Monday, August 31, 2009

About a Boy by Nick Hornby

About a Boy was ... not quite as good as I was hoping. It is not nearly as complex or entertaining as I thought it would be and the story can get boring at times.

This is the type of book you will only read once. I am in general disappointed by the story line, it doesn't get interesting until the very end and by then you are so tired of reading this book you can't fully enjoy the change.

It is suppose to be funny but I didn't laugh once.

I would check it out of the library, not worth spending you hard earned cash.

Grade: C-

Will is thirty-six and doesn't really want children. Why does it bother people that he lives so happily alone in a fashionable, Lego-free flat, with massive speakers and a mammoth record collection, hardwood floors, and an expensive cream-colored rug that no kid has ever thrown up on? Then Will meets Angie. He's never been out with anyone who was a mom. And it has to be said that Angie's long blond hair and big blue eyes are not irrelevant to Will's reassessment of his attitude toward children. Then it dawns on Will that maybe Angie goes out with him because of the children. That maybe children democratize beautiful, single women. That single mothers -- bright, attractive, available women - were all over London ... Marcus is twelve and he knows he's weird. It was all his mother's fault, Marcus figured. She was the one who made him listen to Joni Mitchell instead of Nirvana, and read books instead of play on his Gameboy. Then Marcus meets Will. Will belongs to his mother's SPAT group (Single Parents, Alone Together), and Will is cool. Marcus needs someone who knows what kind of sneakers he should wear, and who Kurt Cobain is. And Marcus's mother needs a husband. They could all move in together! Marcus and his mother, Will and his son, Ned. Then Marcus follows Will home to his flat, where there are no toys or diapers, no second bedroom, even -- and certainly no Ned. This was valuable stuff. If Marcus went home and told his mother about this right away, that would be the end of it. But something tells Marcus that he should hang on to this information until he knows what it's worth.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

The Strain is book one in "The Strain" trilogy. It starts off with a bang, slows down, speeds up, slows down, speeds up and then bang..ends.

You will be on edge as this post-apocalyptic horror story builds. I imagine that it won't be long before we see this novel turned into a block buster film.

Don't expect a love story or fluff because you won't get it from this book. You will be pleasantly surprised by this unpleasant story.

The story line isn't new (which one is, concerning vampires) but the writing keeps you entertained. This is a mix of 28 days, Resident Evil and other viral vampire stories but with a bigger kick since your imagination can frighten you more than what you see on screen.

I expect bigger and better things from the sequels.

Grade: B-

Synopsis (B&N)
The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event.
The Strain They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come.
In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country.
In two months—the world.
A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rachel's Tears: 10th Anniversary Edition: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott by Beth Nimmo, Darrell Scott, and Steve Rabey

Rachel's Tears is about the life of an unforgettable girl and her spiritual journey. It is not preachy (except the last 20 or so pages) so you can easily read it without feeling that the authors are trying to convert you to their christian ways.

This story is an account of a amazing girl who knew her life would be cut short. It is about one girl, who wanted to change the world one person at a time. It is not just another Columbine Story. It is a personal account of a young, teenager girl who was kind, loving and wise beyond her years.

The story focus more on her life than on her death. You get a mild understanding of who she was and are chilled by her premonitions.

You will be moved by her words and the memories her friends and family share about her brief life.

An easy, fast read.

Grade: B

A moving meditation on the life, death, and faith of Rachel Scott as seen through the eyes of her parents and in her own words.
The Columbine tragedy in April 1999 pierced the heart of our country. In December 1999, we learned that the teenage killers specifically targeted Rachel Scott and mocked her Christian faith on their chilling, homemade video tapes. Rachel Scott died for her faith. Now her parents talk about Rachel's life and how they have found meaning in their daughter's martyrdom in the aftermath of the school shooting. Rachel's Tears comes from a heartfelt need to celebrate this young girl's life, to work through the grief and the question of a nation, and to comfort those who have been touched by violence in our schools today. Using excerpts and drawings from Rachel's own journals, her parents offer a spiritual perspective on the Columbine tragedy and provide a vision of hope for preventing youth violence across the nation.

Monday, August 24, 2009

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

Ok. I"ll admit it, I watched "The Hills." I also like Lauren Conrad. This of course meant that I had to read her novel, L.A. Candy.

