Friday, October 22, 2010

The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

From Booklist

In enormous lettering the first page warns: "Do not read beyond this page!" The reason? The book contains a secret so nefarious as to be dangerous even to innocent page-turners daring enough to venture forth. The first few chapters present a tricky little exercise in metafiction in which the story about a secret is revealed as being itself too secret to tell, a ploy sure to tickle more puzzlesome readers. But then the intrusive narrator, who is equal parts snarky and delightful, strikes a deal and deigns to tell the story with fake names in Your Hometown, as long as you agree to "forget everything you read as soon as you read it." Then follows a not terribly shocking story wherein two intrepid kids uncover a mysterious society bent on immortality, which gets them in and out of all manner of trouble. While some may be disappointed that there is no mind-bending secret at the bottom of it all as promised, most junior Da Vinci Coders will likely be having too much fun to notice. Chipman, Ian
I usually enjoy children's literature because it is more imaginative with very little violence and sex.  Unfortunately, this book didn't appeal to me.  The whole thing with the narrator talking to the reader seemed overly gimmicky and just plain silly at times.  I really did give a fair shot by reading almost half the book but then decided to give up the struggle.  What a relief that I won't feel compelled to keep on with the series.  Rating:  DNF

Sunday, October 03, 2010

69. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Kate is a fourteen-year-old misfit when she first meets Tully, "the coolest girl in the world."  The two become friends for life.  Even though Tully seems cool, she has all kinds of issues with her mother making her incredibly ambitious and hard-nosed.  As we follow the two through high-school, college, first jobs, marriage and child-birth; their differences become more pronounced making the lasting friendship more incredible.  Everything is not sweetness and light as there are several falling-outs with the inevitable reconciliations.  There are some laugh-out-loud moments, some sad moments and some moving moments.  However, overall, the book for me is just okay.  Tully was not very likeable for me and some of the things she did without understanding why Kate was so upset, made no sense to me.  She is too intelligent to be that stupid and blind.  Kate's ambivalent feeling toward Tully's influence on Kate's husband and daughter make more sense to me.  But Kate's daughter is such a brat.  Jeez.  There were also some headline stories incorporated into these two lives that just rang wrong to me.  I enjoyed it better when the two were younger and I thought the ending a bit overwrought.  Probably not a great ending for me given what's going on in my life right now. 
Rating:  3.5

68. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

From back cover:
"It is Carnival in Quebec City and Gamache has come not to join the celebration but to recover from an investigation gone wrong.  But death is inescapable, even in the sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society--where an obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder.  Could a secret buried for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill for it?"
I already love Louise Penny's books but I think this one is the best one so far.  I can wait for the next in the series, but I don't see how she will top Bury the Dead.  It is so well-written with an incredible story line, actually three storylines.  I couldn't put it down.  Besides the murder which takes place while Gamache is visiting Quebec City, we also follow the investigation gone wrong with its tragic consequences as well as reopening the case concluded in Penny's previous book.  Even though there is a lot going on, I didn't get lost but just immersed myself in all it.  Fantastic book.  I really need to visit Quebec, but not in the winter.
Rating:  5