Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

I was excited to read this one since I LOVED Mudbound, a book by the same author. However, I was quite disappointed with this one. It started out well - it's a dystopian novel about Hannah who aborts her child and finds herself as a Chrome, meaning that she's dyed red to indicate that she committed murder.

Then, the book started to go downhill. The writing was great, and it was a pretty quick read, but the plot was lacking and kinda boring.

I can't recommend this book. It's not really that awful, but I'd feel misleading if you were actually convinced that you should go and pick this one up.

I gave this book to my sister (who recommended Mudbound to me) for her birthday before I had a chance to read it, so sorry to my sister.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia and her ex-best friend Cassie are "wintergirls," skinny, skinny girls with eating disorders competing to see who can be the skinniest. Written from Lia's perspective, this book goes into what it's like as an older teenage girl dealing with a messy family (divorce, step-sister, step-mom, unavailable mom) and a messy life and what she does to try to escape the pain.

This book is classified under "Young Adult," but I think it could be good reading for anyone. It's heavy and chilling, and well-written. Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

A man places an ad in the paper for "a reliable wife," and Catherine Land responds.

Hum, I could write more so you know some more about the plot. But why bother because although it was absorbing (I read it in about a day), it was twisted and left me feeling dirty and empty.

Bottom line: skip this book.

Faithful blog followers, I read lots of books and write these posts so that I can hopefully recommend some really good ones to you and save you from wasting your time on others. Don't waste your time on this one.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

The main character, Emily Wilson, is a successful writer (well, she's had one bestseller made into a movie) in her 20s when her handsome husband leaves her for another woman. She flies across the country to the state of Washington to live with her aunt for a month while she recovers. In her guest bedroom, she finds a diary with entries from 1943 that speak to her heart.

I had mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I did read it in one afternoon. On the other hand, it was really predictable and very much like a cheesy, bad made-for-TV movie. And those can be fun to watch when it's rainy outside and there's nothing much else to do. So...can't recommend it unless you really are looking for an easy, cheesy book to read on a rainy afternoon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulson

A 9/11 widow finds love again in the year after the attacks. 

Please skip this one. The author comes across as shallow, materialistic, and petty. I only finished it because it was the only book I brought along with me on a plane ride. Biggest mistake of my weekend.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss by RoseMarie Terenzio

The author was John F. Kennedy Jr.'s personal assistant during the last five years of his life, and she writes about what it was like to work with him.

Although I finished the book, I never found myself liking the writer. Throughout the book, I kept wondering if she was just cashing in. Also, it seemed like she got in the middle of JFK Jr.'s relationship with his wife, acting as a liaison between the two of them which was weird to read about. 

I recommend that you skip this one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

I have never watched an episode of The Office (should I start watching?), but I picked up this book at the library. It was very funny.

I was at home sick this week and read this book as I rested and recovered on the couch one day. It is a great book to read if you're not feeling that good (physically or emotionally) because it will get you to laugh.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen by Donia Bijan

This author lived in Iran until she moved to the United States as a teenager. As an adult, she moved to France to study at Cordon Bleu, and then worked at various restaurants in the US and France. Eventually, she owned a restaurant in San Francisco.

If you've read this blog for awhile, you know that I like to read cooking memoirs. This one was one of the more enjoyable memoirs I've read, mostly because the author is very humble and endearing.

Recommended for a pleasant read.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pie by Sarah Weeks

Alice's Aunt Polly owns a famous pie shop and the recipe to her award-winning pie crust is a secret. Aunt Polly suddenly passes away, leaving the secret pie recipe to her cat, and leaving the cat to Alice.

A cute, short chapter book. Each chapter includes a delicious sounding pie recipe.

My one complaint is that the Epilogue is disappointing. Alice doesn't end up married to who she should end up with. However, this would make a good gift to that eight-year-old reader in your life.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

What do you imagine heaven looking like? What do you think we'll do there? This very original, young-adult novel takes these questions on.

Liz Hall ends up in heaven, or "Elsewhere," after she's hit by a car as a fifteen-year-old. She finds that Elsewhere is like earth, but instead of getting older, everyone is getting younger, until they become a baby again and are shipped back to Earth to start a new life all over again. 

Simply, but nicely written, this book is fun to read!