Kristen J. (krissyj8) - Reviews

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90 Minutes In Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life
90 Minutes In Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life
Author: Cecil Murphey, Don Piper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 875
Review Date: 1/3/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I thought this was a good book, but it was more focused on the recovery than his 90 minutes in heaven. There are one or two chapters that discuss this experience, but his recovery is very painful and somewhat discouraging for the majority of the story. If you are expecting an ethereal heaven experience, just read the first chapter. I appreciated that he didn't sugar coat his experience- he was discouraged and depressed and he admits this fact. The end of the book made it a worthwile read and I did like the book, but it wasn't quite what I expected.


Big Machine: A Novel
Big Machine: A Novel
Author: Victor LaValle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 6/25/2010


This is one of the worst books I have ever read. The only reason I didn't put it down is because I always finish books in hopes that the end will make it worth the read. It was confusing, slow moving, strange, and cryptic. Don't waste your time.


Blankets
Blankets
Author: Craig Thompson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 12/16/2010


This is the first graphic novel that I have read. The artwork is detailed and beautiful. When you are not a comic book reader, a graphic novel is an experience that you should do at least once in your life time. The pictures create the mood of the story more than the words. Without the art, this novel would have been so so. The story is somewhat juvenile in my mind but they did tackle some serious topics. The experience of the graphic novel was very interesting. Because I normally read regular novels I had to remind myself to take each page in and to really experience the art. It was a very quick read even though it is a very long book. I'm not sure if I will continue to read graphic novels, but I did enjoy this especially because I lived in Minnesota for 10 years so I can appreciate the winter experience.


Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 5/21/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This was one of my favorite books as a child and when I was home visiting my mother one weekend I decided to pick it up and read it as an adult. It still had the same strong heart as it did years ago. The characters make you want to pick them up and embrace them. This book lets your imagination run wild and your mind wanders to that special place you created as a child. It's a safe place and a great book if you need a to cry, smile, and just be a kid again.


Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper
Author: Diablo Cody
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 216
Review Date: 6/25/2010


I live in Minneapolis so this book was especially interesting because it is set in the seedy strip club scene of downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Diablo Cody has been know for movies (Juno) and tv shows (The United States of Tara), but this book was a really in depth and honest reflection of what it is like to be an exotic dancer. As a female working in the business world, I understood why Cody decided to make the jump from an ad agency into the darker world of stripping. She portrayed her emotions, relationships with other dancers and her boyfriend, living in Minneapolis, and her overall reactions to her year away from the conventional world in an intriguing way. By the end of the book I was ready to switch to another subject, but overall I loved this book!


Dispatches From the Edge of the World: A Memoir
Dispatches From the Edge of the World: A Memoir
Author: Anderson Cooper
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 119
Review Date: 3/26/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I have always liked Anderson Cooper as a news reporter, but after reading this memoir I have a whole new appreciation for his life experiences and his profession. He is a Vanderbilt so he is from wealth, but he really had to work his way to the top. He has risked his life to try to bring information to people everywhere and he has true compassion for those in crisis. Some of the sections were hard to digest, but overall he kept the tone of the book less morbid than he could have. I think the writing was amazing and he made his memoir very interesting by mixing his work life with his childhood experiences. I highly recommend this book!


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Review Date: 3/26/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I was really disappointed with this book. It is a best seller and has been suggested for book clubs everywhere, but the whole novel was stale and boring. The author seemed to complain constantly about how dissatisfied she was with her life while she was being PAID to travel for a year and to learn more about herself. I resented this message. Very few people can actually afford to travel for a year, and for her to have a downtrodden attitude about the situation it seemed inappropriate. I would NOT suggest this book- do not waste your time.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, Bk 1)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, Bk 1)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 2081
Review Date: 10/7/2009
Helpful Score: 5


I am not usually a fan of mystery/ suspense novels, but this completely captivated me. There are many characters in this book, and at the beginning it was difficult to keep the story lines and the characters straight. Larsson's character development was excellent and really made you want to put the pieces together. The story is not predictable. It involves murder, corporate greed, sex, lies, and cover-ups. Overall I highly suggest this book. You will not want to put it down!


Her Fearful Symmetry
Her Fearful Symmetry
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 202
Review Date: 10/12/2018


I was a little apprehensive to spend time reading this book after reading other reviews. I read The Time Traveler's Wife years ago, loved it and ordered this book. It sat on my shelf for a few years and I finally read it.

The story is interesting with one twist in the last half of the book that really caught me off guard. The concept that a person may "hang around" after death is interesting and has made me think especially because my father passed away recently. This book has been strangely comforting. Some of the characters seem rather pathetic, but I feel that if you have strong feelings about a character that means the book is well written.

Overall the book is worth reading. I got caught up in the characters and enjoyed it more than I expected.


The History of Love
The History of Love
Author: Nicole Krauss
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 493
Review Date: 2/2/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I love the structure of this novel. The author takes the reader through two different story lines and weaves them together. At the end of each chapter you are wanting a little more and then the storyline switches which makes the book difficult to put down. Each side of the love story is very different, but in the end the characters come together and the plots come together in such a warm and comforting way. She was very visually creative when she put the words on the page. The last 25 pages read like a play and really help create the mood for the end of the novel. Overall it was a great novel. A little mournful, but hopeful. I recommend this book!


