to you. Leave a comment with your email address and I will send them out. Please know that they are not in perfect condition.

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey
No Second Chance by Harlan Coben

US only please!

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

I loved Ms. Cain's first book, Heartsick, and wasn't sure how this one would follow up. This book far exceeded my expectations and the only thing I can say about this book is WOWZERS and I give it an A.

From Amazon:
With Heartsick, Chelsea Cain took the crime world by storm, introducing two of the most compelling characters in decades: serial killer Gretchen Lowell and her obsessed pursuer Portland Detective Archie Sheridan. The book spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and garnered rave reviews around the world. But the riveting story of Archie and Gretchen was left unfinished, and now Chelsea Cain picks up the tale again.When the body of a young woman is discovered in Portland’s Forest Park, Archie is reminded of the last time they found a body there, more than a decade ago: it turned out to be the Beauty Killer’s first victim, and Archie’s first case. This body can't be one of Gretchen's—she’s in prison—but after help from reporter Susan Ward uncovers the dead woman's identity, it turns into another big case. Trouble is, Archie can't focus on the new investigation because the Beauty Killer case has exploded: Gretchen Lowell has escaped from prison.Archie hadn't seen her in two months; he'd moved back in with his family and sworn off visiting her. Though it should feel like progress, he actually feels worse. The news of her escape spreads like wildfire, but secretly, he's relieved. He knows he's the only one who can catch her, and in fact, he has a plan to get out from under her thumb once and for all.

The main character, Archie, is one sick man. When I say sick, I mean sick in the head and physically sick as well. His obsession with Gretchen is unbelievable, but Ms. Cain does such a great job writing about it and explaining all about it, the reader can clearly see how Archie is wrapped around her finger. A lot of the backstory was revealed in this book which the first book didn't have and I loved that. All of the characters are likeable, even though they are all clearly faulted. The suspense is always building and was truly a thriller. It is very dark and not a ton of action, but a lot more in the psyches of people, which I always enjoy. I would highly recommend this book to everyone but suggest that you do start with Heartsick. This morning I kept reading just a few pages because I didn't want the book to end, but finally had to just give in. I was worried about how the book was going to end, because I really do not want the series to end and I think it won't.

I just started a totally different type of book, One Fifth Avenue, by Candace Bushnell. I have only read 25 pages, but I am afraid that it won't hold up to Sweetheart and I may not give this one it's justice. That is why I purposely chose another book that is not a thriller so I won't be disappointed. Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!