Saturday, May 29, 2010

39. After the Fall by Judith Kelman

The entire time I was reading this book, I felt like I had read it before. It seemed so familiar to me. That didn't stop me from reading and enjoy the story. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Daniel Magill is just about a perfect kid. He has everything going for him: looks, Graves, athletic ability, and a practically guaranteed admission to the college of his choice. Then the police come pounding at the Magill's door and arrest Danny for a shocking crime, shattering his family's apparently perfect world. But his Danny's mother, Jess, probes more deeply into the circumstances of his arrest, she discovers that things may not have really been "perfect" for quite some time. How could this nightmare be happening to this boy? This family? This town? And how will they all survive? Judith Kelman's gripping psychological novel goes beyond question of guilt or innocence to explore what the ties that bind are really made of.

This is just the perfect type of book I love to read on warm summer days. The perfect family thrown into an unperfect situation. I thought Ms. Kelman did a great job of describing how a family would react to a situation like this and really shows everyone reacting in a realistic way. I will be checking out more books by Ms. Kelman, as a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I have some on my shelves now! Happy Reading!

38. Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

I've been a fan of Ms. Picoult's for quite awhile. While browsing at my library, I came across Harvesting the Heart and decided to pick it up. It was a good read and I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
The author of Picture Perfect "explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood" (New York Times Book Review). Paige's mother left when she was five. When Paige becomes a mother herself, she is overwhelmed by the demands. Unable to forget her past, Paige struggles with the difficulties of marriage and motherhood.

This was an easy book to get into and sucked in. I found faults with all of the characters but that only made them more realistic. While I had a hard time understanding where Paige was coming from and sympathizing with her, I could almost see why she was acting the way she was. Nicholas wasn't an easy person to get along with or a charcter to love. The ending was a bit disappointing, and that seems to be a theme with Ms. Picoult's books. If there was more of a conclusion, I would have enjoyed the story more so.

Stayed tuned for another quickie review!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

37. Man and Wife by Andrew Klavan

I picked up Man and Wife while browsing at my local library. This was a new to me author, but the premise sounded promising so I picked it up. I was disappointed and now have a new author to check out! I give it a B.

From Amazon:
Cal Bradley's marriage is the stuff of romance. For fifteen year,, he has shared his life with Marie, a woman he passionately adores. In an idyllic corner of New England that has been home to his family for generations, Cal has become one of the most respected men in town: a father, churchgoer and a talented psychiatrist who runs a family clinic. Life is good.Then one night, a nineteen-year-old boy named Peter Blue sets a local church on fire and is sent to Cal for treatment For the patient, it's a last chance at redemption. For Cal, it's a journey into fear, deception, and murder.Because somehow Peter Blue's inner life is connected to Cal', reality...and to his wife's hidden past. And before Cal can hunt down the truth he is going to have to choose between everything he believes is right, and everything he loves.

I thought the main character was so realistic and the author does a great job of showing how things that look perfect may not always be. I had the mystery figured out pretty quickly, but I loved the way the author explained everything. I need to check out more books about psychologists as the main character because I find it amazing!

I know this review may not make much sense, but I have to go pick up my kids from the library, so I am just trying to get this finished. Happy Reading!

36. Death of a Trophy Wife by Laura Levine

Laura Levine's Jaine Austen cozy mystery series is probably one of the only cozy series I keep up on. I love it and look forward to reading the newest one every spring. Her latest did not disappoint and I give it an A-!

From Amazon:
Freelance writer Jaine Austen is moving on up! A cushy new advertising gig promises champagne wishes and caviar dreams, but Jaine soon discovers she's not the only one in town who's making a killing. . .
Without a job or a date in sight, Jaine is equally out of luck in finance and romance. So when her friend Lance offers to treat her to brunch at the Four Seasons, Jaine leaps at the chance like a fashionista at a pair of half-price Louboutins. They've barely made it through the menu when Lance spots his friend Bunny. Dressed like a million bucks--and probably worth twice that--Bunny is the new trophy wife of mattress maven Marvin Cooper.
When Bunny generously offers Jaine a gig writing Marv's new advertising campaign, Jaine accepts the job, and an invitation to her upcoming soirée. But at the party Bunny cruelly rules the Cooper mansion with a fist full of martinis, abusing terrified staff and her browbeaten husband alike. It seems like this society girl could use a good kick in the assets. Indeed, before the evening is over, someone poisons the D-cup diva. Dead must be the new black.
The police arrest Lance, but Jaine knows his murderous urges end at her closet door. She sets out to clear his name and discovers a list of suspects longer than Bunny's credit card bill. Did Mattress Marv get tired of his little bunny hopping into another man's bed, or did a jealous boy-toy fix her a fatal cocktail? Marv's ex-wife Ellen has plenty of motives for murder, as does Bunny's harassed maid Lupe. Or was it Bunny's seething stepdaughter who sent her to that Great Shopping Mall in the Sky?
Jaine is running out of time. Jobless, Lance is losing his mind and taking it out on Jaine's apartment, wardrobe, and indignant cat Prozac. And before Jaine can say 9021Oh-no someone else is murdered. Between a house guest that won't leave, a suitor-turned-stalker, and killer on the loose, Jaine's jackpot may turn out to be fool's gold.

