My Own Little Book Corner

Friday, October 17, 2014

2014 Book Reviews - September

Reconstructing Amelia by Kinberly McCreight

This was an OK book - not nearly as good as it could have been.  Amelia is a high school girl with all the peer pressure that goes along with it.  She is raised by a single mother with whom she appears to have a good relationship.   The mother is beyond puzzled when Amelia is found after she apparently jumped from the roof of the school.   The story goes back and forth between current and past times painting the picture of what was going on in Amelia's life before that day and what her mom is going through to try to prove that Amelia did not commit suicide.  I liked the plot, just not into the writing style or how the story developed.  At times I felt like I was reading a Young Adult book, but then again, it wasn't.   Some of the story was unbelievable too and some I couldn't understand how they fit.   Not one of my favorites, but I did read it all.

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

This is the story of a woman who makes an error in judgement as a young lady and the consequences that occur to her later in life. I found that I wanted a little more character development to back up her poor choice - which was to help someone kidnap the governors wife in an act of blackmail CeeCee is a young, naive girl, but at the same time it just seems so out there to think that someone who is an otherwise smart, honest person would be suckered into helping.   It ends up the governor's wife is pregnant, gives birth, dies and CeeCee keeps the baby and raises her as her own.  It is an interesting story, but at times I found the writing a little shallow.  Last month I read Necessary Lies by Ms Chamberlain. It was written after this book and I could see an improvement in her writing. I will read more of her books.

The Birth House by Ami McKay

"The Birth House" is a different story from the ones I've been reading.  It is set in the early 1900's in Nova Scotia.  The main story line is about a younger woman who "inherits" being the town's midwife. It is interesting reading about the different natural remedies and methods that were used.   Outside of the main story line is a story of the town and the people, woman's health issues and how ignorant the medical field was about them, and a little bit of the war thrown in.  I enjoyed the story and the characters.   The only reason I didn't love this book is that I really did not like the writing style at times.   It was hard for me to always know how some paragraphs fit in the story - was it memory, reflection, history, current, etc.   But a good story overall.

Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos

Another one that I feel mixed about.   I have read 2 other books by Ms de los Santos.  The other two were a mini series I guess - just the 2 books about the same characters.   This book is about 3 good friends from college, 10 years later reuniting.   Maybe because I'm old, but I found Penn and Will (Penn especially) to seem really immature for a 30 something - especially one that has a 5 year old kid.   It was an entertaining enough read - I finished it - but not very deep, a few unbelievable moments in the story line and overall just OK.

When the World Was Young by Elizabeth Gaffney

I enjoyed this book, but wasn't overwhelmed by it.   I would rate it an average read.   The story starts on V-J Day.  It covers all sorts of topics - marriage, class, race, loss.   There were no real surprises and really no deep thoughts.   Just a story told through a young girl who grows up during it.  It was well written and I would read another of Ms Gaffney's books.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

"The Husband's Secret" was my favorite book of the month.  What would you do when you discover a horrible secret about your spouse - who has been a wonderful husband and father?   How do you continue to live and interact with people who were affected by what your spouse had done?   If you are one of the people who has lived for years with the consequences of his actions - how do you handle it when you discover the truth?   It was often predictable but that was ok with me because I really liked the story and the way it was written.   I highly recommend this one.

The Walk Series by Richard Paul Evans

This month I finished this series.   I enjoyed the books, but must admit that they weren't exactly what I expected.   This is a series about healing, forgiveness, kindness and love.   All of this while telling the story of a walking journey from Seattle to Key West after Alan Christoffersen lost his wife, his business, his house....basically his life.  It was interesting reading about different places in this wonderful country, the people he met and the situations.  I honestly expected a "deeper" story and while there were a lot of things covered, I feel like it was more of a surface read.   Each book is fairly short and they are easy to read and enjoyable.

Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth

For the first time in a while, I stopped reading a book.   I made it a little over half way through this book and reached a point where I told myself that if I didn't stop then, I was committed to finishing.   I wanted to read this book because it was inspired by a true event - the author's brother being sexually abused and murdered when he was 9 years old.   This story is 30 years later and I thought was going to be more of a mystery story with the cold case being re-opened.   Instead it was about very dysfunctional people - most of who had no connection with the case.  It is pretty much a character driven book and I could never really figure out the plot.   I scanned the pages I hadn't read and could not see a plot developing.   So at about page 200 I decided that I had spent enough time with those people and were sick of them.   Closed the book, set it aside and picked up one of the many other books in my TBR pile.


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