Book Reviews 2012

#85 Wicked Appetite

Title: Wicked Appetite
Author: Janet Evanovich
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 313 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

Recommended By:
I love Janet Evanovich…always fun!

Review:
It was a good first book in a series. I always enjoy her books, they are very easy fun summer reads J I liked the characters and the basic story…just waiting for the next book. I hope it continues for a few more books…at least!
Book Reviews 2012

#84 Dragon Keep

Title: Dragon Keep
Author: Janet Lee Carey
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 302 (HB)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide the secret, the Queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, so Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy to restore the family to their rightful throne. But Rosalind’s flaw cannot be separated from her fate. When she is carried off by the dragon, everything she thought she knew falls apart. The dragon sees beauty in her talon where her mother saw only shame, and Rosalind finally understands what her mother has truly denied her.

Recommended By:
Another rec from one of my husband’s friends.

Review:
I liked it more than I thought I would. It was an interesting story and I thought it was well written. I would definitely read another book written by this author.
Book Reviews 2012

#83 On the Street Where You Live

Title: On the Street Where You Live
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 317 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Following the acrimonious breakup of her marriage and the searing experience of being pursued by an obsessed stalker, criminal defense attorney Emily Graham accepts an offer to leave Albany and work in a major law firm in Manhattan.

Feeling a need for roots, she buys her ancestral home, a restored Victorian house in the historic New Jersey seaside resort town of Spring Lake. Her family had sold the house in 1892, after one of Emily's forebears, Madeline Shapley, then still a young girl, disappeared.
Now, more than a century later, as the house is being renovated and the backyard excavated for a pool, the skeleton of a young woman is found. She is identified as Martha Lawrence, who had disappeared from Spring Lake over four year ago. Within her skeletal hand is the finger bone of another woman with a ring still on it -- a Shapley family heirloom.

In seeking to find the link between her family's past and the recent murder, Emily becomes a threat to a devious and seductive killer, who has chosen her as the next victim.

Recommended By:
My husband picked the book up to listen to and I wanted to reread it so we could discuss it when he was done 

Review:
I liked it. It’s been awhile since I read it, so I didn’t remember too much of it and it took me a little while to figure the mystery out. She is always good for a quick and easy read. Never too gross with the details…reminds me a little of Agatha Christie.
Book Reviews 2012

#82 The Eyre Affair

Title: The Eyre Affair
Author: Jasper Fforde
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 374 (Softcover)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

Recommended By:
My book club read it. This was a reread for me J

Review:
I liked it even better this time. Probably because I knew how it ended…but also I am used to his style of writing and I love the way it flowed. I do think the next few books in the series are better, but this is a great start to the series.
Book Reviews 2012

#81 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Author: Washington Irving
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 25 (Paperback)
Length of time to read: 1 hour

Synopsis:
Are all the lights on?

Is there a parent in the house?

Are the windows shut and locked? Double-check!

They HAVE to be if you are going to read this book, which is undoubtedly the scariest rendition of one of the greatest ghost stories ever told: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

While you may have heard of Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel, and the Headless Horseman, you've never SEEN them quite like this -- through the macabre imagination of the inimitable Gris Grimly.

So, take a deep breath and take a long look. And you may want to bring a flashlight to bed with you tonight.

Recommended By:
I know the basic story but had never read it. It was on my 100 book list to read.

Review:
I didn’t care for the style of writing. The story doesn’t get as deeply into it as I would like either. I didn’t love it…
Book Reviews 2012

#80 Draogonquest

Title: Draogonquest
Author: Donita K. Paul
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 355 (Softcover)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
A New Quest Begins

A dragonkeeper of Paladin, Kale is summoned from the Hall to The Bogs by the Wizard Fenworth to serve as his apprentice and tend his newly hatched meech dragon, Regidor. But Kale isn’t going alone. The Hall is sending a student to monitor her performance and report back to the scholars. Worst of all, it’s Bardon–an older boy Kale finds irritating, but who at least can hold his own in a sword fight.

