Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: Games Creatures Play - Charlaine Harris and others

Games Creatures Play - Charlaine Harris and others
Games Creatures Play
All-new tales of unusual athletics by Jan Burke, Dana Cameron, Adam-Troy Castro, Brendan DuBois, Charlaine Harris, Toni L.P. Kelner, Caitlin Kittredge, William Kent Krueger, Ellen Kushner, Mercedes Lackey, Joe R. Lansdale, Laura Lippman, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Sigler.

Welcome to the wide world of paranormal pastimes, where striking out might strikes you dead.  Editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner are your annoucers for this all-new story collection of the most peculiar plays ever made...

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I mainly read this because of the Sookie Stackhouse story.  I was actually a little disappointed in it.  I actually didn't like most of the stories in this book.  My two favorite ones were Stepping Into the Dead Zone and The Devil Went Down to Boston.  I would definitely check out more stories from these two authors.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashums.  Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste.  Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart.  But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed.  It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons--their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years,  The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

3/5 (liked it)
This book is not what I expected, I really liked it.  Amir's story is so interesting and changes so much.  He grows up in a privileged world and then his world is shattered and he is left to work so hard to get what he wants.  And through it all his relationship with his father grows dramatically even after his father is gone.  In the back of his mind he never forgets his friendship with Hassan and a big event that occurs in his childhood.  By the end of the book I was glad that Amir made the decisions that he did to redeem himself.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review: The Good Thief - Hannah Tinti

The Good Thief - Hannah Tinti
The Good Thief
Twelve year-old Ren is missing his left hand.  How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve for his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony's Orphanage for boys.  He longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world.

But then a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren's long-lost brother, and his convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand and his parents persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and to give Ren some hope.  But is Benjamin really who he says he is?  Journeying through a New England of whaling towns and meadowed farmlands, Ren is introduced to a vibrant world of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves.  If he stays, Ren becomes one of them.  If he goes, he's lost once again.  As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage he comes to suspect that Benjamin no only holds the key to his future, but to his past as well.

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I thought the first half of the book was slow, but then the last half made up for it.  Ren finds out about his past through an unexpected way.  He makes friends with an unlikely person.  By the end of the book Ren knows most of his story, although I don't consider the ending to be totally happy.  There are some odd characters that add to the story such as Dolly (an axe murderer), Mrs. Sands (a woman that shelters them), a set of twins that are supposed to be bad luck and even a dwarf that comes down the chimney.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars - John Green

The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.  But when a gorgeous plot twit named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book did not go the way I thought it was going to go.  I fell in love with all the characters including the unlikable writer Peter.  Although I think even though Peter was not very likable, he still taught Augustus and Hazel a great lesson.  Augustus and Hazel's love story was not so straight forward.  How do you let someone fall in love with you and put them through the pain of watching you die?  This book of course made me cry at the end and I love the ending.  I would definitely read another book by this author.

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck-impersonating Off-Broadwasy performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence "Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I'll shut up about it?"

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages).  If so, you've come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls.  Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door--not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I loved Mindy in The Office and also in her own show The Mindy Project.  I've been wanting to read this book for a while and finally decided to read it.  It was a very funny book and I read it with her voice in my head.  I loved hearing her crazy stories about her childhood, her teenager years as well as how she became a writer for SNL and The Office.  Also her mentioning how funny Tina Fey is makes me want to run out and read her book next.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Book Review: A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin

A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another is disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken.  Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms.  His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall.  But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun.  Robb plots against despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King's Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne.  Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world...

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrive from the outermost line of civilization.  In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable.  As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book started off a little slow but picked up pretty quickly.  Although I enjoy most of the characters sometimes I felt like there were too many points of view and it took a long time to get back to some of the characters.  This book contained three weddings and several deaths.  Some of the deaths I was surprised about, some I was not and some I was happy about.  Overall I like where all the characters went even if it wasn't always good.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Book Review: The Mermaid Chair - Sue Monk Kidd

The Mermaid Chair - Sue Monk Kidd
The Mermaid Chair
Inside the abbey of a Benedictine monastery on tiny Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion.  Jessie Sullivan's conventional life has been "molded to the smallest space possible."  So when she is called home to cope with her mother's startling and enigmatic act of violence, Jessie finds herself relieved to be apart from her husband, Hugh.  Jessie loves Hugh, but on Egret Island--amid the gorgeous marshlands and tidal creeks--she becomes drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is mere months from taking his final vows.  What transpires will unlock the roots of her mother's tormented past, but most of all, as Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, she will find a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book takes place in 1988 between February and May.  This story is about Jessie and how she learns more about herself by being away from her husband and falling in love.  Her relationship with her mother and a past that she thought she knew but learns the truth in the end.  Her relationship with her college aged daughter Dee and how her marital problems affects her daughter.  Also her relationship with her husband Hugh and the "other man" Brother Thomas.  Brother Thomas deciding his future, is it with God or with this woman he is drawn to.  In the end it seems like everyone in this books learns a little bit about themselves and that things don't always go as plan or are what they seem.

Book Review: Insatiable - Meg Cabot

Insatiable - Meg Cabot Sick of hearing about vampires?  So is Meena Harper. But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, ...