Facebook

Nadine (23dollars) - - Reviews

21 to 40 of 433 - Page:
Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 267
Review Date: 6/25/2012


I read ANNA KARENINA for a TBR potluck activity in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

This translation is said to be the most accessible to date, and while it wasn't perfect (there are a few awkward sentences) I would agree!

The story starts off in a very engaging way. You're pulled right into a 19th century Russian family drama, involving adultery - a wandering husband, a heartbroken wife, and, or course, their young children. And as the story progresses, we meet the title character, Anna Karenina. However, we also meet another principle character in Konstantin Levin.

For me, the narrative had peaks and valleys. It was two-fold. There were eye-glazing indulgences in the political, agricultural, economical and religious issues of the day; contrasted by what I can easily classify as a glorified Russian soap opera!

Let's just say that you have to be patient with this story, it's not in a hurry...but when things happen, boy, do they happen! At times my eyes were on sticks with some of the characters' actions, I could hardly believe it!

It's a book I enjoyed for the most part, and I'm very glad to have finally read. I can understand and appreciate why it's endured so well over the years. Anna Karenina may not have been a woman who deserved to be the focal point of an entire book, but the story is about so much more than her capricious emotional whims. It explored several characters in great depth, and focused on contrasting the relationships; I enjoyed the various interrelationship quirks among the players: Levin, Kitty, Anna, Vronsky, Alexei, Seryozha we get into to their heads, and from there, we see the world.

Overall, I give ANNA KARENINA a B-.


(¯`·.·´¯) (¯`·.·´¯)
`·.¸(¯`·.·´¯)¸ .·
×°× ` ·.¸.·´ ×°×


Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral
Author: Kris Radish
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 301
Review Date: 12/13/2015


This was the December 2015 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't my cuppa book. I rarely enjoy stories told mostly through flashbacks--it makes the pacing unnecessarily slow and gets annoying when the reader just wants to get on with the story already! Why not just begin at the beginning and stop with the lazy plot device?

Obviously the story opens with her being dead, then drags you back to the beginning of the relationships as they go on the traveling funeral.

The characters were never very engaging to me and I never got pulled into caring to learn about the relationships Annie had with the other women. I think it would've been more interesting for me if I'd gotten to known Annie BEFORE she died...a bit later in the book.

I give this one a C. It was just meh for me.


Any Bitter Thing
Any Bitter Thing
Author: Monica Wood
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 99
Review Date: 2/2/2013


ANY BITTER THING was the January 2013 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove. Unfortunately, apart from a few insightful lines in the opening narrative, I was bored stiff.

The writing style was awkward, and so was the relationship between the main character, Lizzy and the "bad samaritan" who came to her aid the night of her accident. There were also too many tragedies thrown into the mix and it wasn't handled in a very engaging way.

The more interesting story line dealing with Lizzy's childhood and her uncle the priest was told, rather than shown, in favor of taking the reader through the boring day-to-day thought process of Lizzy as an adult.

All in all, this was just a boring heap of tragic who cares. So if you tend to enjoy that sort of thing, ANY BITTER THING might just be for you.

I give this one a D+.


The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 2)
The Apprentice (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 2)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 152
Review Date: 2/27/2012


I'm a huge fan of the Rizzoli & Isles series, but had skipped over THE APPRENTICE. It was interesting to go back and see the development of these characters, which really happened in this book. I didn't enjoy it more than THE SURGEON, but it gave us a lot of what made that book so great, so still a solid crime thriller!


The Arrangement
The Arrangement
Author: Suzanne Forster
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 91
Review Date: 2/15/2014
Helpful Score: 1


THE ARRANGEMENT by Suzanne Forster was the February 2014 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

I was looking forward to this book hoping it would be a quality romantic mystery. Alas, I'm sorry to say it was very disappointing.

The first 100 pages serve to dupe the reader with a VERY weak plot device...something that could've been done so much better in the hands of a more skilled writer.

The murder mystery element is chock-full of forgettable side characters, and convoluted twists and turns that rest solely on a terribly contrived coincidence that set everything in motion. A very big "it just so happens that" eye-rolling coincidence! And there were far too many for this to be a quality mystery.

