Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June's Reading List

You'd think that being on vacation, I would have been able to read more this month. But no, just another 5. :( My total for the book challenge is now up to 28. I've got a long long way to go if I'm going to hit 100 by the end of the year. This month's selections are fairly random... a couple trashy romances, one that was a huge disappointment, and some fun re-reading.

Virgin's Secret - Victoria Alexander (2 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) This book really bogged me down. It falls into the trashy romance category, but it was a real slog! A young woman is out to clear her brother's reputation as an archeologist by finding the relic that he died for. In the process, she teams up with an honour-driven younger son of a noble family. Honestly, I wish I was the type of person who could just toss a book aside when I get bored. It would save me a lot of time.

Shanghai Girls - Lisa See (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) Loved this book! Like her other books, it did have it's slow moments, but Lisa See more than makes up for that with her rich descriptive talent... she paints pictures with words that shimmer and glow with life and realism. This story follows two sisters from Shanghai, who are forced into marraiges to pay off their father's gambling debts. From the beginning of the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 to the dropping of the 'bamboo curtain' in the 1950s, it follows the struggles of sisters, Pearl and May. Their escape to America, their life in the newly developing Chinatown in Los Angeles, living under the shadow of suspicion, and trying to find where they belong in an age of communist witch hunts and great prejudice. The only thing I have against this book was that it left me wanting more!

Beware A Scot's Revenge - Sabrina Jeffries (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) Another for the trashy romance novel category, but this one was great! It's part of Jeffries' School for Heiresses series. Fun, funny, sexy, and well-written, this was a great read! A regency romance full of all those things that make regency romances fun. The virtuous young woman, with too much curiousity for her own good... a misunderstood rogue who only wants justice... a kidnapping run amok... and a long-standng feud between noble families. Yummy! Jeffries is probably my favourite regency romance novelist, and I lurve this series!

Last Summer of You and Me - Anne Brashares (2 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) This was the major disappointment for the month. I love Brashares teen works, but this one was just blech! Targetted to the now grown up fans of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, it is a peak in on the relationships between three young adults (two sisters, and the young man who lives next door) at their beach homes on Fire Island. The young man is best friends with the older sister, but in love with the younger. All through their teen years, he forces himself to deny his feelings in what he thinks is a great sacrifice for his friendship. But finally he gives in and he and the younger sister begin a covert relationship, albeit a short-lived one. When the older sister develops a terminal illness, and asks that it be kept secret, the younger sister breaks the young man's heart. OK, so it was so blah that I can't even remember the character's names. Brashare's writing style was so altered from her usual that it was distracting. I think she lived in her thesaurus for the first third of the book... the bigger, more complex a word could be the more she used it. I'm glad she went back to writing teen fiction after this one... it's obviously where she excells.

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling (5 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) Of course, I am a fan of Harry Potter, and of course I had to re-read HBP in preparation for the release of the movie next month. I hadn't read this one for more than a year, so it was nice to slip back into the realms of muggles and wizards. While it's not my favourite in the series (that honour goes to Order of the Pheonix), HPB is great on so many levels. Things that have been hinted at for the past five books now become fully known, and the extent of Voldemort's evil is revealed. What exactly is Draco Malfoy up to? Where is Dumbledore going when he leaves the school for days at a time? Who is the Half-Blood Prince? Where do Snape's loyalties really lie? Heart-rending (I was bawling again this morning as I read the final chapters) and action-packed, I can't wait to see how it's interpretted for the big screen.

Of course, now I really really want to re-read Deathly Hallows, but I don't want to do that until after I see the movie because I don't want to get the storylines messed up in my head.


  1. I just finished the Deathly Hallows, it was so good, I was sad it was over.

    Right now I'm reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and so far I'm really liking it.

  2. I'm kicking myself this month. Previously, I would type my notes for each book, as I finished it and then "save" and not post until the end of the month. This month...I haven't typed a note. Now I'm trying to recollect everything I read AND try and remember the differences between the books in series I've read. Doh!

    I'm in the middle of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," because I'm trying to re-read the entire series 1-7 before the end of summer vacation. LOVE these books, and like you I'm looking forward to the film.

  3. I can't wait to read Shanghai Girls. I love her writing style as well. :)


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