New Friendships Are Forged

Meanwhile, the Wizard Risto has seized another meech dragon, bringing him dangerously close to gaining the power he seeks. So with only a motley band of companions, Kale sets out on a desperate quest to rescue the second meech, to free those dragons already enslaved, and to thwart Risto’s devious plans. It’s up to Kale to lead the search and to embrace the role that’s rightfully hers. But will her efforts be enough to save the land of Amara from the dark future that awaits at Risto’s hands?

Recommended By:
This is the second in a series that I started based on a rec from a nurse my husband works with.

Review:
I really liked it. It was better than the first, the characters were all established and it was flowed well. I really like the main character and the storyline. I look forward to seeing how the story develops. There were a few new characters introduced, but it was done well and they fit into the story perfectly.
Book Reviews 2012

#79 The Professor

Title: The Professor
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 378 (HB-Large Print)
Length of time to read: 6 days

Synopsis:
This story of William Crimsworth, who goes to Brussels to seek his fortune, falls in love with Frances, a schoolteacher and lace-maker, and is himself pursued by Mademoiselle Reuter, has often been dismissed as merely a draft of Villette. Yet Charlotte Bronte always stubbornly defended the novel, suggesting a certain lack of depth on the part of the publishers. Portraying a self-made man and his relationships in an individualistic society that worships property and propriety, this peculiarly ambiguous and disturbing love story reveals Charlotte Bronte as a social critic of insight and power.

Recommended By:
Love Bronte and this was on my 100 books to read list.

Review:
I liked it. Not as much as Jane Eyre, but I think it would be hard to love it THAT much…I am a little obsessed with Jane Eyre  It was well written (Of course, It’s Charlotte Bronte!!) and the characters interesting. It was a little slow, but I think I am just used to authors not nearly as good as her who rush you through the story. If you are a fan of classic novels, check this one out!
Book Reviews 2012

#78 Loves Music, Loves to Dance

Title: Loves Music, Loves to Dance
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 304 (PB)
Length of time to read: 4 hours

Synopsis:
New York's trendy magazines are a source of peril when a killer enacts a bizarre dance of death, using the personal ads to lure his victims...
After college, best friends Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott move to the city to pursue exciting careers; Erin is a promising jewelry designer, Darcy finds success as a decorator. On a lark, Darcy persuades Erin to help their TV producer friend research the kinds of people who place personal ads. It seems like innocent fun...until Erin disappears.
Erin's body is found on an abandoned Manhattan pier -- on one foot is her own shoe, on the other, a high-heeled dancing slipper. Soon after, startling communiqués from the killer reveal that Erin is not the first victim of this "dancing shoe murderer." And, if the killer has his way, she won't be his last. Next on his death list is Darcy.
Recommended By:
An old favorite.

Review:
This is one that I loved when I was a teenager, and I still enjoyed it even knowing how it ends. I remember the feelings I had the first time I read the book…I loved it and did a book report for school on it J MHC is one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer.
Book Reviews 2012

#77 Christ the Lord-Out of Egypt

Title: Christ the Lord-Out of Egypt
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 321 (HB)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
With the Holy Land in turmoil, seven-year-old Jesus and his family leave Egypt for the dangerous road home to Jerusalem. As they travel, the boy tries to unlock the secret of his birth and comprehend his terrifying power to work miracles. Anne Rice's dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel, based on the gospels and the most respected New Testament scholarship, summons up the voice, the presence, and the words of Jesus, allowing him to tell his own story as he struggles to grasp the holy purpose of his life.

Recommended By:
The book is on my 100 book to read list.

Review:
I didn’t care for it. It was somewhat boring. As I have said in the recent past, I don’t think she is a great writer, but is a good storyteller usually. This time, she failed me. I might pick up the next book in the series, but I am in no hurry to do so. I just didn’t find the story that interesting…
Book Reviews 2012

#76 Dragonspell (Dragon Keeper #1)

Title: Dragonspell (Dragon Keeper #1)
Author: Donita K. Paul
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 339 (Softcover)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
One Dragon Egg Holds the Key to the Future.

Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.

A Desperate Search Begins…

A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…

Recommended By:
A nurse my husband works with.

Review:
It wasn’t the most original of subjects-it was like a lot of other fantasies with Dragons I have read-but it still pulled me in. I liked that the main character is a girl and I loved the minor dragons! I plan to read the next book in the series and hope I enjoy it as well.