Ad Girl-Book Worm

Advertising executive by day.

Book worm by night.

Mother 100% of the time.

Fifty Shades Darker - E.L. James Seriously? Seriously. SERIOUSLY?
I found myself overusing the word seriously several times with different voice inflections (in my head, anyway) as I read this second book in the trilogy.
Although I had hoped it would be better than the first, it wasn't.
On to the third. Will there be any redeeming qualities? We'll see. Maybe I'll just be glad it's over.
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James Perhaps all the hype spoiled it for me or my expectations going in were just too high; not sure. I thought the writing was very erratic and the characters are either bipolar, or the author didn't really know them before sitting down to write their story (I suspect the latter). If I take it at face value, it was a relatively entertaining and easy read. I will probably read the next two books in the trilogy, just to see what happens and hope that perhaps the character development gets better, but my expectations aren't very high. For all the talk about this book, ultimately I was kind of disappointed.

For those that would judge me too harshly for my lowly 2 stars (because, let's face it, people are super passionate on both ends of the love-hate spectrum about this book), it's not the erotic or BDSM nature of the book that spoiled it for me (although I'd say I'm pretty ambivalent about that as well); it's the writing and the characters that completely frustrated me.

If nothing else, I am absolutely CERTAIN (SHOUTY capitals!) that this will lead to an interesting and memorable discussion at Book Club Girls Weekend in June. That totally makes it worthwhile.
Before I Go To Sleep - S.J.Watson As is sometimes the case with thrillers that have a slow build, the last 100 pages made this book worthwhile reading. Evertyhing leading up to that was kind of a yawn. I may have liked it less simply because it's a similar story to my favorite movie of all time (Memento) and the first Dean Koontz novel I ever read (False Memory). Pretty hard to live up to either of those. Yes, I did figure out the ending before it happened; but no, not quite as soon as I thought I would have. But, selfishly, I attribute that to the fact that I wasn't really engaged by the story and therefore didn't really care whodunit.
Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah This book reminded me A LOT of the movie "Beaches" with Bette Midler (which I loved, by the way). Made me cry (although that's not really all that hard to do). It started out as 3 stars, but I changed it to 4 once I got so emotionally involved. With that said, though, I don't want to read books like this very often; they turn me into a puddle which isn't all that attractive and, frankly, is a little exhausting.
Divergent - Veronica Roth This was pretty darn good. Definitely going to read the next one when it's out on paperback.
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides Very interesting topic. Not a lot of plot; more character study.
Royal Harlot: A Novel of the Countess Castlemaine and King Charles II - Susan Holloway Scott Really should be 3.5 stars.
Definitely more scandal (which I like in my historical fiction). Felt a little like it was just plodding along the entire time.
Overall, though, I enjoyed it.
When You Reach Me  - Rebecca Stead It was fine. Easy read. I can often get sucked into young adult literature with no problem, but this was a tad too young for me I think. Certainly more suited to my 13-year old.
The Magicians - Lev Grossman Good. Kept me engaged. A little wordy and jumpy at times.
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield Really, 3.5 stars. For me, the story itself rates 4 stars, but the superfluous chatter throughout makes it 3 stars. I found myself skimming more often than I would like, but the engaging plotline captured me regardless.
The Secret Bride - Diane Haeger It was OK. I prefer a good dose of scandal in my historical fiction selections and this was really more of a romance.
Loving Frank - Nancy Horan Meh.
Other than the explosive last 30 pages or so, I was pretty bored.
Freedom - Jonathan Franzen I think I'm probably supposed to like this book. It's "real" and a lot of it is geographicall based in areas I actually know (which was intriguing at first). Unfortunately, I found it to be pretty much a yawn. Not so bad that I couldn't keep reading it (hence two stars instead of one), but definitely not a book that I couldn't wait to get back to. I found pretty much all of the characters unpleasant and unrelatable -- Patty is incredibly selfish, Walter is a pushover, Richard is a narcisisst, Connie is appallingly damaged, Joey is totally screwed up and Jenna was a complete bitch. The relationship between Connie and Joey -- from beginning to end -- was particularly distasteful to me. The only people I kind of liked were Jonathan and Jessica and that's probably because almost none of the story was about either of them. There have been several instances where I'm able to enjoy the story and the plot, even if the characters aren't likable. This was not one of those times. If nothing else, I realize that even though my family is dysfunctional like most familie are (which I knew before reading this book), at least we're not as screwed up as this family is.

Oh yeah, and P.S., too much politics for me.
The Lincoln Lawyer - Michael Connelly Entertaining. If I could go with 3.5 stars, I would, but it leans toward the 4 (versus the 3) so that's what I went with. If you like legal thrillers, it's a good one. I think I still like Grisham better, but this would probably be a close second. I might even venture to say that Connelly has a little bit better overall character development (at least in this one book that I've read), but I feel like there's more plot/suspense/angst in Grisham books (generally speaking).
The One Minute Manager - Kenneth H. Blanchard, Spencer Johnson Amazingly easy read and, while the "story" is a bit cheesy, incredibly useful insight. I've passed this along to others in my company that I think could benefit from the advice, and I gave a copy to my sister as part of her graduation present. Especially recommended for anyone who is just starting out in business.
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell Cannot wait for the sequel.

Currently reading

Stephen King