Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review Blast

I guess if I had to be in bed with the flu for a good portion of the past week, at least I had my nook stocked and my TBR pile waiting next to me. I have to say, I made pretty good use of both of those too. I've read 10 books in the past 2 weeks! Most of them were light, fluffy romance novels because that's about all my brain could handle, but there were a few more serious books thrown in there too. There are too many to publish individual reviews on every one, but here is a little burst of reviews on a few of them for your reading pleasure (it certainly was mine!).

Synopsis: In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Review: I kept hearing how great this book was and I was hoping I'd win a copy somewhere since it seemed to be on so many people's favorite lists. But, as the sequel, Insurgent, is about to be released, I figured I should just buy a copy knowing I'd probably want to lend it to a bunch of people anyway. How right I was. I only wish I had postponed reading it for the extra 2 weeks so I wouldn't have to wait at all for Insurgent.
    I was reluctant to read yet another dystopian YA novel, and even in the first 25 pages or so, still had that feeling like this was familiar. But,that ended soon after, and I all I was thinking from that point on was "Divergent" and how much I loved this story. It was dark, but had enough light and hope to keep you happy to read more.  It was adventurous, romantic, intriguing, intellectual, action-packed, and even had a few moments of humor thrown in -- this book is as close to perfect as anything I've read in a while. Definitely my favorite I've read so far this year. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for May 1st and Insurgent to begin!
Divergent: 5/5 stars  Cover: 4.5/5 stars

Self-professed nerd Maddie Maloney is an expert on jewels. Jewel thieves are another matter entirely! So when a mysterious Englishman warns her that a thief known as The Chameleon is after the rare pink diamond on display in her aunt's shop, she tells herself it's just a joke. Even if she can't get Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome out of her mind...

Review: I just didn't get this book. The title is horrible - doesn't fit the book at all. I guess it was a romance, but there were so few moments of that actually in the book, I wouldn't really classify it as such. I felt like the author was right on the brink of developing chemistry enough to be interesting, but didn't quite get there. I wouldn't call Maddie (the heroine) a true nerd. She may have a PhD in gemology, but that's where her intelligence seems to end. She continually makes ridiculously stupid decisions (like trying to bring a cat onto a running helicopter without a crate!). Our hero isn't much better. His motivations are unclear throughout most of the book and once revealed only become more confusing. The ending (with a somewhat awkward sex-scene) felt like an afterthought instead of a true ending. Maybe it is going to have a sequel, but I doubt I'll be interested enough to read it.
Gentlemen Prefer Nerds: 2.5/5 Cover: 3/5

Everyone knows that CEO Cole Jackson is lethal -- A fact his former executive assistant Meg Parson has learned firsthand. He's the one who banished her from his executive suite with no explanation.
Determined to secure her long awaited promotion, Meg Parson is back and can deliver the one deal Cole Jackson has always wanted and could never get. Now Meg must juggle this high-stakes deal with her unfathomable attraction to her former boss--an attraction Meg has denied for three years. If Meg can't pull off this multi-media merger, not only is her career at stake but also her heart.

There isn't too much original about this book. I even felt like I've read books with the same title before. With that said, it more than fulfills the requirement of a nice, easy beach read (or stay in bed sick read, whichever the case may be). Typical office-based romance with enough of a twist to keep it interesting. Likable characters. Could have used a bit more tension and build-up to the end, but like I said, it was a nice, quick romantic read.
Can't Buy Me Love: 3/5  Cover :3/5

Who's the sexy blonde stranger sleeping in Simon Holcroft's bed? The workaholic returns from a business trip to find someone stretched out on his sheets. Between the laundry basket at her side and the smell of orange cleaner, he deduces that the young woman is his maid-and resists the urge to kiss her awake.

But when his brother's fiancé-his own ex-bursts in and strips down to her panties, Simon introduces the maid as his fiancée. Now he has to bring his supposed bride-to-be to meet the whole family. One offer-she-can't-refuse later, Simon has bought himself a temporary fiancée.

I've read a lot of romance novels, and I really love ones in which the two main characters are thrown into a situation where they are forced to be together for a period of time. A great way to build the tension. This book has just that type of plot. A misunderstanding leads to a 2-week trip posing as a newly engaged couple. Tension mounts into a somewhat predictable, but satisfying finish.
His Secret Temptation: 3/5 Cover: 2.5/5

Note: I received an e-copy of all these books (except Divergent) from the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes. This in no way affected any of my reviews. 

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