Monday, August 2, 2010

July 2010 Book Review

Seventeen Against The Dealer- Cynthia Voigt- The final, as far as I know, book in the Tillerman cycle. Dicey is the focus of this book so I’m pretty happy about that. I hate that Dicey stumbles so hard in this book. I guess that’s life (hell, I know that’s life) but I hate to see her take it so hard on the chin. Yeah, I know she’s a fictional character but I still like her and want good things for her.

Sizzling Sixteen- Janet Evanovich- The latest Stephanie Plum novel. I don’t know what to make of this one. There’s the same map cap antics that mark any Plum novel and the signature destruction of a car (this time a poor unsuspecting jeep wrangler) but this book didn’t seem to have a whole lot of substance. This probably sounds funny to anyone who has read one of these books because substance isn’t really a word usually equated with the series. They’re feather light and funny and this book did make me laugh but it left me wanted something more. I mean, a lot more. I am growing weary of the Morelli-Ranger-Stephanie triangle and constant fast food restaurant visits. C’mon, Stephanie. You lost out on a skip because you let Lula convince you to go get fried chicken or whatever. Drop off the perp and then go get the fast food. Have you learned nothing after sixteen novels?

Blue Eyed Devil- Robert B. Parker- One of his westerns featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Maybe the last of his westerns featuring these two or anyone else. I never really know what to make of these books. They’re interesting and I like the characters well enough (except for Allie. She’s a pain in the ass who needs to be dropped into a canyon and left there) but for westerns, they’re remarkably uneventful. I mean, stuff happens, don’t get me wrong, it just seems like not a whole lot happens. There’s always a lot more dialogue than one would expect to see in a western, but it’s also a Robert B. Parker western and so there’s bound to be a lot of dialogue talking about how great Virgil Cole is. And don’t get me wrong, Virgil’s pretty great, but Everett is too.

Midnight Rising- Lara Adrian- The next volume in the vampire romance series I started reading a couple of months ago. My boss lent me the next three books and this was the first of them. Nothing new here, really. A vampire finds a girl to fall in love with and they have some truly amazing sex while drinking each other’s blood. So there it is. I have two others titles that will follow this one. The last time I did that, I was seriously jonesing for some classic literature afterward. Wonder if that’ll happen again this time.

Veil Of Midnight- Lara Adrian- Another of the Midnight Breed series. Again, nothing earth shattering. I have to say though that I hope the vampire warrior guy, Sterling, gets his own novel soon because that guy needs a nice girl.

Ashes Of Midnight- Lara Adrian- Yep. Need some classic lit stat. That said, Sterling better get himself a nice girl soon. Why is the next book in the series about one of the new warrior guys and NOT Sterling? Also bothering me in this book was the way the character, Claire, always referred to her sort of husband guy by his full freaking name. First and last, almost all the freaking time. And Andreas, the main character of this book…I know he had a hell of a hard time in the last book but his character in this story seemed way off the mark for what had been established for him in previous outings. Traumatic events can alter a person, I understand, but this seemed just way off to me.

Friends For Life- Ellen Emerson White- I finally tracked this down through Barnes and Noble’s online used book search because I’ve been wanting to read this book since Susan McAllister appeared in the Meg Powers series. According to the back cover blurb, this was Ellen Emerson White’s first novel. It wasn’t bad. There’s some good humor and dialogue in it but it’s far from my favorite book ever. Next up, this novel’s sequel. It doesn’t focus on Susan but she does at least show up in it which is enough for me.

Life Without Friends- Ellen Emerson White- Wow. Just wow. I really liked this book. I didn't expect to like it this much. This book is another example of why Ellen Emerson White is one of my all time favorite authors. Perhaps even my number one all time favorite author. The main character, Beverly, is great. The dialogue is fantastic, the humor is great and the story is excellent. Makes me wish there was another book about Beverly. I mean, we know what happens to Susan, you know? And now I’d like to know what happens with Beverly too.

Linger- Maggie Stiefvater- The sequel to Shiver which I read at the beginning of the year. I found Shiver to drag at some parts but I didn’t find that all with this novel. I found Linger to be absolutely beautiful. It’s written so well, so damn poetic and lovely. Not a lot of young adult fantasy is written as intelligently as this novel is. Hell, not a lot of adult fantasy is written as intelligently as this novel is. I really want to know what will happen with the cast of characters. Sam and Grace are fantastic but Isabel and Cole are particularly interesting. The only potentially bad thing is that the damn book ended the same way the first one did…on a decidedly unresolved note. I am now hoping like hell that there’s another one coming. And that it'll show up today.

So that wraps things up for July. Here's where I stand on my goal:

July Books: 9
Year To Date Total: 64
Books Remaining: 36


  1. That's a lot of books to read. I read 2-3 amonth lately, but would like to average one a week. Just finished Lee Childs 61 Hours and am halfway through Douglas Preston's Blashphemy.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. I usually average about five books a month. I normally read about sixty books a year but one of my goals this year is to read 100 books. I had a couple of friends who have done it in the past and now I want to do it too. So I'm trying to front load my book reading because the end of the year is always so hectic.

    I haven't read either of the titles you mentioned, or anything else those authors may have written. Are you enjoying them?