Sunday, September 25, 2016

Who Do You Love

Who do You Love
Jennifer Weiner
Who Do You Love

Genre: Women's Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to the emergency room and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again.

Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation.

Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they've been running toward each other all along.

With honesty, wit, and clear-eyed observations about men and women, love and fate, and the truth about happy endings, Jennifer Weiner delivers two of her most memorable characters, and a love story you'll never forget.

Review: Another entertaining read by Jennifer Weiner!  I didn't love this book as much as some of her others, primarily because I couldn't see why Andy was so interested in Rachel when they were younger.  During Rachel's high school and college years, she was completely spoiled and materialistic, and Andy seemed so down-to-earth that it was hard to imagine what he saw in her.  I am not at all interested in reading books about women who need to use a specific fancy brand of lip gloss, and I even debated putting the book down when Rachel was in a sorority because it was just so ridiculous.  But I made it through that part and loved watching Rachel move past that stage of her life.  While it was frustrating to skip around in time and miss huge chunks of the characters' lives, it was interesting to watch Rachel and Andy meet up again and again.  Kind of reminded me of the book One Day.

Rating: 4 stars

The Chocolate Cupid Killings

The Chocolate Cupid Killings
Joanna Carl
The Chocolate Cupid Killings (A Chocoholic Mystery, #9)

Genre: Mystery

Summary (from Goodreads): Ninth in the scrumptious-and national bestselling-Chocoholic Mystery series. 

TenHuis Chocolade is wall-to- wall with chocolate hearts for Valentine's Day. But Lee is getting no love from Private Detective Derrick Valentine. He's looking for their employee-a woman Lee and her Aunt Nettie have been harboring for an underground railroad-type organization that aids abused women. Luckily, they manage to not spill the cocoa beans and clue him in. But the situation becomes a complex confection when Valentine meets his end. And it's Aunt Nettie who becomes a suspect. Lee will have to find a way to free Nettie of guilt without exposing the innocent-and find a killer with a bitter heart that's definitely not made of chocolate...

Review: I was working on puzzles with Nathaniel in the children's section of the library, and Amelia wandered over saying she had picked out all her books.  So I sent her over the adult fiction section of the library and told her to pick out a few books for me to read.  She seemed unsure about how to pick out books for me, so I told her to grab ones that had interesting titles or covers or plots on the back of the book.  This is one of the ones that she chose for me (and the only one that I finished - the others were not my style at all!)  There's the long explanation for why I read this particular book.

This cozy mystery is clearly part of a series, and while the beginning of the book gave pertinent background information, there were definitely things I felt like I had missed because of not reading the first eight books in the series.  It was interesting enough, but a little confusing (perhaps because of all the characters, who would be well-known to readers of the series).  I was mostly mystified as to why Lee felt like she needed to solve all these mysteries herself without police assistance.

Rating: 2 stars

Wedding Season

Wedding Season
by Darcy Cosper

Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis: Joy Silverman and her boyfriend, Gabriel Winslow, seem perfect for each other.  Living together in New York City, they have everything they want and everything in common-most important, that neither one wants to get married.  Ever.

But when Joy finds herself obligated to attend seventeen weddings in six months (including those of her father, mother, younger brother, and five of her closest girlfriends), the couple is forced to take a new look at why they're so opposed to marriage when the rest of the world can't wait to walk down the aisle.  As the season heats up and the pressure mounts, Joy must confront what it means-and what it costs-to be true to one's self.
from the back of the book

Review:  I have not been in a read mood lately and I thought that lighter chick lit books might help me start reading again so I picked up this book at the library just by looking at a random shelf (alphabetical order-letter C) and knew nothing about it.  It did get me reading again but then part way through the book I stopped to read another book and I thought about not even finishing this book because I just wasn't that interested in what happened to Joy.  Joy had 17 weddings to attend in six months but that just made the book repetitive and uninteresting.  The author does try to make each wedding different and more interesting by creating a huge variety in the cast of characters but then the characters come off as caricatures of a culture.  Joy has quite the mix of friends!  Joy is adamant that she does not want to get married and she does not believe in marriage.  Her beliefs are tested while so many of her friends tie the knot.  What happens later in the book didn't fit with what we learned about Joy and the ending leaves us unsatisfied.  While I wouldn't say that I didn't like the book, this book was just blah.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Nest

The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Every family has its problems.  But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional.  Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger.  The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, "The Nest," which they are but months away from finally receiving.  Meant by their now-deceased father to be a modest midlife supplement, The Nest's value has unexpectedly soared along with the stock market, and the Plumb siblings have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and two looming college tuitions for her twin teenage daughters.  Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open.  And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can't seem to finish her overdue novel.

Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love?  Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they've envisioned?  Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.
from the book jacket

Review:  I am not sure how this book got so much hype.  It is uninteresting, lacks a plot that moves somewhere, and has unlikable characters.  If I had not been reading it for a book club, I would have abandoned it after the first several chapters because those chapters only focus on describing the characters who I found to be petty and self absorbed.  All they worry about is the money that they know will be coming to them and how to get the money back from Leo.  They seem to have no concern for anyone in their family but themselves.  The book gets slightly better over half way through the book which is why I did not rate this a 1 star book.  The f word is used over and over again in this book which was completely unnecessary.

Rating: 2 stars

Saturday, September 10, 2016

United As One

United As One
by Pittacus Lore

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Synopsis:  It has all come down to this.  One final chance to defeat the Mogadorians.  We will save this planet-or we will die trying.  But it's going to take all of us...including you.

If we're going to win this war, we need to eliminate their leader first.  And now I have the power to do so.  To get to him, though, we're going to need an army of our own.

We know you didn't ask for any of this. Neither did we.  Lorien chose you, as it did us.  It gave you Legacies so you could help defend the world.  We can train you to use your new abilities.  We can show you how to fight.  But it's your decision if you want to join us. You will have to put your life on the line, and not everyone may survive.  Not all of us have.

They killed Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
Number Three in Kenya.
Number Eight in Florida.
...And Sarah Hart in Mexico.

They've taken my home, my family, my friends, and now the person I love more than anything.

I am John Smith.  I am Number Four.  I have nothing left to lose-and that is their biggest mistake.

Review:  I enjoyed reading this series but I am glad that it is finished.  This book, as well as several others in the series, moved very slowly at times.  In this book's case, the first couple hundred pages were lacking action.  The series had to end with a major battle between the Garde and Setrakus Ra so I was not surprised by the ending in any way, shape or form.  The ending was predictable and somewhat anticlimactic.

Rating: 3.5 stars

To see my review of I Am Fourclick here.
To see my review of The Power of Sixclick here.
To see my review of The Rise of Nineclick here.
To see my review of The Fall of Fiveclick here.
To see my review of The Revenge of Sevenclick here.
To see my review of The Fate of Ten, click here.
To read my review of I Am Number Four, The Legacies: Lost Files 1-3click here.
To read my review of I Am Number Four; Secret Histories: Lost Files 4-6click here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mother Bruce

Mother Bruce
by Ryan T. Higgins

Genre: Picture Book

Synopsis:  Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he's their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can't seem to rid himself of his new companions. What's a bear to do?
from GoodReads

Review:  I don't get to read picture books very often any more and I'm so glad that I asked my kids if I could read them a picture book last night instead of a chapter book.  This book was quite funny and had me giggling at the grumpy bear and his trials.  The humor in this book pokes fun at some things (locally sourced food, organic, etc) and is very clever.  I probably laughed more than my kids.  I love the expressions on Bruce's face throughout the book.  Definitely a fun read!

Rating: 5 stars

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A True Princess

A True Princess
Diane Zahler

A True Princess

Genre: Chapter Book

Summary (from Goodreads): Twelve-year-old Lilia is not a very good servant. In fact, she's terrible! She daydreams, she breaks dishes, and her cooking is awful. Still, she hardly deserves to be sold off to the mean-spirited miller and his family. Refusing to accept that dreadful fate, she decides to flee. With her best friend, Kai, and his sister, Karina, beside her, Lilia heads north to find the family she's never known. But danger awaits. . . .

As their quest leads the threesome through the mysterious and sinister Bitra Forest, they suddenly realize they are lost in the elves' domain. To Lilia's horror, Kai falls under an enchantment cast by the Elf King's beautiful daughter. The only way for Lilia to break the spell and save Kai is to find a jewel of ancient power that lies somewhere in the North Kingdoms. Yet the jewel will not be easy to find. The castle where it is hidden has been overrun with princess hopefuls trying to pass a magical test that will determine the prince's new bride. Lilia has only a few days to search every inch of the castle and find the jewel—or Kai will be lost to her forever.

Review: I liked this book a lot; it reminded me of the story of the Princess and the Pea.  It is about a girl names Lilia who is a servant and runs away because she is going to be sent to a mean family.  Her friends Kai and Karina go along with her, but Kai becomes enchanted by the Elf King's daughter.  Lilia has to find Odin's clasp so that the Elf Princess will let Kai go.  I like this book because everything turns out fine in the end.  I liked Lilia because she was brave and kind.  It's the kind of book that I like to read because most of the characters are nice, the characters go on adventures, and it was a kind of mystery.  Oh, and because it was about a girl.

Rating: 5 stars