Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Audiobook Review on Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

Read by Renee Raudman

Haven Travis has always been rebellious. She really wants to marry her boyfriend Nick, but her father refuses to give his blessing because he believes Nick is only after Haven's money. Haven doesn't listen and believes that she's truly in love with Nick.

At her brother's wedding, Haven is distraught with the idea that her father won't accept her and Nick's relationship. She decides to surprise Nick in the cellar by sneaking behind him and kissing him. She soon realizes that it's not Nick but Hardy Cates, the family's enemy.

She tries to forget about Hardy,even though it sparked something while inside of her, and goes ahead and marries Nick. Soon she finds out that Nick is not the man she thought he was and her life soon becomes in danger.

Can she escape from Nick? Can Haven ever learn to love again? Can Hardy erase Haven's dark past?

* * *
This is the second book in the Travis series and I was really looking forward to it. I as somewhat disappointed with the first one because how Hardy's character changed in the book. In this book, I was able to fall in love with him again.

I was not too sure how to rate this book. My feelings were in complete chaos with the darkness of the story. It turns out that I love it. It's a very difficult read but it had me completely hooked and emotional throughout the story.

This is not a light read AT ALL. Haven suffers through something completely tragic and horrific that no other human being should ever go through: domestic abuse and rape. I do caution those that read it that Lisa Kleypas does not overshadow these scenes. In fact, they are pretty graphic.

It also did not help how well the reader played Haven's part. It felt that these horrible scenes were actually happening. I found myself in tears and completely distraught at times on what was going on. I even had to give myself breaks on how graphic these scenes were.

Though Blue-Eyed Devil does touch some very serious topics, it was well told. I loved Haven and how she becomes strong again. I love Hardy on how he turns back into his loveable selft that was introduced in the first half of the first book, Sugar Daddy. I especially loved how these two characters complimented each other.

Lisa Kleypas is a wonderful writer and is one of my favorites. I was completely surprised of the content of this book but I admire how Kleypas had the guts to write about it and turn it into a happy ending.

(18+) Review and Giveaway of Confessions of a "Wicked" Woman by Susanna Carr

Stephanie Monroe leaves L.A. to the small town of Mayfield in search of her business partner, Venus. Unfortunately, Stephanie is caught in a storm, crashes into a creek, looses the SUV and her belongings in the water, is rescued by a hot sheriff, and gets arrested while at the police station for indecent exposure. Stephanie believes she has the worst luck and is desperate to get out of Mayfield with Venus, but soon a flood threatens the town and the two girls are trapped. Maybe Sheriff Jack Logan will come and rescue Stephanie again...

This was a cute, silly, easy to read, sexy book that's a perfect summer read. This is the second book I've read in the "Wicked" Woman series and it did not disappoint. Though this book did not have many steamy sex scenes as the other books, the ones that were there were worth it (oh the jail scene...).

Stephanie and Jack were hot together. They both want different things in life but their attraction for each other will make them compromise things to be together. I enjoyed how good girl Stephanie turned her "wicked" side on to torture Jack. I especially enjoyed how Jack didn't give a damn what the town thought of him being around Stephanie.

Overall, this was a great yet fast read. I liked the idea that there weren't too many sex scenes but the ones that were there did not make me regret reading them.

I am giving away my copy of this book. I got it as a used book, so keep that in mind. It does have slight crease marks on the spine of the book and the right bottom corner is bent. Other than that, it's in good shape.

Also, this does have explicit sex scenes so please, only 18+ participants.

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You can visit other great giveaways at I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Teaser Tuesdays #7

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here's my teaser:

"Dear You,
The Body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine." ~first two opening lines of The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award :D

I feel so special! I have been nominated for another award, the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you Helene at Helene’s World of Books for nominating me!

