Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book Review: Something Blue

Something Blue Something Blue by Emily Giffin

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a good follow-up to Something Borrowed, but not quite as good. I would like to do 3.5 stars, but Goodreads still doesn't allow for it. So, I rounded down. Usually I round up, but I had given Something Borrowed 4 stars, and didn't feel it was right to give this book the same rating, as I felt it was not at the same level.

For one thing, it was way too predictable. For one, I knew with whom she was going to end up before even reading the book. I also knew she wasn't right in her "instinctive" feelings about her baby's gender. And there were other things I saw coming, too. I didn't get surprised by this book the way I'd gotten surprised by Something Borrowed.

Another thing is I wasn't a fan of Darcy. I hated her in Something Borrowed and wasn't too keen on "hearing" her side of the story. I knew it'd be skewed and totally infuriating. I found myself wanting to slap her. (I'm not fond of having main characters that are not likable.) Although, by the end of the story I was rooting for her.

I will say the birth scene was very touching. I was near tears as I read that part of the birth. Perhaps it reminded me of my own birth stories, or perhaps it's just a mother understanding what another mother feels/thinks. Whatever it is, I had happy tears welling up as I share that experience with Darcy.

Overall, I did like the book, but I'd actually have preferred a sequel that was about Rachel. I loved Rachel, and I'd love to see more from her.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Book Review: Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book through the firstreads program, and am so glad I did. It was an enjoyable read with a plot that kept me reading. After really getting into it, I found myself not wanting to stop because I wanted to see how it all turned out.

Emily Giffin's characters were people I found myself having great interest in - even minor characters, like Hillary. There were definitely individuals I preferred to others. I found myself siding with Rachel, despite my disgust at her behavior, and hating Darcy. Perhaps it's because I found myself identifying with Rachel.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It's a perfect light, summer read!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Review: Avempartha

Avempartha (The Riyria Revelations, #2) Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan

rating: 5 of 5 stars
After reading The Crown Conspiracy, I was excitedly waiting for the release of Avempartha. I am pleased to say that it did not disappoint. It was very good, and I found myself stealing away from a weekend visiting family to read more! I enjoyed the further development of some of the characters from the first book, as well as meeting many new characters.

I have to say, about Royce, I knew it! I suspected from about halfway through The Crown Conspiracy, and was glad to find out I was correct! If you wanna know what I'm talking about, read both books! ;-)

As for Hadrian, I have some theories about him after having read Avempartha. I am hoping I'll get confirmation one way or the other in the next book, which I believe is Nyphron Rising.

I am keeping this pretty vague to keep from spoiling this - or the previous book - for anyone who wants to read it. I HIGHLY recommend both books, and cannot wait until the next is released! I have to also say that Michael J. Sullivan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! I cannot wait to see what else he has in store!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday ~ Better Late than Never

I almost forgot this week! For those who aren't familiar, this is a fun thing created by Kasey over at All That Is Good. For the basic Friend Makin' Monday rules, read here.

This week's object: Copy and paste these questions to your blog and give them your own answers.

You wouldn't be caught dead where? In any reptile house anywhere. Ever.

Do you have any hidden talents? Not really.

What are two things you consider yourself to be very good at? I hate to admit this, but video games is the first thing that comes to mind. As for something else, I'm getting hung up on the word "very" here. There are plenty of things I'm just good at. But very good is another story.

What are two things you consider yourself to be very bad at? Cooking, lying.

Have you ever won a trophy? I don't think so, but I have MANY ribbons (with medals) from competitions with my violin and/or orchestra.

What is one thing not many people know about you? I played the violin from 4th through 9th grades. I quit because I developed tendinitis in my left wrist. I went from that to choir. Oh, and even lesser-known is that I played the clarinet for two years - 4th and 5th grades. I quit in the 6th grade because I wanted to be a crossing guard.

What is your earliest memory? I honestly don't remember a lot from my childhood. However, I do remember the layout of the apartment I lived in when I was 2 until I was 4.

