Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano

From Goodreads:

"When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family."

My Thoughts:

The Girl She Used To Be swept me up from the beginning of the novel and didn't let go until the end. This is a fast paced moving novel that focuses on what a lack of identity can do to an individual. Melody has been multiple names and faces throughout her lifetime but never the person that she wants to be which is Melody. She is caught up in the net that is the witness protection program and struggling to find herself amongst all of the lies. Melody was an interesting main character for me. I didn't always like her or her actions at times but I couldn't stop myself from caring about what happened to her...even when she didn't care herself. The main problem I had with this book was the believability issues. As a reader, I really had to stop myself from nitpicking and just enjoy the ride. Because it is a good ride and like I said before, I found myself caught up within the pages of this book. But it isn't realistic whatsoever which did cause a few problems for me especially at the beginning of the book. All in all, I liked this book and would definitely pick up more by this author in the future.

(I received this book from the lovely folks at Hatchette and unfortunately am just now getting around to reviewing it. )

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Library Loot - October 22nd

So I really didn't need anymore library books. Really. But that has never stopped me from checking out books from the library even when I know that I cannot possibly read them all. And I can't seem to help myself when I come across all of these lovely reviews from my fellow bloggers. I mean really, what's a girl to do? Here's what I picked up when I went to the library yesterday (by myself..such a treat!)

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale- All of the blame goes to Nymeth for this one. I read her review...added it to my neverending TBR list and snatched it up when I came across it while browsing through the nonfiction shelves.

The Observations by Jane Harris- Lesley at A Life In Books recently reviewed this one and boy did I want to read it after reading her review. She said it fits the RIP challenge bill so I'm going with it and hopefully I will get to it soon :)

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman- I've heard of this author from multiple bloggers but haven't read anything by her yet. And actually I had a different book checked out by her previously but then I looked at the synopsis for this one and decided that I wanted to read this one more. I'm such a moody reader.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmaelf Beah- I found this one browsing in nonfiction as well. Plus, I was hoping to read this one for a couple of challenges so I was excited to find it.

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block- A new to me blogger (I'm so out of the loop sometimes) Debi recently reviewed this one and it sure sounded good. Then Andi reviewed a different book by this same author and I knew I was going to have to give her a try. Found this one on the shelves and couldn't resist...plus, don't you love this cover??

The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine- I've read the 1st book in this series and enjoyed it. Stephanie always seems to love these books which made me want to continue on even more!

See...me going to the library and checking all of these books out is basically due to everyone else and their wonderful reviews. I can't resist...and just think of all the books I'm going to learn about after you guys get done with the readathon. I can't participate myself...gotta work but I will try and stop by to cheer you all on. As always, share your thoughts if you've read any of these!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An "In Death" Series Post

I really, really, really need to catch up on my reviews. And one way to do that is knock off two reviews with one stone and talk about one of my favorite series. As regular readers of my blog know, I love, love, love the In Death series by J.D. Robb (better known as Nora Roberts). I'm going to take the time to FINALLY review two of her books that I read awhile ago that are a part of this series.

Divided In Death is according to fantastic fiction, the 21st book in the In Death series and luckily for me this series is still going strong. In this book, Eve is investigating a murder that looks like a setup and the prime suspect is one of Roarke's own employees and a personal friend. What makes this book different than previous books in the series, is that Eve and Roarke are straddling different sides of the line. Roarke takes the murder as a personal attack against him while Eve has to view it from a more technical viewpoint and from a cop's eyes. I liked this one a lot because we (the reader) got to see a different side of their relationship. It made their relationship seem like it was stronger and I just can't help but love these books because of it. The mystery kept me guessing and involved and I flew through this book just as fast as the others. Definitely recommended.

Visions In Death is the next book in the series and was another strong addition to this series. In this book, Eve is up against a killer who is killing young women and removing their eyes. With little to go on, Eve may be on her most difficult case yet especially when she begins to work with a pyschic who seems to be having visions relating to the murders. Peabody played a more prominent role in this one which was a nice change. Plus, I just love the dynamics between her and Eve so I had a fun time reading this book. Another fast-paced mystery with a great ending that I didn't see coming whatsoever.

