Michelle M. (jade19721) - Reviews

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13 1/2
13 1/2
Author: Nevada Barr
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 9/20/2012


If it was not from the library I would throw it in the goats pen and let them go to town. I'm sad to see trees were destroyed to publish this garbage. Although murder mystery/psychological thrillers are not my usual forte, I do from time to time get a hankering to read one. There are so many out there that trying to find something that has not "been there and done that before" is quite difficult. I chose this because the first 10-15 pages I read sounded really good. Around page 75 it started to go downhill. By 125 I was wondering what I was doing still reading this. I hoped it would get better, but by 150 I was cursing myself, but decided to try and give the rest of it a chance hoping a suprise would come out of left field and knock me for a loop.

Not only has this book "been there and done that" it was done in a way where it was horribly written. Beyond boring is what I would classify this as. The plot was incredibly predictable even though it seemed to be missing huge chunks of information to the story. The end seemed to be written hastily as if the author was bored to tears herself and decided to go ahead and hurry things up. Such a dissapointment, I'm not sure I will try this author again.


The 5th Wave (5th Wave, Bk 1)
The 5th Wave (5th Wave, Bk 1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 51
Review Date: 6/19/2013
Helpful Score: 3


If you only pick up one book this year, make it this one. I'm not even sure I can exactly explain to you why. Saying it's an excellent read is not enough. It has everything I enjoy in a dystopian/apocalyptic novel. I was really blown away by everything. As I'm reading half the time I'm saying, "Wow, I didn't see that coming" or "You have got to be kidding me". It's suspenseful and exciting. The 5th Wave is one of those books that grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go. I can't wait for book 2.


After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses
After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses
Author: Edwin Murphy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 4/25/2013


After the funeral is not a bad book per se it's just that at times it can be a tedious because it was not very well written in my opinion. The book does not flow and it seems choppy. If you can deal with that than I guess you are ok. The subject matter is quite interesting. You would think that once someone is dead than thats it. They lay the body to rest sccording to the wishes of the deceased or the deceased's family and that is the end of things. Well you would be suprised at what some people will do to a dead body especially if they are famous or it means extra money. Some of the stories kinda gave me a chuckle considering what these people did. Here are a few examples: Writer Mary Shelley buried her husband, but kept his heart with her. Oliver Cromwell, who was not very well liked, was laid to rest in 1658. His enemies and those that despised him decided in 1661 that it was time to exhume his body and punish him the way he should have been punished before he died. First they hung the corpse and left it there for several hours. Next they cut off his head and then paraded the corpse around town. I guess that will teach Ollie the next time around. If you are one of those people that like the odd trivia or like to wander the cemetries in search of famous graves than this is the book for you.


After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, Bk 7)
After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, Bk 7)
Author: Linda Castillo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 1/12/2016


Oh Kate! Can I seriously kick you in the ass? Why must you try and sabotage your relationship with John. I'm rooting for the two of you, but you both seem to need some serious couples counseling because you are both stubborn as hell and relationship shy. Just Stop it for crying out loud. Your killing me here.

I absolutely love this series despite Kate being a huge pain in the ass. Linda Castillo outdid herself on this one. I honestly found this to be the best one in the series. After a tornado sweeps through Painter Mills a set of bones are unearthed by some boy scouts picking up some trash near an old barn. Kate must find who the bones belong to, how they got there, and when they got there while she battles her own personal and job issues. Although I was quick to guess the who done it part I still enjoyed the writing and what happens in between.


Angels and Heroes: True Stories from the Front Line
Angels and Heroes: True Stories from the Front Line
Author: Robert D. Lesslie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 2/24/2013


I expected more out of this book than what I got. A few of the stories were exciting, but many of them were pretty ho-hum. Before anyone goes cra-cra on me I want to make it clear that I have the upmost respect for these individuals in the book who are/were constantly on the front line in whatever profession they are in, it's the writing that I was not that crazy about.


Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, Bk 1)
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, Bk 1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 6/6/2013


I found Anna in Blood to have a very interesting plot. I like the idea of a ghost slayer and I like it being told from a male POV. However I was not entirely convinced that Cas was written like he could have been. I sometimes get all up in arms when a male author tries to write a female character and fails miserably. I get the same way when a female author tries to write a male character and either fails or is not entirely convincing. In my opinion Cas should have been a bit more of a bad ass considering what he was. Instead I think he was a bit too soft around the edges.

