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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Blurb: The Woman in Black

Title: The Woman in Black

Author: Susan Hill

Genre: Horror, Gothic

Synopsis: A lawyer from London travels to a remote village to collect papers from the home of a deceased client. Everyone in the town seems scared of the house, but no one will say why...

Stars: 4/5

Lauren's Review: A quick read, finished in one sitting. Not the scariest ghost story every, but still very entertaining. I love the Gothic style, but it’s not for everyone. Looking forward to the movie!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Blurb: Midwives

Title: Midwives

Author: Chris Bohjalian

Genre: Fiction, Legal Thriller (kinda?)

Synopsis: A midwife in rural Vermont is charged with involuntary manslaughter after one of her patients dies in childbirth.

Stars: 4/5

Lauren's Review: At first I couldn't really get into the story, I even put it down for a month. I thought it was slow and repetitive. But towards the end I got hooked and at the climax I was almost sick I was so nervous! The last ‘chapter’ is a kick in the balls. Glad I came back to it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I did it again

And by 'it' I mean I forgot I had a book blog and didn't update. It doesn't matter much (since I don't really have any readers) but I want to keep this updated for my own personal reference, since I have terrible memory. So here's what I read while I was away....

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton - 2 stars

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - 4 stars

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - 4 stars

Other Waters by Eleni Gage - 3 stars

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks - 3 stars

Sundays at Tiffanys by James Patterson - 2 stars

As you can see, you missed nothing epic. Of all of them, I would recommend The Night Circus most, it's probably the most entertaining. The Mists of Avalon had the best writing, but it was long and not all that interesting.

If someone out there in blogger land is reading this, did you read anything good recently you would recommend?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Blurb: An Dublin Student Doctor

Title: A Dublin Student Doctor

Author: Patrick Taylor

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: A story about the education of Dr. Fingal Flaherty O'Reilly (the main character of Taylor's Irish Country Doctor series) set in Dublin during the 1930s.

Stars: 3/5

Lauren's Review: While there's not really anything wrong with this book, I didn't love it either. I want to give this book one big 'meh' and be done with it.

Is that ok? Am I supposed to write more? I will, just so I don't feel like I failed my readers (joke).

The writing in this book drove me insane. It starts out jumping back and forth between the 60s and 30s and you can't tell what time period you are in (both stories are told in present tense). It's also repetitive, if you took out every time he repeats something it would be 100 pages shorter. And the ending...I won't spoil but it's just off. That being said, I had an Advanced Reader copy (I won from Goodreads First Reads) so I'm hoping an editor went through and at least fixed some of this before the book was actually published.

I know, I know, people aren't reading this book for the writing; they come for the characters. Taylor presents a fun group of characters (new and old) and puts them in an interesting stetting. I learned a lot about medicine and the state of Ireland in the 1930s. But the plot was less than thrilling and I didn't really 'care' about any of the characters.

Those who are already familiar with the series and like Dr. Fingal O'Reilly will enjoy learning more about his past, but for the rest of us I don't really recommend this book. But I don't dis-recommend it. It's just...whatever...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Blurb: Cloud Atlas

Title: Cloud Atlas

Author: David Mitchell

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, Crime Thriller, pretty much everything

Synopsis: This book is made up of 6 mini stories all packaged together like one of those Russian nesting dolls, you get the first half of each story in chronological order all the way to the middle, then you get the second half in descending chronological order until you've finished the first story of the book.

Stars: 5/5

Lauren's Review: I absolutely loved this book! Like I said in the synopsis, it is made up of six 'nesting' stories. Each story is told in a different 'style' (diary entries, letters, crime novel, first person account), focusing on a different character in a different time period. That being said, this is NOT a collection of short stories! Each character encounters the works of the previous story in some form and they are all linked in subtle ways involving theme and a comet shaped birthmark.

This is one of those rare types of book that draws you in for the characters and plot, but leaves you thinking about the themes days and weeks later. It focuses on power, corruption, and the value of a human life; but it does so in a way that is unique and interesting. Please please pick up a copy and don't be turned off by the first story or two (which are a little old-Englishy), I promise it's worth it!

I got into a bit of an online debate about whether or not this book is 'pretentious.' Some people thought of it as a poorly written and without meaning...I really could not disagree more, but to each their own. I will say that not every aspect of the story is completely fleshed out nor is there an 'all loose ends tied up' kinda ending. I think this is troubling to some who want every story to wrap up or have a sequel, but it's just not that kind of book.

Just last month filming started on a movie version of this book, which is going to have an EPIC all star cast! I'm pretty excited -

I'd love to hear from someone else who read it and what their take on it is!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Blurb: Only Time Will Tell

Before I start this blurb, let me say that I won this book through Goodreads First Reads. Free books, it's awesome. I don't want to tell you all about it, because then there will be more people entering the contests and making it hard for me to win them, but I have to tell you because it's in the rules. So without further rambling...

Title: Only Time Will Tell

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: This book follows Harry Clifton through his childhood into his early adult years in England during the 30s.

Stars: 5/5

Lauren's Review: The title is awful, however it's pretty accurate. There are a lot of mysteries surrounding young Harry (how his father died, who his father may actually be), through the chapters Archer slowly and skillfully reveals the truth.

he writing was simple and straight forward; it's the plot and characters that draw you in. I finished the book in only a few sittings, the last one keeping me up until 1 in the morning because I had to find out what happened to Harry.

My only criticism would be the strange way the author keeps changing the point of view. I enjoyed having different sections focusing on different characters, but I don't think the first person point of view chapters really added anything to the story and at first they only confused me.

Overall, an enjoyable quick read and I'm excited for the next in the series.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Blurb: The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

Title: The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

Author: Sarah Braunstein

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: The story jumps between several different characters and their inter-related life experiences, with one constant story line that regards a missing girl named Lenora.

Stars: 2/5

Lauren's Review: This was my book club book last month, and I'm starting to think I'm cursed when it comes to picking a book club book. I always pick stinkers, and this was no exception.

The book has a lot of good qualities, for one the writing style is straight forward and blunt, therefore easy to read (which is what my book club needed after our previous book). And the stories are interesting and often leave you wanting more.

The real problem of this book is just that it seems to go nowhere. The characters' stories start to intertwine and it becomes a hassle to keep up with who's who. Instead of the masterful 'bring-it-all-together' ending that this book seemed to hint at with its structure and twists, it just kinda falls flat. I felt as if the author got tired, or couldn't think of a good way to end it.

What's more, the stories that started out as 'interesting and dark' end up more 'dark and depressing.' In the end I just felt disappointed and sad, the book was just a real downer. Guess I should have seen that coming with the title.