Stephanie C. (crawford) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 60 - Page:
The Abortionist's Daughter
The Abortionist's Daughter
Author: Elisabeth Hyde
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 11/14/2007
Helpful Score: 8


A dark book about a murder of an abortionist. For a mystery I thought the identity of the murderer was pretty obvious (and I don't like to figure those out ahead of time) but I think the author was focusing on the characters and relationships more. This book is pretty depressing- it includes graphic descriptions of abortions, some child pornography, an annoying psycho and just an overall dark tone that follows when people hide dark secrets under a facade of perfection. Despite all that, it was a fast-paced read that held my interest and was well-written.


The Abortionist's Daughter
The Abortionist's Daughter
Author: Elisabeth Hyde
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 8/12/2007
Helpful Score: 7


A dark book about a murder of an abortionist. For a mystery I thought the identity of the murderer was pretty obvious (and I don't like to figure those out ahead of time) but I think the author was focusing on the characters and relationships more. This book is pretty depressing- it includes graphic descriptions of abortions, some child pornography, an annoying psycho and just an overall dark tone that follows when people hide dark secrets under a facade of perfection. Despite all that, it was a fast-paced read that held my interest and was well-written.


The Accidental Demon Slayer (Demon Slayers, Bk 1)
The Accidental Demon Slayer (Demon Slayers, Bk 1)
Author: Angie Fox
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 296
Review Date: 10/3/2008
Helpful Score: 22


I love paranormal stories, and I love a great sense of humor and quirky characters in them. However, that must be done well or it's just irritating- sadly that's what "Accidental" was for me. Our "heroine" literally has NO personality, she's kind of a stand-in who reacts to things however the author thinks she should to progress the scene- whether it makes sense or not.

It's established very early on that she doesn't like her dog much, then she spends the rest of the book screaming for him if he's ever not in her arms at the moment- why does she start caring so much out of nowhere? She's dull, she's not smart and the whole "love interest" angle was pathetic and poorly done. She never uses her brains or courage, and her "gifts" are literally slapped onto her at the last minute- and of course she can easily use them, even though she didn't show any basic motor skills or common sense before. I liked her sassy grandma, and I only wished SHE was the star in this book. The whole thing reeks of being slapped together quickly, and I suspect it may have been to cash in on the success of paranormal and "cozy" funny books. I'll stick to Sookie Stackhouse and Queen Betsy instead of Lizzie Brown, thankyouverymuch.


Agnes and the Hitman
Agnes and the Hitman
Author: Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 149
Review Date: 8/7/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is one funky book- and depending on the reader that can be a good thing or a frustrating thing. Basically, I think Crusie & Mayer were on crazy sugar highs and tried to outdo the other in "wackiness" in each subsequent section. We pingpong between Agnes and a government hit man. Some may go in expecting a romance based on Crusie's name, but that will only lead to dissapointment. This is a romp that's part action, crime story, mystery, slapstick, family drama- and ok- a little light romance.

I enjoyed the book but I didn't *love* it. It was readable, quickly paced and I closed the book on its last page satisfied, but I don't think the plot or the characters will stay with me. I love "wacky", unique stories and had high hopes based on that awesome title alone, but I was left a bit unfulfilled. If you're a fan of either author or enjoy fun fiction with a unique twist, I bet you'll find "Agnes" a hit! Oy, that pun hurt, sorry everybody!


Area 7 (Scarecrow, Bk 2)
Area 7 (Scarecrow, Bk 2)
Author: Matthew Reilly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 149
Review Date: 9/23/2006
Helpful Score: 2


Back of book: It is America's most secret basse, hidden deep in the Utah desert, an Air Force installation known only as Area 7. And today, it has a visitor - the President of the United States. He has come to inspect Area 7, to examine its secets for himself. But he's going to get more than be bargained for on this trip. Because hostile forces are waiting inside. Among the President's helicopter crew, however, is a young Marine. He is quiet, enigmetic, and he hides his eyes behind a pair of silver sunglassses. He name is Schofield. Call-sign: Scarecrow. Rumor has it, he's a good man in a storm. Judging by what the President has just walked into, he'd better be ...