I like the fact that a 2nd book was written to explore more of Anna and Cas's "relationship". I'm curious if it's possible for them to have one and if so how the author is going to play it out.

As for the other characters I really do like them and how they are written. I hope the 2nd book explores more of Gideon and what role he plays.

All in all it's a fun read and it's quick.


Beauty Queen
Beauty Queen
Author: Linda Glovach
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 2/6/2013


This is a very hard book to rate because I am on the fence about it. I liked the story, but I absolutlet hated every single character except for the 2 cats, Dinah & Sylvester. I know that is very strange, but every character in this book pissed me off with their crap excuses. The main character was dumber than a box of rocks, her best friend was in denial, her mother was a drunk who had taken up with a perv, her boss ignored the bad stuff going on, her boyfriend was a POS, and the one person I almost liked, Angelo, did not do enough to save Sam who was the main character. Sam did nothing to help herself. I personally thought she was an over indulged spoiled brat who wanted the easy life, but didn't think she had to work hard to get it. She had the resources to make something of herself and avoid the path she went down, but her motivation to do so was not there. Ughhhh....even talking about it makes me mad.

I won't give anything else away, but expect to either be quite angry or quite sad. The story is told in diary format like the book, Go Ask Alice. It's easy to read and with only 168 pages long you can probably breeze right on through it in a day. (less)


Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors
Author: Jenny Tomlin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 4/25/2013
Helpful Score: 3


It is hard to fathom how a parent could inflict any kind of abuse onto their child especially any kind of sexual abuse. This is what Jenny and her sisters endured from the time she was 4 till she was old enough to fight off her father. The rest of her living situation was no better. The father beat the mother and the mother did nothing. They lived in squalor. The house was never cleaned and they had very little to eat. Her father faked whatever disability he could to avoid having to work and all he did was sit and watch the TV when he was not beating his wife or the kids. This story broke my heart. At times I just wanted to reach through the book and squeeze the life out of that bastard. When he got sick of looking at the kids he would have his wife take the kids and drop them off with Auntie (his wife's aunt) for weeks at a time. Auntie was the best thing for those kids because she actually took care of them and showed them the love and support that they needed. Such a sad book., but I highly reccommend it.


Between Shades of Gray
Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 4/18/2013
Helpful Score: 5


I had to sit and think about what I wanted to write for a day before I actually tried to write this review. I am familiar with most of what happened during the era this book was set in, but I will have to admit that I knew absolutley nothing of what Russia did to those from Lithuania and the other Baltic States. It was absolutley horrifying how these people were treated. I will never be able to understand how another human being can treat another human being like they are nothing more than a common insect. I can't even fathom the scope of atrocities these people suffered at the hands of those who wanted to extinguish them from existance.

The book was quite captivating and held my intrest. The only thing I did not like was the ending. I really wanted to know more on how she got out of the camp and how she got back in touch with Andrius. I felt it lacked complete closure.


The Birth House
The Birth House
Author: Ami McKay
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 158
Review Date: 7/6/2013


I found this book really easy to get into. I love historical fiction especially set in the turn of the century when women were fighting for their rights to vote and the ability to make choices regarding their own bodies.

The Birth House covers a variety of women's issues from the turn of the century. When you read this book you have to forget everything you know and put yourself into the mindset of a woman from the turn of the century living in a rural tight knit community.


Bold Spirit : Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America
Review Date: 1/23/2013
Helpful Score: 2


I won't go over the plot again because you can just read above what the book is about. What I do want to say about this book is that Helga Estby and her daughter Clara are two of the most inspirational women ever. I don't really care what the norm was at that time, I don't think most men would have been able to do what she and Clara did. What better motivation than to do this than to try and save the family farm which she and her husband had worked so hard for.The ending was a bit tough considering how her family treated her when she came back and for years later. If not for her daughter in law this story might never have been remembered because her family was incredibly angry with Helga and did not like to let her talk about the trip. The book also touches on important topics of that day such as women's rights, women's health, politics,destitute families in the big cities, and issues related to workers and their need for better rights. I highly recommend for everyone!


Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, Bk 3)
Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, Bk 3)
Author: Linda Castillo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 7/27/2013


This is book 3 in the Kate Burkholder series. If you haven't read the first 2 yet I suggest you do. If you don't you won't be able to really understand the dynamics or anything else that goes on or understand why Kate and the rest of the characters do what they do. One of the first things you have to understand is that you can't lump all Amish into the same group. They have many different sects and they range from the old order to the more modern. I would even suggest you go as far as to read a little something about the religion before even commenting.

