Monday, July 9, 2012


I am so behind on my reviews but until I get around to typing them up I wanted to list what I've been reading:)

The Uglies by Scott Westerfield 
The Pretties by Scott Westerfield
The Specials by Scott Westerfield
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideson
Sea Change by Karen White

I really enjoyed The Uglies series.  I previewed this series to see if it was appropriate for my 11 year old daughter and ended up really enjoying it.  So much so that I had the husband read them as well.  He also really enjoyed them.

Wife 22 kept me turning the pages late into the night.  I liked the characters and I liked the idea of the story.  I'm not sure how I felt about the ending though...for once I think the author tied things up a little too much.  LOL there is just no pleasing me with endings.

Sea Change by Karen White was a back and forth type story and I know that drives some people crazy.  It alternated between the past and the present and connected the two stories throughout.  I enjoyed it but I always enjoy stories that take place at the beach. 

So that's what I've been up what to read next. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Peach Keeper

I love Sarah Addison Allen.  I love the bitter and the sweet of her stories.  The Peach Keeper is another light and lovely story.  Her heroines are always strong and always quirky and I love that.   I love the sprinkling of  supernatural weaved into the story.  This story centers around the restoration of the Blue Ridge Madam.  Willa Jackson's ancestors once owned and lived in the Madam until financial ruin forced them out.  Socialite and former classmate Paxton Osgood is in charge of the restoration.  During the restoration a secret is unearthed under the lone peach tree at the Madam.  This secret changes everything.  The story is about friendship, loyalty and love.  I can't wait for Allen's next story.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Defending Jacob


I loved this book.  This is the story of Jacob a misfit high school student who is accused of murdering another student who bullied him at school.  Jacob's father is an ADA and is put in charge of the murder case until Jacob becomes the prime suspect.  It is not an easy story.  What makes this story different from the usual Dad defends son story is the fact that Jacob might actually have done it.  Throughout the trial Andrew and Laurie, Jacob's parents, must face certain truths about themselves and their family and more tragically about their son.  Andrew must face the demons of his past and revisit the family he thought he had left behind.  Is there such a thing as a murder gene?  Can murder be hereditary?  This fact is explored by the prosecution.  After the trial I thought the story would be over, but it's not.  The ending is a surprise and I actually gasped.  If you enjoy crime dramas you will enjoy this story. 

The Handmaid's Tale

*** I love dystopian literature almost as much as I love my beach reads and maybe as much as I like sci-fi, mysteries and true crime. I think what I like best is a good story with good strong characters in any genre. The Handmaid's Tale was on my list of books that "every one else but me read" so I'm glad I made time for it. I didn't love it and that could be because I did love When She Woke. It also might be because I read it 30 years after everyone else. I didn't like the Handmaid so I found myself always annoyed at her and I wished she had more fight in her. I suppose I understand that she was afraid and had almost no support but I felt like she gave up the fight before it started. The Commander was a coward and his wife a bitter woman in her own private hell. They were all prisoners of their own situation. While on the surface it might have seemed that the Handmaid was the only one held captive in her circumstance; they were all prisoners of this new regime. I'm glad I read it just to get it off my list but I didn't go seeking out any other of Ms. Atwood's works right after. I may at some point but not today.

Monday, March 12, 2012

When She Woke

It took me a few days to digest this story before I could write this review. It was an easy read about a complicated subject. Keep in mind that I have not yet read The Handmaid's Tale (I'm reading it now), and some say this story is a lesser version of that book.

The way I decide how much I like a book is how often I try to steal away minutes to keep reading. This book did that to me. I found myself daydreaming at work about when I could read it again. It kept me turning pages late into the night.

It is set in the not so distant future when Fundamentalist Christians have asserted way too much influence over the government and Roe vs. Wade has been overturned. Due to overcrowding in prisons and a crumbling infrastructure a new form of punishment is developed. It is called chroming. Chroming is the injection of a virus that turns a person's skin a color. There are different colors for different crimes. Those who are chromed are shunned by society and despite being free of prison they are imprisoned by hate and discrimination.

Hannah has been chromed red which is for murder. She is a very likable character which some reviewers found difficult. They didn't want to like her or feel sorry for her. I didn't feel sorry for her. She was strong and owned up to her decisions and as result paid a heavy price. I liked her and respected her. I wanted her to be okay. The contradiction that the fundamentalists seem to miss is that redemption is always possible.

I loved what Simmone tells Hannah before they part. She told her that "her" God is merciful and loves her no matter what. I believe in that same God. For Hannah that was a hard concept.