How the Light Gets In
How the Light Gets In
Author: M. J. Hyland
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 1/12/2009


There are so many coming of age books out there, but this one truly exceeded my expectations. It's awkward at first to see her journey with her new family, but the main character (Lou) grows on you. Lou meets a variety of people while she is in the U.S. and tries to fabricate a life that is not her own so she will fit into her white picket fenced family which is a polar opposite lifestyle from her family in Australia. It is painful to watch her make mistakes, but the book has character and is difficult to put down!!


Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single
Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single
Author: Heather McElhatton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 31
Review Date: 3/16/2011


Chick lit is not normally the genre that I aim for but I had read a few heavy books and I was in the mood for a lighter story. This book was perfect. I am single and 29 and I just moved from Minneapolis to Chicago a few months ago. As a former Minnesotan, I especially appreciated the references to weather, restaurants, and neighborhoods. The author was right on- she obviously lives in the area.

The main character struggles through many situations that I have found myself in over the years. She tries online dating, has weight issues (fueled by an addiction to Cinnabon), sleeps with a new boyfriend on the first date, has a dumpy apartment, has jealousy issues when both her sister and ex boyfriend get married on the same day and the list goes on. I felt her pain. I laughed with her and sometimes at the situations she found herself in. The situations are bold and honest.

As other reviewers stated, the ending was a let down, and although it wouldn't be the ending that I'd pick it is a very believable option. I sent out a mass e-mail to my Minneapolis friends urging them to read this book when they are in the mood for a fast, brainless, fun book. I loved it!


Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity
Author: Kerry Cohen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 83
Review Date: 1/20/2011
Helpful Score: 4


This book broke my heart and made me thankful at the same time. It broke my heart to watch Kerry Cohen struggle and stumble through life. It made me thankful that I didn't have to go down the same path that she did. Kerry takes you with her through her journey into becoming an adult. It is a very raw and honest look at how women see themselves and how women use men to feel "full" when really they are empty inside. It's easy to see how Kerry became the adolescent that she was. She didn't have the support from her parents that she so desperately desired. She was insecure and wanted male attention to feel worthy. This book would be a great read for the parent of a female teen. I highly recommend this book to females everywhere.


Loving Frank
Loving Frank
Author: Nancy Horan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 577
Review Date: 6/25/2010


I am not a person who usually enjoys books that are historical, but this was an excellent read. Although it has to be classified as fiction, the story rings true to historical fact. The debate between family and love tortures the main character. The emotions are real and raw. Overall, I highly suggest this novel.


Lucky
Lucky
Author: Alice Sebold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 1358
Review Date: 6/25/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I am an volunteer for a rape crisis center and, I found this book to be an accurate portrayal of rape and all of the circumstances that surround sexual assault. Hearing about reactions from friends and family, the judicial system, how the life of a victim changes, and Sebold's future as a survivor was very real. I could hardly put the book down.


The Mermaid Chair
The Mermaid Chair
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 1001
Review Date: 8/19/2008
Helpful Score: 5


This was an excellent but melancholy love story about what a woman wants, the truth of life, and what she really has. I appreciate books that are real and that don't try to make everything picture perfect. I liked this book better than Sue monk Kidd's other novel, The Secret Life of Bees. It was difficult to put down!


The Pact: A Love Story
The Pact: A Love Story
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1185
Review Date: 3/10/2009
Helpful Score: 1


When I read a Jodi Picoult book I usually think they are pretty average. Although she tackles different story lines and topics, the books are predictable and have the same tone. This is by far my favorite Picoult book. I couldn't put it down. The emotions from the teenage main characters in the book were so biting. It's been a few years since I was a teenager, but it brought that raw age right back into my mind. I would have appreciated a little more to the ending. It seemed to leave the reader hanging, but overall it was a great book.


The Pilot's Wife
The Pilot's Wife
Author: Anita Shreve
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 4/23/2008
Helpful Score: 1


After I got half way through I couldn't put this book down. A quick and compelling read. One of Anita Shreve's best books!


Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect
Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect
Author: Connally Gilliam
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 1/6/2011


I liked the title and cover of this book. Here and there I would pick up a sentence or two that was relevant, but for me the book was far to pushy on the topics of morality and religion. I grew up in a religious household, and I feel that I am a moral and conservative person, but I am not active in the church right now. The author was very over the top about sex. She is in her mid 30's and still a virgin. I found myself rolling my eyes and wanting to throw this book through a window. Even my religious mom thought it was somewhat unrealistic which says something. Maybe if you have her same strict religous ice-cold attitude then you'd like this book. The only reason that I finished this book is because I was on a plane and had nothing else to read.


Revenge of the Paste Eaters : Memoirs of a Misfit
Revenge of the Paste Eaters : Memoirs of a Misfit
Author: Cheryl Peck
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 4/21/2011


This book was very below average in my opinion. I look forward to memoirs because they tend to make me laugh quite a bit and I usually fly through the short stories. At the end of Cheryl Peck's memoirs it feels like the author is quite proud of herself for being so witty but as the reader I was left wondering why I was still reading this book. This was a tedious read.


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