Saturday, December 22, 2012

Water for Elephants

I first read Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants many, many moons ago. I love the idea 
of the old circus, the glamour and the sparkle and the majesty, even though I've never 
actually been to the circus! 

Once the movie came out, I meant to read Water for Elephants again to refresh my memory, but life got busy and books get packed (and moved and moved again) and other books get read instead and the movie was never seen. But it finally made it to the top of my pile! 

I enjoyed Water for Elephants as much the second time as I did the first. It encompasses the magic of the circus along with the devastation of The Great Depression.  It's a love story, love for a woman, an elephant, and the circus. It's a touching story with characters who come to life. I really felt like I knew the characters and I cared about what happened to them. 

The only thing I don't like about this novel is the bookending of the past by the present.
 Of course, I always say that about books like this. I don't feel the need for the small story
 of the present. I'm happy with the story of the past. It's enough for me. It's a great story 
and I think you'll like it too! Enjoy! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Of Two Minds & More Minds

Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman's Of Two Minds and More Minds, the sequel, are about Princess Lenora and her betrothed, Coren, while Lenora's stubbornness takes them on an adventure. I read these, and liked them better, when I was younger, but they're still a fun quick read with a good moral. These are best for upper elementary/middle school readers both in level and demographic. Happy reading! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gone Girl

On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. And Nick is the police's number one suspect.
Something's up, and evidence is mounting against Nick.  He's definitely keeping a secret, but did he kill Amy? And if not, what happened? 

Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is quite the adventure and enjoyable read. It's so crazy, but I really liked it. I didn't really like the end-end, the wrap up. But what other ending could their be? I don't know. I think I would have left that out, but really. Great book. Go check it out. Now. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

If I was quoted and it was put on the front of this book, it would say, "If you enjoyed Face on the Milk Carton as a teen, you'll love Jackson's A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty."  It's also reminiscent of  Esme Lennox with the southern feel of Harper Lee in today's world. Okay, it's not Harper Lee good, but I sure did enjoy it. It's almost a 5. Just not quite there yet. 

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty tells us the story of the three Slocumb women, 45-year-old Big, 30-year-old Liza, and 15-year-old Mosey. Yup, getting pregnant at 15 runs in the family, and even though Mosey is a virgin, she regularly pees on a stick to assure herself she's not pregnant. Big feels that God sends her biggest trials every 15 years, and this year is no exception. All three of these women tell us their part of the story as Jackson takes us down the winding road of Liza's past as we try to unravel her secrets as well as the truth. I liked the twist and the mystery, but I'm not sure that I loved this novel. It got a little blurry at parts, especially at the end, and the logical me things there are some legal ends that will need to be tied up that are not discussed in the novel. Granted, that's not the point of the novel or the moral of the story . . . 

It was weird for me, though, that I related more to Liza's high school years than Mosey's, that I'm closer in age to Liza at 30 than Mosey at 15. Regardless, I really liked this novel, and I think you will too! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Albert of Adelaide

I didn't really know what I was getting myself into with Albert of Adelaide. I guess I was sort of hoping for a platypus on an adventure and kind of picturing Perry the Platypus in my head. That's how Albert of Adelaide presents itself. Albert is a platypus who has escaped from the zoo in Adelaide to find the Old Australia where he can be with other platypuses and live in the wild and be free. It seems like this will be quite the adventure of a read. 

Except it's not.  It's kinda lame. The story line is heavy on over-description and the characters were fairly flat and not very distinct from one another. It's really just about Albert suddenly becoming friends with different animals, then suddenly making enemies with others, and lots of fighting that's boring to read. I can't even think of anyone I would recommend this book to. Maybe those who like Westerns? That's my best bet. I just didn't enjoy this novel. 

*I won this novel from Goodreads FirstReads. All opinions expressed are my own.