Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Review or Two, for You.

Man! It's hard to do stuff with a baby! Well, not all stuff, but anyway...

The Off-Season
Catherine Gilbert Murdock

This book is a continuation of the life story of D.J. In it she has to deal with her placement on the football team and the love-lives of everyone from Amber to Brian to Curtis. When a family crisis hits, however, everything else is put on hold.

Fans of the first book will enjoy this next installment. D.J. is still the realistic girl she always was, and the plotting of this book is excellent -- unpredictable enough but still cohesive, disasters pile up but never to the point of unbelievability. 3.5 stars

Revenge of the Cheerleaders
Janette Rallison

When her sister's boyfriend, punk-rocking Rick, writes a song about how stuck up Chelsea is, Chelsea and the other cheerleaders have got to keep it from being played. Their plans for revenge go a bit haywire when Chelsea's crush and her sister make things complicated.

So..."Revenge of the Cheerleaders" sounds pretty... I dunno, vapid? shallow? gooby? But I was very pleasantly surprised. In fact, I think this book deserves to be read. It was well plotted and the characters were down to earth. I laughed aloud at Rallison's wit several times, one of my favorites being a crack about eating boxes of macaroni and cheese. 4 stars.

The Icing on the Cake
Elodia Strain

Annabelle writes for a local California magazine, and in the course of her work she meets irresistible Isaac. Through a series of mishaps the question is asked: can this LDS girl keep her standards, her job, and get a man?

This was a fun piece of contemporary LDS fiction. I confess I've never read any before. The events of the story were only occasionally over-the-top. If you're looking for a little clean love story, give it a try. 3 stars.

The Green Glass Sea
Ellen Klages

Mechanically gifted Dewey Kerrigan goes to live with her father, who is working on a top secret government project during WWII. There she meets up with the artistic and pushy Suze Gordon -- is this town (that supposedly doesn't exist) big enough for the two of them?

Fans of historical fiction will appreciate the details of this book. I loved the turns of phrase that Klages uses: things hit a major snafu, the kids drink Nehi soda, all those little details are there The pacing was quite methodical, sometimes slow, but the story is touching. 3.5 stars

The Jane Austen Book Club
Karen Joy Fowler

Get to know the six members of the club (five women and one man) intimately. As they read and discuss Austen's novels, romantic happenings stir in their own lives.

Fowler is very witty -- her stereotypical female analysis is hilarious and spot on. The first half of the book kept me interested enough to make it to the latter half of the book, which I enjoyed more. Be warned, though, that there is more sexuality in this story than in Austen's work. 4 stars.

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