Posts from the ‘Adult Fiction’ Category

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Summary:  Yeah, right.  My dad reads this.

Brookie’s Review: Don’t get excited.  We’re not going to discuss this book (per say).  My grandmother reads this y’all, and probably my dad too.  So, there will be no in-depth plot discussions.  That is my disclaimer.

However, there is one thing Iwould like to state for y’all to see, make that two things.  First thing – Anastasia is a whiny brat.  I don’t like her.  Not even a little bit.  This is a rare occurrence.  I typically identify with the lead female character in a book, but definitely not this time.  Perhaps my dislike comes from the fact that this girl is based on Bella Swan, and we all know about my blatant dislike of Bella.  My thing with Ana is this – make a darned decision.  Stop agonizing over every little detail.  It’s not cute.  Either you love the guy and accept his faults and psychotic tendencies, or you don’t.  Seems pretty simple to me.  And with that being said, here’s my second thing – Christian Grey, you are one messed up dude.  Seriously.  I’m sure there’s a kind of explanation for it, but I’ve been told it doesn’t show up until book 3, which is disappointing, I think.  Back story is incredibly important to your character development (this is why non-readers were confused during The Hunger Games movie).

And I get that the author is trying to keep Christian a mystery, to keep you turning the pages, but even mysterious billionaires get tedious after a while.  I’d like a few hints, and more than what the author alludes to – it’s kind of easy to guess after about half the book.

One more thing, the writing style.  Not my favorite.  I’m not hating, if anything, I’m jealous.  Ms. James wrote a fan fiction based on Twilight, and ended up with a three book deal and sold the movie rights.  I’m definitely jealous.  But, I do feel like her editors should have helped her along a bit more.  The limited vocabulary that’s used get old very fast.

I don’t think I would have willingly picked this book up if I hadn’t given in to peer pressure.  Sometimes you just have to see what the hype is all about.  It’s people like me that will make this woman beyond rich.

Advertisements

Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay

Synopsis:  Dexter Morgan’s neatly organized life as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police, devoted husband and father, and killer of only those who deserve it is turned upside down by the arrival of his new daughter, Lily Anne.  Feeling surprisingly sunny and loving, he’s trying to suppress the influence of his Dark Passenger—the voice inside who guides his homicidal urges.  But Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old girl who has been running with a bizarre group of goths who fancy themselves to be vampires. As Dexter gets closer to the truth of what happened to the missing girl, he realizes they are not really vampires, but cannibals.  And most disturbing,  these people have their eyes on Dexter . . . and their mouths are watering.

From Amazon.com

Brookie’s Review:  I’ll be honest…I love Dexter.  He’s a bad guy (essentially), but he’s a bad guy to the right people.  Does that make sense?  There’s no secrets between the reader and Dexter.  By the end of the first page of the first book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the reader knows that Dexter is a serial killer.  He doesn’t try to hide that.  But, he justifies it to you, if you can call it that.  Dexter is a predator, and he preys on those that prey on others.  His adoptive father, Harry, an ex-cop, schools him on the ins and outs of forensics, and the things that he needs to do correctly, in order to not get caught.  Harry was also the one that told Dexter that he needs to only murder those that “deserve” it, rapists, other murders that got away, child predators and the like.

Even though the subject matter is touchy for some, I enjoy reading about Dexter’s adventures.  Did I mention that he’s also a forensics guy himself (blood spatter expert) and works for the cops?  And he also tries to maintain a “normal guy” facade, which includes a wife and 3 children?

I love everything about Dexter.  I also love that I have a picture of exactly what Dexter looks like, and he looks like this guy…

Trust me when I tell you, he is the perfect Dexter.  And he’s not to hard on the eyes either, am I right?

If you’re the type to like murder mysteries (and can handle some gore and bad language) then Dexter is your anti-hero.  Of course, start with the first in the series, Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Synopsis:  Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time.

Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath.  None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With The Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feels their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives.

In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.

Synopsis from back cover.

Brookie’s Review:  Love doesn’t even cover it.  It doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Behind Lonesome Dove, I think this is my favorite book.  There are so many books and series that I really love, but I’m always drawn to timeless stories, such as Gone With The Wind and Lonesome Dove.  These are books that my grandchildren will read and still enjoy.  This book was originally published in 1936.  76 years old, and people still love this story.  I do.

This is the second time that I’ve read this particular story.  I lost my first copy (I cried), so I bought a new one and immediately had to read it again.  It’s one of those stories in which you discover something new each time you read it.  This time I learned that I really don’t like Scarlett.  I knew that I disliked her the first time, but I really disliked her this time.  Of course I admire her tenacity, her drive, her will to see that she (and those around her) never go hungry again.  She’s a fighter and a survivor, there’s no denying that.  But she’s so hard to love.  She’s selfish, mean, and definitely not a very good mother.

And I get that she’s a product of her society.  Trust me, I know.  She wasn’t particularly raised to be concerned with “lesser” people, or worry about anything, or wonder where her next meal would come from.  But she has no compassion for other people, unless you count Ashley Wilkes, and I don’t think that compassion is something that is taught.  Either you have it, or you don’t.  Most people do.

As with all stories with main characters that aren’t very loveable, she learns the error of her ways, but too late, of course.  Don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you.  Have I ever?

My favorite character you ask?  Also the hard to love Captain Rhett Butler.  There’s something about him that I love.  Perhaps it’s his no bullsh*t style.  Or maybe the way he refuses to let Scarlett railroad him as she does other men.  Then again, it could be the way that he carries himself about town, not caring that people dislike him.  He seems like such a hard man, but we learn (even early on in the novel if you’re paying attention) that he does have a very soft heart, it’s only protected by a hardened exterior.  When he proposes to Scarlett (I’m not ruining anything, trust me), I wanted to kick him.  “Don’t you know you’re making a huge mistake!?” I wanted to scream at him.  But, had he not loved her, it wouldn’t have been much of a story, would it?

Also I loved Melly.  Mrs. Melanie Wilkes.  The frail, loving, caught in a horrible situation, Melly.  The focus of Scarlett’s ever-present hate, hate she earned for marrying the man that she loved, Ashley Wilkes.  I love Melly’s unfailing loyalty toward Scarlett, because in all fairness, Melly did owe that wench her life.  But Scarlett never saved Melanie for Melanie’s sake, it was only for Ashley.  If it had been up to Scarlett alone, she’d have let the Yankees have Melanie and the baby too.  Everyone knows that.  But her sole mission in life had been to make Ashley happy, and perhaps get him to love her, so she had to protect Melanie, even though it goaded her to do so.

I really do love this book, and could go one for hours and hours about it.  I won’t, of course, because my writing window is drawing to a close.  There are little boys that will soon wake up from their naps, and towels that are going unfolded.

If you love timeless stories, and have a particular interest in the Civil War, please read this book.  You won’t be (too) disappointed.  I’m always disappointed in the ending, but not for the reasons that you’d think.  If you’re itching to know why I hate it, send me an email, and I’ll tell you.  I refuse to ruin the ending for the masses.

Shakespeare’s Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare’s Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Synopsis:  Shakespeare, Arkansas, is home to endless back roads, historic buildings, colorful residents – and the occasional murder.  It is also home to Lily Bard, the local karate expert/cleaning woman with a particular knack for finding skeletons in closets.

But when Deedra Dean – the local woman of ill repute – is found murdered, her promiscuous lifestyle leaves more than a few suspects.  And being familiar with Deedra’s dirty laundry could make Lily the next Shakespearean to die…

Brookie’s Review:  This is the 4th book in the Lily Bard series.  I’ll have to admit that I am a complete sucker for just about anything Charlaine Harris writes.  It all started with Sookie.  That darned Sookie sucked me in, but sadly has fallen off the last couple of books, but that’s a different story for a different time.

