Wednesday, September 22, 2010

By Request (Part 1)

Okay okay, I know I said I wasn't going to go back through and try to document and review all of the books that I've read this year, but I've gotten some requests to at least do some quick reviews so that you can figure out if you actually want to read these books or here goes...

Instead of giving you a summary of the book, I'm really just going to tell you if I liked it, and if I would recommend it.  I will also rate them on a scale of one star to five stars (one star being "I hated the book/could not finish it" to five stars being "the best book ever").  You can read my previous posts to view the first few books I read this year...but here are the rest.  

I would love it if you read the whole post, but honestly, it is going to be long -- so feel free to just scroll through and see if there are any books that catch your eye, and then go from there.  Enjoy!

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas - James Patterson
Finished 3/9/10

I am a die hard James Patterson fan.  Always have been, always will be.  James Patterson is most well known for his murder mystery books, so when I found this book I was caught off guard.  This is in no way a murder mystery book.  As it turns out, James Patterson can also write a mean love story.  I highly recommend this book to anyone needed a quick read, but also an emotional read.  About halfway through I started tearing up, and didn't stop until well after I had finished the book.
I would give this book 5 stars, on the basis that it was a great book, and was well worth the time spent reading it.

As Young As We Feel - Melody Carlson
Finished 3/14/10

This was a freebie on my Kindle, and as I have found freebies on the Kindle are, well, free for a reason.  This wasn't the worst book that I've ever read, but it was slow, and did seem to drag on much longer than necessary.  For a free book, it wasn't bad, but I am glad that I didn't pay full price for it (I know that is awful, but you know, some books just aren't as good as others...).  Basically it is just all the other books with four women who were all friends as children that have now grown up and reconnect.  Cute, but predictable.  
I would give this book 3 stars...I didn't want to stop reading it, but I probably would be okay today if I had never read the book before.

House Rules
 - Jodi Picoult
Finished - 3/20/10

Okay, first I would like to say that hands down, Jodi Picoult is my FAVORITE AUTHOR OF ALL TIMES!  Her work is amazing, inspirational, and just down right incredible.  Quick background on Jodi Picoult -- She puts out one book per year (which saddens me deeply, as I would only be completely satisfied if she were the only writer in the world...).  The reason she is a perennial author is that all of her books involve extensive research, and in order to write as well as she does, she needs all that time.  Her books are mostly about important issues that most people don't want to discuss, but she "goes there".  She helps people to understand different diseases that are out there, and puts it into a fiction story that just grabs at your heartstrings.  I'm never disappointed with her work.  House Rules is the story of a boy that struggles daily with Asperger Syndrome, and finds himself caught up in a whole world of trouble.  One of the things I love so much about her books is that each chapter is written from one of the many "lead characters".  So, for instance, in this book not only were there chapters written by the main character, Jacob, but there are chapters written by Jacob's mother, his attorney, and so on.  So without giving any more away, I HIGHLY recommend not only this book, but any of the books by Jodi Picoult.
5 stars, get it, read it, love it.

Worst Case - James Patterson
Finished 3/23/10

Alright, so I have already sung my praises of James Patterson, and it is obvious that I will read any and every book that he writes.  This book is one of the books in the series involving Detective Michael Bennett (a widowed father of 10 adopted children!!), who is one of my favorite characters.  In this book, Michael is chasing the serial killer that is targeting wealthy families and their children.  I would definitely consider this a "page turner", and I would recommend this to anyone that loves a good thriller.
4 stars.

Wife for Hire - Janet Evanovich
Finished 3/25/10

So as I mentioned in my previous post, Janet Evanovich is an author that I read in between more "serious" books.  Again, I am not discrediting Janet Evanovich, nor am I saying that she is a bad author, I'm strictly saying that her books tend to be on the fluffier side, and are quick and easy reads.  Wife for Hire is absolutely adorable.  It is a sweet little romantic novel that is extremely hillarious as well. The main character, Maggie, is looking for a job and finds an ad in which the man, Hank, is looking for someone to pretend that they are his wife for a little while.  As I'm sure you could tell, Maggie and Hank fall madly in love, but there is a cute mystery in the mix too. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone that isn't looking for a quick book, full of fluff.
For the type of book that it is, and knowing that my expectations were a lot lower, I would give this book 4 stars.

