Monday, February 21, 2011

Book of the week: February 20th 2011???

So you may notice a skip in the book of the weeks. That’s because my e-reader and I aren’t seeing eye to eye at the moment. My book club has picked an incredibly sad book. I’m not looking forward to being sad so I keep putting it away. So my idle e-reader is sitting there taunting me. I know I’ll read it I made the commitment, plus I really have to get going or I won’t meet my goal of 100 books this year. It’s just the sad book. I wonder why people pick sad fiction books to read when real life can be just as sad.
So this week is dedicated to the sad books or the heartache books or the books without a happy ending!

Year of WondersYear of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Read March 2010

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Based on the true story of Eyam. England in 1666. A bolt of cloth carrying the plague arrives in the little village. The village elects to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to stop the spread of the disease to nearby towns. The book is told from Anna’s view point. She witness death to a point of numbness. She watches the villagers turn to God, witchcraft, medicinal herbs, each other, and murder.

I think I cried the first 100 or so! At some point I became numb to the drama, and at about 200 pages was looking for closure.
I do recommend it. It was an interesting look at what would happen on a small scale if an apocalypse happened. The book is a quick read and it must've had a small effect on me because I brought it up and discussed this book with my husband about some of the topics in it. As a mom of 2, the story made me cry a little. What would you do, if you had no knowledge or way of protecting your babies from death and it’s knocking on your door?
Ending was not my favorite, it was quick and questionable.

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Some of my other top 10 sad books off the top of my head:
1.      Diary of Anne Frank
2.      Marley and Me (I sobbed through the whole book because I could see what was going to come at the end)
3.      Angela’s Ashes
4.      Of Mice and Men
5.      Anybody Out There?
6.      The Giving Tree
7.      Charlotte’s Web
8.      I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
9.      New Moon (yeah I was heart broken when he left, Bite me!)
10.   If I Stay

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Harlequin Lover

Price of Passion

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was one of the Harlequin freebies, read further below for review.

My grandma was a fan of the Harlequin romance books. She read 1000's of these books, not the "Blaze" she said those were too "dirty". So last year, Harlequin gave away 16 or so free ebooks to celebrate their anniversary (they still have free book fridays). They included one book from each on their romance categories, Historical, religious, ethnic, mystery, and the infamous Blaze. I figured this was my time to see why these books are so popular and read a few so I started with grandma's favorite,        Blaze!

Slow Hands (The Wrong Bed: Again and Again, #1) (Harlequin Blaze, #402)Slow Hands (The Wrong Bed: Again and Again, #1) by Leslie Kelly

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book is a "mistaken identity". Wasn't a fan of the male version of Pretty Woman. It was set in Chicago with a hot paramedic and a voluptuous rich banker. It was pretty predictable but I wanted to see what my grandma considered “dirty, and was surprised that she would consider this “dirty” This comes from someone who has read books by Megan Hart, Lora Leigh, and Anne Rampling, now those grandma would say are filthy!
So I read a few more from the other categories. I started to see a pattern. The Harlequin romances have a recurring theme: misunderstanding or mistaken identity, good looks, tons of money, a baby and a wedding
Price of Passion was one of the books I actually did somewhat like. This book is a "misunderstanding" Out of all of them this was ok. I didn’t like the beginning or the characters but then about half way through I liked the dialogue and interaction between the two main characters and actually started liking this book. But it had the same Harlequin ending.
Not all romance novels are bad, and I don’t hate all Harlequins. Harlequin was a stepping stone for many authors and readers. I enjoy a good Historical Fiction Romance or Paranormal Romance. If your looking for more romance with something that isn’t written for quick mass production, may I suggest a few: Lisa Kleypas, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, J.R. Ward, Diana Gabaldon or if your daring Megan Hart. Maybe you’d like to envision yourself in a romance novel of your choosing for that visit, Books by you. There you become the star in your own romance novel! Here’s the link:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book of the Week : February 6, 2011

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really 3 1/2 stars.

Another book from the book club. Another book I wouldn't necessarily pick. If I Stay, is about a 17 year old girl Mia, She was in a horrible car accident with her family, she has an out of body experience, and has to make a choice on more than one level, if she should stay or go.

This book was a fast read, two and a half hours. It read like a friend telling you a long story. the story goes off on small flash backs, but comes back to the main story. The author is able to pull it off without losing her readers.

This Book is mainly about Mia and Mia's relationship with her boyfriend. There is little focus or concern on the other characters. Most of the flashbacks are about her boyfriend or music. I felt like the author may have been trying to say that teenagers are somewhat self absorbed; only concerned with their boyfriends, school, and friends, and little concern on family. I think the author was mistaken a bit; she needed to show a little more that Mia had more feelings about what had happened to her family. I think any teenager would have been a bit more upset by what happen.

There are 2 parts that got me to tears in this story, Grandpa's permission, and Teddy. Teddy got me, because of my own personal experience with my little sister.

I really liked the ending. I could see how some people would be unhappy about it, but this story was about a choice and the choice was made.
There is a sequel coming out called Where She Went. It's told from the boyfriends point of view and moves the story into the future.
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