 The Award Rules:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
  • Let the nominees know that they've been nominated
  • Share 7 random facts about yourself
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the Versatile Blogger award picture to your post

 My Nominees are…

Chris @ In a Bookshelf
A.N. Lewis @ Lucidity
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Book Reviews
Sara @ Stegosaurus Rawr
Connie @ Connie’s Corner Shelf
Lauren @ Book Addict
Cass @ Books with Cass
Michelle @ Concise Book Reviews
Doodle Bug @ Doodle’s Bookshelf
Becky @ A Reader’s Devotion
Jenny & Nick @ A Bookish Co-Op
Kim @ Kim Reads
Rachael @ moosubi reviews!
Lindsay @ Nighttime Reading Center
Carolyn @ seeCHOsmile

7 “New” Facts About Me:

1.       I love listening to Lisa Kleypas audiobooks.
2.       I popped my left knee last year during dance rehearsal for a restaurant. I was supposed to be off my feet for a month; I was only off for a week.
3.       I will turn 26 in September.
4.       I still own my first car. I’ve had it since 2004.
5.       I am called Vonnie because a substitute back in 8th grade was unable to pronounce my name correctly when reading the roster.
6.       I have donated 18.5 inches of my hair a few years ago to the Locks of Love Foundation. I am waiting for my hair to reach my hips so I could donate it again.
7.       I sleep with my Marine’s jacket every night to feel close to him.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just for Fun: Cleopatra the Exhibition

Last Thursday, July 26th, I went to the Cleopatra Exhibit over at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. This exhibit features the largest Cleopatra-era artifacts from Egypt. Many of these artifacts were found under water in Alexandria. It was an amazing exhibit.

The California Science Center is free for the public. Only special exhibits like Cleopatra are charged.

I was super excited when I first heard about the exhibit, so I was really looking forward to my visit.

At the entrance of the exhibit, you are met by two museum employees and the eye of an Egyptian woman (seen above). One takes your ticket and directs you where to go. The other hands you free audio guides to make your experience more memorable.

You are then seated at a small theatre that plays a short clip that introduces the exhibit. the video describes who Cleopatra was and why she is important to the world. When the video finishes, you hear "Cleopatra" overhead in the speakers with dramatic music, "Welcome, to Cleopatra: The Exhibition." The screen raises up to the ceiling and this is in its place:

I was in complete awe. I thought it was a great way to excite the crowd to the showcase and this statue of Cleopatra was a great example on how important she was.

There were many other great artifacts and examples on how these artifacts were excavated. At the left you see two huge pharaoh statues, a sphinx, and a statue of a priest.
There were also great jewelry pieces. I got to see necklaces, earrings, bracelets, along with mirrors, make up jars, and hair decoration items.

Real Gold was also found underwater as well as coins. The picture on the right are stone fragments covered in gold. It's pretty amazing when you see it in person.

Overall, I loved the exhibit. I plan to go again before it ends in December. I greatly enjoy going to artifact and art museums and this one is one of my favorites.

I ended my trip with some souvenirs: a book on the exhibit (of course), three sarcophagus bookmarks, and hieroglyphs postcards to give out to friends at Shelfari. I was one happy girl :D

Friday, July 27, 2012

Audiobook and Movie Review of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston


Janie Crawford returns to Eatonville after long period of absence. The townspeople gossip as they Janie thinking that the young man she ran off with has left her. Janie confides in her friend Pheoby as to what really happened. We soon come to learn about the three men in Janie’s life and how she never gave up in looking for true love.

My thoughts on the audiobook and the book itself:

When I first tried to read the book in print, I was struggling with the Southern black dialect that dominated the telling of the story. I found myself too busy trying to sound out the words in my head instead of paying attention to the story. After the third time in re-reading the first chapter, I decided to listen to the audio instead because I really wanted to know what the book was about.

Ruby Dee reads Their Eyes Were Watching God and she did an excellent job in portraying the characters and making the story flow together. I was able to understand what she was saying and was able to focus more on the story than the Southern words. I’m really glad I opted to listen to the audio because it’s a beautiful story.

Janie is a strong woman who knows what she wants. She is married off to an old man for her own protection but leaves him in search of love. Janie soon becomes Mrs. Joe Starks and helps him build Eatonville and help Joe become mayor. Unfortunately, Joe tries to control her and make her very submissive. After his death, Janie runs off with a much younger man named Tea Cakes and she finally finds love.

I really liked how the book is able to portray major emotions: pain, happiness, love, and loss. I felt so much sympathy for Janie yet I admired her tremendously how she overcame her hardships.

