Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wrapping up LDS Fiction

This month has been fun while I read as many novels by LDS authors as I could get my hands on for the Summer Book Trek, hosted by LDS Publishers blog. I just finished my last book last night, and am anxious to get all my reviews listed. Here's my final list:

Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson - read Aug 9th
Crossed by Ally Condie - read Aug 21st
Austenland by Shannon Hale - read Aug 17th
Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale - brand new & offered on Kindle for $1.99 - read Aug 26th
Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson - read Aug 28th
Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack - read Aug 23rd
Dead Running by Cami Checketts - read Aug 7th
Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans - read Aug 24th

I've  got a lot of reviews to list here. As always, I review every book I read on Goodreads.

Crossed (Matched, #2)

Crossed by Ally Condie

I enjoyed this one a little more than the first, but maybe it was because I read it myself, rather than listening. I always like that better. There was also a lot more action, but you still get to hear all of Cassia's thoughts - and now we get Ky's thoughts also. It starts to explain some of the background, but leaves plenty for the 3rd book. I still love Cassia & Ky's relationship, the pull they feel towards each other, but Xander isn't out of the picture yet. This love triangle has more to tell I think.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

I'd give this book 3.5 stars. It was just the kind of easy-reading book that I like sometimes. Romance, British characters & historic literature, some American humor, and a happy ending. It was clean and good for teenagers. Still plenty of kissing though.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

3 stars. I read this right on the heels of Austenland, so the same plot device wasn't exactly novel for me. I did like having a heroine that was quite a bit different than the 1st, who was there for different reasons. The whole real mystery and nod to Northanger Abby was great (especially since I just read that one recently) and the happy ending wasn't so bad, since that's how I like them.

Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson

2 stars. I wanted to like this book as much as I liked the main character, but I just didn't. The plot was cliche but still has some potential. I really felt for Jessie and some of the situations she ended up in. But the main conflict with Ben felt contrived and then wrapped up all too quickly. And despite the fact that Jacobson can obviously write decently, it was the writing that ruined this book for me. I rolled my eyes and practically threw the book down every time a million details of the setting came out. I really don't care about the colors of the walls, and the couch, and the accent pillows. Or the plates & flatware, the table runner, and on and on! Not to mention the clothes, which I don't mind quite as much, but are still a huge departure from the actual story. It was so distracting! (I was not surprised when I read Jacobson's bio & found out she was in the fashion industry.) The same thing happened with so many details of Jessie's work life. Even though it was a bit more important to the story, we still didn't need so much. But if all of the excess details had been taken out, it would have been a very short book.

Lds fiction is hard to write as any kind of decent literature. I hope Jacobson keeps it up and I'll try another of hers in a few more books

Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack

3 stars. I didn't expect a lot from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. It certainly fits in with its genre of culinary mysteries - the recipes look delicious and I will be trying them soon. And the mystery has a few more plot twists than I expected. It ended with the expected confrontation with the killer, but I still liked it. The heroine was new to me, so she doesn't drive me crazy yet and I'm interested in getting to know her. I'll pick up a few more of these.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

4 stars. This book is like X-men for teenagers. The premise wasn't super original, but still very fun and exciting. The hero is very likable and his band of merry men totally grows on you. The action was great, without being violent or gory at all. There was no langauge or sex - totally clean for pre-teens but adults will enjoy it too. I think I'll have my son read it in about a year when he turns 9. (The characters are 15 so it's a little old for him.) I really liked it, and sometimes Richard Paul Evans is a little hokey for me, so I was very pleased with Michael Vey. I will look for the next in the series soon.


Susan said...

I'm glad you played along -- I had fun even though I only read a couple of books.

It was interesting to read your reviews. You seemed to like LEMON TART more than I did and TWITTERPATED less. Interesting. If you want to borrow the rest of the culinary mysteries, let me know. The series seems to get better as it goes along.