This book is very suspenseful and moves quickly. Scarecrow wears sunglasses because of past injuries to his face -- he is a real hero. This is an action book, which shows what a human can do in extreme conditions.

This author also wrote "Ice Station" and "Temple."


An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England
An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England
Author: Brock Clarke
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 1/24/2008
Helpful Score: 6


Reviewer Vanessa V. is *right* on the money- interesting but frustrating. This is a classic case of "don't judge a book by its cover"- from the title, description and even cover I thought this would be a darkly funny novel, which in fact in contains very, very little humor at all. We basically spend our entire time in the head of a character who doesn't learn most of the time, and the few times he does he doesn't apply the knowledge to anything. Paraphrasing many of his thoughts/actions through the books basically comes up with "Somewhere inside me I knew I should do this or anyone else in my shoes would do this, but I just couldn't." He's not only passive to an unbelievable degree- the way he constantly and knowingly puts himself in the wrong place at the wrong time is almost fetish-like.

There's a scene in the book where our "hero" stands up and recounts his story to a roomful of writers as a fictional story idea. When he's done, the writer on the platform tells him it doesn't work, that the character's dumb decisions that propel his narrative is simply "easy" and therefore not valid for good literature. I'm sure the author thought this was clever and ironic, but to me it just made the the author a glutton for bad choices as much as the creation on the page. I will say it is an original idea and wanting to know how it would all turn out kept me turning the pages, but for me this is not a keeper.


The Art of French Kissing
The Art of French Kissing
Author: Kristin Harmel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 10/8/2008
Helpful Score: 6


I LOVED this book. The heroine is dumped horribly by her ex-fiance and she loses her job working for a boy bad record label. Her friend from Paris consoles her with a job offer to work with her as PR for a hot up and coming singer, Guillaume, and telling her that the beauty of Paris and all the available men will help heal her heart. Well the singer turns out to need a LOT of baby-sitting (he is a wonderful and unique character, however, seeing what he'd get into next was my favorite part of the book!) and the only man she really hits it off with is a reporter that disbelieves her excuses for Guillaume's behavior.

The book's romance was a bit secondary, this is mainly a character journey where one of the main characters is a beautifully described Paris. The plot is fun, interesting and romantic. I really enjoy Harmel's voice, her writing always has a lot of character and the pages always fly by. It's also very, very funny. Highly recommended!


The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, Bk 1)
The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, Bk 1)
Author: Jasper Fforde
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 99
Review Date: 9/29/2007
Helpful Score: 5


An incredibly enjoyable book, one I really couldn't put down! Humpty Dumpity, womanizer and humanitarian, has fallen off the wall and foul play is suspected. Detective Jack Spratt from the Nursey Crimes division along with his new sidekick Mary Mary try to solve a case that gets more complex to more they investigate, and they also have to deal with the possibility that the Nursery Crimes divison will be shut down. While the book uses characters from nursery rhymes and storybooks, the writing is incredibly clever and intelligent, and insanely funny. The book starts out strange and gets downright wacky at the end, but if you enjoy literate hilarity and mysteries full of twists, I can't recommend this book enough.


Bite
Bite
Author: C.J. Tosh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 8/6/2007


A really fun, fast paced book. A group of friends in the publishing world get together to start their dream magazine. Fun characters and relationships, and if you're into magazines there's extra fun :) Not recommended for those who don't like sex and some "questionable" language in their reading.


Blue-Eyed Devil (Travis, Bk 2)
Blue-Eyed Devil (Travis, Bk 2)
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 151
Review Date: 5/18/2008
Helpful Score: 4


A sequel to Kleypas's first contemporary romance, "Sugar Daddy", we have recurrign characters but if you haven't read Sugar Daddy this one will still make perfect sense. I REALLY enjoyed this book and polishd it off quickly, I love her historicals but her voice is so different and unique in contemporaries but just as well done. Our heroine is a sheltered (but not spoiled) rich girl who marries quickly against her fathers wishes.

