Eleni S. - Reviews

1 to 17 of 17
The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
Author: Walter Moers, John Brownjohn (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 6/2/2011


It is a slightly odd book, but enjoyable none the less. Some parts do drag on, but the fantasy part of the book brings out your inner child and the whimsy of creating your own world and adventure.


The Distant Hours
The Distant Hours
Author: Kate Morton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 119
Review Date: 7/2/2012


I got absolutely hooked on Kate Morton after I read House at Riverton. She is one of those writers that you can't wait to read her next book. I love the way she switches between the past and present, giving you insight into each event. The Distant Hours is no different, Edie is a young editor who stumbles upon Milderhurst Castle, once home of Raymond Blythe, the man who wrote the book that made her passionate about reading. Unbeknownst to her though, she has her own bit of history wrapped up in the decaying walls that is home to the curious Blythe sisters, Raymond's three daughters. Edie begins to unravel the truth behind the walls, opening secrets not only from her family's past, but the tragic stories from World War II that have kept the Blythe sisters from moving on.
It is slow to start, but the ending is something you would not want to miss! A great summer read


The Forgotten Garden
The Forgotten Garden
Author: Kate Morton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 494
Review Date: 1/18/2012
Helpful Score: 3


Such a wonderful book, not what I would call a 'beach' read because the mood of it is more set to a rainy or snowy weekend, inside snuggled under the covers unfolding a mystery into the past. Morton is such a fantastic writer, characters come alive in your mind and the land in which they live settle around you. She seems to have an innate gift of using the overlapping timelines in history to lead the reader through the story she has created. I highly recommend this book, especially if you have a soft spot for history, both her books I've read use history in such a intriguing and lively way. Can't wait to start her next novel!


The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Gabriel Lacey, Bk 1)
The Hanover Square Affair (Captain Gabriel Lacey, Bk 1)
Author: Ashley Gardner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 7/15/2016


My impression after reading this book is a poor man's Sebastian St. Cyr (both literally and figuratively). There are too many parallels not to see the similarity between the two series: the main one being the main character's desire to see Justice (yes justice with a capital J) done especially after seeing too many horrors from the war.

However Hanover Square Affair doesn't have the same nuances, suspense, and historical intrigue that the Sebastian St. Cyr books have. That being said, it was an easy read, had some interesting bits. If you are looking for a Regency Era book, I would recommend reading the St. Cyr series by C.S. Harris. The history is much more prevalent, the characters are much more interesting, and the plots are more dynamic. If you've already read that series, and picked this up hoping for something similar, you might be a touch disappointed. It is interesting to compare and contrast the two though.


The Ice Cream Girls
The Ice Cream Girls
Author: Dorothy Koomson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/1/2013
Helpful Score: 1


This book was....I'm not really sure if I liked it or didn't - it wasn't a book that I made time for, or looked forward to reading at the end of the day, it was just kind of there. But when I was reading it, I kept getting sucked in and all of a sudden an hour or two had passed by. I don't really feel like the ending was as satisfying as I wish it was, and I think there are some interesting plot lines that could have been developed more, it was almost like there was too much of a focus on the main plot, which I know sounds weird and counter-intuitive for a novel, but the main plot has so many heavy themes - domestic violence, sexual predators, murder, controlling and manipulative relationships - it's a lot to handle. One thing I do think Koomson did an excellent job at is creating this complicated relationship between Poppy and Serena when they are younger, where they are close in so many ways but at the same time complete strangers. When they are older it isn't conveyed that well, which is unfortunate.


In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect
Review Date: 7/2/2012


I normally am a strictly Fiction girl, but this book was extremely fascinating. Some parts are bit technical, but overall it's an interesting look at the men in sunglasses. Not to mention hilarious bits on information about past presidents!


Keeping Faith
Keeping Faith
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 513
Review Date: 7/2/2012


Picoult does a good job on taking on the topic of religion and faith without being too alleluia preachy or cynical atheistic. Interesting novel that shows the mother daughter bond over three generations and the lengths that motherly love will go to protect her child.


The Lace Reader (Lace Reader, Bk 1)
The Lace Reader (Lace Reader, Bk 1)
Author: Brunonia Barry
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 225
Review Date: 6/2/2011
Helpful Score: 2


The ending was a bit confusing and it was hard to make sense of. I actually went back to certain parts of the book to re-read them so I could get what the author was trying to convey. Other than that, it's an engaging and interesting book. The characters, even minor ones, are well portrayed and the way Barry describes the town of Salem and the surroundings so well, a clear picture is drawn in your head. I think the realism Barry gives to characters and setting is the best part of the book. Even if the plot might seem bumpy and a bit improbable, it becomes believable in the circumstances.


