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My Reviews

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Graphic
Madame Tussaud

This is a very dramatic book and really opened my eyes to the events in France during a very crucial time in the country. Moran did a very good job of in-cooperating the lives of the characters with the history. It was fast moving and an easy read despite the 440 pages. I love that she included a list of characters, a time-line, and definitions to help with the book.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Sarah's Key

I LOVED IT! It immediately grabbed hold of me and would not let go. It is a must read! It opened my eyes to events of which I was unaware and has moved me to make a trip to France to visit the location.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Inspiring, Brilliant
The Art of Racing In The Rain

Written from the perspective of a dog as a member of a family, it was a brilliant, fun, and interesting story told as if the family pet could verbalize. While I do not believe that animals have the ability to actually rationalize and think, I will never look at my dog the same after reading this book.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Inspiring
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt

This was a bittersweet novel with some smiling, laughing, and crying. Having grown up in the South, I could smell the air, feel the atmosphere, relate to the life-style. The novel seemed to be written in the atmosphere of Steel Magnolias, and some of the characters actually seemed as if they could have been borrowed from Steel Magnolias. It is a very sweet novel and I recommend it for pleasant summer reading.

 
Confusing, Interesting, Slow
Jane Austen Summer

I think I know what she was trying to do but the author did a poor job of developing the characters. It was almost as if she wrote a 'highlight' book...just trying to highlight a few things in the life of Lilly. It was an ok read but I would not recommend it if you wanted a deep read.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Fun
The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society

When I first started reading the this book, it took me a while to get into because it is written in a different format than I am used to. The first part of the book is written in 'letter style' and was confusing for me as I am used to a plot with a beginning, middle, and end. BUT, staying with it, I found this to be a very brilliantly written book which was both informative, in spiring, and entertaining. I highly recommend it.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Dark
The Thirteenth Tale

When starting this book, the first couple of chapters were a little slow but then, I was sucked in! The author has a fantastic way with expressing herself and bringing her characters to life as you read. I was constantly intrigued by what was to happen next and found the story a puzzle that I could not solve. The book has the perfect twist which leaves the reader still wondering and asking questions even after finished.

 
Poorly Written, Boring, Informative
The Nazi Officers Wife

While this was a very informative book, I feel that it lacked continuity in many of the events and led to confusion. However, since it was based on a true story, I am sure it was written more as an informative book rather than in the novel form (even though there were time when I feel she tried to slip into that form.)To read on ones own might work if a person is into the war and holocaust era. As a club, I feel that there are more entertaining books to read.

 
Poorly Written, Boring, Slow
V IS FOR VENGEANCE

IF I had not been required to read this book as our monthly book club read, I would have put it away while in the second chapter. "V" was slow moving, disjointed in it's bringing together the characters, and seemed to take forever to build the theme and tie it all together. I do have friends in the club who loved the book but personally, I would not recomment it.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Dark
Before I Go To Sleep

I wanted to check some of the boxes but the words I would use are not there: fast, easy-reading, a little intriguing, a little confusing. It was a thought-provoking book, causing one to think about just what it might be like to lose one's memory and the importance of having a special person who loves you, who you can trust completely, to help you with the day-to-day events and memory recall. A very good debut novel.

The Sin Bearer by Tom Taylor
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Adventurous
The Sin Bearer

This was a very interesting book which took me back in time to the life of the Apostle Paul when he was a prisoner. Based on the possibilities of the cause of the ship-wreck he was in, the author did a pretty good job of description of the types of ships at that time and of the quick change that could take place in the weather while sailing. I would have liked to have seen a little more character development of some of the men on the ships or a little more detail even of the main characters. However, it was true to the Bible story of the event in the life of Paul.

 
Book Club Recommended
Slow, Confusing, Interesting
Desert Heat

For me, this was a very predictable book. I felt as if I was watching a tv drama show and you watch it because you have started watching but mid-way through, you feel you have figured it all out. There really was no real surprise as to who the bad guys were in the end. As for the main character; I ... hmmm....without including a spoiler, I just don't know that I would have been doing all of the running around, looking for people and such had the same tragic event happened in my life. If you want an easy read, go for it. If you want real drama, there are plenty more on the shelf to choose from.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Insightful, Beautiful
Pride and Prejudice

I have seen several versions of the movie but had never read the book and am not sure how I escaped that while in high school. But, I am so thankful to our Aug hostess for choosing it and am so thankful that I read it. P&P has stood the test of time as a classic so, it really does not need my comments to further its place in history. I can say that I loved the language, the expression of the language, the insight into the era, and feel that it is a shame that it will probably no longer be required reading of young people today. Jane Austen remains to be in a league of her own even after years and years. Books such as Twilight cannot stand in the shadow of Ms Austen's novels.

