Friday, June 27, 2008

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
400 pages
Finished June 22, 2008

I have always been a Jennifer Weiner fan, ever since I read her first book, Good in Bed (which is also the prequel to this book). I LOVED Good in Bed, it is by far my favorite book by Weiner (the 12 year old in me is giggling).

I thought this book started out slow. It follows the main character from Good in Bed, Cannie, 12 years later. The beginning of the book wasn't very good - I was annoyed by the main characters (it seems like the author was trying too hard to make them funny/witty), and I was bothered by the lack of communication between Cannie and her daughter. Ha! Of course, I'm not the mother of the a thirteen year old girl, so what do I know? :)

Anyway, the book was an extremely fast read (I finished it in a day), and it definitely got better in the end. I actually was impressed with the end - I liked that Weiner took it where she did, although I will say that it I totally saw it coming within the first chapter of the book (because I'm that good...or I read WAY too much).

Overall, it was decent, but not nearly as good as Good in Bed.

Three and a half stars.

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
384 pages
Finished June 22, 2008

This book had been on my wishlist for quite awhile. I always passed it up for one reason or another - the book looked good, but there was always some book that looked better. I found this at Half Price Books last week and picked it up - and I even started reading it right away, while I was sitting in the truck while David shopped at Menards.

The book was fair. I was annoyed by constant changing in the book within chapters. Within every chapter, time changed constantly - at one point we'd be seeing what was going on real time, a few paragraphs later we'd be years back to when the main character was a little girl, then it would jump to the main character in her twenties, and then back to real time. Not only was that not constant, but the narrative also changed from first to third person within the chapters. So annoying.

I may have been able to get past those things if the book was great, but it wasn't even good. The characters were not developed very well (especially the main character's mother - I wasn't sure where most of her actions came from). It was such a disappointment!

Two stars.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dirty Rotten Blogger

Yes, that's me. I've been horrible about keeping up lately, I know. The good news is that things should be slowing down now (I'm back from FL and my brother's wedding, which was awesome - will post some pictures).

I'm not going to do a full review of the books I've read, but I do want to say that I have read some really good books lately. They include:
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
Five Fortunes by Beth Gutcheon

Unfortunately, with the good, there is always some bad (or, some not-so-great). Luckily I only had a couple of those:
Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan (and can I just say - what a disappointment! I thought this one would be so good)
The Vision by Dean Koontz (a typical comfort read that didn't turn out so well)

I've also temporarily set aside a book that I know is extremely popular and has gotten rave reviews - I just haven't been able to get into it. That book is Peony in Love by Lisa See. I'll pick it up again eventually.

Meanwhile, yesterday I went to Half Price Books and got five books that I can't wait to read (all for about $20 - and this includes 2 hardcovers, including the new Jennifer Weiner - Certain Girls). Yay!

In my life, things are going great. Baby seems to be doing fine. I have my 16 week appointment this Thursday (when I'll actually be 17 weeks - oh well), and then coming up on July 15th, we find out the sex! So exciting! Hopefully soon I will be able to update more on Baby Hipolito. I haven't been updating because there hasn't been much to say - I still feel fabulous, I'm starting to show a snitch (ie, I look fat, especially at night), and we are seriously slacking in the buying for baby department. On my list of things to do today is to search online for some potential cribs, all while checking with Baby Bargains to see how they rate (Simplicity got an F? Those cribs are everywhere!).

I promise I'll try to update a little more regularily now. Hopefully I can keep up on that - since I seem to have been promising that a lot lately. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Anonymous Tip by Michael Farris

Anonymous Tip by Michael Farris
470 pages
Finished 5/23/08

I found this book on a fabulous shopping trip to Savers - I ended up getting a total of 7 books (3 of them Baby-Sitters Club) for under $6! Who knew Savers was so cheap? Anyway, I just skimmed the back of the book, and it sounded really interesting - a bitter ex-husband calls in a (very false) anonymous tip to an abuse hotline that his ex-wife is abusing his daughter. It results in some extremely over-zealous child protective agents filing false reports of abuse against the mother, and the book follows what happens after that.

The thing that I really liked about the book is that it moved really quickly - I was surprised at how fast some things happened, which was nice. It really helped to move the story along. However, it was also very predictable, right down to the ending, which really had me rolling my eyes.

The thing that really drove me nuts, though, is that I discovered a little way into the book that I had bought yet another Christian legal thriller. Turns out it said it was on the back of the book, and I just hadn't read it. I really need to start paying better attention - I had a hard time with a lot of the book, including one of the main characters because of the Christian factor. It was entirely too preachy, even for a book, for me.

Two stars.

Keri Arthur Novels

Last month I updated on two of four books in a Vampire/Werewolf series by Keri Arthur. On 5/13/08, I finished the third novel, Tempting Evil, and on 5/16/08 I finished the fourth, Dangerous Games. I'm not going to lie - the books got progressively worse and worse. In some cases, it just seemed like she was throwing in random characters to keep the storyline moving (or to give the book an actual storyline).

The worse thing, though, was that everything was not wrapped up at the end of the four-part series (as it was originally billed). Turns out there are at least two more books out there now, which annoys me because I just it all to be done. I probably wouldn't have read all four books if I had realized that there were actually more. Bitches.

I won't be reading the rest of the books. I gave the last two books two stars.