I give it 4 stars

My thoughts on the TV movie:

This movie stars Halle Berry, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and Michael Ealy. Halle plays the strong willed Janie and does a very good job along with the other cast. The sets and costumes were right on the time period and the cinematography was beautiful. I really enjoyed watching the scenes where Janie dives into the water to “free” herself.

The feelings of love, pain, and loss are portrayed well. The scenes between Janie and Tea Cakes was sizzling and the scene of spousal abuse was heart wrenching.

As the movie alone, I give it 4 stars.

My thoughts on book-to-movie adaptation:

It’s very rare when movies stay true to the book so my hopes are not too high when seeing these kinds of movies. The TV movie was more of a romance story and kind of ignored the racism, sexism, and violence against women.

I rate the adaptation 3 stars because it missed major themes from the book.

Friday Hops 7/27

Crazy-for-Books is running this Book Blogger Hop to help connect book bloggers with other fellow book bloggers. Here's this week's question:

Q:What is one thing that your blog readers probably do not know about you?

A: I have been belly dancing for four years now and I have been performing for the past three years. I love it!
Dancing with Isis Wings December 2012

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

A: The book that remember the most is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I remember crying in class (actually, almost the whole class cried when we read the last chapter together).
* * *

Don't forget to check out the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway for two awesome books and to vote for my next TBR read! Thanks!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Liebster Blog Award!

I was nominated by Carson from A Reader with Voice for the Liebster Award! Thanks, Carson!!!
The Liebster Blog Award is given to blogs that have less than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging. Google did not help me figure out where this award originated from but I think the intention is quite cute and encouraging. In fact, “liebe” means “love” and “liebster” means “dearest one” in German. I am greatly honored in receiving this award :D

Award winners share 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who tagged them, come up with 11 of their own questions, and tag 11 more bloggers with the award. Don't forget to notify the people you nominate and no "tag" backs.

So here it goes!

11 Facts About Me:

1.       I was born in Mexico but was raised in California.
2.       I was kidnapped by my grandmother and brought to California at the age of 3. I was separated from my mom for three months. What a way to come to the U.S., huh?
3.       I’ve seen  the Phantom of the Opera musical live 6 times (one time in Vegas), seen the movie 20+ times, read the original book 5 times, and I enjoy reading books based on the Phantom. This makes me a Phan.
4.       I love Thai food and I could have it every day.
5.       My first paying job (at least the one I got my first pay check) was at Medieval Times. I worked in the Gift Shop department as a “Mistress”.
6.       I worked at Disneyland for 2 years as a cashier and cook.
7.       I have met Josh Groban and shook his hand. He’s quite sweet and loves to visit Medieval Times.
8.       I am obsessed with belly dance. It’s my other passion besides reading.
9.       I currently work as an aide for students with special needs and I also tutor on the side.
10.   I love my baby; she’s an almost 6-year-old Chihuahua.
11.   I am in love with a Marine who has been my best friend since 9th grade.  Luckily he is still stationed near home but will be shipped out soon. I just pray that he is sent somewhere that’s not too dangerous.

Carson’s Questions:

1) What is your least favorite book cover? I don’t have a specific book in mind, but I usually don’t like plain white books with just the title on them.
2) What is the first book you remember reading? I don’t remember the name of the book but it was in Spanish and the cover was red. It was about a little girl and her mother (like that helps).

3) What is a book you feel you will never read? I think that would be 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, especially the Spanish Edition.  I've tried to read it but I cannot make myself do so for some reason.
4) What is your current favorite song? Shut Up Woman and Get on My Horse (It’s a horrible song but for some reason I’m addicted to it)

5) Have you been to any author signings? Not many but I have. I’ve been to Anne Rice’s book signing this year at the Festival of Books.
6) Can you play an instrument? Do zills count? They are finger cymbals used in belly dance.

7) Do you listen to music while you read? Rarely, but if I do, it cannot have words.

8) Do you like bacon (I want to know if I'm alone in hating it)? I LOVE bacon! Sorry, Carson.

9) Do you separate your TBR books or put them on the same shelf? All of my books are mixed in together.
10) Who is your least favorite male love interest? I’m guessing this is a book character so I will have to say Edward from Twilight.

