Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely devoured this book. It's 756 pages long, and I read it in two days, despite having many other things to do that weekend that prevented me from focusing all my attention on the book. I really wanted to focus all my attention on the book.

Breaking Dawn is the fourth novel in the Twilight series, and--not to give anything away--does a pretty good job of wrapping up the story lines. It's a real page-turner, obviously, since this series is perfect for people who want to read "a good story." In reader's advisory terms, "story" is the primary doorway, and "character" is a close second. I especially enjoyed the sections from Jacob's point of view.

There isn't much else I can say without spilling the beans, so I'll stop here.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What Happens in London

What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2) What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is now one of my all-time favorite romance novels, primarily because it made me laugh out loud numerous times. Quinn's books are usually humorous, and this one now rivals Romancing Mr. Bridgerton for the title of My Favorite Romance Novel (Pride and Prejudice is just in its own category/league altogether). The scene in which Sebastian performs his reading of Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron while standing on a table had me laughing so hard, tears were pouring down my cheeks.

The premise of the book is that Olivia Bevelstoke's gossipy friends tell her Sir Harry Valentine--her new next door neighbor--is rumored to have murdered his fiancee. She doesn't believe them...really...but it makes her curious, so she spies on him from her bedroom window, thinking he doesn't see her. He does, which distracts him from his translation work for the War Office, and that irritates him. However, Olivia has caught the attention of a visiting Russian prince, so Harry is ordered to spy on her. He ends up paying court to her in public as a way to spend the requisite amount of time in her presence, and since this is a romance novel, they discover they actually might be able to stand each other after all.

The characters feel like real people. The writing is funny and quick-witted. And the story moved right along so that I was frustrated by any and all interruptions that forced me to stop reading.

My only quibble with it is that it ends a little too quickly. I wanted to find out more about Vladimir--like maybe he needs his own book to clear up the mystery that is his back-story.

Incidentally, this is the second in the new Bevelstoke series, which began with The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired [abridged]

Reduced Shakespeare Reduced Shakespeare by Reed C. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The full title for this book is actually Reduced Shakespeare: The Complete Guide for the Attention-Impaired [abridged:]. It's written by the same fellows who brought us the play The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [abridged:], which you can get on DVD or in book format. (It's hilarious!)

Even the Table of Contents is funny in this book--the fact that it's annotated cracks me up. It should also be a clue that this is not the book to start someone out on if they are just being introduced to Shakespeare for the first time. Yes, it gives plenty of biographical information and plot summaries--even movie reviews--etc, but the humor is so irreverent that a newbie to the Bard might get confused in spots. (Actually, the tone is so irreverent that sometimes I questioned whether the authors even LIKED Shakespeare's works.)

There was one place I found, however, with some glaring errors, and that was on page 105 of the hardback edition. The plot synopsis of Titus Andronicus is incorrect. It's confusing and has the characters mixed up. A better summary can be found at SparkNotes. Otherwise, the book is a very entertaining read!

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

At Last Comes Love

At Last Comes Love (Huxtable Quintet, #3) At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this 3rd installment in the Huxtable sibling series. It was a great summer read--entertaining and light but with enough substance that I wasn't wincing or rolling my eyes. I did guess most of Duncan's big secret, but I did not predict the twist at the end.

Margaret Huxtable and Duncan Pennethorne are both 30 years old, which is a welcome change from the norm of historical romances and their 20-year-old heroines. They both need to find a spouse in a hurry: Margaret, because she unwisely boasted to her ex that she had a secret engagement, and Duncan, because his grandfather is going to cut off his income if he's not married within 15 days. Some secrets are kept a little too long; others are leaked too soon. And at last comes love. (*groan* Sorry! I couldn't resist.)

View all my reviews >>