Heather's books

Sarah's Key
The Help
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Lightning Thief
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Notebook
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Heather's favorite books »

Monday, April 21, 2014

Another Dubus III novel

Dirty Love
Dirty Love

By: Andre Dubus III

Genre: fiction

Pages: 304

Published: 2013

Read: April

3.5 out of 5

This novel is a collection of short stories. I do not normally like short stories, so I have conflicting feelings on this book.  I am a huge fan of Dubus’s writing style and this latest book does not disappoint.  The stories, for the most part, are complete, interesting and entertaining. I have always enjoyed Dubus’s ability to shock me; maybe not with the main plot – sometimes as small as a character’s reaction, but it’s always there.  I kept expecting the shocker to be revealed in the entwining of the novellas, but instead the stories barely touch. I was waiting for something more, especially with this description, “In these linked novellas in which characters walk out the back door of one story and into the next… (summary on book jacket)”.  I’m still a huge fan of Dubus and give Dirty Love a “better than average” star rating.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A YA Satire...

Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens

By: Libba Bray

Genre: YA fiction

Pages: 396

Published: 2011

Audiobook: 12 CD’s (14 hrs 28 mins)

Read: April

1 out of 5

I had the honor of hearing Bray speak in 2012. She has great character and quite a sense of humor, so maybe I should have expected this. However, the only other book of Bray’s I read is The Diviner’s, which was not a slapstick book.  The Diviner’s may have been a slow start, but it was thought-provoking, well thought-out with a well-developed plot. This one was a painful read. I realize that this book was a satire, but it followed no structure, made no sense, and was plain old stupid. The cover and description should have been my clue to knowing this would NOT be a book for me (Yes, I also dislike Jim Carey!) There were a few and only a few laughable moments – but then the commercial breaks, pirate rock stars, and not-very-funny footnotes ruined those moments too. The only redeeming quality was that Bray read it herself and she has a great voice with lots of character.  I may finish The Diviner’s trilogy, but I will not be reading anymore Bray.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Disappointing historical fiction...

The Kitchen House
The Kitchen House

By: Kathleen Grissom

Genre: adult fiction

Pages: 369

Published: 2010

Read: April

2.5 out of 5

I loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I was very excited to read a book that was said to be similar and as great. WHAT a disappointment! This book had SO much drama and stereotypes it was pathetic. Grissom had the materials to write a great novel, but I only realized this after reading the author's note. With that much drama she should have limited the characters so the reader would actually be able to keep straight who slept with whom.  I know it's a fact that slave owners took advantage of the slave women, but Ben was a disgrace to all men alive and Belle needed to grow up and get a backbone. The only reason I gave it 2.5 stars is for the character Lavinia - she was a strong woman and the only one who stood up for her beliefs.   

Saturday, April 12, 2014

With only 97 pages, this is the best story of 2014

84, Charing Cross Road
84, Charing Cross Road

By: Helene Hanff

Genre: nonfiction novella

Pages: 97

Published: 1990

Read: April

5 out of 5

A true treasure for all book lovers!! At first, I thought Hanff was a rude selfish woman, but quickly learned to love her sarcastic humor.  Taking place when food rations were among their highest in London, Hanff is an extremely unselfish person. She JUST loves her books. I could relate to a lot of her feelings and relationships with her books. Her correspondence and friendship with book seller, Frank Doel  which started over a request for a rare edition of a book spans over 20 years. This lovely novella, told through the letters written, will touch every book lover and make you cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS STORY!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An LGBTQ YA novel

If You Could Be Mine
If You Could Be Mine

By: Sara Farizan

Genre: YA - LGBTQ

Pages: 247

Published: 2013

Audiobook: 5 CD's (5 hours 25 mins)

Read: April

2 out of 5

After listening to this novel, I realized that I love listening to multicultural novels. Having a narrator with an authentic voice definitely enhances and brings the story to life.  The audio was the only redeeming quality of this story; it was too far-fetched and unbelievable.  The storyline had potential, but it fell flat - protagonist was too naïve (yes, even for 17) and unlikable. Farizan could have redeemed herself even after the climax, but I felt the story just rushed to the end. The controversial issue of sex reassignment should not have been handled so light-heartedly and, in my opinion, carelessly.  Farizan’s purpose may have been to approach a serious topic with a fun undertone; then she should have made the characters likeable and not quite so naïve. These two important, yet failed, aspects did not flow well together.

Rediscovered a great author...

The Garden of Last Days
The Garden of Last Days

By: Andre Dubus III

Genre: Adult fiction

Pages: 544

Published: 2008

Read: April

4.5 out of 5

I recently recommended House of Sand and Fog to a coworker and it reminded me how much I enjoyed it. So I looked up the author for more of his novels. Dubus III outdid himself again with this story. I love when authors have a distinct writing style all of their own, yet their stories differ greatly.  I love Dubus III's writing style and reminds me a little bit of James Frey.  This entire book takes place over 5 days in September 2001, even though a lengthy book it is extremely fast-paced and never has a dull moment. Some aspects of the story the reader is able to predict before the characters discover the truth, but that doesn't stop the thrill of this book.  I plan to read the rest of his novels now that I rediscovered Andre Dubus III.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Story of Annie Frank - Graphically

Anne Frank
Anne Frank

By: Elizabeth Hudson-Goff

Genre: Juvenile Graphic Novel

Pages: 32

Published: 2006

Read: April

3 out of 5

I have been into reading biographical graphic novels, so I was excited when I saw this one come across my desk.  I loved the Diary of Anne Frank and this story focused on the when and whys Anne started the diary. Her father played a part in the telling of the story as well.  Like most nonfiction graphic novels, the story provided a quick brief overview of a true event, which is an excellent tool to gain interest in a topic. I think this would be an appropriate story for 7 to 10 year old. However, I was disappointed in the artwork. I actually think given the time period the story took place it, the artwork would have been awesome in black and white.