Monday, September 12, 2011

Review Day: 10 book in 10 minutes

Here's another list of books I have read and my reviews/ratings of them! All of these books can be found in paperback, hardback, audiobook and e-book form.

1. The Hunger Games (Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins
 Overall rating: 5 stars to all three novels
An adventure packed, novel about the power struggle between the 'Capitol' (essentially the government) and the 'Districts' (see a map here).  The main character is a young woman named Katniss and her struggle with the Games.  The Games are a yearly *reminder* from the Capitol that the Districts are not to in-charge.  Every year one female and one male tribute (a 12-18yr old child) from each district are chosen to compete against each other in a fight to the death.  It gets even crazier when the Games is in an unknown area where the terrain and supplies are not only limited up rigged for *entertainment* factors.  The Games is broadcast to each of the District via Television (which is a huge luxury) so they can watch their and root for the tributes.  The tributes get a little help from previous winners as well as sponsors who can give them items throughout the Games to help them win.  Such a thrilling novel.  I started and finished this book within a 24 hour time period because I simply couldn't stop reading it.  Incredible writing, a gripping sense of fear and longing to know the end results pulls to finish this novel.  All three novels are based off the Games and Katniss's life. It may sound a bit daunting and sad, but the blood and gore of the Games is not the main focus, defeating the Capitol is.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
A riveting novel about romance, history and time travel.  This is the first of many novels with miss Claire and her beau Jamie and their crazy adventures.  Claire is through back in time by a grouping of stones that resemble a mini Stonehenge.  When she can't figure out how to get back or even where she is, she befriends a rag-tag group of Irish men.  This novel keeps you intrigued from the very first sentence on.  Why 4.5 stars? Diana Gabaldon's novels are extremely long, but very captivating and worthwhile.

3. A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
A novel about a young mother(Skyla), her husband and child and their *crazy* neighbors.  The neighbors are a father and mother (Roxy) of children who are always getting into mischief.  When Roxy and Skyla become friends, Skyla's husband and mother-in-law do not approve. When Roxy's life takes a turn for the worst, can Skyla still be there to help her?  Why 4.5 stars? This novel is full of twists and turns that are not even close to what you'd expect.  An intriguing novel that makes you want to read it more and more as the story continues.

4. Deceit by Brandilyn Collins
Overall rating: 5 stars
The story begins with a twist within the first chapter.  A very wealthy man has killed his wife and covered it up so well he even had the city believing he was the real victim.  When the man remarries a second time, he is haunted by dreams of a man named Bartholomew.  Skip over to a different side: A young woman, skip tracer and former best friend of the miss Joanne Weeks (the wealthy man's deceased wife) is not falling for the coverup story.  She begins tracking him when the man's second wife turns up dead after a very short amount of time, but can she find the information she needs to prove his guilt? Why 5 stars? A thrilling mystery novel that is a serious page turner.  Well written characters and an intricate plot keep this novel moving, and quickly.

5. From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz
Overall rating: 5 stars (if I could give it more.. I would!)
Another mystery novel from the master himself, Dean Koontz.  He creates a picture of a creepy, devilish character who kills his own wife just for the money (Junior Cain) and then blames/sues the state of Oregon for her death.  The only man who can stop him is someone named Bartholomew.  But which one? Junior Cain goes on a killing streak and kills anyone named Bartholomew to prevent the truth from coming out.  But little does Junior know, Bartholomew is only a baby.  Why 5+ stars? Another outstanding novel by a best selling author.  This story has so many different characters, sides and pieces that it keeps you wondering and confused about the outcome until the very last chapter.  The characters are so captivating it's hard to say no to this novel.

6. Room by Emma Donoghue
Overall rating: 3.5 stars
Written from the viewpoint of a five year old child, this is a story about a young girl who was abducted and forced to live in one room by herself, where her captor forces her to get pregnant.  When she gives birth to a  son, she forms a life for the two inside 'room' with the minimal amount of resources their captor provides.  Will she be able to keep this up forever or should she escape?  Why 3.5 stars? I loved this novel, but at times it was hard to read because it was coming from the viewpoint of such a young child.  The author did an impeccable job of making you believe a five year old wrote this book.  The plot is rivoting and exciting up until the last two chapters, where it slows down dramatically and can get a little dull.  The ending lacks the intensity the rest of the novel carries, but leaves you wondering what will happen.

7. Just as I am (Just as I am Series #1) by Virginia Smith
Overall rating: 4 stars
A christian novel about a 22 year old young woman, Myla, trying to find her way to happiness when she seeks out God.  She was a rebel girl who dressed provocatively and swore all the time.  She turns her life around completely when she accepts God into her heart, but will that be enough for her to leave her former life?  She struggles to accept her new life at first, but soon finds it even easier and begins patching relationships with her family.  Can she keep God in her heart, still be her *new* self without actually losing herself? Myla has a long journey ahead of her.  With the help of her family, a new friend and her co-worker Myla learns how to have a real relationship with God. Why 4 stars? The characters are so vivid they jump off the pages.  The story keeps you guessing until the very end and always has you wanting more.

8. Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
Overall rating: 4 stars
A story of romance, decisions, faith, trust, mystery and family.  This is the story about a city loving girl, Andrea, who worked hard to get to where she is now.  When she receives a phone call saying her sister Rachel was in a bad car accident, she must leave behind all she has worked for to help her sister and Grandmother open and run their inn.  When she arrives to at her former home, a mansion in a quiet Amish town, she meets a young man who just wanted to escape his old life.  Can Andrea learn to trust this man? Will she go back to the city or stay?  With the locals split about opening another 'tourist' attraction in town, strange events start occurring.  Can the inn ever open?  Why 4 stars? With a new twist in every chapter, this story takes you on a journey of 'what if' situations.  It paints a picture so vivid you can practically smell the flowers and hear the people talking to you.  The only down side is the trouble never seems to end for this little family.  I wanted so much to just jump into the novel and fix it myself, but of course I can't.

9. Awakening: Dead Forever Book 1 by William Campbell
Overall rating: 4 stars
A new take on what happens to your spirit when you die, and why humans are the way we are.  I don't want to give away much more than that, because any information is just a giant spoiler for this novel.  The new ideas are so interesting that it makes you wonder if this could ever be real. Why 4 stars? It doesn't score a perfect 5 stars because the writing was a little difficult at times.  There were paragraphs that didn't seem to make sense because they were so wordy.

10. Sweet Dream Silver Screen by Moxie Mezcal
Overall rating: 3 stars
When your twin is in trouble, you just know, even if you haven't talked for years.  But when you can't find her to help her, what do you do? Would you search a country you've never been to for her or just leave her alone?  This is the story of one twin's journey to find the other.  Why 3 stars? The plot is amazing, I just didn't like the ending.  Plain and simple, it was pretty boring at the end.  The lead up was so involved and crazy that I couldn't wait to know what happened... but was left a little disappointed and bored.

Please consider Kindle Lending or visiting your local library before you purchase these books.  Don't have a Kindle friend yet? Consider me one. :)  Have a book to recommend? Have you read any of these already? If so, please email me or leave a comment with the subject line of *recommendation* or *review* along with the title and author.  Happy reading!

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