The writing starts off a bit amateurish but it progresses nicely until you are completely absorbed by it. Conrad entertains and keeps one interested. Don't expect a literary genius because that isn't what this novel is about.

It is a fun, easy beach read. The story line is something she is familiar with (being on a reality show) so she is writing what she knows.

The last 100 pages are fantastic and keep you wanting more. You'll be frustrated and annoyed when this novel ends. Why? Because you will be left wanting more. With the exception of the weak cliffhanger, you will anticipate and hope that, Conrad writes a sequel (the ending... does imply that there will be another book).

A sweet first time novel.

Grade: B+

Synopsis (B&N)
Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer . . . everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.
When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!
Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara—free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres—and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.
In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it's not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

One Second After is terrifying realistic. You will not be disappointed!

It is a powerful post-apocalyptic cautionary thriller. Well developed characters and writing that keeps you on edge ( in need of a better editor). You will be engaged, frightened and slightly depressed.

This is well worth the read and thought provoking. A story about love, war and survival.

A mix of Stephen Kings, The Stand and Cormac McCarthys, The Road.

A complicated concept delivered successfully and leaving you with the thoughts of, what if...?

Grade: A

Synopsis (From the Publisher)
New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real...a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages...A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies. Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the Beach, Fail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sloth (Seven Deadly Sins) by Robin Wasserman

Sloth, the fifth book in the series is the weakest. It is dreary, boring and the sin, sloth doesn't make a true appearance.

It is a disappointment in general. I was neither entertained or interested in this novel, which makes me hesitant to finish the series. It feels as though, Wasserman ran out of steam in this particular book.

Don't expect anything extraordinary to happen (as in the other novels).

If you must read it, I recommend checking it out of the library rather than purchasing it.

Grade: D

One of the seven is dead, and everyone's reeling:
Adam's done. With love, with school...with everything. Done.
Beth's doing her best to act "normal," but even Reed recognizes devastation, since all he does is fantasize about Kaia.
Miranda's lost too.
Did she ever really forgive Harper?
Only Kane is actually doing something: uncovering how the crash happened — and why.
But there's no do-over with death.
There's only moving on — to the most unlikely places....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wrath (Seven Deadly Sins) by Robin Wasserman

Wrath is the fourth book in the Seven Deadly Sins, Series and it starts of slow but builds up to a surprising ending.

The characters are meaner than ever and less forgiving. Wasserman keeps you at the edge of your seat, making each chapter more exciting. She manages to successfully keep all seven characters straight while drawing you deeper into her fictional world.

The plot development is great and personality changes will keep you guessing and what is to come.

These books are a guilty pleasure and a fast, easy, entertaining read! You really can't put this book down until you finish the very last page.

So, put some time aside and get reading!

Grade: A

Beth was transformed from a nobody to a somebody, but now she's B-list again.
She — and everybody else — got played by Kaia, Kane and Harper.
Nobody can comfort Miranda, who feels so betrayed that she's sworn revenge.
Adam is lashing out at anybody who will listen — or buy him a drink.
And somebody is stalking Kaia; looks like Reed won't stand for sloppy seconds....
Revenge is the name of the game. And for somebody, it's game over.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager by Anonymous and Beatrice Sparks

Annie's Baby can't possibly be a real diary. The writing seems fake, forced and difficult to understand at times. The language and syntax of words is not that of a real adolescent (it appears to be made up, how one would perceive a teenager to write or act).

Annie is unrealistic and in my opinion falsely depicts the life of a teenager. Sadly this book does not reach it's potential nor do I imagine it will help teens who pick it up seeking advice or knowledge.

The read is boring and can be confusing because it makes little to no sense. I ended up skimming pages because they didn't add anything to the storyline. Do yourself a favor and find yourself something better to read. This "book' is a waste of time and energy.

A huge disappointment and frustrating.

Grade: F

Monday, August 17, 2009

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Best Friends Forever is different from Weiners other novels. It is more contemporary fiction for women rather than her laugh out loud chick-lit.

The character development is amazing, well thought out and deep. The story line is strong and has flashbacks from the past giving a better understanding of the characters, who they were, who they are and who they are about to become.

As well written as this novel it just isn't, Weiners best work. It lacks her usual wit, sense of humor and unique style.

