Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review of Tell Me Something True

Synopsis in a Sentence: Gabriella, daughter of a famous movie producer, travels to her mother's homeland, Colombia, as she struggles to make sense of who her mother really was.

My Thoughts:
I really did not care for this book. I'm giving it only 1 star, but that might be slightly's probably more like 1 and a 1/2 or maybe even 2 stars.

I did enjoy reading about a country in South America, as I don't often read about this part of the world, and it was interesting to see how different their lives are there from ours. I also identified with Gabriella's feelings of devastation over the loss of her mother, as I also almost lost my mother at a young age. I thought her need to learn all she could about her mother was very realistic...don't we all want to know as much as we can about the ones we love while we have the chance?

Unfortunately, Gabriella finds out that her mother was not content with their well to do life in Hollywood, and had been going back to Columbia on pretense of visiting her family, only to actually be having an affair with a man there. Gabriella finds her mother's diary, and so we get to hear Helena's side of the story in her own words, which added a deeper layer to the novel.

Gabriella travels to Columbia, finding herself not ready for college yet, and stays with her mother's family, whom she doesn't treat very well, in my opinion. She also becomes involved in an unhealthy relationship with the son of a drug lord.

I'm just not sure if I saw any change or growth on Gabriella's part as a character, which is what I kept waiting for as I read. The end is left sort of a mystery as we aren't sure whether or not Helena was actually abandoning her family on her last trip to Colombia, where she died in a plane crash.

Overall, there were some interesting and thoughtful aspects to this novel, but not enough to really impress me or to read more from this author. I could see a teenager perhaps enjoying this book more, as it deals with a young lady trying to understand herself, her parents, and her place in the world.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review of A Discovery of Witches

Synopsis in a Sentence: Diana Bishop, a witch, whose ancestry traces back to the Salem Witch Trials, is a visiting professor at Oxford who meets a vampire and begins to stir things up among the magical races.

My Thoughts:
I read this book over Halloween actually (once again, I'm behind on my reviews!) and thought that it was a perfect book for the holiday! Spooky in some parts, but not scary...I don't really enjoy being scared!

Anyways, I'm giving this book 5 keys because even though it is a huge book, I raced through it very quickly...I couldn't wait to see what happened next in every scene. I've heard that some people are calling this Twilight for adults, and I could actually see that being true. The vampire in this book (which is the first book in a planned trilogy), Matthew Clairmont (don't you just love his name?!) is definitely as dark, and maybe even sexier than much lauded Edward Cullen! If you don't believe that can be true, read this book and you will find out that I'm telling the truth haha. In fact, (gasp) in some ways, I believe this author, Deborah Harkness describes and fleshes out her characters better than Stephanie Meyer. In other words, Matthew is sexy, tall, dark, handsome, protective, intelligent, charming, rich, and a little bit tortured...everything a good vampire should be lol!

I really loved this book and I felt as if the book began and ended well, but there are some slow parts in the middle. There isn't a lot of action that takes place, and the action which does happen feels a little bit forced. But, the premise of the story is so engrossing that you almost don't even notice the lack of excitement!

Diana Bishop, who is a witch but has decided to forsake her magical heritage after the death of her parents, is a visiting professor of alchemical history at Oxford in England. She happens to stumble upon an important manuscript while doing research...a manuscript that may hold secrets to the origin and survival of the three magical races: witches, vampires and daemons.

There are elements of history, time travel, science and yes, romance in this book and they all work together to really make the story come alive. The romance between Diana and Matthew was some of the best I've read in a long time. I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series which promises more action it seems...Check it out, you won't regret it! :)