Tonya M. (heyteacher-tpm) - Reviews

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Angel Falls
Angel Falls
Author: Kristin Hannah
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 220
Review Date: 5/28/2009


This book, like the other Kristin Hannah books that I've read so far, was a really nice read. The characters were well developed and without being overly preachy or moralistic, Hannah allows the reader, along with the characters, to explore the various types of love. There is fierce parental protective love, the almost second-nature love of the married couple, and of course the violent, all-consuming first love. Hannah's writing is easy and relaxing to read, the emotional moments of the plot are not overly heavy-handed and the book overall was enjoyable to read. I would (and did!) recommend this to a friend.


Back When We Were Grownups
Back When We Were Grownups
Author: Anne Tyler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 252
Review Date: 10/18/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I just couldn't get into this one - beautiful descriptive writing but too slow for me. I gave up part-way through and didn't ever have the desire to finish! This was my first Anne Tyler book so maybe her slower style just wasn't for me.


The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Bonfire of the Vanities
Author: Tom Wolfe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 176
Review Date: 10/18/2009


I read this book the first time in high school as part of an extra credit project - I liked it them but freely admit I certainly didn't "get" most of it! Definitely a long read that is time-consuming, it is an interesting study of the 80s in New York City. I can't say that most of it is accurate as I have no idea, but it was an entertaining read with some social commentary that is unmistakable and some softer hints throughout.


The Book of Dave
The Book of Dave
Author: Will Self
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 10/18/2009


I heard about this book on NPR and simply had to have it - after weeks of talking about it, my best friend finally got it for me as an early birthday gift. I was so excited to read it, I prepared myself to do nothing else for an entire weekend.

But once I started it, I just felt like I was slogging through. The premise was so intriguing to me - Dave, an average London cabbie, is frustrated by just about everything in life and he keeps a diary of sorts. He buries it away and it is found 500 years later in a post-apocalypse England. The problems I had getting into it were due to the phonetically tuned writing, mostly, and the problem of keeping characters straight in my head. My attention would often wander, which is always a sign that I'm just not that into a book.

I'm sure if I could have managed to really delve into this book, I would have loved it. I have read and heard wonderful things about it - but it just wasn't for me. Someone with more time and perhaps more determination would probably really enjoy it.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 206
Review Date: 9/19/2010


I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was absorbed from the first line. The repetitive thoughts in Bruno's mind and the way that he doesn't know what's happening around him, but sticks to the strict guidelines of his very regulated family life makes you feel his childlike innocence, confusion and endless optimism. The son of a powerful soldier, Bruno seems to be very unaware of the conflict surrounding him, even as his family is moved to "the country" and he is given a tutor who succeeds in indoctrinating Bruno's older sister. Bruno lives in his own simple world of wishing to be an explorer and to tell any more of what his explorations bring him would rob you of the joy of reading the book and discovering Bruno's life along with him.

It is a stirring story, sad yet not depressing and full of emotional heft. I don't know that I would recommend it to a young child, but I think any teenager could benefit from reading it.


Cell
Cell
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 767
Review Date: 10/18/2009


A great King read - fast-paced, great inner and out-loud dialogue and (as always) that ever-present fear that is too crazy to be real but also just not-crazy enough to be creepy. Enjoyable main character and a very entertaining read.


The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh/WTP
The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh/WTP
Author: A. A. Milne
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 5/19/2014
Helpful Score: 1


What a lovely set of stories! For any fan of classic kid's stories, and especially any fan of Winnie the Pooh, this is a must-have. The pictures are gorgeous and detailed, full-color, and overall it is a beautiful text. The stories are a delight as well - reading it transported me back to being a kid again! I'm so looking forward to sharing these stories with the next generation in my house - gently, lovely, and timeless.


The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 861
Review Date: 10/18/2009


I couldn't get into this one - I probably read about half of it then saw the movie and never had any desire to finish it. More "grown-up" that many of the chick-lit books, which I don't really mean as a compliment as it was not any more fun to read.


Dr. Death (Alex Delaware, Bk 14)
Dr. Death (Alex Delaware, Bk 14)
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 247
Review Date: 6/5/2009


The exact details of this particular book, 14th in the Dr. Delaware series, are a bit sketchy for me now, a year or so after reading it. I can definitely say that it was a good read, classic Jonathan Kellerman and Dr. Delaware fans will enjoy it!


Dreaming in Black and White (Phoebe Grant, Bk 1)
Dreaming in Black and White (Phoebe Grant, Bk 1)
Author: Laura Jensen Walker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 73
Review Date: 7/22/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Exactly what I was looking for - fun chick-lit with a positive message!

This book is on the predictable side, but it's so much fun getting to the ending that you barely notice. The movie trivia is great, the characters are memorable, realistic and funny and the Christian themes aren't too preachy. I really enjoyed it!


Eleven on Top (Stephanie Plum, Bk 11)
Eleven on Top (Stephanie Plum, Bk 11)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 946
Review Date: 10/18/2009


Classic Plum! A great quick read full of the typical humor, crazy situations and of course all the tension with Stephanie and her men. I don't think Evanovich has lost any steam in writing this series - although I can't say it is an original story, it is still so much fun to read that it doesn't really matter!