You know, this is the level of storytelling that can entertain teenagers who don't have much yet to compare it to. But for seasoned, intelligent readers, it's likely just 457 pages of time wasted. You're better off reading something by Agatha Christie.

I can't get THE ARRANGEMENT higher than a D. Not recommended unless you're like 17.


The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 11/2/2016


I read The Art of Racing in the Rain for this month's "Weather" theme in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

I can definitely see why the book is popular with many dog lovers. Enzo the dog narrates with a very high level of intelligence, dry humor and sentimentality. The analogy of his observations about human life and handling a race car in the rain was insightful at first but quickly felt pretty overindulgent and milked for all it was worth.

I found much of the book depressing and therefore skimmable. Enzo's owner Denny suffers a terrible loss followed by serious legal issues, all through Enzo's POV. So for me, something that started out cute, became surprisingly disturbing and maudlin before too long.

All in all, NYT bestseller or not, I can't say I would recommend this book to people who haven't read it unless you're emotionally tied to dogs, otherwise you may find that it just plain gets silly even before the halfway mark and your reading time would be much better spent on something else. This was better suited for a short story. 300 pages from the dog's POV became a bit ridiculous and begs a raised eyebrow at the emotional stability of the author. 2.75 stars.


Awaken (Awaken, Bk 1)
Awaken (Awaken, Bk 1)
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/17/2013


This was the February 2013 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

Maddie and Justin live in the year 2060, when the United States has become a digi-topia. Fear drove society behind closed doors and people communicate primarily via technology; face-to-face interaction is minimal.

Justin's parents are out-law revolutionaries, fighting against digi-topia to get people back to natural human interactions, while Maddie's father is the driving force behind Digital Schools and digital world-dominance...

Not hard to figure out the plot from there.

As a thirty-something, I think I'm just easily bored with the inexperienced, first-love romances of these YA novels. They're so predictable (he loves me, he loves me not) and shallow...and basically go nowhere.

So although well-written, I think this book will go over better with its target audience of young adults with limited to no romantic experience.

The world-building aspect was pretty weak, there was never a strong establishment of the future setting - but the idea that people will become dependent on technology as the primary line of communication is a timely one....but a stronger writer might've executed it a bit better. I give this one a C.


Awaken (Awaken, Bk 1)
Awaken (Awaken, Bk 1)
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 2/17/2013


This was the February 2013 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

Maddie and Justin live in the year 2060, when the United States has become a digi-topia. Fear drove society behind closed doors and people communicate primarily via technology; face-to-face interaction is minimal.

Justin's parents are out-law revolutionaries, fighting against digi-topia to get people back to natural human interactions, while Maddie's father is the driving force behind Digital Schools and digital world-dominance...

Not hard to figure out the plot from there.

As a thirty-something, I think I'm just easily bored with the inexperienced, first-love romances of these YA novels. They're so predictable (he loves me, he loves me not) and shallow...and basically go nowhere.

So although well-written, I think this book will go over better with its target audience of young adults with limited to no romantic experience.

The world-building aspect was pretty weak, there was never a strong establishment of the future setting - but the idea that people will become dependent on technology as the primary line of communication is a timely one....but a stronger writer might've executed it a bit better. I give this one a C.


Awakening To The Dream
Awakening To The Dream
Author: Leo Hartong
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/28/2011


This one of the best books I've ever read on spiritual awakening! If you've discovered it, the time is right.


Awakening to the Dream: The Gift of Lucid Living
Awakening to the Dream: The Gift of Lucid Living
Author: Leo Hartong
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 11/23/2010


One of the best books I've read on awakening. If you're ready, you'll be reading this book.


The Babysitter
The Babysitter
Author: Diana Diamond
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 2/1/2011


Read this one as part of a TBR Potluck in my online book club, The Reading Cove. I had it in my TBR pile for years and years so was happy to finally get to it.

That's where the happiness ended. It started out promising with Congressman Gordon Anton and his wife Ellie hiring Theresa Santiago as a 'mother's helper' while the family vacations in Cape Cod.

