Ape House by Sara Gruen
Aside from my own personal bitterness of having the married couple in the novel’s names be John and Amanda (the name of my ex-boyfriend who I’m still not over and of course, my own name), the story was engaging from page one. The opening chapters were so well written that I was sucked into the story and could not put it down for hours. I am an animal love but I’ve never been the type of person to call themselves an Animal Advocate. So the extremity of the protestors outside of their center was nauseating but it was an immediate reaction to the words Gruen so eloquently put together. The main character, Isabel Duncan, her story brought me to tears. I never saw the resolution of this story coming. It was a refreshing slap in the face. I love when novels are written in two parts at first and then come together to fuel the story. There is a romance aspect to the story but I didn’t feel overwhelmed and annoyed with it. I’m currently in post-breakup recovery mode so all of the lovey-doveyness of other novels quickly prompted me to put them down. But Ape House is different. I actually enjoyed Amanda and John’s story. Good read.
Next: Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen
Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
While I have been an avid fan of the Stephanie Plum series, I must admit that this edition was less than satisfying for me. It felt rushed. Generally speaking, the novel is a full of rising action and then a dramatic climax with about 10 pages left of conclusion and resolution. But the excitement, humor, and sexual tension between Stephanie and Ranger/Stephanie and Morelli is endearing, engaging, and entertaining. I can’t say this is the case in Explosive Eighteen. It’s a quick read because it’s still entertaining but it falls short to the other books in the series. And please, Stephanie, do the world a favor and marry Morelli!
Next: Ape House by Sara Gruen
A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire
The first two books of the Wicked series are undoubtedly two of my favorite novels of all time. They encapsulate what I have always loved about fairy tales. When I was younger it was about the possibility of true love withstanding any obstacle in its way. The characters were always whimsical but somehow relatable to me at whatever age at which I was reading the story. More importantly, however, each time I read the story something new occurred to me. Sometimes it was an aspect of a character that I hadn’t noticed before but due to whatever I was going through in my own personal life I now found fascinating. Other times it was reassurance that you didn’t have to get naked to keep a man’s attention because, after all, princesses didn’t have to shed their ball gowns for a prince to love her.
Maguire brings a darker and more realistic side of the tale to life. The Wicked Witch of the West is really a person going through some crazy situations in life trying to figure out who and what she is. She falls in love, becomes politically idealistic, and fights till the end. Lion Among Men is no different. This is the “real” story of the Cowardly Lion. That’s what I love about the series. It’s the background story for all of the characters of Baum’s original story. He caries Baum’s political satire through without it being overwhelming and in your face. Maguire is one of the most talented writers today, and I can’t wait to dive into Out of Oz to see where he will take us next.
Next on the list: Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
Hello out there! This is the first time I’ve ever done this type of blog but I’m going to introduce myself here and we’ll see how it transpires.
I am a 2008 graduate of Duquesne University (GO DUKES!) where my major was English Literature. While most of my work stayed within the realm of British Victorian literature (with my girls Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters), I also have a pretty wide range of what I read. I also have a Master of Education from Westminster College, obtained this past January so I’m pretty stoked about that! Fingers crossed while I anxiously await to hear about my fate in my PhD program!
I’m going to keep uploading my reading lists with quick reviews (not synopses, just a little bit about what I thought). If anything sparks your interest, let me know, I’d love to talk about it! The Reading List page is just a current list of what I’m currently reading, what I have read, and what I want to read. Once I’ve read it, I’ll post a short review, and by “short review” I mean my very brief thoughts of the book. I may start to include a summary written by someone else because I hate writing summaries. I have a terrible time balancing what to tell my audience and what to withhold.
alis volat propriis
The Stephanie Plum Novels
I must admit that when I started to read this series, I was just looking for a quick read to re-energize my mind once all of my graduate work reading was finally set aside and complete. Someone suggested this book to me as the perfect way to do so. They said it was a quick and easy read. I assumed it was because the writing was simple and it lent itself the categorical “easy read” because anyone of any reading level could read and enjoy it. I was wrong. Evanovich has developed a very enchanting character in Stephanie Plum. She works as a bounty hunter who I ended up laughing at but also reading in anticipation of what she was going to try to do next — and how explosive it would end up! And the sexual tension between Stephanie and Ranger and Morelli…ay yi yi…it’s delicious but without the romance novel-esque overly sensual/graphic nature. And they’re quick reads because I couldn’t put them down. I would borrow 3 from the library at a time and return all 3 before their due dates 2 weeks later. Definitely a great read! “Explosive Eighteen” is the most current book and was just recently published. It’s sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read as soon as I complete “A Lion Among Men” by Gregory Maguire, the third book in the Wicked series!