The Englishman's Boy : A Novel
The Englishman's Boy : A Novel
Author: Guy Vanderhaeghe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 10/18/2009


In college, I took a Canadian fiction course and this book was one of our first requirements to read and discuss. I skimmed it rather quickly - and can't recall many details at all. It is about a cast and crew filming a Western movie in Canada, and there seemed to be lots of jumps between present day and past memories. I would give a better review if I could remember much at all about this book - but maybe that in itself is the best review I could give?


Everything's Eventual : 14 Dark Tales
Everything's Eventual : 14 Dark Tales
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 549
Review Date: 6/30/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I highly recommend this to anyone that likes Stephen King's work, and also to those that aren't so sure about him but want to give him a try. Like other reviewers have said, it's nice to get to read a short story by King once in awhile, to save the time of reading one of his novels.

The characters in each story are just SO good - that, to me, is King's strength beyond the creepy or supernatural. He develops characters that you feel like you know, so real that you could reach out and touch them. He doesn't need an entire novel to do that, either.

Some of the stories aren't top notch in here, but so much of it - as of everything - is preference. I personally loved all but 2 of them, and even those 2 are still better than some other short stories I've read.

If I could part with it, I'd post it here - but I just can't do it!


Fall on Your Knees
Fall on Your Knees
Author: Ann-Marie MacDonald
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 503
Review Date: 10/18/2009
Helpful Score: 1


A very good read - a big, sprawling family drama that has more than its fair share of secrets, lies and betrayals throughout. It was very funny at times, although it was really a pretty dark humor, and thought-provoking as well. Lots of cultural issues are presented through various interactions in the book but not shoved down your throat as the reader. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the "generational" family dramas a la Joyce Carol Oates.


Farm Fatale: A Comedy of Country Manors
Farm Fatale: A Comedy of Country Manors
Author: Wendy Holden
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 95
Review Date: 10/18/2009


A pretty funny book - a good quick weekend read when you've got nothing else to do. A bright young London couple goes off to the country and find themselves shocked by the conditions, the lifestyle and of course the people they meet. Definitely a classic fish-out-of-water tale, the main characters of Rosie and Mark don't handle change well and struggle to keep the relationship going in their "charming cottage." Enter a gruff and studly local farmer, reclusive pop star, former actress with delusions of grandeur and the requisite cast of local loons (like a postman who can't control his love of gossip) and it's a fun, light-hearted read. Fans of the lighter British humor should enjoy it.


Flesh and Blood  (Alex Delaware, Bk 15)
Flesh and Blood (Alex Delaware, Bk 15)
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 203
Review Date: 10/18/2009


A good Alex Delaware read - better than most. A young girl is murdered, and when her mother requests Alex's help to unravel the mystery, he can't turn her away. The girl was a former patient and a straight-A student, along with being a high priced call girl on the side. So Alex and his reliable pal Milo dive into the world of L.A.'s not so shiny side, investigating her death and finding correlations to the disappearance of a UCLA co-ed. Compared to some of his works, I found this Delaware novel to be very quick paced and entertaining to read.


Fork in the Road
Fork in the Road
Author: Denis Hamill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 10/18/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I absolutely loved this book. I can't remember where I got it or what drew me to it, but I loved it and only an abundance of books in a little house (and a somewhat grouchy husband) has led me to post it here.

The story is simple: Colin, an aspiring film-writer, travels to Ireland to gain knowledge and experience for his screenplay. He is from Irish stock and wants to see how a typical American is treated in Ireland today. As he enjoys a pint at the pub, he feels his pocket picked by a beautiful young Gypsy named Gina. He completely falls for her - and is drawn into a side of Ireland he didn't suspect existed with Gina's family and occupation. Somehow he manages to survive it all and "rescues" a now-pregnant Gina and her daughter. They return to the U.S. and Colin begins a roller-coaster ride of unexpected twists and turns as he alienates his friends and family to live his life with Gina. More surprises - legal and not-so-legal - await as her family shows up to destroy Colin's home and further interrupt his work on "the great screeplay" that he hopes to sell. It is a love story full of real life and it is a great, entertaining read.


The Godfather Returns
The Godfather Returns
Author: Mark Winegardner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 10/18/2009


Not a bad read - if you enjoyed "The Godfather" you will probably like this style of writing. The story is convoluted at best, and more than a little reminiscent of every gangster movie you've ever seen, not to mention the Sonny Corinthos storyline on "General Hospital" but it's a decent book and enough to keep you busy for awhile.


The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Bk 1)
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Bk 1)
Author: Philip Pullman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 507
Review Date: 10/18/2009
Helpful Score: 1


A very interesting book - with all the controversy surrounding it, I suppose I expected it to be a little more up-front with the themes that so many accused it of endorsing, most especially the anti-religion front.

But I didn't really get that feel from reading it - it is a very well-crafted book for young adults, beautifully written and descriptive and overall a good, engrossing read. Lyra is a strong young female character, which is so nice to see, and the story is full of action. The alternate world where Lyra lives is full of parallels to ours, but intriguing and different. This is truly a well-written fantasy that I really enjoyed reading.


The Graduate
The Graduate
Author: Charles Webb
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 10/18/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I received this book as a gift and never finished it. Having seen the movie, I guess I just knew what was coming and found it unnecessary to complete the book.

I did enjoy the sparseness of the book - much like the movie, so much isn't said that you are allowed to read into situations and dialogue as you see fit. If you are a really avid fan of the movie, reading the book might be enjoyable for you.


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