Poor Lily.  She’s so damaged.  She’s had a turbulent past, and it seems to follow her where ever she goes.  People think she’s strange, because she prefers to be alone.  But after what happened to her (don’t worry, above all things, I refuse to spoil stories), I don’t blame her for wanting to rely only on herself.

Lily sure does get into a lot of trouble.  Charlaine Harris has a signature move, she finds a plot formula, and she sticks with it.  Almost every Lily Bard book follows the same plot line:  Lily goes to the gym, she finds a dead body or uncovers some weird mystery, she tries to figure it out on her own, she becomes a suspect, she gets bailed out.  The end.

But, I do love reading these books.  Even if the plot line is predictable (the end result and the moment when whodunnit is revealed still shocks me sometimes, I don’t always get it right, I didn’t in this one), I enjoy a good fluffy book.  Fluffy = fast, easy read, it has nothing to do with being simple or dumb.  I especially love that Charlaine Harris sets her books in the south, a place I’m pretty familiar with, and accustomed to their ways of life.  I feel that some people, perhaps from different parts of the country ::cough cough Yankees cough cough:: wouldn’t quite understand everything.  Or perhaps they’ll think us backwards and old-fashioned, but I’m okay with that.  And I’m definitely okay with the fact that Ms. Harris incorporates our customs and mannerisms into her books.  And she should, because she herself is a Southern lady.

Well done Ms. Harris.  I enjoyed this book as much as the last.  Lily Bard is quickly becoming my second favorite heroine in your books.  Now, we need to talk about Sookie….

What I’m Reading – December 30, 2011

Perhaps I should have made a deal with myself to take a break after reading my last Dumas book.  But, I have an addiction, and I’ve come to terms with that.  Also, I’m smack in the middle of Gone With The Wind, and I don’t like to stop in the middle.

So that’s what I’m reading right now.  I’ve read this book once before, but it was a few years ago.  I really do love it.  But I’m not going to lie to y’all, sometimes I wanna ring that Scarlett’s neck.  She’s such a little drama queen, and only seeks to better herself without ever thinking of another person.  Unless it’s her beloved Ashley, who is married to her sister-in-law.  When it comes to the ever-raging war within the house on Peachtree Street (the war that exists in Scarlett’s mind between herself and Melanie for the love of Ashley), I am definitely Team Melanie.  She’s loving, she’s the pretty and the good in everyone, is polite, but also not afraid to stand up for herself and others when the time calls for it.  I do admire Scarlett’s tenacity, and her downright refusal to give up on life, but I absolutely don’t agree with her actions.    I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I was glad to see that Scarlett gets exactly what she deserves.

I’m also picking up a book I haven’t attempted to read since high school, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  My little sister got these as a gift when she was still little, so I read them first.  Let me rephrase, I attempted to read them first.  I made it through The Fellowship alright, but then tried to read The Two Towers and hardly made it a hundred pages in.  But, I’m going to give it another try.  I went to Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago and bought the set.  And yes, before you ask, I’ve read The Hobbit.  At least three times.  I even read it to Little T early in his life when he absolutely refused to sleep.  It soothed him.  Or bored him.  I’m still not quite sure which.

If y’all have any recommendations, or would like me to review a certain book, leave a comment and let me know.  I’m always looking for new things to read, much to the displeasure of my bank account.  🙂

The Man In The Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

20111229-204250.jpg

*I’m posting this from my iPhone. So, if I screw it all up, you know why. Also, the picture of the cover, taken in my living room with horrible lighting.

