It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts. I kinda, sorta, forgot that I review books - until I read a book that was sent to me and it was so difficult to read that I wanted to tell someone - and then remembered that I'd said I'd do book reviews here.
So here we go, without further ado, complaint, or excuse.
Matched by Ally Condie. I heard about this book on a page at Blogher, listing 10 books that fans of The Hunger Games would enjoy. This one was excellent. I would highly recommend it, and the fact that it is a Young Adult book didn't detract from the plot line - and I'm a picky reader. The book has a sequel that is slated for Nov 1, and I'm on the list. 5 of 5 on the recommendation scale.
A Rather Lovely Inheritance by C.A. Belmond. I was sent a press release for a subsequent book in this series, and thought I might want to read the first one before I accepted it, to see if I'd enjoy it. The premise was interesting, but I read it with skepticism, and didn't finish it - it was predictable. A good beach read, if you need something that won't cause you to think too much. 2 of 5.
The Little Bride by Anna Solomon - I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I've never read a book where I hated every character, though. In fact, I thought that the author worked hard to make me dislike every single character. And I think that's the trouble - when I read a book, I want to LIKE most of the people in it. Call me simple. The story of a mail order bride sounded enjoyable - but I really didn't like this book. Solomon is a very talented author - the book read well and I would like to read something of hers a little bit more likeable.1 of 5.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I asked for recommendations on my facebook page, and this one came up again and again. It was a good read. A bit difficult, as it flips between five or so stores - but I learned a lot about a time and a location that I knew nothing about. 4 of 5.
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. Again, I wanted to like this book. It was a Blogher book club book and many people really enjoyed it. I might have - if I finished it. I got 25% of the way through and stopped. I'll keep plugging away. Can't review it because I didn't finish it.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman. It was an easy read, recommended to those who enjoyed The Help. (Shoot me. I liked it. I know that's not a popular stance these days, but I did.) I felt that the story could have been a bit more fleshed out, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5.
Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michal Ledwidge. I think, by having two authors, Patterson watered down his previous successes. I had to wonder if those who read this book and reviewed it read the same book that I did. The sidebar reviews were much more realistic. I hate a book that is obviously written by two different authors - the chapters flip flopped and the story line was contrived and the book didn't grab me. 1.5 out of 5.
Game of Thrones 1-4 by George R.R. Martin. Oh, I loved these books. LOVED them. 1-4 were amazing and I raced through them, although 4 was the slowest by far and I was anxious for Book 5. It came out and I could not wait. And it was so not what I wanted that I stopped mid book. I almost never do that, btw - I finish a book, no matter how much I don't like it, because I hope for redemption - but it was more gory and violent than the first 4 - and that's saying a lot, because those books were violent and explicit - but book 5 went too far. Ramblings, tangents and no forward movement. I couldn't finish it - one aspect in particular, one character - made my skin crawl. 4 out of 5 for books 1-4, 2 for book 5.
These Things HIdden by Heather Gudenkauf. A quick read, an exciting read and it kept moving forward - but it wasn't really believable. Written from the point of view of four of the main characters, it can be difficult to keep all of the story lines straight - but it was enjoyable. And that's all I can say about that. 3 out of 5.
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew. Yet another read recommended to those who enjoyed The Help - I found this story to be compelling and when the twist came, which I could almost forsee - I still gasped. It was a story as through the eyes of a 13 year old girl living in North Carolina in the early 1950's. They travel with their maid and the episodes of racial segregation and tension were gripping. 4 out of 5.
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova - This book grabbed me, in the rich details of one woman's life that is vastly dissimilar from mine, and yet mirrors it so closely. The main character is so, so busy, never taking time for anything - until a car accident causes brain damage and she's forced to slow down, relearn and appreciate those around her. It was an enjoyable, relevant and sustaining read. 4 out of 5.