Katie S. (JeffersonsAmbrosia) - Reviews

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About Face
About Face
Author: Robert Edward Levin, Steve J. Weiss
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/20/2009


This book is well written and full of emotion. But over all it did not end up appealing much to me. It could have been my reading mood or perhaps I just didnt click with the material. I do not hold the author at fault at all for my not liking the book. It is fast paced and very human. It has some very witty points as well. If you usually like this genre of book I would give it a read.


All the Numbers
All the Numbers
Author: Judy Merrill Larsen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 74
Review Date: 4/1/2009
Helpful Score: 1


All the numbers is a masterfully written book. Judy Merrill Larsen takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of a familys grief of losing an 11 year old boy named James. We first come upon Ellen when the event has already happened; right away the book pulls you into its emotional current and prepares you to hang on.

From that emotional beginning we move backwards and start where the evens would begin. We follow Ellen as she does the regular things we all do, she goes to the DMV and has a scuffle with the clerk about coffee. She goes shopping; she picks up her kids and listens to their demands. Dont all of us do these same things everyday? And most of all she is looking forward to the yearly trip to the cabin. How she to know this was would be the summer all of it would change? How would any of us know?

You will cry when you read this book. You will cry as you watch Ellen make choices none of us would want to have to make about her youngest son and his death. You will cry when you see how she tries, and sometimes fails to be strong for her older son Daniel. Judy Merrill Larsen writes this book in such a way you can not help but picture it all. You can not help yourself but to feel the true raw emotion behind it.

Ellen also learns a lesson in that family is not always just blood. Her friends thats she has known for many years stand by her through all of it. Anna and Sam are like rocks to her, and a friend she didnt know could be made in a nurse named Laurie from the hospital. As the story continues the grief of fighting for a criminal trial introduces her to a wonderful lawyer named Bob. She feels guilty for her feelings towards him. Guilty that her sons death should bring her close to someone who might bring her happiness.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something good to read. The content is heavy, but it does have its bright points. There are happy moments, in memories and in learning how to live again after tragedy. This book teaches you that although life will not be the same, you can still live it


And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, Bk 1)
And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, Bk 1)
Author: Tasha Alexander
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 239
Review Date: 3/15/2009
Helpful Score: 9


This book was the first I have read by Tasha Alexander, and I am impressed. I will be promptly seeing to adding more of her works to my TBR pile. She weaves an amazing story of a widow who is coming to terms with the loss of a husband she barely knew, with intrigue of what he possibly could have done. Lady Emily Ashton is a carefree character who was ever happy in a typical womans role. Agreeing to marry her husband purely to get away from her Mother, when he dies only months into their marriage away in Africa she finds herself able to be more as she wishes to be. This does not agree with society.

We meet a loveable bunch of characters in this novel, from Margaret the brash American socialite to Cecile, the eccentric French widow. The story unfolds in a plethora of twists and turns, and in the background there is just a hit of romance from the many suitors Emily finds at her door. Some are earnest and dont fully appear so, and some are not earnest at all. You will find yourself surprised at just how things all unfold and turn out to be sure. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and some mystery. And if youre a woman who likes to see ladies going against societys rules, well pull up a glass of port and enjoy some time with Lady Ashton.


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Bk 1)
Review Date: 1/4/2009
Helpful Score: 1


What a Fun little laugh this book was. The story of Georgia really makes you remember those teen days. Agonizing over what boy meant when he said something, and trying to get the boy you liked to notice you. Amusing, and full of more British slang than you can shake a fist at (because Georgia is a brit teen) it is over all a good read, and fun. A bit of fluff, but a fun fast way to start out the new year. If you in the mood for a little fun, and a good laugh. follow Georgia and her friends in this little jaunt!


The Apothecary's Daughter
The Apothecary's Daughter
Author: Julie Klassen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 130
Review Date: 5/7/2009
Helpful Score: 3


The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this book is wow. The imagery set forth is beautiful and the prose is profound. Julie Klassen weaves a story of emotion, and beauty. Of a young woman just trying to find her way in the world. When we first come upon Lillian Haswell (Lilly) she is a daughter who wishes to do what most daughters do at some time in their life, flee home. But as the daughter of an Apothecary she isnt sure how she will be able to do so. Enter the brother of her long missing mother Rosamond.

