Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sapphire Skies - Belinda Alexandra

Sapphire Skies is a return to form from Belinda Alexandra.  Linking two stories,Natalya Azarova who is  a  Russian world war two pilot whose body and plane have never been found , and  Lily, an Australian woman of Russian parents who moves to Moscow after the death of her fiancĂ©. I enjoyed finding out about both characters and although most of it was a story that seemed familiar, I liked that it didn't end as I might of expected.

So I am already looking forward to her next book!!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Missing You - Harlan Coben

Ohhh Kat is an NYPD detective, still mourning the death of her cop father years ago.  When her friend signs her up on an on-line dating site, her curiosity lets her look at some profiles, and she is surprised to see a photo of her ex boyfriend on the site.  Meanwhile a young man contacts her saying that his mother is missing and he knows that something is very wrong.

I loved the return of a Harlan Coben novel that made my heart race a bit as I waited to see what happened, although part of me was scared that creeps out there would get ideas, I guess there are already people around doing such awful things.  It certainly makes you more wary about dating websites.

A  pretty solid 4/5.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pioneer Girl - Bich Minh Nguyen

Lee Lien finds herself a jobless graduate, forced to return home to live and work with her mother and grandfather in the family cafe.  Intrigued by the history of a small gold pin, left at the family cafe in Vietnam, Lee goes off on her own adventures, discovering herself along the way.

With a connection to the authors of Little House on the Prairie (who doesn't love that book/tv show?), we learn more about Lee, her past relationships and her family backstory, making her an interesting character.  I found myself sympathising with a girl, forced to return to the family home, while her old brother is left to pursue his own life without the apron strings.  Still I was left wanting more, maybe wanting a more happy conclusion.  3/5

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Magic - Coldplay

 Just loving Magic by Coldplay.  I'm listening to it over and over on the old ipod.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The One Plus One - Jojo Moyes

You kind of know the story and how it is going to end from the start.  Jess is a single mother, raising a teenage stepson Nick and young gifted daughter Tanzie.  Times are tough, besides juggling a cleaning job, barwork, raising the kids and looking after their house, she has a deadbeat ex who doesn't contribute.  When an opportunity arises for Tanzie to get into an exclusive school for gifted children, she risks everything to take her to a maths competition in Scotland.

Forced to rely on the kindness of Ed, one of her customers she learns that he is battling his own problems.

Enough said?  Have I given it away?  Anyway if you have read Jojo Moyes, you already know that she writes well on the subject of relationships and makes it an entertaining journey.  I just didn't really love the story - it was ok, and made good rainy night reading, and I could see it being a movie of the week.


The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

It is always a magical moment when you pick up a book and are drawn in by the first page - left wanting more and not wanting the story to end, and that is how I felt about this book.  One I want to recommend to friends to read.

Beautifully blending a true story with fiction we share the life of Sarah Grimke, a privledged Southern girl who on her eleventh birthday is given a young slave girl,  Hetty 'Handful' wrapped up in lavender ribbons.  We watch both girls grow up, both trapped in the world around them, and I think the beauty of this book is that the author strikes a good balance between both stories, giving them equal power and beauty.

Worthy of a 5/5.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spare Brides - Adele Parks

Oh Downton Abbey, you have birthed a whole industry of early 20th century inspired novels I am sure.  I guess now, a hundred years later, we can see that in the time during the first world war and just after, there was so much change in society and that for women, with many of the men they knew either killed or changed by war, life would now offer them different choices.  I did like the ladies in this book, of course you have the rich and beautiful girls swanning about, and the dowdy left behind girl, but they were all likeable and a good bit of lust/romance is just what a girl needs to read every now and again.  4/5

Shame and the Captives - Tom Keneally

I have bad book guilt.  I'm not saying this was a bad book, it is just that I feel guilty when I reject a book and make it a wallflower, standing on the verges never to be read by me again.   I love looking in bookstores, online and in the library, I have close to 3000 on my goodreads to be read folder, I love books that much and the pile beside my bed is teetering with the 7 books that I have to read in the next couple of weeks.

So, I was looking forward to reading Shame and the Captives, a novel by Tom Keneally (of Schindlers List fame).  With a prisoner of war camp built in rural New South Wales, it tells the story of European, Korean and Japanese prisoners, and the locals in the surrounding community.  I got through forty pages, but for me it was too much of a struggle to read as I was fighting the words too much, so I put it aside.

The Farm - Tom Rob Smith

Daniel is living in London with his partner, believing his parents to be settled into their retirement in rural Sweden, when he receives a phone call, first from his father advising him of his mothers admission to a mental hospital, and then from his mother, seeking his help.  All is not as it seems, and we join Daniel on the journey to find out who to believe.

I sort of wanted to really like this story, as the author does spin a good tale, but somehow I was reminded of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/ Gone Girl and other recent books, and some of the sub plot lines got a bit  lost on me. I do like a spooky story sometimes, but I was a bit weirded out by the troll stuff and teenage girl lust obsession is a bit too creepy for me.   3/5