Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Elite (The Selection #2)

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Continuing from book 1, but now with 50% more love triangle. Seriously...glad I'm interested in the journey here, folks. The constant waffling about the two boys just about made me lose my mind.

America is still in the Selection. Maxon is convinced she is the girl for him. I'm not entirely sure why. She is a bit ridiculous at times and strings him along. Anyway. I won't spoil anything but a lot of political drama happens and we are mainly as in the dark about it as America. But we get more insights into Maxon and his way of thinking, and that is enough for me to read the next book. 2 1/2 stars for the selfish love triangle nonsense, but I'm in it until the end now.

I need more time with the Queen. Crossing my fingers that happens in book 3.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Eyes on You

Eyes on YouEyes on You by Kate White

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read this as part of the "Big Library Read". I wanted to like this book--I typically enjoy psychological thrillers and thought this would be a good one. I was left underwhelmed, to say the least.

I split my reading between the eBook and the audio. I do NOT recommend the audio. The narrator was the worst. Over-pronounciations, emphasis on strange words. The voices she attempted to do--I'm still laughing about her interpretation of Potts. But beyond the narration, the book just wasn't good. Endless descriptions of what people are wearing--like anyone cares or it adds anything to the plot. We get it, you like expensive things. The main character wasn't likable. Actually, now that I think about it, none of the characters were likable, or particularly smart. And the author made every. single. person seem like the prime suspect, and not in a clever way, yet I knew who it was very early on. Agatha Christie, she's not. Then we get to the end, and we have the briefest of climaxes, and it ends. Abruptly. Like this review.

TLDR: This book is dumb. Don't waste your time.

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Selection (The Selection #1)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dystopian future meets The Bachelor, and it's not all bad.

Flash forward to Illéa, the America of the future. A world where you are born into a caste, and your number determines your life. The higher your number, the lower your caste. America Singer is a 5, the caste of artists and performers. She sings (get it, America SINGER?), and has the misfortune of falling in love with a 6. Her secret love is interrupted by her invitation to the selection, the contest hosted by the royal family to determine Prince Maxon's bride.

Will America make it to the finals? Well, it's a series, so you can do the math for yourself. But the path to getting there is fun, and I like both her and the Prince. And most especially I like the Queen, and I hope we see more of her in the next books. Light romance, catty women, and a strong female lead. Not particularly life-changing or swoon-worthy, but an interesting take on YA dystopia. 3 stars.

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2)

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2)The Likeness by Tana French

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Second book in the series. I liked it better than book 1.

We get to see the world through Detective Cassie Maddox's eyes, set a few months past the events in In the Woods. Cassie has moved on and is now a part of the domestic violence division--new partner, new cases--when she is pulled back into a complicated undercover assignment with her former boss.

The plot unfolds slowly but the pieces fall into place. Every time I though I knew the answer another clue led me in a different direction. I can't imagine how it is to drop into a new identity, a new life, and not slip up in some way. Anyone who is trying to impersonate me will have their hands full with my idiosyncrasies and weird food rules--something like that will trip you up. It's an interesting mystery and you get a better idea of Cassie's character and a little of her past as well. I'll definitely read the next book.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine BrainHow Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like most of you, I often wonder what my dogs are thinking. They are mysteries to me. I talk to them like people because I like to pretend they understand what I'm saying. Sometimes I think they might.

Gregory Berns and his team did some interesting research into the inner workings of a dog's brain. Largely anecdotal, those looking for hard science, data, and graphs should look up the papers he's published. For me, the layman's terms and personal stories of his family and dogs made the book a win. I find it amazing that they could train dogs to lie still in an MRI when I can't even get my dogs to stop bickering over the food dishes. Dogs, seriously, they are exactly the same. Knock it off.

I found the various experiments interesting and love how they are dedicated to better understanding dogs, the brain, and how emotions may or may not be universal. I know my dogs love me--I certainly didn't need a brain scan to see it--but I still think it would be cool to watch.

Dog lovers will enjoy it. If you aren't a dog person, you probably wouldn't pick it up to begin with.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot #4)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, Agatha, you sly minx. Once again, Poirot solves the case before I have even narrowed down the suspects.

Really well done in a classic Christie style. Poirot is now retired and growing "the vegetable marrows" without success. He gets pulled into the case--not exactly reluctantly, as it is Poirot--but realizing the quiet village life is not for him. The case takes twists and turns, and you may find yourself switching your prime suspect by the minute. When you hear the clues you missed along they way, you will just shake your head and say, "Agatha, you sly minx. You've done it again." A unique mystery and one of my favorites. I would rank this one up with "And Then There Were None". 4 stars.

View all my reviews

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Cat Who Played Brahms (Cat Who...#5)

The Cat Who Played Brahms (Cat Who... #5)The Cat Who Played Brahms by Lilian Jackson Braun

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's vacation time for Qwill and the cats as they head up to Moose County, 400 miles from anywhere, to stay in Aunt Fanny's cabin for some R&R. Qwill's apartment building has been sold and it is the perfect time to take a few months off, relax, and start writing that novel. But things don't go as planned. Of course they don't, otherwise we wouldn't have a cozy to read, would we?

I think this book is where the series takes a fun turn. We get Qwill out of the city and away from the crazy newspaper beat, and we see a different side of him here. The first three books in the series were written by Braun in the late 60s, and she returned to it in the book before this one in the mid 80s. Her decision to change things up is apparent starting with this book. With age comes wisdom, I guess, and it works here.

Koko is still in charge and solving crimes, while Yum Yum sits there and looks pretty. Qwill makes several comments in this book about his penchant for young career women in their 30s while creepily stroking his mustache like a villain. He has never been written as an appealing character to me so this made me chuckle. And the ending gives the series new direction and completely new ways to grow and change the characters. Here's to new beginnings!

View all my reviews