Lilly is given the chance to go to London and experience a season by her aunt and uncle. They will sponsor her and dress her, and al of the other wonderful things of a fine lady in London. The offer she was waiting for! Lilly takes it and spends two happy years in London, she is flirted with, courted and almost makes several matches. Until that is of course the men find out what her father does. At the end of two years however Lilly is called home to tend to her ill father.

We find a great many ups and downs in the story of Lillian and her family. Her father Charles is a kind hearted man with some secrets in his passed, who is ailing and desperately trying to be well enough so he can continue the business. Her brother Charlie is such a loveable character, he is a bit simple, but loving and he tries hard. He finds his love in gardening.

While the story has many tender moments that will make you cry I also enjoy some of the funnier. Lily has so many suitors she doesnt know what to do with them. Roger Bromley from London, the next baronet of her town, Roderick Marlow, Mr. Shuttelsworth, Dr.Graves and her fathers old apprentice Francis Baylor OH MY! You will not be left bored when reading this book. If youre a woman you will feel Lillys plight, living in a world where she knows the knowledge, enjoys the work and is good at it. But because she is a woman she is not allowed to practice openly. Because she is a woman she is supposed to rely on men, but they are all leaning on her!

The Apothecarys daughter is a coming of age story. You will follow the stories of everyone in the book, but mostly you stay with Lillian. She has heart ache, and confusion and happy moments too. This is a real story, and it sucks you in. You care about the characters, you love them. You begin to wish Lilly could go back to London, or should she stay home? You never know which would be better, not until the very end.


Babyville
Babyville
Author: Jane Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 369
Review Date: 2/1/2009
Helpful Score: 1


A wonderful story about life. Sometimes what you think you need, you don't. What you think you don't need you do! Life throws things at you and your left to deal with them. This story mingles with several women, their lives all intersect, and yet are separate. Babies, Husbands, and New York Oh my! I had fun with this one,though it did take me a little bit to get into it. But if you sit down, by chapter three you do really want to know what's going to happen. The characters are likeable and engaging.


The Bastard of Istanbul
The Bastard of Istanbul
Author: Elif Shafak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 2/12/2009


This book wasnt really my cup of tea. It was not a bad book. I just didn't connect with it much like I thought I would. I did honestly almost give up on the book, but I didn't and I am glad that I read it. Although, I really cant say much more than that. The characters, are human, you follow their struggles, and their life.


Beneath a Marble Sky
Beneath a Marble Sky
Author: John Shors
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 181
Review Date: 4/6/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I did a bit of research with this book because I cannot help but be historical in that, and while the names of the people and where they stood is rather accurate, I believe a great deal of the rest of the love story is not accurate, that said the author warns against that right in the beginning of the book. So if you can ignore those glaring historical inaccuracies you will find yourself in a beautiful world. The Taj Mahal is one of thee if not the most beautiful building in the world, and to think it is a mausoleum and so a tribute to the woman who it holds is something that is sure to tug at your heart strings.

Beneath a marble sky paints a picture of love, loss devotion and hardship. It truly puts the reader into the middle of a war torn time that made for an instable area, and yet among it all was the Taj Mahal and a showing that true love can truly conquer all even death. If you love a good historical story and want to feel close to the characters this is the book for you. I was saddened when the book ended and kept demanding more pages to appear at the end. I wanted to know more, I wanted to follow the story and its characters for longer.


Bergdorf Blondes
Bergdorf Blondes
Author: Plum Sykes
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 78
Review Date: 3/8/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I am sorry it took me so many years after publication for me to find this book. The Bergdorf Blondes is a really wonderful romp through socialite New York. The book follows the point of view of Moi, with her friends Julie Bergdorf (the queen bee of society), Lara and Jolene and may others. At some parts you want to laugh and ask yourself can anyone really be this shallow. They abbreviate everything including the word PH for potential husband. But, at the end of the day you really just do have to laugh about it.

