Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: The Siren

Buy it here-- if you have a lot of money

(I have no idea why this book is so expensive. They must have stopped printing it.)

Did you read The Odyssey in school? Or watch the George Clooney movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?  Then you've probably heard of sirens. They're the beautiful women who sing to the sailors at sea, and the men are so dazzled by the beautiful singing that they drown.

This is the story of one such Siren, Kahlen. The duty of a siren lasts 100 years, and then a siren can be human. But what will happen when Kahlen falls in love with a human man when she still has 20 years left on her sentence?

I thought this story was cute and original. There were moments of laughter and tears. One moment that I thought was particularly funny: Kahlen makes some kind of noise. I can't remember what. She laughs or sneezes or something. And her boyfriend finds the sound so beautiful that he immediately tries to drown himself. I don't think it was meant to be funny, but I found the imagery humorous.

I really liked delving into the mind of a siren, And I really enjoyed the relationships and interactions Kahlen has with her sister sirens. A great original story!

Lovely's rating: 4 out of 5 Hearts

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: The Last Policeman

buy it here! 
This is a normal police drama with a bit of a twist. Police detective Hank is investigating a suicide that he thinks is actually a murder. The twist is that an asteroid is coming towards Earth, creating a catastrophic event that will destroy the entire planet in six months.

How do you go on living when you know the world is going to end?

I loved the idea of this book. You've seen Armageddon and Deep Impact, but those movies didn't really delve into the social and economic breakdown that the world would going through with the knowledge that the world was going to end.   In most of those types of movies, it seems like people figure out there's going to be drama with like three hours to spare. The reality is that there would be much more notice than that, and there would be mass chaos.

But as much as I wanted to like this book, it was only ok. This is the first book in a trilogy, but I haven't read the other two. I just didn't care enough. I wish I had liked the characters more.

Lovely's rating: 2.5 out of 5 hearts

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: Silver Linings Playbook

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Another good book!

Pat just returned home after spending some time is a psychiatric facility. We don't know why or how long, but we know he was married and now he's not, so it must be something to do with her. Pat struggles to build relationships with his family and his friends, all the believing that if he works hard enough, he will be reunited with his wife.

Yes, this was another good book. There were bits of humor, there were bits of sadness, and even bits of tension. It's clear that Pat is crazy, like should probably still be hospitalized crazy, but I loved Pat anyway. I wanted him to succeed, and I wanted him to be ok. And I REALLY wanted to know what happened to the wife!

Lovely's rating: 4 out of 5 hearts (lost a heart when I found out what happened to the wife!)

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Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Buy it here!

Did you know that dogs believe in reincarnation? And if you live a really good dog life, you'll be human in the next life?

This is the story of Enzo the dog, who lives with his person, Denny. The story is told through Enzo's point of view, and tells the story of Enzo's life. Through Enzo's eyes, we also see Denny's relationships with the people in his life.

Oh, man. This was such a good book. I cried through at least half of it. I loved Enzo, I loved Denny, and I hated anyone who crossed them.

Seriously. I will cut them.

And I loved the dog's perspective. Like there's a section where Enzo is left alone in the house, and there is havoc, as you would expect when you leave an untrained dog in the house. But we don't usually know why. Enzo explains it all to us, and what he was thinking.

I'm not going to lie-- this is a sad book. And not just the end, when the inevitable happens (you know it's going to happen from the first page). It's the middle. The trials that Enzo and Denny go through, they're so heartbreaking. I was devastated while reading it. My husband even suggested that I stopped reading it at one point. He didn't think that me sobbing through a novel was particularly healthy.  He doesn't know-- he's not a reader. I told him to hush until I finished the story.

Please go out and get this book today, and tell me what you think. I absolutely think that Enzo is going to be human in the next life.

Lovely's rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: The Longest Ride

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There are two stories simultaneously taking place in this novel. First we have Ira, a 90-year-old widower. He is traveling alone and was in a car accident, driving off the road and trapping him in the vehicle. In pain and facing certain death, he has a series of flashbacks, chronicling the love affair he had with his wife.

Meanwhile, college student Sophia and hottie cowboy Luke are just beginning their relationship. They don't know Ira, and they have little in common (other than Ira and Sophia's shared love of art), but their lives are about to intersect.

I am a Nicholas Sparks fan. I have read of all of his books, and I own almost all of them. I have met him, and I was lucky enough to have him sign 5 of my books. His novels are romantic, not raunchy. He tells a love story.

I haven't met a Sparks book I didn't like (Okay, I didn't really care for Nights in Rodanthe). The Longest Ride was no exception. The love story was great, and I liked how the old love and the new love converged. But even more than that, I loved that I felt like I was learning. I don't know squat about art history or bull riding, but after reading this, I felt I was slightly more knowledgeable! (but don't test me-- I don't retain that much!)

Lovely's rating: 5 out of 5 hearts

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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This is a coming of age story about Charlie, a shy high school freshman. He newly becomes friends with Sam and her stepbrother Patrick, who are both seniors. The story is told through a series of letters that Charlie writes to an unknown person.

Throughout the book, the teens experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sexuality. All the while, Charlie has flashbacks of his favorite aunt, who died in a car accident (while out to buy Charlie a birthday present).

This was a fabulous book. Great character development, not just with Charlie, but with all the characters. I figured out pretty early that Charlie was repressing or hiding something, and you can suspect what it is, but I was absolutely invested in the characters and making sure they were all ok at the end-- even the person he was writing to. I wish I knew more about the person Charlie was writing to, but I think that was a completely intentional decision: the reader can't know more because Charlie doesn't know any more. But this was a beautifully written story, and I highly recommend it!

Lovely's rating: 5 out of 5 hearts

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of Book Reviews: The Divergent Series

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In the future, people are separated into one of several "factions" based on their personality traits. There's one for the selfless, for the courageous, for people who value honesty, and for people who value intelligence, etc. Every 16-year-old has to take an aptitude test to determine what faction they would be best suited for.

16 year old Tris takes her test, and learns that she is Divergent, meaning that she showed equal aptitude for more than one faction. She is told that she most keep this information secret, because the government wants to dispose of all the divergents.

On choosing day, Tris chooses to join the Dauntless faction. This faction is for the very brave, the fearless. Members of this faction become police officers, soldiers, protectors over the rest of the factions. Tris is initiated into the Dauntless and meets her instructor, Four (Spoiler alert: Four is hot. They will be hooking up). Then, much like The Hunger Games, Tris learns that the government is hiding things from the citizens, there's an uprising, Tris must choose whether to lead or follow, and what side she's going to be on.

OK, so the first book was really good. The second book was only ok, and like most trilogies, it contained the filler to get us to the third book.

The third book... Ugh. I don't know how to feel about it. I liked it, but I didn't like it. Does that make sense? The ending.... I wasn't happy. I hung out with you through three books, and that was the ending you give me? Ugh! I will say, it wasn't what I expected.

Did you read this series? Most people did. What did you think of the ending? Were you as disappointed as I was?

Lovely's Rating: 3.5 out of 5 hearts

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