Sunday, December 10, 2006

#19 - Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

If I'm being honest, I have to say that this book was just OK. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great. It was just so-so.

From the descriptions of this book, I expected more thrills and suspense.....but it's really just a cupcake romance novel with a bit of witchcraft frosting. The storyline seemed watered down -- very little real characterization, and very little happening story-wise. My impression is that the story was drawn out to novel length so that Roberts could have another trilogy. I would also venture that perhaps the 3 books could have been combined into one better written story with more action.

As it is, this book was more of a formula romance novel, and the story line wasn't all that interesting. Very predictable.

The magic of this book fizzled for me. I do have the other 2 books in the series and I will read them to see if the trilogy improves as it goes along.

Friday, December 01, 2006

#18 - My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I was surprised by this book. I was all ready for a totally depressing read, but I enjoyed this book so much I couldn't put it down.

Kate Fitzgerald is 16 and has a rare form of leukemia. Her parents planned the birth of her younger sister Anna in order for Kate to have a matching donor for blood and bone marrow. In her 13 years, Anna has undergone multiple procedures to help keep her sister alive. When it comes down to donating a kidney to her weakened and dying sister, Anna draws the line and files a lawsuit for medical emancipation from her family.

The point of view bounces back and forth between family members and others involved as the lawsuit and Kate's illness progresses. But it's not a formula dying child/grieving family story. Picolut's story is a realistic mix of all emotions, and gives a realistic look into the life of a family totally immersed in the illness of a child.

The moral and ethical questions behind genetic planning, using one child to treat another's medical problems, and the medical rights of children really make this a thought provoking book. As a parent, it was hard to think what I might do in the same circumstances. On the one hand, it would be very difficult to have a terminally ill child....but it would also be difficult to justify repeated medical procedures on a healthy younger sibling to prolong the life of the ill child.

It's a very thought provoking book, and an absorbing story. I couldn't put the book down. I read it in a day because I just had to know what happened.

And when it was all over, I closed the book and all I could say was "wow....''

"My Sister's Keeper'' is a great mix of emotions and moral/ethical questions, without being overly melodramatic or depressing, as some similar books are. This is not an Oprahesque book, if you get my meaning. I definitely recommend it.

#17 - Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts

Blue Dahlia is the first book in Nora Roberts "In the Garden'' Trilogy.

I first heard about Nora Roberts' books on Many members posted messages with favorable reviews of her suspense/romance flavored writing. After reading the hefty tome that is "The Historian,'' I decided I wanted to enjoy a simple, fast read. So, I thought I'd give this series a chance. I'm not normally a romance novel reader at all. But I do enjoy a good ghost story!

The main character, Stella, loses her husband and starts her life over again in a new city. She takes a job managing a small plant nursery called In the Garden. The estate where she lives with her employer and friend, Roz, is haunted. Add in sexy Logan -- the landscaper and you have a nice simple mix of 1 part suspense, 2 parts romantic tension.

This book was a nice, fast read. Nothing complicated. Nothing depressing. It was a book to curl up with while sipping hot tea and relaxing.

There are 3 main female characters in this series. Stella is the main focus of the first book. Roz gets book 2, and Hayley is featured in book 3.

Definitely formula romance, and nothing new here....but it's an enjoyable read all the same.