Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Things Change

Okay so I just want to take a second to apologize for not psting for a while and also to catch you up on things so you understand why.

Like I explained a while ago Borders Bookstores are closing, not only does this affect me as a loyal  customer but as an employee as well. In order to make ends meet I have to work two jobs. Borders being my biggest source of income, loosing my job there is a huge hit. So most of my available time has been spent job hunting Thankfully I now have another job.

To add insult to injury my lease on my apartment was coming due. Now in good faith I didn't want to renew my lease and then have no job and not be able to pay the rent. So when I did get a job I now had no home because someone was slated to take over my room. So I have been house hunting as well. Again thingshave worked out and I move into my new place on Friday.

So not only have I not had a change to write on here but I haven't had a chance to write any of my stories either and I have been reading the same book for almost 4 WEEKS!!!! But life is slowly starting to calm down and things should return to normal, or my new normal anyway.

Friday, August 12, 2011

#55 - Before I Go to Sleep - S. J. Watson

If you like a book that will leave your nerves tingling and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up read this book. What would you do if every day you woke up and didn't know who you were or how you got where you are? This is what Christine Lucas must do everyday of her life because despite what she remembers or is told as soon as she goes to sleep her mind erases it all and she must start from scratch again tomorrow. So everyday she takes the time and writes down what she learns so that the next day she has someplace to start, a way to try and remember what happened to her. If she can find out what caused her to loose her memory then maybe she'll be able to remember her life.

This is S.J. Watson's first book and what a way to start out. This book has everything, mysteries about what really happened to Christine, suspense about what the truth could be, will hve you asking questions you might not have an edge of your seat story that will have you turning page after page. I started this book and immediately I was hooked the story gets right up and going and keeps you right on the hook right up until the end. I kept trying to figure out the story as I was going along but then something would happen and I would start to second guess myself. Multiple possibilities ran through my head and sometimes I would think I had it then start to wonder about another possible scenario. The way this is written you as the reader get to feel similar frustration and confusion about what is happening and even though it's not you at times you feel like it is. You get both the present and the journal entries, little pieces of the puzzle with which to construct the bigger picture. You will stay up all night reading and want to keep reading.

There is nothing boring about this book. The story is new and different and will have you asking questions you never would have before. What would you do if you woke up and couldn't remember your life and the face you saw in the mirror wasn't the one you were expecting?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#54 City of Angels - Sheralyn Pratt

I picked this book up on a whim several months ago and it was sitting next to my bed up until just a few days ago.

Rhea Jensen is anything but a normal twenty-something woman. Rhea is a private investigator. she spends her days following people and getting to the bottom of mysteries. But in this new case Rhea may find more than she bargained for both professionally and personally.

This was an enjoyable little mystery. It wasn't a complex mystery that required a lot of thinking. This book was a lot like an episode of Remington Steele. There was a mystery and there was humor and life thrown in for good measure. I don't know that I would categorize this as a cozy mystery but it's not a forensic thriller either.

The characters are different and realistic. The plot while not overly complex is enjoyable and entertaining. This is a good book for a light read on the beach.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#53 - Spellcast - Barbara Ashford

The theater is a magical place. Whoever would have thought that there would be a book that combines science fiction/fantasy an musical theater? I have to say that this would've never crossed my mind but it certainly caught my attention.

Maggie Graham is having a bad day, she lost her job and here apartment is literally falling down around her or on her.So she packs up and heads to a small Vermont town to take a break from the mess at home. She stops when she comes across a barn that seems unsettlingly familiar. So it begins a summer Maggie will never forget, a summer where anything can happen and does.

I love this book! I was turning the pages and staying up for just one more chapter. I love the combination of theater and science fiction/fantasy. There was something about the book that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. The characters are so real that you'll want to say something about one of them to a friend only to remember that it is a character in the book you're reading. I found myself laughing out loud and wanting to go tell everyone about the book I was reading. (sorry everyone at Borders who heard me go on and on about it every day)

Spellcast is a new and different and will have you under it's spell from the get go. (Yes it's a pun  but I like it so deal)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#52 Maine - J. Courtney Sullivan

I want to say that I picked up this book as much for the title as the description on the back. I love reading about Maine in case you haven't already noticed by my selections in cozy mysteries. So I picked this book up because of the title being my home state and was pleasantly surprise by how much I enjoyed the book.

