Monthly Wrap Up

January 2009 Wrap-Up

January 2009 Wrap-Up

Here’s my end of the month wrap-up:

  1. Janson Mancheski, The Chemist
  2. Chelsea Cain, Sweetheart
  3. Jacquelyn Mitchard, The Midnight Twins
  4. Linda Fairstein, Final Jeopardy
  5. David L., Over Your Dead Body
  6. Harry Kraus, Perfect
  7. Jacquelyn Mitchard, All We Know of Heaven

Here are some statistics in regards to my reading:

  • Books read: 7
  • Pages read: 2,229
  • New Authors: 4
  • Fiction: 7
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • Read for Challenges: 7
AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, M, Read in 2009

All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard

All We Know of Heaven
by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 310
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: Jan. 28-30, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 7

First Line: Once she understood that she was dead, her first thought was that heaven was overrated.

Bridget Flannery and Maureen O’Malley have been best friends forever. But one terrible car accident will take everything away from them. One girl will die, the other will survive, barely, with a very long road of recovery ahead of her. As time goes by and progress is made in the healing process, once again the two families lives are turned upside down. The doctors made a horrible mistake that fateful December night and misidentified the girls.

Based on what I am assuming is the case of the Taylor University students that were misidentified after a bad accident a couple of years ago, this story is really something to read. Mitchard really portrays the feelings of all of the characters in a way that is something else! I was unsure about giving Mitchard a second chance after not really being all that impressed by The Midnight Twins, but this book was really good! I would have rated this book a 5/5 had it not been for my growing dislike of Maureen. She got on my nerves after a while. Other than that, though, the book was a really great read.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, K, Read in 2009

Perfect by Harry Kraus, MD

by Harry Kraus, MD

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 325
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Jan. 25-28, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 6

First Line: I peered over a box of Special K at my husband and smiled because today I was going to run away with another man.

Wendi Stratford has a perfect life. Absolutely perfect. She has a successful job as an accident reconstructionist. She is married to a successful surgeon. Everything is perfect – perfect career, perfect marriage, perfect home. But there’s a big problem looming in the background: it’s all a sham. Wendi feels like nothing but a fake. So when she decides to run away with her piano teacher she feels liberated. However, when he is critically injured in an accident just outside her driveway, heading home to pack for their romantic getaway, she feels like this is her chance to start over – to make her perfect life perfect again. But as she looks into the accident, something that she has to do herself, she realizes that the accident was no accident. As she follows the clues she is being led straight into the hands of a killer.

This book was okay in my opinion. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t wonderful either. It was a quick read for me. I got a little irritated by the main character because she was obnoxious with her feelings of guilty going on 24/7 in this book. But if you can ignore that, it’s actually a pretty good story.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, L, Read in 2009

Over Your Dead Body by David L.

Over Your Dead Body
by David L.

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 275
Rating: 2/5
Read: Jan. 23-25, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge
Yearly Count: 5

First Line: “You made me do this to you, Janelle!” I yell out loud, looking over at the lifeless corpse of my once loving wife.

Preston Price had it all. He had a six figure career, a beautiful house, a loving wife and two little children. So what will make him kill his wife?! Preston has never once been unfaithful to his wife and yet she is accusing him adultery. Before he knows it he loses everything – his wife, his children, his job, his house, everything. And it’s the stress of all those losses that will cause him to resort to murder.

This book was really weird. I honestly didn’t like it all that much. When I picked it up at the library it sounded really good. When I got it home and began to read it I regretted picking up this book. I made myself get through this book, although I really wish I hadn’t. I don’t recommend this book at all.

Alex Cooper, AUTHOR, Book Review, F, Fiction, Read in 2009, SERIES

Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein

Final Jeopardy
by Linda Fairstein

Copyright: 1996
Pages: 310
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 15-23, 2009
Challenge: 2009 RYOB Challenge; 2009 100+ Reading Challenge; 1st in a Series Challenge
Yearly Count: 4

First Line: I sat on my living room sofa at five o’clock in the morning with a copy of the mock-up of the front page of the day’s New York Post in my hand, looking at my own obituary.

When Alex Cooper wakes up one morning to find her obituary in the morning newspaper, she is stunned. But what really throws her for a loop is the fact that the body of a friend and Hollywood actress, Isabella Lascar, was misidentified as that of Alex’s and caused all this confusion in the first place. Isabella was shot while driving towards Alex’s vacation home. Was Isabella the target, or was it Alex? Alex knows that she has to get to the bottom of this and has a feeling that Isabella’s recent brush with a stalker is what is at the heart of this case, but her curiosity and innocence will land her squarely in the sights of a crazed killer.

I really don’t know what to think about this series. I have previously read Entombed which is about, I don’t know, the 6th or 7th in this series. But honestly, I’m not impressed nor unimpressed. I’m still undecided on what I really think about this series. This book was not as good as Entombed was. I’m sure I will continue reading this series, I’m just not in any real rush. I would recommend giving this series a try, but it’s not one that I would rave on and on about either.

AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, M, Read in 2009, READING CHALLENGES 2008

The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard

The Midnight Twins
by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 235
Rating: 3/5
Read: Jan. 13-15, 2009
Challenge: What’s in a Name 2 – Time of Day in title category; Countdown Challenge; 2009 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 3

First Line: Meredith and Mallory Brynn looked exactly the same.

The Brynn twins are quickly becoming famous in their little hometown. On their thirteenth birthday they narrowly escape a deliberately set house fire, saving their younger brother and cousins from the flames. As they begin to heal, strange things begin happening to them. Being twins, they always had a sort of telepathy between the two of them. But since the fire occurred, they have been having strange dreams. As they begin to sort through these dreams, they realize that Meredith can see the past and Mallory can see the future. And what they see scares both of them. But they know that they are the only two in their town that can stop the danger that a boy that they have known since they were born is causing and will stop at nothing to keep the twins from stopping him.

Okay, seriously. I wanted so much to love this book. I am fascinated by twins and the telepathy that some of them experience. So when I saw this book reviewed on another blog, I ran to the library to pick it up. It sounded great! I’m starting to kind of get into young adult reads (they give me a sort of “break” from my reading occasionally). And I read a lot of this book in one day. But I just did not like it. I found myself struggling to keep the twins straight, there were a lot of occasions where Mitchard would start a sentence without indicating which twin was talking. I found myself waiting for the climax to happen – and when it did I was like, that’s it?! When I read in the author’s acknowledgements that she had never tackled a mystery before all I could think of was, this was a mystery? I just wasn’t impressed. I hastily put myself on the wait list for another one of Mitchard’s books at the library, but I’m not sure that I really want to read it now. This book was just okay for me.

Book Giveaway

And the winners are….

The two winners of my two copies of Dr. Mancheski’s The Chemist are:

Jennifer Baker


Kim V.

Congratulations!!!! I will be contacting you shortly by e-mail for your shipping information so that I can get these books out to you!! Thanks everyone for submitting their names for this contest. Thanks everyone!!


Reminder about Book Giveaway

This is just a quick reminder to let you know that tonight is the night for the drawing that I am hosting. I have two copies of Dr. Janson Mancheski’s The Chemist to give away. You can read my review here. It is currently 5:05 pm CENTRAL time. I will be drawing names at 8pm CENTRAL time. So anyone who wants to get their names in at the last minute must do so by 7:30pm CENTRAL time in order to be in this drawing. Please GO HERE TO SIGN UP. I’m stressing the central time so much because I know the time differences can be confusing and just want to be ultra clear here. So once again, thank you for entering and good luck!!!

Archie and Gretchen, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Read in 2009, SERIES

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

by Chelsea Cain

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 325
Rating: 5/5
Read: Jan. 11-13, 2009
Challenge: What’s in a Name 2 – Body Part in title category; Countdown Challenge; 2009 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 2

First Line: Forest Park was pretty in the summer.

Archie and Gretchen are back!! The police detective and serial killer’s lives once again intersect. This time Archie is investigating a body that was dumped in the same area as Gretchen’s first known kill. It brings back bitter memories for Archie. With the help of Susan Ward, Archie identifies the Jane Doe in the park and his case is only made even bigger by the identification. But everything has to be put on hold when the Beauty Killer case is blown wide open: Gretchen has escaped from prison! While everyone else is panicking, Archie is somehwat relieved. He knows that Gretchen is the person who has wrecked his life, and he also knows that he is the only one who can catch her. With that in mind, he formulates a plan that will help him get out from underneath the spell of Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer. Are you ready, Darling?

Okay, I’m going to be honest here. I wasn’t really very impressed by the first book by Chelsea Cain featuring these two characters, Heartsick. But this book – I absolutely loved!!!!! You have to read the first book to understand what is going on in the second, and this second book actually answers a lot of unanswered questions from the first book (which was one of the complaints that I had about the book). Either way, though, you HAVE to read this book!!! I absolutely adored it. I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series, because I’m dying to know what happens. Oh and by the way, when you read that the character of Gretchen Lowell has been compared to the greatest serial killer since Hannibal Lecter – believe it!!

Book Giveaway

Book Giveaway: “The Chemist”

Okay … here it is! My very first book giveaway!! I have two copies of Dr. Janson Mancheski’s “The Chemist” to give away courtesy of Meritt Talbott and Phenix Publicity. Please read my review of this book here to give you an idea of the book. But to sum it up briefly, it is the first in a new series featuring a Green Bay homicide detective, Cale Van Waring, who is investigating the serial kidnappings (and possible murders) of young women in the area. In addition to trying to solve the puzzle of these cases he also has to juggle his personal life. This book really shows the struggles that homicide detectives have to go through in order to balance the horrendous things they deal with at work and their home lives. I rated it a 4 out of 5. If you are interested in entering this contest, please leave a comment with your full name and email address. I will be drawing names on Wednesday, January 14, 2009. That gives participants one full week to enter. The two winners will be announced here and then contacted by email for their personal information to send the books. I wish everyone good luck!!