Book Review: Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Grade: A +

It’s no secret that I love me some Jasper Fforde. His Thursday Next series just blows my mind every time with brilliant awesomeness. From the first book, The Eyre Affair, I was absolutely hooked and I’ve been devouring them ever since, most recently with book four, Something Rotten. These books have a little bit of everything – the literary references are never ending and wonderful, the worlds he creates inside and outside of literature is fascinating, detailed and wonderful even when absurd. There is a science fiction angle involving things like time travel, cloning, eradications and being able to jump inside (and out of) books. There are wonderful commentaries on religion, politics, marketing, big business and more. There’s even a love story thrown in for good measure.

It’s hard to go into great detail as any number of details from this book would be a spoiler for books prior to it – and you really don’t want any mysteries spoiled going into this. I will say that the Thursday Next series, while wonderful, is not as easy a read as the other books I typically read. I can usually read any standard book (okay fine, young adult and chick lit) in under a week. Thursday Next books take me at least two (the first one took me even longer, as I had to acclimate myself with Fforde’s hugely detailed plot lines, not to mention the complex world he’s created). But I love every minute of it. My husband frequently gives me strange looks when I laugh out loud in the middle of the night (when I should be sleeping but instead am up reading justonemorechapter) and has enjoyed several passages that I’ve quoted for him out loud when I just couldn’t stand keeping the brilliance to myself.

So if you like science fiction, literature, love stories, satire, and funny, intelligent plots with a never ending twist, I highly recommend the Thursday Next series, including but not limited to Something Rotten, book four.

This review was cross-posted to my review blog, mommasreview.

Playing Favorites: Top 10 Moments in Mommablogsalot History

Auds @ Barking Mad is giving away a $250 Target Gift Card and all you have to do to be eligible to win is post 5-10 of your favorite posts from your blog. How could I not? Especially since I seem to love my blog like crazy. I found about 20-25 posts that I LOVE (am I a narcissist or what?). But I managed to narrow it down to 10 after long moments of soul searching and these are the results of that search, my 10 favorite posts, ranging from serious to seriously silly, in my opinion, they are the cream of my crop. Or something.

Favorite Book Reviews:

Favorite John Mayer-Related Ramblings:

Favorite Attempts at Proving that I think about important things, too: One Religious / One Political:

Favorite Parenting Post:

Favorite Walking Down Memory Lane Post:

Favorite Sad, Mourning Post That Turned into a Grey’s Anatomy Advertisement:

Now I am sure you have written WAY better posts than that! So if you like Target and you’re not a total tool, you’d better follow suit, and write up an entry of your own to enter in Auds’ Favorite Posts Contest

Book Review: Envy by Anna Godbersen

Grade: A+

Can you believe it was only one year ago that The Luxe by Anna Godbersen hit bookstores everywhere? Having no idea what it was about but being smitten with the cover, I knew I had to read it. I had this hunch it was going to be really, really good. I was loving the idea of historical fiction meets young adult romance, and the fact that it took place in New York, very close to home for me, was an added bonus. And did I mention the gorgeous cover?

Well, I was right, The Luxe was fabulous, in ways I’d never anticipated. It was also suspenseful, addictive and heartbreaking in other ways I hadn’t imagined. When I finished it, I was desperate to read book two, Rumors. And seemingly days later, it was Envy, Godbersen’s latest installment in the series that I was coveting so badly that I could hardly stand it. After the incredible cliff hanger of book two, I was heartbroken and hoping for some sort of comfort, some kind of, “and then…” that would make it all okay.

And while Envy was nothing remotely close to comforting, it was just as amazing as the first two books in the Luxe series, if not better. At this point in the series we are well acquainted with the four leading ladies of this suspenseful love story which takes place at the dawn of the 20th century, a time of gorgeous ball gowns, arranged marriages and the always demanding status quo. I loved reading from the points of view of all four ladies, even the ones you loved to hate and seeing how all of their actions affected the lives of the others, even if they didn’t realize it. I loved holding my breath, waiting for something to go right, only to slam my fists in dismay when it only got worse. Godbersen creatively weaves you along, making you think you have it figured out only to take you somewhere else entirely. And of course, Envy ends at another terrible cliff hanger, causing me anxiety over not knowing when book four, Splendor is due to publish.

I won’t give any more than that away, because these books I think are best enjoyed with complete mystery shrouding them, so you can really enjoy the full course of the story in each installment, and be thoroughly surprised along the way. Have you read these amazing books yet? What are you waiting for?? Pick up the Luxe today and I’m willing to bet you’ll have devoured Rumors and Envy as well before the month is out!

This review is cross-posted to my review blog @ Momma’s Review.

Review: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

Grade: B

The Horse and His Boy is book three in The Chronicles of Narnia, which means the events which transpire in this book occur after The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (book two) and before Prince Caspian (book four). I liked being able to read a book that took place during the original reign of Lucy, Susan, Edward and Peter and learn more about the world surrounding Narnia. I liked that while this book told its own separate story, it also featured a lot of the characters that anyone whose seen the two Narnia movies would recognize.

It was interesting to read the way that the neighboring countries viewed Aslan and Narnia and how different their societies lived. As a child reading this, I think it would be an excellent introduction to the idea that other countries lead very different lives but are made up of essentially similar people and how our view of other places can be skewed by our own upbringing and culture.

These books are small, quick reads but full of a lot of information and a lot of crossing plots. I really liked the story of Shasta, the central character in this story, and thought it was well told. I liked reading about the talking horses compared to non-talking ones and all the drama surrounding the small story. That said, it was certainly not the best book I’ve ever read – but it was an enjoyable story and as ever, I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series.

Romance Reading Challenge 2009

I’ve decided to take the Romance Reading Challenge @ The Bookworm in 2009 – I’ve been seeing a lot of fun challenged in the blogosphere and would love to join all of them, but I don’t like committing to things and then abandoning them, at least, not constnantly. But this one looks fun and easy enough for me to say yes to:

1. Now, “Romance” isn’t limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.

2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2009. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

3. Read them at your own pace in 2009 then come here and post the link to your review(s).

4. Link your “RRC” choices here with any of these graphics:

So here are the five books I’m choosing for this challenge:

  1. Envy: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen – the third in the series, it comes out in January and I will be impatiently waiting to read it, so it is only fitting that it be in this list.
  2. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough – I’ve been meaning to read this for a long time and I think it looks perfect for this challenge, a “sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback.”
  3. Persuasion by Jane Austen – I really loved Pride and Prejudice and want to read another of Austen’s novels, but preferably one whose movie I haven’t already seen – this one looks perfect. A novel which “examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future.”
  4. The Host by Stephenie Meyer – I am a huge fan of the Twilight series and although I’m a bit skeptical of this new novel, I know I won’t be able to keep my hands off of it for long. “Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies” – now how can you not be intrigued by that?
  5. Phantom by Susan Kay – Another book I’ve been meaning to read, the full version of the Phantom of the Opera, with a detailed back story of the Phantom – my bestie @ Red Knows How loved this book and I would definitely love to read it soon.

So, are you going to take the Romance Reading Challenge in 2009? It’s just 5 books – I say go for it! And make sure you link up over @ The Bookworm.