Tag Archives: books

Book Review: Velocity

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I haven’t read a book in a while – maybe because, for a while there, I was reading one a week! But I knew it was time to pick one up again when Chad commented on how strange it was for me to not be reading.

I decided to go with a Dean Koontz book – my favorite mystery/thriller author. After reading the jacket teaser for Velocity, I knew it was for me! Billy, a bartender, lives a ho-hum life…until he discovers a note beneath his windshield wipers. It says that if he takes the note to the police, an old woman active in charity will be killed. If he does not, a young blonde teacher will be killed. And he has 6 hours to decide. This is the first of several deadly ultimatums he receives on his journey to find out who is torturing him and murdering innocent people. The story was gripping – I couldn’t put it down – yet the ending was predictable. I knew who the killer was the whole time, but there was an unexpected twist that I didn’t see coming.

It’s been a while since I read a DK novel, and I’d definitely recommend this one. I went online to check on my waitlist of books at the library to find that I had none waiting – apparently I did it wrong. DARN! So I added a few to my list and am anxiously awaiting their arrival :)

Book Review: In the Bag

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After a string of post-apocalyptic dystopian society novels, I wanted something light and easy. I’d envisioned an easy beach read – I just wish I had a beach on which to read it! Luckily, that’s exactly what I got.

In the Bag brings together a single dad and his son and a single mom and her daughter on a trip to Europe. After the kids’ bags are mixed up, they exchange flirtatious emails and agree to meet – secretly – without their parents’ knowledge. Meanwhile, dad is working on an art exhibit opening with mom’s best friend – and mom is called in to help with a last minute emergency. Son and daughter meet and things go well before heading south at the end. However, fate brings them together once again as mom and dad are eager to go on another date – this time, with the kids. Their complicated stories unfold, and as the truth is brought to light, they realize just how perfect they are for one another.

I really liked this book. Is it going to be a best seller or top my all time favorite list? No way. But it’s quite possibly the easiest read I’ve ever had – I literally read it in two halves, in two very short sittings – and ideal for beaches, poolside lounging or just relaxing on the couch.

Book Review: Article 5

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On the plane to and from Austin, I finished reading Article 5, a new post-apocalyptic teen book. Clearly I’ve been in a “mood” lately, between Hunger Games, Divergent/Insurgent and now this.

Article 5 was okay. I mean, it was good, I guess. Just not as good as the others I’ve read in the same vein. The story line was interesting and the characters were predictable, but if you liked THG or Divergent, you’d probably like this too – just not as much.

I felt that with THG and Divergent, I couldn’t wait to read more and that I really cared about the characters. Here, not so much. I guess you could say they really didn’t “lose” as much – friends and family members regularly died in the other two books, and while these characters faced hardships as well, it just wasn’t as engaging.

All in all, I’d say you should read THG and Divergent over this. But if you really want to read it, go for it.

 

Book Review: Insurgent

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Yes, yes I did read the second 500-ish page book in this series already.  Yes, yes it was AWESOME. Yes, yes you should read it.

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off, and continues the story of Tris and her compadres as they navigate the dystopian society in which they live. This story centers around a main “evil” character and Tris and the gang’s strategy to take her down. I won’t tell you what happens or if they succeed, but know that it’s a great read! Sadly, the third in the series doesn’t come out until 2013, so there is going to be a loooooooooong gap between this and the final read. Sad face.

(You may have noticed that this book review is less detailed and exciting than my usual posts – that’s because I got virutally NO sleep and can barely keep my eyes open right now. Sue me.)

Book Review: Divergent

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In direct opposition to my last book review, Divergent was AWESOME!! If you liked The Hunger Games, you will love this book – they are definitely in the same vein.

Divergent, like THG, is about life in a dystopian, post-apocolyptic society that got there after a big US war. The capitol of this society is present-day Chicago (not Denver), and rather than being separated into Districts by what is locally produced, the people are grouped by personality into Factions (brave, selfless, scholarly, honest and peaceful).

