Christine G. (Cricket) - Reviews

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The Eyes of the Dragon
The Eyes of the Dragon
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 471
Review Date: 2/15/2009


If the cover of this book didn't say it was written by Stephen King I wouldn't have thought he wrote this. The only way I know he wrote this book is because it is so well written. This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. It was great storytelling with characters I want to root for. The story didn't drag on and on like some of his other books. I really have nothing negative to say about this book. I also liked the occasional pictures throughout the book.
With the title of the book, I thought it was going to be a fantasy book with lots of dragon slaying, but it wasn't like that at all. It was just a very simple good vs evil story, but so well written it will stand out in my mind for a long time. I wonder why King hasn't written more like this??


Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season
Review Date: 5/23/2006
Helpful Score: 2


I couldn't get all the way through this book. There was just WAY too much play-by-play of EVERY game. Of course I expect some game details but I guess I was expecting more history or behind the scenes type stories. I noticed King's writing was more of what I was looking for, less detail oreinted and more fun-loving. Some of the anecdotes of the two writers were funny and I learned a few interesting facts, but I just didn't want to know EVERY detail of EVERY game. Yes, yes, I know the book is about baseball, but I guess since I didn't already know everything there is to know about the 2004 Red Sox season a lot of things went over my head. If YOU are a true die-hard Red Sox fan, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book. I was just looking for more behind the scenes stuff.


Firefly Lane
Firefly Lane
Author: Kristin Hannah
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 197
Review Date: 2/15/2009
Helpful Score: 6


Wow. This book was a roller coaster ride for me. At first I felt like it was a young adult novel about an angsty teen. By page 50, I was already so sick of the whole "Best Friends forever" cliches, as well as the need for the author to overstate the surroundings of the time period, such as bell bottoms, lava lamps, headbands. I get it...its the 70's!! (Same with the 80's with the big hair, off the shoulder tops and dresses etc) Despite all of this I couldn't stop reading!!! I found myself getting so lost in the story and unable to put the book down. By page 200, though I couldn't stand the selfish friend Tully I almost didn't want to read anymore because I couldn't stand how self centered Tully was and how Kate took the abuse just because they're "friends". I never thought Tully was that great of a friend to Kate, and I found it very draining to keep reading about Tully's selfish behavior and Kate's stupidity towards it. At the end though, I realized it was all a huge set up for the end of the story. Once I got to the last one hundred pages, I realized that it was all Hannah's way of the bringing the story to a close. While I found the writing a bit juvenile at times, I appreciate Hannah's effort to tell a great story. Maybe it was that less than stellar writing that drew me in and kept my attention. I do often times find myself spacing out at certain points of more "literary" books, but with Firefly Lane, my mind never once strayed from the story while I was reading it.
I do still think some of the story was over done. Other authors could have put the reader into the time period without mentioning every stereo typical thing of that time period. I really appreciate subtly in writing and this book was anything but subtle in most of its topics. I do want to give credit to the author for bringing up the topic of Imflammatory Breast Cancer. I love how she was able to bring that into the story without it being "preachy".
Over all I really loved this book, and it will stay with me for a long time.


Firestarter
Firestarter
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 379
Review Date: 1/3/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This book was ok. I didn't enjoy it as much as other King books. When it got the end I just wanted it to be over. It got annoying for me. The beginning and middle were good because you feel sorry for the characters and want everything to be ok. Towards the end I just didn't care anymore.

FROM THE BOOK:
Innocence and beauty unite with evil and terror...
FIRESTARTER
First, a man and woman are subjects of a top-secret government experiment designed to produce extraordinary psychic powers.
Then they are married and have a child. A daugther.
Early on the daugther shows signs of a wild and horrifying force growing within her. Desperately, her parents try to train her to keep that force in check, to "act normal". Now the government wants the brainchild back-- for its own insane ends.