Moi takes us not only into the world of the fashion obsessed Princesses of Park Avenue but through a series of her own very poor relationship mistakes. There is Zach, the moody depressing photographer who treats her like crap, who she almost marries. Eduardo the married, with children prince from some where or another, Patrick the married man with the psycho wife. And of course the very regrettable Charlie Dulain, who is Julies boy friend, or so she thought. You will get a few curve balls you didnt see coming in this fun little run around the world, from New York to Rio and back again. I recommend reading this one if you want something easy, and something to lighten your mood.


Betrayed (House of Night, Bk 2)
Betrayed (House of Night, Bk 2)
Author: Kristin Cast, P. C. Cast
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 918
Review Date: 5/29/2009


Betrayed is the second thrilling book in The House of Night Series. I was hopelessly hooked on this series by the end of Marked, but Betrayed has only served to pull me into the series even more. We join up with Zoey and her friends again a month after we last left her in Marked. She has settled into her school nicely, and is now fretting about the other issues that seem to follow her around wherever she goes. The biggest one seems to be boy troubles.

Zoey Redbird who was so worried about fitting in at her new school has more boys than she can handle. I cant help but laugh a little bit, because on top of the usual Teenage Hormones poor Zoey also has to deal with the hormone changes that happen when youre a Vampyre. It would seem (and this goes with other books as well) they are very Sexual creatures, and much of that drive is connected to their blood lust and drinking. So poor Zoey finds herself Imprinted with her ex Heath, very loving towards her current Beau the handsome and talented Erik Night, and a teacher Loren Blake the talented vampire Laurent. Oh my!

As if that wasnt bad enough Zoey will face trials like she hasnt before, she looses a good friend, and somebody is killing are teenagers. The killings to crop up and play a bit of a part of the story line, but over all they are background to Zoeys loss, as well as her trials with the boys in her life and of course changing the Dark Daughters. The final blow to poor Zoey comes when someone she looks up to and nearly worships becomes something else. From light to dark. It is a powerful blow, but Zoey and her Goddess given gifts find away to keep going.

Betrayed is an emotionally charged read and I found myself crying as I read it. But I also could not put the book down as it was so good. Some of the themes are a little more adult than I would expect for a young adult novel, but nothing to over the top. Just beware you should probably pre read it before you let your young adult read it. It is a great second book in the series.


Review Date: 6/22/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This book was just not for me. I was a little upset that I didnt like it. But mostly because it had been on my wish list for a long time on PaperbackSwap, and I had been excited to get it. And now I wish I hadnt. The main character was just a picky, finicky woman who I would use a stronger wording for but I am trying to remain PG. Now I suppose to some people that might be funny. But to me it was just pointless. I almost stopped reading but by the time I was going to I was almost half way through. And at that point I had used enough time on it that I didnt wish to stop. So at least the book counts for my 2009 Challenge but that is about all it counts for. If you want my opinion skip this book, you will save yourself some trouble.


Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Bk 1)
Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Bk 1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 369
Review Date: 5/24/2009


Blue Bloods is yet another interesting take on the myth of the Vampire. In Blue Bloods Vampires are fallen Angels they have been expelled from paradise and now go through cycles. This is certainly a curious look at the myth of vampires, but in the book it is given as a well explained one. Like in Marked the Vampire side of them starts to show in the high school ages. They than become Blue Bloods, humans are called Red Bloods.

While you can tell that Blue Bloods is obviously the set up book for the next book in the series it was still an enjoyable read. It has a likeable group of characters, and of course like others it has its dislikeable ones as well. One thing that makes me giggle a bit is that it seems the bad guy or bully is always blonde. In Blue Bloods its the popular girl Mimi Force. Ah but Mimi has a twin brother named Jack, who Schuyler ends up getting a crush on. To bad for them it doesnt seem to be meant to be. Or so it seems. Never know what will happen later in the series.

