I hate spending time reading about the plot of a book on review sites - just tell me, Did you like it or not?

Friday, November 29, 2013


Prodigy (Legend #2)


3.5 stars

371 pages
Published Jan. 29, 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

An exciting sequel to Legend. It has everything I love - survival, anti-government rebellion, a good love story with "issues," so it's not too boring.

I also appreciate how the main characters don't know who to trust, but ultimately decide to trust each other. I will read the last in the trilogy to see how it all plays out.

Little to no swearing, and no sex. A bit of violence, but it's mostly glossed over. Nothing like the first book where it was glorified and reveled in and described in minute detail.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom

The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3)


4 stars

Published Aug. 27, 2013 by Greenwillow Books

This is the way a trilogy is supposed to end. Happy, with all loose ends tied up and the main character ending up with the guy she's supposed to end up with. Throughout the trilogy you see the queen grow from a wimpy, but intellectual, girl - into a strong, fierce woman. And likewise, the author Rae Carson has matured and developed into a competent and exciting storyteller. She figured out pacing and plot. She developed deep characters with myriad facets to their personalities. It was a delight to read her literary journey.

I hope Carson keeps writing, because I'll keep reading her stuff.

No swearing and just one glossed over sex scene.

Can recommend!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Last Storyteller: A Novel of Ireland

The Last Storyteller: A Novel of Ireland


Published Feb. 7, 2012 by Random House

At first, I didn't think I was going to make it through this book (which I won in a First Reads giveaway), but there's something oddly compelling, darkly beautiful and exquisitely twisted about the book. I love all things Irish, but if you're looking for a story filled with rainbows, leprechauns and Darby O'Gill, this book is not the one for you. The story revolves around a man writing his memoirs to his 2 children, to be read after his death. As an 18-year-old, he falls in love with an older woman. Then the woman is stolen away by her family, never to be seen again.

The plot isn't so much a quest to find her as a search to find himself, with a healthy dose of Irish history, politics and legend interspersed within. Honestly, I looked forward to the retelling of the legends parts, because those parts shone some sunlight into such a melancholy story. But it's all so eloquently written and characters so fully fleshed out, it was hard not to finish. It's not a "page-tuner," no, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it is thought-provoking. I recommend.

Friday, November 22, 2013

You Have Seven Messages

You Have Seven Messages

Published Sept. 13, 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published Jan. 1, 2011)
I just finished this book, like 10 minutes ago, and I'm not sure what I think of it. It's a very sad, depressing book, and it has some relationship ideas that I wouldn't deem appropriate for the audience this book was written for. It delves into things that are deep and controversial, but the writer puts it out there like his beliefs are the only true and right way.

That being said, I liked how the story emphasizes that people aren't perfect and that we all make mistakes, and that we should be willing to forgive. That theme alone is why I give this book three stars.

Maybe in a few days, after I give it time to stew, I'll change my star rating, but three is feeling just right.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon #1)


2.5 stars

531 pages
Published Dec. 26, 2008 by Viking Juvenile (first published Jan. 1, 2008)  
I have a number of adjectives describing this Eastern-culture inspired novel:

way too long

So why did I finish it? I'm not sure. Maybe there was something compelling about the theme - not the characters, though, they were one-dimensional and weak; or the plot - which was over-simple and over-written.

The theme - accepting strength in womanhood - is contrived, yes. And the book does it no justice with the weak characterization of Eon/Eona. But the universal truth of the theme made me interested to see how Eon/a came to realize it. Unfortunately, by the time Eon/a got her head on straight, the book was pretty much over, so I stuck it out til the end.

This book actually drained me so much that instead of reading the next book on my To Read list, I watched TV! Ach! The tragedy!

The bright spot was that there was no swearing and no sex. But there are some transvestite and eunuch characters, if that bugs you. Actually the best character in the book was the transvestite. S/he was pretty awesome.
I will not be reading the sequel.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Legend (Legend #1)


Published Nov. 29, 2011 by Putnam Juvenile

This was just the book that I needed to get over a super crappy book I had just previously read. (See post below.)

Marie Lu really knows how to write an exciting, intriguing story - complete with decent character development, evil bad guys and a bit of computer hacking! I loved it.

I did think the torture scenes were a little too gleefully gratuitous, hence the one star docking. And I didn't like some of the characters doing a complete 180 - first they hate, now they don't. Or conversely, nice guy turns uber-evil. It was a bit jarring.

But overall, I deem it a fantastic book. No swearing, yay!

I've added #2 and #3 to my to-read list. Thankfully the last in the trilogy was just published, so no having to wait for the next one to come out!!

I can recommend to all!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club #1)

352 pages 
Published Jan. 18, 2007 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 2006)
I had waited a few years for this book to finally be added as an ebook at my local library. I thought I would like this book - yarn and women crafters with a touch of romance thrown in? Sounds good! I love working with yarn, although I enjoy crocheting more than knitting. Maybe I was hoping for a bit of inspiration to get me back into knitting. I rarely delve into adult fiction, but I thought I'd make an exception for this one.

