Monday, February 23, 2015

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Buy here*
Publication date: 2005
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 447
My rating: 3 star

Rosie and Alex have been friends since childhood. Not just any friends, but the best of friends; the kind of friends who are always there for each other. Even when Alex moves from Ireland to Boston when they are 17, they stay in touch through email and letters. They are there for each other through marriages, children, school, jobs, and death.

Told through notes, letters, emails, and cards, Love, Rosie (or Rose Dunne) is about realizing who is important and who you love. It's a cute story, though I felt that it was a little drawn out and every time I felt that something was finally going to happen, there was another obstacle thrown in the way. It got to be a little frustrating.

Mostly, it was a nice easy story to read, with some romance and good family relationships. There was some swearing.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Outsmarting of Criminals by Steven Rigolosi

Buy Here*
Publication date: 2014
Publisher: Ransom Note Press
Pages: 303
My rating: 3 stars

After having been the victim of a mugging, Miss Felicity Prim decides to move to the country and start a new career in "criminal outsmarting." However, she doesn't expect her new career to start so fast. The first day in her new cottage, she discovers a body in the secret basement no one knew about. Intent to find out who the murdered man is--and why strangers have been asking about her--Miss Prim enlists her new neighbors for their help.

The first thing I think I should say about this book is that the cover is a bit misleading. I thought that this would be a cozy mystery taking place in the 1920s or 30s in a small country village in England. It is a cozy, but takes place in present day in a town in Connecticut. Also, Miss Prim is an older lady, not the young one I was expecting. However, the writing is so fun, and Miss Prim someone that I think everyone wants to know.

This book is kind of like an Oscar Wilde play--the characters take everything seriously, but it's not really supposed to be taken seriously. The narrative pokes fun at the genre, pointing out some of the predictability and usual tropes, while still using them and having the characters be completely unaware. It's a fun read, though there are other "cozies" that I like better.

*I do not receive any compensation from Amazon.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Blind by Rachel DeWoskin

Buy here*
Publication date: 2014
Publisher: Viking
Pages: 394
My rating: 3 stars

It's been one year since the tragic accident that took Emma's sight. She's now ready to be "re-mainstreamed"--meaning she can go back to her regular high school. But things aren't going well, especially after a girl from school dies. Emma tries to make sense of the tragedy, both of the death and the loss of her sight.

What I found most interesting about this book was the descriptions of how Emma "saw" things without her sight--colors, smells, and memories all seemed to come together to make an image for her. There were a few times when I felt that DeWoskin may have slipped and made Emma a bit more aware of what was happening than she should have been.

The reason I gave this book three stars is because it seemed to drag in parts. I understand that Emma has to go through the stages of grief for her eyes, and then again for her school friend, but mostly I just wished that everyone would TALK to each other. That Emma would talk to her parents, her sisters, her friends, instead of just locking everything inside. Because there was so much bad communication, and Emma was full of lows and highs, that the book just felt stretched out in order to come to a good conclusion.

There were a few instances of the f-word.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

More Info*
Publication date: 2014
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Pages: 335
My rating: 3.5 stars
Ages: 16+

In his new book, comedian Jim Gaffigan talks about the love of his life: food. All kinds of food, good food, bad food, fast food, "fancy" food, etc. Gaffigan also shares stories about his five kids and wife--but only where it is related to food, because that's what this book is about: food.

Gaffigan is funny, but I think that some people might find his slightly dry sense of humor hard to understand in writing, and I also found myself wishing that I could hear him read this book instead of just reading it. What's great about this is that food and eating is such a cultural thing--we get together and we have food, it's just what we do. So Gaffigan takes that, and in a way, shows how ridiculous it is to have things revolve around food, while at the same time showing exactly why it's so important in our culture.

The bad thing about this book is that it can make you hungry. I was hungry once and a few hours before I would be able to eat, so I decided to pass the time by reading. Unfortunately, the chapter I was on was about bacon. Not the best thing to read when trying to take your mind off food.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Buy here*
Publication date: 2013
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 369
My rating: 4 stars
Ages: 16+

After a disappointing tour across Europe, Allyson is ready to go home. But then she meets Willem, who not only convinces her to go to Paris for a day, but allows her to reinvent herself as "Lulu." But when the day comes to an end, Lulu finds herself alone and heartbroken. Will she be able to find Willem again? And should she?

I was a little worried when I started this that it would be too similar to last week's book, which I had just read. However, though the concept is similar, the two books go in completely different directions. I felt that Just One Day was about finding yourself, discovering what you are capable of, while Probability was more about forgiveness and restitution.

I loved the addition of Shakespeare running through this book, as well as the emphasis of hearing and seeing Shakespeare, not just reading it. And then there is the focus on friendship, family, disguises, and changes. There really is quite a bit in this book, but the big thing is even with those focuses, it's still fun to read. I just wanted to read it all the time, but my day job and responsibilities kept getting in the way. I finished it and immediately started looking for the companion novel so that I could learn about Willem's side of the story. I'm disappointed that I have to wait for it to come in at the library. And I really think that's the best recommendation I can give.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.