Thursday, July 31, 2008

Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult


I have to admit, I never really had much interest in Jodi Picoult's first book, Songs of the Humpback Whale. Imagine my surprise when I found myself deeply immersed in this novel. I have to say that this must be on of her most overlooked novels.

Her debut novel stands above many of her others (ex: Salem Falls). In typical Picoult fashion this novel is told in different voices and points of views, rather than one narrative. It does cause the story to be retold but it is from the characters point of view which adds to the story itself.

You don't get the "twist" in this novel as you do in her others (ex: The Pact, My Sisters Keeper and Nineteen Minutes) but you do get a journey in love.

Synopsis:
Jodi Picoult's powerful novel portrays an emotionally charged marriage that changes course in one explosive moment....For years, Jane Jones has lived in the shadow of her husband, renowned San Diego oceanographer Oliver Jones. But during an escalating argument, Jane turns on him with an alarming volitility. In anger and fear, Jane leaves with their teenage daughter, Rebecca, for a cross-country odyssey charted by letters from her brother Joley, guiding them to his Massachusetts apple farm, where surprising self-discoveries await. Now Oliver, an expert at tracking humpback wales across vast oceans, will search for his wife across a continent—and find a new way to see the world, his family, and himself: through her eyes.



Grade: B

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I started and finished this book within a few hours and you will too!

If you read only one novel this year, let this one be it!

This book is about teen suicide, one girl in particular. It shows how your actions can and do affect others and how it can negatively impact a person. This novel is compelling yet the writing can and will interfere with your reading flow.

The narrative between Clay's thoughts and dialogues with others along with Hannah's voice on the tapes can become a bit jumbled up and you have to take a moment to decipher what is being said by whom...

This novel will capture your attention and make your heartache for Hannah and millions of other teens in her position.


Grade: A-

Hope's Boy: A Memoir by Andrew Bridge


Hope's Boy is the story of a boy in the foster care system who despite all odds makes it. Andy's story is among many of those in the neglected foster care system.

I wanted much more from his novel... I felt as though many aspects were glossed over and I was left with many questions. However I've kept in mind that this is a memoir and telling one's story can be difficult and it isn't always easy to anticipate what your audience will be left wanting to know.

Hope's boy can be quite intriguing at times and at other times, slow and agonizing. Yet this is a story that should be shared because Andrew used his past to help improve the future for children in today's foster care. Who better to be an advocate than someone who understands what it's like being just a case number in a faulty system.



Grade: C+




Friday, July 18, 2008

Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Novel by Elizabeth Noble


This is a tear jerker... I'm not sure if it is the writing itself or that I can relate.

This novel is quite touching.

I was able to feel the pain that the characters felt due to the untimely death of their mother. She leaves behind letters and a journal which helps them heal and understand a side of their mother that daughters never know.

That side of your parents that you forget existed long before you were born.... The side of them you don't ever quite get to know.

This novel is also about how a spouse, daughters, sisters and a family heal together after the death of someone who is unique and special to each and every single one of them in different ways.

In many ways this novel is about how even after death, life goes on... and it can be quite wonderful at times and painfully devastating...


Grade: A-

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue Noon (Midnighters Series #3) by Scott Westerfeld


A bittersweet ending to a whirlwind series. This is perhaps the best novel among the series, although to be honest each book surpassed the one before it.

The final book in this series is exciting and full of twists.

No Midnighter is safe!

There are twist, turns and revelations about past and present Midnighters... This book will kept you hooked until the very end.

You won't be able to put it down, so put a couple hours aside in your day, sit back and read to your hearts delight!

Grade: A

Monday, July 14, 2008

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz


Odd Thomas still charms his audience in this novel, his ghostly companions, Boo and Frank Sinatra are helpful and loving. There is a lot of new information in regards to the past and Odd's relationship with Stormy, making you want to know more and more about his past that has yet to be mentioned in any novel.

This novel unlike his other's in this series has some slow points yet once you get past them you are engaged.

There are many new characters, some extremely mysterious! You are left with so many questions, Koontz is definitely setting it up for another novel in this intriguing series.

Dear, reader please keep in mind that this is perhaps the darkest book in this series but don't let that sway you because it has action, suspense and mystery.

