Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blood of Others by Rick Mofina

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was going to read the book, Secrets of the Hollywood Girls' Club. However, I read about 8 pages and the book started to annoy me. I am not sure if it was me or the book, but it left me hanging for a really good thriller. So I returned it to the library and picked out Blood of Others by Rick Mofina. This was a good read and exactly what I needed. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
What exactly do you look for in a man?" – is this the way to redemption or death?
The chilling disappearance of a shy, solitary San Francisco insurance clerk brings San Francisco Star crime reporter, Tom Reed and legendary Homicide Inspector Walt Sydowski together again. They take separate tracks in their pursuit of a brilliant and methodical cyber stalker who targets lonely women using the line …" What exactly do you look for in a man?" A master in the art of on-line seduction, he lures vulnerable women from their quiet worlds into his nightmare as he races the clock and travels the globe in search of the one woman who can forgive his monstrous sins – and redeem his soul.
Blood of Others is a study of loneliness and human frailties. A story steeped in terrifying suspense that rockets to a heart-pounding conclusion.

This was a really good suspense. Though we find out who the bad guy is about halfway through, my heart was still racing a bit at the end. There were a lot of characters, but all of them added something to the story and it wasn't just all dumped on you. This is the first book I have read by Rick Mofina and will definitely not be the last. This book was the third in a series, though I would have no problem going back and reading the first two as there wasn't a bunch of rehashing the past. I am pretty sure I have more books of his and plan on reading more.

Up next is a library book I just picked up. It is Harlan Coben's newest, Hold Tight. I have never read any of his books, though I did listen to one on CD. I did finally get the newest Wendy Corsi Staub book, but always like to get the popular books I have from the library back as fast as I can. My Wings are doing awesome and I have my reading mojo back so I am happy. Plus I saw the cutest thing at work today. A student was sneaking reading his book when he was supposed to be working. I pulled him aside and told him I totally understand how he feels as I want to read and finish my book now, but he has to do his work too. It just made me happy to see that some children are still more interested iin reading instead of computer and video games. Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Wentworths by Kate Arnoldi

This book was a bit like nothing I have ever read before. I really don't understand what the reason or main idea of the story was, but it was a fun read. I graded it a B.

From Amazon:
Katie Arnoldi's critically acclaimed debut novel Chemical Pink launched her onto the bestseller lists and so burrowed itself into the public's consciousness that its title was the answer to a double Jeopardy question. Now, seven years later, her second novel, The Wentworths, arrives, delivering a fascinating, erotic, dark, and savagely funny page-turner that will both satiate her fans and appeal to new readers of all stripes.
Arnoldi's searing portrait of a wealthy Westside, Los Angeles, family, is a true binge read--boldly dramatizing the disfunctionality of the modern American family. Comic and horrifying, sadistic and hilarious, tragic and funny all at the same time, The Wentworths is a shocking yet redemptive tale that will have fans cheering.

This story is centered around a dysfunctional, extremely weathly family from Beverly Hills. The reader gets to meet the mother and father, the two sons, and the daughter and her family. You get a very short description about each of the characters but there is little, if any, character development. However, the story was fun and the characters were really out there. It was an enjoyable read, but just felt like too much of a short story than a novel. I really don't have much more to say about the book because it was just so short and there really didn't seem to be much of a point of the book.

Up next is the last library book I have called Secrets of the Hollywood Girls Club. I plan on getting a good amount of reading done this evening as I have no plans. Tomorrow will be cleaning and laundry day and I already watched the Wings crush the Avalanche today so this evening will be relaxing. I do want to get to the bookstore and see if I can find the newest Wendy Corsi Staub book that is supposed to be released on Tuesday. She is one of my favorite authors and her suspense novels are always so good. Hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Her Last Death

After reading a review for this book on someone's blog, I placed a hold on it from my local library. I really enjoy reading memoirs, so this sounded right up my alley. It was really different and at times hard to believe and hard to read. However, I did like it and give it a B.

From Amazon:
Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why.
Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behavior and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother.
Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children. Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.

Parts of this book was so incredibly unbelievable. That a mother could do things that Susanna's mother does is amazing. From giving her 12 year old daughter cocaine, or taking her 9 year old to OB-GYN to get fitted for birth control "just in case" I was appalled but interested. It is somewhat amazing that Susanna turned out as well as she did, though it was a very long process. I felt horrible for a little girl having to go through the things she did, and it almost made me feel bad for reading it. In the beginning of the book, the author rights that this is just her recollection and that some things may be because of a faulty memory, which kind of through me a bit and wonder if the author was adding a bit for shock value.

