Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

It has been awhile since my last post and I am back dating this one since it was written last month but I never got it out of draft. So let's see if I can catch up with my posting;

June saw me read the last of the available titles of the Twilight series. This series has been out since last year but it has been an uproar recently and was highlighted in my Borders monthly newsletter. Meyers was interviewed and I was intrigued but what put a cap on my jump into Twilight was when I found out it was to be made a movie. I headed over to view the Trailer (wwww.twilightthemovie.com) and recognized the actor playing Edward as Robert Pattinson who played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies. I knew I needed to watch the movie and I could not see the movie until I read the darn books. So borrowed them in Audiobook from my local library. I'm hooked and I will be forever a fan.

I recently spent the day harassing my daughter about the release of Breaking Dawn on the 2nd of August. I want to read the last installment soo bad but I will be in Puerto Rico for a visit after 11 years and I don't foresee having a lot of time on my hands to read it but I will be reading it in the month of August for sure.

Anyway, I thought it important to give a break down of the books I had read up until now so I will have them all documented when Breaking Dawn is read. So from the top:

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The first installment of the Twilight series introduces us to all the main characters.
There is Bella who transports herself to Forks, WA when her mother Renee re-marries an athlete and goes on the road with him. Charlie, her father and sheriff of Forks has always been a bit uneasy with Bella but is happy to have a chance to deepen his bond with her. The Cullens are the family of Vampires that accept Bella as one of their own instead of the appetizer she could have been. There is Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, Emmett & Edward. We get to know these characters in more detail over the series but in Twilight we get a glimpse of them. Edward is the main man who saves Bella from death and causes a chain reaction that takes him to reveal his true nature to her. Bella becomes somewhat obsessed with him and that obsession leads to love.
Of course there is quite a bit of danger involved in loving a vampire. You have the secrecy issue... who can you trust with that type of secret? Not many people actually, at least not many that can stay alive after knowing. Then you have the other vampire families that just will not play nice with your pet human. It's like taking your puppy to dinner with your distant relatives from China. Your adorable little Beagle is being eyed as the main dish. This does not promote neighborly relations.

Twilight wet our appetite for much more to come. Don't expect a lot of action until the end of the book, when those "other vamps" (a vampire named James, his mate Victoria and a minion called Laurant) come sniffing around and want to take a bite out of Bella. The book focused mostly on Bella and Edward. Getting to know each other and how their lives change to fit into each others world.

Grade: A

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

In New Moon Bella is faced with Edwards desertion. Edward feels it's best for Bella that they break up and Bella has to learn to live without him. She doesn't do well in that area until Jacob Black lures her out of her depression.

Jacob has a secret of his own and it makes Bella realize that there are more than one anomaly in the population of Forks (although Jacob is really part of the population of La Push). Bella takes these new revelations in stride but she becomes very reckless with her life. She develops a strong relationship with the natural enemies of the vampires especially with Jacob. She doesn't really lead him on but she doesn't dissuade him either and that didn't really sit well but in the end there was a good chunk of movement in this book that kept the grade so strong.

The trip to Italy with Alice to save Edward who was on a suicide mission not just introduces a whole new set of Vampires but also gives us a glimpse into Vampire politics. With Bella's strong relationship with Jacob and then the reemergence of Edward into Bella's life at the end, the book was a winner for me.

Grade: A

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

This was the weakest in the series and yet it had me going.
The relationship between Bella, Jacob and Edward gets redefined. Bella needs to make a choice between these two and although her heart belongs to Edward, she accept and acknowledges her deep feelings for Jake.

Jake is a bit underhanded in this book and it pissed me off but the truth is that you really need to give the story points for eliciting that type of reaction from me.
When Bella is the mark for Victoria (the vamp from Twilight who loses her lover James) Jake and Edward have to put aside their jealousy and make a truce that will assure Bella's safety against an army of newborn vampires that are creating havoc in Seattle. The Cullens and the la Push pack find themselves fighting side by side to protect their homes from this threat.

As I mentioned, what killed me on this one was Bella's feelings for Jake. I felt it a betrayal to Edward especially when Jacob was such a rat about getting what he wanted. When Bella admits her feelings for Jacob I was so upset but when you look at a book that kicks you in the gut and when you close it you are grinning, you can't complain!

I am really looking forward to Breaking Dawn.

Grade: B+

Since writing these reviews I actually had a chance to read Breaking Dawn and will post the review shortly.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Future King's Pregnant Mistress by Penny Jordan

Yeah another one with an appealing title. I really have very little to say good about this one. It was written from the same vein as the Susan Stephen's entry for this series.

Marco Fierezza is almost as cold hearted as Nico was in Expecting his Royal Baby, the only difference is that this one shows he is falling in love with Emily as the book moves forward.

Emily, a self made woman who is an interior designer with her own business, is a doormat to Marco and folds to his every whim.

The book was bad but as I mentioned it had it's moments and we see Marco changing a bit (you need to watch out for the change because you can easily miss it before the end of the book) which is why the book did not end up with an F and walked away with the better score of D-

I don't think I'll pick up another Harlequin Presents.

Grade: D-
Format: eBook

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Expecting His Royal Baby by Susan Stephens

It's been a while since a read a book that was so all over the place. This was an eBook I picked up after looking over the eHarlequin book store. It was one that I just picked up out of no place because it was affordable and was part of a series that had good reviews.

Nico Fierezza is a bit of a dare devil. He has no regard for his safety and thrives of extreme sports. He owns a business in London (not clear what type of business since it was not clear in the book) which gives him the edgy excitement he needs on a day to day basis but he is not just a businessman. He is also the grandson to the King of Niroli. After his older brother renounces claim to the throne (this happened in the first book of the series) his grandfather seeks him out to make him heir to the throne. Something he knows right off the bat will never happen. Still he packs up his bags and heads out to the small island to answer the old man's summons.

Carrie Evans was Nico's secretary until a roll on the table with her boss in the conference room made her feel used and she decided to quit and move in with her elderly aunt. When her Aunt dies and she finds herself pregnant and homeless she goes looking for Nico to tell him she is going to have his baby.

This is the prologue and a bit into Chapter One of the book. Quit reading. It goes completely down hill from here. It's not just the asinine back and forth with the heroine but the complete unorganized plot and inconsistencies. The hero is an A*s from the get go, no false illusions there, but the heroine could have been the savior of the book and unfortunately she gave it the kiss of death.

Carrie picks up her bags and flies to Niroli to tell Nico of his impending fatherhood but keeps telling herself that she doesn't want anything from him. Yet the moment she is alone with him, he touches her and her panties drop to the floor. How is it that she could afford to fly to this island in the first place. She finds herself invited to stay in the palace just when she had told Nico she was leaving. Why accept the invitation? To speak to the man that treated you like a gold digging whore a few hours ago?

This was an easy book to read because after the first few pages it became a farce you just couldn't tear yourself away, although I almost threw in the towel when Carrie, haven gotten away from Nico and his insane life, manages to make a decent start on a future for herself but then throws it all away when he strolls in to her life and tells her to pack her stuff and return with him. No pleading or groveling, just let's go.

Sorry but this one was a complete disappointment (do you think the title should have given me a hint?)

Grade: F
Format: eBook
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