Sarah M. (sarahinme) - Reviews

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All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 7)
All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 7)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 1753
Review Date: 9/22/2011


A very close second to the fourth Sookie book. The Vampire Summit was fantastic. It was nice to get back to a strictly Vampire storyline after spending so much time in the Were world. The conclusion is exciting and incredibly nerve-wracking. Could hardly put it down!


Animal Farm
Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 1187
Review Date: 11/2/2011


Who knew a story about farm animals could be so layered?

Animal Farm is fantastic- one of the books that we are required to read in school that is actually a joy. The commentary it creates on societies and totalitarianism is phenomenal. So much going on in this small book, you will need multiple reads. Every year or two I read it again and find new tidbits to pull out of its labyrinth of hidden meaning.

A book that holds up decades after it was written. If you enjoy this one, also read Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World". Both classics offer new views on a very current subject.


Attachments
Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 2/29/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Simply a fun, light read. You really end up caring for the geeky, inward-faced main character who lives and loves through his computer. You root for him to talk to the girl. You root for her e-mails to come through. You root for the girl to notice him. And the moment she does, you are back in high school- giddy as a schoolgirl.


Because They Wanted To: Stories
Because They Wanted To: Stories
Author: Mary Gaitskill
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/25/2012


Because They Wanted To is a collection of short stories that could possibly read as one continuous story. The characters, situations, and speaking voice is so stunningly similar, I sometimes had difficulty keeping track of the different stories. It is well written, sexually explicit and fanatical, and exciting to read. Gaitskill sometimes delves into darker fantasies of her characters that are rarely aired in literature, which makes this book a thrilling dip into other sexual cultures or fetishes that we may not otherwise be privy to.
If you are not squeemish about extreme or strange sexual talk, give it a try. I normally do not like short story collections, but this was fun enough to read and each story seemed to have its own purpose. The characters were relatable while still being a far cry from my own experiences, and the hopelessness of a relationship is always fun to follow and see the destruction, which Gaitskill explores with skill and insight.


The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 194
Review Date: 9/23/2011


Absolutely one of my favorite books. It is heavy and a bit crazy but a fantastic read. Sylvia Plath is one of the most fascinating writers, and if you have never read a Plath novel this is a wonderful starter!


Bossypants
Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 297
Review Date: 8/24/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Tina Fey is hysterial, whether on TV or in a book. She is a perfect female role model. This was a perfectly fun book- a true translation of a sitcom to page. Great!


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
Author: Michael Pollan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 123
Review Date: 12/22/2011
Helpful Score: 2


If you are picking up this book, finish it!!! The first two chapters, with a focus on Apples and Tulips can be a big long and repetitive, but the final two chapter, focused on Marijuana and Potatoes, are phenomenal. The insights that Pollan reveals are amazing and really make you rethink the way the world we live in was constructed.
Truly, our plant society has been created for us, manipulating the reproductive properties and places plants are allowed to live to create a strange amalgam of resources at our fingertips. And as a result, those products adapt and change their life, as well as ours. With many opinions on the subject myself, it was nice to read the chapter on marijuana and get some new insights.
Very insightful book. Makes you see the 'natural' world around you in a new light.


Brave New World
Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 773
Review Date: 9/22/2011
Helpful Score: 2


Loved reading this classic. I was a bit frightened at first of some of the language being so old-school, but once I got into the story I could not stop. This book is as relevant, if not more, than it was when Huxley first wrote it. It is a striking premonition of the future state of the world, where the words 'mother' and 'father' are some of the dirtiest words one could speak, and monogamy is not even considered. A great read!


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Diaz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 250
Review Date: 9/22/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Never got invested in this book. I read about 150 pages into it and finally gave up. Luckily, I knew a fairly good amount of Spanish so I could follow more of it than some would be able to, but I did not know a lot of the slang used which held up the flow of reading. I was also SO frusterated by the exorbitant amount of footnotes that I ended up completely skipping them after the first 20 pages. They kept pulling me out of the story. I also did not really care about the loooong backstory with his sister and mother. I never felt like I was on a meaningful trajectory, and in the end, I abandoned the story completely. A shame.


Dark Places
Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 376
Review Date: 1/2/2013


After reading Gone Girl (by Flynn) and liking it, but not loving it, I decided to take a stab at one of her earlier works. Flynn's writing style and storytelling is SO apparent, there would never be any mistaking that these were written by the same person. She has the same, slowly-unwinding storyline with lots of twists and turns, fairly unlikable characters (that's how life is! no one walks around like Meryl Streep all day), and a personal mystery centered around a highly-publicized tragedy.

Libby was thoroughly damaged, and who could possibly blame her? I felt sorry for Patty in the same way I feel badly for battered women- they do not have the willpower to stand up to those who knock them down in the first place, and this makes me pity them. Overall, the characters were well fleshed out, garnered a fair amount of pity and indulgence, and definitely made me excited to finish the book. Read it in one day- I was so curious to see what had really transpired that night!

The only thing I did not like about this book was how quickly she jumped into helping the Kill Club. After 24 years of suppression, I think dragging her out of her shell would at least take a few months, but who wants to read through that?

Anyway, a good thriller-mystery-family drama. Had a much more satisfying ending than Gone Girl, and slightly more sympathetic characters. The story was quite thrilling though, and who knows, maybe I will go back and read Sharp Objects now!


Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, Bk 1)
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, Bk 1)
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 352
Review Date: 9/22/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This is the RARE exception to the 'book is always better than the film' notion. The Dexter television show is SO amazing, that I was shocked that it came from this book. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is far too simply written, I would describe it as elementary. It is not interesting or frightening, or even emotional. Watch the show, you will not be disappointed.


Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 13)
Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 13)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 168
Review Date: 5/9/2013
Helpful Score: 1


(This review contains 1 spoiler at the end!!!)

Thank goodness! This final installment was so much better than the last 3 books. I was almost ready to give up on my heroine after the last book, but I am glad I stuck it out to see where Sook ended up. Harris did a much more seamless job of weaving in characters from the past 12 books that we would actually care to learn about, rather than simply throwing meaningless side characters at the reader left and right for no apparent reason, as done in books 11 and 12. Here, she brought back those characters that we would be happy to check in with for a final time, such as Amelia, Quinn, Mr Cataliades, Diantha, Barry, etc. It was also a cool suprise to have Steve Newlin back in the fold as a baddie. Significantly less suprnatural elements in this book it seemed like, especially since she was not dealing with the shifter packs or vamp politics (much) and the fairies were isolated to Faery. I was sad to see she did not end up with Eric, but I thought it made long-term sense that he would continue his vampy power-grabs and she would end up with someone more on her level. Overall, a good wrap-up on Sookie's life! Maybe this will mean no one else tries to kill her :)


Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 11)
Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 11)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 389
Review Date: 11/23/2011
Helpful Score: 1


The Sookie Stackhouse books are perfect mindless reading. It is the only series I continually keep up with, and I look forward to my injection of vampire drama every May.

Although not as action packed as it has been in the past, I still thoroughly enjoy the books every time. I believe the tenth and eleventh books are leading up to something big, hopefully like the fourth or seventh books (my favorite of the series). And of course, I am always rooting for Sookie and Eric and adore the progression of their relationship.


Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 4)
Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 4)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2232
Review Date: 9/22/2011
Helpful Score: 1


My favorite of the Sookie books!! Had a healthy amount of Eric in it, which is always welcome. The witch war is so fantastical- I loved it!! Had a great conclusion to a tense and sexy story.


Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 1)
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 1)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 2418
Review Date: 9/22/2011


Fun series to read! The first three books are a bit below average, but once the whole Sookie Stackhouse world is fleshed out, it proves to be interesting and exciting.

I enjoyed the books so much perhaps because Sookie in the books is a great role model- She is strong, independent, smart, inventive, self-sufficient: a great example of an independent woman. It is really too bad how opposite this portrayal is of Sookie in the True Blood series, although still enjoyable.


Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 12)
Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 12)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 225
Review Date: 5/14/2012


When will Sookie have a good book again? I have stuck it out now for 3 dull installments, and am waiting for some PASSION! Whether it be a great fight scene, or a great sex scene, I haven't been feeling anything from these books for a while now... And isn't that the reason we read these books? To have some fun, guilty pleasure while reading Sookie?

I was not a fan especially of how many side characters they kept throwing back in our faces. Every time they mentioned someone I really had to stop and mentally dig through the last 11 books. This was a bit exhausting, and took me out of the story. Also, I was so frusterated with Sookie for most of this book because she was so CLUELESS! I have always kept up with these books because Sookie is a good female role model. She is smart, savvy, confident, strong, and NOT a bimbo. She is what a female literary character should be this day in age. However, in this book she was just not the Sookie I wanted. Also, she wouldn't stand up for herself to Eric as much as she should have regarding Freyda. I was yelling at the book for her to just CALL him. Frusterating.

Finally, the story left me wanting. It wasn't really about anything particular. It was all over the place with tons of side characters, and it seems like Harris just had to quickly wrap up all these loose story ends she had introduced but never went anywhere with (Jannalyn, Claude, Niall, etc). It was without direction and conviction, and I was not impressed. I may give this series one more book.... but I may not.


Deadly Collection: Deja Dead; Death Du Jour; Deadly Decisions
Deadly Collection: Deja Dead; Death Du Jour; Deadly Decisions
Author: Kathy Reichs
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/26/2012


This absolutely could not capture my attention. It was so out of the realm of believability for this woman to be running around the woods to 'track down a hunch' and for no police officers to give her a second listen EVER, I gave up. I was hoping for something exciting, witty, and suspenseful, but instead I was bored enough that I found myself listening to talk radio instead. Oh well, I guess I will stick with Bones!


Drugs Are Nice : A Post-Punk Memoir
Drugs Are Nice : A Post-Punk Memoir
Author: Lisa Crystal Carver
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/22/2011


Depressing, hopeless memoir. It is good that I enjoy these sorts of stories, but definitely will not be for everyone. The cover and title are bound to get you some strange looks as well. :)


The End Of Alice
The End Of Alice
Author: A. M. Homes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 78
Review Date: 12/20/2012
Helpful Score: 4


This is truly one of the most graphic and disturbing books I have ever read. It is sexually graphic with the convict and his 'partner' in jail, as well as his sexual longing for both the 19-year-old writing to him and his previous pre-pubescent victims.

The way that this was written, and the reveal late in the book from the 19-year-old correspondent, makes me think that the way events and writings were portrayed in the book were the mad delusions of this incarcerated child molester, and makes me wonder what actually happened within his recollections. I could be reading way more into it than there really was, but I have a feeling his re-counting of events is quite skewed.

Tread lightly when you pick up this book; it not for the faint of heart (or stomach).


Every Day
Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 12/31/2013


This book was complicated and simple all at the same time. It had a high concept that I could buy into, but the writing and goal was very simple. I could see A's journey in wanting a real connection and understand his gravitational pull to Rhiannon, but her story was a little harder to understand. The journey she takes to 'fall' for A was a little more ambiguous. Nevertheless, I rooted for A even though I knew it was hopeless for the two of them, which is what should be inspired by a main character. I was very disappointed by the ending, as it seemed it was leading up to a big resolution, but instead just ended with nothing. I am still feeling like I am missing something...


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