Janet S. (janscronce) - Reviews

1 to 18 of 18
Bastard Out of Carolina
Bastard Out of Carolina
Author: Dorothy Allison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 358
Review Date: 4/24/2015


While not for those with delicate constitutions, Bastard Out of Carolina is the most perfectly written book I've read to date. It is dirty and dark and hard and gut-wrenching. My mama had a childhood devastatingly similar to Bone's and I can't even fathom the where-with-all it took Ms Allison to so accurately detail such an experience. Therapy, alcohol, drugs, institutionalization... Any of these would be a reasonable reaction to The kind of childhood detailed in Bastard Out of Carolina. I'm thankful Dorothy Allison channeled her experience into a novel that deserves every literary award known.


Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy, Bk 1)
Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy, Bk 1)
Author: Maud Hart Lovelace, Lois Lenski (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 52
Review Date: 12/12/2010


Absolutely wonderful childrens book! I'm only upset because I didn't read it until I was in my 30's. Beautiful depiction of time and place and really puts things into perspective in terms of how girlhood never really changes. Be it 1900 or 2010, the search for adventure and companionship and the love for your BFF is age-less.


The Bitch Posse
The Bitch Posse
Author: Martha O'Connor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 76
Review Date: 1/29/2016


This really seemed like the sort of book I could go for. Bad ass high school chicks in the '80s? Um, hells yeah! Unfortunately it felt flat and the characters were just caricatures. I had little sympathy for anyone. Was barely interested in their sad-ass lives and had already figured out the Big Reveal a third of the way in. Which, by the way, was beyond shitty. Not shitty writing. But shitty story telling. They weren't Bitches. Just basic losers.


Bobby Rex's Greatest Hit (Voices of the South)
Bobby Rex's Greatest Hit (Voices of the South)
Author: Marianne Gingher
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 4/24/2015


Using todays standards, Bobby Rex's Greatest Hit would probably be categorized as YA. But I read it in 1988 when I was 12 and I thought it terribly grown-up. Because I read it so young, it has imprinted on me and I have developed an emotional attachment to every citizen of Orfax. Gingher is a writing professor here in NC. I met her once, years ago at a book-signing. She was warm and engaging. But I've never had the pleasure or opportunity to take one of her classes. Still, Bobby Rex is the standard to which I write and read. I'm grateful to her on so many levels.


The Boxcar Children (Boxcar Children, Bk 1)
The Boxcar Children (Boxcar Children, Bk 1)
Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 187
Review Date: 12/12/2010
Helpful Score: 3


Growing up in North Carolina, my third grade teacher read this series to us and for the next couple of years our favorite game to play was Boxcar Children. Fast forward twenty-five years, and I'm 34 and now living in Connecticut... five miles away from the home of Gertrude Chandler Warner. There's even a Boxcar Children museum. I visit her grave every so often, just to pay tribute to the lovely lady who played such a vital role in my love for great literature.


Boy's Life
Boy's Life
Author: Robert McCammon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 176
Review Date: 4/24/2015


This is my entire family's favourite novel. It ties with The Prince Of Tides. We keep extra copies on hand for any sad souls who've missed out. Honestly, my sister's and I should be getting royalties. Robert McCammon is a master storyteller and an imaginative beast and I could kiss him square on the lips for creating this gorgeous, glittering, perfect book.


Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain
Author: Charles Frazier
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 314
Review Date: 12/12/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Cold Mountain is one of those books that you have to be in the exact right frame of mind to read. It took me ten years, and during that time I must've started it five times, but on my sixth effort, I picked it up and couldn't stop. You have to take your time and let the words flow over you. It's a beautiful experience of a novel and has become one of my favorite reads of all time.


Defending Angels (Beaufort & Company, Bk 1)
Defending Angels (Beaufort & Company, Bk 1)
Author: Mary Stanton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 109
Review Date: 1/15/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I only made it half way through this one. I honestly couldn't get past the horrible descriptions of Savannah. For those who've never visited, Savannah, GA is the most gorgeous and alive and sensual city on earth. If you're going to chose such an exquisite city for a background, then at least do it some justice. All of the characters seemed like such cliches and for pity's sake, she even misspelled Abercorn Street. Or atleast it was in my copy of the book.

Just really poorly done.


