Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Final 2008 Reviews (Part II)

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, 284 Pages, finished 9 Dec 2008, 4 Stars
This book has a lot going on: interesting setting, murder, racism, moral dilemma and lots of twists.
Frankly, I could not put it down. It lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that a lot of popular YA literature is filled with but I think that is half the reason I liked it. Great characters and a great story. Predictable at times but I loved Evie's progression as a character.

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski, 159 pages, finished 14 Dec 2008, 3 Stars
I think I have a love hate relationship with this book. On the one hand I love the perspective you get from reading books that are contemporary to the time they are set in opposed to historical fiction written now about the time period (this was originally published in 1949.) On the other hand, I hated the main character Hilary Wainwright. He was such a selfish, distant and uncaring character that I found myself wanting to throw down the book a few times. I just could never get myself to feel the sympathy for him that, I think, the author was trying to create. The story of finding a lost child following WWII was an interesting and emotional read but I can't get over the desire to slap Wainwright and tell him to get over himself. If a good book is something that rises emotion in you, than this is a great book.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, 184 Pages, finished 15 Dec 2008, 4 Stars
Classic children's book that I rebelled against reading when I was a kid. A beautifully told story that I should not have waited so long to read. Amazing that it is based on a true story.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, 345 pages, finished 19 Dec 2008, 3 Stars
When I started to see reviews roll in for this book I was not interested in reading it. Eventually I gave into peer pressure (National Book Awards short list) and picked up a copy. It was an interesting read but as I suspected it was not something I throughly enjoyed. It took awhile for anything substantial to happen. Lots of build up, you knew what was coming but it took too long to get there. I did not get Frankie or her motivations for acting the way she did and just never felt invested in the story.
Decent enough book but just not my cup of tea.

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg, 229 Pages, finished 27 Dec 2008, 2 Stars
To be completely, brutally honest, this book just bored me. I could not get into the characters or the storyline as is evidenced by how long it took me to read this little book. I usually somewhat enjoy Flagg's quirky characters and settings but not this time.

Pemberley by the Sea by Abigail Reynolds, 426 pages, 31 Dec 2008, 1 Star
Way to trashy for me. Picked this up at the library on a whim right before leaving on a vacation to the beach. I had my reservations but thought the beach setting and Pride and Prejudice theme might make it a decent beach read. All I can say is, don't read this unless you like long drawn out narratives that could really use some editing and very explicit narratives.


Gamila said...

I really loved Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was younger. Oddly enough, it wasn't one that my teacher tried to get me to read. I think they just reccommended it, and I picked it up and really loved it. That was when I was still in the figuring out reading could be fun stage, and so I have fond memories of it.

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on Twilight. You said on GoodReads that you have no idea why Edward fell for Bella (only that she smelled good!). I didn't either until I read Midnight Sun -- very "enlightening". Just check out Stephenie Meyer's website.

Laura H said...

Oh man I really like Redbird christmas. I actually listened to it on CD and Fannie Flagg actually read it. She did such a good job with the quaint accents.

Stephanie said...

I too rejected Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was younger. I just don't like stories with animals in it, which is weird, because I am absolutely crazy about animals of all kinds. You'd think I'd LOVE animal stories, but no...I see this book every time we go to the kid section at B&N and it mocks me for not ever finishing it. ;)