Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog by Jen Lancaster

I love, Jen Lancaster --- Martha Stewart not so much. As a result, I was hesitant to read this but I realized it was more about Stewart's methods and less about her as a person.

Jen had a series of setbacks and she isn't hesitant to tell her readers about it and as a result she decides to organize her life and focus on what
makes her happy. She channels her inner, Martha Stewart in an attempt to be more crafty and organized. Some things work out fabulous others not so much.

There are many hilarious and entertaining moments and some rather scary and sad ones. She discusses her breast cancer scare and as someone who had one this year (at a much younger age then, Jen), she chronicles is perfectly. She hit every single feeling, I went through perfectly.

Her beloved dog, passes away --- and for the first time ever, Jen made me cry tears of sadness rather than tears from laughter.

Jen Lancaster is witty, crafty and manages to make a reader feel, like one of her good friends. This is a perfect summer read and a book you will want to pass on to friends or if you are anything like me --- suggest it because I'm not a fan of lending out my books!

Grade: A

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crewel (Crewel World) by Gennifer Albin

Adelice Lewys, is special. She can weave the fabric of time. When her parents find out, they train her  to hide her talent, in order to avoid her from becoming a spinster.  Spinsters are women who, are "elite" and determine who lives and dies. Where people will live, how many children they will have.  The control the weather and crops. They essentially control the lives of those who live in, Arras.

Unfortunately for Adelice, her pow
ers are detected and she is ripped away from her family to learn the life of a spinster. She learns that the real power belongs to the men who run the spinsterhood and life as a spinster isn't exactly as great as perceived.

Her bold character and sassy attitude causes her many problems. She forms an alliance with some unexpected individuals and makes an enemy out of a power one. She pushes things to the limit and is trying her best to stay alive in a dangerous world.

Crewel is set to be a trilogy.  It is an original debut in that a person can weave the fabric of time but everything else is reminiscent of other books. The dreaded and overdone love triangle, the one person who "leads" a rebellion and blah, blah blah.

Despite all of this --- I will be reading the rest of the books in the trilogy because the concept of weaving time in a dsytopian society is new and very interesting.

Grade: C

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sisterland: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sisterland hits bookstands, June 25, 2013.

Sisterland is --- a novel about two twins who have the ability to foresee future events. One twin, chooses to use her "senses", while the other attempts to mask them.

Vi and Kate are as different as two people can be. Vi is exuberant and Kate is more reserved. Vi makes a prediction that a huge earthquake will hit the city of, St Louis. This gets a lot of media attention and while the twins and the rest of the city way for the predicted date to come around, the story of their lives, past and present begins to unravel.

There is insight into their lives growing up.  Kate's marriage and why Kate made the choice to mask her abilities. Sittenfeld, makes her characters vulnerable, with makes it easy to identify with them.

The book is really interesting but I felt that the ending and what Kate, did that made the ending what it was ---- was out of character and took away from what could have been a great novel.

Grade: B-

Friday, June 21, 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

The Inferno is fantastic from start to finish. It is filled with adventure, codes, locations, art, symbols and obviously, the works of, Dante Alighieri's , Divine Comedy.

It focus's on the ever present issue of overpopulation. Brown explains the impact of overpopulation on a species in very simplistic terms. This issue alone makes the book worth the read.

The book starts off with, Robert Langdon awakening in a hospital in, Florence with no memory of how he got there.  He finds himself being perused by a sleuth of interesting character's, while trying to stop a mad man's plot from unraveling.

This is a fast paced, interesting thriller! Definitely worth the wait and the read.

Grade: A

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas) by Dean Koontz

This book, absolutely does NOT stand on its on. It references the previous five novels. I strongly suggest that you read the other novels in order to  get a full understanding of the character.

Odd is on another adventure --- and is using his psychic magnetism in order to hunt the man who is about to commit a horrendous crime, involving the lives of children. Many interesting developments arise, along with Odd meeting another human who can see the dead.

This is not the best book in the series but it still manages to keep you captivated. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this series and so will you.

Grade: B

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Lullaby of Polish Girls: A Novel by Dagmara Dominczyk

The Lullaby of Polish girls is a coming of age novel, that spans the life of three characters. The story flashes back and forth to current day and the past. It can at times be confusing as it doesn't flashback in chronological order.

It covers childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The lives of these three women are told in an honest, raw format. It is not a light read, it can be crude and and hard core.

This book deals with death, sorrow, murder and the disappointments that life can hand out. It takes place in, Poland and the United States. I am not very familiar with Poland or Polish customs and at times found it difficult to relate to characters or get an understanding of their culture.

It was neither mesmerized nor bored by this cast of characters.  This is typical run of the mill novel.

Grade: C

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

 The Testing goes on sale, Tomorrow, June 4, 2013.

The Seven Stages of the war left the world in shatters and the people of the United Commonwealth are trying to survive. In order to do this, they need the best of the best among their citizens. When, Cia is selected to partake in the testing her father reveals information regarding the test and warns her to trust no one. 

The testing process turns out to be far more than she ever bargained for. Lives are at stake, including her own. Each testing processes is more difficult than the previous and the only way out is to pass the test or die trying.

This book is well written, entertaining and impossible to put down. My favorite dystopian/post apocalyptic book this year. I simply can't wait for the next installment.

This book is a great mix of, The Hunger Games and Divergent. 

Grade: A

The Embalmer by Caillé Anne-Reneé and Mullins Rhonda

The Embalmer is a short book around 80 pages or so. It's not as macabre as I was hoping but it is rather interesting. The book centers a...