Grade: A-

Some bonds can never be broken...
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.
Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of La Prairie, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6, when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie,...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pride (Seven Deadly Sins) by Robin Wasserman

Pride the third book in the seven deadly sins series is so far the weakest link. Don't let that sway you it is still deliciously scandalous.

A super fast, easy read and in each book the plot gets juicier. The books are full of drama and gossip. The end of this book sets up for the next novel . I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Grade: B

Everyone's got something to brag about:
Kaia's getting it on with bachelor #1, though scruffball Reed's gotten to be quite an interesting distraction.
Kane and Harper got exactly what they planned:
Namely, Beth and Adam. (Though to keep gettin' it, their secrets — and pasts — best stay forgotten.)
Miranda got her heart broken, but now she's all decked with a new look and strategy.
Sometimes, though, you only think you've got everything....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Envy (Seven Deadly Sins) by Robin Wasserman

Envy is the second novel in the Seven Deadly Sins series and it surpass it's predecessor.

The stakes are higher and the drama it up a degree. True colors become evident and a plethora of emotions are at an all high.

There is scandal, break ups, heartbreak and betrayal.

You will be entertained until the very last page. So, far this series is turning out pretty good.

Grade: A

Synopsis (B&N)
Kane and Harper know what they want:
Beth and Adam.
And they know how to get it:
Break up the shiny happy couple once and for all.
Miranda thinks she knows how to hit on Kane (Mr. Unattainable). But she could take a few pointers from the all-knowing Kaia, who's seducing Mr. Powell, teacher en franÇais. And Reed? Well, he just knows how to have a good time....
Know the feeling?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Twenties Girl: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl is worth the hardcover price. It is witty, fun, cute and entertaining.

You will be delighted and simply fall in love with Lara and Sadie. You will walk away with a smile on your face. This novel simply leaves you feeling good.

The plot and characters are wonderful. The story wraps up nicely. You will not be disappointed with this read.

Grade: A

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.Sadie, however, could care less.Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

My Little Red Book is impossible to put down!!! A quick and entertaining read.

It breaks the barriers of age, religion, race and unreasonable taboos surrounding menstruation and first periods.

An an excellent book for women of nearly all ages. It is a collection of period stories from women all over the world. You will laugh and relive you first period and adolescent years.

A great book to share or purchase for a friend, sister, cousin, mother, aunt or daughter. It is insightful and has stories from popular authors such as Meg Cabot.

A great way to realize that women from all over the world and from different time periods have a lot more in common that you think.

A Beautiful anthology of first periods. Go out and get your copy today.

Grade: A+

MY LITTLE RED BOOK is an anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from light-hearted (the editor got hers while water skiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). The contributors include well-known women writers (Meg Cabot, Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Cecily von Ziegesar), alongside today's teens. And while the authors differ in race, faith, or cultural background, their stories share a common bond: they are all accessible, deeply honest, and highly informative. Whatever a girl experiences or expects, she'll find stories that speak to her thoughts and feelings.Ultimately, MY LITTLE READ BOOK is more than a collection of stories. It is a call for a change in attitude, for a new way of seeing periods. In a time when the taboo around menstruation seems to be one of the few left standing, it makes a difficult subject easier to talk about, and helps girls feel proud instead of embarrassed or ashamed. By revealing what it feels like to undergo this experience first hand, and giving women the chance to explain their feelings in their own words, it aims to provide support, entertainment, and a starting point for discussion for mothers and daughters everywhere. It is a book every girl should have. Period.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton

Circus of the Damned is the third book in the Anita Blake series and it builds on the previous novels giving a fuller, deeper and more exciting view into Anita's life.

This book is full of violence, entertainment and excitement. Expect gore and to be at the edge of your seat. The unexpected occurs on several occasion you will be surprised at the outcome.

My own real complaint is that Hamilton takes too much time in describing weapons, which is tiresome to the reader.

