Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker

Michael Zadoorian

5 out of 5

Though this could have easily fallen into the “oh, poor me” genre of books, The Leisure Seeker redeems my faith in the ability of hitting a life experience head on and living what time you have left right between the eyes .

Yeah for John and Ella Robina, both in their eighties and both with end of life illnesses. After being married for more than fifty years Ella has decided to end her cancer treatments, her horserace soliloquy is hysterical, and John has Alzheimer’s. Ella decides that they need one more adventure, one more chance to be alive before they die, so she packs up the RV (a Leisure Seeker) and they head from Michigan to California. Their goal is to drive Route 66, remember their lives, and end up at Disneyland, the happiest place on earth.

Against their adult children’s wishes they kidnap themselves and head out. John still remembers how to drive and Ella is darn handy with a map, as long as her difficult periods can be contained by pain medication.

And adventure they have, often laugh out loud funny, these two “down-on-their-luck geezers” take on what most would be too terrified to do. With humor, though sometimes darker then you would expect, and a whole lot of gusto, this dynamic duo take on the ride of their lives.

To say that the end is an OMG moment is an understatement. I love this couple and the life lessons that they have taught me along the way. I just wish that when I am this age I have the courage to be Ella and have the adventure of my life.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

7th Heaven

7th Heaven

James Patterson

3 out of 5

This one just didn't capture me like the last.

Lindsay Boxer is battling two cases. Who is killing the wealthy families of San Francisco, not just killing, but binding them up and setting fire to their homes and what happened to Michael Campion, the son of the ex-governor. Everyone knew that he had a heart condition, but when he was last seen walking into the home of a prostitute, the rumors start flying; and with no body, Yuki has quite the uphill battle in prosecuting the very innocent looking prostitute he was seen with. In addition to a battle for her own life.

Lindsay needs the full support of her Women's Murder Club to sort out all the details of these two case, but when she decides to take a little time for herself, well, tragedy hits a little too close to home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Devil May Ride

Devil May Ride

Wendy Roberts

4 out of 5

OK, I'm not slow, but it took me three-quarters of the book to figure out how the title related to the story and once I did, it was definitely a head thumping moment.

Second book in the Ghost Dusters series.

Sadie Novak has a unique gift, she can see and talk to the dead, that isn't so bad, the troubling part comes in that her company is into specialized cleaning. She and her business partner Zack clean up crime scenes. Donning haz-mat suites they clean the fluids and grizzle that is left behind at every unattended death.
She can see everyone that has died, everyone that is except suicides and the one person that she can not see is her brother Brian, who killed himself and no one knows why, leaving a big hold in Sadie.

But in a strange way this is his story. It doesn't start out that way and we learn more then you every wanted to know about bikers (hence the title) and cults. But most importantly, we learn how gifts that appear to be anything but, can save your soul and make you whole again.

That sounds a little heavy for this very good book, but you really learn a lot more about these characters then we were introduced to in the first book. I certainly hope that Ms. Roberts continues on with this series because I'm definitely hooked on this ghost busting angle of hers.

I highly recommend.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beat the Reaper

Beat the Reaper

Josh Bazell

5 out of 5

You Had Me Until The Fibula

First off, having footnotes in a book of fiction is quite distracting; other then that the book had me flipping pages until the very end where Bazell just seemed to have jumped the shark. Well, almost literally. His main character pulled off something that has never before been done, and hopefully, will never be done again in a book that I read.

Very reminiscent of the books by Charlie Huston, Josh Bazell takes us into two very terrifying worlds. The Mafia and public hospitals - and honestly, I don't know which one terrifies me more. After his grandparents are murdered, a young Pietro Brwna is taken into a mafia family where he tries to avoid the family business but that isn't possible when he feels that he owes the family that has cared for him. He does what he needs to do, he moves on, that is until an ultimate betrayal and Pietro enters the witness protection program. He goes to medical school, works in a hospital that no one in their right might would be a patient at let alone be an attending doctor and runs smack dab into his past.