What was your favorite musical group in jr. high? I'm thinking New Kids on the Block, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

What was something the worst roommate you ever had did? I was lucky - never really had a bad roommate.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A lawyer, like my great-grandfather.

What was your worst dating experience? Dating a pathological liar in high school.

If you were about to die what would your last meal be? Alaskan king crab legs. Not sure what else. And not entirely sure what dessert would be - too many choices! LOL

Who is the most important person in you life? My husband.

If your house was on fire, what 3 things would you grab on your way out? Assuming the people and pets were safe, I'd grab my laptop (assuming DH grabs his own), our wedding album, and our back-up external hard drive.

Now it's your turn! Don't forget to share your post! :-)

Book Review: The Einstein Syndrome

The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late by Thomas Sowell

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I recently read Late-Talking Children, also by Thomas Sowell, because of concerns I have regarding my own son. I could say much the same for this book as I had for that one. It's pretty much further discussion - with information from more study and more sources - of the same concept, except now it has a name: the Einstein Syndrome. I do not think it's necessary for someone to read both books as this one reiterates a lot of what is in Late-Talking Children. This is why I gave this book four stars, as it didn't offer much new information - just expanded on what was in the previous one. There's nothing wrong with that - I just wasn't blown away with this as I had been with the other. I suspect that if I'd read this one first, I would have given it five stars for the same reason I gave Late-Talking Children five stars. That said, this book did help strengthen my resolve to protect my son. I do NOT think anything is wrong with him. I think that he's just developing verbal skills on his own timetable - after honing many of his more advanced skills.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Book Review: Late-Talking Children

Late-Talking Children Late-Talking Children by Thomas Sowell

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a very good book. Very good. My 3.5-year-old son is currently undergoing tests and speech therapy for a perceived speech delay. He is most certainly an intelligent boy: can read short words, knows upper- and lowercase letters, recognizes numbers, has an amazing memory, etc. He also is social - plays with his sisters and cousins and familiar friends - while also reserved and shy. So, when the people at the school district mentioned a possible label of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), or PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder), I wasn't so sure. I had no peace - ZERO. But, I also saw why they would think that. Interestingly, our pediatrician has maintained that he believes NOTHING is wrong with my son - except perhaps a minor speech delay. He has encouraged us to get a second opinion, which we are in about 6 weeks. This book was discovered at a truly perfect time for me. I was in serious confusion and frustration and almost despair.

In reading this book, some of the children described sound almost exactly like my son. It's uncanny, and probably not just a mere coincidence. Especially when looking at the family trends. We have pilots, scientists, musicians, engineers, etc. in our family - as many of the children in this study. Again, I don't think it's just a coincidence. And, really, I've often wondered whether there's truly something wrong or if his being so smart also means he operates a bit differently. Not incorrectly - just not the same as most children. This book reminded me of my initial thoughts, and gave me some hope. In the absence of some serious confirmation, I will not allow anyone to put any autism-related labels on him. I don't think they fit. I am much, much more confident in my son and his abilities than I was before. I'm reminded of what he is, and not what he isn't. Although, ironically, I am shows what he is AND what he isn't at the same time.

We will go through with our planned evaluation, but keep an open mind. Up next for me to read is the follow-up book, The Einstein Syndrome, after which I am going to schedule a meeting with our pediatrician to discuss these with him. Anyway, I am grateful for this book and look forward to reading the next. It has been an invaluable resource!

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Book Review: Gold of Kings

Gold of Kings: A Novel Gold of Kings: A Novel by Davis Bunn

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I didn't expect to hate it, but I didn't think I'd enjoy it like I did.

I really liked the protagonists - Harry, Storm, and Emma. Although, Emma was my least favorite of the three. Something about her just wasn't quite right. And I found the relationship between Harry and Emma a bit hard to swallow. Something about it just didn't seem right to me. But, I'm able to overlook that. The story itself was well-written and very engaging. I especially liked that there were some occurrences I didn't see coming. It's great when a book surprises me and I can't necessarily see what's coming.

Gold of Kings was an engaging, fun, and suspenseful story. I had fun reading it, and will be looking for more books by Davis Bunn.

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