Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review Catch Up

After I wrote up my Pinteresting Wednesday post the other day, I was trying to take off my toenail polish, when puppy came bounding in, jumped on my desk (her legs, not her whole body) and knocked my nail polish remover over, saturating my USB wireless internet thing. So now I am having to utilize my lunch break to bring you these book reviews, rather than actually reading another book. It's probably a good thing though, since I have 4 books to tell you about today.

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Three women - burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues - tumble onto the Nantucket airport tarmac one hot June day. Vicki is trying to sort through the news that she has a serious illness. Her sister, Brenda, has just left her job after being caught in an affair with a student. And their friend Melanie, after seven failed in vitro attempts, is pregnant at last - but only after learning that her husband is having an affair. They have come to escape, enjoy the sun, and relax in Nantucket's calming air. But into the house, into their world, steps twenty two year old Josh Flynn.

This is a book that borrowed from my sister when I ran out of my own. I read another book by this same author last year and it was an okay read, so I thought I would give it a shot.
The Good: It has a good ending, meaning that it doesn't leave a bunch of loose ends sitting out there that you want to know about.
The Bad: There really isn't any suspense. It's not funny. It doesn't give you anything that really makes you sit at your desk dying for your lunch break to get to read more.

Overall, it was a good book, a light read. Good for passing the time, but nothing spectacular.

3 out of 5 stars

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard - their secret hiding place - and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
Sixty years later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

I've passed this book by quite a few times just because I wasn't sure if I would like it. But it was another that I borrowed from my sister.
I FLEW through this book. It was so good. I was disgusted and saddened by the things I learned about France's role in the holocaust, and on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens to this girl and her family.

The Good: Pretty much everything. I liked that it would go back and forth between the two time settings. The characters were developed. It was suspenseful and evoked emotion.
The Bad: It isn't really bad, but I much prefered the 1942 setting to the current setting... I think the story line was a lot more intriguing, but that could be my interest in the history talking.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox

In November 2007, Amanda Knox was twenty years old and had been studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, for only a few weeks when her friend and roommate, a young English student named Meredith Kercher, was brutally murdered. The investigation made headlines around the world, and Amanda's arrest placed her at the center of a media firestorm. Young, naive, grieving at the horrifying death of her friend, and with little more than basic knowledge of the Italian language, she was subjected to harsh interrogations during which she struggled to understand the police and to make her own words understood. The subsequent trial exposed Amanda to international scrutiny and speculation, and she became a tabloid staple. In 2009, after an extremely controversial trial, she was wrongly convicted of murder. But in October 2011, after Amanda had spent four years in an Italian prison, and following a lengthy appeals process, the conviction was overturned. Amanda immediately flew home to the United States.

I was waiting and waiting and WAITING for this book to come out! In case you missed it, you can read my post here about how I felt when Amanda was acquitted. Anyways, back to the book.
It was good. It was in her own words and it was so nice to hear her side of the story, because like the synopsis says, her whole case was surrounded by so much media attention, it was really hard to get a good idea of what happened.

Overall the book was good. It was nice to hear about her experience and confirm my thoughts on the case from her point of view.

I give it 4.5 out of 5.

Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson

Memories define us.
So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.
Welcome to Christine's life.

This book has been on my To Read list on Goodreads for quite a while, so I was really happy to see it at Costco in Oregon (no sales tax!) when we were down there for my uncle's funeral. 

The Good: Very suspenseful, and it really draws you in from the start.

The Bad: It gets a little repetitive, but that goes hand in hand with the fact that this woman wakes up every morning and has to be told over and over again who she is. 

Overall, I am really glad I read this book and I highly recommend it for anybody who likes suspense in their books.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Sarah E. said...

I loved Before I Go To Sleep - such a powerful read. I have been wanting to read Sarah's Key for so long. And now I'm interested in Knox' book. I recognize the name, but since I was living under a rock in 2007 (aka in the middle of no where, with a baby, with no cable lol), I didn't know what happened until I read your posts just now. Every once in a while I get sucked into a trial though (ex. Casey Anthony - woah nelly was that one a doozie). I'm gonna have to go reading up on Knox :)