Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quick Reviews

I haven't had much time to read since last week, but here are the ones I've managed to finish:

A MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN by Laurie R. King -- I really liked this one, though, again, it was a little slow in the beginning. I can't put my finger on what I love so much, but there's just something about this series that leaves me salivating for the next book. They're very...dense...books, with a lot of details, and I love all of the historical tidbits. In this novel, Mary Russell is drawn into the confidence of a friend who is part of a women's organization that is pretty much aimed at women's rights. Someone is killing off rich young women who, of course, managed to leave all/most of their money to the organization. Again, the relationship between Russell and Holmes is _wonderful_, though the father/daughter aspects of it are taking a backseat to something a bit...less father/daughter. (VBG) I really didn't know what to think of that, but found myself cheering it on in the end. We'll see how it goes from here on out. Anyway -- very good book.

Buy or Rent? BUY.


This is the story of a young guy who has dated and broken up with no less than 19 Katherines and his search for the reason _why?_ Colin Singleton is a "former" child prodigy who feels he hasn't lived up to his potential. As he points out numerous times, a prodigy (unlike a genius) only learns things quickly--things others invented or figured out. All he wants is to leave his mark on the world, and he finds his chance when he comes up with and tries to prove the "Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability" -- the idea that he can predict how long any couple with stay together before their relationship falls apart. And perhaps answer the "why" regarding all of those dang Katherines. Accompanied by his best friend, Hassan, he sets out on an impromptu road trip which lands him in Gutshot, TN. General teen mayhem ensues.

I liked this book -- the humor was great and I laughed out loud many, many times. Hassan is one of the best sidekicks I've read in a long time. Seriously, he should have his own series. (g)

Here's the thing. It's light, it's fun...but it's not what I would call a deep read. It's pure entertainment and I totally recommend it for a good laugh. (FYI -- it's coming out in paperback this August (I believe) with a cover price of $3.99. Go forth and buy, people.) Green's use of footnotes was HYSTERICAL. Haha...just thinking about them makes me laugh. (g)

Buy or Rent? Buy.


This is the story of two best friends -- told from when they're very young, through their teenage years. At first their relationship seems pretty standard. Sure, one of the girls is a little bossy, but overall, typical kid stuff. But then it became apparent that Leah held a great deal of power over Laine and used that power to manipulate her. It's disturbing and gritty, but overall, pretty realistic, I think.

I can't say I loved this book, but it definitely made an impact. It was powerful stuff, but at times, I felt the prose didn't quite live up to the potential of the story. Could be me.

However, I think Knowles really captured what it's like to be a teenager -- the stupid decisions all of us made at one time or another, the power of peer pressure, the way a relationship will ebb and flow through the years, how finding your way out of one bad situation may lead you into another... It felt real, and I have to applaud that.

That said, this book is rather dark. And well, I think I'm a little burned out on hard-hitting books with an in-your-face storytelling style. (g) I think I'll read something a bit lighter next... maybe THE PRINCESS ACADEMY by Shannon Hale. :)

Okay, off to see Batman *dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BATMAN!!*

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