Ramona M. (Grazona) - Reviews

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The Abstinence Teacher
The Abstinence Teacher
Author: Tom Perrotta
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 79
Review Date: 12/29/2013


This is the second of Tom Perrotta's books that I've read, the first being The Leftovers, and my experiences with them both were very similar. This is a really good book and I read it quickly. His characters are well developed and the story is great. I got drawn into the story, waiting, wondering what was going to happen and then the book ends. There isn't any closure. On one hand I find that frustrating because I want to know what happens to the characters and I want resolution to their issues. On the other hand, it makes the characters feel even more real, obviously their stories aren't over. I'd recommend this book if you've liked Perrotta's other novels or if you're simply interested in a good story but not if you want a story with a solid ending.


Adam & Eve: A Novel (P.S.)
Adam & Eve: A Novel (P.S.)
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.4/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 2/21/2012
Helpful Score: 2


In general I thought this book was good and very interesting. It was slow to start and had a strange ending but the middle was really enjoyable. The narration changes with each chapter so that took some getting used to and the story is not quite as straight forward as the dust jacket led me to believe. But overall I'd recommend it if you'd like a "different" read.


And the Mountains Echoed
And the Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 131
Review Date: 10/3/2014
Helpful Score: 1


This author is an amazing story teller. This book is beautifully written and tells an amazing, epic story of a family. I enjoyed the book but at times it was difficult to keep track of who was narrating, as each chapter jumps around to a different person at a different point in time and a different place in the world. I felt like there were almost too many characters to keep track of. If you liked either of the author's previous novels, you will love this one as well. I found this to be the "easiest" of the three to read as it was less graphic/disturbing than the other two.


Assassination Vacation (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Assassination Vacation (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Sarah Vowell
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 2/12/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I probably shouldn't be surprised that I found a book about presidential assassinations boring. I was expecting this audio version to be more entertaining since it has so many celebrity voice cameos, but no such luck. It was interesting but mostly pretty dry. I considered quitting several times but had put so much time into listening that I decided to stick it out. I recommend it only for those with a serious interest in history.


Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, Bk 1)
Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, Bk 1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 128
Review Date: 4/20/2013
Helpful Score: 2


Great book. I couldn't put it down and even now that I'm finished I can't stop thinking about it. I agree it's probably not YA. (lots of sex & violence) I loved the other reviewer on here who said reading this book was like watching a train wreck. I totally agree. Yes, some of the characters' behavior is totally messed up & Abby & Travis' relationship is dysfunctional but it's a book and it's sexy. It was entertaining the whole way through, a bit of an emotional roller coaster but the ending was great. Sure it's not very realistic but it's a great piece of fiction! I don't always want what I read to be true to real life.


Belong to Me
Belong to Me
Author: Marisa De Los Santos
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 184
Review Date: 8/28/2011


This was an absolutely beautiful book. I liked it even better than the first book (Love Walked In). The story is lovely, I could barely put it down. The characters are all likeable in their own ways and I became so emotionally invested in them that even after I finished the book, I found myself thinking about them for days, wondering what they each went on to do. This is a great read for a vacation or any time when you want to be totally engrossed in your book.


The Bill from My Father : A Memoir
The Bill from My Father : A Memoir
Author: Bernard Cooper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 10/20/2013
Helpful Score: 3


I read this book because it was recommended by David Sedaris when I saw him give a reading. The writing is well done but the material was pretty dark. I was hoping there'd be more lightness to it. The story of the relationship between Cooper and his father is a sad one and while there is occasional humor, I finished the book still feeling low.


Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel
Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel
Author: Helen Oyeyemi
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 3/28/2015
Helpful Score: 1


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I appreciate that it's different, not your standard story told in a novel. There is so much going on in the story that I'm sure I could re-read it and catch a lot of things I missed the first time through. That's part of what made it such a great read. The writing is beautiful, lots of wonderful imagery. I found the characters all to be unique and wonderfully developed. Even though the story is on the dark side, I still felt hopeful for the three main female characters. I loved the "twist" but found the ending less fulfilling than I was hoping for. I'd recommend this book for readers who are fans of more challenging reads, it's not just a straightforward novel. I am very interested in reading more from this author.


Boy's Life
Boy's Life
Author: Robert McCammon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 175
Review Date: 2/17/2014


I absolutely adore this book. This is a perfect example of why I love my book club! I'd never heard of this book or author and I would have totally missed out on it if not for their suggestions! The vocabulary and imagery in the book was fantastic. I could picture everything vividly. The story itself was beautiful. I really liked the average small town stories with a little magic/paranormal thrown in. I found it to be a fairly easy, fast read for how long it is. I was drawn in from the first page. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves to read and appreciates a well told story and for anyone who likes a little paranormal twist.


Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed
Author: Glennon Melton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/16/2014
Helpful Score: 3


This is one of the best books I've ever read. It was recommended to me last year when I suffered a loss. My friend said she read it and it reminded her of me and I can see why. It is brutally honest and beautifully written. The copy I read was from the public library and I was so disappointed I couldn't highlight in it! I will definitely be buying a copy from my own collection. The stories shared in the book are relatable and realistic. I found it comforting, encouraging and inspiring. I'd recommend this book for any woman who has had a rough patch in life yet is grateful and hopeful. I am not a parent but I can see how the author's writing would be especially appealing to mothers. This is an all around wonderful book.


The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 67
Review Date: 7/18/2014
Helpful Score: 6


I gave up on this book a little less than half way in. It's strange because I didn't necessarily dislike it, I just couldn't get motivated to keep going. Rowling's writing is beautiful and vivid but the wordiness made it a slow, difficult read. I didn't find any of the characters likable and couldn't seem to get invested in the story.


The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
Author: J. D. Salinger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1933
Review Date: 11/2/2014


I read this book because I'm trying to mix some classic in with all the contemporary stuff I read so I picked this one because it's short! It's one of those books that I liked more once I was finished than I did as I was reading it. There are parts that are really slow and difficult to trudge through. But in all, it's extremely well written. The narrator's frantic pace really comes through and it was easy for me to feel excited and then sorry for him all at once. I'd recommend this book for anyone who wants to tackle a classic that isn't daunting.


Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Bk 2)
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Bk 2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1623
Review Date: 1/28/2012
Helpful Score: 3


I think I'm one of the few people in the world who doesn't love these books. The first one was better than this one, mostly because all the information was new. I found this one to be fairly redundant. It kept my interest but I just don't like the concept. I can't understand why everyone has gone crazy over this series. I understand they are for young adults but the violence just seems too graphic and unnecessary. I won't be reading the third book.


The Chaperone
The Chaperone
Author: Laura Moriarty
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 45
Review Date: 8/19/2012
Helpful Score: 2


I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely novel. The story is interesting and well told and I liked the way it went back & forth between past & present, it was easy to follow. I found it to be a really cool look at human nature and it has gotten me interested in this phase of history. Highly recommended.


City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, Bk 2)
City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments, Bk 2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 418
Review Date: 5/26/2012


I'm really enjoying this series. I like these books as a nice change of pace from what I normally read yet they aren't "dumbed down" a whole lot. Yes they are for young adults and that's obvious but it's still an engaging story with lots of twists and likable characters. I'm already on the third book and planning to read all 5!


City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Bk 4)
City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Bk 4)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 138
Review Date: 9/29/2012
Helpful Score: 1


I'm really enjoying this series. I thought this book was a great addition to the series, the characters are staying true to themselves. This one was a bit racier than the previous ones but I was okay with that. I'm looking forward to the 5th book and to seeing how the saga finally ends.


City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Bk 4)
City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Bk 4)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 10/25/2012


This was my least favorite of the series. Definitely not as satisfying as I was hoping. The story was weirder and tougher to follow than the previous ones and I didn't get closure at the end like I wanted. It seemed like the author wanted each character to have a sexual experience and that felt odd at times.


City of Glass (Mortal Instruments, Bk 3)
City of Glass (Mortal Instruments, Bk 3)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 168
Review Date: 6/24/2012


I agree with many of the reviewers who say this book was the best of the first three, it was definitely my favorite although I have loved them all. This is a fantastic series and I am enjoying the plot twists. You just can't take it too seriously. I am looking forward to reading the next two.


City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments, Bk 6)
City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments, Bk 6)
Author: Cassandra Clara
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/14/2014


I was slightly disappointed in this book although I did think it was a lot better than the last installment in the series. I felt this book was too long. It was really good for a while but the author seemed to spend a ton of time spinning out this long, involved story, which was great but then didn't seem to put as much thought into the ending. It felt like she wanted a "happy ending" for the main characters when it would have been better for the story (and maybe for the characters) to leave certain things as is, without the long epilogue. It also felt like the author was introducing new characters and building on them with the intention to follow up with a new series of books when it would have been more enjoyable to shorten the book by eliminating all that detail. There were almost too many characters to keep track of and I certainly was more concerned with the main characters from the series than the new ones.


Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 3)
Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 3)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2697
Review Date: 2/6/2014


I'm enjoying this series and this was my favorite book so far. What I like about the books compared to True Blood is that here we know what Sookie is thinking/feeling more. It makes her romantic encounters seem less slutty and gives her a little more substance. These books are fun, easy reads and I like that the story line differs a bit from the show.


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