Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Burberry

Renee is a concierge at a high class building, trying to hide her true self from everyone who lives there. Though she may be just a concierge, she is incredibly intelligent, reads massive amounts of books on a wide variety of subjects, but due to an event her past, feels that she should not mingle with the upper class people of the building. So she buts on a front, careful not to let anything slip that would give her away.

Paloma is a 12 yr old girl that lives in the building, the daughter of a wealthy parents who has a secret of her own. She is exceptionally intelligent, a genius in fact. But she also feels that she needs to hide this from everyone, just getting by in school, because if her parents knew how smart she was, they would expect more of her. She dwells on her life and the life of all those around her, and decides she doesn't want to be "stuck in the fishbowl" like everyone else, so she comes up with a plan to set the building on fire and commit suicide on her 13th birthday. While she waits for the day to approach, she keeps a journal of deep thoughts that she has, and decides from things she has experienced whether the human race is worth not taking her life. If there is hope after all.

While both Renee and Paloma already have their careful plans, a new man moves into the building, Kakuro Ozu, and everything they thought was true falls to the side. All 3 become friends, and Ozu, through his actions, shows them both that not everything they think is as it should be or is true.

This book was great, but very hard to read. The intelligence of Renee and Paloma is so great, that most of the time I had no idea what they were even talking about, but the writing was so beautiful and poetic that I couldn't stop reading. I am not saying you won't understand the book. Its just very philosophical, and that kind of thing goes way over my head, but you still know what is going on in the story. It is chock full of beautiful quotes also, and the ending had my eyes filling with tears.

4 stars

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The I-5 Killer by Ann Rule

Randy Woodfield had an athletic career ahead of him, with his good looks had his choice of any woman he wanted. But it was never enough for Randy. He started out in high school and college being arrested and most times not for indecent exposure. He got a rush from the looks on women's faces when he exposed himself to them. Not being able to hold a job, he started robbing commercial businesses. After a stint in prison for robbery, he got out and his urges got even darker. He cruised the I-5 highway, from California to Oregon, raping, sodomizing, robbing and terrorizing women, eventually leading him to murder.

Fast read. It was pretty interesting, kind of crazy how much mayhem he could cause in one day. If you have read Ann Rule before, this is just like the others, just a different story.

3 stars

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

I am so behind on reviews I can't even remember the characters names. Sorry guys!

A young girl is sent to prison for a heinous crime when she is 16 years old. After receiving 10 years in prison, she is paroled for good behavior and sent to live in a halfway house to get on her feet. But what happened that fateful night keeps coming back to her. She desperately tries to get a hold of her younger sister to talk about what happened, but her sister wants nothing to do with her. When they finally meet up, the secrets of that awful night come to light completely, and secrets they had both been hiding are forced into light, showing that hings were much worse than they seemed.

Sorry that summary sucked, I read this so long ago I don't remember much. What I do remember: this was seriously a screwed up book. I thought I had it figured out but at the end my mouth dropped open from shock. Good, fast read, but if books involving bad things happening to kids bothers you I wouldn't recommend this. Those things don't bother me and I was still shocked by the secret.

4 stars

I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells

The third installment in the John Wayne Cleaver trilogy, John is searching for the monster he spoke to on the phone, sure that she is going to come after him. When bodies start showing up in his town again he thinks at first that it must be her; that she gave in to his taunting. But the more he looks at the bodies when they arrive at his family mortuary, the more he thinks this is something else. Could 2 monsters have come to town? And can he stop them both before its too late?

I loved this trilogy, I really did, but this last book was a letdown. I thought the ending was a bit of a cop out. Without going into detail, I thought the ending was pretty sad, and not in the weepy way. It was still a good, fast read, but I wish Wells wouldn't have stopped at 3 books and kept exploring the character of John. There was a lot of potential there, a little Dexter in training if you will. But the ending was just like, oh well, this is only a trilogy so let's make this happen to tie it all up.

3 stars