Friday, June 28, 2013

These Happy Golden Years


**Links: Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7**

This book is sort of sweet. Laura is growing up. She is teaching school and even courting.

These Happy Golden Years definitely follows the story of how Laura and Almanzo fall in love. In the beginning, Laura claims she will not marry, that she'll be a teacher for her entire life. But, slowly, over the course of years, she finds that she has begun to care for Almanzo.

Almanzo takes Laura driving every Sunday afternoon. They talk and get to know each other, and a closeness grows between them.

I'm sad that my daughter and I only have one more book left to read in this series. It's been a good series.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wife 22

I LOVED this book.

Wife 22 is a book about midlife and marriage. Alice is dealing with the changes that come with a woman's mid-40s, as well as dealing with her marriage of 20 years.

Alice and her husband don't talk anymore. She feels like her marriage is no longer a happy one, and it is made worse when William is laid off, and Alice discovers a strong reason why he was.

While her marriage and life are in turmoil, she signs up to participate in a marriage research study. During the study, she is required to answer questions about her marriage. But she also opens up to Researcher 101, the man assigned to her study, in ways that she is not able to open up to her husband. Throughout the course of this all, Alice starts realizing just how much her marriage is struggling and how badly she is struggling to deal with all of life's curve balls.

I truly liked this book.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Penelope


This book was terrible. It really had no plot, the characters were very shallow, surface creations, and the writing is just, I don't know, bad.

I got this book because the idea seemed like something I could enjoy. Penelope goes for her freshman year at Harvard. She is an awkward girl who listens to her mother way more than she should. It seemed like a story I could sort of get into. I was so wrong.

The book revolves around all of Penelope's social awkwardness. She says stupid things, makes friends with people who, honestly, do not make good friends, and gets herself into horrible situations with the men she meets that just seem like she's asking to be sexually assaulted.

The book just disgusted me. The characters have no depth. The plot is a weak thread of "Penelope goes to Harvard." It's a waste of 300 pages.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Night Circus


My mother suggested that I read this book. I have to admit, when I started the book, I did not really think that I would enjoy it. But I was pleasantly surprised that I did enjoy this book.

The book revolves around two competing magicians as they attempt to prove which of them is the strongest. What they don't know is that their teachers have kept the way that you win from both of them.

The Night Circus is a traveling circus where Celia, one of the competitors, performs as an illusionist. Marco, the other competitor, is stuck in London as he attempts to compete appropriately.

The circus becomes their challenge. They use their magic to change and enhance the circus, creating wonders that most of us would only dream of. But, eventually, they use the circus to express feelings that they begin having for each other.

It becomes an almost sweet love story. I definitely liked it. But my enjoyment came after some unknown point where I realized that I just couldn't put the book down.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Book of Lost Things

I bought this book because it originally appealed to me. Basically, a kid using books to cope with life. It's what I do.

David is 12, his mother has just died, his father remarries shortly after, and he suddenly has a new half-brother. He hears his books talk. And suddenly, he is thrust into a world that he doesn't understand.

The land has no name. David comes through a tree into a forest. He meets a Woodsman who desires to help him get to the king so that he can perhaps get home again. So, David sets off with the Woodsman, and later with a knight by the name of Roland.

Throughout his journey, he encounters fairy tales that he has grown up knowing, only they are twisted. Snow White is fat and cruel, Sleeping Beauty is a wicked enchantress, and Beauty and the Beast is turned around, where the Beast is a lady and the man is the love interest.

David is also pursued by a Crooked Man. A man who makes promises in exchange for his little brother's name.

As David travels through the land, he finds himself working through the issues he has. He works on his grief over his dead mother. He works through the issues he has with his stepmother and half-brother. But mostly, he works on himself.

I loved the book. What I got out of it is not likely to be what someone else gets out of it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beautiful Redemption


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 2.5 * Book 3**

I must say, after the depressing end of the third book, I wasn't really sure where this one would go. I mean, seriously, Ethan was gone. There's generally no coming back from a jump off a water tower.

How wrong I was. This book was exciting like the others, but with a sort of bittersweet note to it. I'm not sure if that was my own personal feelings regarding the ending of a series I had come to love or me sort of feeling what the characters felt.

Ethan is determined. He isn't supposed to be dead. This was not his fate. But if he wants to return to the Mortal world, to his family, to Lena, he has to go on a huge quest that is not as easy as it sounds. Just cross a river, make a deal with a gatekeeper, rip a page out of a book. Sounds easy, right? It's not.

Ethan encounters problems the whole way, and he has to use all of his skills to solve the problems of his journey. Unlike the other times that he has to deal with some supernatural problem, this time he is, for all intents and purposes, alone.

I'm sad this series is over, but I think it had a really satisfying ending. But, part of me does wish it didn't have an ending. But that's the same part of me that hates to have a good book end.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beautiful Chaos

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 2.5**

The world is ending. At least, it appears to be. Heat wave, drought, earthquakes, and the Casters have unreliable powers.

Ethan and Lena go on a hunt to figure out how to fix the chaos that Lena's Claiming caused. When she chose both Light and Dark, she broke the Order of Things, and now the Mortal world is going through the apocalypse.

Ethan's Shadowing Song, the warning from his mother, tells of a Demon Queen and The One Who Is Two. This mysterious person is the one who can bring about a New Order through sacrifice. If only they could find The One Who Is Two.

I am loving these books, but I'm sad that I only have one left.