Four Past Midnight
Four Past Midnight
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 203
Review Date: 1/3/2006


Pretty good. Includes for novellas: "The Langoliers", "Secret Garden, Secrect Window", "The Library Policeman" and "The Sun Dog". Secret Garden, Secret Window was the best, in the way that it started strong and stayed strong. The Langoliers and The Library Policeman started off intriguing and then just dragged on. During the Sun Dog I was on the edge of my seat the whole time but got annoying at the end.
All the stories were great. I just hate long drawn out endings where you know whats going to happen but you have to get through pages and pages of stuff to get to it.

FROM THE JACKET:
Past midnight, something happens to time, that fragile concept we employ to order our sense of reality. It bends, stretches, turns bac, or snaps, and sometimes reality snaps with it. And what happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality shatters, and the glass begins to fly? These four chilling novellas, a feast fit for King fans old and new, provide some shocking answers.
After all, past midnight is Stephen King's favorite time of day...
One Past Midnight: "The Langoliers" takes a red-eye flight from L.A. to Boston into a most unfriendly sky. Only eleven passengers survive, but landing in an eerily empty world makes them wish they hadn't. Something's waiting for them, you see...
Two Past Midnight: "Secret Window, Secret Garden" enters the suddenly strange life of writer Mort Rainey, recently divorced, depressed, and alone on the shore of Tashmore Lake. Alone. that is, until a figure named John Shooter arrives, pointing an accusing finger.
Three Past Midnight: "The Library Policeman" is set in Junction City, Iowa, an unlikely place for evil to be hiding. But for small businessman Sam Peebles, who thinks he may be losing his mind, another enemy is hiding there as well--the truth. If he can find it in time, he might stand a chance.
Four Past Midnight: The flat surface of a Polaroid photograph becomes for the fifteen-year-old Kevin Delevan an invitation to the supernatural. Old Pop Merrill, Castle Rock's sharpest trader, wants to crash the party for profit, but "The Sun Dog", a creature that shouldn't exist at all, is a very dangerous investment.
With an introduction and prefatory notes to each of the tales, Stephen King discusses how these stories arose in what is the world's most fearsome imagination. But it is the stories themselves that will keep the reader awake long after bedtime, into those dark, timeless hours past midnight.


The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 306
Review Date: 10/8/2005


This is one of my favorite Stephen King books. A real page turner. I would recommend this book to anyone. I can't say too much because I don't want to give it away but if you like King or Suspense/Horror novels without to much gore and violence READ THIS. It is a pretty quick read compared to some of Kings other long, more drawn out, stories.

FROM THE BOOK COVER:
What if the woods were full of them? And of course they were, the woods were full of everything you didn't like, everything you were afraid of and instinctively loathed, everything that tried to overwhelm you with nasty, no-brain panic.

The brocure promised a "moderate-to-difficult" six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, where nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was to spend Saturday with her brother Pete, and her recently divorced mother. When she wanders off to escape their constant bickering, then tires to catch up by attempting a shortcut through the woods, Trisha strays deeper into a wilderness full of peril and terror. Especially when night falls.
Trisha has only her wits for navigation, only her ingenuity as a defense against the element, only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fear. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox games and the gritty performances of hero, number 36, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio's reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her-- her key to surviving an enemy known only by the slaghtered animals and mangled trees in its wake.
A classic sotry that engages our emotions at the most primal level, "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" explores our deep dread of the unknown and the extent to which faith can conquer it. It is a fairy tale grimmer than Grimm, but aglow with a girl's indomitable spirit.


God-Shaped Hole
God-Shaped Hole
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 38
Review Date: 2/15/2009


Through the first quarter of the book I was in love with every aspect of this book. I completely identified with the main character Beatrice, and even though Jacob seemed WAY too good to be true, I still loved their relationship and didn't think the whole thing too sweet. It seemed to work. Where I started having a hard time with the book is when Beatrice first gets mad at Jacob for meeting up with a new girlfriend. It seemed WAY overboard. After that the characters started to annoy me. Then Jacob's weird moodiness...I know book characters aren't supposed to be perfect, but something seemed off to me as a reader. I guess I couldn't fully understand the characters and I didnt find the writing to be in such a way where the reader shouldn't understand...I just felt a disconnect. I think because I fell so in love with the chracters in the beginning then quickly found them annoying I couldn't completely fall in love with this book. I also didnt find the ending as sad as it probably should have been for me. I do give the author credit for excellent writing and story telling. As far as writing I was pleased with this book. Something just happened in the middle to throw me off from completely loving it.


