Friday, 31 July 2009

Books for July...

It's a terrible month to get through many books, there's so much going on at work and then I was away for a this month is light!

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
Only bought this because of the setting (which is beautifully presented in the book - Venice in winter, all swirling mists and no tourists!) but was pleasantly surprised by an interesting crime investigation, which although I worked out who very early on, didn't get the why! Will definitely look at her other books in this series.

High Jinx by Sara Lawerence
Young Adult school story...Malory Towers it ain't! Over reliant on alcohol, drugs, swearing and sexual references to be a true school romp and I found that all distracted from what could have been a strong story with characters that I could have warmed to. It wouldn't shock teens and falls short for anything else. Trying to hard.

The Ballroom Class by Lucy Dillon
Chick-lit cashing in on the "Strictly Come dancing" trend, about three couples (and various hangers on) who attend a ballroom class. Familiar, well trodden path of ambitious back to work mum and house husband tensions; pushy mother in law to be and middle aged debt, but well written and engaging.

Good Husband Material by Trisha Ashley
I love this author (I think I've said it many times before!) one of her earlier books that I struggled to get hold of. Married to the James who leaves her in the lurch, Fergal the pop star (from her past) becomes infinately more attractive. fab, five star chick lit!

Top Ten Venice
I'm going and so need to check a few things out - nice piccies, not too dull descriptions...can't wait to go!

Gods Behaving Badly
wasn't sure what to expect with this had some fabulous reviews and the idea is very clever. I was also pleased that I knew a fair bit about the I obviously did take something in at school! Some of the events were very funny, but overall for me it lacked a bit of warmth, partcicularly for the two human characters who I didn't sympathise enough with to care sufficently what happened to them at the end.

The Beach Bar by Kate McCabe
Came to me as an Amazon recommendation and it was okay...not amazing but pleasant enough. Amazon must love me...I just spend, spend, spend! Made Fuerengiola seem a lot more attractive than I've ever suspected...but there you go. Light holiday read, instantly forgettable!

Friday, 10 July 2009

June's books...

Okay so I know it's now well into July, but this is a busy time of year and I'll be playing catch up for a while!

The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews
Group of women meet up to share their traumas at an upmarket chocolate cafe. Covers marital affairs, the need for a baby and inetrnet gambling with humour, but the situations seemed a bit too contrived and yes, I know it's chick-lit and so that's what I should expect, but not one of her better ones. The whole repetitive "chocolate giving succour" comments throughout really got on my nerves - where was the editor?!! Fluff with cocoa topping!

Garden Spells
By the same author as Sugar Queen, but this one came first and actually I think it's better. Still with the magical realism slant, but had a less manipulated feel for me and the main character had more depth. Not sure I'd bother with any more by this writer though.

Villa Serena
Another Amazon recommedation...and I enjoyed it. Life in an Italian villa isn't what the main character expected after the husband bobbies off leaving her with stroppy teenage kids. However, gorgeous man appears and it all turns out well...not a great surprise at the end and a bit of a rush in the final chapters, but lovely setting and nice light read.

The Eternal City
Understated family drama set in Rome. Beautifully descriptive of the setting and senstive characters - really enjoyed it.

Hunted by PC and Kirsten Cast
More of the ongoing teenage vamp saga. Yes, they're all painfully fashionable and totally gorgeous, I'm like loving the style, girlfriend...ooh, look out the bad woman's gonna kill you!

The Sugar Queen
Sad, unfullfilled girl who relies on sweets and magazines to plug the gap finds a women in her closet.This changes her life and she finds love. Not as twee or saccharine as it sounds but it didn't quite pull it off for me.

Untamed by PC and Kirsten Cast
More of the same - teenie vamps trying to hard to save the world from the evil Nefertari...nuff said!

Madonna of the Almonds
Ever so slightly disappointing...mainly because I loved "Glassblower" and so had such high expectations from this. The main character seemed to be a bit cold and the Jewish side story actually appealed more than the main characters. Not awful, but not not what I hoped for.

Love and Dr Devon by Alan Titchmarsh
Warm, safe easy reading. The organ trafficking seemed to jar a bit but usual fare from the author. Like a coffee and a choccie digestive!

With or without You by Carole Matthews
Enjoyable chick-lit...split up from boyfriend leads to a hike in the Himalayas (as it always does!) and a new romance. Totally predictable, but well written and engaging.

Old School Ties by Kate Harrison
Strangely disappointing and rather superficial. Bought into the fad of Friends Reunited and reading it now it seems a bit dated and tired. Bully of the school is made to realise what is important in life, but the "bullied" actually comes across as the meaner character...felt a bit indifferent to it all.

Chosen by PC and Kirsten Cast
More of the same - US teen trash with teeth! the main character is ever so annoying, particularly the way she makes all males in the vicinity lust after her...but harmless enough.