Archive for February, 2007

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

February 28, 2007

From the Publisher

Avalon High seems like a typical high school, attended by typical students: There’s Lance, the jock. Jennifer, the cheerleader. And Will, senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy.
But not everybody at Avalon High is who they appear to be … not even, as new student Ellie is about to discover, herself. What part does she play in the drama that is unfolding? What if the bizarre chain of events and coincidences she has pieced together means — as with the court of King Arthur — tragedy is fast approaching Avalon High?

Worst of all, what if there’s nothing she can do about it?

My Comments:
I read this book for my daughter. It sounded like something she would be interested it, and I was hoping to expand her genres a bit. But I wanted to read it first just to make sure it wasn’t going to be anything she didn’t want in her head. I remember reading books friends gave me in school and being sorry I had too much information that I didn’t really know what to do with. And I love to share books with her anyway, so it was a win win.

This book was definitely great for her. It was a sweet, innocent story that was compelling and who doesn’t love the legends about King Arthur? Meg Cabot put a charming spin on the timeless story. My daughter and I were very pleased to discover that this is the first in a new series!

Keep It Or Pass It On?
I passed it on to my daughter, who finished it in a day. I don’t think she will be letting it leave her shelf any time soon though.

Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner

February 6, 2007

From the Publisher:
The Barnes & Noble Review
Kate Connor used to be a demon hunter: Now she’s a stay-at-home mom, a “glorified chauffeur for pep squad practice and Gymboree play dates.” But when a demonic assassin shows up at her suburban home minutes before an important dinner party, the retired Hunter is forced back into action to save her town — and her freshly baked mini-quiches — from the invading fiend and his army of the undead.
Kate’s husband and her two kids don’t know anything about her demon-killing past — and she wants to keep it that way. So while doing what supermoms do — raising an inquisitive two-year old, dealing with a teenage girl’s myriad of social issues, supporting an overworked husband running for county attorney, etc. — Kate also finds time to unravel the mystery behind the sudden ghoulish invasion. It seems a master demon named Goramesh has come to town in search of an invaluable religious artifact secreted in a much-storied cathedral. But in order to obtain the relic, Goramesh must first find a suitable human subordinate…

The character of Kate Connor is an appealing mélange of Laurell K. Hamilton’s sexy, butt-kicking vampire executioner Anita Blake, Sex and the City’s super-cool column writer Carrie Bradshaw, and the women of ABC’s Desperate Housewives, whose lives revolve around domestic intrigues like potty training, teenage curfews, PTA meetings, bake sales, neighborhood gossip — and scandalous secrets. Fast-paced and strikingly clever, this lighthearted romp through suburbia will appeal to romance, mystery, and fantasy fans alike. Paul Goat Allen

My Comments:
What more can I say after all that?! Lots!

Anita Blake has become way too slutty for me. I don’t enjoy LKH’s books that at one time were the end all be all, nothing could ever compare this is the litmus test for all other paranormal fiction. Whew. That was a mouthful!

Mary Janice Davidson’s characters while funny at times have become just too snarky and mean! I can’t relate at all to characters who are bitchy just because. The plots grew thinner as the protagonists grew meaner. It’s hard to care about characters who are too shallow to know any better. And this is the only author I have ever written to who never replied. *sniff* I know. My feelings almost got hurt there for a second.

Ah, but Julie Kenner’s heroine was ultra relatable (okay, so that’s probably not a real word). Right down to the play dates, teenagers starting high school, Fiesta Ware, husband’s work schedule, toddler trauma and eating a sleeve of thin mints and Diet Coke at noon because she forgot to eat breakfast. The characters were real! (Well, except for the demonic ones.) What a treat! There was a real plot! And it actually made sense! I was riveted.

I really enjoyed Julie Kenner’s website as well and discovered I actually have a lot in common with her. For me, it made the reading experience that much more enjoyable. It’s always slightly disappointing for me to discover my favorite author is against most of the things I hold dear. How refreshing to discover the opposite in this case.

I’m thrilled to have the next book in this series “California Demon” waiting for me on my To Be Read Shelf, and the third in the series, “Demons Are Forever” is due out in July.

Keep It Or Pass It On?:
Oh, I’ll be keeping it. I’ll lend it to friends, but for now I want to keep it available for re-reading at a later date!

For Kicks by Dick Francis

February 5, 2007

From the Publisher:
Australian horse breeder Daniel Roke had resisted the exorbitant sum of money offered by a suave Englishman to investigate a scandal involving drugged racehorses. But after another investigator dies mysteriously, Roke agrees to fill his shoes—and learns that men who would give drugs to horses are capable of doing much worse to human beings.

My Comments:
I’ve always felt guilty because my husband happily reads whatever book I’m currently gushing about. Whether it’s a paranormal “romance” like JR Ward or Laurell K. Hamilton or Charlaine Harris, or even JD Robb AKA Nora Roberts, or Janet Evanovich, if I like it, he’ll read it. I’ve never done the same for him. He’s loved Dick Francis since he was a boy. Same for Louis Lamour. I’ll go so far as to say, as he has, that Louis Lamour made him the man he is today. As a subsitute father, you could do worse then Louis. At last, I read a Dick Francis and enjoyed it very much! And my husband was thrilled to say the least.

I’ve never been a fan of horse racing. I suppose that’s what held me back. I love horses, but racing them and breeding them, and such never interested me in the least. I’m so glad I finally got over such a tiny roadblock. These are solid mysteries with vivid characters and I am looking forward to reading another one.

I was really surprised when I read this book was published in the 60’s. It didn’t seem dated in the least! It was a more complicated mystery then the publisher leads us to believe. The character, Daniel as a successful horse trainer in his own right, went undercover as a stable lad to try and discover how these horses are being drugged. I never thought about how that could affect the entire sport. He went from a confident man with affluence to a man only the worst stable would employ. A man who couldn’t be trusted and was the lowest of the low. After pretending to be a man of poor character for so long, it starts to take it’s toll, but Daniel over comes, the day is saved and the horses can live happily ever after!

Keep It or Pass it On?
I probably won’t be reading this one again, but Francis has written over 40 mysteries for me to sink my teeth into.