Summary: Deep inside the dreaded Bastille, a young prisoner has languished, his face hidden from all, for eight long years. He knows neither his true identity nor the crime that got him there. Then Aramis, one of the original three musketeers-the finest swordsman in all of France-bribes his way into the young man’s cell to reveal the shocking truth. The revelation of this truth could very well topple Louis XIV, King of France, from his throne-and Aramis aims to do just that.
But a daring jailbreak, a brilliant masquerade, and a bloody fight for the throne may make Aramis betray his sacred vow of “All for one, one for all.” And in so doing, he will pit musketeer against musketeer, bringing an end to this swashbuckling saga-and either honor or disgrace. Upon them all…
*Synopsis from back cover

Brookie’s Review: First, I am glad to say that Mr. Dumas no longer holds me in his clutches. Thank the literary gods. I am so over novels that go on for hundreds of pages in English that was translated from French. It’s enough to make me want to pluck out my eyeballs. But, I’m not a quitter. I told myself I would finish this series, and I did. Finally. Two years later.
Now, to business. This one is my favorite. Other than the fact that’s it’s really nothing like the movie. You know which one, with Leo. Great movie. But that movie was all about the prisoner in the Bastille and his escape, going back to prison, and managing to escape again to be King. The book? Not so much. The prisoner is probably in the book for about 200 pages. The other 300 are battles, betrayals, and the deaths that I knew were coming but secretly hoped would be avoided.
I won’t ruin it for you, in case you ever want to bore yourself into a stupor. So without naming any names, my favorite character dies. That pretty much ruined it for me.
This one is still my favorite, despite the deaths (many, many) deaths. I think it’s because the story flowed so much better than the others. And because there weren’t a million characters to keep up with. That, coupled with sometimes badly translated words makes reading these books tedious. I actually managed the last 150 pages in two days. That’s absolutely a record for a Dumas book. Usually I’m lucky if I can manage a chapter without falling asleep.
My final verdict, if you’re into the classics, get this one. But I would have to recommend reading the other two. Otherwise I feel like you won’t truly grasp the characters and their back stories. Don’t cheat and rely on the movies either, because they are way off.

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

Brookie’s Review:  Sorry, I’m not providing a summary for this one.  A) I don’t think I could come up with one on my own (that actually flowed together that y’all could understand) and B) I looked online for one, but they’re all seriously 1,000 words long.  So, I’ll spare you both options.  Let’s just leave it at this – 4 friends set out to save France from a revolution.  They do it, and almost get killed approximately 3,454,757 times along the way.  The end.

It’s taken me quite a long time to finish this book, for a few reasons.  One because it’s incredibly boring.  I know, I know, people absolutely salivate over Mr. Dumas, and I’ll admit, he does have a way with words.  While I enjoyed The Three Musketeers a lot, this one just dragged on and on for me.  The plot was so complex, and I had such big gaps in between times when I would pick it up, it was so hard for me to keep everything in line.  Last night, while laying in bed making a final push to finish it, I told myself that I should have taken notes at the beginning, so that I could remember everyone when the end came.  Alexandre Dumas has a way of bringing people back on the last page that haven’t been mentioned since the first few chapters.  Difficult to read, to say the least.  Another reason is that I struggle with this style of writing.  It’s the same thing when I try to read other classics (I’ve tried to make Jane Austen my friend more than once, and we just don’t see eye to eye), and it’s because I read fast.  So I have to make a concentrated effort to slow down and take in every single word in order to understand everything.  The final reason?  It wasn’t my main book.  I read about 20 others while also trying to juggle this one in.  Very hard to do, considering that it didn’t hold my attention at all.

I should have taken my friend Seth’s advice and skipped this one all together.  See, the only reason I picked this one up is so I could read The Man In The Iron Mask.  I’m a big fan of book series, and I wanted to read the whole series, thinking that maybe there would be key things in one book that would relate to another.  But it wasn’t that way for The Three Musketeers.  There might have been one adventure mentioned in passing in its sequel.

So, my final recommendation?  Unless you are just absolutely devoted to reading every classic there is, skip it.  You’ll cry from boredom.  I did.