Friday, July 25, 2008

The Guy Not Taken (Audiobook)

The Guy Not Taken The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner

My review
rating: 1 of 5 stars
I couldn't get through the first story. The sister was too insane and the plot was, well, plotless. I decided to pass on the entire collection of stories.

Pub. Date: September 2006

Synopsis: Jennifer Weiner's talent shines like never before in this collection of short stories, following the tender, and often hilarious, progress of love and relationships over the course of a lifetime. From a teenager coming to terms with her father's disappearance to a widow accepting two young women into her home, Weiner's eleven stories explore those transformative moments in our every day.

We meet Marlie Davidow, home alone with her new baby late one Friday night, when she wanders onto her ex's online wedding registry and wonders what if she had wound up with the guy not taken. We stumble on Good in Bed's Bruce Guberman, liquored-up and ready for anything on the night of his best friend's bachelor party, until stealing his girlfriend's tiny rat terrier becomes more complicated than he'd planned. We find Jessica Norton listing her beloved New York City apartment in the hope of winning her broker's heart. And we follow an unlikely friendship between two very different new mothers, and the choices that bring them together — and pull them apart.

The Guy Not Taken demonstrates Weiner's amazing ability to create characters who "feel like they could be your best friend" (Janet Maslin) and to find hope and humor, longing and love in the hidden corners of our common experiences.

Recommended Reading:
Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

Friday, July 18, 2008

Enemy Women

Enemy Women: A Novel Enemy Women: A Novel by Paulette Jiles

My review
rating: 2 of 5 stars
I kept reading this book because I was torn between hating the overly stylized yet simple writing but wanting to know how it ended. It was recommended to me because I enjoyed Cold Mountain so much, but I found this falling short of my expectations. It read like a cheap imitation of a story that I had loved. Perhaps if I had gone into it expecting less, I may have enjoyed more.

Pub. Date: January 2003

Synopsis: From critically acclaimed, award-winning poet and memoirist Paulette Jiles comes a debut novel of startling power and savage beauty -- an extraordinary story of survival and love in the midst of a torn nation's bitter agony.

For the Colleys of southeastern Missouri, the War Between the States is a plague that threatens devastation despite the family's avowed neutrality. For eighteen-year-old Adair Colley, it is a nightmare seen at its most terrible on the day the Union Militia arrives to set her house on fire, driving her brother into hiding and dragging her widowed father away, beaten and bloodied. Left to care for two young sisters, Adair sees no road but the one that leads away, as they start out on foot into the winter mountains in search of a safe haven. Even the least of hopes is doomed, however, in a world forever changed, as the treachery of a fellow traveler brings about Adair's arrest on charges of enemy collaboration. Torn from her terrified sisters, the girl suddenly finds herself consigned to a living hell, caged with the criminal and the deranged in a filthy women's prison in St. Louis.But young Adair is sustained by a strong heart, and love can live even in a place of horror and despair. Her interrogator, a Union major, falls in love with her and she finds herself returning her feelings despite herself. The major vows to return for her when the fighting is over, and before he returns to war, he leaves her with a last precious gift: freedom.Weakened in body but not in spirit, Adair must now travel alone through dangerous, unknown territory -- an escaped enemy woman surrounded by perils and misery on all sides. She makes her harrowing way south buoyed by a promise, seeking a home and a family that may be nothing more than a memory.Based on a little known chapter in America's bloodiest epoch, Paulette Jiles's poignant, powerful, and exquisitely rendered novel about war's collateral victims is masterful work, captivating and authentic -- a lyrical, memorable tale of endurance and sacrifice that will stand alongside Cold Mountain and other classic Civil War era-set literature for decades to come.

Recommended Reading:
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (translated by Sandra Smith

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark, #3) No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was expecting something that read more like "The Amazing Race" or a great treasure hunt. A great story but I wasn't as into it as the first [full length] book of the series.

Pub. Date: October 2006

Series: Immortals After Dark Book 2

Synopsis: Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire — a nightmare in his mind — against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.
A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him . . .

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow — accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings — particularly lust — emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill.

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity — as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world — to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Recommended Reading:
A Hunger like No Other (Immortals after Dark Series #1) by Kresley Cole
Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals after Dark Series #3) by Kresley Cole
Dark Needs at Night's Edge (Immortals after Dark Series #4) by Kresley Cole