"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: Nursery Crimes

Title: Nursery Crimes
Author: Ayelet Waldman
Pages: 215
Challenges: Cozy Mystery Challenges
Rating: 2/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Ayelet Waldman's delightful new mystery series introduces readers to Juliet Applebaum, a public defender turned stay-at-home mom. Juliet shares parenting duties with her screenwriter husband, but she's bored with playdates and trips to the park. That is, until she finds a way to spice up motherhood -- with murder...Getting accepted at Hollywood's hottest preschool is every bit as cutthroat as getting cast in a Hollywood film. Even Juliet's own two-year-old, Ruby, got butted out of the Billy-goat room. But when the school's principal is killed in a hit-and-run accident, Juliet wonders if someone is taking the competition too seriously. And even though she's eight months pregnant, with a toddler by her side, Juliet Applebaum decides to get off the mommy track -- to track down a would-be killer.

Nursery Crimes was one of the books that I picked up at the library when I was looking for different cozy mystery series to check out.  I thought the cover was adorable, and I loved the idea of a pregnant heroine.  Being pregnant myself, I thought maybe I would be able to relate to her...WRONG!  Nursery Crimes was not my cup of tea.

Our heroine and amateur sleuth is Juliet Applebaum.  I former attorney turned stay at home mom, who basically hates being a stay at home mom.  She's whiny, and complains about everything.  She's bored playing with her daughter, can't wait until nap time, and seems to always look for ways out of doing things.  I just didn't like her.  Too me, she wasn't the type of mom I could really appreciate, and a lot of her behavior really bothered me.

The other thing I didn't like about this book was the mystery.  One, I didn't care at all about the victim.  She was there for like two pages, not a lot of connection was made and then *boom* she was dead and all of a sudden Juliet was intent on finding the killer.  It was all very wishy washy, and there seemed to be a lot of really loose ends even after the killer was revealed and the book "wrapped up."

Needless to say, despite the really cute covers, this won't be a series that I'll be continuing with.  There's too many other books out there that I really want to try to read a series that's only so-so.

Monday, April 29, 2013

What are you reading??

And I'm back.  I've been MIA the past few weeks, and it's been on the back of my mind.  I haven't even posted a review since the beginning of the month! 

A few weeks ago, I went in for my monthly check up and found out that I'm measuring about three weeks ahead of where I should be.  The dr sent me for an ultrasound to make sure it wasn't my fluid and that everything was looking about.  Everything was fine, but baby girl was already weighing 5 lbs 2 ozs at 31 weeks.  Figuring that she'll add another 4-4.5 lbs before she's born, she's going to be a big girl.  Yay me!  Now the question is whether she's too big for me to deliver, or do I need to have a C-Section.  I'm really hoping to avoid the C-Section, as I'm dreading the recovery, but will do whatever the my doctors feel is best.  I had a few issues with Anthony coming down the birth canal but that had to do more with his positioning than his size.  He was 7 lbs 9 oz at 37 weeks. 

With her measuring so big, and my due date seeming to be off, I went into panic must get stuff done mode.  Anthony's room is completely finished, the house is totally scrubbed down and cleaned, and all of the baby stuff is washed and in the nursery ready for her arrival.  And thank goodness too, because this week I came down with a horribly painful bladder infection that has pretty much had me laid out in bed for the past few days.

Sitting at the computer has become really uncomfortable too in the past few weeks, and work is horrible.  I'm so uncomfortable and big and none of my work clothes really fit.  Plus sitting at the chair is almost impossible.  I'm hoping the next few weeks go by quickly and without any "events"!

Reading wise, it's been pretty slow.  Since the last time I updated I have managed to finish a few books but not many.  Every time I try to read I fall asleep, and audio's are not holding my attention right now.  Pregnancy hormones I think :)  So far this month I've finished:

I really enjoyed The Help and The Peach Keeper, and the review for the latter will be up this week.

I'm hoping to fnish up the following in the next week, but we'll see:

Hope you have a wonderful reading week!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: The Help

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Listening Time: 18 Hours and 19 Minutes
Challenges: None
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a tim
eless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

I am probably the last person on the planet earth that has not read this book.  I can remember when it came out and saying, "I'm going to read that!"  I can remember when the movie came out and saying "I'm going to read that now!"  Neither time did I actually sit down and read it.  I always had an excuse.  I had other books to read.  It had so much hype would it be as good as everyone said.  It was too many pages.  I don't know.  I just didn't read it.

When I saw it was available from the library to listen to on audio, I figured I'd give it a shot.  I'd heard good things about the audio, and I was willing to try it out and see what I thought.  This was probably, by far, the best audio I have ever listened to in my entire life.  And I'm not saying that lightly.  I loved, loved, loved the fact that the chapters alternated between readers, giving each character their own seperate voice.  I don't think reading this book on paper would have done it as much justice as these readers gave it.  It was amazing!

