Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I don't always understand why classics are so highly regarded and that is the case with this one.

Yes, it is in part about a decent into madness but it lacks a degree of talent. It is difficult to stay fully focused and have empathy for the character.

I think people often give it excess credit because it is very much a true story of Plath's life. It is neither captivating or memorable.

I have to wonder if maybe I simply can't relate to the character and that is why I found this book to be a rather painful read.

If it wasn't a classic, I would have simply stopped reading it rather than continue in hopes that I would find enthralling.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox is the story of a young girl who is recovering from a terrible accident. It is told from her perspective.

It takes place in the future and concerns such things as medicine and bioethics. The plot is very ambitions and compelling yet it lacks a degree of depth to keep one completely interested.

As the story unfolds you can pretty much figure out what is about to transpire. Overall this book was just "ok". I would recommend checking it out of the library of borrowing it from a friend, as it isn't a book one would reread.

Grade: B-

Sometime in the near future, Jenna Fox, 17, awakens from an 18-month-long coma following a devastating accident, her memory nearly blank. She attempts reorientation by watching videos of her childhood, "recorded beyond reason" by worshipful parents, but mysteries proliferate. Jenna can recite passages from Thoreau yet can't remember having any friends. As memories return, however, Jenna starts picking at the explanation her parents have spun until it unravels. Pearson (A Room on Lorelei Street ) uses each revelation to steadily build tension until the true horror comes into focus. Even then Pearson does not stop; she raises the ante in unexpected ways until the very last page. Clues are supplied by the supporting cast: Jenna's father, who made his fortune in biotechnology; a classmate whose loss of limbs has turned her into a crusader for medical ethics; Jenna's Catholic grandmother, who is hostile to her. A few lapses in logic- if Jenna's father is world-famous and the family in hiding, why does she enroll in school under her real name?-can be forgiven in favor of expert plotting and the complex questions raised about ethics and the nature of the soul. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life Laughs: The Naked Truth about Motherhood, Marriage, and Moving On by Jenny McCarthy

McCarthy once again, makes you laugh until your belly aches. Life Laughs is impossible to put down until you turn the very last page.

It is light, quick, entertaining and witty.

If you're a sissy or a prude, avoid this book because she is honest and tells it like it is. She holds nothing back and some might even find her crude (I don't).

Reading her book is like talking to one of your closest girlfriends. You know the one... the one who tells everybody, EVERYTHING.

Grade: A-

Synopsis (B&N)
Jenny McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author of Baby Laughs and Belly Laughs, speaks candidly about the challenges and the humor to be found in balancing motherhood and the ups and downs of marriage.
Jenny McCarthy's honesty has made her a bestseller. In Life Laughs, Jenny opens up about all of the things no one told you before you got married and had kids. Of course there's plenty of Jenny's outrageous humor, but she also writes openly and for the first time about doing your best when marriage falters and about her own divorce, which made headlines when it was announced in the summer of 2005. Jenny doesn't pretend to be an expert in her books, she is instead something more valuable-a good girlfriend. Catch Jenny's takes on growing older, finances, PMS, sex, dating . . . again, and mommyhood.
Jenny McCarthy is a trusted, brand-name, bestselling author, and Life Laughs is poised to be her biggest book yet.

Baby Laughs : The Naked Truth about the First Year of Mommyhood by Jenny McCarthy

Baby Laughs will make you laugh and cringe (and maybe... even scare you off kids a bit). I am not a mother and I found it to not only be enjoyable but also informative...!

McCarthy holds NOTHING back and puts the "funny" into situations that might simply drive one insane.

This read is FAST paced and can easily be read within hours.

If you are in need of a good, hearty laugh this book is for you.

Grade: A

Synopsis (From the Publisher)
Jenny McCarthy's hilarious, no-holds-barred personality has made her an instantly recognizable TV personality and a bestselling author. In Baby Laughs she examines the full range of challenges that new mothers face, including:• The humiliations of postnatal "numbing spray," Tucks medicated pads, and adult diapers; jelly belly, balding, and gum disease; and becoming a "five-foot puke rag" for the baby• Heart-stopping terrors, such as baby manicures, breathing checks, and burp failures• Inadequacies, such as lullaby illiteracy and the need for a "heavy rotation" of toys, videos, and mobiles• Daddy antics, such as infant wrestling, home-movie mania, sleeping like a log, and expecting sex• Dueling grandmas, germ-ridden guests, Olympic-class competitive mommies, anorexic pets- and much more.
Mothers and fathers will find much-needed relief and insight in this sometimes touching, sometimes gritty, but always perceptive and outrageously funny account of what it truly means to have your very own small bundle of joy

Saturday, April 18, 2009

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes, the second book in the Mortal Instruments series is much, much, much better than the first book, City of Bones. However you must read City of Bones in order to get a better understanding of characters and the plots.

This book is fast paced and the characters are further developed which makes reading about them much more pleasurable.

There are twist and turns (some predictable) which will keep you entertained. There are also a few inconsistencies but you can easily get past them and move onto the storyline.

Grade: B+

Synopsis (from the publisher)

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Barefoot is the perfect summer read with a slow start and a strong finish.

The characters are well developed, the story line flows and holds your attention. You easily become emotionally drawn in.

This novel is an enjoyable light read that may end up hold some meaning to you. You might just find yourself identifying with a characters or parts of multiple characters.