The Family Plot
The Family Plot
Author: Cherie Priest
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/1/2017


I've only read a handfull of books in my life that truly scared me. Family Plot is one if them. It's one of those books that you think about when you're not reading. Atmospheric and creepy. The dialog picks up midway and becomes highly entertaining. Am now actively searching for more of her novels.


Fingersmith
Fingersmith
Author: Sarah Waters
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 12/12/2010


One of the most intriguing and well-written books I've ever read. All of the cliche's apply: spell-binding, page-turner, plot-twists and surprise endings. A must read for historical fiction lovers.


Guests on Earth: A Novel
Guests on Earth: A Novel
Author: Lee Smith
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 5/15/2014


Wonderfully detailed and beautifully evocative portrait of mental illness in a very particular time and environment. No one tells a story quite like Lee Smith. My beef with this book is that Evalina's story seemed to be missing something. I wanted to know more about her mother and about her own sickness. I suppose though that with all of the other story lines that one was the least relevant. I also highly recommend reading On Agate Hill.. It's Ms. Smith at her finest.


Heart-Shaped Box
Heart-Shaped Box
Author: Joe Hill
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 310
Review Date: 1/10/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Seriously, Joe Hill writes like a demon on fire. I remember reading a blurb about Heart-Shaped Box a good six months before it was published - "Rock star buys a ghost off of ebay" - and thinking it was an interesting concept. After reading the whole book, I can only say that it is really so much more than that. This book is character development at its finest. Multi-layered and entertaining and personally, I don't give a flip whose son he is, Joe Hill is writing talent to be reckoned with.


Life After Life
Life After Life
Author: Kate Atkinson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 97
Review Date: 4/1/2016
Helpful Score: 1


This one took me longer than normal to read because I had to go back and reread paragraphs and pages and chapters again and again. Just to make sure I was understanding exactly what was happening. But that's not a bad thing! I was consumed by Life After Life. Consumed by Ursula and her family and her many lives. It's also one of those books that you have to keep putting down so you can Google historical occurrences or maps so you can get a proper grasp of the time. I felt much smarter after reading it. Kate Atkinson is one of the finest fiction writers of the 21st century. Her mind is intimidating and brilliant.


The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, Bk 1)
The Man With a Load of Mischief (Richard Jury, Bk 1)
Author: Martha Grimes
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 12/30/2010


Oh, Lordy, I love this series. Please start with The Man With A Load Of Mischief and go from there. Witty, outlandish, atmospheric and well-crafted. Try and savor them.


My Notorious Life: A Novel
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Author: Kate Manning
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 7/18/2016


I've been waiting for someone to write this book. The awesome and highly readable story of a girl who rises from dirt and squalor by aiding women in need. Well done and based on an actual midwife and abortionist in 19th century NYC. Axie Muldoon is a heroine. Thank you Kate Manning!


Mystic River
Mystic River
Author: Dennis Lehane
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 525
Review Date: 12/12/2010


I too saw the movie first and liked it, but felt like there was something I was just not getting. Later on I read the book and felt like Dave's character got robbed of a story line in the movie. While the movie focuses primarily on Jimmy, the book clearly belongs to Dave. It's an awesome tale. Tragic and multi-dimensional.


The Never List
The Never List
Author: Koethi Zan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 4/19/2015


Oh, this book had a huge amount of promise. Actually, the STORY had a lot of promise, the book never stood a chance. Koethi Zan writes like someone half her age and with a third of her education. There's no style, no fluidity and no ear for dialog. The major rule of writing that is taught in even your most basic high school class is to show rather than tell. The Never List does the direct opposite... Intentionally maybe? Because how does a book like this get by editors and agents and publishers if the whole format and ckunker-style isn't on purpose? The story itself and the premise behind it is intriguing. Terrifying and creepy even. But the whole thing falls flat about 30 pages in. All of the horror and torture hinted at are never revealed, and because of this, because it's alluded to rather than shown, it's difficult to grasp the full spectrum of emotion that we're meant to feel. There are so many details and questions left unanswered. SO. MANY. And sadly, by the final pages, I didn't really care one way or another.


The Prince of Tides
The Prince of Tides
Author: Pat Conroy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 350
Review Date: 12/30/2010


The Prince Of Tides is the absolute best novel ever written. Period.


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