Well I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t finish reviewing my full 52 this year. I was behind when I took on NaNoWriMo, and then I took on coordinating next year’s Cannonball Read. So reviews fell by the wayside.
However, this series I just had to sit down and write about because it was thoroughly delightful.
Check out my review of the first four mysteries in the Chet and Bernie series.
I finished this a month ago. It was so engrossing that I dived right into the second in the series, which is much slower. It gave me some time to think about how uncomfortable this book left me feeling, despite how interesting a character Lisbeth Salander is.
NUMBER FIFTY-TWO!!! I finished! Is there anything specific I need to do or let someone know that I finished?
Cannonball Read III: Book #52/52
Pages: 544 (190,458 total pages so far)
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I love Ellen Hopkins. She finally wrote an adult novel (she normally writes YA) and I’ve been really excited to read it. My only complaint is that the Kindle edition is going for $12.99! I really wish publishers would keep the price under $10. They’re making mostly profit off of it anyways since there are no physical costs (ink, paper, etc.).
Triangles revolves around three women, all who are in entangled in some sort of extramarital affair. Holly has recently lost a lot of weight and enjoys the attention she is now getting from men. Usually it ends with some shameless flirting, but now she’s delving deeper. Her best friend Andrea is a single mom with a teenage daughter who can’t seem to find a decent guy to date…so she finds herself in bed with Holly’s neglected husband. Andrea’s sister, Marissa, finds out her husband has been cheating while she stays at home with her special needs daughter and deals with her son coming out as being gay.
Cannonball Read III: Book #51/52
Pages: 160 (189,914 total pages so far)
Okay, so this is not a book I would ever pick out on my own. I wasn’t even going to include it for CBR, but I was one book short. My husband wanted me to read it because he’s all into these leadership/business books right now. I find them to be INCREDIBLY boring.
This book was no exception. It’s pretty short, but felt like it took weeks to read. I was just so bored. It’s basically an allegory about good business and money practices. It’s a fable of sorts about a young boy learning good business ideas from his granddad in 16th century Italy.
If you’re into these type of books, I guess it wouldn’t be that bad. I personally just can’t imagine anything more boring than reading business books, so I’m probably not the best person to review this type of book.
Cannonball Read III: Book #50/52
Pages: 305 (189,754 total pages so far)
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Legend takes place is a future Los Angeles that is part of the controlling government called the Republic, who is fighting a war against the Colonies (who want freedom). The book starts out going back and forth between two main characters who couldn’t be more different. Day is from a poor family. He now lives on the street and is the most wanted terrorist against the Republic. June is a wealthy girl from the inner city who has strong ties to the military government. After her brother is killed, she goes on a quest to hunt down his killer — who she is believes is Day.
Eventually June and Day’s paths cross and there is the requisite teenage romance, but it’s not overbearing or irritating like in some YA novels. I thought the characters were well written and weren’t one-dimensional. Their backstories were fleshed out and you actually got to know the characters.
However, this wasn’t really my favorite novel. I struggled to get through it because it was a little slow. The action parts were pretty good, but there seemed to be a lot of filler. I felt like some of the ideas that were brought up (such as the government conspiracy regarding the plagues) were really interesting, but only briefly mentioned. Also, I know it’s nit-picky, but I thought the way June figured out her brother’s code in his journals was a huge long shot. I mean, really? There is NO WAY anyone would ever crack that code, especially by accident.
Overall, I guess I was just expecting more.
Cannonball Read III: Book #49/52
Pages: 352 (189,449 total pages so far)
I actually read this book back in July, but was going over my list of books for Cannonball Read and realized that I never reviewed this one! This review might be short and/or vague since it’s been six months or so since I actually read it.
The Book of Lost Things is sort an adult fairy tale. I love fantasy books and movies, so I found it to be pretty interesting. Twelve-year-old David is having a hard time with his father remarrying after the death of his mother, so he turns to books. The books whisper to him and eventually lead him to a secret passageway into a fantasy land complete with princes and kings and big bad wolves.
