Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Catching Up

Ugh! I'm so behind!! Does the fact that I'm moving count as an excuse? We have decided to move from the suburbs to the mountains! So I've been dealing with all that selling a house and then buying a house entails. But I'm very excited! So now that you're caught up on my personal life, let's get you caught up on what I've read since you last heard from me. =)

Defending Jacob by William Landay...a B&N Recommends book that my book club chose to read. This book was enthralling, gut-wrenching, and disturbing. The story revolves around a family where the dad, Andy, is an Assistant District Attorney in a small town. Andy is put in charge of an investigation of the murder of a 14 year old boy. Andy also has a 14 year old boy, Jacob, and at a point early in the investigation, Jacob becomes the prime suspect in the murder. The story is then about defense of Jacob and the fallout of being charged for a crime - both for the suspect, the family, and the community. As said in the book, you can be proven "not guilty" but never proven innocent. I think the main point of the story is "how well do you ever really know someone?" Andy has his secrets, Jacob has his. And let's not forget about Mom...who struggles under the weight of these secrets once they're made known. Do you really know what your own child is capable of? Do you really want to know?

As a parent, it was disturbing to read because I don't want to know what it's like to lose a child in this manner nor to have a child charged with this crime! 

I did think the author portrayed Jacob as older than the average 14 year old. Perhaps I'm just naive, but Jacob seemed older and more of a stereotyped teenager than a well-crafted character. I also found fault in how Mom was written in that she was the daughter of a psychologist and believed in talking things out; however, her reaction to these extreme circumstances was to shut down. And I just found that to be illogical.

Overall, I liked the book. It hooked me right away and despite its issues, I still wanted to read it and did enjoy it.

The Hunger Games trilogy...by Suzanne Collins...yes, I HAD to read this before the movie came out although I still haven't made it to the theater. I LOVED this books. If you don't know about these books, WHAT ROCK HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING UNDER?!? =) I don't think a synopsis is necessary because as I just stated, you have to have been under a rock to NOT know about these books. I can say that I'm totally "Team Peeta" and I love that Katniss can be a role model to young girls...strong, independent, resilient, she's got it all! Must read (if you haven't already!)

The Ugly Duckling Debutante by Rachel Van Dyken - I picked this book to read because I was in the mood for a piece of historical fiction. This book ended up being more of a romance set in an historical time period - where the characters spoke in a more modern fashion than Regency fashion...however, despite it not necessarily being historically accurate, it was an enjoyable read. I did find it tedious and redundant at times, but overall I'd recommend it.

It's about a girl named Sara, who has been raised to believe she's worthless and ugly. But when she's 21, her family is in need of her marriage to someone of fortune as her sisters have eloped and her father has incurred too many debts. So Sara's aunt, who is married to an Earl, takes her to London where she'll enter the Season and hopefully enchant a well monied man. The aunt has a plan - she will enlist the help of her cousin, who is a Duke, to teach Sara the ways of the ton...but actually it's her plan to have her cousin fall head-over-heels for Sara. The plan works, all too well, except for the fact that Nicholas doesn't believe he deserves a woman such as Sara. But after being caught in a compromising position, the couple must marry. In the end, it is revealed that Sara's aunt is actually her mother and we learn other secrets and details of Nicholas' life and Sara's Mom's...But all's well that ends well. And Sara and Nicholas get their happily ever after.

As I said, if you like your historical fiction served with accuracy, then this book is not for you. But if you're looking for a light read set in an historical period, you'll like this book.

A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day...a fascinating entry in a new urban fantasy series! Ms. Day has built a world in which humans live side-by-side with angels in various forms and don't even know it. When the Creator created humans, he sent down angels, known as the Watchers, to observe us. However, some of the Watchers became enamored of humans and built relationships with them. These Watchers became the Fallen - former angels who lost their wings and now feed on the blood of humans. The Creator sent an elite force of angels, call the Sentinels, to punish and police the Fallen. They are responsible for removing the wings of the Fallen and then policing their actions. The Sentinels were given a force of Lycans, creatures of angels and demon blood who can shift to wolf - but are not werewolves, to protect the Sentinels and offer support in their mission of policing and punishing the Fallen.

Okay - that's the world building in brief...onto the story...Lindsey, a human who witness the death of her mother at the hands of vampires, has some interesting talents that allow her to pick out those not human. Since she became an adult she has hunted vampires in her search for vengeance for her mother's death. What Lindsey doesn't know is that she is also a vessel for an immortal soul that makes her a target for the Fallen (who want to change her in to a vampire) and a Sentinel, who has loved her for over 200 years. Adrian, the leader of the Sentinels, sees Lindsey at an airport and immediately recognizes her as the vessel of the soul of his love, Shadoe. He immediately engages her and the two embark on a relationship that sees Adrian falling for Lindsey herself, rather than the vessel of Shadoe's soul. But of course, the odds are against them as someone or something is trying to incite a war between the Sentinels, the Fallen, and the Lycans...and it's up to Adrian and Lindsey to keep the world from falling apart.

I enjoyed this novel immensely and because of a certain follower's comments =), I spent a lot of time thinking about why. Besides the enthralling story and well-built world, what really piqued my interest was the mythology of the angels, fallen angels, nephilum, etc. This is something I've always been interested in so I liked having this mythology woven into a new story.


Phew! There you have it. You're pretty much caught up with what I've been reading and I'm finally caught up on my blog! Once I get settled in my new home and I have LOTS more time to read =), you'll see me here more often. Thanks for stopping by...