Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Book Reviews

A few thoughts on some books I’ve read so far in 2006:
  • Last Lullaby by Denise Hamilton – third in the Eve Diamond series. I started off 2005 with the first novel in this series, so I guess I can’t go wrong by starting 2006 the same way. I enjoy these novels because I learn something new every time I read one of them. Coincidentally, Jenny was reading The Jasmine Trade at the same time and did not care for it and ironically, the same situation cropped up in another book that I just read, Buried Diamonds. This is the fourth book in the Claire Montrose series, more of a cozy mystery series than I usually read. I read the third one way back in 2002 and I guess my tastes haves changed because I found this book very slow and boring. There was a horrible transition from a scene at the end of the chapter with a dog getting poisoned and taken to the animal hospital in the afternoon and the next chapter beginning in the middle of the next night with someone getting shot. I actually went back and read it twice because I thought I missed something and even checked the page numbers to make sure pages hadn’t been torn out. Not only was the transition poor, but to voice the same complaint as Jenny, you didn’t hear a thing about the poor dog for the rest of the book.
  • The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. This is the follow-up to the much-loved The Secret Life of Bees. Eliza hated this novel, which surprised me. It wasn’t as good as Bees, but I didn’t hate it. It was very much up my alley of loving any kind of Southern women’s fiction, along the lines of Anne Rivers Siddons, one of my favorites.
  • Crosscut by Meg Gardiner, the fourth in the Evan Delaney series. I love, love, love this series, even though it’s a little over the top in some instances. Evan is a strong heroine and I love the relationship between her and Jesse. I’ve had to buy all of these books from since they aren’t available through any of the local libraries, but they are well worth it.
  • The Rosary Girls by Richard Montanari. This serial killer novel set in Philadelphia had a surprise ending that really threw me, which doesn’t happen often. Overall, a very engrossing book, but with a few holes. I’m not really sure why the author introduced the side story of how the main female character was an amateur boxer on the side, other than to let the reader know that she’s a strong character. After a boxing match at the very beginning of the book, it’s never brought up again. Also, a major secret about the main male character is resolved much too easily and didn’t sit too well with this reader.
  • Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. I haven’t read a YA novel in ages, but this one was recommended on Joshilyn Jackson’s website and sounded interesting. I breezed through it in about three hours yesterday. It’s written as a diary by high school sophomore Jessica Darling, interspersed with letters to her best friend, who moved to another state at the beginning of the year. Jessica has a great voice and the dialogue rings very true. My only one small complaint is that if I hadn’t known there was as sequel to this book, I would have been disappointed by the ending. Otherwise, I liked it so much that I put in a request this morning for an ILL so I can get the sequel, Second Helpings, as soon as possible.