So, without further ado - here are some of the books I've read lately, with my thoughts.
Longbourn - Loved this story of Pride and Prejudice, the servant version. I really enjoy the stories that tell the back ground, the things that go on behind the scenes. It told the tale of the Darcy girls servant, and brought her story right up to the line of Elizabeth and Jane's with very little overlap. Nothing raunchy or tasteless, just a good story. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Sycamore Row - I wanted to like this book. I really did. I tried hard to - the story concept was intriguing - a white man kills himself because he has terminal cancer and leaves his millions to his black housemaid. As story lines go, it covered everything, with heavy emphasis on the race line, and it was believable. I don't know if it was because I read it right after my father in law died, or if it was the cancer story line (much too close after Joann) or what - but the book lost me. Every time some twist was introduced, I got excited to read - but then the book would drag again. He threw every cliche, every story possibility and every potential story line into this book. I feel like he could have told the story in 2/3 of the pages. I mainly just wanted to know who got the money. 3 out of 5.
MockingJay - I've read this before, but I took a couple of my kids to see Catching Fire and wanted to read it again while it was still fresh. I highly recommend the movie, btw, and if you do see it, read MockingJay immediately after - it cleared up a bunch of stuff for me and gave me some mental images that were useful. 4.5 out of 5
Someone Else's Love Story - Oh, boy. When Joshilyn Jackson first came on the scene, a few of my favorite bloggers recommended her, and I tried the first book. I don't know why, maybe it was me, but I hated it. I couldn't get into it and for the next several years, whenever she was recommended, I'd go, "Blergh." (So sorry, I feel like I'm kicking a cat over here.) But. When Kira raved and raved, I thought to myself, "That Kira, she's really smart and I maybe should just try the free download - I love that feature SO HARD, it's saved me from many a bad book!" and I was hooked. I read the entire thing in two days. It was awesome, and now I've got to get catch a crow to make some pie or do some other form of penance. 5 out of 5.
My Own Miraculous - A prequel to the above, I actually read it before I read the first book - but after the sample, if that makes sense. It made sense to me, anyway - and it was also very, very good. 5 out of 5.
Dancing with the Enemy - I love WWII era, and especially Holocaust survivor books - and it is really, really difficult to find a Holocaust book that is good reading - I did read Sarah's Key and am currently attempting Hanns and Rudolf, but there aren't a ton of good ones out there - again, the free sample download has saved me from a lot of bad ones. I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The story of a woman who owned a dancing school and was captured by the Nazis - I think the problem was that I didn't like her. I had a very hard time with her as a person, and I found the book choppy and in a few places, hard to follow. It did illustrate very well the reality that, often in times of war, the good people aren't 100% good and the bad aren't 100% evil - but this book wasn't as good as it could have been. 3 out of 5.
What have you been reading? What would you recommend?