February Reviews: Part 2

I'm going to be disciplined today. I told myself before I could write a post on Twilight, I had to clear away some of the other books on my to-be-reviewed list. (even though adding my unnecessary opinion to the constant swirl of unnecessary opinions on Stephanie Meyer would be much more fun...)

So here we go!

Happy Endings (Paperback) Happy Endings Adele Geras

This book reminded me of gelato, a kind of Italian ice cream. It was small and sweet with lovely presentation and language. A well done summer-theater story. The characters are well-written and realistic, and the main character is very likable. Not earth-shattering literature by any means, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Rating: 3 stars

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1) Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, Book 1) Terry Goodkind

AHHHH!!!!!!! This is the sound of me, realizing that this older fantasy series is amazing. And that I could have been reading it all these years and didn't. And now that they've become more popular, I can't find them for love or money. (Well maybe money, but I don't have much of that.) So I have to wait to read the next one.

I hate waiting.

There's not really space here to describe the plot, but the Wizard's First Rule is this: People are stupid. (Hecks, yeah!) And there's magic and forbidden love and torture... What more could you ask for?

Rating: 4 stars

Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery (Book 2) Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery (Book 2) Peter Abrahams

This is a solidly good read. Ingrid, the main character, continues to be stubborn, intelligent and funny. She tries to imitate her hero, Sherlock Holmes, as she copes with a suspiciously-beefed up brother, an antagonistic math teacher, and oh yeah, someone kidnapping her and sticking her in the trunk of their car!

When Ingrid escapes and the evidence disappears, she has to figure out who, why, and how to get people to believe her. I didn't like this one quite as much as the first book, but it's well-written and well paced, so I'd recommend it to anyone looking for good YA mysteries.

Rating: 3 stars

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (A Meg Langslow Mystery) Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon Donna Andrews

I love Donna Andrews. Who else would set a murder mystery in a computer gaming company office, complete with talking affirmation bears and an incontinent buzzard? I was a bit confused by the absence of a literal loon, but there were plenty of human ones to choose from. The plot could have been tighter, and several of my favorite characters were missing, but it was still an entertaining read.

Besides who hasn't wanted to strangle the office practical joker?

Rating: 3 stars

We'll Always Have Parrots (A Meg Langslow Mystery, Book 5) We'll Always Have Parrots Donna Andrews

Parrots and tigers and sci-fi fans oh my!

This one was amazing. I laughed, I cried. Actually that's a lie. I really mostly laughed. In this book, Meg and Michael,her actor boyfriend, go to a convention for the cult sci-fi show that Michael co-stars in. Along the way there are rampaging monkeys and parrots, adoring fans in silly costumes and a murdered female lead. This is my favorite Meg Langslow mystery so far. Not in the least because of the African Gray that recites Monty Python lines...

Rating: 4 stars

Owls Well That Ends Well (A Meg Langslow Mystery, Book 6) Owls Well That Ends Well Donna Andrews

One of the reasons I like these books is that Meg's family makes my family look like the Cleavers. (This is very hard to do, by the way, we're a lot more like this.)

But when Meg and Michael buy an "as is" house overflowing with junk, they hold an enormous yard sale that brings all of Meg's oddball family out in force, including a lingerie-selling aunt, a cousin who changes her name along with her life philosophy, and Meg's dad, who spends the book running around dressed as an owl, trying to protect the endangered owls in Meg's barn. Which is where the body shows up...

I liked this one a lot. Donna Andrews does a few different things with the plot that make it fresh (not easy to do with a sixth book) and there's a sheep-rounding-up scene that is hilarious.

Rating: 4 stars.

All right, that's it for today. I'm off to spend the day with some writing friends. Drink some coffee, do some critiques, and try to imagine what a school hallway would look like if I were six inches tall.

Check back on Monday for my Thought for the Week!!


  1. The wizards first rule sounds a lot like PT Barnum's philosophy. I have't read any of Terry Goodkind's books, but you might try Rainbow Books on State Street. They have a great selection of older Sci Fi/Fantasy. And, you can trade in books you didn't like to get credit to buy more books you might like. I love that store.
    Anxious to hear your Stephie Meyers opinions. ;)
    Hope you're having fun at the writer's workday!!

  2. Miriam, just wanted to say happy anniversary, sort of, and heard you were coming up here soon maybe? Would love to see you! I know this comment has nothing to do with your blog post, but I don't exactly know your e-mail address, so this is my sneaky way of communicating. I'll try and actually read the book review now. I don't know, thought. That's a lot of reading for me...

    Lisa in N.I.

    P.S. A fun H.S. reunion is in the works... are you game?

  3. Wow, you've been doing a lot of reading. I keep a book journal, and write brief summaries, quotes and ratings on the books I read. Do you log yours in a journal, or something like that, to keep track of them? Looking forward to your Twilight review!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Amy- Hey, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to try to get down there one of these days. And why is talking about the Twilight series so much fun?

    Lisa!! Oh my goodness!! Well, yes we are coming up to visit the last full week in March, from Sat the 21st to Thurs the 26th. And I'm totally down with the H.S. reunion! PS. If you click on my profile picture, there's a way to email me. :-)

    Joanne- Hmm... Well, I'm using Goodreads to keep track of the books I've read this year, which ones are new, and what I rated them. I'm looking forward to expounding on Twlight as well.

  6. :) Should I lend you my Sword of Truth books? I think I got up to like 6 or 7 and then stopped. But they were great for a long time!

  7. YES!! Oh, wait you live in a different state... :-( I had noticed how many of them there were, and I don't know if I'll read all of them. I usually peter out on a long series around book twelve. Unless it's Redwall, of course...

  8. I hear you! If you do want me to send, them, email me your address and I'll send them bookrate (very cheap). triciajh (at) yahoo (dot) com. Because it was a really great series for a while.

  9. How funny! I have totally been wanting to read the Sword of Truth series. And yes, it's because I like the TV show first. But, I figure the books are always better. So, I'll have to check it out. (If I can find it, I guess.)

  10. PJ- Yes, there is a TV show now, which is why everyone is reading the books. But I don't know what channel it's on. I'll let you know about the books. :-)

    Renee- Oh, definitely read the books. They're awesome. And I'm so jealous that you can watch it. I don't have TV...


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