Friday, August 24, 2012

Bookish Review: Mathilda Savitch

This book is not a beach read. I took it on vacation without really remembering/knowing what it was about. It's not light-hearted, it's not fun, and consequently I did not enjoy it very much. It is not poorly written, just depressing. Mathilda is an unreliable narrator, trying to deal with her family falling apart in the wake of her sister's death. Mathilda can no longer make sense of her life and doesn't know who to blame for her sister's death. Her mother is a depressed alcoholic, her father doesn't know what to do, and Mathilda is caught between crying out for attention and wanting to destroy herself.

This is not a fun read. But it's not poorly written. If you like depressing books, you may enjoy it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bookish Review: Imperfect Bliss

There have been many novels inspired by the works of Jane Austen and many modern-day "retellings," and perhaps no Austen novel is more often flattered by this treatment than Pride and Prejudice. Imperfect Bliss is another such novel, set in modern-day America and featuring a bi-racial family, the matriarch of which wants nothing more than to see her daughters marry well. This is an inventive re-telling: Bliss (parallel of Lizzie Bennett) is a divorced mother, a reality TV show is involved, and this American family is headed by an English father and Jamaican mother.This is an extremely light and fluffy read, but it is funny and a perfect beach read. It was a great take-along on my vacation. Austen fans who don't take riffs on her work as offensive, but rather enjoyable, should find this a fun, fast read.

Atria Books sent me a free galley copy of this book for review. Their generosity did not affect the content of the above review.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bookish Review: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches is the story of Diana, an American witch in England, who tries to ignore her powers and  live life as  a normal human. However, when she inadvertently summons a magical tome that has been lost for centuries she attracts the attention of witches, vampires, and daemons--and such a gathering of magical creatures starts to attract human attention as well. One vampire in particular starts paying special attention to Diana, but she soon realizes he's a friend, not  a foe, and all her beliefs about magic and supernatural creatures may be wrong. But  witches and vampires are not supposed to be friends--so this starts a whole new mess of trouble...

An enjoyable romp; good vacation read. First  in a trilogy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bookish Review: The Weird Sisters

The Weird Sisters is the story of 3 approximately 30-something sisters whose lives have not turned out the way they wanted. Daughters of a prominent Shakespearean scholar, their semi-dysfunctional family communicates in the language of the bard. But it is hard to find the words when mom is battling cancer, the eldest is worried about her engagement falling apart, the middle daughter is a disgraced thief, and the youngest is a pregnant wanderer. All 3 are home together again for  the first time in years.

Some of the characters are annoying because they have gotten themselves in some stupid messes, but  the Shakespeare references are fun and you do come to care for the characters and hope they turn their lives around. Good read overall, nice ending.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bookish Review: A Dance with Dragons

The 5th book in the Game of Thrones Series (I know that's not the official series name, but it's how everyone knows it) was confusing, but good. I had forgotten that the book overlaps with the 4th, so I was very confused about the timeline at first. Once again, Martin introduces dozens of characters, so it's a challenge to keep them all straight. Despite the fact that I know no one is safe in Martin's books, he surprised me yet again with who he seemingly killed off in this one (can't be completely sure,but I'm 99% confident the person is dead). He always makes me want to throw the book across the room in a rage when he does that, but I keep reading! I was happy to see more of Arya,Tyrion, Bran, and John Snow in this one. Martin better get writing--I want #6!