Sunday, December 18, 2011

100 Book Challenge Weeks 6 & 7

Author: Stephanie Meyer
Genre: Fantasy

At over 800 pages, this is a tome and explains why the film version was released in two parts (something I only found out yesterday). It is split into three “books” in the content pages, books one and three being from Bella’s perspective, and book two from Jacob’s.

Although this was book four of the sage, it felt like I was ready a whole new series. Bella was different, less whiney and childish, more decisive and mature. The plot was more plausible and the action carried you along at a clipping pace, building suspense and drama. Exceptionally well written and impelling. Unlike the other books, this one made me wish for part 5, or perhaps the next saga.

Spoiler alert: Personally, I’d love to see a showdown between the Cullen coven and the Volturi. There was such a peak in the action, NOT having them taken down was a bit disappointing. Maybe there IS another set in the wings?

Book Review #12: Sticks and Stones
Author: Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
Genre: Crime/Detective/Police

Ty and Zane are back and this time they’re on vacation. However, where “bad vacation” would mean my wallet is stolen or I lose my passport, they give an entirely new definition to the phrase “vacation from hell”. I reckon they’d ­welcome losing a passport, just for a break from the beatings, bombs, and bullets.

This time we get to meet the Grady bunch, and they’re nothing at all like the Brady bunch. One tough family, but honest and genuine folk, who believe in tough love. Zane gets to understand Ty a little more as he interacts with his interesting family, and Ty gets to grips with his feelings for Zane.

A fair bit of emotional stuff is covered in this book, not so much sex (my Freudian slip is grateful), and a ton of action to keep you hooked.

They even end with a teaser for the next book. Bugrit.

Now I have to get it.

Book Review #13: Fish and Chips
Author: Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
Genre: Crime/Detective/Police

Even Zane couldnt keep Tys wavering attention for very long unless he had something shiny to wave around. Ty needed to be doing something or he began to go stir crazy.”
I LOVE that line. Well, those two lines. That’s exactly what I’m like, shiny doesn’t keep me occupied for very long either. Lately I’ve been working on finishing a project every week. Of course, this keeps my projects REAL small.

Where was I?

Yup, I dug straight back into the next book in the series. This time our intrepid and slightly battered heroes are undercover on a cruise ship, masquerading as a gay couple who are international dealers. Of course, the authors play this one up to the nines, doll!

Unfortunately, that’s the good part of this book.

It moved really slowly, and I didn’t find much police work, which is odd for a novel about FBI agents. In fact, we jump from our main characters being confused to a conclusion. How did we get there? Very unsatisfactory.

An introduction to the next book was included in this one, again. I didn’t bother to read it. I was too disappointed.

Book Review #14: Cybill Disobedience
Author: Cybill Shepherd
Genre: Autobiography

Shepherd is a talented actress, renowned comic, and amusing writer. However, here she is incredibly long-winded, writing with far too much detail. By chapter two I was already wishing for the Readers Digest Condensed version.

I loved her introduction, snappy and to the point and very funny, and wish she had maintained that tone throughout the book. I suppose that diehard Shepherd fans want every nuance of every memory, from her earliest childhood to the modern day. It just felt like sitting through an old lady’s interminable photo album, only without the photos.

“The Last Picture Show”, Shepherd’s introduction to acting, had recently come up on one of the cable TV channels and Himself wanted to watch it. I sat through it with him, relatively unimpressed (sorry, Cybill), but when her autobiography popped up shortly after, I was interested enough to get a copy. Her description of that movie held my attention because of the connection, but even that was detailed almost beyond what I thought I could bear and I found the book very hard going.

In the end, Shepherd herself admits to using humor to cover sadness, and this book is inherently sad. I’ve been told there are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth. This is Shepherd’s “side” and she defends her reputation with explanations and justifications. If all she says is true, she’s one maligned and misunderstood lady, and I empathise with her and all women who attempt to be so much more than they are in spite of the chauvinistic control of men. But there were several times when I wanted to ask “why did you stand for it?”

Would I recommend this book? Unless you are a major Cybill Shepherd fan, no. Sorry, but no. 

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