Monday, April 26, 2010

32. I'm So Happy for You by Lucinda Rosenfield

I'm So Happy For You was found by browsing Amazon one day and sounded like something I could totally relate to. I got it from the library and read it quickly, within one day. It was good and I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
What if your best friend, whom you've always counted on to flounder in life and love (making your own modest accomplishments look not so bad), suddenly starts to surpass you in every way? Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. If Daphne veers from suicidal to madly in love, Wendy offers encouragement. But when Daphne is suddenly engaged, pregnant, and decorating a fabulous town house in no time at all, Wendy is...not so happy for her. Caught between wanting to be the best friend she prides herself on being and crippling jealousy of flighty Daphne, Wendy takes things to the extreme, waging a full-scale attack on her best friend-all the while wearing her best, I'm-so-happy-for-you smile-and ends up in way over her head.

I thought that there was so much truth in the book and really got me thinking of how I treat others around me. I've been trying to get pregnant for over a year now and my best friend (who already has 2 kids) decided she wanted to try and again, and BAM! one month later, she is pregnant. I admit, at times, it is hard to be happy for those we are supposed to love and get over our own feelings. I think this book opened my eyes to some of my not so great moments (though I think I do a good job of hiding my feelings). Anyways, a pleasant read and while chick-lit, it did have some thought provoking moments.

31. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

I've been in love with Ms. Grafton for about 10 years since I received her first three books as a Christmas gift. I was excited to finally get my chance from the library on U is for Undertow and wasn't disappointed. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the child's remains and finding the men who killed her. It's a long shot but he's willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Written in true Grafton form, we are included in all of the day to day life of Kinsey and her personal problems she is having with her new found family. It's always like coming home and catching up with old friends and I really loved the book. While not the most thrilling book, it is fun and a great way to pass an afternoon. I just wish Ms. Grafton would write a bit faster!

30. Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline

Whew... I kind of disappeared there for awhile. I've still be reading but haven't been keeping up with my blog or others that I normally read. I miss it and hope to get back into the swing of things shortly, but for now I am going to do some quickie reviews. Think Twice was a B read.

From Amazon:
Bennie Rosato looks exactly like her identical twin, Alice Connolly, but the darkness in Alice’s soul makes them two very different women. Or at least that’s what Bennie believes, until she finds herself buried alive at the hands of her twin.
Meanwhile, Alice takes over Bennie’s life, impersonating her at work and even seducing her boyfriend in order to escape the deadly mess she has made of her own life. But Alice underestimates Bennie and the evil she has unleashed in her twin’s psyche, as well as Bennie’s determination to stay alive long enough to exact revenge.
Bennie must face the twisted truth that she is more like her sister Alice than she could have ever imagined, and by the novel’s shocking conclusion, Bennie finds herself engaged in a war she cannot win—with herself.

The idea of the story was a great one and I though there was a lot of potential there. However, there were too many cliches and sayings that had me rolling my eyes a bit. This is the third book by Ms. Scottoline that I've read, and I have to say the only one I really enjoyed was the one I listened to on CD. I will probably continue to try and read her books if anything grabs me, but will not be actively seeking them out.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

29. The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz

Oh, how I love these books! Lisa Lutz has such a great voice and there are always several laugh out loud moments. The Spellmans Strike Again was not a letdown. I give it an A-!

From Amazon:
At the ripe old age of thirty-two, former wild child Isabel "Izzy" Spellman has finally agreed to take over the family business. And the transition won't be a smooth one. First among her priorities as head of Spellman Investigations is to dig up some dirt on the competition, slippery ex-cop Rick Harkey--a task she may enjoy a little too much. Next, faced with a baffling missing-persons case at the home of an aging millionaire, Izzy hires an actor friend, Len, to infiltrate the mansion as an undercover butler--a role he may enjoy a little much. Meanwhile, Izzy is being blackmailed by her mother (photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994) to commit to regular blind dates with promising professionals--an arrangement that doesn't thrill Connor, an Irish bartender on the brink of becoming Ex-boyfriend #12.
At Spellman headquarters, it's business as unusual. Doorknobs and light fixtures are disappearing every day, Mom's been spotted crying in the pantry, and a series of increasingly demanding Spellman Rules (Rule #27: No Speaking Today) can't quite hold the family together. Izzy also has to decipher weekly "phone calls from the edge" from her octogenarian lawyer, Morty, as well as Detective Henry Stone's mysterious interest in rekindling their relationsh...well, whatever it was. Just when it looks like things can't go more haywire, little sister Rae's internship researching pro bono legal cases leads the youngest Spellman to launch a grassroots campaign that could spring an innocent man from jail--or land Rae in it.

This is the last Spellman book and I will miss them. I am not sure who my favorite character is as they all offer chuckles and laughs and I really enjoy it. There were some resolutions in the plot, which I was thankful, and while I will miss the books, I am pretty sure it was a good thing and that the stories shouldn't last forever and ever like the Evanovich books.

