Monday, June 27, 2011

Book 31 (2011): The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

This novel by Aimee Bender is an adult novel recommended for teens. It's... different.

I was pretty psyched about this book and have been waiting for months to get a copy. And I feel disappointed.

Nine year old Rose can taste people's emotions when she eats food they prepared. She leans this on her 9th birthday when she learns how disappointed her mother is with her life. She struggles with this new found part of her self, thinking it's a curse rather than a blessing. Soon she learns secrets of her family members and is burdened with the knowledge: her father is distant and scared; her mother is lonely; and her brother is angry and so introverted he can't function in society.

The story follows her from age 9 until adulthood, struggling along, trying to find her place and keep her mixed up family together.

I don't know what I was completely expecting but this wasn't it. I also feel the second half of the book wasn't as good as the first part. I feel that more than one person in the book having some sort of 'special' power was weak, especially since it was introduced toward the end and really served no major purpose.

I thought with an awesome concept and with a fabulous title, this book was going to be about a million times better, but it just didn't work for me, no matter how much I wanted to love it. (292 pages)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book 30 (2011): The Chamber

I have no idea how I missed this Grisham book. First, it was really good. Second, it was one of his earlier works, before he became a machine that generated one legal thriller after another.

While I found some of the tedious motions and filings a bit long in the tooth, I enjoyed this book about a first year lawyer from Chicago who moves to the South to defend his racist grandfather he'd never met until he sees him the first time on Death Row, 28 days prior to his execution date.

Adam goes South to defend his grandfather Sam (who is on Death Row for the bombing of a Jewish law office that ended up killing 2 people). Adam wanted to see if he can get a stay of execution for Sam. Adam bonds with the grandfather, and he also meets some of his other Southern relatives that he was hidden from his entire life.

Not a bad read, and it makes me want to plow through Grisham's earlier works like The Firm, The Pelican Brief, and A Time to Kill. (640 pages)


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book 29 (2011): Linger

Linger is the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, which is a young adult series.

Picking up in the days that followed Sam's permenent turn from wolf to human, we get to see how happy he and Grace are in their relationship and how Sam is adapting to being simply Sam all the time, without turning.

But the new wolves Beck turned are not like the others. One can't seem to turn and stay a wolf, even though it's a bitter Minnesota cold. One can't seem to stay in either form for very long, and goes through the agony of turning from human to wolf every few minutes.

Isabel is struggling with the loss of her brother and her father is still hunting the wolves.

Then Grace gets sick and no one knows what's wrong or how to save her from dying, other than one horrible act that might let her live but change all of them forever.

This is a great series. I like it much better than Twilight, actually. When I read the first one- Shiver- I had hopes it would be a stand alone book and not attempt to franchise it out. I'm glad to know it's just a trilogy and won't be a series of 20 books, like so many teen novels.

I still like the characters and the dialogue. I found it is a little long "maudlin" but still good enough to keep reading and to engage me, and I'm certainly not the target author since it's definitely teen literature.

And this is silly but I liked it- the cover is green, as you can see, and the text color of the novel is... green. Very cool! (360 pages)


Monday, June 6, 2011

Book 28 (2011): deep down true

I picked up this book because of the pretty cover and in the end, I was glad I did, even though it's a sort of romance type of stuff that I wouldn't normally read. Fay 's book was funny and serious all at the same time, with a nice blend of focus on post divorce life and her "romance" blended together so I didn't feel like I was just reading a romance novel, straight up.

The main character, Dana, is recently divorced and she finds out she has to go back to work, which she does, par time, at her dentist office. Her middle school age daughter is struggling with her recently divorced parents and with middle school. Dana starts dating her son's football coach and her stray nice shows up and moves in. She also has an ex-husband who is living with the woman with whom he was having an affair.

It sounds like a lot of "schtick" but it's well written and funny, upbeat, and of course serious when necessary but not dragging out the serious to the point where it becomes depressive. The ending is cliched, but I don't think happy endings have to be a bad thing. (432 pages)


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book 27 (2011): Mourning Gloria

China Bayles the herbalist from Pecan Springs, Texas has returned and is following a possible missing person/ kidnapping in relation to an arson that happened near her house. She follows the leads and hunts for the bad guy. McQuaid, her husband is on a case out of town and Brian is away working at a camp so it's just China and her newly adopted daughter Caitlin who are home, watching the house and China watches for the bad guys.

Good story and since China is one of my favorite series, it was nice to have her back. Though there are many books in the series, this one felt fresh and fun and I'm certainly not tired of her or the entire Pecan Springs crew! (301 pages)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Book 26 (2011): Tick Tock

Tick Tock is the latest in the Micheal Bennett series, by James Patterson.

It's a super quick read and follows Irish- American detective Bennett, a NYC Cop and widowered father of 10 children, on his latest case: hunting a serial killer who likes to copy other famous serial killers. And in his personal life, the doting dad is juggling his new found feelings for the live in nanny Mary Catherine and those for an FBI agent, Emily. And, of course, his 10 kids and his Irish Catholic Priest grandfather is there in the middle of it all.

A quick beach read, and one of the better Patterson books of late. (448 pages)