Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

I got this book, as usual, from my local public library.

Another Flavia de Luce novel and I think it's my favorite so far.  I say so far because all indications are that Mr. Bradley will continue to write these wonderful books, thank goodness.  I love Flavia and her sleuthing!

Flavia de Luce is a precocious, Chemistry-loving, mystery-solving, 11-year-old girl living in rural 1950's England in a big old drafty mansion that her father cannot afford since her mother, the inheritor, passed away without a will.  He gives in to the necessity of allowing a movie to be filmed in the home.  Flavia and her sisters are thrilled and even put aside their bickering when the crew arrives just before Christmas.  Flavia has conjured up a super-sticky glue which she slathers inside the chimney in order to catch Father Christmas but even that is forgotten when a murder occurs.

What I loved about it:  Flavia, of course, but even secondary characters are well-described.  Dogger is one of my favorites.  I also love that all of Feely suitors end up at the house at the same time.  Oh, and I love that Flavia still believes in Father Christmas as smart as she is.

What I didn't like:  Hmm, can't think of anything.

Is it clean?:  Yes, although some of the graphic details may be too much for younger children.

1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie MacComber

This is the end of the Cedar Cove series and it is obvious.  The author goes from one story thread to another, recapping each one.  I didn't care for that much.  Most of the series is more enjoyable to read than this last installment. 
The main story was more interesting.  Beth Morehouse is a single parent with 2 college-age daughters.  Her daughters hatch a plan to get their parents together for Christmas but when their father shows up with another woman their plans fall to pieces.  Beth had a litter of puppies placed on her doorstep.  The other story lines are woven in when she tries to find homes for them. It is a sweet story but not her best.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I found this book
 at my local public library, as usual.

Alice, after passing out and hitting her head, forgot the last ten years of her life.  Alice thinks she is 29 instead of 39 and doesn't remember the births of her children, etc.  More than that, apparently Alice has become a very different person, one she isn't so sure she likes.  Alice's friends and loved ones are taken aback by this "new" Alice and their reactions to her are the best parts of the book, as well as her discoveries about her "new" self.
It's a fun and quick read (I had it done in a day) and I love a lot of the characters in the book although you want to smack some of them.  I found Alice's assumptions about some of the changes very interesting (I'm trying not to give too much away which is why this sentence is so wimpy).

I had to wonder "what if I lost the last ten years of my life?"  Hmm, the birth of my last child, 3 moves one of which was across country, a major injury with multiple surgeries, 3 daughters getting married, my mother's passing away, the birth of my grandson...a lot of life has gone on in those ten years.  Going back would find a more innocent and less experienced me.  Some of those experiences I wish I could forget although all of them are things that have made me who I am.  Alice discovers this same thing.  The "new" Alice has changed because of her experiences although seeing them through the younger, more innocent Alice's eyes helps her to reevaluate what effect those experiences will have on her.  Loved it!

What I liked about it:  I loved going through the process with Alice, finding out about those lost ten years right along with her and seeing the differences in the new and old Alice.

What I didn't like:  I didn't really like the whole "boyfriend" part. 

Was it clean?:  No, not really.  Too many incidences of that hated word although most of the book was pretty clean-no sexually explicit anythings and not much language overall but probably 10-15 f-words.  Really unnecessary.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Challenge for 2012

Have you seen this little widget before?  If you have, you must belong to Goodreads.  If you haven't, get on over to Goodreads and join!  This is a fun and easy way to set a reading goal for 2012 and keep track of the books you read.  They keep track of the books for you.  (You do have to do a little bit of work, besides the reading of course.)  I set my goal at 150 books this year and, not only do I plan on reading them, I plan on blogging about them too.  It's one of my resolutions this year.  Happy New Year everyone!

Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

As are most of the books I read, this one came from the public library.  
Richard Paul Evans' books tend to be pretty predictable but that is fine with me. Sometimes I need to read a book that is an easy and uplifting read. Lost December didn't disappoint me. Just by reading the blurb on the book flap you willl know most of the plot but the process is enjoyable and Evans includes some nice sentiments along the way.
Luke Crisp is the only child of a very wealthy man and is due to take over the family business when he decides to "live his life". He takes his trust fund money and does just that, blowing through his money quite quickly and discovering that his friends weren't really friends. Broke, homeless, and alone, he is too ashamed to face his father. He finds a lowly job after hitting rock bottom and discovers what is really important in life.

What I liked about it:  I like books that make me feel better about life when I am done reading them.  This book did just that, and I needed it today!

What I didn't like:  It was too short!  I would have liked the story to be fleshed out a little more, not a behemoth necessarily, just more than it is now.

Was it clean?:  Yes, as are all of his books.