Friday, May 31, 2013

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber

Graeber, is the only reporter than Charles Cullen granted an interview to and he tells the story in an engaging and informative manner. He uses a variety of sources to investigate the sixteen years, Cullen worked as a nurse. 

The account is chilling and the lack of action the hospitals took in preventative measures is outrageous. The amount of deaths, Cullen is responsible for is uncountable, due to a variety of reasons. Cullen is among one of the scariest person's you will read about. 

Cullen is an intelligent, confused, wicked person who has the compulsion to kill. He feels no remorse or regret.  This read is worth your time.

Grade: B

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Elite (Selection) by Kiera Cass

"The Elite" picks up pretty much where, "The Selection ended. It is much darker and a lot more is revealed about the characters.

The caste system is further explored and we learn some of the history of, Illea. American begins to take the contest more serious and risk's are at an all time high. The relationship between Maxon and American intensity's yet she struggles with her feelings for, Aspen.

The rebels have stepped up their game and while the motives aren't fully revealed, what we do learn is very interesting.

This is a super fast read and the game within the game ...aspect keeps you on your toes.

Grade: A

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Prince: A Selection Novella (HarperTeen Impulse) by Kiera Cass

"The Prince" is a short novella, that takes place before, "The Selection". Before his, home is invaded by thirty-six girls competing to be his princess.  It is told from, Prince Maxon's point of view.

You get a glimpse into his life during the weeks, leading up to the selection. You are able to learn about how the selection process actually works and how manipulative the king  is.

There are new characters, once in particular that is very, very interesting. I wish this novella had been a prequel full of more lengthy information and juicer details. It is well worth the read. It definetly adds to the series.

Grade: A

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

"The Help" is absolutely riveting. The cast of characters is phenomenal. The storyline makes for a compulsive read. There is never a dull moment. This book is set to be a classic. It is though provoking, compelling and powerful.

This book takes place in, Mississippi during the civil rights movement. It is narrated by three characters, giving their own voice and unique spin on things. "The Help" is about a young women named, Skeeter who becomes interested in life of black maids who work for white families. These maids raise the children, cook, clean, shop and make life easy for the very women who mistreat them.

Skeeter is able to convince one of the maids to share her stories about working for white families and over time more maids join in to create a eye opening, honest book, titled "Help."  The stories must be collected in secret and the book written by anonymous because,  Jim Crow Laws consider what they are doing illegal.

This is a must read book and I look forward to more reads by, Stockett. If you've put off reading this book for years, like I did, go get it now because it is so much more than, I imagined.

Grade: A+

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life is essentially a book about, how small choices can change the entire course of history. This book is an hefty 527 pages.  It covers a variety of themes. The main character, Ursula lives multiple lives and deaths. It is a "loop" of lives, a seemingly never ending circle.

The book itself starts off strong. It is  intriguing and a bit confusing until you get a full grasp of what is happening.  The life restarts can become daunting and you have retrace your steps to figure out what the heck you're reading. There are multiple plots some taking place during historical times.

Somewhere along the way the book starts to drag and the cleverness becomes overbearing but then it picks up and the ending leaves you wanting more.

This isn't the best or worst book, I have read this year and unless you have some serious time to waste on your hands....I'd pass on it or wait to read it until a later date.

Grade: C

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After is the last installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Harris remains true to her characters and while some might not have found the ending satisfactory, I found it quite fitting.

All major character's make a cameo in this final book, they all play a role. I absolutly do not want to give anything away ---- It is a fast, easy read that will keep you captivated until the very end.

I will miss, Sookie Stackhouse's world but all good things must come to an end.

In this book, you find that Sookie is arrested for murder. The evidence is beyond weak and she makes bail.  She starts her own investigation into the murder which is complicated by her own personal issues.

Grade: A

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Next Time You See Me: A Novel by Holly Goddard Jones

"The Next Time You See Me" is an interesting read, full of flawed characters. Each character is more interesting than the last.

