The English American by Alison Larkin

Okay, I know I haven’t posted in eons. But summer is short and I’ve been busy enjoying it!

I just finished The English American by Alison Larkin which I absolutely loved! I have been doing a fair amount of reading this summer, but this is the first book that I’ve read in a while that I raced through and enjoyed absolutely every moment of. It is a very easy read with interesting, likable characters. The ending is somewhat predictable, but I didn’t mind. I saw it coming and was thrilled when it did happen. Chick lit at its best! I highly recommend this novel if you’re looking for some light, fun summer reading.

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Review: Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Strangely appealing story. A group of gods living in present day London. Love, betrayal, incest, loss, death, rebirth. An unconventional hero. A trip to the land of the dead. A bizarrely fun read! The lives of gods are certainly not dull. A very quick, light read.

Published in: on April 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Review: The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

The Abstinence Teacher has a chick lit feel to it and is a very easy  read. I tore through it in a couple of days. I really related to Ruth Ramsey and thought she was a very likable character.

I was intrigued by the play between left wing and right wing attitudes toward teaching children about sexuality and health. I wasn’t quite sure which stance was being taken. I was curious to see what the moral of the story was. I’ll let you read to find out rather than spoil the suspense.

I did wonder if it was fair to portray the right wing religious characters as, for the most part, being driven to religion by weakness or tragedy. There must be people who believe in an organized approach to religion simply because they believe it’s right? Not because they need a crutch? I think the approach taken by Tom Perrotta makes a complex topic much simpler than the reality.

I found the ending deeply unsatisfying. I actually started cursing after I finished the last page.

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Review: Effigy by Alissa York

I often read book reviews with the intent of adding to my request list at the local library. There are often 100 people or more ahead of me on these request lists, so it can take months before I actually get my hands on the book. As a result I often forget why I wanted to read a particular book. Effigy is just such a book.

Effigy is about a polygamous Mormon family in the 1850s. Not the type of book I’d usually read. Well, I figured there must be a reason I wanted to read the book back when I added it to my library requests, so I dove on in. The characters were interesting, complex and had depth. I wanted to know more about the characters as I progressed through the novel. I was intrigued by the women who accepted a polygamous lifestyle.

I did find most of the male characters a bit hard to take. But that may be my attitude towards polygamy and organized religion coloring my impression of the characters.

Overall, an interesting read. The plot had some interesting and unexpected twists. The story was character driven in a way that I particularly enjoy. My one complaint, without getting into details, is that I did find the ending somewhat frustrating.

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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Review: Half Life

I recently devoured Half Life: A Novel by Shelley Jackson. I’ve been soooo slow at finishing everything lately. But I tore through Half Life in no time at all. I loved it!

The premise seems a bit gimmicky. Conjoined twins and the concept of self and autonomy. But it really works. The ties between Nora and Blanche are fascinating. The story really is about Nora and Blanche, but the other characters are odd and wacky in a manner that I find quite charming.

Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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