All in all, these are fun reads for me that never fail to draw me out of a reading slump. They always keep my attention and I end up turning the pages as fast as I can. I'd recommend these to anyone that enjoys a good mystery with some romance thrown into the mix. But start at the beginning with Naked In Death!
Series Order:
1. Naked In Death (hah, I'm going to have to stop there as there are just too many to list)
but I will leave you with a link to my 1st post that I did on this series which was Holiday In Death ...sorry I read all of the others before I started blogging. If I ever catch up on this series I plan on rereading them all :P

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Lost Sister by Megan Kelley Hall

Awhile back I read and enjoyed Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall (clink on the title to read my review). When I heard that the sequel had come out...well, I had to pick it up so I instantly requested it from the library. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations but here are some of my thoughts.

Warning: This review MAY have spoilers. There is just no way to get around it because the reader needs to read Sisters of Misery before they should give this one a try. The Lost Sister picks up where the previous book left off and shows the reader what Maddie has been up to since going away to school and leaving her hometown (and bad memories) behind. Maddie is still searching for Cordelia and trying to figure out what happened to her after that horrible night on the island. The book is written in multiple viewpoints which allows the reader to begin to see things from Cordelia's experiences to where she is and what she is planning on doing. But mysterious forces are still at work which will draw both of the girls deep into danger once again.

I'm going to split this review into two parts: what worked for me and what didn't. One of my favorite things about this book were reading about the different meanings of the tarot cards beginning at each chapter. It was really interesting and made me want to learn more. I'm glad that we finally find out what happened to Cordelia as the 1st book left me curious and wanting more. It was also nice to see a stronger Maddie, one that stood up for herself and made better decisions. I was able to relate to her even more in this book which was a positive thing.

Not everything worked for me in this book and one of the main problems that I had was the jumping around in narration. It wasn't always clear who was talking at times and it interrupted the flow of the story more often than not. And this bothered me as I think that the flow of the story is an important aspect to me enjoying it as a reader. I also had a hard time getting into the storyline and it wasn't until the end that I found myself really wanting to find out what was going to happen. The ending itself was pulled off nicely as it did keep me reading but all in all, I had a very easy time putting this book down.

I'll still be looking for more books by this author even if this wasn't my favorite book. Has anyone else read this? What were your thoughts...did you like it better than I did? And lastly, leave a link to your review and I'll add it to this post to give readers some other opinions on this book :)

P.S. - In other book-related news, I received Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (won in a contest @ Stark Raving Bookaholic - thanks again!!!) in the mail as well as an unexpected read from Orbit Publishing called Bite Marks by Jennifer Rardin. Don't know why they sent me this but as it is SO up my alley, well...I'm already requesting the 1st book in this series from the library :) Another new author and series for me to start...and I'll say a big thanks as well!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sunday Salon- 10/4

Good afternoon everyone! I'm getting a bit of a late start as it has been a lazy day in my household. My parents have my children for the weekend which meant I slept in for the 1st time in probably two years. We had a wedding last night so it has been an enjoyable weekend so far but unfortunately it has been book-less. I'm hoping to remedy that today at least until my babies are brought back to me :)

In reading news, I'm currently reading Booked To Die by John Dunning. Although I'm not very far into it yet, I am liking what I've read so far. I thought that it would be interesting to read a mystery that is centered around books and it has been. I plan on reading a good chunk of it today. I'm also still reading The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins. It is such a good book but I'm taking it slowly and reading a little bit from it each day. This really seems to be working for me and I'm thinking that maybe I should keep doing this with other classics or chunksters.

In other reading news, I recently finished a book that ended up being a bit of a disappointment to me as a reader. Especially since I so loved the 1st book by this author. I'll admit to having troubles now with what to write in the review...I may wait awhile before I post my thoughts. It begs the question of how do you all handle negative review writing...I don't want to come across as too critical and I do want the good points to come across. BUT...the bad parts need to be shared as well as I honestly wouldn't be comfortable recommending this one without reservations.

Anyways, I'm planning on reading, watching football, reading, and reading/visiting your blogs today. Hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing Sunday!