You follow Blue Bloods along the line that its setting up, giving you information about the history of the Blue Bloods. Some of the better bits are when they comment about their exploits in Rome, and Egypt. It would seem as long as they have been on earth they are the people of influence and power. They have money, and are pretty much the elite. It was a fast read, and a good read but it is obvious that its a set up book.

When the book comes to its conclusion its not a conclusion at all. It is obvious you wont find out about the bad guys of the book (now I cant tell you who that is it would give away a plot twist) are fully up to. You also wont learn how to bring them down, unless of course you read on. Which I plan to. If youre a series reader, like different takes on Vampires and dont mind a smattering of religion and history Blue Bloods if for you.


The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance
Author: Philippa Gregory
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 618
Review Date: 3/12/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Phillipa Gregory does it again with this novel. The Boleyn Inheritance is a striking tale of the least known wives of Henry the VIII, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. We also meet Jane Boleyn known mostly in history only for her part in seeing her husband George and her sister-in-law Anne go to the scaffolding. We follow the tale from Cleves when Anne is being selected, right on up to the scaffolding and eventually the Kings death, and the whole book will hold you spell bound.

I could hardly set this one down, and yet at parts I had to. It is so descriptive and so heart breaking you will cry for the way these women are terribly caught up in this court. Henry VIII truly was a mad man bent on his own whims, his own desires and no one ever dared tell him no, for if they did they could, and would end up dead. Watch as the body counts of those sent to the scaffold tally higher, for small crimes like simply loving a girl. And those who are the true masterminds of the plots get away from the axe man like a slippery snake in the grass.

You will shake your head at how stupid and frivolous young Katherine is as a Queen. And yet you will feel utterly horrified for her in the end she was really only a child of 16 years who could not possibly know right from wrong when she only ever did was she was told. I believe in the end the only one I did not feel sorry for was Jane Boleyn, to me she made her own bed. Through pure jealousy, ambition and self preservation, in the end she got what was coming. Though preferably no one should have died because of the whims of a selfish King, who thought he was a god. If you havent read this book yet, do. You will be emotionally grabbed and riveted to each and every page.


Breaking Dawn (Twilight, Bk 4)
Breaking Dawn (Twilight, Bk 4)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3517
Review Date: 1/7/2009


It didn't take me long to finish this one. I did not love it. I did not hate it. I will first say what I didn't like. The plot line is to drawn out for what you see is obvious and coming. So honestly it makes it a little weak. You can see everything coming as it comes, and go "Oh right so that what its going to be" I don't like when I can see that in a book. The religious undertones are pushed a bit hard in this one as well. In my opinion.

However, that being said. I did the action. I did like that we got to meet some new characters and see some interesting twists. While I knew the character who leaves wouldn't ditch her family, I was surprised when she came back how it all wrapped up. But that was the only surprise in the book. The rest was rather predictable.

I also personally wouldn't let the intended YA audience read this one. Its a bit to...bloody, and filled with innuendo. While that was enjoyable to me as an adult. I would not let a kid read it.Over all, While I enjoyed the Saga as a whole. and am ..obviously a fan of Twilight. Breaking Dawn is my least favorite of the set. But still not a bad..book.


Change of Heart
Change of Heart
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 3/17/2011


What would you do if your child was dying? What would you do if the only person who could save your child was someone you thought killed your husband, and your other child? These are the questions that Change of Heart asks you. These truly are impossible choices to make. Jodi Picoult takes you through an emotional story that has you wondering about a lot of things. Is the bad guy really the bad guy? What would you do if you were faced with this same choice you had to make? What is the difference between religion and faith?

Change of heart takes on so many heavy issues that it is impossible to call this a light read. It takes on Capital punishment, Organ Donation, the United states Justice System as a whole, and religion. Everywhere you turn in this story there is a topic that is mostly spoken of in whispers and hushes, so not to offend anyone. This is one of the reasons that this book is so good. When you read a Picoult novel you know you are going to get something emotional that will pull at your heart strings. I could not believe just how pulled in I got though, I found myself not wanting Shay Bourne to be killed, wondering if he truly did the crime he had been convicted of and yet wanting the little girl Claire to live.

