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Series: Species Imperative
Publisher: DAW, 2005
Genre: Science fiction
Sub-genre: Alien encounters

Cross-posted from genrereviews.

I have to give kudos to the cover artist for making the alien match the description in the book. It's refreshing to see something that actually looks the way it's supposed to. The Dhryn are described in great detail, and it looks like someone was paying attention.

I'm not really sure what the girl's doing with her chest thrust so far out in the air, though. I'd say she's trying to force us to stare at her chest, but she doesn't seem overly burdened there. Maybe she smells something strange. Judging by the look on her face, it's not the most pleasant thing she's ever smelled. Either that, or she took Joey Tribbiani's acting classes and is trying to look thoughtful.

The spiderwebs on her cuffs aren't doing her any favours, either.Collapse )
Title: 21: Bringing Down the House
Author: Ben Mezrick
Genre: Non-fiction
# of pages: 340
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+

Description of the book: The long-running New York Times bestseller that has become a cultural phenomenon, Bringing Down the House is an action-filled caper carried out by the unlikeliest of cons -- supersmart geeks. Gambling pervaded the M.I.T. campus, and genius kids with money and glittering futures were just as likely to be found in a Paradise Island casino as in the school library. A highly elite group of mathletes was recruited to join The Club, a small, secret blackjack organization dedicated to counting cards and beating the major casinos across the nation at their own game. As a successful ring of card savants, backed by a mysterious ringleader and shadowy investors, they infiltrated Vegas and won millions.

Review: If you are thinking that the book is going to be anything like the movie, you have got that wrong. While there are parts that are slightly sluggish, the book does move at a quick pace and you are seduced into what seems to be a glizty type of life. Recommened.

Up next: I have not a clue

14 / 50 books. 28% done!

4573 / 15000 pages. 30% done!
Series: In Death series
Publisher: Berkley, 2006
Genre: Mystery/suspense

Cross-posted from genrereviews.

I'm not sure why they started putting Nora Roberts's name on her JD Robb books. I'm pretty sure they didn't always do that, and one would think it defeats the purpose of starting a new line with a new name. Maybe the publishers felt the series could use an extra push by pulling in Roberts's devout romance fans, who knows? I don't think the alter ego was ever particularly secret, but I know a major reason authors will change their name with a new series like this is to broaden their reading audience. People who would never be interested in a Nora Roberts romance may well be willing to try a murder mystery by JD Robb, and she can make a drastic genre shift without confusing or infuriating her regular readers. That much makes sense to me. The double name on the cover? I dunno, but it makes the cover layout a little more confusing.

The cover itself is very, very orange. I don't really mind the orange, it's very dramatic and eye-catching, but there doesn't seem to be much else to the cover. "LOOK, I'M ORANGE! And, uh, now that I've caught your attention, I have nothing more to say." I'm not so sure "nothing more to say" is the best first impression to give a reader, but hey, I'm not in charge of book covers. (Obviously.)

Onward, to the murder and mayhem within!Collapse )
Title: Remember Me?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Chick-lit
# of pages: 400 Pages
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: A-

Description of the book: When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed.

Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all.

Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?

Review: I really liked the book. Unlike the Shopholic series, there was also a bit of maturity to the character, which was nice. Sometimes I have been pulling my teeth when reading any of the Shopoholic books, but I found this a nice pleasant read and an easy one after reading "Mistress of the Sun". Like Sophie's other books, its a great read for the beach.

Next up: 21: Bringing Down the House

13 / 50 books. 26% done!

4233 / 15000 pages. 28% done!
Publisher: Harlequin, 2005
Genre: Romance
Sub-genre: Historical

Cross-posted from genrereviews.

I honestly don't remember why I picked this one up. It was in a huge pile of used books, and I grabbed a number of them, this one among them. It might have been the warm tones on the cover that caught my attention, although honestly I thought this was a contemporary until I started reading it. Imagine my confusion when the heroine reflects on her lack of corset and bustle. I suppose she's pretty clearly hanging around in her underwear, but in my defense, it could easily have been a dress in a more modern setting.

I am a little annoyed that they cut her face off so she has no eyes. I don't mind the current popularity of the "headless heroine" covers as much as some people, but this is more blatant than most. We get her full body, all the way up to her nose... but NO EYES because then people might see the heroine as a personality instead of just some chick who looks good in her underwear, and we can't have that.