11) Who is your least favorite female character? Bella Swan…

My Questions:

1.       What book makes you feel happy?
2.       What book angers you?
3.       How do you pick your next book read?
4.       Which book is your childhood favorite?
5.       What book character do you most relate to?
6.       Does your reading increase or decrease during the summer? Why?
7.       Other than books/reading, do you have any other passions?
8.       Do you ever skip to the end of the book while reading it, just to see what happens?
9.       What’s your favorite movie based on a book?
10.   Coffee, Tea, Champurrado, Hot Chocolate or Milk?
11.   Do you see yourself blogging after 20 years?

I apologize if you were not nominated. I nominated those that had their GFC visible; plus I am following the “less than 200” rule. Here are my nominees:

2. Carmen @ Carmen’s Book Adventure (GFC is at the bottom)
3. Ana @ Beach Bum Reads
4. Emmy @ Sinfully Delicious Book Reviews
5. Elizabeth @ The Lost Dragon Chronicles
6. Deneé @ Novel Reveries
7. Atmika@ I Talk Books
8. Krysten @ A Turn of Page
9. Barklesswagmore @ Fetch Me My Fainting Couch
10. Aris @ Aris Whittier ~ A Romance Writer’s Crazy Life~
11. Abi @ Christian Novels

TBR Reduction Thursdays! HELP!! #2

My TBR pile keeps increasing and it doesn't help that I keep having book hauls. So I need to really get cracking into reading my books, especially the older ones. Last week you voted for Confessions of a "Wicked" Woman by Susanna Carr and I have gotten started on that. Now, I hope you guys can help me again with the next read. I have been neglecting the male authors so the following vote are books written by men:

(Click on links for more info)

1. The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
2. Afterlife by Douglas Clegg
3. The Innkeeper's Song by Peter S. Beagle

What Should I Read Next Written by a Male Author?
pollcode.com free polls 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop
July 27th to August 1st

 For this giveaway I am giving these two books away:

This giveaway is open to US and Canada only :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Visit these other awesome giveaways!

Audiobook Review on Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas AWWW!

Read by Rosalyn Landor

The youngest sibling of the Hathaways, Beatrix, is a lover of animals and prefers to be around her pets instead of people. Though she is pretty, her free spirit and strong will has not help her win a beau.

The story starts with Beatrix with her friend Prudence as she reads a letter received by Prudence from a soldier, Captain Christopher Phelan, who is off in war. Prudence does not want to reply because she detest war and thinks that Christopher is a bore. Beatrix takes it upon herself to reply back to him knowing that Christopher needs love and support.

Soon Beatrix and Christopher begin to swap letters that soon turn into love letters. The only problem is Christopher thinks that Beatrix is Prudence and Christopher is returning from the war. Should Beatrix tell him the truth?

OMG! I love this book! It is the fifth and the last book in The Hathaway Series and it's my absolute favorite! I was hesitant at first to listen to the book because Beatrix was my least favorite of the siblings; plus, I thought it couldn't get better than Married by Morning, the fourth book. Boy, was I wrong and surprised!

Beatrix was such a quirky person. Though it was hard to see her as a 23-year-old because she acted as if she were 15, I could not help but love her character. She relates everything to animals and does not care what people think of her. I really enjoyed the scene where she compares human sex to squirrels. I found myself snorting at that part.

Christopher was a tragic character yet lovable. He was a great example on how soldiers suffer from PTSD when they return to civilian life. I wanted to hug him and help make his nightmares go away.

These two were perfect for each other. Christopher is able to protect Beatrix and Beatrix is able to help him cope with his past. It was such a delight to listen to how these two interacted.

Rosalyn Landor has narrated the other books in the series as well, and she did an excellent job. I love how she portrayed Beatrix and I love how she made the story very entertaining to listen to. I had a huge smile throughout the book.

In all, Love in the Afternoon is a great book and I highly recommend it. It makes me sad that the series is over because I really love the Hathaway siblings. I'm glad to have gotten the chance to learn their stories though.


Wild Wednesdays #6

Wild Wednesday is here and that means that it's time to share this week's book hauls!

From Paperbackswap:

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix & Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I can now continue with the series!


From the $1 Book Store (a small chain in Los Angeles):

  • The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda: A mother gives up her daughter and this daughter gets adopted across the world to a woman who can't have kids. Sounds like a tear jerker.
  • Possession by A.S. Byatt: This book has been catching my attention and I have no clue what it's about.
  • Casa Rossa by Francesca Marciano: The story of three women with a dark past. Hmm...


