Monday, November 30, 2009

Tell Me Something True- Cabo (Book #80)

This is a book about a girl whose mother died in a plane crash. She lives in LA with her movie producer father and visits her grandmother in Columbia each year and revisits the memories of her mother. The premise of the story is there is a lot more to her mother that she never was told and the book's blurb says "what happens when you find out everything you thought was true was a lie?" Except that's not true. There is something she didn't know about her mother, but its not earth shattering and it does not invalidate any other part of her life. The story pushed itself as being way more dramatic than it was and I found the constant POV changes a little distracting and unnecessary.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Plan B- Tropper (Book #79)

If you scroll the list of my recent reads you'll see Tropper's books quite a bit. When I like an author I tend to devour their entire list of published books. This was the last of the books I had yet to read by Tropper. I must admit that as is the case with most authors who I read extensively I begin to see themes and though this is kind of cool, it also sometimes can feel like you're reading a variation of the same story again. I can't hold this against Tropper with this book as this is his debut novel, so any books I subsequently read are instead, variations of this, not vice versa.

This is a book about a group of 30 somethings who are very close and are all at various stages in their lives, some sucessful some not so much. They are drifting apart but come together out of concern for one of their friends who appears to have a drug problem. Hilarity and deep moments ensue.

I enjoyed the book as I've enjoyed most of Tropper's books which have a good dose of reality and deep reflection along with laughter at the small absurdities of life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz- Acosta (Book #78)

I should start by saying I doubt I am the target audience for this book, so though I did not particularly love it, that's not to say a Spanish-American reader would not love it. This is a story about a woman whose husband just left for reasons we only find out later, and has to deal with her two children. Diego, the eldest is trying to be the man of the house while he deals with a crush on his friend's sister, and Carmen is furious, a ball of anger at her mother who she perceives to be the reason that their father left. The story trails Ana as she tries to make sense of her marriage, her children, her dreams and an artist on campus whom she is attracted to. I don't mind books that sprinkle other languages into the dialogue but this book took it a step too far. Also, I thought the author focused too much on the daughter-mother hatred and then summed it up in a matter of a paragraph or so at the end. I would have liked more exploration and understanding of the marriage and the husband's reasons for what he did.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How To Talk To a Widower- Tropper (Book #77)

I told you, when I find an author I start reading everything they write, and considering the last few books are Tropper books you should not be surprised that again I'm reviewing a book by the same guy. One interesting thing about reading an author's entire work is you begin seeing trends in their writing and the same has been true for Tropper. This novel is about a 29 year old widower grieving his wife's death and writing a monthly column about it. He also is being pushed into dating and dealing with his stepson, a 16 year old sullen kid who is a trouble make but deeply hurt. It's a book about love, and grief and family and he certainly can nail the topic of grief quite accurately.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Everything Changes- Tropper (Book #76)

When I find an author I like, I tend to stick with them for a little while so this is the second Tropper book I've read in the span of a few weeks. This one is about a 32 year old guy working at a nondescript job engaged to a beautiful young woman and who is afraid he might have cancer. The story follows as his estranged father shows up to possibly reconcile, he deals with the potential ramifications of cancer, a job he hates, and being in love with someone other than his fiancee. Though it all sounds ho hum run of the mill, the story is beautifully told and the man can write laugh out loud funny dialogue like few can.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fortune Cookie Chronicles- Lee (Book # 75)

I feel triumphant finishing this book as I've been reading it for at least four months now. It's not the book is bad by any means, its just that its a book exploring Chinese Fortune Cookies and Chinese restaurants in the US and around the world. Interesting, but by its nature, not a suspenseful page turner. Lee has written an interesting book with fun facts and history about not just Chinese restaurants and fortune cookies but also about Chinese immigrants. Their stories were the ones that kept my attention the most. Overall, a bit lengthy read for me simply due to the topic, but well written and entertaining.