Book Review Tuesday, Part 1

This is Part 1 of 2 because I've read 16 books since my last Book Review Tuesday post in November. There would have been more, but I'm rereading all the Harry Potter books again (I'm on the Order of the Phoenix - Book 5 - right now).

1. The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina GeorgeSimon Pare (translator). Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. 

The Bug Says: I read this one for book club and I really thought I would like it. It was nicely quirky, and the characters were somewhat interesting. But, since I’m the person who will wander through your house looking to see if you have anything in your decorative boxes, I had no patience for Monsieur Perdu and his 20 year old unopened letter. Sorry for your heartache dude, but it should have happened 20 years ago! I gave it 3 stars.

2. All Shall Be Well (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #2), by Deborah Crombie. Perhaps it is a blessing when Jasmine Dent dies in her sleep. At long last an end has come to the suffering of a body horribly ravaged by disease. It may well have been suicide; she had certainly expressed her willingness to speed the inevitable. But small inconsistencies lead her neighbor, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of Scotland Yard, to a startling conclusion: Jasmine Dent was murdered. But if not for mercy, why would someone destroy a life already so fragile and doomed? As Kincaid and his capable and appealing assistant Sergeant Gemma James sift through the dead woman's strange history, a troubling puzzle begins to take shape -- a bizarre amalgam of good and evil, of charity and crime . . . and of the blinding passions that can drive the human animal to perform cruel and inhuman acts. 

The Bug Says: I enjoyed the first book in this series & decided to continue on. I’m glad I did. The ending was very surprising! I gave it 4 stars.

3. Breaking Braydon (Breaking and Taking #1), by M.K. Harkins. Playboy billionaire Braydon Decker changes women more often than designer ties. Scarred and humiliated as a teenager, he pledged long ago to never trust a beautiful woman again. But then he never imagined meeting one quite like Jain Parker. Jain, a dedicated medical research scientist, learned early in college that her good looks were a hindrance and she’d have to tone down her beauty to be taken seriously, thus, Plain Jain was born, and men were no longer an issue. Of course, she didn’t count on running into Braydon Decker. 

The Bug Says: This was my book club freebie, and if it looks like your typical Harlequin romance, then you are exactly right. As a brown eyed brunette, I was So Annoyed (ANNOYED) that Jain disguised herself as a brown eyed brunette to make herself unattractive. Urgh. I gave it 2 stars.

4. Devoted in Death (In Death #41), by J.D. Robb. Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

The Bug Says: Another great Eve Dallas installment – Ella-Loo & Darryl made a big mistake when they brought their show to NYC! I gave it 4 stars.

5. Taking Tiffany (Breaking and Taking #2), by M.K. Harkins. Young socialite, Tiffany Thompson, seems to have it all, everything but love, that is. Guarded since her high school boyfriend’s betrayal, she wouldn’t recognize real love if it hit her over the head. Unless it’s a can of paint, and successful financier Todd Jameson is behind it. Todd fell hard and fast for Tiffany a year earlier, but, unwilling to risk his own heart after a college sweetheart shattered it, he avoids Tiffany and vows to keep his distance. Fate has other plans, however, and changes both their minds. 

The Bug Says: OK, I know I just read the first book in this series, and I know that I gave it 2 stars, and I know that I was really annoyed about what the main character did to make herself unattractive, but…book #2 was free too & I sort of liked the Tiffany character. But this one was meh too, so I gave it 2 stars.

6. The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2), by Danielle Paige. To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die... But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked? 

The Bug Says: This series has so much potential! But I guess I’m past the age where I’m entertained by teenage heroines. I’ve got middle-aged hormones going on – I do not want to deal with teenage ones. Plus, I was really disappointed by who was killed in this book. I spent a lot of the book just annoyed. You know I’ll probably read the next one though. Sigh. I gave it 3 stars

7. Faceless Killers (Kurt Wallander #1), by Henning Mankell. One frozen January morning at 5am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he believes is a routine call-out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath. An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely alive beside his shattered body, both victims of a violence beyond reason. The woman supplies Wallander with his only clue: the perpetrators may have been foreign. When this is leaked to the press, it unleashes racial hatred. Kurt Wallander's life is a shambles: his wife has left him, his daughter refuses to speak to him, and even his ageing father barely tolerates him. He works tirelessly, eats badly, and drinks his nights away in a lonely, neglected flat. But now, with winter tightening and his activities being monitored by a tough-minded district attorney, Wallander must forget his troubles and throw himself into a battle against time and against mounting racial hatred.

