Month: December 2012

My Thoughts on Reached by Ally Condie

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Reached is the third, and final, installment of the Matched trilogy.  Similar to other books, yes, I am looking at you Mockingjay, this third installment disappointed.

It’s finally time for The Rising to take over Society, and Cassia, Ky and Xander are all deeply involved.  Cassia continues to sort for the Society, while looking for opportunities to continue trading with the archivists.  Ky is a pilot, waiting for an opportunity to find Cassia so that they can start their life together.  Xander stll pines after Cassia, hoping that she will still choose him, and advancing in his medical career while helping The Rising.

The characters are all reunited when a plague cripples Society so that the Rising can come in to save the day.  But when they come in, things begin to get worse. . .

In this love triangle, I always cheered for Xander.  He has a pure heart and is dedicated to Cassia.  I always saw her choice of Ky as her first rebellion.  Understandable, but foolish, and surely she will realize the person who has always been there for her and her family was the right choice.  But, having her choose Xander in Book Three would be like Bella choosing Jacob in Eclipse — unthinkable.

The end was a little rushed and a a stretch in even an improbable story.  Three teenagers new to their profession save all of society?  And I regret I did not get the ending that I wanted.  Sigh.

What I’m Reading Now: Reached By Ally Condie

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reachedCassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion.

With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

My Thoughts on A Darcy Christmas

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This book is a collection of three short stories by three different authors. One story I really liked. The other two I skimmed and sometimes downright skipped.

“Christmas Present by Amanda Grange” imagines if Darcy never went back to see Elizabeth at the end of Pride and Prejudice. What if they never resolved their differences and got together? Enter three ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future. Through these Dickens-like visitations, Darcy makes a decision that changes their future forever.

Um, yeah, it was cheesy, and I skipped it.

“A Darcy Christmas” by Sharon Lathan. Jane just recently had a baby, and a very pregnant Elizabeth wants to visit her and the new baby over the holidays. This story was actually a lot of fun. No skimming here! I read every word and enjoyed every word!

Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart.

This short story is a glimpse of the Darcy family over a few Christmases. I skimmed it because there was a lot of sex in this one. I would rather hear about my parent’s sex life than Darcy and Elizabeth. Both topics should be off limits.

What I’m Reading Now: A Darcy Christmas by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan and Carolyn Eberhart

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darcyFrom Barnes &

Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Wish You a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Share in the magic of the season in these three warm and wonderful holiday novellas from bestselling authors.

Christmas Present
by Amanda Grange

A Darcy Christmas
by Sharon Lathan

Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Carol
by Carolyn Eberhart

For What It’s Worth

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I reviewed For What It’s Worth for the Deseret News. You can read the article here:

My Thoughts On The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler

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The idea behind this book is great: a man loses his wife and her occasional “appearances” to him helps him to heal and move on.  The book itself, however, does not match up with the premise.

At the beginning of the book, Aaron informs the reader that he can see his dead wife, Dorothy, and that he believes that the neighbors can as well.  He wonders if it shocks them.  Aaron then backtracks and tells the story of how Dorothy died, how he responded in the first few months, and then he catches up to the narrative at the beginning when Dorothy appears to him from time to time.  The reader never finds out: is Dorothy visible to anyone else?  And though her appearances help him heal and move on, one never finds out how because they never resolve anything during their additional time together.  If anything, her appearances just stir up more questions.

The idea was fascinating.  The end result was disappointing.


What I’m Reading Now: The Beginners Goodbye by Anne Tyler

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Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.

Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air.

Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.

Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.

A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.