Book Reviews, Part 3

Seven Up by Janet Evanovich – It’s hard to review these books because they are pretty much exactly what I expect when I pick them up – funny, fluffy, and predictable. I enjoyed Seven Up and still love Lula and Grandma Mazur. I read this in one sitting during Hurricane Irene last year, and it was a pleasant diversion from the sounds of wind and rain that can start to drive you crazy after a while.

The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro – Tessaro is one of the few writers of women’s fiction that come close to Marian Keyes in style and substance. This was a fun read where we get to see a modern romance blooming as the main character uncovers the sordid history of the Blythe sisters, famous British heiresses in the Twenties. The story goes back and forth between the present day and letters from the Blythe sisters, which kept the pages turning. The modern day romance could have been fleshed out a little more so this gets 4 instead of 5 stars. Her first book, Elegance, is still her best by far.

For the Win by Cory Doctorow – This book was supposed to be a story about gamers that teaches about economics, unions, and labor relations. I can tell that Doctorow is a very smart man who is passionate about these things, but For the Win needed another round of editing. As soon as the action starts to pick up, the story is halted by an economics lesson that I did not need. Doctorow needs to learn to show and not tell. Either that or he just needs to write a nonfiction book about economics and not try to package it into a novel. I would still like to try some of his other works, but this was a disappointment after the praise I had heard about his writing.

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender – I picked this short story collection up since I enjoyed The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. There were some excellent stories and some lackluster ones. I like Bender’s writing style and penchant for the unusual, and I am interested in reading Willful Creatures, her other story collection. The librarian story was interesting, but yet again librarians are either stodgy old ladies or sex crazed (as in Bender’s story). That might seem original to some but was more of the same for me.

Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen – This is the second book in the Bright Young Things series, set in Prohibition Era New York City. What can I say except that I love this series? The descriptions of the clothing and setting completely engross me in the time period. I can’t wait to read the others in the series, and I hope Godbersen continues to write historical teen fiction.

OK, one more post of mini-reviews tomorrow, and I’m all caught up with my 2011 reading list! Then I can post full reviews since I will be able to remember the books a bit better.


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