 
Slow, Boring, Pointless
Honeymoon with my Brother

Do NOT waste your time. While it is sad that his 'live-in' girlfriend left him before the wedding, even sadder that the main character felt it was ok to travel around the world acting irresponsibly, sleeping around. And then to write a book about such shameful activities and MAKE MONEY FROM IT, is despicable! Please do not give the writer honor by purchasing his book and please do not waste your time.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
THE SECRET KEEPER

I absolutely LOVED this book! It is beautifully and brilliantly written and has wonderful drama that keeps the reader on pins and needles as he/she moves through the pages, from one year to another, anxious to get to the end. The characters grab you and suck you in to their drama and their lives. I highly recommend it for a book club read as the story-line in itself prompts fantastic discussion. Great job, Kate Morton!

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Optimistic
The Sugar Queen

The Sugar Queen started off slow and I was wondering if it was going to be a boring book. It did pick up as i continued to read and with just enough drama sprinkled in, it was able to hold my attention. At first there was a little confusion on my part as to the roll of Della Lee and the closet but as the pages turned, events started to make a little sense. While there was some surprise in the ending, hindsight actually does make all very clear in the end. The Sugar Queen is a quick easy read for those who do want a book that will make their heads hurt while trying to follow a heavy plot.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Light Between Oceans

Hats off to M.L. Stedman in her debut novel, The Light Between Oceans! It was brilliantly written, insightful, and will tug at the heart of any mother or father who reads it. I highly recommend this book.

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Slow, Pointless
Summer Rental

Summer Rental was a fun, easy summer read that also had a lean toward predictable. By the time I had been introduced to each character, I knew what was going to happen in the rest of the book. I recommend it if you want an easy, mindless book to fill your time.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Beautiful
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Loved it! I think it is a must read for those interested in history. It will open your eyes to events that took place in our own country many may have only heard whispered of.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Beautiful, Dramatic
The Violets of March

Just the cover calls you to read it.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
 
Insightful, Beautiful, Dramatic
Tell The Wolves I\\\'m Home

While well written, \\\'Tell the Wolves I\\\'m Home\\\' is an attempt to create sympathy for an immoral lifestyle.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
 
Interesting, Inspiring, Dramatic
The Glass Castle

Well written story of a woman over-coming how she was raised. While probably true to her life, I didn't like the profanity in the bool. The story as a whole was a yawner for me.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Inspiring
The Nazi Officers Wife

Because of the time period the book couldn't help but be borderline dark. It was very interesting to read how she was able to survive in such a horrible time in history. However, when looking deeper into the story, our club decided we were confused a few times on just how some things could happen in the way they did under the circumstances. Still, a good read but not not an up-lifting read. If you smiles and happiness, choose another book.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Gloomy, Dramatic
Songs of Willow Frost

The book was a little dramatic because nothing tugs at the heart of a person like a story that involves a child, especially one that a person feels is being abused. It also held a note of being informative. While I am aware that life in an orphanage, esp during the time period of the book, could not be good, it brought to life that kind of life. It also opened my eyes to some of the traditions of the Chinese culture that I was unfamiliar with. However, even with the happy ending, the book leaned toward gloomy and depressive. I really just wanted to shake Liu Song, hug William, and kiss Charlotte. I did enjoy \'Song...Frost it but liked Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet much more. It seemed as if more energy was put into the writing of \'Hotel...\' and maybe so as it was his first novel.

 
Confusing, Interesting, Slow
My Jane Austen Summer

I was so disappointed in this book. I don\'t know for sure what I expected from it but I definitely expected more. I chose it for our regular book club meeting and wish I had chosen a different book, maybe a REAL Jane Austen book. It would have been much better.

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Romantic
Bridge to Haven

An easy read, borderline frustrating. A little predictable.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Interesting
The Lake House

I love how Kate Morton is able to take us back and forth in time, building the drama and interest in her writing. It is as if she takes two stories and shuffles them together like a deck of cards, building the suspense from the past while weaving in a drama in the present.

Next to Love: A Novel by Ellen Feldman
 
Gloomy, Dark, Graphic
Next To Love

While very well written, I had a difficult time with this book. I kept waiting for the fun 'boogie woogie bugle boy' attitude of the time to come through but it seemed that only one tragedy after another occurred. please know that it really was not what I thought it was going to be. I will try my best to not repeat what I consider to be an undesirable book for my book club again. I am sincerely embarrassed at some of it's content and the reviews were truly misleading to me. If you have not read 'Next to War' then I have to suggest that you just move on to a more pleasurable or desirable read. I also hope that my next selection is a better choice. As one club member who did manage to finish the book said (there were others who just stopped reading b/c they felt it so bad), she kept waiting for the 'light' and it just never came.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Insightful
The Friday Night Knitting Club

I liked it, didn't love it. And even the tears I had at completing the book couldn't make me love the book as a whole. The author seemed to jump around a lot while developing the characters. I feel that she worked hard at trying to depict an attitude of the characters with the language that was used in the moments of frustration of some of the characters. While I am not a 'Pollyanna' about life, I do like 'meat' in a book and I could smell a little in her effort to create a bond among the women but the book was somewhat predictable and could have done without the language (when you throw the 'f' word into a book I am reading I immediately do not like the book) and still had the same story-line. I guess I would say that there was a lack of depth in the book.

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