Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: Scarlet

Title Scarlet ( Lunar Chronicles #2)
By Marissa Meyer
Genre YA scifi/fantasy
Pages 454
Recommended by Me

First sentence Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed form the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: "Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit  from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Office of Missing Persons."

Scarlet's life has been simple. She helped run her grandmother's farm and kept to herself but when he grandmother goes missing Scarlet is frantic. Suddenly her grandmother's history is coming to light and she's more than the quiet farm owner Scarlet has always known. She may know about the missing Lunar princess and the Lunar/cyborg fugitive Cinder. Scarlet must join forces with a scary stranger who calls himself Wolf to rescue her grandmother.

What it has going for it
I'll be honest. It's been awhile since I read the first book in this series and I had such a hard time remembering what was going on in this one that I had to find a recap of Cinder on line to catch myself up. Once I remembered what was going on I delved right into this one. I was relieved to discover that we were being introduced to a new character that I actually enjoyed reading about but that we still got to see what was happening with Cinder and Kai. I liked seeing how Scarlet and Cinder's lives were tied together and it got me wondering how the next books will all tie together too. Scarlet has quite the temper and was spunky and just slightly stubborn. ;) I liked her. I liked her story and her determination to find her grandmother. I liked Wolf too. I know a lot of people are just blown away by the way theses books tie into the old fairy tales and I do too but to be honest...I don't really spend too much time looking for similarities. The stories are so great that, based on old fairy tales or not, they could totally stand on their own.

What's lacking
I was kind of bothered that I had to go back and read that recap of Cinder to remember what was going on. No, I don't need a play be play recap from book to book but a little more catch up might have been nice. There's a few cliche's at work and near the end I was becoming so stressed out at the action that I was just praying for it to end, but I think that was just a personal thing. All in all there's really nothing negative to say about these books.

Favorite moment
Without a doubt when Cinder reunites with Iko.

Yea or Nay?
Oh, yes! You must read this series. It's so great!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Brain: The Man Who Wrote The Book That Changed The World

Title Brain: The Man Who Wrote The Book That Changed The World
By Dermot Davis
Genre Adult Fiction
Pages 207
Recommended by Nancy

First sentence It had been ten years since Daniel's graduation and it's fair to say that the intervening years had not been very kind to him, personally or professionally.

On graduation day Daniel Waterstone wins the award for the student showing the "brightest promise for a future literary career." Ten years later he still can't get anything published that the public will appreciate and buy. He's out of money and in debt and very discouraged. His agent,Suzanne, isn't really much help. All she's interested in is making a lot of money for herself. Daniel decides to write a satire on writing. Suzanne won't even read it but some of her office help do read it and take it very seriously. 

"Hey guys, I'm dying to read this book but it's something I knew my mom would probably enjoy too so I let her read it first and since I wanted to post a review asap because the author so kindly sent me a copy to read. I'm letting her write my review for me. Take it away, mom!

What is has going for it 
This book is well written and so typical of today's mixed up society that it was an all night read for me. His old car and the valet parking it was hilarious. Then after the book he wrote becomes a best seller and he needs a body guard so Suzanne can make money with ghost writers and more book reviews and get Daniel out of the way, the results are predictable but you can't wait for it to happen.  Daniel never quite believes that people take this impossible and nonsensical use of the exercises he dreamed up seriously and with the help of a friend he continues to renounce it as a serious piece of literature.
What's lacking
If it weren't for the promiscuity scenes I would highly recommend it for high schools and especially for those ridiculous "American Problems" classes.

Yea or Nay?
For adults, yes. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

January February Wrap Up

OK, So I'm running behind. Oh well, I try. Here's what I read in January and February.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Cute and engaging but a little too convenient.

The Lucy Variations
Not Sara Zarrs best book. Creepy adult teen relationship.

Odd Interlude 
Oh, Odd how I love thee. Koontz, my boy, you are one imaginative fellow.

Shadow Kiss (vampire academy 3)
The story continues. And, WOW, what and ending!

The Forgotten Garden
Intricate storytelling reveals an incredible tale.

 Into You 
Interesting premise, horrible execution.

Mind Games (mind games 1)
Holy exciting story, Batman! Give me more femme fatale!

A Countess Below Stairs 
More telling rather than showing but a fun little romance

And there you have it...Hey! It think my numbers are picking up!
Favorite of both January and February: Mind Games, The Forgotten Garden and Odd Interlude. Least favorite: Into You.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: A Countess Below Stairs

Title A Countess Below Stairs
By Eva Ibbostson
Genre YA romance
Pages 383
Recommended by Book Club

First sentence "You cannot be a housemaid, Anna," said Miss Pinfold firmly.

Anna used to be a Russian Countess. She used to have jewels and riches and live in a mansion. Now all that has changed. Forced to flee her country and riches Anna must find work and becoming a housemaid seems her only option but falling in love with the Earl she serves isn't an option, not since he's engaged to be married.

What is has going for it
Anna is instantly likable. Sure the author "tells not shows" us to like her but it's easy to overlook that for the most part. I enjoyed watching her journey from riches to rags and loved the Downton Abbey feel of this book. There's something to be said for books that can make you talk to them. You know, shouting things to the characters, gasping at something when it happens, biting back and "oh no" when something terrible is about to happen. This book was very good at drawing out my emotions and for that I'll give it a thumbs up.

What's lacking 
Honestly, this one isn't without flaws. The telling not showing thing I mentioned irritated me. It's fine in a short fairy tale story to tell a reader how to feel about a character and to describe their attributes but in a novel I expect a little more showing. There was a lot of this "stop the story and tell you the history of a person or place" and it got a little old. Oh, and just because a book is in third person and can jump around to anyone it wants, doesn't mean it should. This one started talking about people that had very little to do with the story and it drove me insane. I wanted to just get back to Anna and Rupert!

Favorite moment
When Anna hears Rupert having a nightmare and wakes him up. I loved how inappropriate that might have been back then but how natural it seemed.

Yea or Nay?
Yes, I'd recommend it but get ready for some lengthy back story.