Unfortunately, when I closed the cover on my Nook after reading the last sentence, I was decidedly underwhelmed and not a little bit disgusted. I remember all sorts of hype associated with this book. Why? The ending was crap. If I had known what was going to happen (and I purposely did NOT read any spoilers beforehand), I would not have wasted my time. The only reason I gave it 2 stars was that the writing was pretty good - except for the swearing. TOO MUCH! I mean, come on! This is a book about knitting! You don't need to be dropping the f-bomb when you're purling!

So, I cannot recommend this book to any of my friends. Sorry. Actually - I'm not.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1)


Published May 9, 2010 by Write Free (first published Apr. 20, 2010)

I got this ebook for free on Barnes and Noble for my Nook more than 2 years ago. I didn't have high hopes for it, but it surprised me. I actually enjoyed it! If you can overlook some flat characterization and uneven plotting, you will enjoy it, too.

Didn't like the adultery aspect, though. Or the mild swearing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)


What a fantastic sequel to the Throne of Glass. We find out more about who Celaena really is and how she works. I especially appreciated the subtle Star Wars moment.

One thing bugged me, though, and that was the unnecessary swearing. This is a fantasy book - swearing should have no place in this world. And the horrific killings committed by Celaena. That was disturbing - but she is an assassin, so I guess that's expected.

I can't wait for the next book to come out.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson


First published in 1812
I tried reading this book with my kids, but the vocabulary was beyond my 3rd and 5th graders - this edition one of the first translations, so many, many words were archaic and out of use. I'm going to find an Illustrated Classic version to read to them, which I think they'll enjoy.

I loved this book, though. A lot of the flora and fauna which the Robinson family found on their island was improbable - elephants on an island? Bison? Plus so many types of birds. That many birds would mean being close to a major landmass, and hence in shipping lanes, and hence being found much sooner. But I loved the book anyway. I wish I could be as knowledgeable as Mr. Robinson - he had an encyclopedic knowledge of, well, everything. He knew how to make drawbridges, looms, treehouses, husbandry, farming, slaughtering and wide variety of animals, etc.

I can see why this book is a classic. It's a fun read.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)


3 stars

563 pages
Published May 1, 2012 by Dial

The title of the book is perfect, because after I read the thing I was left feeling Bitter and Blue. Bitter, because I'm going to have to wait for the NEXT book to come out; and Blue, because this book is pretty dark, twisty and depressing. It's all about the effects that one person can have on so many other people. One person's choices can hurt many, many people - even after that person is gone.

I couldn't get this book out of my head for a few days - it really is that dark. I usually don't finish these types of books because I hate feeling depressed. The reason I stuck with it was because of the main character, Queen Bitterblue. She was a strong, good, decent person trying to rectify the wrongs of her evil father. She was trying to give hope to those who were deeply affected by her father's atrocities. So that glimmer of hope gave me the wherewithal to keep slogging through to the end.

Another great theme of this book is the importance of friendship. Bitterblue relies heavily on her friends and their loyalty. Surrounding yourself with good, decent people who are trying to do what's right will help you be and do better.

The reason for the three stars is that the story was convoluted and hard to follow. And some of the characters were pretty flat. I especially disliked how Bitterblue's love interest had such a reverse of feelings - it was love, hate, love. Bam, bam, bam. Very disorienting. AND the book was soo flippin' long! Edit, please!

Anyway, not bad, but not great. I'll read the next in line, but I may not go further if that one is anything like this one. I don't need any depression in my life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Friday Society

The Friday Society


440 pages
Published Dec. 6, 2012 by Dial 
I wavered between giving this 3 or 4 stars. I really liked how these girls - assistants to "great" men - branch out, join up and kick butt. They each used their unique abilities to fight the bad guys and save the world (well, London anyway). I also love steampunk, and there was a bit of that included inside.

I did wish the characters were a little better developed and that not so much emphasis was placed on their looks.

I did enjoy the twist at the end. The bad guy wasn't who I thought it was at all.

I appreciated the fast pace and adventures presented. But the writing was a bit weak. I almost gave up on the book in the first chapter because the voice was annoying. It got better, thankfully.

Mild swearing, no sex. So I can recommend.

Friday, November 1, 2013

16 Lighthouse Road

16 Lighthouse Road (Cedar Cove #1)


Published Jan. 1, 2001

I read this purely because I used to live in the town that is featured in this book - Port Orchard, WA. I loved the town when I lived there and miss it now that I'm away. I wanted a little reminder of my time there - and this book was a good answer to that.

Although it helped my home-sickness a little, the story was much like a soap opera. Drama everywhere, and a few love stories thrown in for spice. Not fantastic literature, but I can see how people can get hooked on it. 

I will probably read more in this series, but only when I am in the right mood. Which won't be too, too often. I know the books are there whenever I want them.