Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Report

So let's see... last time I left off, I was about four hundred books behind. So to try to catch up, I'm gonna do four today. Well, more like seven, but three are in a series and they're all the same, so they count as one.  We've got Sharp Objects, The Rosie Effect, the Gentleman Bastard books, and Love Like the Movies.

First up, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. From the back of the book: Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

This was absolutely without a doubt my definite complete FAVORITE of her three books. It literally took my breath away. LITERALLY. It was SO FRICKING DARK ya'll. Dark Places? I loved Dark Places, and it's my second fave of the three, but it wasn't really even all that dark once you get thru it and realize what actually happened.  Not that I'm some sort of sicko, but when I'm reading a book about the dark and sadistic murders... I expect them to be dark and sadistic.  Maybe it's just me?

But Sharp Objects, holy moly. It was just SO GOOD!!! The perfect story. Twisted, dark, creepy, horrifying, unputdownable. And I feel dumb now, but I had no idea of the 'twist' at the end. In fact, I read the paragraph and STILL didn't get it!!! I had to go back and was like OHHHHHH. How dumb am I!?!?!

But man it was good. The mom was batshit crazy and just written PERFECTLY, and the sister....good NIGHT. Man this book was good.  SO GOOD.

Next, the Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, which of course was the sequel for the Rosie Project.  From the back of the book: Join everyone's favourite unconventional couple Don Tillman and Rosie in the next chapter of their love story

With the Wife Project complete, Don settles happily into a new job and married life in New York. But it's not long before certain events are taken out of his control and it's time to embark on a new project . . .

As Don tries to get to grips with the requirements of starting a family, his unusual research style soon gets him into trouble. To make matters more difficult, Don has invited his closest friend to stay with them, but Gene is not exactly a prime example of marital happiness, and as his life with Rosie continues to be unpredictable Don needs to remember that emotional support is just as important as his practical expertise . . .

I don't really get why this book caught so much flack. It seems like everyone agreed on the same (not very) witty review: "Twice as long and half as funny as the first one." I'm calling bullshit on all the hipsters. It was longer, but I thought it was just as funny. And sweet. Did it stretch the imagination to think that a few of these scenarios Don got involved in were realistic? Sure. But that didn't make it any less enjoyable for me.  And I thought Rosie was sort of a bitch, but hey, pregnancy sucks and women ARE usually bitches. So that didn't bother me either. I gave it a solid four stars and in my review I said it was better than the first one. Which I no longer agree with, but hey. It was good.

I can't even remember why I started the Gentleman Bastard books, but I love them.  From the back of the first one: An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.

They're all way too long, but they're highly enjoyable. They're just basically about various cons the boys pull and their relationships with each other. I guess it's a 'fantasy' because it's in a made up world? And there are a few fantastical elements- the magi, weird animals in the ocean, all the crap about the Elderglass and stuff like that- but at its core it's just a con and the character drama. So I guess if you like those kinds of books? I think in my review of the first one (Lies of Locke Lamora) I said it was sort of Game of Thrones Lite, but that's not really true. I also compared it to Jack Reacher, which I stand by. Ridiculous scenarios where the hero walks away unscathed? Check.

The second one (Red Seas Under Red Skies) was better than the first one. Or at least, the second HALF of the second book. It dragged at the beginning but once it picked up, I couldn't put it down. Jean Tannen is an AWESOME character. Scott Lynch is just a GOOD writer, you know? Good writing and good story telling. It's a good combo.

The third one (Republic of Thieves) was just too long. It was hard for me to be invested in the back story because duh, I already knew they'd all make it thru just fine. I thought Sabetha was a total bitch and couldn't really see Locke actually being in love with her. It was too out of character for me. And Calo and Galdo (in the back story) were just absolute tools, which they were NOT in the first one, so that was weird too. I just like the characters to character. But I'll definitely be reading the next one, so I guess that's all Lynch probably cares about, right?

Lastsly, Love Like the Movies. Which I loved. Insert blushing embarrassed emoticon here. From the book: In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style—when her gorgeous ex presents a series of big screen challenges to win back her heart.

What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?

I certianly wouldn't label it irresistible but it was highly enjoyable for me.  I read it over a Saturday afternoon slash Sunday morning. No brain activity required. Lol, I was just rereading my Goodreads review and I think I nailed it: "A near perfect fluffy chick book. Fun, quick, interesting. Just a fun read. Reminded me a lot of the Shopaholic books. Which I miss. And are better. But this is still really good."

That being said, if this isn't your kind of story, you obviously won't like it. It's EXTREMELY predictable. Everything you expect to happen, happens. But I really liked it.

So there you go. Four (or seven, depending on how you wanna look at it) winners. My neighbor mentioned the other day that I'm ALWAYS recommending good books- I always say 'oh this was the best." She asked if I've ever read anything I didn't like.  The answer, of course, is yes....but very very rarely. A lot of what I read, I pick up because people I know and who know me recommend it. I read the jackets and if it sounds lame, I don't read it. If the first ten reviews on Goodreads are absolutely awful... I usually won't pick it up. Except Queen of the Tearling, which got so many one stars over there, but I absolutely loved. I love reading, and there's like seven million books out there, I don't have time to waste reading duds!!

That being said, I'm always on the lookout for new stuff.  Libraries man, they are the BEST. Got anything for me?


  1. So glad you're back! I will definitely have to read Sharp Objects now! You're review is sooo tempting that I might even have to BUY it! I wish I could recommend something, but I'm always about 10 years behind on what's new. I usually get my books from the thrift shop! For example, I just finished Philippa Gregory's The White was good, but not her best, and Still Alice was wonderful, but I mean it's already been a movie. Like I said...a bit behind the trends.
    I also read John Grisham's latest...fairly decent if you like his standard formula. Now I'm reading Ape House by Sara Gruen and Jewel by Bret Lott.
    Keep the posts coming!

    1. Sharp Objects is SOOOO good!! But when I say dark... I mean REALLY dark.

  2. The Lies of Locke Lamora has been sitting on my overflowing TBR paperback bookcase for 2 years now. Guess I need to bump it up in priority!

    1. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, I loved it.