Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yay! Books!

Oh lordy have i had a busy week. I have read quite a few books, but there is one in particular that i loved. However, I think I'm going to save that one for a special spotlight post, but here are 4 books that i read that I'm reviewing.


The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult- Summary from Amazon-Trixie Stone is an imaginative, perceptive 14 year old whose life begins to unravel when Jason Underhill breaks up with her, leaving a void that can only be filled by the blood spilled during shameful self-mutilations in the girls' bathroom. While Trixie's dad Daniel notices his daughter's recent change in demeanor, he turns a blind eye, just as he does to the obvious affair his wife Laura, a college professor, is barely trying to conceal. When Trixie gets raped at a friend's party, Daniel and Laura are forced to deal not only with the consequences of their daughter's physical and emotional trauma, but with their own transgressions as well. For Daniel, that means reflecting on a childhood spent as the only white kid in a native Alaskan village, where isolation and loneliness turned him into a recluse, only to be born again after falling in love with his wife. Laura, who blames her family's unraveling on her selfish affair, must decide how to reconcile her personal desires with her loved ones' needs.

Review- This book, though sad, lonely, and painful, was interesting and provided a glimpse into the mind of a rape victim. Jodi Picoult is an amazing storyteller, and she knows how to weave a plot so intricately that one has no hope of untangling until the book is done. The end was a bit of shock, but I liked the drawings in the book and Laura's teachings of Dante's Inferno. The book was thoughtful and emotional, and it captured me until the end. Though it was sad and heart-wrenching, The Tenth Circle left me with a feeling of hope, and I enjoyed the book. A


Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins- Summary from Amazon-Three weeks before her wedding, Grace’s fiancĂ© calls it off to date her younger, prettier sister. Grace is a history teacher, and the only males she meets are her teenage students, elderly men at the dance class her friend teaches at the nursing home, and guys at her Civil War reenactment-society battles, where it’s hard to flirt when they have to play dead. Sick of being pitied, she tells everyone that she’s happily involved with a pediatric surgeon.

Review- I kind of loved this book. It was adorable, and interesting, and the main man, Callahan O'Shea, was gorgeous and sexy, and Grace was funny and interesting. Grace was smart and could hold her own, and her family was really entertaining, especially with her parents constant bickering and her older sister Margaret's wisecracks. The only character I really didn't like was Grace's younger sister Natalie, because she was spoiled and privileged. I enjoyed this book, and it was one of the first I read on my Nook, so I was pretty happy with it overall. A-


In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth- Summary from Amazon- When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart. When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.

Review- This book was good, and I liked Amelia a lot, but throughout the book, Eagan annoyed me. She was stuck-up, ungrateful, and just rude. I also did not like her mom. Now I know books, especially YA books, tend to have negative parental figures. And I also understand that this book needed the mom to be a super annoyance. But sometimes it got to the point where I just did not want to read it and I had to put the book down. I did, however, love Amelia. I liked that she was shy, and that she was interesting and cool, but still nice. I also really liked Ari, because he was sweet and cute. Though I had issues with one of the main characters, I still enjoyed this book. B


Ironside by Holly Black- Summary from Amazon- In the realm of Faerie, the time has come for Roiben's coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing -- her love for Roiben. But when Kaye, drunk on faerie wine, declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest. Now Kaye can't see or speak to Roiben unless she can find the one thing she knows doesn't exist: a faerie who can tell a lie. Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth -- that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother's shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But once back in the faerie courts, Kaye finds herself a pawn in the games of Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court. Silarial wants Roiben's throne, and she will use Kaye, and any means necessary, to get it.

Review- I personally did not enjoy this book as much as Tithe. I did, however, like the addition of Luis and Dave, and I enjoyed the last half of the book far more than the first half. Throughout the book, it seemed like Kaye's only goal was to pity herself. I didn't like that side of her, and that was nearly all there was. I also wished Roiben had been in the book more, though I understand why he wasn't. The entire book was full of crossed signals and misunderstandings, and that annoyed me quite a bit. However, I did enjoy the ending, and i liked Corny and Luis's relationship and Corny's quirkiness throughout the book. Corny became one of my favorite characters, as did Lutie-loo, so this book was not all bad. I really wanted to like it more than I did. C+

Next time, I will be reviewing a couple more books and hopefully I will have my surprise spotlight post up later in the week. Thats all for now!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy March!

March is probably one of my least favorite months, just because its soo long and hard to get through, but I am trying desperately to get through it. I can already tell its going to be okay though, because I saw alice in wonderland, and I loved it so much, so how can the month not be good? Okay, now on to the reviews...


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks- Summary From Amazon- In 1932, two North Carolina teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love. Spending one idyllic summer together in the small town of New Bern, Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson do not meet again for 14 years. Noah has returned from WWII to restore the house of his dreams, having inherited a large sum of money. Allie, programmed by family and the "caste system of the South" to marry an ambitious, prosperous man, has become engaged to powerful attorney Lon Hammond. When she reads a newspaper story about Noah's restoration project, she shows up on his porch step, re-entering his life for two days. Will Allie leave Lon for Noah?

Review- I personally loved this book. The movie is in my top 5, so I had very very high hopes for this book, and it did not disappoint. I tend to enjoy books set in past eras, and I liked that this one flipped from the 1930's and 1940's to present day, and I loved the vivid descriptions. I also loved that it was set in the South, and how pure Noah and Allie's love was. I also really liked Lon, even though I didn't particularly want to. It was hard to choose one favorite character, because I loved them all so much, but I really liked Noah's dad and all of his scenes. This book captured me, and I loved it. A


The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne- Summary From Amazon- Unlike other beauty queens, the Jackson, Miss., Sweet Potato Queens are self-crowned, rule for life (there's no "former" tag for these gals) and are real women?figure flaws and all. Originally organized in 1982, the Queens are, by their own account, "fallen Southern belles" and "female drag queens"?and as such, they are all about attitude and humor. This buoyantly funny guide to life and love is a hoot from the get-go as ringleader Browne offers queenly observations on life's most pressing issues.

Review- This book captured me too, but in a different way. It was so funny, and interesting, and cute. I loved the southern phrases and the great little nuggets of wisdom. The stuff about men was so witty, and I liked the fact that the Sweet Potato Queens are a real organization. I thought the book was a cute, funny guide to life, and it made me want to visit the South even more. It also made me want to know my neighbors and eat fried chicken. It drew me in, and made me jealous of the Sweet Potato Queens, and I was interested. This book was quirky and different, but I'm glad I bought it. A-