Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Against Gravity

Against Gravity: A NovelAgainst Gravity: A Novel by Lucy Ferriss

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I picked this book up several years ago in a bargain bin. I'm glad I didn't spend a lot of money on it. I struggled to get through it and finally at month end, I just admitted defeat and didn't finish it. I'm not sure why I struggled with this book, the writing wasn't terrible. Maybe it was the skipping back and forth between the past, the not-so-past, and the present - while it was well done, I generally avoid books that do a lot of that. Blame it on low intelligence, but I think authors shouldn't need to do that skipping around to create drama. And that is all they're doing.

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Synopsis: Growing up in a dreary hamlet along the Hudson River in upstate New York, Gwyn Stickley, nicknamed "Stick", is determined to escape from her seemingly static yet volatile world. Obsessed with her rail-thin body and estranged from her parents and her self destructive peers, Stick feels trapped in a world where nothing ever seems to happen. As she soon finds out, even small towns can hide disturbing secrets.

She begins to look at her surroundings with fresh eyes when her friend JoAnn becomes pregnant, and is dependent on Stick to both hide and resolve her "dilemma." Suddenly, Stick sees new divisions emerge between old friends and neighbors, and even between her father and mother, whose troubles have roots in mysterious relationships established long ago.

Learning to master her body and her emotions through dancing, Stick eventually flees to Manhattan in search of a career on Broadway. Although gifted, she ultimately finds that her gift should assert itself not just in control over the steps but also through passion. With this discovery, she finally returns home, where surprising new demands assert themselves. Stick prematurely takes on adult responsibilities by caring for her father after a gruesome fall. The legacy of JoAnn's pregnancy and a startling revelation about her mother's past force Stick to assume an unexpected family role. These new responsibilities, however, also free her to express her need for sex and intimacy, and she finally learns to accept the uncontrollable nature of love and pain.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Ten Big Ones (Audiobook)

Ten Big Ones (A Stephanie Plum Novel) Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pub. Date: June 2004

Synopsis: She's accidentally destroyed a dozen cars. She's a target for every psycho and miscreant this side of the Jersey Turnpike. Her mother's convinced she'll end up dead . . . or worse, without a man. She's Stephanie Plum, and she kicks butt for a living (well, she thinks it sounds good to put it that way. . . .).

It begins as an innocent trip to the deli-mart, on a quest for nachos. But Stephanie Plum and her partner, Lula, are clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time. A robbery leads to an explosion, which leads to the destruction of yet another car. It would be just another day in the life of Stephanie Plum, except that she becomes the target of a gang---and of an even scarier, more dangerous force that comes to Trenton. With super bounty hunter Ranger acting more mysteriously than ever (and the tension with vice cop Joe Morelli getting hotter), she finds herself with a decision to make: how to protect herself and where to hide while on the hunt for a killer known as the Junkman. There's only one safe place, and it has Ranger's name all over it---if she can find it. And if the Junkman doesn't find her first. With Lula riding shotgun and Grandma Mazur on the loose, Stephanie Plum is racing against the clock in her most suspenseful novel yet. Ten Big Ones is page-turning entertainment, and Janet Evanovich is the best there is.

Recommended Reading:
To the Nines (Stephanie Plum Series #9) by Janet Evanovich
Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum Series #12) by Janet Evanovich
Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum Series #8) by Janet Evanovich

Eleven On Top (Audiobook)

Eleven on Top (A Stephanie Plum Novel) Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
3. Evanovich has created a laugh out-loud series. This format should be boring me by now - exploding cars, burning buildings and bad guys who refuse to die - but 11 novels into the series I can't wait to see what happens in #12.

Pub. Date: June 2005

Synopsis: Stephanie Plum is thinking her career as a fugitive apprehension agent has run its course. She’s been shot at, spat at, cussed at, fire-bombed, mooned, and attacked by dogs. Time for a change, Stephanie thinks. Time to find the kind of job her mother can tell her friends about without making the sign of the cross.

So Stephanie Plum quits. Resigns. No looking back. No changing her mind. She wants something safe and normal. As it turns out, jobs that are safe and normal for most people aren’t necessarily safe and normal for Stephanie Plum. Trouble follows her, and the kind of trouble she had at the bail bonds office can’t compare to the kind of trouble she finds herself facing now. Her past has come back to haunt her. She’s stalked by a maniac returned from the grave for the sole purpose of putting her into a burial plot of her own. He’s killed before, and he’ll kill again if given the chance. Caught between staying far away from the bounty hunter business and staying alive, Stephanie reexamines her life and the possibility that being a bounty hunter is the solution rather than the problem. After disturbingly brief careers at the button factory, Kan Klean Dry Cleaners, and Cluck-in-a-Bucket, Stephanie takes an office position in security, working for Ranger, the sexiest, baddest bounty hunter and businessman on two continents. It might not be the job she’ll keep for the rest of her life, but for now it gives her the technical access she needsto find her stalker. Tempers and temperatures rise as competition ratchets up between the two men in her life---her on-again, off-again boyfriend, tough Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and her bad-ass boss, Ranger. Can Stephanie Plum take the heat? Can you?

Recommended Reading:
Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum Series #12) by Janet Evanovich
Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plum Series #10) by Janet Evanovich
Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Series #13) by Janet Evanovich