Monday, June 27, 2011

Endless Night, by Agatha Christie

Endless Night (Queen of Mystery) Rather creepy Agatha Christie stand-alone.

The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Fascinating book by the funny and intrepid Jon Ronson. He ventures into prisons and psych wards to find out what exactly a psychopath is, and despite coming out with no clear answers, gives a great read with a lot to think about.

Deadly Appraisal, by Jane Cleland

Deadly Appraisal (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery)
Quick and cozy read.

Bright Lights, Big Ass, by Jen Lancaster

Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? Quick and very funny. Jen Lancaster in chicago, don't really have much else to say about it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Withering Tights, by Louise Rennison

Withering Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey)As a HUGE fan of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson series, I was so excited to read this, and even more so when I realized that Tallulah Cassey is Georgia's cousin, but I have to say that the book fell a little short of my high hopes and expectations.

Tallulah, whose parents seem inexplicably more up-market than Georgia's family, is off to Yorkshire to study dramatic arts for the summer, but it's never really clear why- she doesn't seem to really have any passion for theater, and never takes the program seriously at all. While there, she makes friends, and of course, boyfriends, but I felt her character fell into the "oh I'm SO TALL and SO THIN with SUCH GREEN EYES and SUCH SHINY HAIR, why, I'M A TROLL, and boys will never like me" trap- which is so annoying and overdone and at this point such a ghastly cliche. One of the things that made Rennison's voice so authentic in her other YA books was that Georgia came across as a real girl, and relatable, while Tallulah did not.

It is a shame, because the set-up had a lot of potential, and coming from such a talented author, could have been a great young YA read, but as it was, it was a bit grating, and Tallulah's silliness annoyed rather than enchanted.

In the Rooms, by Tom Schone

In the Rooms
Drunk New York writers, and drunk New York literary agents. AA, manipulation, redemption- boring.

Clouds of Witnesses, by Dorothy Sayers

Clouds of Witness Super annoying Dorothy Sayers mystery. I would like her books so much more if it weren't for hero Peter Wimsey being such a supercillious ass.

The Magnolia League, by Kate Crouch

The Magnolia League
Southern debutante paranormal YA - interesting mix! Set in Savannah, this is the story of what happens when Alexandria Lee's mother dies in an accident in California, and she has to go to Savannah to live with her grandmother. Having grown up on an organic produce and weed farm in Humboldt county, Alex is initially very uncoomfortable with the white gloves and curtsies, but when she is fully initiated into the Magnolia League, she finds that it can be very tempting to join in the dark and glamorous world her mother fled.

The Patriotic Murders, by Agatha Christie

The Patriotic Murders Pretty good Agatha Christie, a Poirot one with diplomatic complications with the evocative fictional Ruritania.

The Murder on the Links, by Agatha Christie

The Murder on the Links: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Solid Hercule Poirot mystery.

Elephants Can Remember, by Agatha Christie

Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot)
Not one of Christie's best Poirot mysteries, and it included the bizarrely addled Ariadne Oliver, who rarely improves a book.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bumped, by Megan McCafferty

Bumped YA dystopia with an interesting premise. Decline of fertility across the globe has led to teenage pregnancies being not only desirable, but highly rewarded. Melodie and Harmony, twins separated at birth, have been raised very differently, but both struggle with the pressure to get bumped. Melodie, a "pro", has been sponsored by a wealthy couple to carry their baby- a six-figure signing bonus, college tuition, and a car- while Harmony was raised by Godseekers in a cultish area called Goodside, and feels that only God should dictate breeding.
Interesting, and for the most part well done, but the end was so sequel-ready that it left me annoyed and unsatisfied.