Then it became somewhat suspenseful as you try to figure out what Theresa's up to. Is she a plant by Gordon's political rivals? Is she a calculating and sly blackmailer?

Well, the unfolding to the end was so contrived, manipulative, and anti-climatic that I can't give this book more than a C- and that's generous, LOL.

It feels like it was written for a bad Lifetime movie adaptation. I can't recommend it, and I'm not interested to read anymore from the author unless it's a group pick or very highly recommended.


Based Upon Availability
Based Upon Availability
Author: Alix Strauss
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.3/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 12/1/2012
Helpful Score: 1


I saw an interview with the author and was intrigued by the idea of a story set in a hotel. But after reading it, I'd say that apart from a few lines of insight about human behavior, BASED UPON IDIOCY turns out to be a much more accurate title for this book. LOL

I don't mean to be harsh, but the concept just didn't come together well at all. The storylines were connected through the main character, Morgan, who manages The Four Seasons hotel in Manhattan. The first half of the book is from her pathetically stunted point-of-view. Her sister died when she was 11 and she still talks to her dead sister 25 years later as if she were still alive! Morgan also does other really off-your-rocker things that make you want out of her head like ASAP after 100 pages! You've just had enough of the madness.

Then comes the shifting tenses and the other women for the next half of the book, but honestly, by the time it got to them, I didn't much care about their OCDs, drug addictions, etc. They all could've been Morgan with different names. The only thing that changed was the tense. One character spoke about herself in the 2nd person! It was silly.

All in all, the tone of the book had an overcast pallor about as dreary and colorless as the cover itself. I'd say skip it....unless you like reading books about a bunch of dull, damaged, hopeless women.


The Beach House (Beach House, Bk 1)
The Beach House (Beach House, Bk 1)
Author: Sally John
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 68
Review Date: 6/21/2012


I read this for June's "Beach" theme in my online book club, The Reading Cove, and while the characters had some interesting personal issues going on here and there, the overall story felt pretty unoriginal and cliché.

Four childhood friends come together after a number of years out of touch, to reconnect, soul-search, and strengthen their faith. The end. And it's definitely not for those who may have an aversion to the Christian faith, or who aren't religiously inclined.

I really wanted to enjoy this story, but I feel like I've already read it dozens of times before....I can't get THE BEACH HOUSE to more than a C.


Beach Roses
Beach Roses
Author: Jean Stone
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 12/26/2010


This was in my TBR pile for years and years, so I was glad to finally read it with a few pals in my online book club, The Reading Cove!

The story starts off pretty starkly with the women coming together in a cancer support group, but as you spend time with them, you come to care about what's going to happen. This is a meaty story, with lots of conflict and secrets coming out, but it's very well-written and engaging. The ending was a little sappy for my tastes, but I can overlook that. ;-) Good read! I look forward to more by Jean Stone.


The Beach Trees
The Beach Trees
Author: Karen White
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 12/29/2012


THE BEACH TREES was my first time reading Karen White. I'd seen so much about her books everywhere, and heard raves from some of my buddies in The Reading Cove who love her books, that I scooped this up and was eager to dive in.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed in how predictable and formulaic the plot was. You could see relationships coming a mile away, so there was no real tension in the bickering and head-butting two of the main characters did for much of the book.

The way the family mystery unfolded was very cheesy with the older woman saying things like, "Oh, that's a long story. You'll have to come back tomorrow if you want to know more..."

The structure of the story got in the way of the story itself, which was bogged down by time and place details that were overmuch. A lot of the detail was totally overindulgent and no doubt added 100 or so extra pages to the book.

I can't say it was the worst, but it was average at best for me, a C read.


Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, Bk 1)
Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, Bk 1)
Author: Lisa Unger
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 140
Review Date: 11/12/2011


I read this for the November "New York" theme in my online book club, The Reading Cove. Very disappointed. Although the plot was interesting, the suspense/thriller execution was weak, and the twists in the end seemed contrived and predictable.

