Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mini-Reviews - Again!

It seems that I do more mini-reviews than any other kind these days. But I've fallen so far behind now that this is all I can do.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Ummm... At what point did it stop being about Rose being able to taste the cook's feelings in the food she ate? At what point did it start being about the brother? And what was going on with him anyway? I don't get it! I mean I get what's up with him but I don't believe in it, I don't believe in the way the family handles him and his being different and I don't believe in this story. The brother plot line takes up a huge part of the book and isn't even mentioned in the publicity blurb. So strange. Basically, I was expecting something similar to Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel or Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Very disappointing.

Crossed by Ally Condie
I rarely like sequels more than the original books, but in this case I liked Crossed much more than Matched. In Matched, I found the constant back-and-forth between Kai and Xander annoying. Here, this is more or less resolved and we can move on. I seem to be in the minority in liking this book, mostly because nothing really happens. That's true, but I didn't need that much to happen. I was fascinated by the world Condie built, the way undesirables were dealt with, the faked elements of the conflict with the Outer Regions, the rebellion, the farmers on the outskirts, not really belonging anywhere. Aspects of daily life were so interesting - the pills, the career choices, family obligations, etc. I also loved the importance attached to culture, to art and to writing. So many were willing to die to protect the world's cultural heritage. I can't wait to see where the next book takes us!

Murder Runs in the Family by Anne George
A mystery series set in Alabama. I like it because the main characters and amateur detectives are two sisters in their sixties. I rarely read books with characters like these and I enjoy their outlook. Of course, I doubt they are very typical people, but still. In this book, the third one of the series, the sisters witness what looks like a suicide but is most decidedly a murder. It involves some local geneologists, a local judge and other assorted figures. A good story and colorful characters, you can't really go wrong.

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
Another great series, this time young adult. Four childhood friends brave the world, all the while keeping in touch through letters, phone calls and of course the traveling pants, a pair of jeans that makes each of them look amazing. The pants are magic. In this third book in the series, the girls experience their last summer before college and it includes new jobs, new loves, new baby siblings and finding the strength to find and stay in tune with one's own true self, despite family and societal pressure. I listed to this on audio and really enjoyed the narration by Angela Goethals.


Patty said...

I like the Murder runs in the family review - it sounds almost as a Miss Marple novel, which I would simply love to read!

Kailana said...

These make for fun posts, though! :)

Amanda said...

Interesting about Crossed - you're the only person I know who felt that way!

I felt the exact same way about the lemon cake book. I enjoyed it before the brother part took over!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I hear that the latest (last?) book of the Sisterhood in really not as good as the rest of the series. They are still one of my favorite YA books.