Marianna S. (Angeloudi) - Reviews

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The A-List (A-List, Bk 1)
The A-List (A-List, Bk 1)
Author: Zoey Dean
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 161
Review Date: 4/19/2009


First in the A-List series by Zoey Dean, who also wrote "How to Teach Filty Rich Girls", which was the basis for the TV series "Privileged." Dean wrote this series for teenaged girls, and it is interestng, funny, and well-written. The main character, Anna Percy, is likable, intelligent, and going through some serious family issues- leaving her wealthy New England WASPy life for the excesses of life in Hollywood with her estranged, New Age, hippy, touchy-feely, former businessman father, who insists on being called "Jonathan". She encounters some very privileged, been-there, done-that, Hollywood brats who set out to make her life miserable because they are all vying for the affections of one Princeton freshman, Ben Birnbaum. This is a very easy read- with an interesting plot that makes you just want to devour the whole thing in one sitting.


Admission
Admission
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 7/21/2010


As a product of a prep school environment and an Ivy League education( Yale, Brown), I couldn't wait to read this novel about a Princeton college admissions officer. I was sorely disappointed. Originally I had planned to send this book to my niece, a Princeton grad, but I have to admit, this book was so slow moving and mired in boring minutiae, I could not do it. The writing is dense and detail-oriented, to the point of making the reader want to tear her hair out! Vast pages of dense, uninterrupted text, barely broken into paragraphs, with endless details about working in the admissions office. Long, boring, and unreadable.


Andromeda's Turn
Andromeda's Turn
Author: Libby Svenson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/25/2010


I just found out that this book was written by a young student at our high school, so of course I want to read it! And since I adored the Happy Hollister books as a child, written by her grandfather, I know this will be great!


Another Piece of My Heart
Another Piece of My Heart
Author: Jane Green
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 7/20/2016


One of the best Jane Green novels in recent years, I literally couldn't put this book down! I think I finished it in 2.5 days! A novel about family, step-parenting, and blended families, the protagonist, Andi, is happily married to Ethan at age 37, who came complete with two stepdaughters. Unfortunately the older daughter, Emily, hates Andi for coming between her and her father. Everyone tiptoes around, fearing Emily's changeable, mercuric mood swings and tantrums, as she tries her best to split the family up. This book presents a roller coaster of ups and downs in the family dynamic.


Around the World in a Bad Mood! : Confessions of a Flight Attendant
Around the World in a Bad Mood! : Confessions of a Flight Attendant
Author: Rene Foss
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 38
Review Date: 8/19/2012


While having some humorous anecdotes, this stewardess for the fictional WAFTI airlines has a poor attitude and it definitely shows. Plus, her life's many details are just.....boring! Too bad, because flight attendant memoirs are usually such a fun read!


The Art of Greek Cookery
The Art of Greek Cookery
Author: The Women of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/26/2008


This is a great cookbook for Greek cooking. My copy has been used so many times I'm trying to locate a replacement copy! There is a preface by Craig Claiborne and several chapters about Greek customs, traditions, religious holidays, wines and also a glossary. The recipes for pastitsio (Greek lasagne) and tsoureki (Greek Easter bread) can't be beat. I even have some tsourekia in the oven right now which made me want to put the book on my Wish List. I need a new copy!


Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever: The Making of a Happy Woman
Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever: The Making of a Happy Woman
Author: Judy Sheindlin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 2/6/2008


Words of wisdom from the lovable and acerbic Judge Judy. Self-help for women who want to find happiness and have it all. Interspersed with stories about her own marriage and court cases.


Black Friday
Black Friday
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: School Library Binding
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 12/20/2008


Long before 9/11, James Patterson wrote a thriller in which a para-military terrorist group bombed New York's stock market. There are ex-military characters, people in high places, drug dealers, CIA operatives and others - half working to solve the case and the others working to perpetuate it and continue the terrorist acts. Originally published as Black Market in 1986, you have to wonder if anyone involved in 9/11 had ever seen this book, because some of the ideas are similar. Scary thought!


