Monday, April 25, 2011

The Raising by Laura Kasischke

The accident was tragic, yes. Bloody and horrific and claiming, the life of a beautiful young sorority girl. Nicole was a straight-A student from a small town. Sweet-tempered, all-American, a former Girl Scout, and a virgin. But it was an accident. And that was last year. It's fall again, a new semester, a fresh start.

Craig, who has not been charged with murder, is focusing on his classes, and also on avoiding Nicole's sorority sisters, who seem to blame him for her death even though the police did not.
Perry, Craig's roommate, is working through his own grief (he grew up with Nicole, after all, and had known her since kindergarten) by auditing Professor Mira Polson's sociology class: Death, Dying, and the Undead.

Mira has been so busy with her babies -- two of them, twins, the most perfect boys you could imagine but still a nearly impossible amount of work even with husband Clark's help -- that she can barely keep herself together to teach (Death, Dying and the Undead), let alone write the book she'll need to publish for tenure.

And Shelly, who was the first person at the scene of the accident, has given up calling the newspapers to tell them that, despite the ''lake of blood'' in which they keep reporting the victim was found in, the girl Shelly saw that night was not bloody, and not dead.

This was so super creepy. I read it in one day and it reminds me of something but I can't seem to remember what. A movie or something. Nicole, the sorority, the hazing, all of it; creepy, creepy, creepy. I could not put this book down, and yet I read the whole thing, and have no idea what the outcome was; I didn't get it. That was the only negative thing. Knowing this author wrote The Life Before Her Eyes (I saw the movie, didn't even know it was a book until I started reading this one), I knew that the ending was going to leave me confused, but I had hoped for more of a resolution than there was. A story about relationships, campus ghosts, getting into the perfect sorority, and obsession at the very heart of it, I think anyone who reads this will be up late finishing it. And if you do and understand the ending? Please let me know....

4 stars

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Strain by Guillermo del Torro and Chuck Hogan

A Boeing 777 lands on the tarmac at JFK airport and goes completely dark. The engines have shut down, communication has been cut off, there is no movement inside, and every shade has been pulled down. The FAA and CDC are called in, and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from Project Canary are called in to investigate. What he sees and finds is beyond his imagination.

In a pawn shop in New York, Abraham Setrakian knows something has landed on US soil. Something old, something evil, something he tried to stop years ago while he was in a WWII camp being held by the Nazi's. He knows it is here now, and he knows how to stop it, but will anyone believe him and his story of the unbelievable?

Think Stephen King meets Michael Crichton. It was good, not as great as I had expected, but still good. Some parts were seriously creepy and I may never go in my basement alone again, but I was hoping for a bigger scare. Hopefully the second and third installment are better.

4 stars

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Giveaway!

I am giving away a brand new copy of the third installment of author Dan Wells John Wayne Cleaver trilogy, I Don't Want To Kill You. Reply to this post and I will radomly pick a winner at the end of next week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Tom Ripley is a young con, running IRS scams from New York City. He is approached one night while he is out at a bar by, Mr. Greenleaf, the father of Dickie Greenfleaf, a brief acquaintance of Tom's. Mr. Grenleaf believes Tom and Dickie to be closer than they actually are and asks Tom for his help. Apparently, Dickie went to live in Italy and work on his painting, which his parents think he has no talent for, and won't come home to help with the family boating business. Mr. Greenleaf agrees to pay Tom's way to Italy, so he can bring his son home. But once Tom gets there and slips into the lives of Tom and his friend Marge, he becomes obsessed with Tom and his life. He wants to be like him, exactly like him, and will stop at nothing, not even murder, to accomplish it. This was pretty disturbing. I never saw the movie so nothing was spoiled for me, but Ripley is a complete nut! I couldn't believe some of the things he did and got away with, all the way up to the end. I am going to have to check out the other Mr. Ripley books to see what he gets into next. 4 stars

Friday, April 8, 2011

Plain Jane by Laurien Gardner

The story of Jane Seymour and her rise from the daughter of the inhabitants of Wolf Hall, to a lady in waiting to Queen Catherine and later Queen Anne, and her sudden ascent to the Queen of England, wife to King Henry VIII. I love reading about Tudor history so I was happy to find a book devoted to the Queen there is so little known about. It was a great, interesting, quick read. The actions of Anne Boleyn never cease to amaze me no matter how many books I read involving her. The ending is sad, very sad in my opinion, and gave a view of Henry that I had never read about before.

4 stars