Book Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow
Age Appropriate: All ages
Stars: 5 Stars
Description: A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil Gaiman’s first new novel for adults since his #1 New York Times bestseller Anansi Boys.
This bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic, makes the impossible all too real…
This short novel wraps you up and leads down the lane into a fairy tale story. Not the fairy tales of princesses, but of adventure, fear and magic. The story unwinds like a gentle wind, arcs with the power of a crashing wave and then gently places you back into the real world with a pat on the head.
The quote on the back of the book from Erin Morgenstern really sums up how I feel about the story: “It feels as if it was always there, somewhere in the story-stuff on the universe.”
Book Title: Bellman & Black
Author: Diane Setterfield
Publisher: Atria Books
Age Appropriate: Young Adult/Adult
Stars: 1 Star
Description: Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. It is a small but cruel act, and is soon forgotten. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to have put the whole incident behind him. It was as if he never killed the thing at all. But rooks don’t forget . . .
Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, his fortunes begin to turn—and the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner. Together, they found a decidedly macabre business.
And Bellman & Black is born.
The description sounds intriguing, right? Well I found this book utterly boring. It picked up about page 125 and then dropped right back off into boring until the last few chapters. I got that the author was making some kind of life/death statement but by then I just did not care anymore and was only finishing the book because I had already spent so much time reading it. The majority of the book is just following a man as he works and works and works. Yawn.
Did you read this one? Your thoughts?
Book Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Age Appropriate: Adult
Stars: 3 Stars
Description: MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father.
The main character, Don Tillman, reminded me of Sheldon from the TV show “Big Bang Theory” if he was trying to find a wife. Obviously the characters are not the same, but they have many similarities. It took several chapters for me to become invested in this book. There is a bit of a mystery involved as well as a love story, and it is uber nerdy!
So if you want something light, funny and nerdy. This is for you. I would describe it as Janet Evanovich meets Big Bang Theory.
I think this would make a great audio book to listen to while driving to work.
Book Title: Unhinged
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Appropriate: Teen
Stars: 4 Stars
Description: Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole. She was crowned Queen of the Red Court and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the boy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly appealing Morpheus. Now all she has to do is graduate high school.
That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
Could she leave Jeb and her parents behind again, for the sake of a man she knows has manipulated her before? Will her mother and Jeb trust her to do what’s right?
Sorry about the super short review on the first book in this series. I was lucky enough to borrow the ‘Uncorrected Free Proof’ sent to the book editor of ‘Unhinged’. ‘Unhinged’ picks up a year later, Prom is coming up as well as graduation for Alyssa, her life is as normal as a girl who can hear bugs and flowers can be until she gets a message from Wonderland. Morpheus is back, essentially blackmailing Alyssa to come back to Wonderland and save it from the fury of the Red Queen. His motives are unclear, her mom’s behavior is unclear, Alyssa’s heart and mind are unclear on what to do. In this book we learn more about Morpheus, Alyssa’s mother and even her father. I thought this one was better than the first and it is sure to be devoured by hungry fans.
Let me know who you are rooting for – Morpheus or Jeb?
Book Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Appropriate: Teen
Stars: 3.5 Stars
Description: Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on.
I am really short on time, here is the jist:
I found time to read this, so that means I was enjoying it.
You think you know the story because you know Alice in Wonderland, not true!
I LOVE Jeb
I love Morpheus
Going to read the second book soon
Did not like:
Some of the phrases used in the book, but then again it is a “teen” book, so it is age appropriate.