Black Ice (Ice, Bk 1)
Black Ice (Ice, Bk 1)
Author: Anne Stuart
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 374
Review Date: 6/27/2010


I used to love novels of romantic suspense when I was in high school. Things have really changed a lot since then! This story, set in France, is about a translator (young American damsel-in-distress) who is roped into translating at a mysterious business conference in a French chateau for the weekend. Things are not what they seem, and the group is really a group of international arms dealers who are ruthless killers and assassins. The hero, mysterious Bastien Toussaint, is also a paid hit-man for a rival group ("the Committee"). Once our heroine, Chloe, discovers what's afoot, she becomes the target of many assassins. Bastien, in between steamy sex scenes, tries to rescue Chloe from these ruthless caricatures of characters. The plot makes no sense. Why is everyone determined to kill Chloe? She really has no knowledge of what is going on. Why is Bastien, Mr. Ruthless macho-man heartless assassin, so willing to risk everything to keep Chloe safe? The plot is ludicrous, the sex super-steamy, but it's all totally unconvincing, in my opinion. This is the first in a series of 5 formulaic novels of "romantic suspense."


Black Order (Sigma Force, Bk 3)
Black Order (Sigma Force, Bk 3)
Author: James Rollins
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 429
Review Date: 6/21/2009


Action packed adventure with many exotic locations such as Copenhagen, Nepal, and S. Africa. Sigma Force under Gray Pierce investigates the origins of evolution in this exciting, if a little far-fetched, novel. Cussler and Ludlum fans will adore this book!


Bond Girl: A Novel
Bond Girl: A Novel
Author: Erin Duffy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 7/20/2013


This was the best novel I've read in a long time- interesting and laugh-out-loud funny! Alex Garrett is 22 and fresh out of college when she gets a job trading bonds at a big Wall Street firm two years prior to the financial meltdown of 2008. She learns her way through the pitfalls of being a newbie and a female in a sea of men! A terrific novel full of funny characters. I couldn't put it down!


Bury the Lead (Andy Carpenter, Bk 3)
Bury the Lead (Andy Carpenter, Bk 3)
Author: David Rosenfelt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 12/22/2014


Andy Carpenter is a wise-cracking defense attorney who takes on cases to defend hopeless cases- where the prosecution has mountains of evidence, and have their cases already won before even entering the courtroom. The humorous quips and comments that Andy makes in all situations has the reader laughing out loud, frequently. However, this 3rd novel in the series makes the premise seem a bit formulaic. How will Andy get his seemingly guilty client off the hook? The quips and wry observations occur much less frequently, and some of the fun has left the series for me. The ending was definitely a surprise, though, but many minor characters seem to take on more significance in the resolution of the crimes. I think I'll take a short rest from the series, in the hopes that the next volume will seem fresh again after a breather.


Carnal Curiosity (Stone Barrington, Bk 29)
Carnal Curiosity (Stone Barrington, Bk 29)
Author: Stuart Woods
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 1/21/2017


Probably the worst book in the Stone Barrington series, bar none. Insipid plot, with Stone bedding every female in sight, no character or plot development, none of the usual wit or interesting characters. This one was obviously a place filler, just to keep the books coming. Shame on you, Stuart Woods, for writing this characterless drivel. Terrible!


Carpool Diem
Carpool Diem
Author: Nancy Star
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 6/28/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This book was surprisingly unpredictable, fast-paced, and hilarious! Annie Fleming must transition from the corporate world to soccer-mom-land fast and with a quick learning curve. She changes radically in the novel, in a good way, with some very funny, unpredictable events along the way. Highly recommended!


Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, Bk 1)
Case Histories (Jackson Brodie, Bk 1)
Author: Kate Atkinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 546
Review Date: 10/13/2013
Helpful Score: 1


I loved the cleverness and wry observations in this book; however the format may not appeal to some readers. This is a mystery story with 5 seemingly unrelated cases spanning 4 decades which are eventually linked together by one private investigator named Jackson Brodie. The cases are told out of order and seem to be random crimes, mainly about missing or murdered persons. The author's funny, quirky style often made me laugh out loud, even though the main crux of the story is some rather gruesome crimes.