Now that my little rant is over I have to admit that book 3 is the weakest of the series and is not my favorite. It was good, but the excitement that I saw in book 1 & 2 is really not there. Either I'm getting good at guessing who did it or the author didn't really bother to make this much of a mystery. I pretty much had it figured out right in the beginning. Another thing I would suggest to the readers is that if you have a problem with taboo issues, you should on this one. The main character, Kate, seems to be falling down a black hole. Not a literal black hole, but an emotional one that she is going to have some serious issues getting out of. I would have assumed that as time goes on she would grow. That does not seem to be the case with Kate. She is letting her past rule her future. It's a slippery slope that she headed down and she doesn't seem to care. She seemed so strong in the beginning and now she just seems whiny and pathetic with no clear direction of which way she is headed.


Burial Rites: A Novel
Burial Rites: A Novel
Author: Hannah Kent
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 9/30/2013


finished this several days ago and I am still at a lost for words. I give it 5 stars because of the remarkable writing and Hannah Kent ability to bring Agnes to life and to give this woman a voice when no one else would. This book is not for the faint hearted, nor is it for those that are seeking a happy go lucky ending. This is the story of a woman who didn't have a chance at having a good life from the moment she was born. Although life was hard for those in Northern Iceland in the early 1800's but if you were born into the world where your mother was a servant and the identity of your real father was hidden you didn't have a chance in hell of making it. Agnes suffered one hardship after another until she was taken in as a housekeeper for a man who was considered a bit mad in the community. Eventually this relationship went sour due to his madness and any chance Agnes might have had ended in one brutal night. By the weeks end she would be arrested for murder along with 2 others and she would eventually be executed by beheading.

Agnes is sent to live with a farming family to await her execution and while there we are able to finally learn of her hardships as she tells the tale to the priest who is there to help save her soul and the family she is staying with.

Don't look for a happy ending. This story is based on a true story. Agnes was the last person to have been executed in Iceland. This is a remarkable story about a piece of history that not many know about. I highly recommend.


Burial Rites: A Novel
Burial Rites: A Novel
Author: Hannah Kent
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 9/30/2013


finished this several days ago and I am still at a lost for words. I give it 5 stars because of the remarkable writing and Hannah Kent ability to bring Agnes to life and to give this woman a voice when no one else would. This book is not for the faint hearted, nor is it for those that are seeking a happy go lucky ending. This is the story of a woman who didn't have a chance at having a good life from the moment she was born. Although life was hard for those in Northern Iceland in the early 1800's but if you were born into the world where your mother was a servant and the identity of your real father was hidden you didn't have a chance in hell of making it. Agnes suffered one hardship after another until she was taken in as a housekeeper for a man who was considered a bit mad in the community. Eventually this relationship went sour due to his madness and any chance Agnes might have had ended in one brutal night. By the weeks end she would be arrested for murder along with 2 others and she would eventually be executed by beheading.

Agnes is sent to live with a farming family to await her execution and while there we are able to finally learn of her hardships as she tells the tale to the priest who is there to help save her soul and the family she is staying with.

Don't look for a happy ending. This story is based on a true story. Agnes was the last person to have been executed in Iceland. This is a remarkable story about a piece of history that not many know about. I highly recommend.


Cane River
Cane River
Author: Lalita Tademy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 199
Review Date: 4/26/2013


The author of the book was Vice President of Sun Microsystems when she decided to quit her job and research her family history. That research took her to Louisiana along the Cane River where she traced her family back to the beginning of 1799. Although part of the book is historical fiction quite a bit of it was based on information that she found during her research. The book covers 4 generation of women starting with Elizabeth who was born in 1799 into slavery. Suzette her youngest daughter who bore her first child at the tender age of 14 after being raped by a friend of her master. Suzette's strong willed daughter, Philomene who found a way to get what she wanted from another slave master and finally her daughter Emily who was the only one who did not have to go through the hardship of slavery.

At times this was quite heartbreaking reading what these women went through, but all 4 of them did not let the current situation they were in keep them from what they really needed or wanted. These were some of the strongest women ever. Anyone who is intrested in family history or genealogy I would highly recommend.