The Bug Says: Here’s another one that I wanted to like, but Wallander also mostly annoyed me (I’m sensing a trend – maybe I’m the problem!). I realize that the book was written in 1991, but I had trouble with his attitude toward women. But the mystery itself was interesting, as was the role that refugee camps played – especially with today’s current refugee crisis. I gave it 3 stars.

8. The Scam (Fox and O'Hare #4), by Janet Evanovich. Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace. Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.

The Bug Says: This was another fun romp through Janet Evanovich’s mind. As I’ve mentioned before, unlike her Stephanie Plum character, Kate O’Hare is actually a competent FBI agent. It’s nice to see a woman who can kick butt. I gave it 4 stars.

What are you reading these days?

Comments

  1. I really like Deborah Crombie, and although I haven't read much Evanovich, the Fox and O'Hare series sounds fun. I remember many, many years ago when my mom (who's been gone almost 30 years) subscribed to Harlequin mysteries. I read a few of them and quickly saw they followed a formulaic plotline in every.single.book. Change hair and eye color, occupation, location but everything else is exactly the same. Made me crazy! I think you were generous giving them two stars :)

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    1. I used to read Harlequin books religiously - I had a subscription too & couldn't wait until they came. Now when I read a book like that I find myself grinding my teeth & yelling at the women. Ha!

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  2. sounds like a lot to avoid but I might try the one by Deborah Crombie. didn't know there was another Fox and O'Hare novel. I'll have to look for that one when I finish plowing through the 850 page sci-fi book I'm on now.

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    1. Yeah - I wasn't super thrilled with this crop of books.

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  3. I wasn't thrilled with The Wicked Will Rise either... I think each book has gotten worse in that series. Disappointing. But I'll end up reading the last to see where it all goes.

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    1. I'll read it too because I'm curious!

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  4. I haven't read any novels in ages and need to make time for more reading.

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    1. I only get that much reading done because I listen to books while I drive & walk - it definitely helps with my productivity!

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  5. I read The Little Paris Bookshop, probably because you mentioned it, and I liked it.
    I've just finished (and SWMBO is about to finish) "Being Nixon". As a political junkie who lived through the Nixon years, I loved it. And I learned that the author, Evan Thomas, is the grandson of the Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas. For my "right before sleep reading", I'm taking a very slow spin through "Body Work" by Sara Paretsky. What's not to like about a V.I. Warshawski crime romp?

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    1. I LOVE V.I. Warshawski! I need to get reacquainted with her.

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  6. The only one of those I have read is "The Little Paris Bookshop." I LOVED IT! It held my interest all the way and I really liked the story and the characters. I thought it was a nice soothing read.

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    1. I thought it had a lot of potential, but I ended up being annoyed. But, again, I think that maybe my annoyance level is pretty low these days :)

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  7. All your books sound so interesting! I'm reading nothing right now...always too tired. I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing differently than you do. We both work, we both take walks, we both have homes to run and keep in shape. Yet you find the time to read four times as much as I would like to read. What's your secret? Are the days longer in Ohio?

    Your sentence I’m the person who will wander through your house looking to see if you have anything in your decorative boxes made me laugh out loud! You are too funny.

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    1. It's "we both have homes to run" that's the difference - I don't cook or clean. Voila - lots of time! Ha!

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    1. I'll bet that's pretty interesting (I admit - I had to google her).

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  9. a recommendation: The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett. It's the final Discworld book and the ending feels a little rushed, possibly because Pratchett died before he had time to do a final edit - but the early chapters are beautiful. Also if you like detective fiction try Ian Rankin's Ressurection Men - but don't blame me if you get hooked on John Rebus as a result

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    1. I feel like I've read an Ian Rankin book before... I'll have to go look!

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  10. Thanks for the reviews. I could read book reviews all day. Sometimes I go down a rabbit hole on audible.com and the next thing I know, an hour has passed. The Scam sounds like something I would like. I love detective stories, mysteries and who-dun-its, especially when they have strong female roles.

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