At age 16, every child must choose what Faction they will be a part of. Each is given a test to determine which they are best suited for, but ultimately it is their decision as to which they belong. The main character, Beatrice “Tris” Prior, was born into Abnegation (selfless), but her test results are inconclusive–deeming her “Divergent” (meaning she falls equally between several Factions). This is deemed dangerous in the society, as people are easier to control when their behaviors are controlled and predictable. Ultimately, she chooses Dauntless (the brave Faction) and then endures a grueling initiation process. During it, she finds out a lot about herself, those around her and the nation–and even finds love.

This book is extremely well written and engaging from beginning to end. It’s the first in a trilogy, and the second in the series came out just a few weeks ago. I finished this 500-page book in less than 48 hours, and then immediately went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the second book, Insurgent (no spoilers, but that title should give you a hint about what happens!). I cannot wait to read this book (I’ve read a little bit of it, but yesterday was devoted to spending all day with my man!) – it’s sure to be great. My only sadness is that I don’t know when the last book is going to come out, so there will be a gap between books 2 and 3! Sad!

I highly recommend this book – it’s a great read, perfect for beach and poolside relaxation, great plot and character development, and it really sucks you in. Adventure, love and action – what more could you ask for? READ IT!

(PS – Dear Hollywood: Please make these books into movies!! I will go see them!!!)

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars

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I get a lot of my book recommendations from friends and the Internet. Okay, I get ALL of my book recommendations from friends and the Internet. I heard of this book first on Twitter, and then read a synopsis on Amazon.com before adding it to my reading list.

Everyone had such great things to say about The Fault in our Stars. Twitter raved. Amazon praised. The stars were all aligned (pun intended).

I mean…it was good. I guess? But had I not read it, I would not have been missing anything. It was definitely no Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter or To Kill a Mockingbird (my personal favorites).

First of all, TFIOS is classified as young adult fiction. Not that that has ever deterred me before – Harry Potter and The Hunger Games could be classified in the same genre, and their writing was impeccable. I’m just letting you know. It’s the story of two teenage cancer patients who fall in love at a support group and who have ridiculously impressive vocabularies (kind of like Dawson’s Creek – y’all know what I’m talking about). They bond over her favorite book, and he gets a wish from The Genies (a mirror of Make A Wish), and uses it to take her to Amsterdam to meet the book’s reclusive author. Life and love take their course. The end.

First, the good: It’s a really easy read. It’s a fast read. Now, the not-so-good: The plot is very predictable. I never got really invested in the characters (the author just didn’t make me care about them that much – which I think speaks volumes, as they are teenage cancer patients…I’m not THAT heartless). There are no real highs and lows – it just kind of felt flat the entire time.

In a word: meh.

It’s a good read if you’re just wanting something to pass the time in an airport or on a plane, but I’m sure there’s something you’d enjoy more. Amazon and Twitter – you’ve failed me.

Book Review: Radical

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Remember my last book review, Crazy Love, and how it was one of the books that it seems like everyone in my church has read but me? This is another one of those.

Whenever someone talks about Crazy Love, they usually bring up Radical in the next sentence. These are like the Christian book peas and carrots – they just go together. Like Crazy Love, I have nodded along in agreement when people bring up this book in the past – and now, I’ve read it.

Also like Crazy Love, Radical made me uncomfortable. It’s all about how the “American Dream” goes against God’s design – that we shouldn’t seek comfort and luxury, but live in a way where we give more than we have. If you know me at all, you know that I want a house. Badly. And I want certain nice things in the house – none of which are “necessities.”

Now don’t get me wrong, having nice things is NOT bad. It just shouldn’t be our goal to store up lots of nice things when there are billions of people out there in great need. This is a particular challenge for me, because there is nothing more that I want than the American Dream – house, paid off cars, kids and vacations. I just want to not have to worry about paying bills for crying out loud! But considering billions of people live on less than $2/day, I’d say I have a lot more room for being thankful than for complaining in my life.

I’m still processing this book, and I think I will be for a while. But I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking to challenge and grow your faith!