This was definitely more of a dark fairy tale — not really for kids. If you prefer Grimm’s version over the Disney version of fairy tales, you’d probably enjoy this book. Plus, if you were ever that kid who used books as an escape, David will really resonate with you and take you back to a time when books really came alive.
Earlier this year, I read Matched, the first in a trilogy of books about a future society where marriage is arranged by “society” and in the instance of Cassia, who is matched with her life-long BFF Xander, a rare mistake is made in her match. Cassia is mistakenly matched with another boy she knows, Ky Markham, but the mistake is corrected and she is matched with Xander. Cassia should be happy, but of course instead, she falls in love with Ky. And at the end of the story (SPOILER), when Ky is taken away from Cassia by society and she decides to risk everything — her family, her match with Xander, and her status as a citizen — to find him.
I didn’t love Matched, but didn’t think it was a terrible story. I assumed I would feel the same way about Crossed, but boy, was I wrong. I could barely get to the end of Crossed, and really, could have cared less what happened to any of the characters (except for young Eli) by the end.
Read the rest of my review here.
Fifty freaking two. Oh, how I thought I never would complete ye! Hats off to you supernatural people who are doing double or triple (?!) Cannonballs. You truly have powers beyond my comprehension. Bravo.
My pick for favorite book of the year is in this series but all three of the books are fantastic, horrifying, breathtaking and heartbreaking. The first two books in the series are reviewed here and here. Isle of Blood is the newest installment and probably my CBR-III swan song although I may be able to eek one more out by the January 7 deadline.
CBR III Review #156: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I wish I could simply review this novel with two words: “simply magical”. No two other words I think could better define the story that surrounds The Night Circus. I’ll warn you that once you read it you will be extremely sad that The Night Circus is not real. Summit Entertainment has bought the rights to the movie and if they can bring this film to life I’ll be ecstatic.
Le Cirque des Rêves arrives without warning and is only open from dawn to twilight. The whole circus revolves around a black and white theme but the acts, talents, and tents bring all the color that is needed. Imagine a tent filled with what looks like clouds that allows one to bounce to and from them. Or a tent with mirrors upon mirrors but each one shows a different scene. Or a tent with magicians so phenomenal that they make you want to believe in magic.
Unbeknownst to circus goers and to the majority of the circus performers the circus has a more sinister origin. It was created so that two magicians could compete against one another in a deadly magical battle. Celia and Marco have entered this deadly battle where neither one of them fully understood the consequences. It is unknown what will happen to the circus and everyone they love that performs within it once one the magicians lose. Celia and Marco decide to try and find a way to fight for themselves and the circus.
The Night Circus has a structure that takes a bit of getting use to. The point of view jumps between several characters and between several time periods, but once you become immersed in the story line it no longer matters. It wouldn’t make sense for the book to be laid out on a liner time line, I think it would have detracted from the over all sense of magic that the book alludes. I highly recommend The Night Circus.
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385534639
- ISBN-13: 978-0385534635
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (584 customer reviews)
CBR III Review #155: Catch me by Lisa Gardner
This title will be released on February 7, 2012.
I absolutely love it when a book I was going to read anyways shows up in my netgalley. Now I don’t have to wait for it to show up on overdrive!
If you have read Lisa Gardner you know what to expect by now and her formula doesn’t change much with her latest addition. I did however, love all the call backs to her past book characters as D. D. Warren tried to solve the latest and greatest mystery.
Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant is convinced she is going to be murdered in four days. In the last two years her best friends were murdered on the same day, at the same time, in different locations, and via the same method. Her first childhood friend was killed two years ago, her second childhood friend last year, and now Charlene is the last person that made up their childhood trio. However, as D.D. starts to investigate Charlie becomes the number one suspect for a vigilante who is shooting pedophiles. Is Charlene really in danger or is she a much bigger threat?
I really enjoy the D.D. Warren series and this is no exception. I do think it may be time for Gardner to retire the series and come up with a batch of new characters. Warren doesn’t have much more room to go personally or professionally and even though I’m still enjoying the cases I think I’m ready for a new heroine, but if you enjoy Lisa Garnder books this novel follows the same formula with all the twist and turns you can learn to expect.