I simply can't wait to see what happens next to Oddie...nor will you!




Grade: B+

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Little Lady Agency and the Prince by Hester Browne

The Little Lady Agency and the Prince is not nearly as good as, The Little Lady Agency and Little Lady, Big Apple however it is sufficient.

This third installment is not as quick as a read as the two previous books but mainly that is because a large focus is on Melissa's relationship with her fiance rather than the relationships of her many clients.

There is one main client, a Prince, who adds much fun and excitement to not only Melissa's life but the novel itself.

However... there are some disappointments. Don't expect as much fun and excitement as the two previous books.

I highly recommend that you do not start this series with this third book or you will be a bit lost and probably dismiss the other two novels before reading them!


Grade: B-

Friday, July 11, 2008

7th Heaven by James Patterson (Author), Maxine Paetro


This is quite possibly the best novel in the Women's Murder Club Series.

It has a quick and exciting pace to it. You simply can't put down this book. The end is full of revelations and surprises. You will be left wanting more.

This book has kidnapping, murder, arson, prostitution and stalking... What more could one ask for?

This novel is Riveting and will keep you entertained. Hardback price worth the read!


Grade: A

P.s... As you can tell I have had way to much time on my hands... and good books keep falling into them!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

I previously read the third and then the first novel in the Odd Thomas series and while the second novel, Forever Odd deals with this loving, unique character something is amiss.

Odd works alone in this novel and while this means it is less exciting then the other two, it does show the reader that in many ways ODD is alone despite those around him.

The villain in this book is not nearly as interesting or exciting as the villains in the other books yet her craziness does add strength to the novel.

The best part of this book is the beginning and end as the middle can be a bit tiresome. I do have to say Koontz has developed a remarkable character who is strong willed, mature and much older than his 21 years.

Elvis makes many more cameo's which adds much needed comic relief.

While this book is not my favorite, I recommend it because it gives you more information in regards to Odd Thomas and his life along with at great set up to the third novel.
Grade: B

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Masquerade (Blue Blood Novels) by Melissa De La Cruz

Masquerade kept me entertained and turning the pages in a flurry of excitement.

Just when you think a series couldn't get better.... it does!

This novel is a great follow-up to Blue Bloods, so many things are answered but many more are left unanswered...

Which I'm hoping will be explained in the third installment which should be out this October.

Masquerade only enhances the blue blood series and it has very exciting twists... leaving you craving more. Had I not read the Twilight Series, I'd say this is the best vampire book your not reading.



Grade: A

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Otto H. Frank (Editor), Mirjam Pressler (Editor)


As a young girl, I read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I remember being taken back by it and saddened by the events of the Holocaust. However I remembered little else, so I picked the book up while at the library the other day (A new one opened up across the street from me).

Rereading it I realized just how remarkable this young girl was and how similar to is to the girls of today. Although her life and circumstances are unfathomable.

This book is poignant and deeply moving. I read the edited version as a young girl and I have to say that this one is much better. You see a deeper more mature side of Anne Frank.

This book is honest, haunting and sad...

Grade: A

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


This novel is amongst Koontz very best. You simply fall in love with Odd Thomas.

The character is well developed and enthralling. I become "hooked" on this series and while I have read the 3rd novel, I look forward to the 2Nd and 4Th. Koontz has said that he plans to make this series extend into the near future with the probability of 7-8 books. I simply can't wait and Koontz can't write fast enough to please this reader.

You will fall in love with Odd Thomas and his "girl" Stormy. You will laugh aloud and feel the fear, isolation, melancholy and pain that Odd Thomas endures... along with moments of happiness.

This book will be something you will want to pass on to others and talk about. This book is narrated by Odd Thomas himself which gives you a wonderful insight into his personality, character, love of people and treasure of life.

This novel has some frightening moments and you are simply on the edge of your seat, turning pages and reading as quickly as your mind allows in hopes of finding out what is to transpire.




Grade: A+

Synopsis:

“The dead don't talk. I don't know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.
Today is August 14.In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness mustpersevere.

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars has such a unique plot and is full of strong and interesting characters. Our main characters are Carys and Max and af...