The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
Author: John Steinbeck
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 406
Review Date: 3/30/2006
Helpful Score: 5


Just when you think it can't get any worse for the poor, hard-working Joad family...IT DOES! This is a story of a strong family who, when faced with harsh adversity, stands together and helps each other make it just one more step further. Taking it step by step, the Joad family struggles to eat and survive during the Depression. It really made me appreciate everything I have, especially the love of my family. The ending wasn't much of an "end" to things so I still wonder what happened to the beautiful Joad family.


The Guardians
The Guardians
Author: Ana Castillo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 9/15/2007


For the most part I enjoyed this book. Towards the end I started feeling like this book was becoming a lecture from the author about Mexican immigration. The book was only 200-something pages, but for some reason it took me a while to get through it. I haven't pinned down a reason, but obviously I didn't find it a page turner or I would have finished it in a couple days as opposed to a couple weeks.
I am grateful to have received a copy from the Early Reviewers Program. Without that I would probably have never read this book.
Overall I guess I can say I enjoyed the book, but as I was reading it I realized I wasn't enjoying it as 'entertainment' but as education to some of the things that go on in our border towns. I really felt the need to share this book with others so I started a book ring with it.
Aside from the "lecture tone" I started feeling from the author, my only complaint is the ending. Without giving anything away....I just felt like so many events lead up to the ending then it wasn't exactly clear for awhile what happened and then right at the end it blurted out what happened. It just wasn't consistant with the pace of the rest of the book.
I enjoyed the writing though. It was a nice break from some of the other junk I've been reading. I was getting annoyed with some of the Spanish words mixed in there, but I know that's just keeping with the authenticity of the story...however, i would imagine they would all speak MOSTLY Spanish to each other in real life with some English mixed in as opposed to how the author had them speaking mostly English with some Spanish mixed in. I know I'm over thinking it!! I tend to do that.


Heaven (Casteel, Bk 1)
Heaven (Casteel, Bk 1)
Author: V. C. Andrews
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 12/7/2006


Wow. V.C. Andrews can really write a story. This is only the second Andrews book I've read but I've never read anything quite like them. Sometimes the writing is a bit juvenile but she can really tell a story. I love that while her stories may be a bit out there and extreme, she makes you care about the characters.

Of all the folks in the mountain shacks, the Casteels were the lowest -- the scum of the hills.
Heaven Leigh Casteel was the prettiest, smartest girl in the backwoods, despite her ragged clothes and dirty face...despite a father meaner than ten vipers...despite her weary stepmother, who worked her like a mule. For her brother Tom and the little ones, Heaven clung to her pride and her hopes. Someday they'd get away and show the world that they were decent, fine and talented -- worthy of love and respect.

Then Heaven's stepmother ran off, and her wicked, greedy father had a scheme -- a vicious scheme that threatened to destroy the precious dream of Heaven and the children forever!


The Hours
The Hours
Author: Michael Cunningham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 400
Review Date: 4/22/2006


EXCELLENT book!!! My favorite book of all time. I read it all in one sitting. I could not put it down.

BACK COVER
Passionate, Profound and deeply moving, THE HOURS is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who one New York morning goes about planning a party in honor of her beloved friend; Laura Brown, who in a 1950's Los Angeles suburb slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, and beginning to write MRS. DALLOWAY. By the end of the novel, the stories have intertwined, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace, demonstrating Michael Cunningham's deep empathy for his characters as well as the extraordinary resonance of his prose.


