Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “rdoak03”

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 40: Vlad: The Last Confession by CC Humphreys

Vlad: The Last ConfessionVlad: The Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the perspective of this book, as it was told by three very important people in Vlad’s (the “real” Dracula)life: his boyhood friend and right-hand man, his mistress, and his confessor. These three are brought together to construct a compassionate picture of Vlad, one that will hopefully mitigate the negative propaganda that labeled him “the Impaler”.
The story begins with Vlad as a child, captured by a country at war with his native Wallachia. Here begins not only his rich education in history, religion, art and literature, but also his indoctrination into war and torture. The three story-tellers weave over and under each other throughout Vlad’s life, giving us a unique look at the man, his country, surroundings, and decisions. We are horrified and moved by him.
All along, something seems off. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. If you decide to read this book,  there’s a very nice surprise ending waiting for you at the end!

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rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 39: Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Lone WolfLone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Most people either really love Jodi Picoult or really don’t. I am generally a neutral party- some of her books I love, some are just so-so for me. This book definitely fell into the “love” category.

The whole story just feels so raw. Painful family relationships are juxtaposed with close encounters with wolves, both in captivity and in the wild. I know this sounds like a strange combination, but it works.

Luke is a father of two and a wolf activist. He not only leaves his family for almost two years to live in the wild, he also maintains a pack in captivity. He has dedicated his life to preservation and education.

Luke’s daughter, Cara, moves in with him after her parents divorce. Edward, Cara’s older brother, packed up and left the country when he was just 18. The estranged siblings are thrown together when tragedy strikes and Luke is in a coma.

I won’t give away the rest of the book, because the major drama and emotion in the book comes from the siblings’ differing views on end-of-life decisions.

This was touching and heart-wrenching, at times even painful. But beautifully done!

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rdoak03’s #CBR4 Review 38: Beauty by Patria L Dunn

ImageThe cover intrigued me right off the bat, but there is where my fascination ended. The book certainly has some thought-provoking themes, such as “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” and “whether or not one’s character is truly changed or only revealed when presented with new opportunities to make bad choices”…both quotes from other reviewers.

In general, the story follows a severely overweight college student who receives the “gift” of being thin. After this astounding change, the girl’s actions and choices have devastating consequences for her and those around her. In a word, drama. The author simply uses too much drama to discuss these themes. Self-cutting, rape, drugs, witchcraft, prostitution, gunfights, theft…seriously, this is all packed into one story!

I think the moral of the story could have been more effectively communicated with a simpler, more believable plot

rdoak03’s #CBR4 Review 37: The Dark Tower by Stephen King

What can I say? I feel like I’ve reached the end of my own adventure, heck, the end of an era, instead of just the end of a book series. There were some disappointments, but I’m in the camp that feels the ending was satisfying. My full review is here.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 36: Trace by Patricia Cornwell

Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta head back to her old office in Virginia to solve a mystery, or two, or three. The trace evidence tells a story no one can believe, and links three crimes to one creepy dude. Read my full review here.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 35: Love Unfinished by Darian Wilk

Sooo sappy. Too sappy. But even if you like sappy, this love-from-beyond-the-grave story misses the mark by a wide mile. Read why here.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 Review 34: The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

Seeing as this was the first Scarpetta novel I have ever read, I kinda felt like I was walking into a family reunion that wasn’t mine. The characters obviously have a lot of history together, and it was somewhat of a drawback to starting in the middle/end of a series. That being said, I think their individual characters came through crystal-clear, and you got a good idea about how they interact with each other. The plot was decent, but what you’d expect from a forensic mystery. Read my full review here.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 32: These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

These Girls chronicals the drama of Cate, Abby and Renee, who all face their own battles as single women in New York City. All the drama was a little unbelievable, but the girls are likeable. I was expecting more focus on the women’s friendship, and there is some of that, but they are just really getting to bond and know each other towards the end of the book. Read my full review here.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 31: The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny

The books jacket claims that Ms. O’Melveny is mainly a poet. I’m not sure why she decided to try being a novelist, but I hope her poetry is better! This could have been an intriguing mystery, it could have been a great adventure. Instead, readers are presented with a melancholy snooze. There is a bright spot within the bore- discover it here.

rdoak03’s #CBR4 review 30: ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Pretty standard vampire lore, presented in a characteristic King town. Enjoyable, but not WOW. Read my full review here.

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