Keeping up with the dysfunctional family value stories, my next book is The Wentworths which I just picked up from the library. I also got another book from the library that is out of my normal suspense genre, so I suspect when I finish these two, I will run to my gory suspense books on my shelves. Tonight the Wings start their series against the evil Colorado Avalanche with a new rule in place... no octupus swinging. It has been a long-standing tradition in Detroit and because other teams who are jealous started to whine and now one of our Zamboni drivers who always twirls the octipi around his head after picking it up off of the ice will be fined $10,000 if it does it. Unbelievable. Anyways, I could go on and on but I have a dentist appointment to get to and I am sure you guys really don't care so I will bid you goodbye with a Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Four Wives by Wendy Walker

I really enjoyed Four Wives. While it started out slow, it really picked up for me and I finished it in one day. I even stayed up last night late to finish reading it. That says something about me. I will rate this book a B+.

From Amazon:
In Wendy Walker’s brilliant debut, the lives of four wives and mothers intertwine and collide in a tale of suburban angst among outrageous wealth.On the outside, it appears as though Love Welsh, Marie Passetti, Gayle Beck and Janie Kirk lead enviable lives, with marriages to handsome, successful men; bright, happy children; and homes right out of Architectural Digest. But in the wealthy suburb of Hunting Ridge, appearances mask a deeper truth: These four wives are anything but perfect. As they try to maintain a fa├žade of bliss, behind closed doors they each face their own crises—infidelity, dissatisfaction, self-doubt. As springtime draws to an end, doors are both opened and closed and the women come face to face with the most difficult and heartbreaking challenge of their lives—to reconcile their innermost desires with the lives that each of them has chosen.

At first, a lot of the characters really got on my nerves. In the beginning I felt like these women were just sitting around whining about their lives when they had made the decision to lead them that way. It also bothered me how one of the women resented the fact of taking care of her children. But as you read on, you did get to see and understand more about the women's feelings and were their problems lied. While personally I didn't agree with most of their choices, I did gete a better understanding and developed a sense of caring about what happened to them. I felt like there were a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the book, though there were enough clues left to give you an idea of what was going to come of it. It just worked in this book where in others it really bothers me. It was definitely something different from my usual types of books and it worked for right now.

Up next is In Her Death which is a memoir. I enjoy a good memoir or autobiography every now and then and this one seems to have promise. I am only about 10 pages in from my dentist appointment earlier, but I am eager to get back into it. I hope it holds my attention so I can get a couple more good reads in before the end of the month. In fact, I am going to get the book and enjoy the wonderful spring weather right now. Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Losing You by Nicci French

Nicci French is one of my favorite authors and is definitely my favorite British author. I was really excited when I found out they had a new book out and immediately got it from my library. However, I was disappointed when finishing this book and can only rate it a B-.

From Amazon:
Shortly before Christmas, Nina Landry, a divorced mother of two living on isolated Sandling Island somewhere in the south of England, is getting ready for a family vacation in Florida that will include her new marine biologist boyfriend. Blindsided by a surprise 40th birthday party, Nina is further disconcerted when her 15-year-old daughter, Charlie, who was supposed to help with the packing, fails to come home from a slumber party. Nina's seamless first-person account of the next 24 hours mines the frustration and feelings of helplessness that come with any investigation slowed by the rigmarole of police work. This engrossing read captures the importance of the often overlooked and underappreciated minutiae of everyday life while commanding a deeply personal reaction in readers.

I thought that this book could definitely had more suspense and delve more into the psychological suspense of everyone. I always expect great psychological suspense when I read this author and I was really let down. This book was only told from the mother's point of view and I think more could have been done with it. A lot of information was given that I didn't think offer much to the story and then the ending was kind of rushed. The book also had one my biggest pet peeves in books which is no chapters! I love books that have short chapters because I feel like I am reading the book faster and I like setting a place where I can stop reading easily. This book had no chapters or even breaking points in the paragraphs. That really irritated me. In fact, I probably would have rated this book lower than I did if it was not for how much I love this author.