My favorite character was Skeeter.  Skeeter was read by Jenna Lamia.  I will now be hunting down every book she has ever read for and giving it a listen.  She was fabulous.  She gave the perfect voice to Skeeter.  Just hesitant enough, just a little unsure of herself.  It was perfect.  I don't think I've ever seen a narrator fit a character so well.

The story itself also blew me away.  I listened to this audio in two days, even at almost 20 hours, because I couldn't stop.  It was just that good.  I had to know what happened next.  I had to know what happened to the maids.  I had to know what was so darn awful that Minnie had done to Miss Hilly Holbrook. 

I would recommend this book to everyone who hasn't read it.  Ignore the hype, ignore the fact that you think you won't like it.  Go out and get this audio and give it a listen.  You absolutely will not be disappointed!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: A is for Alibi

Title:  A is for Alibi
Author: Sue Grafton
Listening Time: 7 Hours and 43 Minutes
Challenges: None
Rating: 3/5

Summary from Goodreads:

A IS FOR AVENGERA tough-talking former cop, private investigator Kinsey Millhone has set up a modest detective agency in a quiet corner of Santa Teresa, California. A twice-divorced loner with few personal possessions and fewer personal attachments, she's got a soft spot for underdogs and lost causes.

That's why she draws desperate clients like Nikki Fife. Eight years ago, she was convicted of killing her philandering husband. Now she's out on parole and needs Kinsey's help to find the real killer. But after all this time, clearing Nikki's bad name won't be easy.

If there's one thing that makes Kinsey Millhone feel alive, it's playing on the edge. When her investigation turns up a second corpse, more suspects, and a new reason to kill, Kinsey discovers that the edge is closer--and sharper--than she imagined.

This one has been sitting on my shelf with numerous others in the series for years.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I bought them in a box lot off of Ebay when that was the cool thing to do.  When I found this one in the audio section of the library, I thought I'd give it a try and see if I liked the series since they are taking up some valuable shelf space. 

I'm not sure if this one was enough to cement my love of the series.  I'm only giving it three stars because I thought some of the writing was a little weak, and I really didn't have a great feeling about Kinsey Millhone.  Sometimes I thought she was a big crass and it bothered me.  I don't know if its because I've been reading a lot of cozy mysteries but she was a just a little too "tough" for my liking.  Plus, I had an inkling who the murderer was after about a third of the audio, so I grew bored quickly.

I am curious though to see what Grafton does with this character, enough so that I'm going to continue with the second book.  I'm not sure if I'm going to do the audio though.  I think the narrator may have been part of the issue.  Sometimes readers give a voice to the charcters taht doesn't seem right.  This one made Kinsey a little too "manish."  I just couldn't connect with her.

Looking into this one on Goodreads, it hasn't gotten a ton of great reviews either.  I'm keeping in  mind that this is the first in a series and they aren't always the strongest.  Here's hoping for a better read on the second try!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Books Can Be Deceiving

Title: Books Can Be Deceiving
Author: Jenn Mckinlay
Pages: 269
Challenges: Cozy Mystery Series
Rating: 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz. Lindsey's friend Beth wants to sell the editor her children's book, but Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered-and Beth is the prime suspect. Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person.

I found out about this cozy from browsing the Berkley Prime Crime website.  I ordered any cozy that looked good to me in from the library, and I'm been checking out a bunch of different series.  This one is definitely a keeper.  There's two other books written about Lindsey, the Briar Creek Public Librarian and I'm really looking forward to checking them out!

Books Can Be Deceiving was a quick, delicious read that had me quickly turning the pages.  I couldn't get enough of Lindsey and her friends.  Everyone was so nice, and I loved meeting all the quirky little characters in the tiny little town.  There were a few places in this book that I laughed at loud.  It was quite amusing!

The mystery for this one was really, really good.  I couldn't figure it out super quickly, which made the read all that much better.  It really takes a lot of a book when you can figure it out half way through. 

The other thing I loved about this book was the writing.  It was extremely well put together, and the characters were well developed.  Unlike some cozy mysteries, they weren't overly sweet or overly annoying either.  Everything was pretty much spot on. 

I'm looking forward to continuing this series, and will be putting them on hold quite soon at my local library!

Monday, April 1, 2013

March in Review

On this first day in April, I find myself at home because of a bad case of leg swelling.  Too much salty goodness this weekend, combined with too much on my feet time and sitting in hard uncomfortable chairs wrecked havoc on my pregnant legs.  After drinking about 100 oz of water, and running to the bathroom every half hour, I am now back to normal size.  Thank goodness for that.  I was really worried there for a few minutes that it could be something worse.

March was a pretty good reading month for me, but I didn't get as much done as I would have liked.  It's getting to be a busy time of year, and by nightfall when I normally read, I'm too exhausted to even turn the page.  Still, I did complete 16 books this month, including one non fiction and some new to me authors.  Here's the rundown:


I really enjoyed the Stephanie Bond books, and The Duck Commander Family.  My favorite for the month though, had to be Anne of Green Gables.
How did you reading for the month stack up?
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