Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star - Book Review

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock StarFitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

At the start of August I mentioned in a guest post at Roof BeamReaders that I consider myself to be an “In betweener” when it comes to the reading of Jane Austen inspired books.  I like my books to be believable in the realm of Jane Austen’s World.  I’ve read, but not really enjoyed, some of the modern adaptations of her books (they average about 3 of 5 stars). 

That being said, this book came way out of left field for me!

To start, I was pulled in by the cover first and the premise second.  Darcy as a rock star?  I can read that!

Darcy or Will as his friends call him is a guitar virtuoso.  He lives music.  He started a band, Slurry, with his cousin Richard Fitzwilliam (drums) and his college friend Charles Bingley (guitar and vocals).  They are a huge hit, but like any rock band they come with a bad boy reputation.   They need a new opening act and in steps Long Borne Suffering an all girl band that features Jane and Lizzy Bennet and Lizzy’s friend Charlotte Lucas.

The story followed the basic plot points of Pride and Prejudice but set in the world of two bands on the road.  One band has made it and the other is on its way up in the music world.  I liked the changes in the story to fit the plot of this book. The changes really didn’t seem forced and as far as I know the story seemed believable.

As others have noted there were editing flaws with the book and there were a few sections that I had to reread because of the changing POV, which kept this from being a 5 star book.

As I finished this book I found myself surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it and how much I liked it. I normally do not like these modern day adaptations of Jane Austen stories, but this one was different.  There was something about it, but I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time (okay really between the time I finished reading the book and last night when I finally realized what it was).

The “it” is that in my mind, while I was reading the book, two of my top five favorite fictions male characters formed into one! Darcy (the rock star version) was a mix of the classic Mr. Darcy and Trent Lane from Daria.  As I read the book I pictured Trent as Darcy (I know he’s not the way Darcy is described in the book, but that’s who I saw in my mind while I read). 

I didn’t picture Lizzy to be Daria and I didn’t have a reference point for other characters. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Color Coded Reading Challenge - Red

RedshirtsRedshirts by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Book Description - Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expendedon avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives

Review - I was unsure about reading this book for two reasons.

One, when reading the reviews for this book I noticed a lot of mixed reviews, people didn't seem to be overly thrilled with it, but those people had also read other John Scalzi books.

Two, my friend had recommended the book and while we do share similar tastes our reading tastes rarely are the same.

Since I hadn't read any of his books before I felt safe in assuming that perhaps I would enjoy the book and my friend and I both really liked the last "Science Fiction" book we both read. I started off reading the book thinking I'd try to at least reach page 50 (50 page rule hasn't lead me astray yet!) and quickly found myself well past page 50 and really into the book.

The characters were interesting and the story kept my attention. I really cared about them and wanted to know if Andy and his friends were able to find a way to save their lives.

The one thing that did kind of bother me were the three codas at the end of book. I really didn't care for Coda 1 but then ended up liking Codas 2 and 3.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Austen in August - Two Mini Reviews

Love is a Battlefield (Games of Love, #1)Love is a Battlefield by Tamara Morgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a really cute read, but I don't know if it impressed me enough to have me keep reading the series.  I originally decided to read it when I saw that Kate is a member of a Jane Austen Regency Reenactment Society (JARRS) and I just love Jane Austen (JASNA member!)

That being said there was just something about the story that didn't work for me and I can't even really put my finger on what it was, but there was just "something".  I feel like the problems the characters kept facing could have easily been solved with simple conversations, I tend to like when things are harder to solve and they really have to work at overcoming their problems.

The Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern WomanThe Jane Austen Guide to Life: Thoughtful Lessons for the Modern Woman by Lori  Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As with any interpretation of an author's work, Lori Smith uses what we know about Jane from her letters and those of her family to advise us on how Jane might advise us to live our lives. She uses examples from the books and it makes a nice little, light advice book.

I have had one little problem with the book and it's kind of had me question some other information in the book.  Lori Smith writes "Compared to Austen, we are a generation of hopeless romantics, just waiting to catch sight of the right person and fall head over heels into lifelong happiness.  We may be surprised -- Austen wouldn't have any of that. Actually, she doesn't give us any successful stories of love at first sight. (45)" I think that's wrong, I think Jane and Bingley were a successful love at first sight relationship, and through a discussion on Facebook (CNJ-JASNA) we think there are more.

