Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creep by Jennifer Hillier

Just the title alone, Creep, will make you want to grab this book. This is one of those novels that you know right off the bat that the main character is about to get in a LOT of trouble. Psychology professor Dr. Sheila Tao is having an affair with one of her students. Of course, a big no-no! When she gets the chance to finally settle down and get married, she chooses that over her student lover. Apparently, as far as the student is concerned, this is even a bigger no-no...


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

This is the story of Carmen, Bridget, Tibby, and Lena ten years after the Traveling Pants series has ended. The girls are in their late 20s and they’re trying to find their way. They haven’t completely lost touch, but they don’t talk or see each other as much. To resolve this, Tibby buys them all a trip to Greece. They’re all anxiously awaiting this reunion, but before they arrive in Greece, one of them dies. Now the remaining three have to figure out how to carry on.

I really enjoyed Sisterhood Everlasting. I read all four books in the series, and was very happy to hear that Ann Brashares had written another book about Carmen, Bridget, Tibby, and Lena. Brashares does a good job of combining present with past, and bringing readers up to date on what’s happened to each character since the last book. You can feel the despair, the hope, and all the emotions that the characters are feeling. It was beautifully written, and was a very good way to wrap up the series.


Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus

Music fans might remember Nirvana and Pearl Jam becoming hugely popular in the early nineties when they led a number of bands out of the underground to heavy play on MTV. While there were bands from this period with a female member, such as Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth, the scene tended to be male dominated.
Sara Marcus’ Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution tells the story of some lesser known all, or nearly all, female bands such as Bikini Kill and Bratmobile as well as other female writers and activists across the United States and England who came together to start a feminist movement called Riot Grrrl. This movement encouraged young women to work together to fight problems such as sexual harassment and to express themselves through music and writing.
Marcus’ book covers well known members of the movement such as Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna and lesser known activists, such as a riot grrrl group that was formed in Omaha, Nebraska. This is a great read for anyone interested in the history of punk rock or the feminist movement.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens


Never Knowing is one of those novels that is hard to write about, because no matter what I say, it may give something away. So let's try this...

As in her last novel Still Missing (which I highly recommend!), this story is told through sessions with a psychiatrist. The protagonist, Sara, is adopted, but has always felt a need to find her biological mother. Since Sara is very persistent & impatient (a.k.a. annoying) she refuses to let it go. When she gets the information she thinks she wants, she then begins to agonize (a.k.a. whine) over every twist and turn. And there are a lot of them! (a.k.a. way too long!)

I thought this novel was worth reading, but did not think it was nearly as good as her first. However, I must say I am still looking forward to her next one.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Juliet had an intriguing premise and I waited eagerly to get my hands on the audiobook.  When her great aunt dies, Julie Jacobs is left with a mystery to solve – not the least of which is why she had never been told her real name: Giulietta Tolomei. Taking the new passport, the key, and the letter all left to her by her aunt, Julie takes off for Siena to find her past and maybe the “treasure” her mother had talked about before she died. Sounds great, doesn’t it!? But Julie is one of the most irritating characters I’ve met in a long time. If she is going to be clever enough to unravel all the plot twists, she can’t be as functionally clueless as portrayed at the start. I wanted to stick with it in hopes that we’d ‘click,’ but by the end of disc 2, I was yelling at my car stereo. Sometimes a book is better in one format than another, but I doubt Julie would be any more appealing in print.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

She's back....

Stephanie Plum and her wonderful, quirky friends (and lovers) are back for another hilarious ride through Trenton, New Jersey in Smokin' Seventeen. Bodies are showing up in the back of Vinnie's lot, with some leaving messages for Stephanie. Mooner and his bus play some important roles in this installation, and Grandma Bella is still putting nasty spells on everyone. Not much about Grandma Mazur this time, but Lulu is at her best believing she is now a vampire.

So funny! Just read and enjoy.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

This recommendation for Neverwhere will be very short.

Here is what I understood after finishing this book:

Somebody was trying to get to somebody to save something...

Here is what I did not understand after finishing this book:

Angels, The Beast, rat-speakers, openers, city of Atlantis references, sewer folks, and finally...the whole scene that reminded me of the little girl getting sucked into the television in Poltergeist.

Here's what I liked about the book:


Here is what I didn't like about the book:

Not really knowing why I liked it!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

March Violets by Philip Kerr

March Violets is noir fiction at its best. The setting is 1930’s Berlin and Bernie Gunther, ex-cop turned p.i., is as cynical and smart-mouthed as Sam Spade or Mike Hammer. But there’s much more going on than nasty people doing evil, late nights of hard drinking, and mysterious women acting as mysterious women traditionally act. The National Socialist Party has taken over and turned Germany on its head. Behind the story is a picture rarely seen of what life under the new regime was like for the average Germans and how the Nazis permeated every corner of their existence. This is a 3-part winner: a taut, well-told story/ an appealing new character/ a clear snapshot of history.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank


Usually I am a big fan of her work, but her new novel, Folly Beach is..., well, boring! Predictable story of the clueless wife that after a tragedy finds out her husband has been lying to her for years and now she is broke. Of course, she has the rich family member who lets her stay in one of her many homes on the Outer Banks and lends her a car after hers is in an accident with (gasp!) the town hunk. Now, he immediately falls in love with her and encourages her to become a playwright because???

Read one of her other novels.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Love You More is the perfect summer read suspense. Boston police detective D. D. Warren gets a call regarding a death investigation. Turns out the dead guy is the husband of a Massachusetts state trooper. Now she is claiming self defense, and certainly looks the part. Clear cut, right? Well, no way. First of all, Trooper Leoni's daughter is missing. Second, the scene just doesn't sit right with Detective Warren. Finally, as D. D. does some digging, it seems that this is not the first time Trooper Leoni has killed someone. And not in the line of duty. Trust me, the plot just keeps getting more and more twisted.

Try to keep up.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Last Child by John Hart

Johnny Merrimon’s twin sister has been missing for a year. Johnny is still searching for her even though he believes that everyone else has given up. His father left shortly after the disappearance, his mother’s boyfriend keeps her drugged and abuses her, but Johnny won’t give up hope. After another girl goes missing, a man tells Johnny the words he’s been waiting to hear for a year: “I found her.” Is the man talking about the recent disappearance, or about Johnny’s twin sister? Johnny is convinced the man has found his sister, and no one can tell him otherwise. His search becomes more desperate after the second girl goes missing, and what Johnny finds is not what he expected.

The Last Child sucked me in immediately. 13-year-old Johnny Merrimon is a strong character who struggles to keep it together while searching for his twin sister. You can feel the tension and Johnny’s despair throughout the book. There were many twists I wasn’t expecting. This is the first book by John Hart that I’ve read, and I will be reading more.