Bookpile: November 2010

Ninth Grade Slays, Tenth Grade Bleeds – Next two in the chronicles of Vladimir tod series. And it’s just getting better. The drama is building, the characters are deepening. Really enjoying this group of books. Enough angst and star-crossed lovership to please girl readers, tons of action and fight scenes to please the boys. Still highly recommended.

Warriors: Into the Wild – I hate cats. So why am I reading a book where the characters are all cats? Because one of my 13-year-old friends loves these books, his mom’s never read them, and I was intrigued because they are so prolific and popular. And I can see why, even if they are about cats. Who are very cat-like while being very human in personality. The story is standard fantasy fare – newcomer/nobody/underling gets a chance, becomes favorite of the top cat, will be the one to save the clan from the dangers within and without. Enjoyable, but fairly stock. With the exception of the cat part that is. Cats. Really. Not excited enough to read more myself, but worth a peek for most kids.

(Note: I inherited my mom’s Kindle and along with it her library of books. She tended to read quite a different type of book than I normally do. These next few are a sampling I read while traveling to Paris and the rest of the month. I find it ironic and amusing she used to tell me not to read these kinds of romances because they just set you up for unfulfilled expectations with men. Ha. Links are to Kindle editions since that’s what I read.)

Blue-Eyed Devil, Smooth Talking Stranger, Sugar Daddy – Read these out of order, but I guess it didn’t really matter. Stories of three of the kids in the Travis family, a big money family in Houston. (In my mind, I kept thinking of the Perots in Dallas for comparison.) Enjoyed enough to read all three of them All are told from the standpoint of the female involved in the story, whether in or out of the Travis family. Although (as if there were any doubt) they all end up in the Travis family. Overly perfect guys, but that’s kind of par for the course.

A Bride Most Begrudging – Historical romance tale of a woman – a lady, no less – who is shanghaied on board a boat transporting prisoners to the colonies. The women prisoners will be auctioned off as brides (or in the rare case, indentured servants) once they reach the new world. Our heroine is saved from an odious man by our hero and the unplanned, unwanted wedding ensues. (Thus the begrudging part.) Crises are overcome and love blooms in time. Awww. It was OK, not great on the historical details, though.

Girl in Translation – Not a romance! A coming-of-age tale of a Chinese immigrant girl. The story moved along at a fairly even keel, few ups or downs, which is often just a smidge boring, in my book. The ending has a bit of a twist, while at the same time being a little predictable. Mildly enjoyed. More interested in what’s probably a more true-to-life depiction of the struggles immigrants face once they get here and the culture clashes.

What Happens in London – Ah. One of those historical romances that decides to make the characters act totally out of character for the period. Which makes it more relatable, but not so realistic. Still, this one veers off into thriller territory, what with a kidnapping and treachery afoot. That said, I found the very, very end of the tale to be quite cute.

Smash Cut – Full-on thriller here, complete with requisite sociopathic serial killer. (Or is it psychopathic?) Anyway, a few interesting twists to be found by the end. Even though you’re pretty much told who-dun-it right from the start, there’s always a lingering suspicion that it might not really be him, but rather his accuser. OK read.

Stonebrook Cottage – Ugh. The dramatic plot I could buy. The stock characters and the “surprise” at the end, I couldn’t. People acted without consistency to motivations … well, in those rare cases where we actually knew or understood their motivations. Too much of the character development seemed to rely on you having read the previous book in this series (which was on there, but I didn’t realize I had gotten mixed up) and the answer to who did it – came completely out of left field. Like she just put some names in a hat and just picked one and that person got to be the bad guy this time. Just didn’t work for me at all.

Obsession – Strangely, I enjoyed this book. But every time I’ve started working on this post, I’ve had to go look up what the story was about because I can’t remember. But I did like it at the time. Totally beyond weirdly unbelievable plotline. I figured out at least some of it right away, although the underlying premise was beyond anyone’s ability to guess in advance. The opening – quite compelling. The rest, just OK.

Dog On It – Loved, loved, loved this one. It’s a semi-noir kind of story – the kind with the hard-boiled detective – told from the perspective of Chet. Who’s a very not hard-boiled dog. Who flunked out of K-9 training. Yes, it sounds a little cutesy but it’s very well done. If you have a dog, you will so totally get the way Chet talks and acts and sees things. Got Kevin to read it as well and we were both laughing constantly at Chet. Mucho drama and danger for both human and canine. Can’t wait to read the next two he has out.

Vision in WhiteBed of RosesSavor the Moment – First three of a four-book series (the fourth one came out after my mom got sick so she hadn’t bought it yet). Four women who run a wedding planning service. Each book covers their own roads to true love, romance and marriage. Nothing overly unique about these but I did enjoy them. Enough that I put book four on hold at he library. I’m 70th in line. Geez.

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