Monday, January 2, 2012

In Which I Review Books

Here's what I read in December...

Become- Ali Cross- One of the best eBooks I’ve read this year. Most of the eBooks I’ve read this year have been marred and— in one particular case— made unreadable by bad, bad grammar. Not the case here. A weird thing to start with, I know, but I care about proper grammar (or at the very least not obviously horrible grammar) and if you’ve read a lot of these reviews you know that that’s a dealbreaker for me— me, the girl who will read anything, regardless of how terrible it may be. But again, that didn’t happen here. Hooray for good proofreading! In addition to the grammar, there is an awful lot to like in this story. Desolation Black is, first of all, a kick ass name for a heroine who does, in fact, kick ass. The fight scenes are very well done. I also enjoyed Cross’s way of smooching certain phrases together for emotional impact— i.e., she heldmeheldmeheldme. Very nice.

The Spellmans Strike Again
- Lisa Lutz- These books make me deliriously happy and this is my favorite of the entire series so far. One of the quotes on the cover says this book is “hands down the most hilarious, thrilling and moving book” of the series and I wholeheartedly agree. Rae gets what she deserves (finally). Isabel gets what she deserves. There’s even a part when Isabel gets chocolate croissant from a no name bakery located on None of Your Business street because she doesn’t want readers to know about it because then we’d all go there and the already too long lines would become even longer. Oh, how well she knows me. I know I’m on the east coast and not anywhere near San Francisco (and not anywhere near planning a return visit…not because I didn’t like San Francisco. It’s just not in the cards right now) but still when I read this part my first thought was, “There’s a place that sells awesome chocolate croissants? I love chocolate croissants!” Pathetic much? Why, yes, I am. Thanks for noticing. Anyway, I highly recommend this series.

Explosive Eighteen
- Janet Evanovich- I don’t even want to dignify this book with a review because it’s that bad. The only good thing is I had sense enough to borrow the book from the library instead of shelling out money for my own copy. Stephanie, you are a whore. And if Morelli hasn’t figured out by now that he’s far too good for you, I don’t think he ever will.

Heads You Lose- by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward- Because Lisa Lutz is my new literary obsession, I am required to read everything she’s written. This is a novel she co-wrote with David Hayward. She wrote the first chapter and all odd numbered chapters while David wrote the rest. Neither was allowed to change what had come before. They could only build upon what they had been given. In between chapters were the notes written between the two authors. Honestly, the best part of this book were those notes. Oh, and chapter fourteen which literally made me laugh out loud for a good long while before I’d even read a word of it (just ask The Man. He was trying to sleep at the time…). I really, really wanted to adore this book as much as I adore Lutz’s Spellman series, but I just didn’t. It was too disjointed and tiresome. I was glad when it ended and that’s never a good sign.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer- Michelle Hodkin- This book is insane. In all the right ways. I didn’t know what to expect from it and I was left very pleasantly surprised. Though there were parts that were far too Twilight-esque for my taste (I’m sorry but I really hate that series), the novel overall is very well written with good characters, great dialogue (that is, on occasion, rather hysterical dialogue) and a mystery that’s just bursting with intrigue. It’s also the first volume. I didn’t know this book was part of a series. I thought it was a stand alone. It became ever clearer as I read though that this book wasn’t going to wrap up with a nice neat bow. And while I am delighted to have the chance to read more, I kind of want to read the more now because I really want to know what’s going to happen next.


  1. I really liked Become, too. She created a way interesting world.

    Also your review of evanovich's book cracked me up.

    Ok. Everyone's trying to get me to read Dyer, but I'm not going to read it if I'm just going to have to wait for the next!!!

    Why must authors torture us with series!!

  2. Hey MJ! Thanks so much for reviewing BECOME! I'm glad you liked it :)

    And I totally know what you mean about bad grammar/crap particularly in self-pubbed books. Drives me INSANE. There's no excuse except flat out laziness or not caring about your reader's experience.

    *climbs off soapbox now*

  3. Added Mara Dyer and Become to my list; thanks!

    Would you believe I've never had a chocolate croissant??

  4. @Jolene- Yes, she did. I liked that hell was cold and not the bonfire we normally expect. I don't know why authors torture us with series but I'm planning to do it myself one of these days.

    @Ali- You're welcome. And no need to get off the soapbox on my account. I wholeheartedly agree.

    @Shannon- I can't believe that. I highly recommend chocolate croissants.

  5. i needed some books to put on my tbr list, thanks! heard of most, but your reviews help me choose =)

    happy new year! & i love the c&h comic!

  6. Hey, thanks for the reviews! It sounds like you and I have a lot of the same peeves (Twilight/distracting grammar) and likes--humor while maintaining a great story.

    I'm curious if you've liked other Stephanie Plum novels. I've only read one and I liked the characters, but the plot was laughable. I wondered if the series had just been maintained longer than it should have been... but then I didn't feel any vested interest in any particular pairing with her, either.

  7. I have such a love/hate relationship with your book reviews. I love them because they are very interesting, fun to read and a great way of hearing about new books that I never would have discovered on my own.

    I hate them because my "To Read" keeps growing infinitely longer!

    I'll definitely have to check out Become and the Lisa Lutz books, they sound like something I would enjoy. And thanks for the heads up on Explosive Eighteen, I was considering buying it (to put in a pile of with other unread books).

  8. Great reviews! I love your take on all of these and I feel the same way about them too. Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. @Tara- Always happy to help fellow readers add to their TBR lists.

    @Hart- I really enjoyed the Stephanie Plum novels when they first started out. I hated the way Stephanie dressed, but the characters were a lot of fun. But the deeper into the series we got, the less I've enjoyed them. I keep reading them though because that's what I do once I start reading a series.

    @RandomDanni- I know, I know. My TBR list is bigger than I am. There are just not enough hours in the day. But you definitely should check out the Spellman novels. They're hysterical.

    @Amy- Thank you. And thanks for coming by!

  10. MJ, I just saw your comment about your link for the IWSG. I'll go change it for you right now!

  11. Great recommendations. I also LOVED Mara Dyer. Heads You Lose sounds very, very interesting.

  12. Some of these were already on my TBR list.

  13. Thanks so much for the reviews! Nice. I actually have the last one (MARA DYER) checked out from the library. Bummer that it's not a stand-alone; I get so TIRED that everything is continued, a series!! It leaves me feeling a little incomplete when things continue on, and rarely do I feel compelled enough to read the next one. HUNGER GAMES being an exception (though I didn't read the 3rd book!).