One Minute Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

One Minute Book Review-the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky

The Summary:

Charlie is an awkward high school freshman, who has always sat on the sidelines. But you can’t sit on the sidelines forever, and Charlie had decided to make an effort to “participate”. So we follow him through his first year of “participating” in high school, as he writes his Dear Friend chronicling all his experiences.

What I liked:

This book was everything I wanted The Catcher in the Rye to be. No, I mean that. I read The Catcher in the Rye a while back and I was pretty disappointed with it, so when I picked this book up, I just couldn’t get Catcher out of my head. Because Perks kind of has that feel. But you feel the things Charlie feels and you relate to what he has going on. It felt very authentic, and there was definite growth in the character throughout the book.

What I didn’t like:

It’s been a few days since I finished this book and I still can’t come up with anything I didn’t like about this book. It maybe started a little slow. But once I got into the book, that was negligible.

Verdict:

I enjoyed this book, I thought it was a strong coming of age story, and I can see this becoming a classic, so I would definitely recommend this book.

One Minute Book Review: Confessions of a Prayer Slacker by Diane Moody

one minute book review-Confessions of a Prayer Slacker by Diane Moody

The Summary:

In Confessions of a Prayer Slacker, Diane Moody talks about her own prayer journey, and gives you a few tips and guidelines to improve your own.

What I liked:

So there I was on Monday, realizing that I had a book review to put out in two days, and I wasn’t close to finishing any books that I had on my reading list! So in a scramble I started searching the web for novellas that I might quickly want to read so I could bring you a book review on time, and then frantically perusing my Kindle app. While doing that this book caught my eye, as I’d started it months ago, but never finished. And I wondered why, because this is a short little book.

Very good, Book Chick, but you still haven’t told us what you liked about it yet.

Well, I liked that it was short. And Ms. Moody had a good sense of humor and some good things to think about concerning prayer, but. . .

What I didn’t like:

This book wasn’t innovative. I was glad that I’d picked this up free, because all the things she talked about were things I had seen via Pinterest. This seems to have first been published in 2010, and I think then there wasn’t a glut of this kind of information on the internet, but if you’ve been thinking about your prayer life, you’ve probably seen this stuff before on various blogs and such.

Verdict:

I would recommend this to someone who wants to have a relationship with God, but maybe doesn’t know where to begin. Or someone looking for a short read that could be completed in a few hours, because it is fairly short, with a novella (or maybe an excerpt of a novel?) tagged on to the end. But if you’ve already thought about your prayer life, and maybe done a little bit of searching on how you can improve it, then this book may be a little bit boring for you.

One Minute Book Review: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

boundaries

The Summary:

Having clear boundaries is essential to life. Without boundaries we find ourselves drained from all our energy and suffering. Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend provide a way to determine whether you have a problem with boundaries, and then provide a clear way to help yourself slowly start to erect this boundaries.

What I liked:

So I have kept this book review in my back pocket because I thought this book was so amazing, that I needed some time away from it to determine if I really felt that it was still amazing. And I’m still going to stand by my opinion: this is an AMAZING book. This book is life-changing if you’re willing to do the work. It helped me understand things about boundaries (and codependence) that I didn’t understand before.

Here’s the thing, I’m not going to mince words: this book is Christian. It refers back to the Bible a lot and I noticed a lot of people on Amazon didn’t like that. And I can understand that. Let’s be honest, there are churches and Christians that have hurt a lot of people. I encourage you, if you are one those, read this book. It takes those corrupted ideas and it rectifies them, and helps you understand what may have been really meant. I didn’t grow up in the church and I still got smacked with some of those ideas. These guys help you understand that God wants you to take care of yourself first, that you are entitled to boundaries, and to healthy relationships.

I want to encourage you to pick up this book and read it, even if you object to the Christian parts, because it’s just great information. I mean, it really is. There’s nothing else I can say about it.

What I didn’t like:

This is one of those times when I loved everything about it. It’s easy to read, it’s quick to read, but stuffed with good information to help you improve yourself. What’s not to love?

Verdict:

This is one of those few books that I would recommend to everyone, because it really changed the way I see myself, others, and the world, and has genuine helped how I interact with others.

One Minute Book Review: The Paranormal Conspiracy by Timothy Dailey

Note: Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, I have obtained a copy of this book to read in return for an honest review. 

