Saturday, June 13, 2015

Book Review: One Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

One Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns (First Edition)
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate.  As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them--in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul--they come to form a bond that makes them both sister and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.  With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I think I like book better than The Kite Runner.  Both Mariam and Laila were likeable and I was rooting for both of them to get the life they deserved.  They both struggled in different ways.  I would love to see a follow up book on Laila and how her life has dramatically changed since the events that occurred at the end of this book.



Book Review: The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly.  Jaxon Hall and his Sever Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.  Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows.  But where is Warden?  Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I think I liked the first book better than this one.  This book seemed to be a little slow and there was a big lack of Warden.  I would have liked to see more of Warden in the book.  Although the ending of this book greatly redeemed itself.  I love the forbidden relationship between Warden and Paige.  Also as much I don't like Jaxon I like him.  All the other clairvoyants that are friends with Paige are great.  I can't wait to read the next one.

Book Review: That Summer - Sarah Dessen

That Summer
For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly.  She's nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister-the always perfect Ashley-is planning a wedding of her own.  Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were.  Then an old boyfriend of Ashley's reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Sarah Dessen is a great author and I always love reading her books.  They are always a quick read.  This book is about Haven and how she is at a place in her life where she is no longer a kid.  Her life is changing, her sister is getting married and her father is also getting married.  This was a great book about a young girl and how she must accept change.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Book Review: Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular - Bob Pflugfelder & Steve Hockensmith

Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular: A Mystery with Animatronics, Alien Makeup, Camera Gear, and Other Movie Magic You Can Make Yourself! (Nick and Tesla, #5)
In Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular, 11-year-old siblings Nick and Tesla Holt find themselves on the set of a big-budget superhero movie.  But someone's sabotaging the onscreen debut of their favorite comic book hero, so the brother and sister sleuths must crack the case with the helpf of a fresh assortment of homemade special-effects gadgets.  This cinematic saga features instructions for all-new movie magic projects that kids can build themselves, such as a camera gear, stunt dummies, make-up magic, and more.  Science and electronics have never been so much fun!

4/5 stars(really liked it)
Nick and Tesla books never disappoint.  My 11-year old was excited when this new one came out and her read it first and really liked it.  Then I read it and loved it too.  Nick and Tesla and their friends always seem to find trouble but they are always the ones to solve the trouble.  I hope the next book shows us a little more about their parents.  The ending really makes me want to read the next one.  I could use a little more Uncle Newt in the next one.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Book Review: The Shadows - J.R. Ward

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward.

Trez "Latimer" doesn't really exist.  And not just because the identity was create so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world.  Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S'Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Cadwell, NY for years - all the while on the run form a destiny of sexual servitude.  He's never had anyone he could totally rely on...except for his brother, iAm.

iAm's sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing-and he knows he's failed.  It's not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez's life that the male begins to turn things around...but by then it's too late.  The pledge to mate the Queen's daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run,  nowhere to hide. and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others-or forever leave behind the female he's in love with.  But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything.  Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever.  And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

3/5 stars (liked it)
It was nice to see a book that focused on the shadows, Trez and iAm as they have been in a few books but we didn't know much about that.  I would have like to have seen more of Lassiter and I hope in other books he is featured more.  Rhage was having emotional issues and that was never really resolved.  There is the story with Trez and Selena and that took up most of the book.  iAm finds love but we don't see too much of that.  Also a new character, a young female named Paradise which was just put in to set up her story in the spin-off series Black Dagger Legacy.  Overall a typical book by J.R. Ward and enjoyable to read.

Book Review: Inferno - Dan Brown

Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4)
In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces...Dante's Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science.  Drawing from Dante's dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book follows the typical Langdon book formula.  Landgdon is caught in something, he is running from someone, he is searching for clues and a woman is involved.  I was not very familiar with Dante's Inferno before I read this book and I think the book did a good job explaining things so I was not lost.  This books makes me want to visit Italy and all the sites they visited.  The ending was surprising and I really like how it ended.

Book Review: Size 12 is Not Fat - Meg Cabot

Size 12 is Not Fat - Meg Cabot
Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells, #1)
Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did.  That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two--and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina).  Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges.  That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the resulf of reckless youthful mischief.  But heather knows teenage girls...and girls do not elevator surf.  Yet no one wants to listen -- not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives -- even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways.  So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But he new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal.  And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong...

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I actually did not like Heather very much and it really got old her says she was a size 12 and it wasn't fat.  I really liked Cooper and think a book about him and how he became a P.I. would have been more interesting.  The killer was surprising and not who I thought it would be.  I'm not sure I would read more books in this series.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale
Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father's antiquarian bookshop.  On her steps she finds a letter.  It is a hand-written request from one of Britain's most prolific and well-loved novelists.  Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history.  The request takes Margaret by surprise--she doesn't know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter's dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter's personal story, Margaret begins to read her father's rare copy of Miss Winter's Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation.  She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories.  Where is the thirteenth tale?  Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now  burnt-out estate that was her childhood home.  Margaret carefully records Miss Winter's account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.

Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets...and the ghosts that haunt the still.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I liked the writing in this book and thought it was very well written.  I actually didn't like the character of Margaret so it was hard to get into the book.  I found Vida's story very interesting though.  I wish the book had more of Vida's story and less of Margaret's story.  The ending of Vida's story did surprise me.