EJ V. - Reviews

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The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 977
Review Date: 7/11/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I was reluctant to read this book, but it was a pick of one of the members in my book club. Reading a book narrated by a dog, seemed it would be a little odd and I am not really into race car driving. Loved this book! It was quite sad, but filled with insights and acknowledgment of the complexities of the human experience. There were also moments that made me smile, even laugh. At times, Enzo, the dog, had far better clarity than I may have had in similar situations. I found it to be a fast read and even learned something about race car driving. This book is one I definitely recommend.


The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 1/19/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Toni Morrison is a truly great writer. As is true for most of her books, the story was dark at times and there were parts where Morrison did ramble. However, that did not distract from the potent, realistic, and raw realities of American culture and the African-American experience portrayed in the story. The story leaves a sour taste in your mouth; regardless, I was glad to have taken the opportunity to read such a remarkable book.


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 293
Review Date: 9/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a wonderful story. Sad and hard to read at times, but Zusak tells a great tale in a unique and gripping way. I highly recommend the book!


Can You Keep a Secret?
Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 682
Review Date: 8/8/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Surprisingly, I could not put this book down. It was a fun and hilarious read. Although, I did not agree with all of the main characters actions and values; the way she was portrayed made it feel like I had known her a long time and there were moments when I felt quite empathetic toward this fictional character. I appreciated how real the character seemed. It was a great book, that I recommend!


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4388
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The book definitely gave me some perspective on workings of the autistic mind, which at some points was hard for me to just be okay with reading. It was a short story, so I read it in its entirety, but it did lose my interest toward the end. I was more interested in the narration and thought process then the actual suspense of the mystery.


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Review Date: 6/19/2009


I can not even finish the book. Who cares about your internal struggle from having it all to finding the perfect love. If you have taken the time to live your life and be comfortable with transition and who you are this book will not speak to you. However, if you lived the life you thought you were suppose to or that your parents wanted you to live and you are still unsure who you are and what you want, maybe this book will inspire.


Fall on Your Knees
Fall on Your Knees
Author: Ann-Marie MacDonald
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 502
Review Date: 8/1/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The story was dynamic, interesting and enchanting. At times it got a little long, but it never occurred to me to put it down and walk away. As the story explores four generations of this family, it made me think of my own family and appreciate our dysfunction as far less complicated than the characters. I liked the way in which the author told the story and described Cape Breton. Just beautiful!


Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1)
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1)
Author: E. L. James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1047
Review Date: 3/14/2015


This trilogy is a train wreck. Poorly written and at times you have to just tell yourself that it is trashy and light, so do not over think it because if you do, you will find the holes in the storyline. All that said, I was horrified that I could not stop reading the book. At least it was easy to read because I read all 1600 pages of the trilogy in the matter of days.

If you decide to read it, I apologize and recommend that you stay the distance even though the whole book must be the same cycle of violence on replay over 50 times. At least when at the end, it feels like you accomplished something while horrified that you stayed with it.

My belief is that woman are not entranced by the intimate partner abuse and pedophilia that the media mentions, but the idea that a man can and wants to change. Again, horrified and unable to stop reading.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2511
Review Date: 7/16/2009


I really enjoyed this book and found it so easy to read. It made me think a lot about life and death and how things are connected. I have found myself referencing lessons I took away from the book when in conversations with friends. I highly recommend the book.


For One More Day
For One More Day
Author: Mitch Albom
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 721
Review Date: 6/19/2009


Great, easy, fast summer read! Highly recommend the book!


Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
Funny in Farsi : A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America
Author: Firoozeh Dumas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 108
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This is a funny and fun read. It follows the main character through the 70s as a child observing her family as they acclimate to American culture up through the beginning of the 21st century when the narrator is a young adult. It reminds of of the nuances of American pop culture and allows the reader to appreciate all that makes America the country that it is for all it's good and not so good. I recommend the book, especially for those readers looking for something light and fun.


Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1447
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a wonderful story. It seemed simple yet complex and easy to relate with the characters. A great summer read that I highly recommend.


The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3374
Review Date: 7/10/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a fun story, but it is important to remember it is a memoir and not a biography. I found myself becoming quite emphatic for the protagonist - at times being frustrated and other times getting excited with her.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 1365
Review Date: 2/6/2015


This book is a lot of fun. I really got into it and found myself wanting to read more. But that is why i am even more disappointed that the ending seemed wrapped up too quickly and easily. It is still a great read, but the ending did seem like an easy way for the author to find a finish.


The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 726
Review Date: 7/10/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed this book. It took me a while to get past the vagueness and just accept reading it for what it was, but it was worth it. As the narrator revealed her story and shared more and more - the more I appreciated the way the book was written.


How to Be Lost
How to Be Lost
Author: Amanda Eyre Ward
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 550
Review Date: 10/22/2009


The book was easy to read and as a result I finished it, but I found it hard to relate to the characters. At times it was awkward to read about their social quirks, that were due to their experiences, but still not comfortable. By the end I cruised through the book and found myself relaxing into the story. It was worth it to keep reading.


The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5695
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This is book is phenomenal. I was sad to have the story end. Usually, I would have not given this book a chance, but I highly recommend it to anyone!


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3362
Review Date: 6/19/2009


I loved this book! It is fantastic. A great summer read that you will not be able to put down. Read with no expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised.


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2246
Review Date: 9/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This book had many elements of a good story; raw emotion and the quest to understand the human condition. At points it was hard for me to keep reading, but I am so glad that I finished the story.


Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha
Author: Arthur Golden
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 2666
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The story is well researched and as result it is easy to get lost in the life of the geisha and begin to empathize with the character. It is well written and I found it hard to put down the book to go about life.


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