One Minute Book Review-The Paranormal Conspiracy by Timothy Dailey

The Summary:

Dr. Dailey gives us a new look at the possible source of paranormal phenomena in our world.

What I liked:

I got this book on a whim, it just sounded interesting. But when I learned more about Dailey, I started worrying, and wondering exactly what I had gotten myself into. I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a Christian, but Dr. Dailey’s brand seems to be a little more. . . fundamental than mine.

But I was pleasantly surprised. I knew of all the references he made to the different paranormal phenomena he was pointing out, so I knew he wasn’t embellishing. This book was well written, and Dr. Dailey’s agenda here wasn’t thrown in your face. It presented an argument, and while I’m not sure if it was overly convincing – although, look, it’s no crazier than a lot of the other theories out there – it wasn’t too in your face.  There was a nice, balanced tone to it which I really appreciated.

What I didn’t like:

It was a solid book, and well researched, but boring. So boring at times. I mean, there was good collection of interesting tales in this book, but. . . there were times when it was simply so dry and I wanted to be reading something, anything, else.

Verdict:

For the person who likes this kind of book, I would recommend it.

 

One Minute Book Review: Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Note: Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, I have obtained a copy of this book to read in return for an honest review. 

   one minute book review-Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

The Summary:

Lizzy and Diesel are back, and this time in a pirate adventure! They are on the search for the Stone of Avarice, and this time Wulf isn’t their biggest obstacle. . . Can they find it in time, in spite of possible demons, greedy billionaires, and murder?

What I liked:

So after Wicked Business, I will admit, I was a little bit worried. Especially since I had made a personal commitment to reading this book by a certain time. But from page one I knew that the addition of Phoef Sutton had made a huge difference to this series. The writing was tighter, and more succinct. There wasn’t a huge exposition about what had come before – one of my very minor pet peeves about Ms. Evanovich’s Plum series – information was given as needed. Even better, the stakes were raised! There was actual danger involved, which I loved, and people were killed and hurt in the process. I know that seems to be a weird thing to be happy about, but these books are labeled as thrillers (ever notice that on Amazon, and even in library collections?), and to me there’s definitely some danger involved in a thriller. And finally, I was pleased that Lizzy was had emerged from wimp status, to someone who was a little more gutsy. She was definitely still a little unwilling to be involved in these adventures, but she didn’t just wait around for Diesel to save her, although he still did.

What I didn’t like:

Diesel was gone a lot in this book! I really missed him too. My only big problem with this book, and it’s been a problem I’ve had with almost all of the Evanovich books lately, was that it seemed to have a pacing problem. I’ve had a really hard time identifying what it was in the past, but I realized it with this book. The book seemed over, it had seemed to come to its natural conclusion about halfway through. But to fill up space, there seemed to be some bits smushed in the second half of the book, with a very tense ending. And while it’s not enough to make me quit reading, it does cause me this feeling of boredom, where I want to do anything but read the book. This is not bad enough that I would ding it, and usually the last few chapters move at a rapid pace, I’m just not sure that I appreciate this portion of the book like someone else maybe could. Especially not when I’m comparing it with something like One for the Money, which was pretty well written.

Verdict:

Another comfortable read churned out by the Evanovich “factory”, so if you’re looking for a nice, light, beach read, then this is a good choice.

Remember, if you’re wanting to get your hands on this book it is being released tomorrow, June 23, 2015! If you’re getting it at your local library, I would get on the hold list now, though, because you know it’s going to be looooooooooong!

One Minute Book Review: Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Note: You’ll notice this review is earlier than usual! That’s because thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I have managed to obtain a copy of Wicked Charms to read and review for you, and because that particular book has a release date of next Tuesday, I want to have Wicked Charms reviewed for you on Monday, the day before the set release date. However, this will not affect our usual book review date of Wednesdays, and you will still see your customary Wednesday book review. You’ll just have a little extra this week! And now, on to our book review. . . 


 

                                                                                                                   One Minute Book Review-Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

The Summary:

Lizzy Tucker and Diesel are back! This time they’re looking for the Luxuria stone, the Lust stone of the stones that embody the seven deadly sins. And this time they’re facing not only Wulf and his bumbling minion Hatchet, but also the mysterious Anarchy, who are all after the same stone! Can Lizzy and Diesel find the stone first? Can they do it without acting on their own lust?