Children in the Holocaust and World War II : Their Secret Diaries
Children in the Holocaust and World War II : Their Secret Diaries
Author: Laurel Holliday
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 3/31/2009


Excerpts from the diaries of 23 children during WWII and the atrocities of the Holocaust. This book is both moving and horrifying. Each excerpt has an introduction which included information about the author- age, nationality, and fate during the war. Some of these are quite varied and unfailingly dramatic. A must-read for anyone who studies the Holocaust. This book is lengthy (over 400 pages) with varying writing styles. One of the most comprehensive anthologies of its type that I've read.


The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival
Review Date: 11/2/2008
Helpful Score: 2


This was an extremely memorable and well-written Holocaust story from a point of view not often described. Lisa Jura was one of the 10,000 German, Austrian, Polish and other Jewish children sent to England on the Kindertransport, to escape from the onslaught of the Nazi regime and the (at that time) unimagined horrors of World War II that were to come. The children were given lodging at various hostels, and put to work to earn their keep as nannies, maids, and in factories. Lisa Jura had been learning piano during her former life in Vienna, and started secretly using the piano in the hostel when she could. Her talent for piano was discovered, and she was awarded a scholarship to the London Academy of Music, and went on to become a world-renowned concert pianist. The story is told with pathos, humour and charm, by Lisa Jura's daughter, Mona Golabek, also a concert pianist. I usually read Holocaust memoirs at the same time while reading other books, but I can truthfully say, once I started this book, I could not put it down. I highly recommend it.


The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival
Review Date: 11/4/2008


This was an extremely memorable and well-written Holocaust story from a point of view not often described. Lisa Jura was one of the 10,000 German, Austrian, Polish and other Jewish children sent to England on the Kindertransport, to escape from the onslaught of the Nazi regime and the (at that time) unimagined horrors of World War II that were to come. The children were given lodging at various hostels, and put to work to earn their keep as nannies, maids, and in factories. Lisa Jura had been learning piano during her former life in Vienna, and started secretly using the piano in the hostel when she could. Her talent for piano was discovered, and she was awarded a scholarship to the London Academy of Music, and went on to become a world-renowned concert pianist. The story is told with pathos, humour and charm, by Lisa Jura's daughter, Mona Golabek, also a concert pianist. I usually read Holocaust memoirs at the same time while reading other books, but I can truthfully say, once I started this book, I could not put it down. I highly recommend it.


The Cranes Dance (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
The Cranes Dance (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
Author: Meg Howrey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 10/18/2015
Helpful Score: 7


The world of prima ballerinas is a mysterious one that few of us can ever hope to understand. This fascinating look into their rarefied world of discipline, ritual, superstition, practice,and rivalry is an eye-opener, as we follow the careers of Kate and Gwen Crane, two exceptional ballerinas as they perform for a major New York ballet company. Gwen, the younger, technically gifted sister, suffers some sort of nervous breakdown, and goes home to Michigan to recuperate. Kate is left to pick up the pieces, and go on in a career which had been eclipsed somewhat by her amazing, but unstable, younger sister. The bonds of sisterhood, rivalry, and mental illness are threads throughout this fascinating story. There are some dark moments about mental illness, but the ending is satisfying and hard to put down.


Cross Country (Alex Cross, Bk 14)
Cross Country (Alex Cross, Bk 14)
Author: James Patterson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 431
Review Date: 10/15/2011


While this novel was my least favorite book in the Alex Cross series, due to the violence portrayed in Washington, DC and in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Darfur, I truly couldn't put it down! This time Mr. Patterson really wrote a thriller! When an old acquaintance of Alex and her entire family are slaughtered, a bloodthirsty mercenary with a gang of boy-killers is suspected. "The Tiger" is a ruthless killer with no emotion as he unleashes his gang of little boy- throwaway boy-pre-teen killers upon any targets he is paid to eliminate. Alex Cross is led to Africa o investigate, where he is immediately pursued/imprisoned/tortured/beaten, etc until the "CIA" contact for the area intervenes. Without knowing whom to trust or turn to for help, the situation quickly becomes dire. I was literally unable to stop reading this book until 2:00 a.m. until I finished it.


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