Sunday, April 29, 2007

Book Reviews

These were all pretty unremarkable. That's all I care to say.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I bought these three books on-line today and I am really excited to read them..."Body Surfing" by Anita Shreve, who is alternatingly disturbing and brilliant; "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Piccoult, which should be very salient due to present events; and finally "Promise Not to Tell" by relative newcomer Jennifer McMahon, which looks to be a deeply twisted mystery. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Book Review: A Mighty Heart

A Mighty Heart by Mariane Pearl

This is a heart-wretching memoir. It follows Mariane Pearl before and after her husband, Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl, is kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan.

Its a page turning, frustrating tale. Frustrating because the circles and run-arounds that she gracefully puts up with.

What a strong woman. To have gone through what she did WHILE PREGNANT! And to never have complete closure would surely drive me crazy.

Read it!

Kim's Grade: A

Monday, April 02, 2007

Book Review: Fear No Evil

I believe that when I reviewed See No Evil my chief complaint was the plot and not Ms. Brennan's writing. Well, I've read the sequel, and I've changed my mind. Fear No Evil had a much better plot, but I still had some major problems with it.

The general plot is that Lucy Kincaid, the eigthteen year old sister to the other siblings in this trilogy, is kidnapped by a sadistic psychopath who airs 48 hours of live video on the Internet for $25,000 of him and his cronies repeatedly raping and eventually murdering their abductees, all under the guise of "consensual porn." He has done this before, but he is some kind of computer genius and the FBI can't seem to nail him. But five years ago an FBI agent named Kate Donovan came very close to taking him down. After her partner and boyfriend were murdered by this guy, known only as "Trask," she comes under fire from the Bureau and goes into hiding, making it her life mission to find Trask and bring him down. So she writes a software program or something that alerts her each time her puts a new video on the web. When she sees Lucy's video come up, she notifies the one person she trusts in the FBI, who notifies the Kincaid family. Dillion Kincaid, a forensic psychologist, eventually tracks Kate down and convinces her to help him find Trask before Lucy is killed.

Okay, so that's an okay plot and all that, but a love story in the middle of all this horror?! Lucy is raped repeatedly by her captors, all on video for her brothers to see, and yet Dillion is still thinking, "Wow, Kate's pretty hot, I'd like to bang her." All right, all right, to be fair to Brennan, there is not acknowledgment of these romantic feelings until after the ordeal is over, but still. Come on. There was just nothing at all to base the attraction on until, suddenly, they were in bed together. But I suppose it could have been there, but they both just kept it under wraps. Yeah, that's definitely a fair assessment, but I just didn't feel it. Dillion's a psychologist and he falls for a woman that has some major issues? That's a little too "let me fix you" for me, even though he doesn't seem to try to do that. I'm a shallow person, what can I say, but I'd run from someone with that much baggage. Run far.

Also, Brennan introduced a Kincaid we've never seen before, Jack, who supposedly left the family twenty years before. But she never resolves anything with Jack or why he left and stayed away, and as far as I know, this was the last Kincaid book. Also, isn't it pretty much a rule of trilogies that the characters in the previous books get some mention? Connor from See No Evil gets a semi-promiment role, but where the hell is Julia? The woman he supposedly loves and wants to marry? She's a no-show when the sister of the man she loves is kidnapped? Seriously, her name was not mentioned once and I started to wonder if I was reading these books out of order (I wasn't).

Lindsey's Grade: C+

Book Review: Simply Magic

Normally I can't say enough about a Mary Balogh book, and I was really looking forward to reading this book because it featured a hero and heroine that appeared in other Balogh books, both of who showed some promise. But for some reason this book, while there was nothing that made me dislike it, didn't seem to grasp my interest like Balogh books usually do.

Susanna Osbourne is a twenty-three year old teacher at a girls school in Bath. She herself was taken in as a charity student when she was twelve and then later was hired on when she was eighteen. Viscount Whitleaf (Peter), is a young and handsome aristocrat who is good natured and polite. But when the two of them meet for the first time, Susanna is instantly put off because she recognizes his title as a name from her past with unpleasant memories. Peter thinks Susanna is beautiful and intelligent, so he keep persuing her.

First of all, Susanna made me more than a little annoyed. In Simply Unforgettable and Simply Love she seemed to be vivacious and fun-loving, but in this book I felt like she was a completely different person. Maybe Balogh was trying to show in this book that there was unhappiness and sadness behind Susanna that she hid to the rest of the world, but I couldn't help but feel let down by her characterizations here. Also, WHAT THE HELL WAS HER PROBLEM WITH IT CAME TO PETER?! Her lifelong dream is to be married with children and a home of her own, yet when a young and handsome man who obviously enjoys her company, respects her mind, and is sexually attracted to her proposes she turns him down again and again? Even though she's supposedly in love with him? Now, I didn't live in early nineteenth century England, so I guess I can't speak for Susanna, but I couldn't help but feel that she was a complete idiot for not jumping at the chance to marry Peter! Balogh's excuse that she was holding about because he didn't love her was just too lame for me to believe. Okay, so he doesn't say that he loves her, but he never acted like he didn't. Jane Austen's books have led me to believe that a poor young woman in those times would jump at the chance to make such an amazing marriage, the husband's verbal proclamations of love be damned (except for Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice, but at least she had a reason for turning Darcy down that made sense). And this, essentially, was the entire hook of the book. The other so called reason for Susanna's hesitance doesn't count because it was never resolved so it couldn't have been that big of an issue.

I liked both characters and all that, but the genuine romance that I like so much about Balogh's book was missing here. It just felt a little empty.

Lindsey's Grade: B-

P.S. Also, enough with the "let's have sex the first time we meet and then go our separate ways" storyline, Ms. Balogh! It's getting old.