Friday, July 6, 2012

Recent Reads

Bo has been out of town for the majority of the past few months, so I've gotten a lot of reading done during the weeknights. I'm not much of a TV watcher - in fact, most of the time he will come home and the TV will still be on the same channel he was watching before he left! I was not a fan of the 50 Shades series (plus, it was kind of a waste to read it while Bo was out of town...!) but made up for it with two great borrowed books from mom. I am curious to see if anyone felt the same way about 50 Shades as me or if I'm in the minority here.

You can find me on GoodReads at www.goodreads.com/lmcommander for additional books and ratings. And as always I love all the book recommendations I get from these posts!



50 Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Rating: 2 stars

Ughh. I went against my typical trend-hating standard, and gave in to read this book with our book club. I had heard "it's supposed to be really good!" from so many people and online sources - however not from anyone I knew who had actually read it. I really didn't have any clue what it was about. When I saw "Erotic Romance" on the back all I could think was, What have I gotten myself into?!  Bo gave me a very strange look and asked "WHY are you reading porn?" I thought he was being funny, but as it turns out that is pretty much how I felt about this book. Ana is a very naive girl who is graduating from college and has her first real crush - on none other than Christian Grey, who is a very handsome billionaire and sexual "dominant". I eventually got over the fact that it was extremely sexually graphic - which is essentially the extent of the plot. But the writing! Oh, the writing. It was awful. Grammar errors, repetitive words and sentences, typos...the works. I really hope my high school English teacher did not read this book because she would have had a field day with her red pen.


50 Shades Darker, by E.L. James
Rating: 2.5 stars

At our book club meeting for the first book in the series, a few of the girls had read the next two already. I did not really like the first book, but was told that the second book is much better and answers a lot of questions that are left open in the first book.  Since the first book ended on a cliffhanger, I suckered myself into the next two. I thought the second book clarified a lot of things from the first book, and had just barely a little more plot which I did enjoy.  A word of warning: I was also told that you could read the second book except for the very last page, and be fine with it. Or you can read the last page, and everything changes so you are suckered into the third book. I would agree with that to a certain extent - I only read the third book because I ordered it with the second book (and because I like to read entire series to know how they end). But either way, I highly doubt you will lose any sleep if you read the first two and skip out on the third.



50 Shades Freed, by E.L. James
Rating: 2.5 stars

This series is a prime example of why I do not like doing things just because they are trendy and everyone else is, since I find my opinion typically differs from that of the general public. I still don't get all the hype. In all honesty, the last book was pretty awful. You can skip all the way until about the last four chapters to find out how it ends, and you won't really miss anything at all. I actually felt like this trilogy could have been easily condensed into one book, but these kind of series are so popular right now that it almost seemed like she just dragged it out to make a third book for the sake of having a trilogy. My rating for this book would have been much lower, but I did like how it ended so it didn't seem like such a complete waste of time reading them.





Moloka'i, by Alan Brennert
Rating: 5 stars

I *loved* this book. It was sooo good!! Thank you, Mom, for suggesting this one to me. The story begins with Rachel, a young girl on the big island of Hawaii, set in the late 1800s. Rachel is your average, typical child with a normal life and two loving parents, until her mom suspects she has leprocy. Her sister rats her out during one of their many arguments at school, which forces the authorities to inspect Rachel. They ship her off to the isolation island of Moloka'i when it is confirmed that she does in fact have leprocy. Her family is devastated and they are only comforted by the fact that her Uncle Pono, who also has leprocy, will be there waiting for her. She spends the majority of her life on this island, and though her story is mostly sad, there are glimmers of happiness throughout - trying to make the best of the crappy cards she was dealt in life. I cried at several points throughout the book (talk about an awkward plane ride!) but I couldn't help myself. It was just that good.



Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4.5 stars

 Another great borrowed book from mom. This was the first book I've read by Jodi Picoult and I really liked it. It started off somewhat horrifying and sad, with a small-town high school shooting, and the rest of the story details both the events leading up to the shooting as well as the aftermath. The thing I liked most about this book was that it gives the perspective of the shooting from so many viewpoints - the gunman and parents, his classmates, the victims and their parents, the detective in charge of the investigation, and the judge presiding over the case. Each character provided something different to consider and throughout the book there were several twists that kept changing my outlook on Peter (the shooter) and how I thought it should end. I could not put it down!





9 comments:

  1. jennifer andrewsJuly 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I have been wondering if I wanted to bother with 50 shades.... I'm thinking I won't :) glad to hear about a Jodi Picoult I haven't read yet though.

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  2. I have to give your cousin Jenny credit for the 19 minutes book. She suggested it to me last fall and I loved it. Reading that you like (and dislike) the same books I do makes me very happy.

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  3. Thanks for the book reviews! I've decided I need to start reading more again, since I do enjoy it so much!

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    1. I agree it's hard to find the time, but I also (obviously) love reading when I get the chance!

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  4. Lisa - you should totally read her sisters keeper by Jodi Picoult - such a captivating read - I probably have it if you want to borrow! 19 miuntes sounds good!

    I'm in the middle of 50 shades - the writing is sooo terrible, but i just want to see how it ends haha - this isn't giving me much hope to get to the end;)

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    1. Thanks, Chelsea! I'd love to borrow it! Good luck with the rest of shades :)

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  5. I've read many Jodi Picoult books and loved them all. She does an excellent job exploring social issues affecting us today by expressing viewpoints of everyone involved ... and she does it without "telling" the reader which opinion is "right". My other favorites include The Pact and Salem Falls (plus one other that I think is titled the Tenth Circle?).

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    1. Thanks so much! I'll add them to my list since we have similar tastes :)

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