And Ridley Jones's 1st person narration was overly detailed and very rambling. (Do we have to know what color and texture every single thing is in a scene?) I got annoyed with her and quickly lost interest in the storyline. I skimmed to the end to find out how the mystery played out, but was only mildly interested.

I am not reaching for the sequel, and would not be quick to read anymore by Lisa Unger. Did not like the writing style at all. I think other authors do suspense thrillers much better.


Bed & Breakfast
Bed & Breakfast
Author: Lois Battle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 5/18/2017


I read Bed & Breakfast with a reading buddy in my online book club, The Reading Cove.

What a snooze fest! The narrative rambles and meanders and goes every bit of nowhere fast. While I didn't find any of the characters interesting or endearing, there was a lesson to be learned: do not expect your children to exhibit characteristics and behaviors as adults that were never instilled in them as children.

You see people all the time who whine and complain about their kids being self absorbed, unappreciative or indifferent, but that's exactly how they were overindulged, coddled and raised to be. When were they taught to appreciate the hand that feeds them?

Beyond that, the story lacked focus, had a narrow-minded scope and was very uneven for me. There was never anyone to root for or sympathize with. Just whining, moping, complaining and blaming. No one ever took responsibility for their own happiness. If that's your thing, God bless you. For me? Meh.


Before I Go To Sleep
Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S. J. Watson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 195
Review Date: 10/11/2012


This book was really raved about and highly recommended by a few members of my online book club, The Reading Cove. So I had high expectations; but after reading it, the plot had the substance for a short story.....but it was drawn out for 360 pages!

It's an interesting premise: Christine has severe memory loss whenever she sleeps. Every morning, she wakes up having forgotten the last 20 years.

The story starts out interestingly enough, but the middle is boring and repetitious to a fault. It's just wash, rinse, repeat for 200 pages, and then the most obvious twist imaginable. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it, but only the heavily Xanaxed couldn't see that coming, LOL. And you have to suspend a lot of common sense and logic to buy that she'd have had a loving husband and son and still fall into something like this.

On the positive side, this is a first novel and the writing in the beginning and the very end showed promise, so I'd be open to more from the author in the future.

But I think this one's a C, average.


The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans
Author: Sidney Sheldon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 140
Review Date: 5/7/2014


For me this story was far more contrived than it was clever.

This was my second time reading it; I first read it when it was first released in 1997.

As a previous reviewer mentioned, the storyline with Dana Evans was a complete tangent that detracted from the main Leslie Stewart/Oliver Russell plot that was outlined by the synopsis. Dana's character and entire storyline felt like plot bloat. So it could've been woven in a lot better.

The other plot twists were quite predictable for me, and as a huge fan of Sidney Sheldon's earlier works, this read really let me down.

For die hard fans, I'd have to say skip this one. I could really only recommend it for teenagers. C+


Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 141
Review Date: 5/3/2015


BIG LITTLE LIES was my neighborhood book club's April 2015 group pick.

Even though I enjoyed The Husband's Secret a bit more, I don't think I'm the biggest fan of these dramedy narratives, because for me, this book was all laughs and tongue-in-cheek drama that never really hit more than a very superficial note, despite all the serious things going on: spousal abuse, Kindergarten bullying and cover-ups, murder, 14-year-olds trying to auction off their virginity online...you know, the usual stuff.

And the "suspense" over what took place on the school "Trivia Night" was forced, contrived, and drawn out for hundreds and hundreds of unnecessarily repetitive pages. The characterizations and plot points are regurgitated over and over (and over!) again--Celeste is blindingly beautiful, this one can't get over her ex-husband's abandonment, that one looks more like a nanny than a mom--wash, rinse, repeat!

To me, it just became "noise," and I wanted to leave the room. You can pretty much just read the first 100 pages of this book, then the last 100 and save yourself heaps of time! No, seriously. There's about as much depth as the cover image itself.

So overall, there were some LOL moments, but I forgot them almost immediately. And I think that proves the point--the story's told in a style that makes BIG LITTLE LIES pretty forgettable. You probably won't remember it in 0.5 more books read. C+

(\ /)
( . .)
c(")(")


21 to 40 of 433 - Page: