Monday, September 26, 2011

Catching Up - Mini Book Reviews

I'm tired of looking at the same book covers on the right side of my blog under the heading "Reviews Coming Soon" tired, in fact, that I sometimes open my blog and then close it right back up simply because of how tired I am of those covers.  I started a post of mini-reviews because I did take notes on all these as I read them....just never got around to writing the full reviews.  Now I probably couldn't write a full review if I wanted to.  

In order to get the book covers out of my sight, I'm going to give you a run-down of where I am with each of these books and once and for all, delete the darn things.   Yeesh.

Faking It by Elisa Lorello

This one was offered as a special price on Amazon...the main character is a single composition professor who, after a big break-up, has moved to a new college to begin life again.  At a party one night she meets a fella who just happens to be an escort.  She and he, after much dancing around, decide to make a bargain.  He will show her how to be more intimate and she will tutor him with his writing.  Now, this is not as sordid as it sounds...even though he's an escort, sex is not involved.  Intimacy is about becoming one with yourself and learning to trust your own self as well as what you want out of life.  

This was a fast read and a good connection is obviously through the composition professor thingie going on here and also the redefinition of who she is as a woman...learning to accept herself and feeling comfortable in her own skin.

There is a sequel to this one, but I wasn't thrilled with where the storyline goes...I'm happy to leave this story right where it ends here.

Deception by Jonathan Kellerman

"Your warrant says I need to answer personal questions?"
He showed her his badge.  "This says if you don't cooperate, I'll cuff you and haul your educated but morally unschooled derriere off to jail."  pg. 305

My boss loaned me this one.  This is the first Alex Delaware novel I've ever read, and I enjoyed it.  I loved the humor as you can see above, and the storyline of this one is about Prep School kids and wealthy families getting away with things they shouldn't get away with.  This one is one of those books you can sit down with and read in a day or on an airplane...similar to a James Patterson to me.

Kellerman is more creative with vocabulary than Patterson though, and Delaware is known for throwing psychoanalysis into each case.  Those were the catchy things for me that kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. 

I'll probably read more Kellerman somewhere down the line, but I'm not just dying for the next book.

HT Raise the Perfect Dog by Cesar Milan

My dream is of a world where there are fewer dogs accidentally biting children, fewer dog altercations, and no more fatal dog attacks.  By socializing your puppy to dogs and people when she is young and making sure her manners are in order with both species, you are not only shaping a better life for the both of you, you are also contributing to the pro-dog society that I am committed to helping build.  p. 228

The quote above is just about as Cesar Milan as a person can get.  When I was looking for puppy books, I kept finding the same thing over and over again.  When I hit Cesar's books, I found the motherload.  He intertwines that puppy stuff with Cesar...he takes you into the wolf pack to see how dogs have evolved and WHY certain training techniques work better than others.  This makes so much sense to me and is a peaceful, gentle way to train a puppy. 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I can't tell you how many times I picked this one up, read the back, and then put it back down.  I just didn't want to read a book about the circus...and I certainly didn't want to read a book about animal cruelty. With some forceful peer pressure from two of my colleagues, an airplane ride ahead of me, and a special price on Amazon, I scooped it up and decided to go for it.  


I can't believe I almost didn't read it. The story, the history, the mystery, the realism, the reality...swept me away.  There is animal cruelty...but the animal cruelty comes back around to bite the cruelest one of all in the butt :)  I almost stood up and clapped.

The timeframe switching was a little frustrating at times...just when you get into one timeline, the author would switch over to the other....past....and then present....and then back to past...but it was worth it.  

No, I haven't seen the movie, but I probably will someday.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

This one was a freebie on Amazon...and sounded's edgy YA...paranormal stuff but more adult...young adults whose lives are more grown up than most people their age.   I'm just old enough and jaded enough to need serious conflict in the YA books I enjoy, which is probably one of the reasons I like dystopian novels.  

Wicked Lovely is part of a series, and I haven't read any of the other books in the series...again, I might someday, but I'm not beating down the doors of the bookstore either.  

This one is a fae girl, two fellas and a battle of good and one wins in the end, and there are wicked characters trying to complicate matters even more all the way through.  

A good one for a rainy day.

This Fine Life by Eve Marie Everson

Another freebie...

A young proper woman of the 50s-60s era finishes school and is trying to decide what to do with her life when she meets a young man from the wrong side of the tracks.  She runs off and marries him even though her parents forbid her.  He gives up a lucrative position in her father's business to become a preacher, and they struggle through the next several years.

This one tries to have a happy ending...but it was unrealistic and silly as far as I was was like all of a sudden everything was supposed to be ok.  There is a strong religious current through this one, and even though I have a very strong faith, I did not like the way the husband's faith was presented as a domineering even "my way is right, and your way is wrong" kindof faith.

There were parts of this story that were touching...aspects that I wish this author had followed up on...the stories surrounding the lost child of the present and the one from the past in particular would have been places where the author could have expounded and created more depth for this story.

This one was ok, but I wouldn't have missed anything had I skipped this one.



  1. Glad you're back! I feel you on the haven't-written-a-review-might-never-now thing as I've got books from March I haven't reviewed yet. Le sigh.

    I liked Wicked Lovely when I read it last year -- it was cute and I keep meaning to pick up the rest of the books in the series.

    I have Water for Elephants in my someday TBR -- glad to see you liked it!

  2. So glad you liked Water for Elephants! That's one of my all-time favorites.

  3. Love the mini-reviews! I need to read Water for Elephants, as I have had that on my shelf for the longest time, and have not yet read it. A few of these others sound good as well, and I am glad to have read your thoughts on them!

  4. I've also been avoiding Water for Elephants for years, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. That makes me quite a bit more likely to actually give it a go.

  5. I need to get that puppy book!

    And Water for Elephants was good, wasn't it? I read it last year and wondered by I waited so long.

    And I used to read the Alex Delaware books all the time but kind of stopped. He is WAY better than James Patterson, in my opinion.

    Great mini reviews … I need to write some of my own.