Up next is another library book titled Four Wives. It is a new to me author and is something different from the ususal suspense books I read. I hope it is enjoyable and I can get my reading mojo back. Well, I am off to finish my cleaning before the Red Wings game this afternoon so I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Charley's Webb by Joy Fielding

I am currently listening in my car another book by Joy Fielding called Heartstopper. I have been enjoying it and decided to check out other books by her and came across reviews for Charley's Webb and placed a hold on it through my local library. It was an enjoyable read, and the suspense was pretty good. I rate it a B+.

From Amazon:
Charley Webb is a beautiful single mother who writes a successful and controversial column for the Palm Beach Post. She's spent years building an emotional wall against scathing critics, snooty neighbors, and her disapproving family. But when she receives a letter from Jill Rohmer, a young woman serving time on death row for the murders of three small children, her boundaries slowly begin to fade. Jill wants Charley to write her biography so that she can share the many hidden truths about the case that failed to surface during her trial. Seeing this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Charley begins her jour-ney into the mind of this deeply troubled woman.
Her path takes a twisted turn, however, when the anonymous letters she's recently received from an angry reader evolve into threats, targeting her son and daughter. As Charley races against time to save her family, she begins to understand the value of her seemingly intru-sive neighbors, friends, and relatives. As she discovers, this network of flawed but loving people might just be her only hope of getting out alive.

It took me entirely too long to read this book though it was because of me and my schedule of late. Last night I read about 100 pages and then finished the book today. It was a really fast read and the topic was definitely something new and interesting. I didn't have the mystery solved at all until I was in the shower thinking about the book when I had about 50 pages left. Everything just fell in to place and I was able to figure everything out. Still there were a few red herrings thrown in that kept things interesting. I did, however, have a problem with Charley, the main character. She made a lot of stupid choices in her life and didn't seem to realize the consequences of them. I know this is a fiction book, but to me it just seemed like a perfectly wonderful thing for a woman to have two children out of wedlock by two different men and think that her children are actually better because of it. Call me old fashioned, but it really irritated me. That was really the only thing that bothered me, and while it really bothered me, it probably won't bother most people.

Anyways, hopefully things are settling down now (I seem to be saying that a lot lately, and things haven't settled down...) so my reading should be able to increase. This month has been horrible for reading as I have only finished four books so far and last month at this time I had finished six books and still going strong. The next book up is by one of my favorite authors, Nicci French. It is her latest and I got it from the library. I hope to get this read fast. However, my Detroit Tigers are finally starting to turn around and my Wings are in the playoffs, so a lot of games to watch. However, right now the Wings are down 2-0 in the fourth game of the series. They are up 2-1 and I am going to the game Friday night. It would be absolutely wonderful to see them beat Nashville and win the series Friday. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week and Happy Reading!

Oh yeah, I forgot...

GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Absolute Gentleman by R.M. Kinder

I got An Absolute Gentleman from the library after reading about it somewhere. I had really high expectations and unfortunely, I was disappointed. I rated it a B-.

From Amazon:
Inspired by her own brush with a serial killer, Kinder has created a fictional representation that is chilling in its normalcy, haunting in its intensity, and stunning in its portrayal of sheer, sadistic madness. Taciturn English professor Arthur Blume launches his narrative by boldly stating that he is believed to have murdered as many as 17 women. Yet what most outrages him, now that he has been incarcerated, is that journalists are depicting him as a monster. He pens a memoir to correct this impression. In it, he describes in lavish detail the outfitting of his newly rented rooms in the small university town of Mason, Missouri; demurs over particulars of his illicit love affair with a fellow professor; and shares self-deprecating anecdotes about his gallant championing of a maligned colleague. Tucked among these decorous tidbits, however, are tantalizing clues to the demon within, one Kinder allows to emerge as stealthily as a cobra sliding from its bamboo basket. The addition of a self-explanatory epilogue regarding her personal experience detracts only slightly from Kinder's otherwise spellbinding debut novel, a pitch-perfect rendition of the cunning malevolence that can lie hidden beneath the guise of refined civility.

I thought the book was missing a lot. Maybe because I am nore of gritty thriller reader, but I thought the book could have used more about the murders and less about Albert's daily life, which was sort of boring. Maybe because the book was more of the literature type than the suspense I am used to had something to do with it. I am not sure, but it didn't hold up to be the great book I thought it would be.