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #6

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers:

"This was no puddle.
Stephanie's eyes widened as the SUV started to sink." ~ page 16 from Confessions of a "Wicked" Woman by Susanna Carr

"The Sons charged the newskin, slamming him back against the railing. I glimpsed a gash across his forehead, a wash of silver blood down the side of his face, before the crowd closed ranks around me, cutting off my view." ~page 20 from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reviews: Harry Potter and The Recipe Club

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

4.5 stars

Twelve-year-old Harry Potter cannot wait to go back to Hogwarts because life with the Dursleys is miserable. Two weeks prior to going back to school, Harry uses magic by accident and decides to leave the Dursley home. While he is escaping, he notices that a black dog is watching him.

Once he is back at Hogwarts, Harry believes that things will go well. Unfortunately, the most dangerous criminal named Sirius Black has escaped Azkaban and now Sirius is looking for Harry to finish the job that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was unable to finish.

This is the third book in the series and so far I think it’s better than the first two books. Even though I already knew what was going to happen because I’ve seen the movies first, I was quite hooked with the plot. I liked all the twists that the story had in keeping the suspense about Sirius Black and I also liked how there were parts that lighten up things.

I also greatly enjoyed the characters, the old ones and the new ones. Professor Snape is meaner than ever and greatly enjoys taking points off from Gryffindor, which I found the excuses hilarious. Professor Lupin has some secrets but is a very noble character and a great help to Harry. And the two paintings, The Fat Lady and Sir Cadogan, were simply funny especially Sir Cadogan.

I found myself quite entertained throughout the book and I cannot wait to read on to the next one!

The Recipe Club: A Novel About Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel

4 stars

Lily and Val have been friends since they were young girls. They formed a two-person club called “The Recipe Club” where they share different recipes with one another through letters. These girls are inseparable until one betrays the other, which ends their friendship temporally. After many years, the girls try to rekindle their friendship but a terrible secret unfolds, which reminds Lily and Val on why they can’t be friends.

This epistolary novel was done well. It is told through the letters and emails that the girls sent to each other. I loved the letters that went back and forth between “LillyPad” and “ValPal”. They showed the great friendship they had even though they were total polar opposites. It was also great to see how these girls aged with the letters and how they became the women they grow up to be.

The recipes that were shared were cute. The title for each recipe reflected on the situation on what the character was feeling.  Also, these recipes sounded delicious that I had to make copies of many of them.

Though I did find the reason as to why they stopped talking kind of absurd, it was pretty comprehendible. How many of us are still friends with our best friends from childhood? Didn’t we also have silly reasons as to why we are no longer friends or simply stopped communicating? It makes one remember the old days we had when we were children.

This was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it.
Trying to finish The Recipe Club but the dog wanted attention.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

TBR Reduction Results :D

Thank you to those that voted. I now have the next book to read from my humongous TBR pile. The winning book is...

I shall start this tonight (or tomorrow morning) and expect a giveaway of this book soon :D.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday, July 20th: Book Blogger Hop and F&F

Crazy-for-Books is running this Book Blogger Hop to help connect book bloggers with other fellow book bloggers. Here's this week's question:
Q: What’s the ONE super-hyped book you’ll NEVER read?

A: I usually don't care about hypes, but the one that is really getting attention and I doubt I'll ever read is the Fifty Shades Trilogy. I know I'm not the only one who hasn't read it and I know I'm not the only one who is refusing to read it. It's funny though because I do enjoy reading erotica but this one feels like a badly written one. I could be wrong but I just can't make myself read this series.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!
Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?

A: Can this really happen?! I want this imaginary gift card lol.

The two books that I will buy will be the leather bound edition of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe and the illustrated & unabridged edition of Phantom of the Opera. It would be really neat to have these on my permanent shelf.

*Side note: Please visit my voting TBR thread to help choose which book I should read next from my pile. I would greatly appreciate it :D

Thursday, July 19, 2012

TBR Reduction Thursdays! HELP!!!!

