Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Great & Terrible Beauty

by Libba Bray
432 pages

Recommended to me by teens that read and like similar titles as myself, I thought this would be a new series I could get into. I was wrong. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be that harsh. I think I just didn’t like the readers voice. Otherwise, it had several elements that I did like; set in a historical time period that I love with beautiful writing and complex characters.

I might give Rebel Angels, the second in the series, a try, but definitely in print. No more soothe-me-into-a-sleep voice of that reader.

"The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" by Ernest J. Gaines

272 pages

This novel--written as an autobiography--spans more than one hundred years of Miss Jane Pittman's remarkable life. She recalls decades of American history, from her childhood as a slave on a Louisiana plantation to the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. By sharing her personal experiences, Miss Jane shows what daily life was like for a black woman throughout these time periods.

This is a really fascinating story. Before I started reading it, I expected to learn all kinds of things about the historical events that happened during Miss Jane's life. That's not really the case, but in a way it's a better story for that. When I thought about it, I realized that real autobiographies don't usually focus on what's happening in the world--they focus on what's happening in that person's life. Of course, the big events affect people's lives, but by getting the personal experiences instead of news updates, we learn more about what it was like to live throughout the different time periods. Although Miss Jane shares her stories, she doesn't often reveal her feelings about the things that happen to her. Although this seems to fit with her practical personality, I wish we readers got to hear more of her personal opinions. Still, this is a super-interesting story about one incredible woman's journey through several pivotal points in American history.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang
by Chelsea Handler
244 pages

This is comedian Chelsea Handler's third memoir.  I read it because I adore her. I love her bluntness and how she's not afraid to say what's on her mind. Some people might think she's kind of brash, and that's fine. I liker her anyway.

This book is just about shenanigans she's pulled, some occurring in childhood and some as an adult.  The best one is titled "Dear Asshole" and it's about her father trying to pull one over on unsuspecting beach house renters.  It's hilarious.

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me...

My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn't Share With Acquaintances, Coworkers, Taxi Drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers, Bikini Waxers, and Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends But Have
by Hilary Winston
226 pages

This book was on my list of books to read, and I forget why, but I'm glad I read it.

Hilary is a television writer who walked into a Barnes & Noble one day and saw that her ex-boyfriend had, indeed, written a book about her. He had changed her name, but she knew who he was talking about when he mentioned his "fat-ass girlfriend" multiple times.

Hilary's book is about the aftermath of seeing the book and reminiscing over her love life up until that point.  She talks about her first boyfriend, her first love, hookups, mistakes, etc.

I liked this book because with every relationship comes self-discovery, whether it's before/during/or after the relationship. Hilary learns important things about herself that I think every female can relate to when it comes to relationships with men.

Let's just hope they don't all write books about us.

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine, pages 239

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine, pages 239

Claire just started college and made an enemy from the queen bee Monica. Claire rents a room in a large manor near the college. The town is run by vampires and most of the humans are protected. Brandon, a vampire develops an unhealthy interest in Claire. Shayne (Claire’s roommate) makes a deal with him to save her. The vampires are looking for a misterous black book. Claire needs find the book and trade it for Shayne's safety.

The book was ok, but I won’t read any more books of the series.

Dread Murder by Gwendoline Butler, pages 217

Dread Murder by Gwendoline Butler, pages 217

Major Mearns is a spy in the court of King George IV and he takes care of his business unnoticed until he receives a pair of severed human legs. Mearns, his assistant Denny and a runaway Charlie investigate the murder.

I didn’t like the book because it was very hard to follow. The style of the book was very boring.

Demon Marked by Meljean Brook, pages 292

Demon Marked by Meljean Brook, pages 292

The main character Ash wakes up in a psychiatric hospital. She can’t remember anything from her past and runs away to discover her identity. Along the way she finds Nicholas, who tells her that she is a demon. She makes a bargain with him to help him find his demon mother. In return he will help her find the truth about herself. Looking for his mother they end up traveling to the States, meeting with demons and Guardians.

I liked the beginning of the book a lot. When I was about halfway the plot got really confusing. I understood the ending, but it wasn’t very interesting.

Night of the Living Dandelion by Kate Collins, pages 311

Night of the Living Dandelion by Kate Collins, pages 311

This is book number eleven of the series, but it is easy to understand without reading the other books. The main character Abby owns a flower shop. She meets Vlad Serban, friend of her fiancé Marco, who is rumored to be a vampire. Vlad is from Romania and works the night shift at Marco’s bar. He collects strange flowers like bloodwort and Dracula orchid and for some reason can never be reached in the daytime. Someone starts a rumor that Vlad is a vampire. After a nurse is found drained of blood and dumped behind the bar, Vlad is accused of murder. Abby and Marco investigate the murder to prove Vlad’s innocence. In the meantime Abby needs to deal with her strange cousin, who thinks that she is a vampire.

I enjoyed this book mainly because I liked Vlad very much. The rumors were very funny at first and especially when Vlad did not disprove them. I liked the subplot of the story with the cousin and the scene in the basement was amusing. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested.

The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis, pages 304

The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis, pages 304

This is the fifth book of the series, but it is easy to understand without reading the other books. The domestic diva Sophie Winston organizes a community haunted house. A rival domestic diva Natasha has a fabulous Halloween party at her house. Sophie finds the body of one of Natasha’s guests who is murdered by a vampire. Everybody is afraid that there is a vampire on the loose until Sophie solves the murder.

I really liked that book and I enjoyed on how scary was the book. Few of the characters are very funny. I didn’t like the teenage drama in the book.