Up next is Andrew Gross' latest book, In the Blue Zone. I haven't started it yet as things have been a bit crazy. My house looks like a tornado went through it, I haven't seen my husband much this week, and to top it off, I am getting sick. Yay! I had a great job interview on Monday and they called me back yesterday to go and teach a lesson. When my computer crashed, I lost all of my work from student teaching and school, so I have to rewrite my lesson plan and make up new sheets and everything. I have to do that tonight because I am going tomorrow for the lesson. Plus tonights my beloved Red Wings have the first game of their playoff run! I need to cook dinner, clean, shower, do some laundry, get materials for my lesson, type up my lesson plan, and I think that is it. All tonight. I doubt much reading will be getting done, and I just had four more books come in from the library. Plus, if I get this job, it starts right away. All right, now I am getting a bit overwhelmed with having to do all of this, so I better get started. Hope everyone else is getting reading done and Happy Reading!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

After reading The Spellman Files, I immediately placed the next book in this series on hold through my library. The book came at the perfect time in my life, just when I needed a quick, fun, easy read and it did not disappoint! I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
Starred Review. In the two years that have passed since the action in Lutz's hit debut, The Spellman Files (2007), zany Isabel Spellman, who works for the family PI firm in San Francisco, has become a somewhat responsible member of society. Unfortunately, she's also become obsessed with Subject (aka John Brown), a next-door neighbor who she's convinced has an evil secret she must expose, even if it means losing her PI license. Adding further hilarity is The Stone and Spellman Show, transcripts of recordings revealing 15-year-old sister Rae's fascination with her middle-aged best friend, stoic SFPD inspector Henry Stone, who endures Rae's adoration with liberal doses of Doctor Who watching. Henry's link to the Spellman family's fortunes suggests he might be a good candidate for Isabel's Ex-boyfriend #11 when Subject fails to make the grade.

Like The Spellman Files, there is little mystery to solve. While in normal books this may irritate me, but with Ms. Lutz's books it doesn't matter. I love getting to know these characters, especially Rae and Henry. They are written great, and even though there is little to no physical description of the characters they really come alive in my mind. There was always a little smile on my face and I zipped right through it. I am glad that I didn't buy it though, because it is a $25.00 book and I probably spent a total of 2 hours reading it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes cozy mysteries, enjoys Janet Evanovich books, or just having a good time reading a book. I would, however, suggest that you start with Ms. Lutz's first book. I hope she continues this series... I will be very disappointed if it isn't!

Up next is another library book I got. I placed this on hold after reading about it somewhere, though I am not sure where. It took so long to come in though that I don't remember what sounded so good and grabbed my interest. It is called An Absolute Gentleman and is by R.M. Kinder. I hope I enjoy it. I hope everyone has a great weekend and gets lots of good reading time in! The weather is supposed to finally warm up here, but I am not holding my breath. We shall see. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Program by Gregg Hurwitz

It took me forever to read this book, but it wasn't anything wrong with the book. On Friday, my father-in-law had a major heart attack and went into complete cardiac arrest. He was gone for about 5 minutes before he was brought back to life and it is still a waiting game. Things have been tough around here and reading or doing anything that requires concentration has been very hard. This will probably be evident by my crappy review of the book. I do rate The Program a B.

From Amazon:
Leah Henning is a cult member, but mother and stepfather want her back. They can't penetrate the Program's secrecy through conventional means, so they turn to fired deputy sheriff Tim Rackley. Rackley, who killed the serial predator who dismembered his own child (Kill Clause, 2003), agrees to become a Program recruit in order to extract the Hennings' daughter. The Program is initially subtle in luring recruits, then very sophisticated in using peer pressure, temperature variations, diet, and intimidation to keep its new members and secure their assets. Leading the Program is TD, a charismatic charlatan able to stay ahead of the law by convincing people to surrender their assets willingly. Hurwitz has obviously done his cult homework: the initiation seminars are presented in chilling, very disturbing detail. Even if Rackley does rescue Leah, he wants to bring the Program to an end and put TD in jail. The legal wedge he finds to do it is extraordinarily satisfying. A gripping read from start to finish.

It was a really good book and while not all that suspensful, all of the tricks that the cult members and leaders do to trick people is amazing. I do have to believe that the author did a ton of research before writing this book. This was the second book in the series, and I think I would have really enjoyed the first one. I am going to keep this author's name in my memory and check out what other books he has written.

Up next is the Curse of the Spellmans. Since this is a humorous series, I am hoping that I can get it read pretty quickly and that it won't require so much concentration. I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and Happy Reading!