I really liked this book but after I read The Handmaid's Tale I may change my mind. I liked the combination of basic human nature with a sci-fi twist. The scariest part about this book no matter what your personal views are, is this could happen. There are many fundamentalists out there that would think this all makes sense...As conservative as I am, I would worry about a society like this, but some people already live this way.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Woman in Black

I confess I only decided to read this because of the movie trailer. Thankfully, it was short and easy or I may not have made it through. This is a typical, albeit uncomplicated victorian type ghost story. I think it was supposed to be scary. I didn't find it very scary. I haven't seen the movie but I've heard it wasn't scary either.

I did have a hard time imagining there was enough in this story to make a movie. It seemed to me more of a short story than a novel.

It was classic in that the ghost is the woman scorned and the location is an isolated old house recently left empty by the death of it's elderly inhabitant.

I enjoyed it for what it was but can't say that I loved it. It was a little too predicatable and simple for my taste.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Still Alice

Of course the title of this book caught my attention but it was the story that caused me to read this book in one day. My eyes hurt when I was finished. This is not a happy ending type of story and yet it was heartwarming, It is the story of Alice a highly educated and respected Harvard Professor whose expertise in linguistics is highly sought after. She spends most of her time lecturing all over the world in between experiments and teaching. She is married to an equally driven and respected scientist also at Harvard. They have three children, a doctor, lawyer and aspiring actress. While Alice loves her children she finds her youngest daughter Lydia's choice of career in acting a disappointment. She believes she is wasting her intellect and wasting time.

Then things turn upside-down when Alice learns that at 50 she has Alzheimer's Disease. Her life and all she planned will not play out as she hoped and expected.

The story is told from Alice's point of view which gives you a eerie portrait of what is like to literally lose your mind. It is heartbreaking and yet heartwarming. I found myself unable to put it down and haunted by it when I finished.

The author told a dismal tale and made me enjoy it.

10 Beach Road

This time of year I always long for ocean breezes and the beach so I will always look for a "beach read." I really enjoyed this and I must admit it made me long for a frozen drink and cheese doodles on the beach which was a staple for the characters in the book.

The story was a little silly but nevertheless I liked it. Three women, a recently spurned HGTV type home show host, a high powered matchmaker and the sister of a million dollar con artist. The three women are thrown together after they lose everything in a ponzi scheme and find out all they have left is a share of dilapidated Florida mansion on the water. The three decide the best course of action is to rennovate, sell and try to move on with their lives. During the rennovation you can imagine, secrets are revealed, feelings are hurt and friendships are born.

The ending is very predictable but it made me happy. If you are in the mood for something beachy and light this was fun and enjoyable.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Strangers on Montagu Street

Ahhh the third installment in the Tradd Street series made me happy. Melanie, Jack and the gang were joined by Nola, Jack's daughter that showed up at the end of book two. I loved Nola and I love how she fit seemlessly into the story. I was worried when she showed up at the end of the last book that she would be too much of a foil to Mellie. I should never doubt Karen White.

In this installment the gang has to figure out the secrets behind a doll house given to Nola by her grandmother. While uncovering it's secrets a murder and plenty of secrets are uncovered. Admittedly, this series is not life changing or thought provoking; it is pure entertainment and I love it. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep

I really enjoyed this book. It is the story of a woman with amnesia who awakens every morning with no memories and is dependant on her husband to help her rediscover herself everyday. After finding a young doctor with new ideas on how to help her, Christine finds out that every thing may not be as it appears and with the help of her journal she can trust only herself.

This book kept me turning pages late into the night. At different points in the book I thought I had it figured out and admittedly I did figure it out but the author did a wonderful job of telling the story and moving the story along.


This is the story of a nerdy professor who buys a Kindle to impress his ex-girlfriend but when it arrives he quickly finds out that there is something different about his device. It provides a window into other realities and into the future. When he reads information about a tragedy he has to decide what to do. I didn't love this story. I found it predictable and not up to King's usual standard. Usually King's characters are more interesting than I found any of these characters.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

This is one of those books that many read during high school but I didn't and it's always been on my list of "when I have time" books. I'm so glad I made time. I loved this book and I found myself stealing away minutes when ever I could to read a few pages.

The story opens when Francie Nolan is 11 years old in 1912. The book follows her into young adulthood. Things are never easy for the Nolans and yet they survive. Her father is an alcoholic and yet he was likable. He and Francie had a special relationship that benefited her. Katie, her mother was strong and a survivor. She always did what was needed and she never complained. At times I disliked Katie especially in her favoritism of Francie's brother Neeley. I hated that she didn't go to Francie's graduation because she decided to go only to Neeley's.

Francie's speech toward the end of the book to her mother said everything I was thinking. Yet I understood when she apologized because she recognized her mother's flaws.

This was one of those books that left me sad when I was finished because I will miss the Nolans and peeking into their world.