That being said, there was a lot of nice information and ideas that we could think about incorporating into our lives.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Austen in August - The Three Weissmanns of Westport

This review contains spoilers!

The Three Weissmanns of WestportThe Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'll admit, I cheated. Since I was listening to this, I sought out reviews with spoilers so I could see where the story was heading because the first disc interested me, but I didn't know if I wanted to keep listening.  After reading the review with spoilers, I kept listening and I'm happy I did, this was a refreshing adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

I'll also admit that Sense and Sensibility is my least favorite Jane Austen work, I've read it once and will probably never force myself to read it again.  So when I saw in the spoiler reviews that the plot doesn't perfectly follow Jane's tale, I knew it would be worth my time to finish listening to this story.

The ages of the characters bothered me at the beginning of the story, but as the story went on I found that it worked with the direction of the plot.  I liked Annie and Miranda more than I ever really liked Elinor and Marianne.  I liked that Annie didn't take Fredrick back and that Marianne didn't end up with Roberts but that Annie does (or does she I really couldn't tell).

That wasn't the only change I enjoyed! Instead of suffering in silence like Elinor did, Annie lays into Miranda after she finds out that Fredrick has to do the honorable thing. While Miranda does get sick like Marianne does after her heart break, it's Betty our Mrs. Dashwood who really gets sick over her heartbreak.

There were so many things that reflected Jane's original work, yet changed them so they fit in with her (Schine) story.  She changes up characters but has the fit perfectly into the rolls they are supposed to play that you can't help but just go along for the delightful ride this story turns out to be!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

August Book Club

Forbidden Pleasure (Bound Hearts, #8)Forbidden Pleasure by Lora Leigh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was the second book we have all disliked.  The first still goes by "the book that shall not be named" and we avoid that author's books all together when picking books each month.

We all had similar feelings about the story, the characters, and the sex.  

I have mixed feelings about the book. Normally I want to go back and read the books in the series but I'm just not feeling compelled to do that with this series. I feel that if I had started with book one I may have liked the book/series more. When books in the middle of series have been picked in the past I've gone back and read those that came before, but I never got around this time and just read the book.  I kind of regret doing that, but there's no going back now!

This was our book club pick and the woman who picked it didn't realize what it was really about, she thought Keiley was torn between the two men, not that she'd be with both once.

The story didn't interest me, I kind of felt like it was rushed on the relationship aspects.  I didn't like  Keiley, she knew before she married Mac what The Club was about, but she still acts kind of dumbfounded when Jethro shows up. There was so much more that we discussed at our meeting of things that just didn't make sense to us.

Those of us who have read Lora Leigh's books in the past felt a little let down by this book.  One member had read another random book in this series and just loved it.  I'll still read her books, but I think I'm going to avoid this series.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

July Book Club - Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever (Fever, #1)Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know this review is late, but I needed to read all the books in the series and then I felt I had to give myself time to digest the awesomeness that was that series.  

I was addicted to these books! No sooner had I finished one than I picked up the other and dove right in, and I didn't even really like the first books when I started reading.  That bothered me because I had be dying to read this series.  I read her Highlander series and I love it, it's one of my constant weekend re-read series. When I heard that the Fever series was a kind of crossover I knew they would be read.  

Like I said, I got worried because I didn't really like Mac, she bothered me and that worried me since she's the star of the books. Then I realized that I didn't understand why everyone was so OMG over Barrons.  But I knew that I would finish the series, I needed to know the fate of the world, I needed to know the fate of these people, even if I didn't really like them.

The week I read these books I was suffering a bout of insomnia* and was up all night reading.  I began to realize why everyone was so OMG over Barrons as I became obsessed with him.  Mac, nope still didn't really care about her. 

I've picked up the first graphic novel and can't wait to read it!

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*due to medication

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday - "Animals Don't So I Won't by David Derrick Jr

This book just looks really, really cute!

I might have to pick it up for baby girl. She's going to have more books than she'll know what to do with by the time she starts reading!