Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice

Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was laughing by the 3rd page. But the new/retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, while abundant in humor, was almost totally lacking in romance.
When Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (yes, only one T) are the most developed characters (and they were hysterical), and Darcy is all but absent and completely one dimensional, something is askew.
It was entertaining, but I missed the angst, drama and longing that one expects between "Liz & Darcy."


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review: Voyager

Voyager Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jamie and Claire's excellent adventure continues: Claire goes back through the stones and encounters, Jamie, smugglers, brothels, a Chinaman, stolen treasure, a sea voyage, typhus, the Caribbean, witchcraft, an old friend, slaves, a lost nephew, a shipwreck, and near drowning -- and that's only half of it. It was like time traveling nurse meets Indian Jones. Thank goodness the sex is still good at over 40.
Im addicted to Jamie and Claire -- but this was a bit ridiculous.
Not sure if I'm going to continue the series.


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: Jane Steele

Jane Steele Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
Reader, I loved this until the last third of the book.
A totally unique twist on the story of Bronte's, Jane Eyre, featuring Jane Steele, a murderous orphan/journalist/governess who solves a jewel heist and falls in love.
The writing was imaginary and rich -- to the point that I wish I'd had my own copy instead of a library copy, so I could underline passages.
But the "mystery" involving the Sikh wars and a gaggle of friends/soldiers/mercenaries and a young girl, was way to convoluted for my simple brain to make sense of it.
A totally unique book, but one that ended oddly.


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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
Another epic saga following the lives of time-traveler, Claire, and her 18th century Highlander husband, Jamie.
I didn't like this as much as the first one -- I got bogged down in the Parisian politics and royal court antics.
The last 100 pages were the best, as Jamie and Claire must decide how to survive the Battle of Culloden.
I hated the modern postscript that concluded the book, although I'm sure it was necessary in terms of the the continued story-line.
But I'm totally hooked on Jamie and Claire -- and will add Voyager to my reading queue.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: The Madwoman Upstairs

The Madwoman Upstairs The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
An entertaining literary caper featuring the Brontes, Bronte memoribilia, academia, and a taboo romance.
Clever, witty dialog; weak mystery; an overabundance of metaphors and similies.
Now I need to read the Bronte sisters again.


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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review: Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Technically I didn't finish - stopped about 30 pages short...I just had NO interest in this book at all. May be some Juv Fiction books are not meant for adults -- or at least this one wasn't for me.
Not sure I've ever gotten so close to the end of a book without completing it...no regrets...don't even care.



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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review: Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore: A Rebellious Romantic Comedy

Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore: A Rebellious Romantic Comedy Antonia Barclay and Her Scottish Claymore: A Rebellious Romantic Comedy by Jane Carter Barrett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

"God's nightgown!" What a spunky romantic comedy!

Antonia Barclay is a Scottish tom-boy, with a sailor's mouth and the riding skills of a jockey. She's also a princess, but doesn't know that yet. Breck Claymore is the Scottish Highlander, sword craftsman, who seeks her hand in marriage. And the Throckmortons are the nasties who try to circumvent it all.

Author Jane Carter Barrett has created a fast paced historical romance, imbued with 21st century allusions and tendencies. References to haute couture seems just as natural as horses and ancient castles, giving Antonia a sophistication not yet recognized in 16th century Scotland. The author also is an expert in creating biting, yet comical dialogue between characters, especially when Antonia is fending off unwarranted advances from the bumbling Rex Throckmorton, who is more drunk, fraternity boy, than aristocrat. On top of that, the vocabulary is a lexiconic cookie jar that required checking the e-dictionary on more than one occasion.

I did grow weary of Rex and his constant attempt to "pluck" Antonia, which was nothing short of his intent to rape her. And his father, Basil, is not much better. But the soft natured persona of Queen Mary was a nice buffer.

For comic relief and an adoring relationship, this is the perfect modern, historical romance (if such a thing exists!).

Thanks to the publisher for providing a NetGalley copy to me for my review.

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: Interpreter of Maladies

Interpreter of Maladies Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
Unique collection of short stories highlighting the Indian/American immigrant experience.
Writing was stellar.
But as with most short story collections, I liked some more than others, the last, featuring Mrs. Croft, was the best.
I would certainly read more by this author.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review: Book

Book Book by David W. Miles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A BEAUTIFUL picture book about the power of...books. They do not have a switch, or batteries, or a password, and always work. The illustrations are stunning and whimsical.
A must read for parents with toddlers/preschoolers or anyone (like me!) who loves the power of opening the cover of a book!

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the most beautiful, tragic, inspiring books I've ever read.
Part memoir, part treatise on living and dying, part love letter to his career, wife, daughter, family and friends, part scripture.
How could a man with so much potential and talent be taken at such a young age? Sadness for not only his family and colleagues, but for all those who will not benefit from his immense medical expertise.
A required book for all those who will live and die.

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