Quick and Dirty Reviews for January 2012

(Well, it’s about time, right?)

Number of Books Read: 11

  FIVE STARS

Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer/Young Kim

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Ages: 14 and up

Published January 24, 2012 by Yen Press

You’d have to have been in a windowless cell at the core of the earth not to know what Twilight is about. The graphic novel is another way for fans to absorb the paranormal love story between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. The drawings are fabulous.

 City of Ashes and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Urban Fantasy

Ages: 14 and up

Published March 25, 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Books two and three of Ms. Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. A continuation of the story of Clary, Jace, Simon and the Shadowhunters. Fabulous and coming to a theater near you 2014.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Genre:

Ages: 14 and up

Published October 5, 2005 by Little, Brown & Co.

I read Twilight for the first time last fall. I had resisted for this long for two reasons: one, I thought it would be akin to a Sweet Valley High book; and two, the hype hype hype. I had not seen any of the movies, either. Once part one of Breaking Dawn came out, my daughter was getting to that age where she might want to read this series. I read it to make sure it was appropriate for her. Long story short, I devoured the books, lapped up the movies, and here we are, my daughter and I, reading the book together. I think Ms. Meyer’s detractors give her a really bad rap merely because of the subject matter. She is a fabulous writer who deserves to be known as such.

FOUR STARS

Instruments of Darkness by Imogene Robertson

Genre: Fiction; Historical Mystery

Ages: Adult

Published February 17, 2011 by Pamela Dorman Books

Set in the late 1700s, this is the first of a series of mysteries with Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther. Mrs. Westerman is a forward-thinking woman and Mr. Crowther is a solitary man of science whose paths cross when a dead man is discovered on Mrs. Westerman’s property. Well-written, this historical mystery should be made into a PBS series.

The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss

Genre: Fiction; Historical Mystery Paranormal

Ages: Adult

Published 2011 by Random House

This is the first book I read by David Liss, and so far, my favorite. I love the paranormal aspect to it. Lucy Derrick, who lives with her decidedly unloving uncle and his pinched, mean housekeeper, finds her existence turned upside down when she discovers a curse on Lord Byron, a new mysterious friend and a clash between man and machinery.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Translated by Anthea Bell)

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Time Travel

Ages: 12 and up

Published May 10, 2011 by Henry Holt & Co.

Great time travel novel that was originally published in German. We are having to wait for the next one while it gets translated. Beeilen Sie sich! Gwyneth Shepherd has watched her cousin, Charlotte, get schooled in languages, history, self-defense and all other manner of things as Charlotte carries the family time travel gene. Imagine Gwyneth’s surprise when she discovers that her mother lied about her birth date, hoping the gene would pass by Gwyneth. Unfortunately, that tactic does not work, so a completely unprepared Gwyneth plunges helplessly into a world for which she is not ready.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Genre: Fiction; Paranormal Mystery Romance

Ages: Adult

Published February 1, 2011 by St. Martin’s Press

This is one of my favorite new series to find. Charley Davidson is a private investigator…and the Grim Reaper. She can see and speak to ghosts. This all comes in handy for her father and uncle who are a former and a current detective for the police department. They have a pretty amazing solve rate, as you can imagine. Charley has her own mystery to solve, too. Who or what is the darkness who has been starring in her not-so innocent dreams?

THREE STARS

Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon

Genre: Fiction; Historical Fantasy Romance

Ages: Adult

Published March 1, 2011

I read (and reviewed) Ms. Turgeon’s Godmother. I have to say I liked Mermaid even better. Such a great take on the original The Little Mermaid, Lenia, the mermaid, falls in love with the human she saves and is willing to give up everything for him. Her competition is a princess who nurses the human back to health and then discovers he is the son of her father’s enemy.

TWO STARS

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

Genre: Fiction; Historical Mystery

Ages: Adult

Published December 6, 2011 by Knopf

Mr. Wickham has been charged with murder. I have to admit that I am a sucker for anything that purports to be a Pride and Prejudice continuation. I really thought this would be a great one, considering the author, but I was so disappointed and BORED. While the new book needs to be written in the same spirit and style of the original, it does need to have something to pull it through to the end. This didn’t.

Starting from Happy: A Novel by Patricia Marx

Genre: Fiction

Ages: Adult

Published in 2011 by Scribner

There are enough people I don’t give a crap about in the real world, so why do I want to read about them? No redeeming qualities, no story, no way. The novel annoyed the heck out of me. Sorry.

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