Maine follows the lives of four women Alice, Ann Marie, Kathleen, and Maggie. Here are three generations of a family all with a connection to their little Maine cottage and all with a secret. Between pregnancies crushes, and deeply buried guilt over past events this will be a summer that these women won't every forget.

One of the great things about this book is that each chapter is dedicated to one of the women. Sullivan takes you into each of their lives allowing you to get to know them better and share theirs secrets. This is a well crafted story about family and the imperfections that make us all human.

Sullivan's style is easy and entertaining. The stories come off the page and make you feel as if you are part of them. I found that despite the four simultaneous stories I knew everything that was going on without having to go back ad re-read to find out who someone was or how/when something had happened. The story lines are easy to follows and enjoyable as well as moving. Also the characters are so real that you'll feel as if you've met them and know them personally.

I picked this book up because of the title but kept reading for the story and the characters.

Monday, August 8, 2011

#51 High Five - Janet Evanovich

Stephanie's back and up to her old tricks in Evanovich's High Five. Times are slow for the bounty hunting business so when Stephanie's family asks her to look into the disappearance of her Uncle Fred she figures why not I'm not doing anything else. But quickly Stephanie realizes that her Uncle being missing may not be as easy of a case as she was thinking. To throw a wrench into her personal life Morelli is still causing her confusion and not to mention that something is different with Ranger. Will Stephanie be able to figure out what happened to Fred and solve the the continual mystery that is her love life?

Evanovich has done it again. Even in the fifth book Evanovich's style remains the same funny and a good mystery. The characters just keep getting better with each book and you want to immediately grab the next one and start reading. Evanovich's style is one that's engaging and fun. You can't help but fall in love with the characters and become part of the story.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

#50 Plaster and Poison - Jennie Bentley

Avery and Derek are at it again renovating house and solving mysteries. In the third book in the Do-It-Yourself Mystery Series Avery and Derek are renovating good friend Kate's Carriage house to make a new home for here and her soon to be husband Police Chief Wayne Raussman. They're on a time crunch to get it done before the wedding only a few short weeks away not to mention the upcoming visit of Avery's mother for the first time. As if this wasn't enough pressure on Derek and Avery one day when getting to work they stumble across a body. This isn't just anybody though it's someone Kate knows all too well. Can Avery and Derek get to the bottom of this mystery before Kate and Wayne say I do? Will they get the Carriage house done? And what will Avery's mother think of Derek?

Bentley pulls out yet another great mystery leaving you want more and turning the pages. Avery and Derek have such a great chemistry that it just works. You may find yourself wanting to move to Maine and start fixing up some old house, just watch out for dead bodies and handymen with a sarcastic sense of humor.

# 49 English Tea Murder - Leslie Meier

Lucy Stone is doing it. Afters raising four children and working at the Pennysaver in Tinker's cove Maine she is realizing her dream and going to England. But even a jump across the pond can't diminish Lucy's knack for stumbling upon mysteries. While on the flight over one of the passengers and members of Lucy's group dies. Was it murder or an accident? With Lucy's past it's hard to say. To throw a wrench in Lucy's trip a former professor is hinting that he's got more than the sights of London on his mind.

The Lucy Stone mystery series is refreshing in that it is real. Lucy could very well be a real woman living down the street from you the mother of four, wife, and part-time reporter. There is no limbo with Lucy where she ceases to age purely because that's what the big wigs would want. No, Lucy grows older, her children grow up, and she even becomes a grandmother. Meier stays true to the character throughout the series. With this series you also get a taste of what living in Maine is like and the people that are here. No pretenses, no stereotypes just real people. Even though this book is based in England Meier handles the shift well and keeps you enthralled page after page.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

#48 Spackled and Spooked - Jennie Bentley

I'm pretty sure I've said it before but I'll say it again just for good measure, I love reading cozy mysteries. These are the kind of books you can curl up in front of a fire  with in the winter or read on the beach in the summer. They're entertaining and enjoyable, you may not learn anything profound and it probably isn't going to change your life but at least you're reading. My favorite are cozy mysteries based in Maine (go figure).

