Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Sunday Salon - Mini Reviews (thoughts) #2

Good morning everyone! Spring has sprung and the craziness begins. Baseball begins this week for my very soon to be 9 year old. Practices twice a week add up to more reading time (hopefully) but less blogging time (I'm guessing). All of this beautiful weather also just begs for time spent outside which is what we have been doing. I'm thinking about attempting to grow a few vegetables this year. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm pretty bad when it comes to keeping plants alive but I still want to try. I think that I'm going to start off with a few tomato plants and a strawberry plant that my Mom gave us. Maybe some peppers....any suggestions on veggies that are easy to grow/keep alive??

Spring reading challenges are also beginning which has me super excited! I've already posted my list of books for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge and hopefully this week I will post my pool of books for the Once Upon a Time Challenge. Woohoo! Looks like there will be lots of good reading heading my way. I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts briefly on a few books that I hadn't reviewed in 2011 last month so I thought that I would do it again today :)

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

This is a book that I put off sharing my thoughts on for a number of reasons. So many bloggers loved it that I expected to be blown away. Unfortunately, I was only "meh" when I finished. There were aspects of the story that I really loved like the atmosphere and the descriptions of the setting. The author went into so much detail that I could feel like I was really there. But the characters and one of the two storylines left much to be desired for me. I didn't connect to Eve or Dom at all which meant that I didn't care what happened to the two of them. I was more interested in the side story involving Benedicte and her family. Now that part of the book I found really interesting. Overall, I was left with mixed feelings for the book. I believe that this is the author's first novel....I think that I would pick up more by her eventually. Recommended but with strong reservations.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I adored this book for a number of reasons when I read it last year. The author does an AMAZING job of creating a spooky and tense atmosphere. I felt like she was able to capture how it must have felt to live in London during the time of Jack the Ripper and she conveyed this sense of constant fear throughout the book. I loved the main character Rory...she was witty and filled with everything that you would want a main character to be. The book was one of those books that you don't want to put down. And even though it is going to be part of a series I felt like the author did a nice job of tying up most of the loose ends when the book was finished. Overall this book was one of my favorite reads of 2011. Highly recommended!

Dead On The Delta by Stacey Jay

Plain and simple, this was one of my favorite urban fantasy reads last year! I don't know what I expected when I picked this book up but I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. The book was gritty and dark with a main character that is on a self destructive path. Annabelle has her issues and is trying to cope the only way that she knows how. I found it refreshing to read about a main character that didn't have everything together, made mistakes, and still had a good heart despite everything. I found myself immersed in this book- not wanting to put it down and reading it wherever/whenever I could. It snapped me out of a reading slump that I was was just unexpectedly SO GOOD! I cannot wait to get my hands on the 2nd book. I think that I'm going to break my book buying ban for Blood on the Bayou. Highly, highly recommended and another of my top reads from last year.

Whew! Another 3 books off of my list. I'm almost completely caught up from last year now! I'm currently reading Deadline by Mira Grant. I loved Feed when I read it awhile back and finally was ready to begin Deadline. I was worried that because I loved Feed so much that Deadline wouldn't compare. So far that hasn't been the case and I'm glad that I finally pulled this one off of my shelves. It is like visiting old friends. Zombies are involved but old friends :) Anyways, I'm off to begin the ENORMOUS task of cleaning my house and tackling laundry. The more I get done today, the less stressful this week will be. Hopefully. Happy Sunday everyone! I hope that you are all able to enjoy a good book today :)


  1. Happy Spring :) It sounds like you are busy over there. Tomatoes are easy to grow, I suggest starting those.
    Nice mini reviews, I totally agree with you about The Lantern.

  2. Happy Spring! I love having a garden. I find the whole process so rewarding even when things don't always work out so great. I have the best success with cherry tomato varieties--they're very prolific and so tasty, too! I also grow a lot of herbs which can add a special gourmet touch to summer dishes. I like growing sugar snap peas [might be too late in your area for these already?] and string beans. Both very easy and taste so much better eaten right after you pick them! Good luck!

    I plan on reading The Name of the Star this year. Glad you liked it so much!

  3. At first glance you wouldn't think that we would like the same sort of books but I find that you review many that I want to read. I'm going with your thoughts on The Lantern and just going to pass on that one for good. It's a relief for thanks! Now, I'm add the next two on my library account so that they will show up for me in August/September. My son loved Feed and knowing that you did too has made me want to read it even more so I'm going to request that one for the summer too! Thanks for adding to my list!! I love it!!

    Have a great time with the baseball and your little me it goes by wayyy tooo fast!

  4. Great minireviews :) I truly enjoy minis, more for the price of one.

    I think book 1 nd 3 interests me the most

  5. Tomatoes are easy to grow. I still have a few cherry tomato plants from last March that are still bearing fruit! I've had less success with strawberries.

    Great mini reviews! The Name of the Star sounds incredibly good!

  6. I have The Name of the Star from the library right now, but it hasn't tempted me to read it yet.

  7. I really want to read The Name of the Star one of these days. I started it, but didn't get very far at the time...

  8. The Name of the Star sounds pretty interesting. I haven't read anything by Johnson before. I hope you're having a great week!

  9. Sounds like you'll be busy but in a good way. I find growing things outside much easier than inside. If you like things like spinach, peas, and carrots - those all grow fairly easily although you have to put something for peas to climb on. Hopefully this year the birds won't eat our first batch of beans - oh green and yellow beans grow great and are so good!

  10. It's the worst when you want to love a book and just feel "meh" about it. I've heard raves about The Lantern as well but know very little (actually nothing) about it.

  11. Marueen Johnson is one of my favorite authors! I'm so glad you loved The Name of the Star!


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