Okay...I seriously need to start reading books from my TBR pile instead of adding to it! So, I decided to try to read a book from my pile at least once a week. The problem is, I can't seem to decide which book to read next.

That's where you come in! I have narrowed my books down to three and you guys vote for the one that I should read next :D.

Here are the books (click on them to be sent to Amazon for more info):

1. Divas Don't Yield by Sofia Quintero
3. Lucky Chica by Berta Platas

What Should I read Next?

pollcode.com free polls 

*The "What Should I Read Next?" voting was inspired by Carson from A Reader with Voice.
**Voting ends Saturday, July 21st, so I could get quickly started.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wild Wednesdays #5

Wednesday is here and I'm going to share another book haul!


From the library:

  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman...heard great things about this book that just came out this month. It has dragons in it, so I'm really excited about that.

  • Zombies Don't Cry by Rusty Fischer...it has zombies!


From Book Closeouts:

  • The Den of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes...got it because the cover was pretty and it was only $1.49.
  • The Awakening by Angela E. Hunt...the title reminded me of Kate Chopin's novel but this has to do with dreams haunting the main character.
  • The Accidental Santera by Irete Lazo...sounded interesting. Main character gets pulled into Santeria.
  • Blind Fall by Christopher Rice...I always wanted read something by the son of Anne Rice. Plus, it's about a Marine. Ooh Rah!
  • Illegal by Bettina Restrepo...I'm always interested in reading how people immigrate since I too immigrated to the U.S. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Two book reviews!!!

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

4.5 stars

David Hayden would rather forget the year 1948; the year that changed his family. David recounts back to this year when he was 12 years old and remembers his beautiful Sioux housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier. Marie gets really sick and Wes and Gail, David’s parents, call on Uncle Frank the doctor to come check on her. Marie does not want to see the doctor, at least not Uncle Frank. David’s parents soon find out that Uncle Frank, Wes’ brother, has molested and raped many Indian girls during his visits, and Marie has been a victim. When word gets out, Marie all of a sudden dies and Uncle Frank is to blame. How can Wes, the town’s sheriff, arrest his own brother?

I was not sure what to expect from this book. I only got it to fulfill my Montana tag for a challenge that I am working on at Shelfari, so I had no idea what the book was about.

The story starts with a bang. You know right away that something horrible happened to David and his family in the year of 1948. This kind of beginning had me hooked.

Montana 1948 is very short but has some powerful points. It talks about the racial discrimination against Indians (Native Americans) and the relationship between Indians and whites.  It brought up the issues on sexual harassment and rape on Indian women and how these violent acts were ignored. The book also brought up how it’s hard to prosecute someone in your own family who is seen as a war hero and most important question was asked: what’s more important, family or justice?

Overall, this was a very surprising read that I was glad to have stumbled across. My only complaint would be that the first half of the first chapter was pretty slow compared to the powerful prologue. It felt like David’s family facts could have been told in a simpler way. Other than that, the book was an excellent read.

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

4 stars

Humperdinck Jehoshaphat van Dumpty, better known as Humpty Dumpty, has been found dead in many pieces next to a wall. Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his partner Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division of the city of Reading are assigned to the case. The Nursery Crime Division is not seen as an important branch of the crime unit. Detective Spratt only receives the Humpty Dumpty case because it was thought to be an easy case that could be closed right away. But Detective Spratt and his colleagues want to prove that they could do a good job and soon learn something interesting that could save the Nursery Crime Division from being disbanded: Humpty Dumpty was actually murdered.

This was my first Jasper Fforde novel and it was completely bonkers! I was not expecting to have various storybook characters be part of the book. I found it completely hilarious how Humpty Dumpty was a womanizer and an alcoholic, how Detective Jack Spratt is actually from Jack and the Beanstalk, how Mary Mary is quite contrary, how Prometheus (a Greek Titan) wants to marry Jack’s daughter, and how Rapunzel is an adulterer. I was not expecting all of this silliness to happen and I quite enjoyed it!

This book is not perfect though. There is so much going on with events and many characters are introduced that it is hard to focus on all the key points. I tried to pay attention to everything so I could try to figure out who the suspect was but I ended up getting a headache instead. Of course, this did not stop me from reading the book.

I really liked it and found it to be quite unique. I am actually looking forward to reading Fforde’s other novels.