Spackled and Spooked is the second in the Do-It-Yourself mystery series. Avery has partnered up with new boyfriend Derek to by and renovate houses to sell. But when Avery and Derek buy a house with a dark past they may get more than they bargained for. This old house has more than on set of bodies buried in it's past. Will Avery and Derek be able to finish their renovation or will history repeat itself yet again?

This series is great because you feel like you're there in Maine but the characters aren't stereotypical with heavy accents. Yeah, there are Mainah accents byt they're not over done. Avery isn't your typical sleuth either. Most, while upset by the death, are drawn to it. With Avery we see a character who, while curious about what happened, isn't necessarily fascinated by it. This give this series a fresh approach as do the how-to home improvement projects at the end of the books.Readers of cozy mysteries or anyone just wanting a good entertaining read will love these books.

Friday, August 5, 2011

#47 Sentenced to Death - Lorna Barrett

In this fifth book of the Booktown mystery series Tricia Miles has yet another mystery on her hands. Tricia owns the Haven't Got a Clue Bookstore and has a knack for stumbling across real life murder mysteries. Stoneham is having their first annual Founder's Day Weekend Celebration and Tricia's friend and fellow bookstore owner Deborah Black is giving a speech. But when the plane hired to fly a banner overhead crashes into the gazebo where Deborah is standing Tricia is devastated. The mores Tricia learns the more she suspects that it was more than just an accident but can she prove it?

The thing I love about this series is that it is just fun reading. The characters are entertaining and the plot is engaging. Barrett does a wonderful job describing Stoneham and the unique characters that live there so well that you'll wish that such a place really existed and want to pack up and move there. The plots are different and fun. You'll be trying to solve the case along with Tricia and laugh with the characters. These are well written books that will have you wanting more. The perfect type of book to just relax with at the end of the day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Getting the Itch

Now I never pictured myself as the type of person who would be constantly moving and making changes and yet here I am. Since I graduated High School I have moved 5 times in and out of apartments and dorm rooms and houses. Also since I started working I have had twelve jobs (most were seasonal or school positions I just want to make that clear). Now that I am out of college and have been for a year and working two jobs while I wait for a opening to start my career. I feel the itch to try something new. If I have to work jobs while I wait why could I go somewhere else to try it?

I've lived in Maine my whole life and only ever visited Florida, Massachusetts and Canada (just New Brunswick which is right across the river and Prince Edward Island but I don't really remember it). I want to try something new and exciting while I'm still young and not tied down. I want to go to all the places I've heard about. I want to see what life is like somewhere outside of Maine.
This attitude may seem strange to some of my family and friends. When I was younger I never wanted to go anywhere I was perfectly content at home. I wouldn't even stay at a friend's house for a long time. But something changed when I went to college four hours away from home and keeps changing as I get older. I want to see what is out there I want to try new things (not food probably I'm pretty stubborn there). There are days when I'm heading South on I-95 on my way to work and I contemplate just continuing to drive.

I feel like Bell at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast. "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell" I need to do it, start putting aside money when I can and work toward my next adventure.

A Big Screen Move

More and more books are being made into movies and this is causing some readers to become upset. This isn't really a new idea, after all Lousia May Alcott's Little Women was turned into a movie in 1933 starring Katherine Hepburn. Movies are a great way to reach audiences who may not have otherwise heard the story and may in turn inspire them to seek out the book.

One of the biggest complaints readers have about their favorite books being put on the big screen is that a lot of material from he book is cut to make it fit into a workable movie length. As frustrating as this is you have to remember that people aren't going to want to sit through a 5 hour movie just to get all the details right not matter how good it is. This is where compromises are made. In order to get an acceptable length and stay within budget smaller scenes are cut or the details are incorporated in another scene.

I'm not saying that all books that are made into movies are as well done as they could be. A good example is Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. In the movie many things were changed from the book. The characters' ages were progressed, major plot points were over looked, and critical scenes elminated. I'm not saying this was a bad movies, becuase it wasn't as a matter of fact I own it, but as a movie adaptation of a book it was very disappointing.

If you go into a movie based on a book expecting exactly what you pictured when reading, you're going to be disappointed. But if you go in only to watch a movie without letting the comparisons interfere you may find you enjoy it a lot more. I love books and I love movies when they cross it's awesome but even if they don't I always have a movie going in my head when I read.