Tuesday, December 3, 2013

book butterfly reviews -- october and november

Yadda yadda yadda, I'm busy, blah blah blah, no time to blog, excuse excuse excuse, here's what I've read lately.  :)

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)

"Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1)" by Mira Grant

3 of 5 stars false

I didn't know this was a book about zombies until I started reading it-- you know how I never read book jackets. I thought, okay, zombies are really topical right now, this'll be good.

For a 557 page book about zombies, there was a surprising LACK of zombies. In fact, I think there are only two, maybe three scenes in the whole book in which live zombies make an appearance.

The rest is about the main characters who are press bloggers, and about the presidential campaign they're working with in the year 2040.

The first third was really boring, the middle third had some good action and plot development, and the final third was boring again. There's just way too much talking, and by talking I do not mean dialogue. I probably will not continue on in the series,



"Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool


This is kind of an unrealistic story about a 12-year-old girl who is sent to a new town, essentially to discover her roots. She isn't given any answers as to why, or how her life fits in with the people of the town. By learning their stories, she learns about her father's past. It wasn't very believable though.

My interest in this book kind of came and went...it wasn't interesting enough (for me) to keep my attention. The best part was that in listening to it on audio, the reader had some fantastic voices, and there were so many characters.  But now realizing this was a Newbery winner, I'm even more disappointed in its lameness.


Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story

"Wishin' and Hopin': a Christmas Story" by Wally Lamb

didn't like it (my current rating)

30 pages in I gave up because there was way too much bad language (in a Christmas book?!), disappointing. It had promise.






"Hide and Seek (The Lying Game #4)" by Sara Shepard

3 of 5 stars false

The fourth book in the series takes us through two suspects (neither of which I have been thinking is the true killer, although I'm starting to get an inkling that it's actually someone else and it's going to break my heart if that is really the case.)

These are fluff books and this one had some really rough language at the end when the twist was revealed, but there is definitely some fun plot and planning going into these books. Something I never even considered happened near the end of this one, so that just shows ya Sara Shepard has a great imagination.

I do, however, hope that there is a resolution soon. Three is generally my limit for series and we're going on 5.



"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

4 of 5 stars false

This is the story of a man named Nick who is the neighbor of Jay Gatsby. Becoming friends with Gatsby, Nick learns how Gatsby invented himself from out of nothing, essentially. The story includes love affairs, revenge, and murder, and was completely the opposite of anything I was expecting.

The recent release of the Leonardo diCaprio movie is what created my curiosity to read this. I listened on audio (of course) and at first found the narrator very annoying because each and every one of his voices was so over the top...however, I did end up liking his style. The story was interesting, the plot twists were unexpected, and the ultimate story that we are all bound and tied to our pasts is actually a little depressing.



"Heresy" by S.J. Parris

didn't like it (my current rating)

This is a story about a monk who has left the monastery in search for broader truth that have been deemed heresy by the church. It's pretty crassly and coarsely written with some strong language and subject matter. Even if the story appealed to me, the narrator on audiobook is really weird, and I am just not enjoying listening to it.




"Wish You Well" by David Baldacci


This is about two children who have lost their parents in an accident who then go to live with a grandmother they'd never met in the Appalachian Mountains. It is set in the early 1900s. The mother is actually incapacitated, in a coma. They meet some interesting people, find a Wishing well, and get involved in some courtroom drama focused around their grandmother's land.

It sounds good, but it really wasn't all that interesting. As I was listening to it, I was able to finish it in just over a day and a half. But never at any point did I really care about any of the characters. I didn't much care for the resolution, and some points of the story were just too far contrived.



"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson


I feel bad about giving the most popular pirate story ever so few stars, but the truth is it just didn't hold my interest. I really enjoyed the first third of the book, but once Jim overhears the nefarious plans of the pirates while sitting in the apple barrel, I don't know, it just fell flat for me.



"Cross my Heart, Hope to Die (The Lying Game #5)" by Sara Shepard

4 of 5 stars false

This was definitely a change of pace for the story of the unsolved mystery of Becky's twin sister.  As Becky (and unknowingly, Sutton's ghost) continue to be threatened and scared and stalked, their Mom makes an appearance switching everything up.  I find it interesting that the more Becky pretends to be Sutton, the more like Sutton she truly becomes.  Will she totally Break Bad and become just as much an unlikable person as her sister was?

Guilty pleasure, these books.  Nothing redeeming in them at all.  Lots of fun though!



"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl

3 of 5 stars false

Every now and then I read a grown-up book. :) This is written by a psycho analysis and neurologist who, as a young man, was a prisoner in four separate concentration camps in Germany. The first half of the book has to do with man's reactions to tragedy and crisis, using examples from Auschwitz and the other prison camps. It is nothing short of horrifying. It is still hard to conceive that one person could do such things to another. Victor Frankel was able to use his doctorate to not only influence his fellow prisoners but also the guards while in captivity.

The second half of the book is more psycho analytical, and frankly, a little boring. I found myself skipping parts. Still, his observations are valid and note-worthy.



"The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street #1)" by Karen White

4 of 5 stars false

Melanie is a realtor in old colonial South Carolina who sees dead people. She inherits a house enshrouded in mystery, somehow tied to her own past.

I really liked this story, right from the first page. It drew me in very quickly and easily. This book is a little bit Da Vinci Code, a little bit Steel Magnolias, a little bit Gone with the Wind. Mystery, thriller, romance all keep the story moving at a good pace. Even though this appears to be a series, this story wraps up nicely in one book.


Whew.  So I know it looks like I read a lot, but this is two months' worth and two of those I didn't get more than 30 pages into, so those don't count.  But there were a couple of really good ones in there.  I wish more books were available on audio book because I just don't have the time to sit and read without falling asleep lately.  Ha.

What are you reading?

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