Saturday, February 11, 2012

This Book Room: a slew of just okay books

Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains, shy Sarah King is happiest when working in her vibrant Amish kitchen garden, but new family responsibilities lead her into the confusing world of the Englisch. Sarah finds her life turned around when she encounters the community's new Englisch veterinarian, Grant Williams. His blue-gold eyes and his obvious concern for her people attract her immediately. Sarah seeks solace and direction from the Lord as she creates a quilt pattern which details her struggle between two worlds. The Lord is guiding Sarah to follow His will, but will she listen?

Additional notes: This is the first book in the Patch of Heaven series. There are currently two books in the series, and so far as I know, this series is ongoing.

My thoughts: I'm really gotten into Amish fiction over the past six months or so, and I had read Kelly's short stories in a novella collection and enjoyed them. I'm glad I checked out this series. If you like Beth Wiseman's books, you'll enjoy this series, too.

Emily Curtis is used to dealing with her problems while under the hood of an old Chevy, but when her mom dies, Emily's world seems shaken beyond repair. Driven from home by hospital bills they can't pay, Emily and her dad move in with his wealthy sister, who intends to make her niece more feminine---in other words, just like Whitney, Emily's perfect cousin. But when Emily hears the engine of a 1970 Dodge Challenger, and sees the cute gearhead, Zander, next door, things seem to be looking up. But even working alongside Zander can't completely fix the hole in Emily's life. Ever since her mom died, Emily hasn't been able to pray, and no one---not even Zander---seems to understand. But sometimes the help you need can come from the person you least expect.

My thoughts: I had previously read some of Amy's Amish books and had loved them, so I thought I'd try her first book for young adults that is not about the Amish. It was okay. I could see young(er) adults definitely enjoyed this. I am definitely not a young adult, but I still enjoyed it to some degree.

College senior Lily Madison is on her own and desperate to pay for her last semester of school. With nowhere to turn, she makes the difficult decision to donate her eggs to a fertility clinic. Peter Kelly is also a penniless student who supplements his tuition money by visiting a sperm bank. One day, Lily and Pete meet at the clinic and talk about their secret. They agree the clinic gives them an odd feeling, as if all is not as it seems. Despite their obvious attraction, Lily and Pete go their separate ways. Nineteen years have passed and Lily often wonders if she has a child somewhere in the world. She also thinks a lot about Pete. Now a wealthy entrepreneur, Pete never forgot Lily either, and when he sees her in an airport one day, he falls for her all over again. But while they enjoy their unlikely reunion, a story on the news has them riveted. Two teenage boys are missing and their disappearance may be linked to the fertility clinic Pete and Lily visited in college. In a shocking twist, one of the boys looks exactly like Pete. Lily and Pete are now determined to find out what really went on at the clinic all those years ago. When the whole story comes out, the truth will be more than they bargained for. But they will discover that letting go of their secrets from the past is the best way to build a future worth fighting for…

My thoughts: When I was younger, I had read some of Fern's books and really enjoyed them. I picked this up on a whim from the library. I did enjoy it, but I would not read another one of her books. It was just okay. I've read summaries on her other books and none intrigue me. Oh well, it was worth a shot at finding another author I might like.

Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper. But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them. Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does). But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for. The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own. And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare. Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . if she even has one.

Additional notes: This is the first book in Meg Cabot's Dracula series. There are currently two books in this series, and I would imagine this series is ongoing, although I have not heard any information about a third book.

My thoughts: Okay, let me first by saying that this series is a bit addictive. But, and this is a really big but, there are so many things I do not like about this series, I could not even tell you all of them. I only picked up this series because it was written by Meg Cabot and I thought it was not really about vampires. Oh boy, was I wrong. Not that only, but some people found Bella of Twilight annoying. If you found her annoying, do not read this book. If you can get past Meena (the main character in the book), this story is just fun to read. But still annoying and much too copy-cat for my own taste. Also, I think Meg is a sellout. She's better than this series, and I'm sad she felt the need to do it. But if you like Meg's other books, you'll be glad to find her writing style has not changed.

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

My thoughts: I've heard people (mostly other bloggers) rave about this book. And apparently, I missed it. I missed what was so wonderful about this book. I think any young adult would like to read it - boy meets girl, boy and girl like each other, boy screws it up, they end up together, blah blah blah. But there's not a whole lot to this story. I would skip this book.

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