Weehaw! Lots of Books!

I'm sooo behind in every kinds of writing, including NaNoWriMo and book reviews! Let's see if we can rectify at least a part of that...

Rock Bottom by Erin Brockovich and C.J. Lyons

This is the first novel from the Brockovich of Julia-Roberts-movie-fame, featuring environmental crusader A.J. Palladino. I was offered a copy of her follow up title, but was eager to read/listen to this one first to set up the story...and I'm so glad I did, because it's a great read! A.J. and her son David are great characters, Scotia is an intruguing town, and the story moved with great pace and action. I really enjoyed it, and can't wait for the followup! I listened to the audio edition, ably narrated by Colleen Marlo.

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

This is the third of the "Perfect Chemistry" young adult novels, and because I lovedlovedloved Perfect Chemistry, I was eager to read this one (my library doesn't have #2 - sniff!). This novel features the story of the youngest Fuentes brother, Luis, and his budding relationship with Nikki, a girl with trust issues and a past. Their romance is real, sweet, tender, contentious, and both their lives fraught with serious issues and concerns. But I do love a happy ending, and this YA novel delivers on everything it promises. I love this series! Highly recommended!

Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry

I admit, it was the cover that caught me, but it was the story that kept me. Ellie's mother Lillian has passed away, and Ellie attends her funeral and runs into her ex-beau, Hutch, sparking off a story that weaves family history, romance, a dying marriage, the relationships between mothers and daughters and the secrets people keep - and why. I wasn't sure what I hoped would happen at the end of this novel, but I found it an engrossing, interesting read that was fully satisfying when I was finished. Great writing, great character study, a gentle story. A good read!

The Year of the Tiger by Jack Higgins

I needed a new audiobook, and this one was a Higgins originally published in 1963, taking place in Tibet (a country with which I'm fascinated). It was, um, not really very good, but at least I finished it!

Duchess by Night by Eloisa James

James wrote one of my favorite novels that I read on our Michigan vacation, so I wanted to check out another of her titles - one of her "Desperate Duchesses" series. I like that James always brings humor and levity to her Regency romance titles, and this one is full of levity - in the form of a rather debauched house party, a growly host, a duchess in men's clothes, a "Game", and a lot of shenanigans! I preferred the first title I read (When Beauty Tamed the Beast), but this one is good for the "lighter side" of Regency!

Eve by Iris Johansen

Years ago, I read a Johansen novel and dubbed it "quite possibly the stupidest book I've ever read". This is the first in a trilogy (Eve-Quinn-Bonnie) that everyone has been RAVING about, so I wanted to read it for my library patrons. And frankly (but don't tell them), I have to stand by my original review of Johansen. Stupid, trite, poorly written, boring, stupid. Did I mention stupid? Yeah, I'm not a Johansen fan. At all. (No, I won't read the other two. I couldn't care less what happened to the girl.)

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

This had been getting rave reviews all summer, so I was eager to read it, especially after my friend Nat recommended it! It's no secret from the book jacket that Tess, Bee's younger sister, has been found dead in London. Bee hops the first flight back, and is told Tess apparently died by her own hand. Bee, though, refuses to believe that of her sister, her closest friend, and sets out on a single-handed exploration to find out what really happened to her sister, what was really going on in her life. In the process, Bee's own life implodes, relationships are damaged, and the ending will fly out and hit the reader in the face, so unexpected is it. This was an absolutely engrossing, engaging read with just enough gothic tinges, mystery, romance and luminous writing to keep the reader flipping pages late into the night. Also, it makes you text your sister to make sure she's okay (thanks, Michelle!). ;-) Highly, highly recommended! A fantastic read!

The Devil's Puzzle by Clare O'Donohue

This is the latest "Someday Quilts" mystery, set in sleepy Archer's Rest. Nell continues to help her grandmother with her quilt shop, continues to date police chief Jesse, and continues to snoop into unexplained deaths in town - including a set of bones dug up in her grandmother's rose garden. ;-) This is just a cozy mystery series with a nice thread of quilting, small town gossip, murder mystery and a sweet romance. Nice little escape!

Me, Myself and Prague by Rachael Weiss

I know I can't do this book justice - there are just too many parallels. Prague is one my favorite places on earth, and with my family connection (my grandfather was Czech - we visited Prague three times together), I was eager to read this memoir of Weiss, who leaves Australia to live in Prague for a year as an ex pat in a flat owned by her parents (sound familiar?). This is a loving memoir to a great city with its Eastern European quirks; to her family and all the international quirks of having an international family (like mine); to striking out on her own and making a go of it, even if we always have family to fall back on. I loved this "on the streets" glimpse of living in Prague, and found myself laughing at her descriptions of the food, the markets, the people, the hillsides, everything. It made me homesick, it made me smile, it made my week. A great, great memoir - but probably only for those with a close connection to Prague. :-)

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