A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive
A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive
Author: Dave Pelzer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1950
Review Date: 6/16/2013


Never have I read a book, finished it, and had so many unanswered questions. I know in the back of the book the author states that many answers will be revealed in the following books, but I wonder if my questions will be answered. It's not that I think he's lying, but many statements in the book don't sit right with me. For a memoir, I don't see much emotion throughout the book. It's very flat language that reads like stereo instructions. The word usage also seems flat like he is talking about someone from another country. Mother, Father, Grandmother...who talks like that? I've read some of the controversy about this book and I'm not ready to dismiss what happened to this man as a falsehood like so many have done. I was not going to read the other books in the series, but with so many unanswered questions I think I will.


The Children's Blizzard
The Children's Blizzard
Author: David Laskin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 118
Review Date: 3/14/2013


This is one of the saddest books I have ever encountered. I could not imagine what these people went through during that blizzard in 1888. I cried when reading parts of it. This is definatly a must read if you are intrested in Amaerican history. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because several chapters talked about meterology. I thought that without some sort of flow chart or map it's very hard to understand the conditions in how the blizzard started unless you are a student of meterology. It was a lot of information to try and understand.


Church of Lies (Us Paperback)
Church of Lies (Us Paperback)
Author: Flora Jessop
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 4/25/2013


This one was another one about the FLDS. This one is told by Flora Jessop and goes into a lot more detail about the abuse that she suffered by member of the FLDS including her own father who raped and molested her repeatedly. After she finally escaped from the FLDS she spent many years not living her life any better. She was into drugs, had no stable home life and moved around alot. At one time she even danced in a topless bar. She eventually got her life together and she started helping out those that ran away from the FLDS. So far this one has been my favorite that I have read on the FLDS. There is just something about Flora that makes you wanna look her up and say, "What can I do to help out?"


City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Bk 1)
City of Bones (Mortal Instruments, Bk 1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 644
Review Date: 4/21/2013


Ok I admit it, I drank the City of Bones Kool-Aid and I liked it.

Is this book the most outstanding piece of literature to cross my path in all my years? Hell no

Has the concept of the story been done before? Why yes, yes it has. A young teen all of a sudden discovers that they are something they did not know they were before..Can you say Buffy, Twillight, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and a bout a hundred others.

Did I like the writing? Not really. I almost gave up within the first 20 pages because it sounded like it had been written by a 12 year old.

So why you ask am do I like it ( or not asked, but I'm going to tell you anyways)?

Despite all the issues I found with the book, I did find the book enjoyable. It was an easy read, I like the concept of the main character discovering something very different about themselves, and I like how it played out. It really was not boring, it had a lot of action, and the characters spoke like their age. There was even a little bit of some angsty teenage romance that reminded me of myself when I was that age.

My favorite character out of the story...Jace. Yes folks i very much liked him. I never thought he was an ass or a jerk. A smart ass perhaps, but so am I and I have always loved other smart asses as well. I feel kinda sorry for the poor guy. He did'nt have the most normal childhood. So I kinda have to give him some slack for some of his attitude. hey it could be worse, he could have turned out like Jeffrey Dahmer.

So..I can't wait to read the other books in this series. Yes I know, roll your eyes & shake your head at me. I can deal with it!


City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments, Bk 5)
City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments, Bk 5)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 5/20/2013


After reading this I think the title should be changed to City of Horny Teenagers.

"Hey honey, a demon war is upon us. What do you say we go make out."

I'm thinking a little less of the "hey I wanna go rip your clothes off and do you" and more of the " Let's kick some demon ass and put an end to this" probably would have been a lot better. Now don't get me wrong, I do like a bit of some romance going on in my books, but honestly when it takes over the main story it makes me want to toss my breakfast. I really do hope Jace and Clary finally get it on in the last book and I hope they do it in the beginning because I really do not want to have to go through another 500 pages of the "Yes I want to, but I want to make sure Jace is Jace". In fact I hope everyone gets a little in the first part of the book so we can get on with the rest of the story. I want to see a little more demon ass kicking going on.

Now that I got my gripe out of the way, I believe I can carry on with the rest of the review. In my reviews of the previous books I complained about the writing and how immature it seemed. I do have to say that it has been improving steadily since book 3. I'm a bit more happier that I don't feel like I'm reading a short story created by a 12 year old. The problems that the characters are getting into or out of seem a bit more mature than the beginning. I'm quite happy to see the clan growing up (sniff..sniff). Clary still is a bit reckless, but I can understand that a bit more considering she was raised by Jocelyn. It's always better to tell your kids the truth instead of hiding it from them.

I can't wait to see how the last book will play out


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