The Inheritance of Loss
The Inheritance of Loss
Author: Kiran Desai
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 9/15/2007


I had never heard of this book or author, but I saw an open book ring on Paperbackswap.com and decided to join. It was an interesting book, but not one I could say I actually enjoyed. The story took place in India which I know very little about. The book named all these places and political parties in India. I can't even keep up with American politics let alone Indian politics.

I did find this book educational. I learned about the way of life in India and a bit about the politics. This is the third book in row that used so many words in another language. When the topic is confusing enough having "foreign-to-me" words mixed in really throws me off.

The story is about an old retired judge who lives in a remote area in India. After his estranged daughter dies, he is left to take in his granddaughter who he has never met. They get along pretty well. There's a cook in the house who has worked for the judge for years. The cook's son was "lucky" enough to make it to America, but the son really struggles in America to keep a job and since he's now illegal, his employers treat him like crap because they know he has no other choice but try to live in America or go back to "horrible" India.

The granddaugther ends up falling in love with her tutor, but he's involved in some weird political thing and can't commit to her.

The son in America ends up coming home to India to be with his dad, because after much political upheaval in India, the son hasn't been able to stay in contact with his dad. The son is worried so goes back to India where father and son are reunited.

To be honest...I have no idea what the point of the book was. Maybe it was just to show ignorant American's like me how awful India can be...as if I didn't know that already. If it wasn't for the book ring I would have never read this book or even cared to read it. I didn't really get much from it. It was the winner of the Man Booker Award, which I had never even heard of. I thought that might mean it would be somewhat good, but I was wrong.


Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, Bk 1)
Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, Bk 1)
Author: Anne Rice
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1480
Review Date: 1/3/2006


Anne Rice is my favorite author and this is my favorite book from her. This is the first Anne Rice book I've ever read and I've been hooked ever since.

FROM THE INSIDE COVER:
Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonshing force-- a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of extrordinary power of the sense. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.


Jane Eyre Promo (Parallel Text, Penguin)
Jane Eyre Promo (Parallel Text, Penguin)
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/20/2006
Helpful Score: 2


I don't like the way this book is labeled in the system. Just to let everyone know, this is a normal version of the book. I don't know why its labeled for ages 4-8. This is a nice Puffin Classics edition.


Jewel
Jewel
Author: Bret Lott
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 2/27/2006
Helpful Score: 1


For some reason it took me awhile to get into this book. I really struggled through the first 40 pages, then it started getting better. By page 75 I was hooked. That seems like a lot of pages to struggle through but I am sooo glad I did. I loved this story. The characters and emotions became so real. It was almost like they were real people.
There is one scene that sticks in my mind and my heart... On Christmas Day, Brenda Kay is a few months old and Jewel (her mother) describes how she went out and bought "the most ridiculous red outfit" to dress up Breda Kay for Christmas. For some reason this scene really touched my heart because you could feel the love of a mother for her daugther. Also, by that time they weren't sure if anything was wrong with Brenda Kay besides her sleeping alot. This scene kind of gave me the feeling like something bad is brewing in the background, but you knew that Jewel would love her through and through no matter what happens.
This was such a beautiful, touching story.


Lesson Before Dying
Lesson Before Dying
Author: Ernest J. Gaines
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 7/14/2006


This book was not all that great....I felt like the story was just at the surface and I could never really get to the heart of the characters. I did feel sorry for Jefferson, but towards the end I knew the evitable and was just glad the book was over.

Oprah Book Club® Selection, September 1997: In a small Cajun community in 1940s Louisiana, a young black man is about to go to the electric chair for murder. A white shopkeeper had died during a robbery gone bad; though the young man on trial had not been armed and had not pulled the trigger, in that time and place, there could be no doubt of the verdict or the penalty.
"I was not there, yet I was there. No, I did not go to the trial, I did not hear the verdict, because I knew all the time what it would be..." So begins Grant Wiggins, the narrator of Ernest J. Gaines's powerful exploration of race, injustice, and resistance, A Lesson Before Dying. If young Jefferson, the accused, is confined by the law to an iron-barred cell, Grant Wiggins is no less a prisoner of social convention. University educated, Grant has returned to the tiny plantation town of his youth, where the only job available to him is teaching in the small plantation church school. More than 75 years after the close of the Civil War, antebellum attitudes still prevail: African Americans go to the kitchen door when visiting whites and the two races are rigidly separated by custom and by law. Grant, trapped in a career he doesn't enjoy, eaten up by resentment at his station in life, and angered by the injustice he sees all around him, dreams of taking his girlfriend Vivian and leaving Louisiana forever. But when Jefferson is convicted and sentenced to die, his grandmother, Miss Emma, begs Grant for one last favor: to teach her grandson to die like a man.


