Monday, August 30, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey: The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

After losing the Bull Moose election, former president Theodore Roosevelt was looking for something exciting to do. He always liked a challenge, and when his old friend, Father Zahm, proposed a trip to the Amazon he was ready to go. After getting backing from the American History Museum, Roosevelt, his son Kermit, and others head down the Amazon on a river that had never been mapped before, The River of Doubt. What ensued was beyond what any of them could imagine; Indians lurking in the jungle waiting to kill them, rapids and falls they didn't know where there until they were upon them, running out of provisions, losing some of their boats in the rapids, mosquitoes and insects that could and would give they malaria and other diseases, and murder and suicide among their group.Roosevelt's wish to map this dangerous, uncharted river became a fight for the lives of everyone on the mission.

This starts out pretty slow, but once everyone gets to South America, it really picks up. I couldn't help but love Roosevelt even though I haven't ever read anything about him before. He treats everyone as his equal, and had courage beyond anything I can imagine. A very interesting true life adventure story.

4 stars

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fragile by Lisa Unger

Maggie and Jones, psychiatrist and small town detective, seem like your every day small town couple. But through secrets kept from each other there is always a tension among them. Especially when it comes to their 17 year old son, Rick. He is into the Goth scene, in a band, doesn't want to go to college even though his grades are good and he has great SAT scores, and he is dating a girl, Charlene, that Maggie and Jones feel is nothing but trouble. When Charlene disappears one night after a fight with her mother all of those secrets kept over two decades start to bubble to the surface. Every one is remembering a time when Jones and Maggie were in high school and another girl disappeared only to be found dead a few days later. Everyone who was around at the time of the disappearance see striking similarities between the two vanishings, even though it is purported that Charlene ran away. Now Maggie and Jones must face the demons of their past if they are to help Charlene.

This book was so completely pointless. There is no mystery, which is fine, but there is nothing to keep you reading. I finished and was not happy about the time I wasted reading this book. You know what is going to happen, who is involved, and how everything is going to play out, and the Hallmark inspired ending didn't help the story at all. None of the characters were sympathetic, they were all self absorbed and I had to force myself to finish this.

2 stars

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

32 year old Annie O'Sullivan was just about to end the open house she was running on the day she was kidnapped. As she headed out to her car, a van pulled up with a friendly guy inside, asking if he could look around real quick. Annie agrees, and later finds herself tied up in the back of the van. After her capture, she lives in a cabin in the mountains of Canada with her captor for over a year. Here she endures physical and psychological abuse and is raped nightly. The book is told by Annie, as she finally goes to therapy for what she had been through and finally tells her story, and how it affected her and everyone she thought she knew and loved.

Good story, very hard to read at times, and incredibly disturbing. The things this character went through were almost too much to read about at some points. However, when the mystery of Annie's capture is unravelled it is just too much to believe. The book was moving at a great speed, but a side note of something happened made me figure out what was going on as soon as I read it and the conclusion was just way too bizarre for me. I can't imagine it being plausible in any kind of circumstances.

4 stars