Tag Archives: st. martin’s press

Book Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

St. Martin’s Press
Published Feb. 1, 2011
310 Pages

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?- Goodreads

If I had to describe this book, which I do because this is a review, but in short words it would be this quote:

“That took balls.”

“Please,” I said with a snort, “that took ovaries. Of which I have two.”

Yeah, that is Charley. And she is hilariously blunt, demanding and mentally strong. I liked her…for the first half of the book. She is so gun ho, that she makes some really dumb decision without care of herself and how her actions will affect others. It gets redundant and annoying. She is a grown woman, who has been using her power for years and still makes reckless mistakes as if she is a newbie. It is frustrating.

But Charley and her rushing and blunt nature keeps the book going. You are instantly drawn into this book and kept interested for a majority of it. The author, thankfully, does not go the route you think she will go. You know the cliche love triangle, the I must choose between the modern world and magical world  and things like that. The series is long so it may or may not pop up but it didn’t in this one.

I loved the pace of this novel and I also,surprisingly enough, enjoyed the fact that the author gave Charley some form of emotional discord with her powers, family and her overall job as a PI. It made her more human and I began to take her a bit more seriously.

But in regards to her romance, I can’t say I liked it. It is fairly new and it starts off really weird, not what she does for the relationship to happen but where her emotions come from, I was actually jaw dropping surprised that she wanted a relationship or some form of intimacy. I can completely understand wanting to know more about this person but she took it kind of far. At the end of the novel, the relationship is crazy new, so it doesn’t development much but I think there will be a lot of it in the second book.

I would have liked more supernatural aspects in this book and more mythology and dark things happening.  It was light and I hope the author goes deeper in the next 13 books.


3 Pickles

Book Review: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

St. Martin’s Press
TBP May 2, 2017
352 Pages

On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.

But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously? -Goodreads

If you haven’t noticed, I love reading Graeme Simsion books. There is something about his writing that is honest and reliable even from a male’s perspective. This is still the case with The Best of Adam Sharp, however, I didn’t really enjoy this book.

Firstly, this book was different and I can see the author taking a risk. I don’t mind the risque scenes; they were surprising but I don’t mind them. What bothered me about this book was Adam and how boring he was even when his past was discussed. His tone never changes… not even once throughout the book. Because of that it made it extremely difficult to read this book (took me a week).

The book was slow and it dragged. There was no real life or passion within this book. It was hard to tell if Adam was actually in love or if it was more infatuation. It didn’t feel real at the beginning nor at the end. Overall that is what the book was lacking; deep emotion, real heartbreak, real anger etc..

Another issue I had was Adam is selfish and the love of his life was just as selfish and became even a worst person as she got older. This told a lot about Adam. He wasn’t the hero you want to love and I was disappointed in him and the weak characters around him. I say weak characters because no one really fought for what they wanted. I can’t even say Adam did because he went with whatever was allowed.

The music element was cute. It added some character to the book but the music didn’t define Adam nor was it as important as I thought it would be. The music was defined based on his relationship.  Yeah, he did trivia at the pub but he music wasn’t his life nor was he missing it.

I wanted better from this book. I wanted to be moved because it was different from The Roise Project. I like where the author is going with this but it needs some more work. I didn’t feel this was a bad book but it wasn’t something I would read or recommend unfortunately.

2 Pickles

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

********Maybe a tiny spoiler**********

Where do I begin! Where do I begin! How about the summary of the book?

     St. Martin's Press Published Feb 26 2013               325Pages
            St. Martin’s Press                        Published Feb 26 2013                             325Pages

In 1986, Eleanor and Park meet on the school bus. Eleanor, who is tall (considers herself a giant) chunky and with curly red hair, is new to the school and sits next to Park. Park, who is half Korean, and in Eleanor’s eyes a perfect neat freak, doesn’t care too much for Eleanor and can’t stand the fact she sits next to him. To say the least he is embarrassed not just for himself but for her.

However, he isn’t mean to her; he just ignores her. But soon Eleanor and Park connect changing each others’ lives physically and emotionally.

I would have appreciated this book better if I was 14 and not 24. This book was a cute read. But it was full of puppy love clichés. There was so much I miss you, “no I don’t like you, I need you” that I was laughing saying Oh my GOODNESS WHY DID SHE PUT THAT IN THERE!

What I liked about the book was it wasn’t love at first sight. Park and Eleanor couldn’t stand each other but little things each other were doing kept building their like for each other. I liked that. That is usually how relationships start anyway, so I felt that was realistic.

I also liked the fact that Eleanor and Park had real problems at home. Their lives we’re perfect and yes Eleanor got teased in school badly but it didn’t ruin her life. Park had his share of issues at home with his Dad but his priority other than school was Eleanor and he made sure she knew that.

What I didn’t like was the cover and what it led me to believe. Eleanor and Park are wearing headphones on the cover . . .  but that is not what connected them. It was comic books. They shared a love of comic books. Although there was exchanging of music and Park did make tapes for Eleanor it really didn’t matter. There were no music references beyond the exchanging of the tapes until the end which was completely unnecessary. Also neither one of them were misfits. Park had a decent social standing and no one like Eleanor because of how she looked. She didn’t act out nor was she dressed in all black. She was a shy large girl with a lot of red hair.

I also didn’t like the ending. Eleanor had a lot of home problems and it wasn’t as if she didn’t trust Park because she did. She didn’t trust herself and she lacked confidence. And she stilled lacked confidence at the end. How after everything you’ve been through you don’t even write the boy you love a letter . . . . You send him a post card after goodness knows how many letters he wrote you. And the post card only had three words on it. I didn’t like that. I was so frustrated with the ending not because it was a bad book but because it could have been so much better. I would have appreciated the book more if Eleanor actually showed some kind of progress.

Overall, the book gets 7 out of 10. It could have been developed more not for an adult reading a young adult book but just to be great book for all ages.

Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles