Thursday, February 28, 2008

Giving Up

I tried getting into What Goes Around by Susan Diamond and just couldn't stick with it. I was really in the mood to read, and when I picked up this book, it was just ho hum. In the first 60 pages, I was introduced to probably more than 20 or 25 characters and wasn't given enough details to keep them straight. It was really boring and I couldn't get interested into the book or the characters. I didn't care about what happened to them, and even though it was only 60 pages, it was probably the longest 60 pages I have read in a long time. Following my 60 pages rule, I am giving up. I just have too many books to read and so many more I want to check out that it makes me feel guilty. Does anyone else have this same reaction to giving up books? And why do I feel so guilty? Story of my life I guess.

Up next is the first book by Andrew Gross. I got it from the library and I like to return those as soon as possible. I know it drives me crazy when I want something and have to wait forever to get it, so I will read that one first. I hope everyone else is having better luck with their reading since I doubt I will be able to finish it before tomorrow. I do have to work tomorrow and then when I get home from work I want to get a jump start on cleaning and laundry since I work on Saturday. All that work makes Kristie an anxious reader! Plus, sometime this weekend I want to get all of my books catalogued again. When Lent is up, I have a couple books to get that I am interested in and book gift cards burning a hole in my purse! I want to make sure my list is accurete when I go shopping. Everyone have a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lifeguard by James Patterson

I picked up Lifeguard by James Patterson at the library to hopefully get me back in the fast track of reading. I read this book very quickly, and hope to get one more in before the end of the month. This book was a good read, though definitely not as good as some of his other books I have read. I would rate this a B.

From Amazon:

Working as a lifeguard in a posh Florida resort, Ned Kelley finds the woman of his dreams. The only thing he needs is money. So when his friends offer to cut him into a deal that promises $1,000,000 each, how can he turn it down? The plan is simplea fast break-and-enter to grab paintings from a rich collector. But on the night of the heist, theyre double-crossed. Worse, Neds friends are brutally executed. Now hes the prime target of both the FBI and the killers. With no one to trust, Ned must dodge the authorities and the vicious killers in a desperate effort to avenge his friends and clear his name.

The suspense was not as good as I would have liked it, though it was still suspensful. I figured out some of the main parts in the story but was surprised by some. I am not sure if it is because of reading so many of Mr. Patterson's books that I have come to expect the unexpected, but some of it I did figure out. I really liked the characters and was really rooting for Ned Kelly. There were a lot of characters to keep track off, so that kind of distracted me a bit. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book.

Andrew Gross is the co-author of this book and I always seem to enjoy when he writes with Mr. Patterson. I did read in Romantic Times magazine that Mr. Gross has written two of his own novels with the second one being released shortly. I am looking forward to checking out his first book on his own and see if I enjoy that as well.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. It will be something from my TBR shelves as I don't have anymore library books out. I did just finish listening to Plum Lucky on CD and enjoyed that as well. It was the first time I listened to a Stephanie Plum book and it was pretty funny. I really liked to reader which I feel is so important for a book on CD to be enjoyable.

I am coming down with some cold or strep throat, so I am going to turn in now. I am not subbing tomorrow as I have a dentist appointment though I do have to work at my mom's at night. I plan on relaxing tomorrow, though there is a ton of stuff around the house I want to get done. I also want to record all of my books again since I lost that. However, if I don't feel well, I will probably spend a lot of time on the couch. This weather is terrible and I am just sick and tired of the cold and snow. I so want to move to Florida. Oh well, I hope everyone is having a good week and Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Darker Than Night by John Lutz

I have enjoyed the other books I have read by Mr. Lutz and when this book was selling for $4.99 awhile ago, I grabbed it up. It sat on my shelves until I pulled it out to take with me to Florida and I finally started it last week. As soon as I started it, I knew it seemed familar, but I wasn't sure if I had read it or not. I continued to read it and I now know I had read it before though it took me awhile to figure that out. I finished it, though, because it was a good, well written thriller. I rate it an A-.

From Amazon:
A killer dubbed "The Night Prowler" has turned the city that doesn't sleep into a town kept awake by terror. Unseen, he enters couples homes. Unsuspected, he lingers until the perfect moment arrives. He leaves "gifts" for his victims- before taking their lives.

Ex-homicide cop Frank Quinn is still reeling in the wake of an elaborate setup that ended his career. For Quinn, this isn't just any job- it's a last chacne to salvage his reputation. As the investigation proceeds, the murderer loses no time stalking new prey: a loan officer and her high-earning husband, a couple who made a killing on the stock market; a pretty actress and her prosperous lover.

With the body count rising, it's up to Quinn to unlock the mystery of a madman's past and end his bloody reign. Quinn's got his work cut out- because in a city the size of New York, any one of 8 million faces could be that of a killer- or his next target...

I never reread books, so this is a good indicator that I loved this book. I enjoyed Quinn and the other characters in the book. There were a lot of other side stories and I enjoyed that as well. You also got to learn about some of the victims of the killer, which is rare. This book was long, though the reason why it took me so long to read it was me. I have been busy and most of my downtime has been spent to stuff around the house and just relaxing. I really want to get back into the flow of reading again, so my next book will be a James Patterson. I always fly through those so it helps me pick up the pace.

Well, I am falling asleep as I right this, so I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens

I grabbed The Dollmaker off of my shelves after reading about it on Shelfari and my interest was raised. It also helped me out with my commitment to reading books off of my TBR bookcases. I was glad to read it, though the ending really disappointed me. Because of the ending, I rate this a B-.

From Amazon:
IN TERREBONNE PARISH, A TERRIBLE SECRET IS ABOUT TO BE UNCOVERED... BY A WOMAN WHOSE DAUGHTER VANISHED SEVEN YEARS AGO WITHOUT A TRACE... And now a new clue has surfaced...a doll that is the spitting image of Claire Doucett's missing child, right down to the tiny birth mark on the girl's left arm. A chance sighting of the eerily lifelike doll in a French Quarter collectibles shop leaves Claire shaken to her core...and more determined than ever to find out what happened to her beloved Ruby. When the doll is snatched and the store's owner turns up dead, Claire knows the only person who can help her is ex-husband Dave Creasy, a former cop who has spent the past seven years imprisoned by his own guilt and despair. He let Claire down once when she needed him the most. Can she make him believe the doll really exists? He'll have to if they're to survive an encounter with a brutal psychopath—The Dollmaker—who stole their future to feed an obsession that will never die.

This book had a really creepy premise and it was well developed. The reader learns about the identity of the psycho pretty early on, but it doesn't deter from the story much. Actually, it allows the reader to learn about his background and what has lead to his problems which I always enjoy. You almost feel sorry for the villian after reading about his past but it is sick what he becomes. I liked Claire and Dave both and felt that the characters were really well developed. However, I just felt that the ending was too rushed, almost like the author realized she was already 370 pages in and had to wrap it up real quick. It seems to me that more and more authors are doing this and I am not sure if it is just me wanting a real detailed explanation and conclusion or if it is becoming the trend. If I had probably 3 more pages I would have rated the book higher though. Just some loose strings that I felt had to be tied up.

So my computer got a nasty virus and I ended up losing everything on it. I am now still trying to remember all of my favorite blogs and I am most upset about losing my list of all of the books I have read in the past two years and all of the books I own. This is devasting and I am trying to not think about it because I get mad. Isn't it funny how much I valued that list of my books? I am just really glad that it didn't happen two months ago when I was getting ready to graduate. But yup, that's right... I lost everything I have done for school for the past two years. While I printed some of it, I lost a lot and I am upset. Oh well, what are you going to do?

Up next is Darker Than Night by John Lutz. I have had it on my shelves forever. I hope it goes quickly becasue my reading has slowed... a lot! This is a bigger book, with 541 pages, but hopefully it just flies by! Happy reading!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beneath the Skin by Nicci French

I love Nicci French's books since they are great psychological suspenses. I know she released a new book late last year though it didn't seem to grab my attention. I pulled Beneath the Skin off of my shelves to continue with my self-imposed challenge and I was not disappointed. I give Beneath the Skin an A-.

From Amazon:
"When she laughs, she makes a pealing sound, like a doorbell. If I told her I loved her, she would laugh at me like that. She would think I was not serious. That is what women do. They turn what is serious and big into a small thing, a joke. Love is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death. One day, soon, she will understand that."
Zoe, a pretty blond schoolteacher. Jenny, a former hand model turned model wife and mother. Nadia, an irrepressible free spirit who entertains at children's parties. Three women living in different parts of London, grappling with different problems, sheltering different dreams--their lives and narratives linked only by the singular madness of a sadistic stalker. As they move slowly through the sweltering heat of summer, someone is sending these women letters that let each know she is being watched, studied, and loved from afar--even unto death.

We only get to meet the two first women briefly with the remaining of the story focusing on Nadia. When reading this, you really get the sense of what these women are going through and their fear of this unknown stalker. The reader does learn who the stalker is about halfway through, though it definitely does not take away from any of the suspense. There are also other interesting plots run throughout the story which makes it an even better book. This is a good psychological one that really allows you to into the heads of these three women and even the killer himself. I need to check my logs and see which ones of Ms. French I have not read as I really enjoy her books and would highly recommend it.

Up next is The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens. I have had this on my shelf since it came out and recently heard some things about it through Shelfri's thriller thread. Someone just finished it and was raving about it, so I decided to read this one next. I hope it is as good as they say! The cover is definitely a little scary, that's for sure.

My reading has slowed down big time but my scheldule, especially work, has really picked up big time. I guess it is a good thing, but with this below zero weather, I wouldn't mind staying home curled up on the couch with a good book. Oh well, in this state's economy, I am thankful for even having a job. Anyways, I hope everyone else had a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mary, Mary by James Patterson

This Patterson book was much, much better than You've Been Warned. This one had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't put it down. I stayed up way past my bedtime to read and this has given me high hopes for my readings. I give this an A-.

From Amazon:
FBI agent Alex Cross is on vacation with his family at Disneyland when he gets a call from the Director. A well-known actress was shot outside her home in Beverly Hills. Shortly afterward, an editor for the Los Angeles Times receives an e-mail describing the murder in vivid detail. Alex quickly learns that this is not an isolated incident. The killer, known as Mary Smith, has done this before and plans to kill again. Right from the beginning, this case is like nothing Alex has ever confronted. Is this the plan of an obsessed fan or a spurned actor, or is it part of something much more frightening? And particularly baffling, how could a woman be capable of these vicious crimes? Members of Hollywoods A-list fear theyre next on Marys list, and the case grows by blockbuster proportions as the LAPD and FBI scramble to find a pattern before Mary can send one more chilling update.

I believe this is my second book of Alex Cross, and normally I have shyed away from them leaning towards the stand alones. I am not sure why, but I am definitely looking forward to reading more in this series. The suspense was top notch and I liked Cross. I enjoyed learning more about his family life and he seemed to be a wonderful father. I just wish that Mr. Patterson's books weren't so fast and easily read. I would definitely recommend this to others.

Up next is another book by one of my favorite authors, Nicci French. This one is titled Beneath The Skin. I love her books and it also completes reading another book of the TBR shelves. I also got an email from Borders that I have $10 in rewards that expire the end of the month, so I will have to hit up the store tomorrow before my Lent giving up book buying begins. Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Delivery Man by Joe McGinniss

For the life of me, I cannot remember where I heard about this book. I really need to start keeping a log to help me remember, because if it is from a blog, I love to compare reviews. Anyways, I heard about the book and placed a hold on it from the library. It was a quick read and definitely something different from my usual style of books. I would give this a B-.

From Amazon:
The Delivery Man is an exhilarating debut—a fast, frightening, and eye-opening portrait of today’s lost generation. It is a love story set against the surreal excess of Las Vegas—and the artificial suburbs, gated communities, and freeways that surround it—where broken lives come to seek new beginnings and casinos feed the lust of tourists and residents alike. Ultrasophisticated local kids grow up fast and burn out early. After attending college in New York, Chase returns to Vegas and is drawn into the lucrative but dangerous world of a teenage call-girl service with his childhood friend Michele, a beautiful Salvadoran immigrant with whom he shares a tragic past. Over the course of one extraordinary summer they will confront the violence and emptiness at the heart of the city and their generation. At once stark and electrically atmospheric, horrifying and hopeful, The Delivery Man is a powerful indictment of a society in which personal responsibility has been abandoned, lust is increasingly mistaken for love, and innocence is an anachronism.

This book was written in a different way but really interesting. The story is told in present day and reflects back to when Chase and all of his friends are in high school. We learn why everyone is the way they are today and where the ideas of the call-girl service comes from. I believe it shows a true portrayl of the risky lifestyles that happens in all towns around the country, not just with call-girls, but with teenagers who are growing up too fast and too soon. However, I do think the story could have been expanded on expecially since it was a short book. I also feel like I was a little ripped off on the ending, so therefore I gave it the lower rating.

Up next is Mary, Mary by James Patterson. I hope this book is much better than You've Been Warned. I have read some other reviews for You've Been Warned and some people agreed with me and others thought it was fantastic. I have enjoyed all of the other Patterson books so hopefully I will like this one as well. I haven't rated a book in the A's for quite awhile so I hoping it will boost my ratings as well. I also am accomplishing one of my goals of cleaning up the TBR shelves so I am happy about that. I also decided for Lent I am giving up book buying so that should help accomplish that goal as well. I don't have a ton of books on hold at the library so that is good too. Hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

All the Pretty Girls by J.T. Ellison

When I saw All the Pretty Girls on the shelves at the bookstore, it immediately caught my eye. It seemed to be right up my alley and I bought it. In a better effort to clean off the TBR stacks, I picked this one up, assuming I would zip right through it. It was a decent book and I would only rate it a C.

From Amazon:
When a local girl falls prey to a sadistic serial killer, Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her lover, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, find themselves in a joint investigation pursuing a vicious murderer. The Southern Strangler is slaughtering his way through the Southeast, leaving a gruesome memento at each crime scene—the prior victim's severed hand.
Ambitious TV reporter Whitney Connolly is certain the Southern Strangler is her ticket out of Nashville; she's got a scoop that could break the case. She has no idea how close to this story she really is—or what it will cost her.
As the killer spirals out of control, everyone involved must face a horrible truth—the purest evil is born of private lies.

One of the first things that bothered me with the story was I felt like I was in the middle of a series and there was so much information I was missing. I went back to the author's website and triple checked to see if this was part of a series and I saw it wasn't. There were so many different characters and their different pasts that were told in detail that I thought I was missing out on a lot. It appears this book is the first of a series, though, so I think the author was dumping a lot of information so we would want to get the next book in the series. There were also a ton of different stories and cases going on and it was hard to see if there was a connection between any of them. It turns out there wasn't and a big part of me felt that it was just too much to keep track of. One of the big cases in the story was solved on just pure luck, so I felt kind of cheated out of that. The suspense was kind of missing out as well, though towards the end it did pick up a bit. I thought I had to case solved but I was wrong, and I always love when that happens!

Next up is a library book I have called The Delivery Man by Joe McGinniss Jr. Not sure where I heard about this book, but I did place a hold on it from the library. I started it this morning and I am about 80 pages in. It is all right, though I am not sure if I love the author's style of writing. I will stick with it, though. I hope to be able to finish it tonight and spend tomorrow reading as well. Ever since the Superbowl was in Detroit two years ago, I have been boycotting it. Too much over exposure for me, I guess, so I normally spend the day either shopping (great sales and the mall is dead) or reading and catching up on my recorded shoes. Sounds like a great day to me! I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and Happy Reading!