Monday, August 22, 2011

Review Blast! August Catch- Up Edition

I hate doing these quickie reviews but there comes a time when I realize I’m so far behind that I just need to get over 
myself and get it done.  So here you go. . .

Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen, was an excellent read.  The story was very real - nothing sci-fi, supernatural, or dystopian about it, which is rare with Young Adult novels these days.  The story was about a teenager, her sisters, and her attempt at holding her family together and deal with fall-out after a sexual assault led to rumors and misunderstandings.  This story tackles rape, anorexia, and depression amongst other themes.  It’s a heavy novel with a very real core.  Definitely worth reading.  I recommend it to older teens and adults of all ages.

Airhead, Being Nikki, and Runaway, by Meg Cabot, are the three books that make up the Airhead trilogy.  The story is very far fetched.  After an accident in a department store, Emerson wakes up to find her brain transplanted onto the body of a supermodel.  Emerson has to pretend to be Nikki while trying to remain herself.  The first book hooked me enough to keep reading but honestly I find them all a bit silly.  That darn Meg Cabot can always hook me into her stories, weird as they might be.  While I can’t wholeheartedly recommend them to adults, the target teen audience might enjoy the trilogy. 

I’m pretty well convinced that I’ve read Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry, before.  It’s a familiar story.  That being said, I read it again and once again found myself caught up in one family’s courage to stay together through the worst possible time, and another family’s bravery to help them no matter the cost.  It’s always worth a read - or a re-read. 

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes is part of an ongoing series by Robin Jones Gunn.  The stories are stand -alone novels of women getting together and finding out more about themselves, and God, along the way.  In this installment, Summer heads to the Netherlands to meet her longtime pen pal Noelle.  The women had been great friends for years but had never met face to face.  Summer is escaping from a possible breast cancer diagnosis and Noelle is still running from a difficult relationship with her father.  As the two women share adventures, they learn that their friendship was meant to be and they both find healing.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did.  I wanted a big, rousing, pirate tale.  Pirate Latitudes just didn’t hit the mark.  I think part of it was a mental block.  As someone who has written a few unpublished novels, I have to wonder if the late Michael Crichton really wanted this story to see the light of day.  For those unfamiliar, it was found on his computer after he passed away.  I’m not sure I would love it very much if my un-edited, un-polished manuscripts saw the light of day without my consent.  

That’s not to say the story was un-polished.  It was well written, obviously edited, and really was a complete story.  It just didn’t quite do what I wanted it to, which was to sweep me into the Caribbean and immerse me in a story.  This novel is fine as a pirate story but it wasn’t more than that.  It was just a story.  It didn’t stick with me.  It didn’t make me want to revisit the pirates again.  That’s what I wanted.  

I’m glad I read this novel.  I enjoyed parts of it very much and once the large cast of characters came together, the story had a nice flow.  But then it was over and I put the book away.  It’s worth a read and would be fun to read while cruising the Caribbean!