Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday-March 25

Check out Teaser Tuesdays from Should Be Reading. TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

Grab your current read.

Let the book fall open to a random page.

Share with us two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

This week my teaser is from The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley:
She loved to shoot with a long lens, catching me unaware.  She said that's when you find a person's spirit, their truth.

pg. 133

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Audiobook Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Title:  The Rosie Project

Author:  Graeme Simsion

Narrator:  Dan O'Grady

Unabridged Length:  7 hrs, 34 mn.

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

My Review:
Let me start by saying this is the most sweet and delightful story I have read, or listened to, in a long time.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story about Don Tillman, as we embark on a journey with him as he discovers feelings and emotions that are totally new to him.  Dan O'Grady was a perfect narrator for this book as he brought the character of Tillman to life for me.

Tillman is a quirky college professor who has made the best out of his life as he lives with Aspberger's Syndrome.  He has had a few relationships that just haven't seemed to work out, but a fellow colleague and friend seems to have found the logical solution for finding Don Tillman a suitable mate.  One cannot be considered for the Wife Project until they pass the first assessment of course.   

After the Wife Project is underway, Don is introduced to Rosie, who is looking for help in finding her biological father.  Being a DNA expert, Don looks favorably upon the challenge, knowing he should be able to help this young lady.  He briefly considers Rosie as an applicant in the Wife Project, but after realizing she doesn't possess the qualities needed as an applicant, he quickly crosses her name off the list.

As Don and Rosie search for her father, Don finds himself in unknown territory.  He is willing to put himself in uncomfortable situations, even changing his schedule at the last minute or learning something new.  He doesn't understand the feelings that develop for Rosie as she isn't even a qualifying applicant in the wife project.  He knows the two of them could never have a future together.

This was such a fun book to listen to that left me laughing out loud many times.  With themes of love, challenges, and secrets you will probably enjoy this novel as much as I did.  I'm sure it would make an excellent book club selection and I don't hesitate in recommending this novel.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This audiobook was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Audiobook Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Title:  Red Hill

Author:  Jamie McGuire

Narrators:  Emma Galvin, January LaVoy, Zachary Webber

Unabridged Length:  9 hrs, 38 mn.

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

My Review:
I am not usually a big fan of young adult fiction, but I did listen to Beautiful Disaster by McGuire and found it enjoyable.  When I requested this book I think the summary roped me in with Scarlet's story-fighting for life and freedom for her and her daughters.  Had I known this would be a zombie apocalypse novel, I probably wouldn't have requested it.  But boy, am I glad I did, because this book turned out to be more than that!

The story is told from basically three different perspectives, Nathan, Miranda, and Scarlet.  There is a different narrator for each of these characters and I think all of the narrators did a wonderful job of interpreting their personalities.  Each of our main characters come from different walks of life, but through their journey they find a common destination.

Nathan is a married man who notices things going awry throughout the day.  He quickly goes to his young daughter's school, pulling her out of class so they can seek safety.  When they arrive safely at home he is greeted by a letter from his wife, indicating she has had enough of this life with him and will not be returning.  So now it is just him who must protect young Zoe against the unknown forces.

Scarlet works in the medical field at a local hospital and she becomes concerned when patients are suddenly being admitted with odd symptoms.  When she sees a girl that was healthy just a couple of days ago suddenly facing her unexpected death, she knows things are not right.  She hears news updates throughout the day about a fatal outbreak overseas, but they have been assured it is not taking place in the United States.  Fearing for the safety of her girls she leaves the hospital right after her shift, finding only chaos in the outside world.  Her daughters are with her ex-husband so she must find a way to get to them.

Miranda is a college student and she and her sister are on their way home for a visit.  All they have to protect them on their journey is the outer shell of the VW bug when things get out of control.  Their boyfriends are with them but even they cannot protect the girls from the creatures, that were once humans, when they are ready to attack. 

As you can see, all of these characters come from different walks of life but they all have one thing in common.  The will and desire to survive.  They all have an inner drive that sets them on a path that will unexpectedly send them all to the same destination.  Red Hill.  They can only hope that Red Hill will be the place that will keep them safe until the chaos is over.

This book was an unexpected but welcome surprise for me.  Although I don't usually enjoy this type of novel I found myself looking forward to the next time I would be able to listen to it.  With themes of survival, endurance, love, and loss, you may enjoy this book too.  Although I don't think the ladies in my book club would have appreciated this one, I'm sure it would be a good fit for others.  I don't hesitate in recommending the audio version of this novel, especially for those that enjoy a plot laced with zombies.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Are You Reading?

Sheila over at Book Journey hosts this meme that gives you the opportunity to share the books that you have been losing yourself in lately and also the ones that you are looking forward to picking up next.

I finished:
Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand is an audiobook that has been on my bookshelf for the last year, so in an attempt to not think about winter for awhile, I decided to listen to this one.  I enjoyed it, but it sure was sad.  You will have to watch for my review soon.

What I'm reading now:
I had to set aside the other book I started because book club meets this week and we are reading The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith. Oh, how I enjoy these novels!

What's next:
I hope to get back to The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore.  This is the one I had to set aside and I sure was enjoying this one too!

So what kind of books have been keeping you up at night?