The Rosie Project 5/5 *****
Graeme Simsion - Fiction/Humor
Graeme Simsion is an example of how your life can start in one direction and end facing the other way. Mr. Simsion is a former IT consultant who decided to try his hand at writing and out came this humorous, heart-warming and completely enjoyable read, The Rosie Project.
Don Tillman is a genetics professor whose never been on a second date, probably because one could describe him as chronically brash and incapable of emotion not to mention he lacks even the most basic social skills. Though it's never formerly written within the text, it's safe to assume Don Tillman has Asperger's or something very similar.
We meet Don at a point in his life when he decides its time to allow for an addition to his busy, planned to a tee schedule, to find a wife. Thus begins the wife project.
If you enjoy the television series "The Big Bang Theory" and its main character, Sheldon Cooper, than you will likely enjoy Don Tillman, it's just about impossible not to. If you are well versed in Asperger's or are looking for a read with an accurate and to-the-tee description of the characteristics, patterns and speech of someone who has Asperger's than this may not be the book for you. Mr. Simsion has stated to have not researched or developed Don around the idea that he in fact has Asperger's but rather he came to fruition based on the meetings and interactions Mr. Simsion has had with individuals he has met throughout his career. Some of Don's speech and actions could be considered uncharacteristic for an Asperger's patient and therefore some close to the disease regard this book as a bit offensive.
The Rosie Project is just a feel-good romantic comedy that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I will most definitely being picking up its sequel, The Rosie Effect, in the very near future!
Click HERE to purchase the paper copy of The Rosie Project!
Be Frank With Me 4/5 ****
Julia Claiborne Johnson- Fiction/humor
"Julia Claiborne Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles, where she lives with her comedy-writer husband and their two children."- www.harpercollins.com
This is quite literally the ONLY information I could find about Ms. Julia Claiborne Johnson. A little disappointing simply because I like to learn about the authors background, personality and lifestyle to help deduce how, if at all, their life played a role in the characters, or plot of a book. Oh well...
M.M. Banning, Mimi, could be described as a cantankerous writer known for the publication of a single book titled "Pitched.” The book won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award but remained the only novel ever published by M.M. Banning. The novels’ success provides Mimi with means enough to sustain herself and her 9 year old eccentric son, Frank. That is until she falls victim to a money scheme that leaves her broke and forced to write another best seller, pronto.
Given the severity of Mimi’s financial situation and the fact that in all the years between the publication of “Pitched” and current day, there was never another book, her publisher sends Alice Whitley to monitor the books progress. In actuality, Alice becomes Franks’ constant companion with little to no involvement in the creation of the book. Alice can hear the tapping of keyboard keys from Mimi's office but beyond that she is kept in the dark until, disaster strikes.
Alice learns to maneuver through the Banning mansion and it's socially awkward tenants but not without incident and not without fawning over the presence of Xander; Franks mysterious piano teacher and mansion handy man. So many twist and turns with "only in Hollywood" moments sprinkled throughout. Be Frank with Me will make you laugh with hilarious one-liners and cry with sympathy.
I wasn't sure I was going enjoy reading this book but I was pleasantly surprised. Frank's quirts are constantly presenting situations or dialogue that is not only entertaining but keeps the book fresh and enjoyable to read. I hope Julia Claiborne Johnson doesn't follow M.M. Banning's example, I hope there's more to come from this new author and soon!
Click HERE to purchase Be Frank With Me hard copy.
Ghost Gifts 4/5 ****
Laura Spinella - Murder Mystery/Paranormal Romance
Laura Spinella has four published books including Perfect Timing, Beautiful Disaster, Unstrung and Ghost Gifts (officially due out March 1, 2016). Her work can also be found under the pen name L.J. Wilson in the sensual romance section (not my cup of tea, so you wont find any of those reviews here but you can pop onto her site to read more!)
She grew up in Long Island New York but currently resides outside Boston Massachusetts with her husband, three adult children and 4 fur kids including Auggie an adorable fluff of a dog pictured on her site. She graduated from the University of George and has been chasing her literary dream ever since!
"While Aubrey loved to read, what she wanted to do was write. Not novels or poetry, but real life adventures. Perhaps, she thought, hugging the book, it was the longing to tell a story more incredible than her own."
The book opens when Aubrey is young, traveling through the country with a carnival that happens to be owned by her grandmother. Aubrey is not a traditional carny. Her "trick" has not been manufactured for the purpose of generating profit but rather inherited through blood and family ties. An unsettled childhood, a ruined marriage and physical scars from the spirits of not so kind entities, Aubrey has her hands full. Things get even more cumbersome when bones from a 20 year old murder are discovered in the walls of a home in Surrey, her current home town. Aubrey, despite her objection, is assigned the story along side big shot report Levi St James.
If you've ever heard of or watched Ghost Whisperer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, than you will be familiar with the premise of this book. Aubrey communicates with the dead. She can sense them, smell them and serves as their key to moving on, they look to her for help...or revenge.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would have given it 5/5 stars but there were grammatical errors galore. I'm not a grammar god by any means but I am also not a published author (yet...hopefully...one day).
Laura Spinella hit the nail on the head when it came to weaving mystery with a little bit of romance and a lot of thrill! It was a bit slow to take off but, man, once it got going the twist and turns, ghostly encounters and sweet romance was enough to keep me reading well into the night. Definitely was disappointing when the last page was turned and the story came to a close; one of those books you were excited to finish but sad to read the last sentence.
Click HERE to purchase Ghost Gifts.
Other Books by Laura Spinella
Wreckage 2/5 **
Emily Bleeker - Survival/Adventure
Emily Bleeker discovered a passion for written words after organizing a writer’s workshop for her students. Other than mentioning where she currently resides (Chicago with her husband and four kids) I couldn't find much in the way of personality on either her personal blog or author descriptions on Amazon or Goodreads.com. Though, it is briefly mentioned that she found the courage to pursuing writing after a bout with a rare form of cancer.
Her blandness transcends her blog and author descriptions and finds its place in her writing as well.
To say I was thoroughly disappointed with this book is an understatement. The synopsis of the book makes it sound thrilling, mysterious and intriguing, a real adventure. SOMETHING happens on the island, something so dramatic that lives will be ruined…or not. It’s a predictable read with predictable characters and events.
If you're looking for a mysterious, gripping adventure novel to take your mind on a little getaway, keep looking. If you're looking for an easy, predictable and lackluster read, read on my friend!
Oh, the whole Paul thing really wore on my nerves. I have never read a book that refers to a character so frequently without having introduced the reader to their personality. By the time Emily finally gets around to explaining who Paul is the reader has already figured it out for themselves and the reveal is trivial.
The only part of this book I found remotely entertaining was the end. Very unlikely and just absurd but kudos to Emily for conjuring up a “shocking” ending since the “shockers” of the main story were, in fact, very flat.
Wreckage is not only the tile of this book but it also accurately describes the content as well...
Her second book is expected later this year.
An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, and adventure through words printed on paper.
Books Read in 2020
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz