Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - Marching on...

Satuday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ At Home with Books

Graduation accomplished...let the next step begin!!
My firstborn is the next to last person on the right of the standing row...her new soccer coach is the redhead standing beside her :)

I took these photos on Soccer Media Day...the group of signees this year are a smart, independent, hard working group of gals...but I'm not biased at all ;)

The beautiful young woman sitting in front of my firstborn is her new roommate beginning in August.  They've played soccer together since the 2nd grade but graduated from different high schools.

While change and endings are difficult, new beginnings and possibilities are exciting!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

10th Anniversary - Women's Murder Club Series - Book Review

Golden Lines:

Conklin took a new tack.  He said, "Avis, were you threatened?  Is that it?  Did someone tell you that if you spoke to the police they'd hurt the baby?"
I could almost see the lightbulb go on over her head.  Avis turned her eyes up and to the right and said, "Yeah.  The Frenchman said he'd kill my baby if I talked to the police."
My bull-crap alarm went off, a three-alarm clamor.
Avis had just lied. p. 93

A shock of anger blew all the dread and fear right out of Yuki.  The defense had annihilated her damned witness, annihilated her and planted the seeds of reasonable doubt.
Yuki didn't know if she could rehabilitate a would-be home wrecker and probable liar, but she knew that her entire case might depend on it. p. 224

I found the switch on the wall, and the lights went on.
The windowless room was a cube about twelve feet on all sides.  Coils of ropes and tools hung from hooks on the walls.  A dark-stained wooden worktable was in the center of the floor.  Was this the rapist's party room?
Was that blood staining the table? p.332

Short and Sweet Summary:

Lindsey, Claire, Cindy and Yuki are on the case again...prestigious cardiologist, Dr. Martin, has been accused of murdering her husband but claims an intruder was the real murderer.  Yuki is on track to a job promotion and has a commitment to rid the rich and famous world of its criminals who aren't held accountable for their actions. The case of Dr. Martin seems open and shut...until evidence of infidelity, harrassment and a hired hitman comes to light.  Dr. Martin's attorney asks Lindsey to follow up with the original investigative officers due to serious doubt that this supposed done deal of a case is really a farce.  While navigating the lines of following orders, friendship loyalty and the possibility that an innocent woman, mother of two children, might be sent to jail, Lindsey is also involved in the case of Avis Richardson, 15 year old prep school student found wandering alone, naked and bleeding on the street after giving birth.  Lindsey, never one for tact, knows crap when she hears it and is motivated by her need to find the missing newborn child.  Cindy and Lindsey are also following the trail of a rapist who drugs his victims before he rapes them and then leaves them with no memory of the attack...just the knowledge that they have been sexually assaulted.  Cindy, always one for finding herself a little too close to the case in her quest to "get the story" is in true form in 10th Anniversary.

What I Liked:

The tension between Yuki and Lindsey was realistic...and one of the best parts of this installment in this series.  If we are to believe in this friendship, there must be times where their jobs get in the way. 

Lindsey has never fully trusted Cindy...and that trend continues...Lindsey's not dumb so she saw this one from the very beginning...but (see below)

All three intertwining plots were intriguing...with the two minor plots actually more interesting than the main actuality the switches in perspective are probably the only thing that kept me reading.  Otherwise, I would have tossed this one aside at several points.

What I Didn't Like:

Claire doesn't have that much of a role in 10th Anniversary...she's always been a strong character...the older, happily married with a child  character...Claire is what made the last book when children were being targeted...What makes this weird is that the 10th anniversary alluded to in this title is Claire and Lindsey's 10th anniversary of meeting.  So, how come Claire's just added in at times just so we don't forget her? 

I have never liked the Cindy character.  She was so childish when she and Rich first began their relationship...I also find it more and more difficult to believe that a reporter on the crime beat could be bff with a seargent on the SFPD and now girlfriend of another SFPD know as well as I do she can't keep her mouth shut.  I also don't think Lindsey trusts Cindy completely...never has, never will.  Cindy just doesn't completely fit with the why does she have the same kind of friend status as the others (read Claire).

This main case was a mystery inside of a when the case finally broke, the reader only gets a snippet about the real issues at hand...which were actually more interesting than what the reader thinks is the case 3/4 of the way through the book.  It almost felt like to me that Patterson changed his mind close to the end..."whoops, I need to end this but I don't really know what to say next...Oh, I know, I'll just change the ending so I can meet my deadline"...instead of going back and reworking the story itself. 

The sap - yuck.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm all for successful relationships but geez...why all of a sudden is everybody so ooey gooey over their significant other?  Why is Lindsey all of a sudden so baby crazy?  Good grief...definitely registered on the corn meter several times during the case...maybe Patterson got this one mixed up with his newest romance :/ Have I said yuck yet?

Yuki is determined to win her case and Cindy is overly curious, but both let these aspects of their personalities get in the way...Yuki was unbelievably self-absorbed and Cindy was a doofus at the end.  I saw the writing on the wall for Cindy's rapist a loooooonnnnnnngggg time before she did.  A person as smart as she supposedly is would never have fallen for that trap.

My Overall Response:

Eh?  This was definitely not my favorite of this was a sappy and predictable.  I think this series is definitely losing its steam...I wasn't impressed with the 9th book and I actually disliked this one.  I always feel guilty for not liking a book...I don't even feel guilty about not liking 10th Anniversary.
The only reason I can think of for reading 10th Anniversary is if you're already a fan of this series.   I will read reviews before I waste my time (and money - I bought the hardback of this one as soon as it was released :p) on Women's Murder Club #11

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baltimore, MD - SGA Trip

Each year the Head of my Household plans a trip for a small group of students involved in our college's Student Government Association (SGA).  This trip is a long time tradition, and for the last several years I've been fortunate enough to get invited :)  We've been to  San Antonio, Chicago, Boston and now Baltimore.  This trip always comes at the end of the year when we are in most need of a few days off...and this year the trip was delayed by a week due to our firstborn's graduation.  At first I wasn't sure I would be ready to leave the very next morning after graduation...but I was wrong!
The Orioles game, touring D.C. and the Inner Harbor provided the perfect downtime for my weary soul.

While I've certainly enjoyed each trip I've been on, this year's trip to Baltimore was the best so far because of the students involved. I've known both young men since they were little fellas...for some reason this does not make me feel old; once a Mama, always a Mama is the way I see that.
One of the young ladies is our outgoing president, the baby of her family and tons of fun to be around. I see my youngest in this young woman. Her facial structure and the cleft in her chin also remind me soooo much of my childhood BFF and Maid of Honor at my wedding :)
The incoming president is a young woman I've not had the privilege of knowing until this trip...she is serious and quiet while still enjoying life and I believe will be a great addition to our upcoming SGA group. She and I talked alot about books...imagine that?

Last but not least is a young woman who has become very special to me and to our entire family. I'm not sure exactly what I will do without her this upcoming year. She is like another sister to my youngest...without all that messy sibling rivalry stuff :/
This young woman is a sweetheart...there is not a more loving soul on this planet...she is honest, straightforward, loves counry music...eventhough she'll never quite make it on American Idol ;) and gave my little buddy Squeakers a permanent home once his rehab process was complete.
Today also happens to be her birthday :)
Happy Birthday, Sheila :):):)

We're not sure where next year will take us...although some speculation has already begun...Churchill Downs has been suggested more than once so it may be off to the races for us next year.

Wherever the trip takes us I'm sure I'll be ready again since we will graduate our middle child next.

But, I'll think about that tomorrow.