This book does contain a fair bit of domestic abuse, both physical and emotional- if you only enjoy fairy tale romances, this is not for you. It's taken seriously and not dealt with as if meeting a new man will magically fix things, which was great. This book is a great romance but also a wonderful character journey and contains realistic relationships between family members. Unlike most I still enjoyed "Sugar Daddy" more, but this is still a wonderful must read!


Bones (Irene Kelly, Bk 7)
Bones (Irene Kelly, Bk 7)
Author: Jan Burke
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 104
Review Date: 7/2/2007
Helpful Score: 3


I LOVE this book, I gave it to a friend to read and now I wish I still had my copy of it :) I'm a big fan of the entire Irene Kelly mystery series, they're always fast-paced with great characterizations. "Bones", in particular, is very gripping and actually quite scary. If you enjoy exciting mystery novels with characters you can care about, don't hesitate to pick this one up.


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: 10/22/2007
Helpful Score: 15


I absolutely loved this book. I've never read a book that is ANYTHING like this, the language used and sense of humor was wonderful. It's a fiction story, but filled with historical footnotes (mainly dealing with with Dominican history) that puts everything in context. The book goes from one character's point of view to another, all coming together to tell the story of Oscar and his "fuku" (cursed) bloodline. If you aren't offended by cursing and sex in books, this book is a real experience and completely unforgettable.


The Burning Point (Circle of Friends, Bk 1)
The Burning Point (Circle of Friends, Bk 1)
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 9/23/2006


This is Mary Jo Putney's first novel set in contemporary times.

Kate Corsi always dreamed of working for her family's world-famous explosive demolition business-a wish her old-fashioned father denied her until the day he died. According to his will, Kate will receive a fortune, while her ex-husband, Donovan, will inherit the family business--but only if they agree to live under the same roof for one year.

Forced into a tentative alliance, Kate and Donovan must discover the truth about her father's death--and confront the past that almost destroyed them both. And as they face all their shattered dreams, their wrenching secrets and bitter resentments, they find themselves sliding perilously toward the burning point where passion catches fire once more ... Several people work in the demolition company, which is family-owned. Each employe or family member wants to be valued for their contributions to this business.


Christietown (Cece Caruso, Bk 4)
Christietown (Cece Caruso, Bk 4)
Author: Susan Kandel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 7/4/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Another great Cece Caruso mystery... well, almost. This trade paperback size (the previous books have all been mass market paperback) cost me double what the previous books did- and this was shorter and not quite as good as the rest. The mystery seemed kind of ramshackle, and instead of Cece having fun adventures on her own and encounters with her interesting friends, we mainly spend time with her disgusting ex-husband and her needy fiance. I'm still a fan, but I found this to be the weakest of the series. If they keep up the $14 price tag for the next one, I'll get it from the library or used instead.


The Clothes On Their Backs
The Clothes On Their Backs
Author: Linda Grant
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 8/13/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I had high hopes for this novel- the plot seemed wonderful and the reviews were mostly very good. Sadly the book really fell short for me. The prose itself was lovely, but the plot sort of introduced itself then stalled. The characters didn't come alive- the main character was very flat, and the vibrant ones (like her infamous slum lord relative) were built in an interesting way but didn't seem to be used to their full potential. The book slowed down in the middle, and even though it's a relatively short book I had to force my way to finish it. I would recommend the library if you really want to read it- otherwise you're not missing anything if you skip it altogether.


Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Author: Laurie Viera Rigler
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 77
Review Date: 10/3/2007
Helpful Score: 10


This was a very fun book and a fast read. Unfortunately I'm not at all familiar with time travel books so I can't compare, but I thought this one was done well. The book starts immediately with a modern day woman in the body of Jane Mansfield (ha), and discovers she's in the time period where "Pride and Prejudice" was just released (and as an Austen fanatic, she can't get over holding a first edition in her hands!) From then on she must learn to deal with a time period of chaperones even when you're 30, leeches used for medicinal purposes and keeping up relationships with only bits of the real Jane's memory. It was a lot of fun to see the main character deal with such a strict society when in her own life she was fairly promiscuous and her surprise when she finds herself capable of things like stitching and dancing, which she could not do in her own body. This book will appeal to fans of Jane Austen (obviously), time travel romances with a dash of humor, and really anyone that is looking for a good read perfect for relaxation.


Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody
Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody
Author: Chelsea Cain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 12/5/2007
Helpful Score: 2


I absolutely loved this witty, satirical and fun book! If you grew up loving Nancy Drew novels and have a sense of humor, I bet you'll get a kick out of this book. I guess it's not important that I point out you'll only "get" this book if you've read the old Nancy Drew novels, as I doubt someone who hasn't wouldn't be interested in this book. It also helps if you have at least cursory knowledge of The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames.This follows the "true" adventures of Nancy Drew, from her golden teen sleuth years to the twilight of her life. Here, Carolyn Keene isn't a small army of writers but Nancy's annoying college roommate :) A quick, fun read that includes pictures exactly like those in the original series.


Crime Seen (Psychic Eye, Bk 5)
Crime Seen (Psychic Eye, Bk 5)
Author: Victoria Laurie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 329
Review Date: 8/7/2008
Helpful Score: 2


I ADORE the Psychic Eye series, but this one for me was a dissapointment. It felt uninspired and the mystery didn't really grab me like the past did. It may help that I'm not a big fan of Dutch, and he plays a larger part in this book. I also would have liked more Dave in it, but that's just me :) It was still good but in my opinion did not live up to the earlier books. The mystery was honestly kind of dry and dull, and the plot just kind of went through the motions- there wasn't even as much interesting psychic activity as in the past books. I'll still faithfully read this series, I just hope I connect more with the next. This was the first Abby Cooper book that wasn't a keeper for me.

Also, why did they change the cover theme so much? I loved the other ones and how they all matched and really fit the plot- this one is just very generic and has nothing to do with the story.


Darkling (Otherworld, Bk 3)
Darkling (Otherworld, Bk 3)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 327
Review Date: 8/1/2008
Helpful Score: 7


I am a HUGE fan of Galenorn's "Sisters of the Moon" series- Menolly was never my favorite character in the last two books so I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy this one as much as the first two. Thankfully, I was wrong and this one ended up being my favorite! Menolly's story is darker in tone, we found out exactly what kind of sexual and violent torture she endured at Dredge's hands and it is horrific. She deals with her attraction to a new woman in her life while dealing with her scars (both physical and emotional) from her turning on top of their battle against Shadow Wing.

The highlight of the book to me was we FINALLY get to go into the other world! The descriptions were absolutely mesmerzing, and I wished I could have spent the rest of the book there. This novel was satisfying on its own but also set up the next book, Dragon Wytch, well. We're now very familiar with all the sisters, so the story has started to really kick into gear with the coming war. Highly recommended and remember- it's urban fantasy- NOT paranormal romance! (Why the publishers labeled it that I'll never know...)


Dead Men Don't Get the Munchies (Cooking Class, Bk 3)
Dead Men Don't Get the Munchies (Cooking Class, Bk 3)
Author: Miranda Bliss
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 91
Review Date: 5/13/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Another quick read from this cozy mystery series. The actual mystery itself isn't as complex as the first two, but the romance progresses a bit and we meet a lot of fun characters. The recipes (which are all based on high quality bar food) include a chicken dip, onion soup, chili, grilled corn on the cob, hot chicken wings, mac 'n' three cheese, organic horseradish sauce, zesty burgers, grilled peaches with ice cream and the Bellywasher's mojito.


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