Pietro is now in a fight for his life and limb. You honestly have to read it to believe it. This is definitely a 24 hour book. It won't let you put it down. The characters are just quirky enough, the pace is unstoppable and the storyline well, let's just say, no good deed goes unpunished.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hot Six

Hot Six

Janet Evanovich

3 out of 5

It seems as if only every other book in this series capture my attention. But at least we do know who was knocking on Stephanie's door.

In this sixth outing, Stephanie is hot on the trail of a guy that killed his wife and has a general dislike for all woman; and since Stephanie does seem to be of the girl variety, this makes for quite an interesting adventure. If only Ranger was available, but unfortunately Ranger has a couple problems of his own. Most importantly, Ranger has skipped on his own bail and now has two amateurs looking for him in addition to the infamous Joyce.

This comedy of errors only intensifies when Grandma Mazur decides to move in with Stephanie and Ranger makes a surprise visit.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Spare Room

The Spare Room

Helen Gardner

4 out of 5

I almost gave up on this book. Just could not handle one more “friend with cancer” book. But when I gave this book one more chance, I realized that this book of fiction reads more like a memoir – from the point of view that sometimes when a person is battling for their life, it can really annoy the crap out of you. And that’s ok.

We meet Helen as she is preparing her spare room for a friend that is coming to town to undergo three weeks of cancer treatment. How hard could that be, just provide some support and comfort and then Nicola will go home to be with her family. As Helen accompanies Nicola to the Theodore Institute she realizes that her friend of 15 years is being swindled by charlatans. How do you convince a friend that she is being harmed when she herself feels that if she just holds on a little longer a miracle will happen?

Helen must now make the choice between her personal opinion and supporting her friend. How do you hold yourself in check and watch your friend make a truly life threatening decision? Told in a soul searching and at times very funny way, Helen helps her friend live her life and prepare for her death. And to learn that sometimes you can’t make choices for others and you just have to hang on and cherish what little part of themselves that they are willing to share with you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Single Thread

A Single Thread

Marie Bostwick

3 Out of 5

This book became quite repetitious after awhile. Your typical friend with cancer and someone has a secret type of book.

Fifty-something Evelyn is devastated when her husband of twenty-five plus years suddenly asks for a divorce, with no direction, Evelyn decides to take off to Connecticut and check out the leaves. Since she is from Texas this seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Upon arriving in the quaint town of New Bern – she suddenly feels like she is home.

Evelyn has always dreamed of owning a quilt shop and low and behold, after turning down an out of the way alley she stumbles into the store front of her dreams. No one believes that it will work, but she is ready for the next step of her life. That is after she has a quick mammogram and since they have always come back normal before, why should this time be different.

The day before Evelyn is to host a Breast Cancer Quilt-a-thon she receives the inevitable bad news. And thus the story begins.

Four new friends are brought together, one has a secret, one has to build a new life, one has to get over the death of her mother and one is recently diagnosed with cancer. As Evelyn battles for her life, the friends form a Friday night quilt group and in time take over the shop and help Evelyn to build the business.

Apparently, this is the first in a series, I just hope that the next books won’t play off all of the same old clichés and take the characters in a new less predictable direction.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark

Charlaine Harris

4 Out of 5

Most vampire stories tend to fall into the same rut, but surprisingly, this one stands on its own feet. Not falling into the same clichés these funny and unique characters will keep you turning the pages.

Sookie Stackhouse is a naïve goodhearted southern girl minding her own business in Bon Temps, Lousiana when the vampires starting moving in. Being the south I guess that doesn’t raise too many eyebrows, but when girls that start dating vampires, affectionately called fang-bangers are murdered, Sookie can’t help getting involved.

Then Sookie meets Bill and even she has to question a vampire named Bill, shouldn’t they have more exotic names, and life gets even more interesting. See Bill’s one of the only people that Sookie can’t read. She calls it a disability; the ability to read other peoples minds, but how refreshing to actually find someone that isn’t an open book to her. OK, Bill might only be a mid-level vampire, but she can work with that.

Sookie’s innocence really is what makes this book funny, well, that and having Elvis as a bodyguard, but over all, this is a very good vampire series. Good action, good dialogue and not your usual been there done that vampire thing.