I don’t think I’m going to reach my 35-books-in-2011 goal, but I’m happy with the diversity in my book selections thus far. This specific collection touts comedic memoirs, dangerous mysteries, young adult, fantasy, romance and chick lit.
Bosypants: This was the perfect summer read. I brought this witty memoir with me on vacation to Minnesota and leisurely read it by the beach while enjoying the sun and the sand. Tina Fey offers comedic insight into her childhood, commentates on the difficulties (and hilarities) women face in the workplace and goes behind the scenes of her SNL experiences. I specifically enjoyed reading about her frightful honeymoon experience. Cruises can in fact be a little bit scary. 4 1/2 STARS.
The Girl Who Played with Fire: I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this. I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but Stieg Larsson’s writing style can be difficult to follow. It’s just so … excruciatingly detailed. “After raiding the fridge and deciding to snack on toast with grape jelly, she went to her [insert specific brand name here] computer to check her e-mail. She received 14 messages. Ten were spam, which she immediately deleted. Three were related to this big project she was working that’s completely unrelated to the plot. But one looked suspicious.” Get to the point already, Stieg! With the movies coming out I decided to check it out anyways, and I am glad that I did. This second installment finally unraveled bits and pieces of Salander’s mysterious past. And Salander is the most intriguing character of the series by far. 4 STARS.
L8r, G8r: This is the third and final book of the TTYL series. Yes it was fluff, but I enjoyed the bittersweet ending these three friends shared as their senior year ended and they found themselves facing the scary reality that is life after high school. No matter how tightly you cling to your childhood memories, the reality is that as people grow up, friendships can grow apart. 4 STARS.
Mermaid: Compared to Beauty, this YA fairy tale read much better. There were plenty of twists on the original tale that left you wondering what would happen in this version. Plus, there were mermaids! I’m not sure why the sirens of the sea captivate me so much. Maybe it is their beautiful singing voice or their ethereal beauty, (which, evidently, includes sparkly skin; I think this author’s been spending too much time with Stephanie Meyer), but mermaids take me back to my childhood when I would watch The Little Mermaid, prance around in a pillowcase (my makeshift fins) and sing. The only thing I didn’t care for in this tale was the male lead. He seemed so utterly vapid. Why were these ladies fighting for him again? 4 STARS.
Pathfinder: Trippy. That about sums up my feelings about this book. If you’re into science fiction and time travel, check this title out pronto. It’s going to be part of a series (Ruins is due sometime in 2012) and I can’t wait to read it. The story focuses on Rigg, a young boy with special “skills”—he can see all the paths people have followed throughout their lives. It’s a coming of age tale with a science fiction spin. And there is a lot of theoretical thinking involved, so be prepared for some brain cramping. (Maybe a few too many brain cramps.) 4 STARS.
Just Like Heaven: This book introduced me to Julia Quinn’s work and with it she has earned a spot on my favorite romance author’s list. The characters were likeable, there was just the right amount of misunderstandings and the dialogue was top notch. Also, I love that the hero and heroine have known each other since childhood and share a history. Their romance seemed a lot more real to me than the relationships in most romance novels. 4 1/2 STARS.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest: For awhile there I thought this book would never end. It was painfully slow and I couldn’t keep track of all the new characters’ names (which all sound the same). I’m happy to know how Salander’s story ended, and I found the Salander conspiracy intriguing, but it was just drug out way too long. I stopped caring about midway through. 2 1/2 STARS.
My Sister’s Keeper: I’ve made a decision. Jodi Picoult is horrible. She may very well be a decent person, but her novels are insufferable. I will, however, give her credit where credit is due—she can create one hell of a moral dilemma. In this case, how far is too far when protecting your children? Anna, the main character, was conceived with a purpose: she was conceived as a bone marrow match to her cancer-plagued sister. Her life started with this single procedure. But then it slowly evolved. After blood transfusions, surgeries and shots, Anna is now being asked to donate one of her organs. And it appears that she has had enough. I enjoyed the insightful conversations and internal monologues, but there was too much chatter and not enough action. And good grief with the metaphors! It’s one thing to toss in a profound statement here and there, but Picoult then has to explain what she meant, just in case her readers are too dense to figure it out themselves. I would like to say with confidence that I will never read another Picoult novel again, but there are so many other books of hers that pique my interest, I might give in to my baser instincts. 2 STARS.
Something Blue: After the depressing mood My Sister’s Keeper left me in, I needed a lighthearted pick-me-up. Emily Giffin delivered with this follow-up to Something Borrowed. I enjoyed that Giffin shifted the focus from Rachel to her frenemy Darcy. And it was nice to see Darcy get what she had coming to her. This book picks up where we left off: Darcy has discovered her fiancé, Dex, had been cheating on her with her best friend Rachel, just as Darcy had been cheating on Dex with one of his best friends, Marcus. And to top it all off, Darcy is pregnant with Marcus’ baby. Darcy soon finds out that being a brat, relying on her looks and pissing everyone off in her life may not pay off in the end. She travels to England to meet up with one of her oldest friends, Ethan. This is when things start to get good. 3 1/2 STARS
What are you currently reading? What should I read next? Leave me a comment and let me know!