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 »

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.

Friday, April 4, 2014

By the author of Eleanor & Park!!


By: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA fiction

Pages: 438

Published: 2013

Audiobook: 10 CD's (13 hours)

Read: April

3 out of 5

This novel follows twin sisters, Cath and Wren,  during their first year away at college.  Creatively entwined in their life is the story of  Baz and Simon, characters from a children's series, Simon Snow.  Although the second story foreshadows the main plot I found it rather boring. And I did not like listening to Cath read chapter after chapter of her fanfiction, Carry On. I thought Rowell, once again, had very well developed characters and I and I wanted more of them not Simon Snow.  I feel the book could have been more appealing with mention of Simon Snow (it is important to the story), but didn't need the actual script. Not nearly as good as Rowell's Eleanor and Park.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tragedy in Cambodia

Never Fall Down
Never Fall Down

By: Patricia McCormick

Genre: YA Historical fiction

Pages: 216

Published: 2012

Read: April

4 out of 5

The more I read the more I realize I really enjoy historical fiction. This novel is based on true events and the majority is indeed nonfiction (as noted in author's note), but some details were enhanced by her own  imagination. I, once again, learned more on our world's (horrific) history which as tragic as this story is I enjoy actually learning while reading. My favorite aspect was the author's ability to write using the authentic voice of Arn Chorn-Pond; it enhanced the realism of Arn's story. I was disappointed that his story starts in 1975 and is considered historical fiction - reality hurts!