Entertaining May: 4.1.2010 edition

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This girl doesn’t think April Fools Day or pranks are funny. They’re usually mean, tricky, deceitful, and I’m not a fan. So no, this ‘aint a joke post.

 Know what I usually don’t like about book or movie reviews? They summarize the plot too much or over-analyze so they can throw around fancy words and sound smart. I read books because it’s a passion and hobby. I LOVE FICTION. What I want in a review? It’s personal opinion + a few select reasons you loved it, hated it, or thought it was blah. Keep it short, relevant, and give me the bottom line.  

So all that said, I’m not a reviewer but I do want to share (on a regular basis) about what I’m reading and loving (or not), watching, and anything else that I consider ‘entertainment’ and is non-craft related. At this point anything I talk about is a book I thought I’d like, purchased, and read… or a movie I rented via NetFlix. I’ve been unable to commit to a movie night, so I’ve got 3 books to talk about today:

Spider’s Bite was dark, and the heroine a very twisted but true of heart woman. Yeah she has a job where she kills people, but she’s also loyal to the few close to her and clearly has a good heart. At least I think she does. So, she’s a truly great assassin and as I follow her through a world turned upside down by her latest job I couldn’t help but be glued to every page. I was in the mood for something different, and Jennifer Estep wrote Karma Girl (a superhero romance fun novel I LOVE) so I had her on my radar when this hit. My verdict? I loved it. It’s much more gritty than my usual fare, and this marks a rare paranormal/supernatural read for me (heroine is ‘elemental’ and can summon power of rock and ice), but it’s got my seal of approval. I really strangely enjoyed it and I look forward to future books in the series that revolve around Gin.

I bought Bitsy’s Bait & BBQ on impulse from Target a few months back because I thought it would be awesome to read about a little shop in rural mid-America… I had pictures of the Whistlestop Cafe (from Fried Green Tomatoes) and I saw it being played out in exquisite detail – a story of starting over and survival and hope. Yeah!! Um, that’s not this book. This book is about a big sister who ‘fixes’ things for her little sister and thinks her sister has made a huge mistake buying this B&B (bait & BBQ, NOT bed & breakfast) in this nowheresville little town. There’s the ex-husband, the crazy ex-mother-in-law, the local pastor looking for love, the old coot who’s more than he appears… yeah it’s got a whole cast of characters I might have been interested in if the book had been written differently. Oh don’t get me wrong it’s ok – but there was nothing remarkable about anything in the plot. I loved the idea of it, but the reality didn’t hold enough descriptive language and the characters never sucked me in. I’d give it an “eh, if you’re bored go ahead and read it” rating. There are cute moments, and the “Bitsy’s Wisdom” pieces were cute but it wasn’t enough.

 

Janet Evanovich, famous for her Stephanie Plum series of books (New Jersey bounty hunting woman solving mysteries – what’s not to LOVE?!) released a bunch of short romantic comedies back in late 80s/early 90s and is re-releasing them one by one. This one was her first ever published novel. Which, of course for me made it a must-read because I was curious to see the start of this prolific author (I’ve read at least 35 of her books – I’m a fan) and her career starting debut. I kind of hated it. See here’s the problem – most of these “pre-plum” early days novels she was cranking out had this formula: girl embarrasses herself in some way in front of muscular slim hipped attractive boy. Boy falls instantly in love with girl. problems. conflict. they get engaged. the end. I’m over-simplifying of course, but I’m over that formula and the novelty of her early novels has worn off. I do like a few of them quite a bit, this wasn’t one. The ice skater turned coach + the guy she rents a room to after a disastrous day didn’t do it for me. If you’re a fan of the author it’s worth reading – I’m glad I did. But it was more to see how far she’s come and evolved than for the literary excellence. I’ll be sending my copy over to my mom & grandma (both fans of Evanovich as well) – and I won’t mind if it doesn’t come on back.

 That’s what I’ve read over the last 2 weeks or so – as always if you’re a fan of fiction and have ideas/suggestions for my next read I’d love to hear it! If you’re thinking “May, get back to crafting!” I am and I will!! Next post is coming tomorrow or sooner and will be very crafty. I swear. 

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6 responses »

  1. Have you read any Karen Kingsbury? She is an amazing writer, with a series all about the Baxter family. (fiction) I promise that you’ll care about these characters, and the good things is…there’s several books in the series (she may even be writing more as we speak. I follow her on facebook) Anyway, I can totally relate to what you said about not being invested in the characters of one of the books you reviewed. I feel the same way, which is why I think you might like these. The first series is the “R” series, meaning the first 5 start with ‘R’- Redemption being the first one. (My memory fails me after that….sorry) I found the first five in a group together on eBay for pretty cheap too. I flew through the first and had to stop because I’m currently directing a show, but ALL of my friends have read them all and constantly give me grief because I’m behind.

  2. I’m always interested in finding new books. I recently read Jeffrey Deaver’s first ever book – very different to the books he’s become famous for. I just got an Amazon box the other day with “WAking Up in the Land of Glitter” but haven’t had a chance to read it yet

  3. I love to hear about good books to read. I just went on a tear and read the first 6 “Dresden” books in 5 days. Loved them!

  4. May,

    I like this idea. Change it up a bit. I am readying 2 books right now and I like them both. One is Heroic Measures by Jill Cement. It’s a simple story about an aging couple living in NY city with their aging dog. The dog becomes ill at the same time they are trying to sell their apartment and there’s a terrorist loose in the city. It’s also told from the dog’s point of view which I liked. It’s a nice story and a quick summer read. I am also reading the House of Sand and Fog from Oprah’s list. I like that too. Jane

  5. I second Karen Kingsbury – AWESOME writer. Also, if you like suspense/mystery – Colleen Coble is really good, too.

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