The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
Finished - 4/7/10

Wow.  This is a book that I would consider to be more "intellectual", or "harder" to read than say a Janet Evanovich book.  While this book did take me quite a while to read, it was fantastic.  I've read both The Da Vinci Code: A Novel and Angels & Demons, and this was just as good, if not better than those.  I really fell in love with Robert Langdon, the main character, and all of the mystery and what not surrounding these books is incredible.  I'm not a religious person, but these books do hint a lot at religious symbolism, etc.  I would highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone.  The only thing I would say is that I would read this series in order.  I read The Da Vinci Code before I read Angels & Demons and that didn't change a lot for me, but I think I would have enjoyed it a lot better had I read Angels and Demons first.
5 stars.

Caught - Harlan Coben
Finished 4/9/10

SOOOO creepy!  Harlan Coben is the author that I would say keeps me coming back for more.  His books are extremely well written, and once I start reading one of his books, I can't seem to put it down.  I know that he has written somewhere around 20 books so far, and I haven't read them all, but the ones I've read I have loved!  This was one of the books that I actually purchased on the Kindle, and I did so as a money saver.  I wanted the book as soon as it came out, and if I would have gone to the bookstore to get it, I would have paid somewhere around $25 for it, however I got it on the Kindle for under $10.  (So, like I said previously, the Kindle definitely has advantages).  I would recommend this book to murder mystery lovers, as it is quite the page turner.
4 stars.

Back to the Bedroom - Janet Evanovich
Finished 4/10/10

Okay, okay, I know what you are thinking -- and I'm laughing to myself as well.  I'm sure from the last few comments that I've made about Janet Evanovich I make it sound like I couldn't stand to read her books, but let's be honest -- I've got a soft spot for these books.  I can't stop -- they are just so cute, and witty and quick!  Again, this isn't the type of book that I would recommend to someone looking for a "serious" read, as it is a romantic mystery type book with a lot of humor that leaves me smacking my forehead.  So, while I still hold firm to the fact that this is a "fluff" book, it was cute.  This wasn't my favorite so far, and I think I did lose interest about halfway through...I managed to finish it and I'm no worse for the wear.
3 stars.

All That Remains - Patricia Cornwell
Finished 4/14/10

Murder mystery!! Whoot! So this is one of the books in the series that contain Kay Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Examiner.  I have not read these in order, because when I started reading books by Patricia Cornwell, even though I noticed that Kay Scarpetta was in them, I didn't realize there was an order to them.  Anyway, I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone that likes murder mysteries.  I think that the books I've read by Patricia Cornwell are all page turners, and they all leave me thinking "WHAT?, WOW!"
4 Stars

The Last Summer (of You and Me) - Ann Brashares
Finished 4/16/10

Okay, so this is the first book so far that I am going to have to say I didn't enjoy.  I pushed through, and finished reading it, but I was very disappointed.  Ann Brashares is the author of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants novels, which I loved.  Now, this was the authors first try at an "adult novel" as The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books are "young adult", so I would like to cut her some slack.  I'm sure it is hard to go from one group of readers to another (although, obviously I do enjoy some of the young adult books too).  I was not impressed with the characters, and found that most of the time I wanted to punch them (and I'm not a violent person!!).  Anyway, without going on a long rant -- I don't know who I would recommend this book to...
2 stars

Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris
Finished 4/20/10

OOOOOOH Sookie Stackhouse!! :)  Okay, so like I've said a million times, I love series!! This is the 5th book in the series, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sookie Stackhouse. I highly recommend this book, as well as any of the other books in this series.  Now, I would only recommend this book to those that like things that are supernatural, etc.  Sookie is a young waitress living in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and is friends with the if I've lost you already, don't try've got to love the Vamps/Shape-Shifters/Werewolves....
5 stars

(Side note about these books -- I love the books, however I was extremely disappointed by the show TrueBlood on HBO...anyone else feel that way?  I won't lie, I am still a watcher of the show, but they are just two completely different things happening.)

The Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
Finished - 4/23/10

Okay, so I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, I guess because I get bored by thinking that people actually had to live their lives like they did...I don't know...just not my thing.  I had several friends that read this book and told me I should try it.  I was reluctant at first, and definitely went in with the wrong attitude.  I loved this book! It was a short, quick, good read!  I feel in love with the main character, and was just so interested in the plot that I couldn't put the book down.  Before I read this I would have said that I would only recommend this book to people that like historical fiction, but I can't see who wouldn't enjoy this book.
4 stars

Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris

Alright, I could go on and on about all of these books - but this post is already extremely long -- and if you've made it this far -- PROPS!

6th book in the series -- still love everything about it -- still trying to keep the story going and going, because I kind of want Sookie in my life forever...silly huh?

Like I said before -- I recommend this book to any reader that enjoys the supernatural, and you could even say that it is a mystery too.

5 stars

The 9th Judgement - James Patterson
Finished 5/1/10

Oh, James Patterson!  By now, you know I love him!  This is another book in a series, the Women's Murder Club series.  Basically there are four women that have all come together to form "the Women's Murder Club".  The characters include Inspector Lindsay Boxer, District Attorney Yuki Castellano, Medical Examiner Dr. Clare Washburn and reporter Cindy Thomas.  They are friends that all work together to solve murders in their area.  I love each of the characters, and this was the most recent addition.  All of these books are page turners, and they are all super creepy!!

I highly recommend this series to anyone that likes a good, quick murder mystery!
5 Stars

The Crossroads Cafe - Deborah Smith
Finished - 5/7/10

This was one of the Kindle freebies.  Like I mentioned before, many of the freebies are from Christian publishing houses, however I wouldn't say this one had too much Christianity in it.  This was an adorable, sweet love story that I breezed right through.  Unfortunately, this one is no longer free on the Kindle, but it was worth the read.  I loved that each of the sections started with a quote or two (which I love quotes almost as much as I love reading). All of the quotes tied in well with the story, but were also great quotes!

I recommend this book to those that like contemporary romance novels.  It wasn't what I thought a romance novel really is, because there wasn't all the mushy stuff, nor was it like a harlequin romance (which is a positive in my book).

4 Stars

Dark Pursuit - Brandilyn Collins
Finished 5/8/10

Clearly, this only took me one day to read, so it was a quick read!  Brandilyn Collins books were all freebies on the Kindle, and they are all from a Christian publishing house.  There are slight undertones of religion here and there, but I really enjoy the plots in her novels, so I am usually able to skip over that.  This book is not only a page-turner, but it also kept my pulse racing.  She is quite good at writing suspenseful, intriguing novels.

I recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries, but also to those that like a suspenseful book!

4 stars

Happy Reading!


Julia said...

Love this post! I love getting someone else's view on a book before I take the time to read it since time is limited these days.

And you know I love you girl, my almost birthday twin, but don't diss the historical fiction! I'll be nice to your murder mystery books if you're nice to my historical fictions books. Deal?

Unknown said...

Julia -- I've got about 30 more books to put on here, but after my 56 hour work week and today being my first day off -- I could only handle so much! HAH

Please believe me when I say that I am in no way dissing historical fiction! As an avid reader, I pretty much will try anything, I've just found that I get semi bored when trying to read historical fiction. I guess part of it is that I use books to escape the reality of life, and historical fiction usually speaks about things that really did happen, etc. I don't know...I'm not opposed to it, and I will give other historical fiction books a try (since my first experience was a good one).

I hope you keep reading, and I'm glad this post helped you out!


Julia said...

If you want suggestions on historical fiction books to try out, I'm your girl :) I guess that's the beauty of different opinions/likes/dislikes in life. I love that I get transported back in time when I read historical fiction (or non-fiction for that matter) and can escape current life for a little while.

Can't wait to read more!


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