What I liked:

I always enjoy Carl, and I actually felt like there wasn’t enough Cat in this book! The clues to what they were looking for were well thought out, and the book had a National Treasure vibe I was digging.

What I didn’t like:

Oh boy. . . Okay, with as many books as Ms. Evanovich has written, I was bound to come across one I didn’t like very much, and I’m sorry to say that this was it. And it wasn’t the story, the story was what I expected. But there were inconsistencies and changes in the personality of some of the characters that just didn’t sit well with me. Diesel seemed. . . Unlike himself. He seemed grumpy, and short with Lizzy at times, very unlike who he has been in the past in the Plum books, and even the first book in this series. I didn’t find him very likeable, which was a big issue for me, since I’d always loved Diesel because he was so likable. There were inconsistencies as well, for some reason Diesel’s assistant Gwen was replaced by the idea that he had a revolving door for assistants. . . I preferred Gwen, the idea of the assistant that could get anything done for him. Also, Lizzy magically was able to bake cupcakes again (at the end of Wicked Appetite she seemed unable to bake a cupcake). Wulf was warmer and fuzzier. . . Hatchet was more subservient, even though the previous book had established that he had a big rebellious streak. And I just had such a hard time with the villains in this book. . . every time Ms. Evanovich made a villain feel somewhat menacing, she would pull back and make them look like a cartoon. I feel like there’s a fear Ms. Evanovich has with getting too serious and scary in her books, but I feel like her books would greatly benefit from that, the jokes would land a lot better.

But the worst part was. . . Lizzy Tucker came off looking like a wimp. The reason why Stephanie Plum works is because she in the instigator of her crazy romps. It’s her decision to go after so and so, and she always has this vision of being this big bad bounty hunter, so it winds up kind of funny when she doesn’t succeed. Lizzy Tucker, however, is a very passive character. She’s not being dragged off unwillingly. Diesel shows up, says let’s go, and she follows along like a puppy, gets kicked, falls down, and gets saved. She doesn’t seem to do anything of her own accord. And that feels really disappointing and like a let down to me.

Verdict:

If you’re kind of OCD when it comes to book series, then you’ll probably feel compelled to read this book. Would I honestly recommend it though? No.

One Minute Book Review: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

One Minute Book Review - Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

The Summary:

Lizzy Tucker’s life is going along swimmingly until sexy and somewhat supernatural Diesel shows up. Suddenly she’s chasing after a stone that causes gluttonous tendencies, she’s adopting both a cat and a monkey, all while still baking killer cupcakes.

What I didn’t like:

So I changed our format around this week, because I wanted to talk about what I didn’t like before I talked about what I did like, because it kind of mattered. So I didn’t like that Stephanie Plum Lizzy Tucker was . . . well, she was indistinguishable from Stephanie Plum. I mean, honestly, I didn’t see too much of a difference, except Lizzy works in a bakery, and has a wannabe goth chick (maybe? I wasn’t sure of this) as her sidekick. Ms. Evanovich tried to get Carl (the monkey) to eat using a fork again (something that happened in a Between The Numbers Plum book), she had Carl flipping people off again, and I felt like Diesel and Wulf were somewhat similar to Morelli and Ranger, back at the beginning of the Plum series. In short, this was a rip off of the Plum series (minus Grandma and Stephanie’s parents, although Lizzy’s father did show up).

What I liked:

Here’s where the reverse in what I did and didn’t like matters. . . Despite the similarities to the Plum series. . . It was just what I was in the mood for. I was jonesing for a Stephanie Plum novel, and didn’t have one available, and saw that Wicked Charms was coming out, so decided that I would go ahead and read Wicked Appetite. And really enjoyed it. I was expecting the similarities, and was indeed looking forward to them, so I liked Carl’s antics, loved Cat, and Diesel was a comfortable character that I knew from the Plum In Between The Numbers books, so. . . It was good.

Look, the truth is, you’re not going to pick up a Janet Evanovich novel because you’re looking for a new and unique story to dive into. You’re picking it up because it’s the literary equivalent of comfort food. . . It’s predictable, and comfortable, and makes you feel good at the end of it.

Verdict:

I would recommend this to someone looking for a quick, comfortable read. I know that sometimes Ms. Evanovich’s books feel overly predictable, but I’m always going to recommend her books as a great comfort read, especially if you’re looking to finish something quickly.