Well... I am off of work and have to go bowling, so I am going to cut this review short! Check out the Spellman books if you haven't but I do recommend reading them in order!

28. We're Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark

This book was an impulse grab last time I browsed at the library. I was in the mood for something short and sweet and this book fit the bill. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
Why couldn't the Sopranos survive living down South? Simple. You can't shoot a guy full of holes after eating chicken and pastry, spoon bread, okra, and tomatoes.What does a Southern woman consider grounds for divorce? When daddy takes the kids out in public dressed in their pajama tops and Tweety Bird swim socks. Again.What is the Southern woman's opinion of a new "fat virus" theory? Bring it on! We've got a lot of skinny friends we need to sneeze on. In this wickedly funny follow-up to her bestselling novel Bless Your Heart, Tramp, Celia Rivenbark welcomes you, once again, to the South she loves, the land of "Mama and them," "precious and dahlin'," and mommies who mow. Y'all come back now, you hear?

I thought this book should be geared towards moms more than Southerns/ While there were several references to the way things happen down south, I found a lot of the topics can be related to no matter where you live. There were several laugh out loud moments, and it was a nice break in between the heavy and dark suspense books I have been reading. I would recommend it if you are a mom (Unfortunely, I'm not... yet, but I still enjoyed it!) or are looking for a chuckle!

I have one more mini-review coming up that I hope to get today. Happy Reading everyone!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

27. The Perfect Woman by James Andrus

The Perfect Woman is the latest book I picked up from the bookstore. I normally don't read books as soon as they come into my house, but I was out of library books and this one was in reach. It was a good one and a fairly quick read. I give it a B.

From Amazon:

One Man's Obsession. . .
Pharmacy clerk William Dremmel is hooked--on drugging pretty young women and lulling them into slow, blissfully quiet deaths. Then he packs his victims in luggage--a nod to the cops that he works alone. Dremmel's no fool, he's also a college professor. He just likes using his intellect for darker purposes. . ..
Is Another Man's Anguish. . .
Haunted by his own daughter's unsolved disappearance, Detective John Stallings is committed to finding runaways and busting their abductors. When a series of girls is found dead and stuffed into duffle bags, he's consumed with capturing "The Bagman"--at the risk of his marriage, his career, and possibly his tough-as-nails partner, Patty Levine. . .
And Neither Intends To Give Up
As The Bagman grows more brazen in his crimes, the clues line up. But when he draws terrifyingly close to Patty, Stallings is determined to play by his own rules--and they won't be pretty--or quiet. . .

Stallings is at times, a difficult character to like. He is selfish at times and that grated on my nerves a bit. Throughout the story, we know who the killer is but that doesn't take away any from the suspense of the story. There were some side stories going on, but that really didn't impact the story much. It seems like the ending was left a bit hanging and that it may be the start of a new series. The author is a real life, active duty police officer who has experience working on serial killer cases and it shows. I will be looking for more by Mr. Andrus!

Up next is one of my library books. I just had several come in with more on their way so I need to get reading. It's a good thing I have the next two days off completely and that the weather is supposed to be cold and rainy which is the perfect reading weather. Now if I could only shake this sinus headache/migraine. Happy Reading everyone!

Monday, April 5, 2010

26. Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay

I've been a fan of Mr. Barclay since I ran across one of his earlier books a few years back at the library. He writes excellent suspense books with a dad as the main character and they always keep me on my toes. I give Never Look Away a B+.

From Amazon:
A warm summer Saturday. An amusement park. David Harwood is glad to be spending some quality time with his wife, Jan, and their four-year-old son. But what begins as a pleasant family outing turns into a nightmare after an inexplicable disappearance. A frantic search only leads to an even more shocking and harrowing turn of events. Until this terrifying moment, David Harwood is just a small-town reporter in need of a break. His paper, the Promise Falls Standard, is struggling to survive. Then he gets a lead that just might be the answer to his prayers: a potential scandal involving a controversial development project for the outskirts of this picturesque upstate New York town. It’s a hot-button issue that will surely sell papers and help reverse the Standard’s fortunes, but strangely, David’s editors keep shooting it down. Why? That’s a question no longer at the top of David’s list. Now the only thing he cares about is restoring his family. Desperate for any clue, David dives into his own investigation—and into a web of lies and deceit. For with every new piece of evidence he uncovers, David finds more questions—and moves ever closer to a shattering truth.

I loved the main character, David, as I always seem to in Mr. Barclay's books. They are flawed and realistic, but someone who root for throughout the entire story. There were lots of twists and turns, and I spent a lot of time second guessing myself on what I thought was going on, but as it turns out, I was right for most of the time. I thought that one of the side stories about the article that David was working on could have been left out, but it didn't take anything away from the story. If you haven't read anything by Mr. Barclay, I would suggest you check him out soon!

I am now reading a new book that I bought on Friday called The Perfect Woman. It's a new-to-me author and I was out of library books so I just grabbed this one since it hadn't been shelved yet. It looks promising, so hopefully I will be back with another review shortly. Happy Reading!