Light Before Day
Light Before Day
Author: Christopher Rice
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 5/20/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This has got to be one of the WORST books I have ever read. The only reason I'm being so kind and giving it 2 stars is because the story had potential, but it was just so poorly written I couldn't stand it. Some parts of the story were so over the top and unbelievable. It was like a car crash, I knew I shouldn't be looking at it but I just couldn't help it. A part of me did want to see how it all turned out, but I had to suffer through the whole thing for no good reason. The ending is so forgettable, even 2 days after finishing it I can't remember what the entire final outcome was because I just didn't care anymore. There were just too many stupid, "who-really-cares-about-them" characters and just too many twists and turns and stupid theories about "the truth". I was disappointed in this novel because I had read the other two novels by this auther, Snow Garden and Density of Souls and they were pretty good. I don't know WHAT happened with this story but it was awful.
This is just my opinion, but I can honestly say I have never read such a horribly written book.

About the book:
In California's Central Valley, an explosion of white-hot methamphetamine rips through a trailer, its blinding flash killing a dedicated schoolteacher in search of a student whose life is in danger...
In West Hollywood, a young reporter discovers that a Marine helicopter pilot visited the gay ghetto- just days before he sent his chopper spiraling into the Pacific Ocean...
And in the wilds of California's Gold Coast Ranges, a mercilessly angry young woman pursues the mythic killer she believes has murdered her mother...
So begins LIGHT BEFORE DAY, a dark new thriller of revenge and sexual obsession from NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author Christopher Rice.


Lisey's Story
Lisey's Story
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 347
Review Date: 1/4/2016


I'm a huge Stephen King fan. The past 15 years I've been working towards reading all his books in chronological order. Seeing he wrote so many before I was even bored, it's taking me quite a while to get caught up.
Anyways, this was definitely not one of my favorites. It took me over a year to get through it because I kept putting it down to read something else. It wasn't holding my interest, but I just finished it a few minutes ago, and I'm glad I did. The end brought all the crazy story telling together and made sense of some of the confusing chaos that went on in the story.
One thing I appreciate about King is that he has a story to tell, and he just goes for it unapologetically. There is even a Author's Statement in the back where he thanks his editor for helping me whittle down parts of the story, but then states he still just went and did his thing. I guess he knows what works. :)


Little Altars Everywhere
Little Altars Everywhere
Author: Rebecca Wells
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 164
Review Date: 1/4/2007


Siddalee Walker, a successful New York theater director, takes turns with her family in telling the story of their Louisiana upbringing, their experiences in the classrooms of the Penguins of Our Lady of the Divine Compassion, and the anguishes of childhood.


Little House in the Big Woods (Little House)
Little House in the Big Woods (Little House)
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 363
Review Date: 7/14/2006
Helpful Score: 2


This is the first book in the Little House series. I read this whole series over and over as a kid. A must read for every child. The series is not only entertaining but also eduacational. It's a fun way for kids to learn about the pioneer days.

FROM THE BACK OF THE BOOK
America's Original Pioneer Girl
Meet Lauran Ingalls, the little girl who would grow up to write the Little House books.
Wolves and panthers and bears roam the deep woods, Laura lives with Pa and Ma, and her sisters, Mary and Baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunts and traps. Ma makes her own cheese and butter. All night long, the wind howls lonesomely, but Pa plays the fiddle and sings, keeping the family safe and cozy.
LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS is the first book in the Laura years series.


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