There is no denying that there are some shadows of the Green Mile in this book with some of the things that happen in the prison with Shay there, and even the relationships with some of the guards. That being said the book makes no secret of that and even makes a small joke of it in calling Shay Bourne green Mile in one passage. This book is not Green Mile, and while it has some similar themes stands fully on its own, and gets a hearty MUST READ from me.


Chocolatherapy
Chocolatherapy
Author: Karen Scalf Linamen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/23/2009


This was a pretty good book. It offers some helpful thoughts and advice, and it had some great humor too. Not much else to say, but I did enjoy it.


Cocktails for Three
Cocktails for Three
Author: Madeleine Wickham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 435
Review Date: 8/6/2009


Three ladies who make sure to have a meeting of the minds every month. The general theme of the book smells of Sex in the City, but for me that was an okay thing to go into as I loved the show (and plan to read the book). So I had some good hopes going into the book. I also was excited because so far I have enjoyed the Shopaholic series, and this is the same Author, different name.

Sadly the book did not live up to my hopes. While I love Sophie Kinsella but under the name Madeline Wickham she just falls flat. The book is not nearly as funny as the shopaholic series, and there just seems to be something else missing as well. The women in this book come off as just plain shallow to me. Where while our lovely Shopaholic has issues, she also shows she can be a good human. I just dont see that in Three Cocktails, so in my humble opinion this is a big pass.


Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, Bk 1)
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, Bk 1)
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 1993
Review Date: 1/26/2009


Wow! I can not believe it took me so long to read this book. This book is hilarious! A wonderful chic lit book. I could not help but laugh out loud, as much of this book. Poor Rebecca gets herself in over her head. She gets in a financial bind, that some of us might be familiar with. And ends up with way more stuff than she really needs! But in the end. through the course of things..she finds a way to make right. And learns some hard life lessons. This really is a fun enjoyable book. A fast read that makes you not want to put it down. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and to see the movie.


Conversations With The Fat Girl
Conversations With The Fat Girl
Author: Liza Palmer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 276
Review Date: 4/4/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Liz Palmer has written a book that a lot of people can identify with. And not just the chubbier set either; I feel that we all have body issues. We all have things that make us self conscious and we see in a harder light than others and we have that internal monologue about. I know I do! Maggie is an inspirational character; she admits her flaws and admits that her plans to fix he flaws are also often flawed.

While I enjoyed the story of Maggie, and how she goes through her own self discovery. The painful finding out of just what her friendship with her now very skinny friend Olivia has come down to. The book does have some problems. I will state again that over all I did truly enjoy the story, it as heartfelt and funny at times and sad in other points.

That said some things can not be overlooked. The fact that Maggie really should have realized much earlier that her friend Olivia was not what she seemed is one of them. The other huge issue I have with this book is that the ending really is a non ending. You feel like your left hanging and going, Now what? when you finish it. I dont think all books wrap up in a nice little package with a bow but they should wrap up. Even if youre not getting a happy ending you need a proper ending.

There is some romance in the book but it is mostly light. And I personally feel even in that you are left hanging. There is a good solid set of characters, and the development of them is very good. So over all if you like chic lit and like something witty check this book out. Just be warned that it doesnt have a true ending.


Courtesans : Money, Sex and Fame in the Nineteenth Century
Courtesans : Money, Sex and Fame in the Nineteenth Century
Author: Katie Hickman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 11/17/2009


I have long been curious about Courtesans; this book is a great one for anyone else who has the same curiousness. Katie Hickman does a fantastic job of showing you the powerful world of being a Courtesan; it is not an unknown adage that the most powerful woman in a kingdom was not the Queen but the Kings Mistress.

Much is the same about the most powerful Courtesans in the land. They had money and power and all sorts of other things that made them societies most wanted. All of this for essentially working in the oldest profession in the world.

But these women weren't the kind of ladies you would see walking on the street. They were well educated, witty, beautiful and used to the finest things in life. This book was a fantastic read for anyone who is interested in the topic. And even for someone who may not know that much about it. Pick this one up and delve into the steamy underside of Sex, Money and Power.


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