This excellent debut takes place in a small town and each character is connected to one another, sometimes in a variety of ways.  The character's are tragic, the story is depressing ---  yet, Jones draws you in with her realistic descriptions and grisly details.

It takes a bit to actually get into the novel but once you do the read is worth it.

Ronnie Eastman is missing. Thirteen you old, Emily has stumbled across a dead body.  Susanna is looking for her sister and Emily just happens to be student in her class. Tony the detective on the case, is a long lost crush of, Susanna's. Wyatt Powell is a town outcast and Sarah is a nurse in the local hospital.

All their lives intersect and the outcome is explosive.

Grade: B

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wedding Night: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella

I am a big, Sophie Kinsella fan and was beyond excited for her newest novel. "Wedding Night" is witty and the characters are fun.

This is a delightfully delicious, typical, Kinsella novel. There is always some type of mishap(s) and the sisterly bond is awesome. This is a perfect, breezy summer read.

Fliss is the older sister, who is in the midst of a bitter divorce battle and Lottie is in the throws of love. Lottie is expecting a shiny ring and a fairy tale engagement but when things fail to go how she imagined, she storms out and into the arms of another man.

From here on out --- everything is a big hot mess! Expect a fast read and lots of chuckles.

Grade: A

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rise: An Eve Novel by Anna Carey

"Rise" concludes the trilogy of the, Eve series. It picks up right where, "Once" ended. There continues to be adventure, action and suspense.

The story is well written and the character's are interesting enough, yet everything ends rather abruptly and there is quite a degree of prediction.

Overall, "Rise" is an fair conclusion to the series. I don't want to divulge any more information as I'm afraid I will give the book away.

Make sure you read, "Eve" and "Once" before you pick up this book or you will be completely lost.

Grade: B

Overview [B&N]

How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?
hen she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America—and the blushing bride of her father's top adviser—Eve's whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb's memory, and the revolution he started.
Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King's court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she's called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion—killing her father?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke is set in the future and chroming is a set punishment for a variety of crimes. Depending on the crime, a person will be chromed a distinct color that fits their individual crime. Crimes are assigned a color, red is for murder and when Hannah Payne aborts her child her skin is tinted red. 

Abortion is murder in this futuristic, puritianical society and Hannah's tinted red skin, lets society know what she did and as a result she is judged and rejected by strangers and family. The chroming or skin tinting will be her punishment for the entire lenght of her sentencing, made longer by her refusal to name the father or abortion doctor.

Hannah is forced into a halfway house and her life begins to shift in an unexpected manner. Things unravel in a very interesting manner.

The character's are strong and the story starts off fast paced and exciting but then --- it tapers off and falls short. 

If you loved, Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" and Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" you will find this book, rather entertaining if you can get past the less than stellar plot.

Grade: C

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Just Keep Breathing by Joan Scott Curtis

Just Keep Breathing is a difficult read. Not because it isn't well written but because it deals with the unexpected. The terminal illness and death of a spouse.  

Curtis's memoir chronicles her husband's battle with AIDS and her struggle to keep her family together. Her husband has been infected for over 13 years and by sheer luck, she is HIV negative. Her husband is dying and she can only stand by and watch him take his last breath. Curtis some how manages to find the strength to overcome all the obstacles that are put upon her. She is honest and open with her emotions,which make this read something that stays with you long after you've finished the book.

Grade: A

Friday, May 3, 2013

Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

Dr. Mike Scanlon is serving in, Afganistan but a turn of events, causes his return to the United States. His young, wife dies suddenly due to an unfortunate accident, leaving their baby daughter mother less.

Upon, his return he finds that his life is falling apart. His practice is a mess, he has PTSD, his sister in-law wants full custody of his daughter and his wife was harboring a deep set of secrets. Picking up the pieces of his life is a lot harder than expected.

Scottoline, does an excellent job at making you feel deep empathy for Mike. It is a good read and it flows easily from chapter to chapter. It's predictable and refreshing as it is told from a males point of view.  There is a degree of action in this easy to read novel. A perfect, simple, summer read.

Grade: B

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 ...