Book 18: The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1)- Megan Shepherd

Shepherd, Megan - The Madman's DaughterA friend from UNC (Go Heels! – it’s a gut reaction :-D), Hi Lizzie!,  recommended The Madman’s Daughter as the author is a family friend (or something along those lines) and I’m glad she recommended it! It was a fast paced and engaging read and although it wasn’t perfect, it was an amazing debut novel and I can’t wait to see where her writing takes her in the future.

It has been a very long time, over 10 years if not closer to 15, since I went through my H.G. Wells obsession and read everything he wrote and from what I remember this mirrors The Island of Doctor Moreau pretty closely. I think at some point in the next few years I will go back and read Wells work again as I really enjoyed The Time Machine and The Invisible Man.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the author’s story telling ability and her great descriptions. At one point when I was getting reading my final chapter for the night before bed I had chills all over my body because of what happened and the cliff hanger of that chapter (almost the exact half-way point). Honestly, I was shocked I was able to put the book down and go to bed.

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Book 11: Blessed Isle – Alex Beecroft

Beecroft, Alex - Blessed IsleWhile waiting on another book from the library I decided to request a copy of Blessed Isle from NetGalley. I had luck with the Tucker Springs series and wanted something light and fun to read and I wasn’t disappointed. This is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return.

This is how you write a romance novel! (To me at least.) There’s no rushing into things, there’s no the world is ours after 2-3 months (or shorter) and there’s plenty of conflict and potential heartbreak. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for the Wham Bam style of romance novel, but they’re just not the type of love story I’m generally drawn to. In addition, there’s a subtlety about Beecroft’s writing and her efforts (and total success) at keeping the sex out of the book. In doing so she created a novel that was much less low-brow than you would assume and the focus was shifted to the love story and the time period, which really only adds to the story. And to top it off, Beercroft did a good job of building at least one sympathetic character,

“But one day, perhaps, when the world has grown kinder, this journal will be read by less jaundiced eyes. To them I will be able to say there was fidelity here, and love, and long-suffering sacrifice, and joy. To them I will be able to speak the truth.”

And then closing with,
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Book 54: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

I decided with this novel that I would include re-reads in my reviews unless I have reviewed them in the past year. The only exception will be books I read somewhat frequently like At Swim, Two Boys or Harry Potter.

I re-read Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for the book group, Books into Movies, Caroline and I joined at the Somerville Public Library. I’m glad I re-read it, but wish I had time to re-watch the Swedish version of the film and to re-read the other two novels (which I may still re-read).

As I was re-reading the novel, the two things that struck me about it were the timeliness of the subject matter and the sheer bad-ass-ness of Lisbeth Salander. I mentioned in my review of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest that Salandar is an awesome feminist character and I stand by that. Although we are only introduced to her character and get a hint at her hostility towards those who mistreat women and children, the reader gets a good sense that in fighting the systemized failure she faced (and continues to face) that she has internalized a very particular and clear brand of right and wrong.

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