Oh, don't worry. We're not done with this cover yet.Collapse )
Title: Mistress of the Sun
Author: Sandra Gulland
Genre: Historical fiction
# of pages: 352
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: A-

Description of the book: A novel of Louise de la Vallière, mistress of the Sun King. As a girl, she won the trust of the wildest of horses; as a woman, she would win the love of the most charismatic of kings.

Review: Thought that the book was really good. The reason that I say this is that not only where the descriptions wonderful, but the author had a way of keeping the reader interested in the material to the point where I had a couple of nights where I could have lost track of time, had it not been for ESPN Radio blaring next to me as I read the book. If you are looking for something that will keep you entertained for a few days, highly recommend it. Also if you happen to like historical fiction and anything surrounding the court of the Sun King.

Next up: Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

12 / 50 books. 24% done!

3549 / 15000 pages. 24% done!
Title: Look at me in the eye: my life with asperger's
Author: John Elder Robison
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
# of Pages: 288
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+

Description of the book (from Chapters.ca): Look Me in the Eye is the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger’s at a time when the diagnosis simply didn’t exist. A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy whom teachers and other adults regarded as “defective,” who could not avail himself of KISS’s endless supply of groupies, and who still has a peculiar aversion to using people’s given names (he calls his wife “Unit Two”). He also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents—the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs and write the bestselling memoir Running with Scissors.

Review: As somebody who has Asperger's, I could understand John's feelings of not feeling as though one quite fits in and needs to find something that they like. While at times the language was a little simplistic, it was good. Found it enjoyable and was quite amused by the names he gave his parents and younger brother.

Next up: Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland.

11 / 50 books. 22% done!

3485 / 15000 pages. 23% done!
Books Read in April
14. Ten Big Ones-Janet Evanovich (Grade B+)
15. Club Dead-Charlaine Harris(Grade B+)
16. Dead to the World-Charlaine Harris (Grade A)

Best surprise/Most recommendable: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris was quite the interesting read. This series is turning in another direction and I really like it.

Worst read of the month: I really like the Stephanie Plum series. However Ten Big Ones was just an ok read.

**I am currently reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. What are you reading?
Title: If I Gained the World
Author: Linda Nichols
Genre: Fiction, Christian
# of Pages: 416
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+

Description: When the pain of loss shatters two people--one from the inside out and the other from the outside in--how do they find their way to faithfulness, grace, and love? Only over time and distance will they eventually discover that it is through turning to the One who is faithful, whose love never fails. Lenore and Daniel have a cozy home and a wonderful son, a mirror image of his father. Lenore loves her life and wants nothing to change--except for one thing. As innocent as it seems, her request is the beginning of the end, and their life together unravels. Lenore takes little Scottie and begins her quest for meaning, purpose, and a new start--as far away from those bittersweet memories as she can get.

Review: Overall, it was pretty good, for a Christian novel. And when I was able to get into it, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. While the book didn't have a typical storyline that Christian fiction tends to have for the most part, it did have a fairly typical ending to the book. Overall, it was quite enjoyable. I don't know if I will read it again, but it is one that I would consider reading again.

Up next: Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

10 / 50 books. 20% done!

3197 / 15000 pages. 21% done!
Book #16
Book Title: Dead to the World
Author: Charlaine Harris
Category: fiction; mystery
# of pages: 291
My rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best].: A
Short description/summary of the book: (taken from amazon.com):It continues the story of psychic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who has fallen out with her undead lover, Bill. Bill has no sooner departed for Peru, than Sookie finds the head vampire, Eric, running naked and terrified through the rural night. She helps Eric, and discovers his memory has been destroyed by a coven of unscrupulous, astonishingly powerful witches, newly arrived in her small Louisiana town, and offering a huge reward for Eric. Sookie tries to hide Eric, but her brother sees him--and immediately disappears. And Sookie finds herself caught in a war among witches, vampires, and werewolves.

My Thoughts: I really liked this book because Eric is by far my favorite of all of the characters in the series and I found the whole memory loss aspect to be quite interesting. The other plot about Sookie's brother just added more greatness to the series. I don't think that I can recommend this series of books enough. Also am I the only one who cannot stand Bill?

Books read this year: 16/50. I'm 32% done!!!

Next read(s): I think I am going to start reading The Hobbit tonight.

X-posted to my book community, book_stuff and a whole lot of other places!