Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Help...Kathryn Stockett

About the book:
Author: Kathryn Stocket

  • Pub. Date: February 2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Sold By: Penguin Group
  • Format: Nookbook

Synopsis from
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...

My Thoughts:
In all honesty, it took me two tries to read this book. The first time I tried reading it, I had to read it for an online book club. I couldn't get past the first chapter because of dialect the author used for the maid. Then this month my book club chose it for April. I don't want to say I felt obligated to read it because by no means was anyone forcing me to read the book. However, I felt I should because I was glad someone stepped out of the realm of YA and picked a book that could have turned out to have a rather controversial discussion.  Boy am I glad I read it. For me there were a lot of laughs and could have been some tears. There were also times when I found myself getting upset but I had to remind myself that it's a book.
The funny thing about this book is that, I could somewhat relate to the ladies that had help. Growing up in Jamaica, my family had live-in help from the time I was 7 until I was 12 when my parents moved to the United States. It was definitely a different time then and I don't think my mother was mean but I could definitely relate to how much time the kids spent with the maids and how attached they become to them.
I found that The Help gave readers somewhat of a peek of what black domestics dealt with in the past. I'm not sure how brave they would have been back then to speak out, albeit supposedly anonymously, against their owners. Yes some of the stories were good and some not so good. Although the author wrote a fictional novel, I believe there is quite a bit of truth to it.
I think the story was very well written and provided great imagery. Although I had a hard time reading in the "voice" chosen for the first maid the first time around, I still felt like I was in the head of that character. I was able to picture everything in the story, from the kids, to bridge club, to the league meetings and even Ms. Hilly eating that pie...LOL.
I am hoping this author comes out with another novel sooner than later.

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book in which I purchased on my own.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unsavory Tragedies...Russell Brooks

About the Book:
Format: Kindle Edition
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services
Lending: Enabled
File Size: 112KB

For fans of Barry Eisler and Robert Ludlum. A three-course story collection with a side-order of revenge.

Crème Brûlée

Rogue operative, Monique Beauvais, cons a software genius into selling her a coveted technology that would allow its user to control CIA drones while they're in flight. And she will go as far as killing him in public in order to have it.

To the Last Bite

A renowned food critic-whose scathing reviews have closed down restaurants-gets a savoury surprise.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, leads a team against one of Russia's most powerful crime families. He discovers secrets, but not one that he was expecting to find.

Three stories with three consequences. All containing three Unsavory Delicacies.

***Caution*** Readers are strongly advised NOT to eat while reading To The Last Bite.

My Thoughts: 
Unsavory Delicacies, an anthology by Russell Brooks, included style, smarts, suspense, revenge and of course food. Although the book was short, the three stories told of well planned revenge. The first story Creme Brulee, included Ridley Fox, the CIA operative from Brooks' novel Pandora's Succession. This story showed the measures Fox took in trying to gain revenge on the people who murdered his fiancee.  The second story, The Last Bite, showed us the revenge a head chef took on a food critic. After reading this story, I wasn't sure if I was happy I had already eaten lunch or not. The story was captivating but all I could say at the time was, I was warned not to eat while reading. I never usually get queasy, but this story had me a bit queasy. The third story, Shashlyk and Morozhenoe, also included Fox and a Russian mob boss. Again, we see Fox going through any measure, including risking his life, to get back at the murderers of his fiancee.  Although I didn't find tis story as suspenseful as the first two, the dialog was great.

For me, Unsavory Delicacies is a great introduction to Brooks' writing. He is able to paint a great picture with great imagery.
You can find Unsavory Delicacies at the following links:

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book in which I asked to review by the author.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lover Unleashed - JR Ward

  • About the book:
  • Pub. Date: March 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Sold By: Penguin Group
  • Format: NOOKbook (eBook) 

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them?

My Thoughts:
OMG, that's all I have to say. I've said this before and I will say it again, I don't particularly like reviewing series' but I have to do this one. I just have to say I love the brothers of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. They are intense with everything they do. 

After reading Lover Mine and realizing at the end what the next installment was going to be about, I wasn't so thrilled. I mean seriously, after reading all the brothers' stories and getting snippets of Qhuinn and Blay, why would I want to read about a human surgeon and the twin sister of one of the brothers who had been in suspended animation for centuries. Well, well, I am glad that I wasn't so un-thrilled that I decided to give up on the series. I was captivated and tense throughout the whole story. JR Ward does it again.

Lover Unleashed is the story of Payne, Vishous' twin sister and the human surgeon, Manny who she calls her healer. At the end of Lover Mine we found Payne in the human world with a spinal injury after sparring with Wrath in the Chosen world. The only chance they have is to get the human surgeon who's memories they scrubbed a year ago and who was also Jane's boss at the hospital. 

The intensity of Manny and Payne's relationship and healing process was well, intense. I don't know what else to say without giving away the story. Then we also see more of Vishous' relationship with Butch and the emotional turmoil that he has been going through and putting himself through for years. The bond between Vishous and Butch is just so real and so strong, it's like they share a brain. They just understand each other and will do anything for the other. Then we get a peek at Qhuinn and the emotions of his choices made me want to cry a little. 
Ward also introduced a few new characters and I can't wait to see where she goes with their story. I'm also hoping that she will write a novella for Qhuinn and Blay.

Once again JR Ward does not disappoint with Lover Unleashed.

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book in which I purchased on my own.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

...Take Me Away...

Who remembers the commercial where the lady was having such a bad day and she said 'Calgon, Take me away...' That's the day I had and how I feel right now. I have been having an awful day, I'm surprised I'm even on here right now. I also noticed that I think I missed the sign up for the read-a-thon this weekend. I may not have signed up but I think I'm going to informally try to participate anyway. Maybe put a tiny dent in my TBR pile.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Strangers On a Bus - Robblogger

About the Book:
Robb is crushed by a failed relationship with the love of his life and finds himself unexpectedly on a long bus trip from his adopted home in the U.S. back to his native Canada.

At the first stop in NYC, a girl gets on and so begins a contemplation of life, love, and strange events that will bring tears of laughter streaming down your face.

Is this girl Robb's real true love or just a rebound? How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?

This is a true story.

Special bonus excerpt of Robb's upcoming book is included: Robb and The Bible: Robb Does Genesis.
My Thoughts: My initial thought about Strangers on a Bus, when asked if I could review the book was "I hope this is as funny or funnier than his first book." The title of the book had me thinking twice about the humor because, well, I think riding the bus is CREEPY. I must say the author did not disappoint me. Strangers on a Bus to me opened up to belly busting laughter. I started reading the book at work on my lunch and my co-workers were looking at me crazy because I was laughing so hard. I think the story was even funnier to me because a)I have similar thoughts and b)having lived in the NY/NJ area where Robb began his bus journey, I could visualize what he was writing.

The basis of the story is about Robb journaling his trip back to his hometown in Canada after breaking up with his girlfriend and the people he encountered including a girl we will call Gertrude and his "like" for her. Robb wrote the story the way he was thinking at the time. And, I love the way he thinks and puts his words together. There are so many sections of the book that I could put in for you to get a snippet of his humor but I would be putting in most if not all of the book. I don't believe there was a chapter I didn't find funny. I think if you like a good humorous book, Strangers on a Bus is one to pick up, you will not be disappointed. 

You can also find the author's blog
You can purchase the book here on Amazon:


DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated to review this book. These are my opinions of a book given to me by the author for an honest review.