The communication with her parents through email and the loving but hilarous friends Jaine has always leads to a good time. While the mysteries are usually difficult to solve by the clues left for the reader, I really read this story to disappear into Janie's relaxed life for awhile. I love her attitude and these books always puts a smile on my face. Check them out if you haven't!

35. Trouble by Jesse Kellerman

I've wanted to read something by Jesse Kellerman for awhile, so I grabbed Trouble off of my shelves. It was a good read, and I bit different in a good way. I give it a B+.

From Amazon:
Saving lives is Jonah Stem's job-but he usually does it at the hospital, not at 3 a.m. on the dark streets of Manhattan. When he impulsively intervenes to save a beautiful woman from a man menacing her with a knife, killing the attacker in the process, he is transformed from an overworked medical student to a hero in the media spotlight. The woman, Eve Gones, is profoundly grateful, and wants to show it. Before long, they're engaged in a wildly passionate love affair. An affair that Eve doesn't want to end. Ever.

It's clear to see that Mr. Kellerman takes after his famous parents. The suspense was built nicely and I thought that the story had interesting twists and turns. The story and words themselves were printed differently on the pages and in a way that added character. I look forward to reading more by Mr. Kellerman in the future.

I totally disappeared there for awhile, and I am not sure if that is a trend that is going to continue or not. I'm just not motivated to blog lately, and I have been sick for the past couple of weeks and still am. Hopefully it gets better soon~ I do miss everything and everyone!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

34. Caught by Harlan Coben

I've enjoyed Mr. Coben's books in the past and I was really looking forward to reading his latest. Caught did not disappoint. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:
17-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst. Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission, to identify and bring down sexual predators via elaborate—and nationally televised—sting operations. Working with local police on her news program Caught in the Act, Wendy and her team have publicly shamed dozens of men by the time she encounters her latest target. Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined.

There were so many twists and turns in this book I felt like I was dizzy! The suspense was non-stop and done well. I thought the whole play on the show that exposes sexual predators was great. Wendy was a real character and one I enjoyed getting to know. I've yet to read any of Mr. Coben's series books, but so far all of his stand alones have been great! If you enjoy suspense, then I would highly recommend Caught!

33. Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn

I found out about Prospect Park West while looking around Amazon. I placed a hold on it through my library and read it fairly quickly. While it was a good book, the ending disappointed me a bit so I give it a B.

From Amazon:

In Amy Sohn’s smart, sexy, satirical peek into the bedrooms and hearts of Prospect Park West, the lives of for women come together during one long, hot Brooklyn summer. Frustrated Oscar-winning actress Melora Leigh eager to relieve the pressures of raising her adopted toddler, feels the seductive pull of kleptomania; Rebecca Rose, missing her formerly robust sex life, begins a dangerous flirtation with handsome neighborhood celebrity Lizzi O’Donnell, former lesbian (or "hasbian"), wonders what draws her to women despite her sexy husband and adorable baby; and Karen Bryan Shapiro consumes herself with a powerful obsession—snagging the ultimate three-bedroom apartment in a well-maintained, P.S. 321–zoned co-op building. As the women’s paths intertwined (an sometimes collide), each must struggle to keep her man, her sanity . . and her playdates.

I always enjoy reading about New York and moms, so Prospect Park West was right up my alley. I felt for all of the characters in at least one way and was able to relate. There were some laugh out loud moments and it was a nice escape from the usual mysteries I read. The ending was somewhat aburpt though, and I thought that the book could have a few more chapters. I will probably be looking out for more by Amy Sohn in the future.

I still don't think I have my blog mojo back, but I hope to keep up with at least recording my reads and a few small thoughts on each book. Please excuse me if I don't comment as much as I use to or visit as many blogs as I used to, for some reason. Happy Reading!