March
March
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 521
Review Date: 7/4/2011


I had to read this book for summer reading in high school and I still remember it. March tells the story of the Father from Little Women. Brooks does a fantastic job of showing the devastating effects of the Civil War and the emotional tears it had on the individuals and their families. There are a few moments where the images are disturbing, but one of Brooks strength is the mental picture she creates and it is very touching and moving, especially in the scenes where Mrs. March visits her husband in DC. I am not a fan of Civil War novels, but this one is incredibly moving and I guarantee you won't see history the same way again (or Little Women). Also you do not have to have read Little Women to follow this novel.


Olive Kitteridge
Olive Kitteridge
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 884
Review Date: 8/10/2011


Olive Kitteridge is a very puzzling book to review. From a literary standpoint, this book soars above the rest. Strout's characters are fully formed and I could tell she spent a lot of time developing each character's growth and their plot. Her descriptions are vivid and you can truly picture each scene in your mind. Now from a reader's standpoint, the book was a bit hard to get through. Although admirable, the choice to use different characters viewpoints in each chapter, was somewhat of a hindrance. It becomes a bit overwhelming and I truly couldn't remember each character's individual story, which made later parts of the overall plot confusing as there were references to them. I also found it hard to grasp the true purpose and message of the book because it bounced between so many characters. It almost was more like a compilation of short stories inside a novel. The very last page of this book, though, is so touching and shows such a raw human emotion that I believe every person in the world can relate to. After reading that page, it was easy to look back at each story and see the common thread connecting them all. After saying all that, I would recommend this book for someone who really has the time to sit and read and digest the book; If you do not have that time, I would suggest you choose another book to get lost in.


Plain Truth
Plain Truth
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 650
Review Date: 7/2/2012


Another one of Picoult's best novels. She provides such a interesting and enlightening look into the Amish life. The tension she creates between the strict, traditional Amish values and modern American culture is really captivating. It's a pretty easy read, and the ending will have you slapping your head saying "Why didn't I see that earlier!" A great read, I highly recommend it


A Rather Lovely Inheritance (Rather, Bk 1)
A Rather Lovely Inheritance (Rather, Bk 1)
Author: C. A. Belmond
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 8/1/2015
Helpful Score: 1


Overall impression...meh. Interesting story, has some good moments, but I didn't feel like anything was "real." And before anyone gets on me about it being a work of fiction, I know that, I guess so it's more the fact that it didn't really draw me into the story, get invested in the characters, or feel like hey I know someone like Penny, overall the characters were a bit static. What also killed it for me a little was it went about 2-3 chapters (I can't quite remember) too long. There was a great ending, but then the author continued the story with stuff that I saw as unnecessary and didn't contribute to the story arc at all.
If you have some time to kill and nothing else laying around, it'll work.


The Scandal of the Season
The Scandal of the Season
Author: Sophie Gee
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 10/20/2012


Such an interesting book. I remember reading The Rape of Lock in high school and was totally uninterested in it. After reading it, I wanted to pull out my old English book and do it all over! Gee does a great job of integrating fiction and history. If you like literature, and historical fiction, I would definitely recommend this book.


Second Glance
Second Glance
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 379
Review Date: 7/2/2012


probably one of my favorite Picoult novels. It is definitely a lot different than her other novels, in many of her other books, the controversial issue she is addresses is right upfront, whereas this one is more in the back seat to the narrative, but still very compelling. She definitely did her research with this one, I learned so much about the eugenics movement in the 1920's and 30s and the way she compares it with today's human genetic engineering with embryos is absolutely brilliant. The ending does make you go "oh come on really, you're going go with that?" But overall it is wonderful how she intertwines the stories between the two different decades. I do agree that it is a bit confusing at first, bouncing back and forth between time periods can do that, but stick with it! You won't regret it!


The Secret Keeper
The Secret Keeper
Author: Kate Morton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 78
Review Date: 8/1/2015


I love Kate Morton. The way she weaves history into her stories is masterful. Her characters are truly one of a kind as well. I don't want to say too much about why I loved this book for fear of ruining the surprise. If you liked her other books, you will definitely like the Secret Keeper.


Sex with the Queen : 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics
Review Date: 3/19/2017


Very well written and extremely fascinating. Herman does a wonderful job detailing the lives and liaisons of Europe's queens. Her writing is vivid and really paints a picture of what it was like in these royal courts.


The Tenth Circle
The Tenth Circle
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1422
Review Date: 7/2/2012


Definitely not my favorite Picoult novel. It's hard to describe exactly what about it made me dislike it, maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea. I feel like she almost takes on too many issues to address- rape, adultery, suicide, cutting, family issues, etc. It's not a happy book at all, very depressing material. It was interesting how she tried to incorporate Dante's Inferno into the novel's plot, but while the idea of using a graphic novel is interesting and creative, I don't think it was all that successful. I would hope that this doesn't turn off some new Picoult fans to her writing as I have enjoyed so many of her other books.


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