Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lone Star Marine by Cathie Linz

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I always judge mind candy (aka: romance) on a much more forgiving scale than I judge other books. I especially go easy on the Silhouette/Harlequin books. Even so, this book came up short. Very short.

I don’t know about you, but when I pick up a book of this type I am looking for entertaining, easy reading that doesn’t require much of me. At least on one count (doesn’t require much of me) this book succeeded. I certainly didn’t have to use my brain to follow this book. However, the author felt it was necessary to preach and that pretty much killed the entertaining criteria. I get that bullying is bad, terrible in fact, and I in no way condone such behavior. Despite that, I do not need to be lectured, in the guise of a character’s conversation, with the statistics of bullying and how bad it is. I already know this. Furthermore, I did not pick this book up to be educated. If the author felt the need to educate the general reading public about bullying, I would suggest that it might be more productive to tackle the subject head on as opposed to trying to address the topic in a romance novel of all things.

Other than the aforementioned issue, the book was OK. The story wasn’t especially inventive nor were the characters especially original, but I wasn’t really expecting either attribute in a Silhouette/Harlequin book so I wasn’t exactly disappointed. As we all know, I have a soft spot for Marines, especially injured ones, so I was able to enjoy Tom’s character and that helped a little.

I suppose if you can get past being preached at throughout a book that should be light and entertaining, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s fine for a weekend read if you really don’t want to invest much into it. However, if you’re looking for something with a little more quality, I’d suggest another book.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is easily the best book I’ve ever read. The book drew me in like no other book. Not surprisingly I read the book in one sitting and the next day I started the book again. At this point I’ve read the book three times!

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this book is the author’s ability to craft a story that reads like a memoir. I found myself often thinking of this book as non-fiction and often had to remind myself that, indeed, this book was not a true story. That said, kudos to the author for his stunning ability to weave a tale that reads so well.

I also enjoyed the author’s ability to really get into the characters’ minds. This attention to detail really brought the characters to life and filled out the story. The author’s ability to bring the characters’ emotions to life added a dimension to the novel that took it from good to amazing and really made you care about the characters.

I also appreciated the fact that the author did not shrink away from tough subjects nor did he feel compelled to write a happily ever after book. This book was real, but not in a tawdry way. All subjects that had the possibility of being poorly handled were, thankfully, handled well and avoided using shock value to make a point.

I would strongly recommend this book to teens and adults alike. The book is very thought provoking and the things you will take away from this book will stay with you for a long time to come. In fact, it may change the way you think; I know it did for me.