Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

First a very short summary. A girl longs to go to her grandmother's homeland of Italy - specifically Florence. She finally goes and meets up with a local contact (she is a possible book author for the main character's publishing house) who is very knowledgeable on the art and history of Florence but also happens to hear the voice of a dead relative speak to her through various artwork. When I chose this book, I knew the premise was a bit odd for my taste. I was hoping I would be surprised and really enjoy it. I was a bit disappointed. Let me go ahead and say that I would not call this a bad book. I just could not recommend this book based on my tastes and preferences. I enjoyed the author's writing style and the book's setting. I have always wanted to go to Italy so I had that in common with the main character. I loved seeing a bit of this country through the author's perspective. However, this book has some deeper meanings and undertones in it and I'm just not a "deep" kind of person when it comes to fiction books. In fact, the book itself references those that are "black and white" people and those that are "gray" people seeing all the shades between black and white. I'm a black and white kinda person. I think that is the reason this just did not appeal to me. A major theme of the book is reality versus fantasy and how much of each to believe or allow yourself to believe. I just don't see eye to eye with the author here and skimmed most of these parts while rolling my eyes a bit. There were a few twists I was not expecting towards the end but overall it was kinda slow. There were bits of the dead relative's story interwoven as if we had inserts of a journal at the beginning of each chapter. I would have liked a bit more of that information throughout. Another book that I thought this might be like in that respect is Chateau of Echos by Siri Mitchell. I liked the back and forth of present day to past in that book and thought it might be the same here but it was not. The focus was much more on present day and not on the relative's story. I did not like the handling and resolution of the tumultuous father/daughter relationship and really did not care for a scenario with the contact's (Sophia's) father at the end of the book. It was deceptive and displayed a lack of integrity in my opinion. I received this book for free through the Blogging for Books program of WaterBrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for my review.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd

Loved the cover on this book! I must admit that I'm a total cover shopper. If the cover doesn't catch me, I'm not picking it up unless I know the author or was looking for that specific book but I digress. This book was just okay. I was hoping for more but I would still give the series a shot. This is the first in a series entitled "Whispers on the Moor". The book involves the heiress to a fortune who must marry to inherit, a close friend who dies and leaves her child to this woman's care, and the husband/father who returns from sea many months later. Can you guess where this is going? Maybe, but it is not your typical setup. A fiance, snarky relatives, and a kidnapping throw some kinks in the way. All in all, it was still a good read although a bit predictable and a tad unbelievable but his is fiction. However, I did like the fact that the kidnapping did not occupy the majority of the book. From the synopsis, it sounds like the book will spend the majority of the time on that event and the book is actually halfway through at least when the kidnapping occurs. The characters had plenty of time for development and the story line is clearly mapped out. I received this book for free from Booksneeze for this review.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The balance of motherhood and a good book

So, the first year with the kiddo has been fabulous! I could never have imagined how wonderful being a parent would be. I also never could have imagined that my love of books would not just suffer because of it but come to a screeching halt. Ha! However, I would not take one second away from my son to give to my books. I have missed them though. Life is now getting into a regular rhythm and one that involves some book reading time again. I was so ashamed when I logged into my book review accounts to see that it had been a looooong time since I had reviewed a book. Well, I'm back in the game now. I have taken my son's nap time today (a coveted time to do whatever is most pressing for the day be it laundry, cleaning, work, reading time, etc.) to update my book catalog on Goodreads. I've got plenty of books that have back-logged on my shelves for the last few months. I may not have time to read them but I can sure keep buying them. You can never have too many books! Look for a review coming your way soon!