Monday, August 29, 2011

Yikes!! More Book Reviews

My, my, my, how the time flies! Was my last post really in May?!? Yikes! Well, things have been busy... just not that busy, I don't really have an excuse for ya. Somewhere in the course of the last 6.5 months, my goal has shifted from reading all the books on my list (which was 52 or something like that) in the year, to just reading 52 books this year, equaling out to one a week. I am, of course, trying to check off the list. But, as always, I keep accumulating more books, which look so much more interesting than the old ones, so the older ones keep getting pushed aside. But I am, slowly, working through them. So, to cover the last couple months...

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan and Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella. I've really been enjoying the Shopaholic series, I look forward to someday getting my hands on the rest of them. I think I may have bought another of Sophie's books on my last Value Village run, but I can't remember. Becky is, as always, infuriating and yet reminds me in small ways of myself. I think she gets more annoying with each book! In the Takes Manhattan book, Becky and Luke move to New York. She ends up getting into a lot of debt - again. She also can't stand Luke's mother, who only appears to have an interest in him now that he's becoming famous and making a name for himself. Unfortunately things get really sour when some reporters back in London find out that the finance guru is a complete fake and has loads of debt - overseas, to boot! This also sheds a bad light on Luke and his efforts to open the new branch of his company in New York. They have a huge fight and Becky goes home and discovers who the culprit was behind all of her bad luck. Then she makes the huge decision to sell all her things, pay off her debts, and move to New York - alone. Two months later, Luke goes to find her and proposes. In Ties the Knot, Becky is especially frustrating as she accidentally starts to plan 2 completely different weddings and hasn't got the backbone to choose one and cancel the other. Option 1: New York dream wedding, all expenses paid (by Luke's mom). Option 2: Sweet, traditional London wedding at home, with her mom and dad paying. Both weddings are planned for the same day and she manages to keep both mothers in the dark. In the end everything works out, of course, but it's a close call!!

Overall story rating: 9/10 for both
Recommendation: 14+

Too Small to Ignore by Dr. Wess Stafford was a really moving view of the world's children and how we should be ministering to them. This is not my first choice of book genre's, which I suppose is why it made the impact that it did. Dr. Stafford spent most of his growing up years in Africa as a missionary kid, and I loved the stories he shared about life as a little boy in their village. How different life was there. He also shares unpleasant stories about the boarding school he and his sister lived at for most of the year. Terrible things that people - Christians - do to children, because nobody is there to stop them. That's why children need advocates. That's why I am one. I may not have experienced the horrible things that those children, or that Dr. Stafford, have suffered, but I have compassion and empathy and a sense of justice. It was a really good read...

Overall story rating: 8/10 It's not really a story, more of a biography, but quite interesting
Recommendation: Adults and mature teenagers, particularly those interested in Compassion, the mission field, and/or child advocacy...

The Prince Next Door by Sue Civil-Brown. This was a fun little book about a thrill-seeking dermatologist who just wants to have a good time over her vacation. Her new neighbour seems mysterious enough, but then she finds out that he's trying to disprove that he is the prince of some obscure little European country that nobody's ever heard of. That's just too much of an adventure for Serena to pass up, so she and a couple of her friends decide to help Darius. The plan involves robbery and deception, with some kidnapping thrown in. Things don't turn out as planned for those involved, but they do find their answer - and, of course, Serena and Darius fall in love. :)

Overall story rating: 9/10
Recommendation: 16+

A Body to Die For by Kate White. Halfway through this book, I realized there is one that comes before, which I have since bought. Unfortunately now I know what happens in the first one, but this one was such a thriller I'm sure I'll have no problem getting through the other one. It starts off with Bailey, the main character, going to a friend's spa to relax, and discovering a dead body in the spa, her first night there. She spends the rest of that weekend (and a couple others?) comforting her friend, getting friendly with a cop, and conducting her own investigation. The murderer really is the last person you would expect...

Overall story rating: 9/10
Recommendation: 16+

The Film Club by David Gilmour. This is a true story about a dad who let his son drop out of high school on the condition that they would watch 3 movies (of Dad's choice) together every week. The father had spent some time as a film critic, so he tried to introduce his son to a wide range of different styles of movies. Old movies, new movies, art movies, fun movies, etc.etc. It was a bonding time for them and many topics were discussed during these years. It's an interesting concept, but definitely not for everyone.

Overall story rating: 7/10
Recommendation: I wouldn't really recommend it

Rapid Descent by Gwen Hunter. Parts of this book were a bit boring for me, just because it's all about kayaking so there were certain parts where it's talking about techniques or tools that I'm not familiar with, but at the same time it was interesting, and now I have a slight interest in learning to kayak. Anyway, the story is about this woman (Nell), who goes kayaking with her husband (Joe). She gets caught up in a fallen tree and is unconscious for a while. He gets worried and decides to go for help. She wakes up a day later to find his note and is worried that he might be hurt somewhere because he hasn't come back. She goes out looking for him on the water, despite being very sick. She can't find him and eventually comes across some campers who get her some medical attention. They search for Joe for a long time, but never find him. She also discovers that Joe has a family (which he told her he didn't) and they're rich. And, at the end of the search, she finds out she's pregnant. Fast forward 7 years, Nell has a booming river touring business. The cold case opens back up. Nell was always their first suspect, even now. They eventually find the body, and the real killer, and Nell finds her joy and a new love.

Overall story rating: 8/10
Recommendation: 18+

So... quick overview of all those books. It's been a while since I read some of them, so I'm a bit rusty on the stories.

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