Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: A Wallflower Christmas

A Wallflower Christmas A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Wallflowers are back together again. It doesn't quite have the magic of the others in the series, but I enjoyed it.

The girls are reunited for the holidays, and Lilian and Daisy's rake of a brother, Rafe Bowman, is visiting from America to meet the lovely Natalie. Rich and beautiful, she is on the hunt for a husband, and while she wants a peer this match might work for her too. Ah, the days of marrying for position and advantage, rather than love. So glad I live in these modern times where I can do and say what I want. But I digress.

What you have here is an unlikeable lead and a prim miss of a love attraction in Hannah. She puts up with way too much, but Rafe finally redeems himself and they all get their HEA, and you know that's my favorite part. This book needed to be about 100 pages more to really pull me in, but I still enjoyed it. 3 stars.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild The Call of the Wild by Jack London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh Buck! You and your friends went through so much.

A little emotional about this book. Jack London threw a lot at me. Buck, stolen and forced to work. Treated cruelly, starved, worked to the bone. I just can't. I wanted to grab a club and hit those men until they couldn't get up.

Along comes a bright, shiny savior. John Thornton is a good man, and he does his best for Buck. Too many spoilers lie ahead, so I will leave you with this advice. Read this when you want to have all the feels, and be ready for anger, sadness, and triumph. A good story with an unexpected ending. 3 stars. Hey, it's a classic for a reason. Read it, but have something ready afterwards that will make you happy, like chocolate and an episode of Parks & Rec.

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Review: The Help

The Help The Help by Kathryn Stockett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I. Love. This. Book. When I initially read it I rated it 4 stars, but I am rounding up to 5 this time, because it's just that good. I think it is because I listened to it on audio, and it was excellent with multiple narrators. It brought the story to life in a different way, and I loved it.

Skeeter. Aibileen. Minny. Their world in the tumultuous South in the 1960s is about to be turned upside down. Skeeter is fresh out of college, full of ideas and itching to make her way into adulthood. Aibileen and Minny have been working for the white women of Jackson, Mississippi for their entire lives. As times are changing, so are a few attitudes, including Skeeter's. She's about to turn all of their lives upside down. She's an aspiring writer, you see, and she gets a wild idea to write about the lives of the black women who are "the help" in her town. Look out, Jackson. Skeeter's coming for you.

Filled with realities of a time I can't even wrap my brain around, the characters really come to life, the storyline is full of humor and drama (just like real life) and you will find yourself both glad you don't live in Jackson and wishing you could have been a part of this time of change. 4.5 stars that I'm rounding up to 5 because the audio is so amazing. Please read this book.

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Monday, August 6, 2018

Review: Opal Fire

Opal Fire Opal Fire by Barbra Annino
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Really struggled to get through this one. It's about what you would expect from the cover art, though.

Stacy is a reporter, but she doesn't seem to be a very good one. She's also a witch, but she wants to ignore her magic (insert eye roll here). She lives in a small town and is surrounded by annoying people who I would never want to spend a minute with if they were real: a quirky witch family, a cousin named Cinnamon who is a brash bar owner with an awful personality -- this woman threatened to beat everyone up in the book without provocation, an annoying photographer at the paper. Come on, now. Why do you write such unlikeable, unrealistic characters?

The mystery was dumb, the characters were unrealistic, the dialogue stilted, and the love triangle unnecessary. 1.5 stars but rounding up because I do enjoy books with dogs.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Review: Last of the Breed

Last of the Breed Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amour
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cold War. U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. Spy vs. Spy. Welcome to the 80's, my friends.

Joe Mack is an American Air Force pilot who is shot down behind enemy lines, captured, and taken to a Soviet prison camp. In Siberia, no less. I can't think of a more 80's plot line, so cue the Rocky IV soundtrack. Because he's American, but mostly Native American, he makes a daring escape and we spend the rest of the book running with him across frozen Siberia as he tries to make his way back home. He's tracked, of course. By the best of the best--another "native" tracker who always gets his man but can't be counted on to bring him home alive.

Survival, patriotism, and a glimpse at life in a harsh land. I've read this book 5 times at least and enjoy it every time. 3 stars.

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