Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review: The Rosie Project

Title The Rosie Project

Series Don Tillman, book 1

Author Graeme Simsion

Release Date October 1, 2013

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

When I first discovered The Rosie Project, I couldn't decide whether or not it was something I was interested in reading. I don't know why I was hesitant to read it. The blurb makes it seem like it would be right up my alley. I resisted, though. I couldn't even convince myself to put it on my TBR list. A couple of days ago, though, I couldn't make up my mind about which book to read next (there's too many choices!). Of course, The Rosie Project showed up as I was browsing Goodreads. So... I picked it up.

And it was awesome. Wonderful, developed characters. Fun and interesting story. Solid writing.

The only problem I had with the book is the ending. While I was happy that the book ended the way it did, I didn't like the execution. I want the ending that's there, but I want to get there differently. I want something more inline with the rest of the book.

I will certainly read the next book, The Rosie Effect.


4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Review: I Can't Swim

Title I Can't Swim

Author Renee Simpson

Release Date November 6, 2012

Did your aunt ever get drunk at the holidays and call everyone in your family motherf***rs? If so, you will love this book. If not, you will especially love this book.

Meet the Applewhites in the 80s, a clan of Brits transplanted to New York City. Reebee, a fat seven year old with a penchant for lying and a fear of poltergeists, is the unwitting chronicler of the Applewhites' many maladaptations.

Through Reebee's eye for absurdity with compelling touches of humanity, we meet--her young mother, a chain smoker with a foul mouth and model looks, her mother's Italian immigrant boyfriend who is dangerously frugal, and married, her mother's stalker, an elderly cocaine dealer, and her mother's best friend, a portly Bronx woman who enjoys dancing Merengue and resolving problems outside of the law. The extended family court danger in their own highly idiosyncratic ways.

Reebee can't swim, but she does learn to navigate life and her family, as revealed in the last chapter, a flash forward to 2012 that finds her with a law degree, living in Uruguay with a Mr. Universe runner-up, who she runs away from.

Back in NYC, Reebee moves in with her now youth obsessed mother, and a new Applewhite, her orphaned teenage cousin who is out of the closet and searching for his identity. We can't pick our families, but we can certainly pick on their insanity.

This fictional memoir was just what I needed... a good, hearty dose of comedy.

This book was incredibly easy to read and very enjoyable. I loved the short story/essay format. Renee's writing is fantastic. She easily paints her scenes, brings her characters to life, and tells her story in a way that makes it easy to feel like a fly on the wall in Reebee's life.

So, whether you can relate to family craziness or were spared from the insanity, I definitely recommend I Can't Swim. It's a great book.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: Death Wish

Title Death Wish

Series Ceruleans, book 1

Author Megan Tayte

Release Date February 7, 2015


The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

Death Wish was a very enjoyable paranormal book. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.

I felt like it took me a few chapters to really get into the story. I was a bit worried that I might not fall into that easy reading where I can't get enough and don't want to put the book down. I was worried for nothing, though. Once I found my groove, I was hooked and then proceeded to devour the rest of the book with ease.

Death Wish is a great start to a series. It gives you just enough to get you hooked, but also leaves you with enough questions that you want the next book as soon as possible.


4.5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Book Review: Fall for Anything

Title Fall for Anything

Author Courtney Summers

Release Date December 21, 2010

Struggling to understand the reasons behind her successful photographer father's suicide, Eddie Reeves purses a dangerous relationship with one of her father's former students, who seems to know more about Eddie's father than she does.

I feel like the bad outweighs the good for this book. I just didn't enjoy it.

Here are the things I had an issue with:

I feel like I missed something. Maybe I only feel like that because I read so many good reviews. I don't know. I just know that I don't get it. And if this book is supposed to be about how suicide doesn't make sense and just completely consumes the people it affects... okay, sure. Yeah, I can see that. I don't believe it was done well, but I can see that.


2 out of 5 stars

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: Burying Water

Title Burying Water

Series Burying Water, book 1

Author K. A. Tucker

Release Date October 7, 2014

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

K. A. Tucker is one of my favorite authors. Whatever she writes, I'll read.

I love K. A. Tucker's writing (that's not anything new, though!). I liked the alternating point of views between Jesse and Water, past and present respectively. I think it was a really interesting way to tell this story. While I liked all of the characters okay, I really loved Ginny. There was something about her crotchety demeanor that I found endearing. I enjoyed the story, but...

I wanted more from the ending. I just felt sort of let down. Throughout the entire book, we get this slow buildup (which I really liked) and then it just kind of ends. It wasn't a bad ending, but it certainly wasn't a spectacular one, either. Another chapter or two of actual story before ending the book would have been nice, but eh... I don't write these things.

Of course, I'll be reading the next book in the series, Becoming Rain. While I hoped that it would be about Jesse and Water, it won't be. Following the steps of the Ten Tiny Breaths series, the second book will be about a character from this book, Boone. While very slightly disappointing (hey, I'm being honest here!), I'm not really complaining.


4 out of 5 stars

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Review: Mud Vein

Title Mud Vein

Author Tarryn Fisher

Release Date April 5, 2014

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

I just finished Mud Vein and I'm incredibly frustrated. I just don't know! I DON'T KNOW, OKAY? I haven't been at a complete loss for words in I don't know how long. I just want to pull my hair out. And I want to note here that I'm not sure if my incredible frustration and loss for words are a good thing or a bad thing. I really don't know how to feel right now.

This is my first book by Tarryn Fisher, but I've read really great things about her books. I can see why. I loved her writing. It was really fantastic and certainly enough to win me over to reading more of her books. But what about *this* particular book?

Fantastic writing. Gripping story from the very beginning until... the end, I guess? The ending threw me for a completely unexpected loop and I'm still reeling from it. I can't even begin to make sense about what happened. Weirdly, though, I enjoyed it. I am liking how this book made me feel after reading it. It's strange and wonderful and great.

I recommend Mud Vein, but I recommend that you go in blind (no spoilers) if you decide to read it.


4.5 out of 5 stars