Wednesday, January 26, 2011

4: Dead in the Family

Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris, is the 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (the books are what True Blood is based on). They are light, funny, easy reads that remind me so much of the Danielle Steel type of books – a lot of fluff and a lot of fun.

I full admit to enjoying these easy reads, but this one was tough to read. Maybe it had been too long since I read the 9th (sometime last summer), or maybe it was just this book, but I felt unresolved at the end and never felt like the book reached the climax it needed (uh, on another note, Sookie DID reach the climax she was needing based on the descriptions of her “special time” with Eric).

I felt like nothing major happened in this novel, but it was setting itself up for a few more. I wonder if the series has run its course and if it is time for Sookie to move on to another chapter. The books are beginning to be very similar, and not quite as enjoyable as they were at first. I give this one a 5/10… it needed more of a storyline, and less fluff.

Monday, January 24, 2011

3: The Scent of Rain and Lightning

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard is a murder mystery style of book. I liked the premise of it – a girl’s father is killed during a rainstorm and her mother disappears the same night. A local man is accused of the crimes and sent to jail. Some twenty-something years later, he is released on bad evidence and it sends her into a spiral of finding out the truth.

The book was well written... for the first half, and then it falls apart to me. The characters were believable and the main character is likable. However, there are major parts of this story missing. I did not like the love triangle between the main character, Colin & Red. The history between Jody (main character) and Colin was awkward and the love interest only made it odder. I had a lot of questions surrounding Colin’s mother’s death – where were the police? Why was the killer able to escape so easily? Why was Billy able to escape? What was the motive in all of this?

Overall, I liked it. It never hit the “WOW” moment I was wanting, and it wrapped up too perfectly for my tastes. I give it a 6/10 because of the missing parts of the story and how the second half read so differently than the first half. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is written by Rebecca Skloot. 

Full Disclosure: I read very little nonfiction. However, this was recommended to me by that handy algorithm at Amazon and I snapped it up and WHOA. I am so glad I did.

This story talks about the life of Henrietta Lacks, whose cervical cells were harvested without her consent or knowledge and grown around the world in petri dishes. The family never knew, she died shortly after the cells were harvested, and the story deals with a reporter talking with the family about the cells and trying to find out more about their mother.

I really enjoyed the book. I don’t completely understand the author’s purpose – was the family wanting money? Is the author giving money to the family from the proceeds of her book? Were they just wanting answers? The part that interested me the most dealt with the oldest daughter, who died in a mental institution (you understand it to be at the hands of someone) and was actually, not mentally insane, but just deaf. But, you never get the whole story – it leaves you hanging in that area. 

However, I really enjoyed this book. It flowed well, I liked the science parts and I enjoyed reading about the family today. I highly recommend this book. I give it an 8/10.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1: All We Know of Heaven

All We Know of Heaven is a young adult book is written by Jacqueline Mitchard, who wrote some of my favorite adult books. However, I’m not sure about her writing young adult fiction. It seemed to me like she altered her sentence structure, and her new ones came out stilted and didn’t have the voice that she usually has in the writing.

That being said, the book was engaging. The story is (ripped from the headlines!) about two teenage girls who get into a car accident and one girl lives and one dies. The families are told who is whom, based off where the girls were sitting in the car. Because they were so similar in height/weight/looks and their injuries are so severe, doctors are not sure who is whom. Turns out, they got the girls switched.

The story deals with the family’s discovery and their healing. The two families do not end on good terms, and I did not like that. I cannot imagine what that would be like, but I would think that you would not hate the other family because their daughter lived. Also, there was a love connection in the book that honestly eeeked me out. The boyfriend of the dead girl ends up falling in love with the living girl and it was just weird to me.

All in all, I give this a solid 6/10. Good reading, not spectacular, but definitely kept my attention. A good high school/middle school book, although there is sex in it, the characters are careful to discuss protection and issues around that.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Rules

1. Books must have at least 100 pages in them.
2. Any book I read must be new to me this year. I cannot have read it, listened to it or watched the movie of it before this year to count.
3. All books will be started at 12:01 on January 1st, 2011 and will be finished by 11:59 on December 31, 2011.
4. I will blog about every book I read, giving reviews and a quick synopsis.
5. I will have fun :)

A Welcome

Hello! My name is Jessica and I live in the wonderful state of South Carolina (really! It is wonderful! You should visit!) with my handsome husband, cute baby and deranged dog. I wear a lot of hats during the day, but I am mainly a wife, a mom & a teacher. I work from home and have a few hobbies, including reading, running and playing on the internet.

I love to read. I read a wide variety (or so I think... this year could change my thinking!) of books. I decided that this year, 2011, would be my year to read one hundred books.

Wish me luck!