Grade: A-

Synopsis (B&N)
It's summer on Nantucket, and as the season begins, threewomen arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a localboy, home from college. Burdened with small children,unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues,the women--two sisters and one friend--make their way tothe sisters' tiny cottage, inherited from an aunt. They're alltrying to escape from something: Melanie, after seven failedin-vitro attempts, discovered her husband's infidelity andthen her own pregnancy; Brenda embarked on a passionateaffair with an older student that got her fired from herprestigious job as a professor in New York; and her sisterVickie, mother to two small boys, has been diagnosed withcancer. Soon Josh is part of the chaotic household, actingas babysitter, confidant, and, eventually, somethingmore, while the women confront their pasts and map outtheir futures.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yummy Mummy, The by Polly Williams

The Yummy Mummy is a very slow read ( I mean, seriously it took me 4 days to read it?). I had difficulties getting into it and constantly put it down only to pick it back up again and attempt to get involved.

It didn't flow very well and in general I was disappointed. I really wanted to like this book

Grade: D+

Synopsis (B&N)
In the tradition of Little Earthquakes, Babyville and I Don't Know How She Does It: the effervescent, canny, and downright delightful debut of Polly Williams, a spirited new voice in women's fiction.
Amy Crane's daughter, the exquisite and sweet-tempered Evie, is six months old. any Amy -- who's trying to decide whether to resume her high-pressure job in PR -- adores her. But these days, Amy doesn't exactly adore herself.
Even worse, the whole time she's feeling invisible and about as attractive as a barnyard animal, Amy suspects that Evie's father, Joe, is having an affair. Then Amy meets Alice, who seems to have this mommy thing down: She's single-girl-slender, for one thing, with groomed eyebrows, a smooth forehead, and killer clothes. Plus she has a sex life. In short, she's a Yummy Mummy, one of a new breed who manage to make motherhood look positively sexy. Under Alice's tutelage, Amy discovers that she's got some yumminess of her own. Joe takes notice, as does her handsome Pilates instructor. But once Amy's libido awakens from its extended slumber, a whole new set of problems develops.
Filled with acute perceptions of the challenges faced by new moms, as well as the uniquely terrifying landscape of new motherhood, The Yummy Mummy is as endearing -- and as refreshing -- as a baby who sleeps through the night.
Polly Williams is a journalist who writes on style and celebrity for In Style magazine, as well as other publications. She lives in London with her husband and son.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See by Bill Shapiro

Other peoples Love Letters... is such an easy, simple, moving read.

It can easily be read in under two hours and it will take you back in time. The time of your first love, the loves in between and if you're lucky enough to have found your ever after... all the moments that lead to it and the one's you're are still in.

This little book shows the beauty of love and the pain that love can also create.

It is interesting and will entertain you, however the purchase price isn't worth it. Borrow from a friend or check it out at the library. I say the price isn't worth it because it isn't something I would reread.

Perhaps the best part of the book is at the end when you find out the love stories behind some of the letters.

Grade: B

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Paradise Lost (Private, Book 9) by Kate Brian

Paradise Lost might just be the book that caused this series to "jump the shark".

It isn't horrible by an means it just seem that this series has hit an all time low as far as realism is concerned. It is starting to border on ridiculous.

I hope that the next book, Suspicion is the last in this series (It isn't, supposedly there are 3 more books in the series). I feel that the Reed Brennan saga must come to an end before readers start to lose all interest.

Grade: C

Paradise awaits....
Now that Cheyenne's murderer has been revealed and Reed knows the truth about who's been stalking her, she's ready to leave the heartache and turmoil of last semester behind. And what better way to recover than a five-star Caribbean vacation?
Reed is reunited with former Billings Girls Kiran and Taylor, and she and her friends take over the exclusive island. They spend their days tanning on white-sand beaches and their nights partying on sixty-foot yachts.
It's heaven on earth.
But as they raise their champagne flutes to toast their friendship, Reed worries that it's all too good to be true. Because even in paradise, the Billings Girls are never far from trouble -- and nothing's more dangerous than the calm before the storm....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Envy: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen

Envy, the third novel in the Luxe series is perhaps my favorite. There are many surprises some of which are quite predictable but they make the characters stronger and more mature.

The plot for this novel is engaging and the cliff hanger ending leaves you wanting more, much, much more.

This guiltless pleasure will keep you up reading until you devour it. A easy and super fast read.

Grade: A-

Jealous whispers.
Old rivalries.
New betrayals.
Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.
In this next thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets. . .

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen

Rumors the second novel in the Luxe Series is not nearly as good as Luxe but it still manages to keep you entertained.

There are several story lines, some of them a bit over the top and silly.

Romance, blackmail and broken hearts run ramped. There is a small degree of predictability.

Grade: B-

True love. False friends. Scandalous gossip. Welcome back to Manhattan, 1899.
As rumors fly about the untimely demise of New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, all eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her sister, Diana, the family's only hope for redemption; Henry Schoonmaker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind; even Elizabeth's former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency. In this delicious sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Family Affairs by Jen Calonita

I had no clue, Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Family Affairs was part of a series. I stands strong on its own.

The characters are well developed and the story line is cute, fun and engaging. This is an easy, simple summer read.

My only issues is that I have no desire to read the sequel or the prequel because I don't necessarily care what happens to the characters. So, if your looking for an easy read that doesn't require time or makes you feel the need to read the rest of the book in the series, this is for you.

Grade: B

The filming for sure-to-be-blockbuster movie Pretty Young Assassins has wrapped, and teen movie star Kaitlin Burke returns to life on the set of primetime drama Family Affair. After ten seasons filming, she would have thought that she could see it all coming, but with a plotting new actress on set, all bets are off. The new diva, Alexis, makes even Sky seem like a puppy in comparison. Can Kaitlin keep her sane boyfriend, her insane job, and her composure in the face of this new star power?

Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult

Zoe and Max have spent thousands of dollars in trying to conceive a child. After Zoe's most recent miscarriage her life starts to fall ...