Grade: A-

Publisher's Blurb:
"I'm Anita Blake, expert on creatures of the night. I've dined with shapeshifters, danced with werewolves, and been wooed - but not won - by Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire of the City. And now a darkly dangerous vampire named Alejandro has hit town. He too wants me for his human servant. A war of the undead has begun. Over me.I would be flattered. If my life weren't at stake..." "A rogue master vampire hits town, and Anita gets caught in the middle of an undead turf war. Jean-Claude, the Master Vamp of the city, wants her for his own - but his enemies have other plans. And to make matters worse, Anita takes a hit to the heart when she meets a stunningly handsome junior high science teacher named Richard Zeeman. They're two humans caught in the crossfire-or so Anita thinks.""When a dangerous vampire named Alejandro hits town and claims Anita Blake, an expert on creatures of the night, for his human servant, a war of the undead breaks out and puts Blake's life in jeopardy."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Girls of Riyadh: A Novel by Rajaa Alsanea

Girls of Riyadh is a so-so book. Nothing too impressive or exciting. I found myself skimming pages out of boredom. This book left me feeling restless and thankful that I had checked it out of the library and not purchased it.

I felt as though something was missing... an important element of some type. I was not enlightened in any way. I wanted a deeper look into the Arab culture and I felt like I didn't even get a hint of insight.

This book left me feeling cheated and irritated. Take a pass on this novel. The write up is by far more interesting than the novel itself.

Grade: D-

Synopsis (B&N)
A bold new voice from Saudi Arabia spins a fascinating Scheherazade-like tale of four young women attempting to navigate the narrow straits between love, desire, fulfillment, and Islamic tradition-for the first time, the hidden world of today's upper-class Saudi women is revealed by an insider.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham

The Wedding Girl is not Wickham's best work. The characters are a bit flat and the story is drawn out.

However, when you are drawn into her writing you are entertained. It is just too bad she can't keep the energy up throughout the novel.

The plot is fairly predictable with the exception of two major twists. Overall the book isn't too bad but not worth the cost of hardback cover, wait till it is out on paperback.

Grade: C+


Publishers Weekly
The usually reliable Wickham (Shopaholic series author Sophie Kinsella's alter ego) falters with this overplotted and heavy-handed smorgasbord of weddings and family shenanigans. Upon meeting wedding photographer Alexander Gilbert, Milly Havill realizes that he had photographed her when she first married 10 years earlier. Since that wedding was done as a favor to help keep Allan Kepinski, the American half of a gay couple, in England, Milly never told anyone about it, including her now-fiancé, Simon Pinnacle. The thought of Alexander revealing her past sends Milly into a panic. But that's just the beginning: Simon is bent on bettering his multimillionaire father in business and in marriage; Milly's bitter father, James, seems to appreciate Milly's independent older sister, Isobel, more than Milly; Isobel gets pregnant and is certain the father would not want a baby; and Rupert, the other half of the couple Milly had helped out, is now a born-again Christian. Unfortunately, the characters' struggles with identity, abortion and homosexuality are filtered through strained prose and too-obvious setups. A lighter touch and a tighter story would have helped. (June)

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay


Dearly Devoted Dexter is the second novel in the Dexter Series. It is among one of the best psychological & suspense novels I have ever read. Nearly impossible to put down.

Dexter is a sociopath, a likable serial killer. Lindsay's writing and descriptions are both entertaining and graphic. You can actually picture in your mind what he describes.

This story is hypnotic and will pull you in as you cheer for this unlikely "hero."

Grade: A+

Dexter Morgan has been under considerable pressure. In trying to avoid the deep suspicions of the dangerous Sergeant Doakes–who believes Dexter is a homicidal maniac (which, of course, he is)–Dexter has had to slip further into his foolproof domestic disguise. While not working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he now spends nearly all his time with his girlfriend, Rita, and her two children. But how long can Dexter play Kick the Can instead of Slice the Slasher? How long before his Dark Passenger forces him to drop the charade of family life and let his inner monster run free?In trying times, opportunity knocks. A particularly nasty psychopath is cutting a trail through Miami–a man who “slices and dices and leaves vegetables behind.” Dexter’s dark appetite is revived, but it’s not until his nemesis, Sergeant Doakes, is abducted that Dex can finally throw himself headlong into the search for a new plaything. Unless, of course, his plaything finds him first . . . With the incredible wit and freshness that made his first Dexter novel a bestseller, Jeff Lindsay brings back one of the most original, colorful narrators in years, and signals the arrival of a superb new series.

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Charlotte Gorman is a librarian, a "nerd" and enjoys being casual and comfy. Her twin sister, Ginny is an famous instagram conte...