Title: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand Author: Helen Simonson Publisher: Random House Publication Date: January 2010 Genre: Adult Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Stand AloneSynopsis can be found hereReview: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is a charming story that takes place in the English countryside. As the Major finds himself drawn to Mrs. Ali, a widow who owns the local shop, the townspeople and their own families throw them obstacles which each must overcome in order to be together. The language rolls over me, warm with beautiful descriptions. Every character is brought to life vividly. This is a book about a sleepy town and the prejudices that crawl to the surface. The book is on the slower side, but not in a bad way. I felt the rolling of the English countryside and the quietness of the town which accents nicely the mayhem of the shooting party and the drama that unfolds later in the novel. To its core, it is an incredibly romantic story, about two people finding love but having to cross many barriers to be together. Major Pettigrew, for all his upright and conservative views, is a kind and gentle man. Simonson makes him sympathetic without being narrow-minded and old. Mrs. Ali on the other hand is like a breeze of fresh air. Their courtship starts slow and it’s amazing to read about these two people whose relationship...Read More
Title: Overbite Author: Meg Cabot Publisher: William Morrow Publication Date: July 2011 Genre: Adult Paranormal Contemporary Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two Synopsis can be found here.You can find my review of book one here. Review: Meena Harper and friends are in over their heads. It’s been about six months since their fight with Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, and where the first book in the series Insatiable left off. Meena is working for the Palatine Guard, only to find something new and more sinister has moved into Manhattan. And it seems to be targeting Meena. The second book in the series is significantly shorter than the first (only coming in at 278 pages.) I wasn’t sure what to expect, as the first book was almost twice as long. The story was suspenseful and fun, but it didn’t have the same magic as the first book. There was less humor, more drama and the characters changed so drastically in such a short amount of time, they were almost unrecognizable. The foundation was there from the beginning and I immediately knew which way it was going, so while the ending wasn’t a complete surprise, I didn’t feel like it had a very natural flow of getting there. I also thought this book seemed more YA-ish, while the first book leaned more on the romance adult side. (The heat between Meena and Lucien jumped at you from the...Read More
Title: Insatiable Author: Meg Cabot Publisher: William Morrow Publication Date: June 2010 Genre: Adult Paranormal Contemporary Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book OneSynopsis: can be found here Review: Vampires, Psychics and Slayers! Oh My! Meena Harper, a dialogue writer on a soap opera titled “Insatiable”, has a secret of her own. She can see how people are going to die. Armed with this gift since she was small, she has grown up hiding her gift and helping out when she can. Whether that’s a stranger on a subway, or best friend, she’s found a way to calmly steer people away from their own demise. Now if only Meena could help herself. Meg Cabot is hit or miss for me. While I enjoyed her Princess Diaries YA series, I did try another one of her adult fiction books and it left me kinda empty. So I didn’t have high hopes for this book. Sure, it looked like fun and who doesn’t like a good vampire story now and again? (I DO!) And… Wow! I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. A new, awesome twist on the Dracula legend, Cabot’s characters don’t take themselves too seriously. There are some funny pop culture references to a couple more famous vampires that made me laugh. Meena is a strong female role model. She’s been through a lot, always...Read More
Title: Sean Griswold’s Head Author: Lindsey Leavitt Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens Publication Date: March 2011 Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone Synopsis can be found here. Review: Payton is my type of girl. She loves to be organized, and even color-codes her folders. She’s a smart student who likes to place things in their proper places. Therefore, it’s especially traumatic for her when she learns a secret that sends her reeling into her guidance counselor’s office. Her guidance counselor recommends she find a focus item to concentrate on. And what do you know? It’s Sean Griswold’s head. I didn’t know what to expect from this book. The synopsis sounded cute and I figured it would be some light-hearted treat I could read quickly and move on. But there’s a lot more to it than that. My friend loaned me her copy, with the words, “No, it’s awesome. You’ll love it.” And I did. Leavitt is a very talented writer. Her characters are well rounded, full, rich and funny. Even when they’re suffering, they don’t lose their wholeness or depth. The novel touches upon more than just Payton and Sean. It delves into relationships between family members, especially parents and children. Payton’s character is so real, she felt like she was sitting next to me. Her emotions, thoughts and actions made her into a mature...Read More
Title: Across The Universe Author: Beth Revis Publisher: Razorbill Publication Date: January 2011 Genre: Young Adult Dystopia/Science Fiction Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One Synopsis can be found here. Review: Amy joins her parents aboard the massive spaceship Godspeed where she will awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But Amy awakens fifty years too early and begins an adventure that might create more questions than answers. Revis’s debut novel is not to be missed. A little bit sci-fi, a little bit dystopia, Revis has created a lush and frightening world aboard the space ship Godspeed, where all the characters have hidden agendas. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, a twist would come out of nowhere and make me go, “Wait, what!” in a good way. Dark, sinister characters move around the spaceship, and Amy is different. Which makes her a target and a threat. The dual narrative between Amy and Elder is well done. Two distinct voices relaying a story adds to the overall tension and feel of the ship and the relationships on it. I’ve found it hard sometimes for an author to write a narration in the opposite sex, but Revis does this very well. At no time did I feel Elder was anyone but Elder, a boy on a spaceship who had an impressive and complicated job before...Read More
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