Saturday, April 28, 2018

What I read on holiday (in order)

Julie and Romeo 
by Jeanne Ray
As you might expect a retelling of the Shakespeare tale, or perhaps more accurately, West Side Story, as it's set in New Jersey. (Can you say New Jersey without putting on what seems to you to be a New Joisey accent?)

The protagonists are in their sixties, which makes a nice change but the family problems remain. At first I thought it was a bit boring or predictable but the characters grew on me and I ended up enjoying it. ***

Hardcore 24
by Janet Evanovich
The latest in the Stephanie Plum series that I just love. The same characters appear in all the stories about the New Jersey bounty hunter and they're great. The stories all involve a number of quirky extras and the destruction of numerous cars. As it's the 24th in the series there is a certain predictability about it; maybe it should be the last one. But then what would I have to look forward to as Christmas present every year?
However if you've never read a Stephanie Plum novel, start at the beginning and you're in for a treat.
Normally 4* but this time ***

Not Working
by Lisa Owens
Judging by the huge number of reviews quoted on and inside the cover this book was going to be absolutely amazing. It wasn't. I mean it was fine and enjoyable and the narrator is a lovely character but not the laugh-out-loud gem promised. 
Clare resigns from her job in order to find out exactly what she's supposed to be doing in life. But can't work it out, and the story revolves around that and the attitude of others.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
After a few chapters I was about to give up on this translated from the French novel because it seemed to be largely philosophical with very little actual story. But I stuck with it and I'm glad I did.
I like the premise that sometimes you have to hide your real self in order to fit in, and the transformation that happens when the butterfly is released. And when the story really got going I was hooked. So much so that when it got to the end and something I wasn't expecting happened I hurled the book to the floor in disgust. And really there was no need for that ending. I am still cross.
I would have given the book 3* because of what i think was an excessive amount of philosophising but because I so obviously had come to care very much for the characters by the end it's going to be ****.

The Little Shop of Happy Ever After
by Jenny Colgan
If you're familiar with Jenny Colgan's writing you'll know what to expect from this and you won't be let down. Charming, affectionate, easy to read, light-hearted - you name it. Prime holiday reading in fact. Or any time.
This time the story focuses on a redundant librarian who sets up a mobile - in a van - bookshop in a remote Scottish village in very beautiful countryside with the usual suspects for love interest and local characters.
*** and a half

I may have changed my star scale a bit so to explain:
***** Absolutely perfect
**** Very very good
*** Good
** Readable
* Don't bother


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Saw two of these in the library yesterday so may follow your recommendations.

tammy j said...

like you i dearly love Stephanie Plumb!
and if Janet ever kills off Grandma Mazur or Rex the hamster i'm outta here.
it's a tradition now. i can't buy it for myself. it's always a Christmas present from my niece in law. she's the one who introduced me to the series.
starting from the first one... i laughed so hard i cried. and for a book to do that for me is unusual anymore. can't remember now ... but that was the way the first half dozen were.
not so fond of Diesel now. but Ranger and Morelli are keepers. wow. :)
i like your reviews. now i want to read the Elegant Hedgehog and others in this review. my backlog of reading is packed however. too many books. not enough time!
glad i found your blog from your comment on the peanut. i will try to keep any future comments here to at least 500 words. LOL

tammy j said...

oh good heavens Liz Hind. what a writer you are! i never know half of what i do on this thing. it's like peeling an onion.
i wound up at amazon reading the 'look inside' of your book This Time Next Year.
it's witty and poignant and hilarious.
my window is up by the computer table and i'm sure the neighbors heard me laughing!
you are a master of dialogue. i read until we are trying to find a home for your Auntie.
she has been expelled from the stuffy "genteel" home for the slice of custard offense.
and then i tried to buy it from Amazon ... which i admit to being new at. (wow. now there's a sentence ending in a preposition for you!)
i only recently was given an old kindle by the marine (my brother) when he upgraded.
it may have been a glitch i did... but it said it's not available to me. (bc in the US?)
don't know. but i will try again. i already love your characters. ALL of them!
but especially Alison of course! must see how this all progresses and ends.
rated 5 star for sure!

tammy j said...

just went again on amazon and was able to buy This Time Next Year without a hitch.
so happy to be able to continue and finish it. :) xo

Liz Hinds said...

Hope you enjoy them, Sonata.

On, Tammy, thank you for your kind words - and buying my book! I don't see any point of adding Diesel to the mix either but I am inclined now, after a lot of indecision, towards Morelli. Oh I wish someone would call me cupcake!