Category Archives: Books
Stephanie Plum is the sassy and feisty heroine in a series of Janet Evanovich novels following her
adventures misadventures as a bond enforcement agent, or bounty hunter. Recently having lost her job as a lingerie buyer, this plucky Jersey Girl must figure out how to come up with some cash, and turns to her dad’s cousin for work as a bounty hunter. Clearly not well-suited to this dangerous work, she somehow has a keen instinct to know when she should dig deeper into a mystery surrounding an FTA, i.e. Failure to Appear. Her first assignment is Joe Morelli, a vice cop seemingly turned killer who grew up in her neighborhood. The two have a colorful history and clearly strained feelings exist, but she must do all she can to get her man. With some help from Ricardo Carlos Manoso, otherwise known as Ranger, bounty hunter extraordinaire and mystery figure of male danger she lands herself in some rather dangerous situations along the way to getting to the bottom of things.
This series, which has a nineteenth book coming out, is funny, sexy, and lively. Stephanie is a regular girl who takes a job as a bounty hunter out of need, and lands in deep water time and time again. I have now read 6 books in the series and have enjoyed each of them. They have funny characters, like Lula a former prostitute who ends up going along with Stephanie on some of her FTA missions as the series progresses. Grandma Mazur is Stephanie’s funeral loving grandma, who seems as trouble prone as Stephanie. Even “Big Blue”, a tank of a Buick Roadmaster that Stephanie endures driving after she continually loses cars fires, bombs, and garbage trucks becomes kind of iconic in her world.
The back and forth flirtations/relationships she has with Morelli and Ranger are endearing, because what girl wouldn’t love having two sexy guys in their life. Watching her figure out her feelings as she goes after FTAs is amusing, because both men must continually keep her out of the trouble she seems to draw to her. She isn’t a damsel-in-distress, but she is definitely a girl who attracts trouble, and the two men in her life have to endure a lo.
I find myself going back to this series for enjoyable, light reads, with a bit of adventure and romance mixed in. Stephanie isn’t perfect, and that is what I love most. She goes in, does her thing, and somehow manages to make it out in the end. Her no holds barred approach is always amusing. I plan to continue reading the series and see what trouble our fearless bounty hunter finds herself in next.
Okay, so I admit I am a Twilight fan. I love the books, have seen the movies, and I’m hooked. In all truth I wasn’t into the vampire thing prior to that. Anne Rice and her vampire world weren’t my thing. Bram Stoker, eh, not so much. Funny, it is the little ‘tween novel that turned on my passion. It is just something about the intensity and passion of vampires I started to be intrigued by. Passion and intensity are powerful, and make a great story and pull me in. Those characters and stories awakened something in me, something more than I though was there to be honest, passion and desire wise. I know Twilight is arguably a very sanitized version, but it suites me and I have found I can veer into the paranormal with a little more ease these days, since I am also a fan of The Vampire Diaries TV show, and get sucked in, pun fully intended, to the weekly drama and, yes, sexy romance. Something about being desired, granted not by some sparkly vegetarian or vicious killer, but having someone passionate about me just sounds amazing. Am I crazy for wishing that, hummm, I think deep down many, if not most, woman have the fantasy of being desirable and cherished by someone. It fills a need in me to read stories like that, not that I expect real life to match up, but it is fun for a fantasy. I can keep the hope I suppose, to one day find that passion for myself. Reading about it for now will have to suffice, and get me through. And I think every lady can use a little passion, and yes, vamp, in her life every once in a while :0)
Much as Suzanne Collins did in her Hunger Games Trilogy, Veronica Roth in Divergent begins painting a disturbing and startling vision of the future. In the dystopian Chicago of the future society, for better or worse, has broken into five factions that regard a particular virtue as important and the key to a better future. Abnegation the Selfless, Dauntless the Fearless/Brave, Erudite the Knowledgeable, Candor the Honest, and Amity the Peaceful. Beatrice Prior is 16 and about to come of age in this society as the Choosing Ceremony is about to take place, and she must make a choice that will forever change her. Growing up in Abnegation has never felt right to Beatrice, and a hard choice confronts the young woman as cracks in what is supposed to be a seamless societal structure begin to show. Her journey is a fast paced, exciting, and gripping as she confronts the choice she ultimately makes. Beatrice is a strong female narrator, painted in true strokes despite the dystopian premise of the story. Growing up, making choices, no matter what are universal themes. The themes about society as a whole and what virtues, frailties, and power surrounds are equally intriguing. A very different world from The Hunger Games, but no less imaginative, and for Young Adult fiction I find it to be equally thought-provoking. Well written stories take the reader in and raise questions, make us laugh, make us cry, make us cheer, and Veronica Roth has created a well-written novel. I am eagerly anticipating the second book in this trilogy!
Having never read a Stephen King book, it was with some trepidation I began reading 11/22/63 for my bookclub. I was surprised that I ended up enjoyed the book. It is not the usual King “Horror,” but about a time traveler and a real historical event. The event is the watershed moment, November 22, 1963, the day President John Kennedy was assassinated. It is a lengthy book, something I have heard repeatedly about King’s writing, but not a badly written story at all. The book focuses on time traveling teacher Jake Epping and his journey as he attempts to change the obdurate past. It weaves in the historical figures Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife, with the fictional people Jake meets along the way. The more outrageous time travel element is about the only discernible supernatural or paranormal device more expected of King, but at it’s core remains a character book and a book about choices. The story about a regular man, an extraordinary opportunity, and the consequences for himself and those around him of taking or not taking that opportunity. And as historical fiction, and being a history lover myself, the notion of a journey to the past, and the implications of altering the past, or the butterfly effect, did intrigue me despite my being unfamiliar with King’s writing. Engaging storytelling, and an interesting premise, helped me navigate King’s lengthy writing style. Overall, I found it an enjoyable read, good for King fans as well as King newcomers.
My love of books and reading, along with my deep desire to write has made me think about the power of the written word. The power an author has in their words placed on the page is tremendous to behold. Authors take the reader in, hopefully if they have great skill, and essentially share their “world” with the reader. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, the author is the ultimate creator of what the reader experiences. The phrase the pen is mightier than the sword comes to mind. Seeing just how much damage a scathing article can have on someone, or how deeply people come to love characters in a favorite novel or series, makes it apparent how deeply we connect with the written word. I have a friend and real blogging maven, who I am always amazed by how she can share an experience, making it come alive somehow on the page. There is something compelling about sharing one’s emotions and thoughts on the page, because somehow in writing it down, the emotions behind it feel stronger or more visceral. That also allows some sense that those feelings or emotions have been worked through in a more concrete manner. Giving expression to what rages inside feels necessary somehow, and the pen seems the most expedient way of going about expressing emotions, and working through something nagging at the mind.
I am in the process of reading several continuing series right now and realize how frustrated I truly get as I wait to see how these series will play out. Waiting, in most instances up to a year or more, after finishing one book for the next in a series is slow torture. Because I have read a few series when all the books have been available, meaning there is no wait, I ask myself why did I start series that are still ongoing, boy was that a bad move! I feel like I am left in the middle of some great event, and then it abruptly stops so they can take a time out. Not knowing what will happen next that really does me in, I ALWAYS have to know. Leaving characters in peril or questions unanswered really doesn’t suit me at all. I get that it is a trick, played to keep those like me coming back for more, but ugh, it isn’t an easy wait. A good author makes that time between books worth the wait. If they can return and make you feel satisfied they have made it worth the torture. I have two books coming in May that I can’t wait for, so I am waiting for April to hurry up so I can delve back into stories that have left me waiting for far too long.