Saturday, May 27, 2006

Reading...

It's been ages since I last wrote about what I'm reading, but for some reason I just couldn't find enough time to write proper reviews. I'll try to do better from now on, though I can't promise it. Sorry!

Here's what I read since finishing Stephen King's Carrie (my last book for April):

good book
so so book
bad book

Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries C 306
Janet Evanovich - High Five A- 317
Katherine Applegate - Now Zoey's Alone B- 173
Sidney Sheldon - Are You Afraid Of The Dark? B+ 398
Claire Bret├ęcher - Agrippine en famille A- 61
Katherine Applegate - Don't Forget Lara B 153
Katherine Applegate - Zoey's Broken Heart B- 164
Meg Cabot - Teen Idol B+ 266
Victoria Laurie - Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye A- 295
Nora Roberts - Black Rose C+ 414
Nicci French - The Memory Game F 29/390
Jilliane Hoffman - Last Witness B+ 386
Kate Mosse - Labyrinth F 90/694

Nicci French's The Memory Game and Kate Mosse's Labyrinth are the first two books I just couldn't finish for 2006.
No matter how hard I tried, Labyrinth just seemed to bor me to death. I didn't like that characters, they appeared to be flat, didn't come to live in my mind. Heck, this even happens when I'm reading an interesting case for law school, so I do think I can expect this from a fiction novel as well, don't you? I felt bored throughout the first 90 pages until I decided to dump it. Despite the fact that I was away from the book for about five days (I hoped this would make me want to get back to the book - a complete failure, that I can tell you!), I just couldn't put it up again.
Then The Memory Game - at first it seemed to be interesting. I got it via a book box over at Bookcrossing.com, I wanted to read it, but after the first few pages I knew it just wasn't my book. I'm not sure why, but it didn't grab me, so I decided I would give someone else the chance to read it. Maybe they like it better than me?

Also, The Nanny Diaries and Black Rose were not really my books, but they had something that made me finish them.
The Nanny Diaries is another book I got through Bookcrossing.com. I took part in a book ring and got this book in late April. I've heard ambivalent comments on this book. It appeared as if you either liked it or you didn't care about it. I obviously belong to the latter group. I read the book, it was okay, considering that the authors both worked as nannies for New York Cities upper class there sure might be some true aspects about the book, yet, it is a work of fiction. I assume some of the aspects of life as a nanny they brought up in the novel are true and they gathered them from the various families they had worked for, but during the first 60 or so pages I've already come to hate Grover's parents (the nanny in the book calls the little son Grover). His dad, Mr X, was at work all the time, Mrs X at first appeared to be a caring mother but then the reader discovered she actually is a self-absorbed, rich b*****. No one ever seemed to take care of the son, everyone except the nanny was mean to him or didn't want to talk to him. I don't know whether this is a 1:1 re-telling of life in the upper class, but I also don't really want to know.
Black Rose wasn't a bad book per se, had it been a stand-alone, I most likely would have enjoyed it, but it wasn't. In fact, it is the second in Mrs. Roberts' Garden trilogy revolving around the women (and men) that work at a garden center in the southern states. The women and one of the men (the eldest women's son) all live at the same estate the garden center is at and at the house there's a ghost. Well, I don't have anything against ghosts in books, but if the ghost is a whacko, then that's different. In this case it's the ghost of a younger woman who lived around the turn ov cenutries (1800/1900). At first she only sang to the children, usually teh boys, as long as they are kids. But when the women start to fall in love she does some crazy things (don't want to spoil the book, so I'll leave it at that). Well, the first one was still okay, not too weird, but with the second I had quite some problems. We'll see how this goes for the third. I intend to read it next time I'm at my parents'...

As for the other books - Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, of which High Five is the third in series, is highly recommended. Stephanie Plum is a lingery buyer gone bounty hunter, erm, bail enforcement agent. In the fifth installment she has to look for her uncle who's gone missing at a shopping tour. Stephanie discovers that he had recently taken pictures of a dead person's body wrapped up in a bag. But where is Steph's uncle? And what did he have to do with the dead body? These books always bring me back to reading, no matter what's going on.
Victoria Laurie's Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye is a paranormal mystery. Abby Cooper used to work as a bank clerk when a clairvoyant came to her with a message from her Grandma. Abby had always had the possibility to see the future of other people. After some thinking Abby decides to give it a try. What I especially liked about the book - bsides the fact that I liked the main character, the mystery aspects, etc. - was that Abby's visions aren't all that clear as most other psychics. She sometimes is wrong with her interpretation, which is one big plus in my eyes.
Claire Bret├ęcher's Agrippine en famille is actually only a book comics, but it is French, so I thought it would be a nice start to get my French back as good as it used to be - and the I want it to get even better! I loved it. Back in school we read some short Agrippine stories to make lessons less boring - and it worked!
The books by Katherine Applegate and Meg Cabot are all young adult books, so I won't specifically comment on those. As you might have seen from the grades I think these books are good reads!

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