Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Savage Girl: A Novel by Jean Zimmerman

Book: Savage Girl: A Novel
Author: Jean Zimmerman
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: From Goodreads.com

Jean Zimmerman’s new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society.
Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.
Zimmerman’s tale is narrated by the Delegate’s son, a Harvard anatomy student. The tormented, self-dramatizing Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl. This narrative—a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable—is his confession

My rating: 2 Stars
My opinion: I could never warm up totally to this book. I felt that the story was too drawn out and the story had to be pulled out. As a result, it dragged on for me and I had difficulties with staying focused on it.  Furthermore, I felt that the characters were weakly written, which really emphasized the earlier mentioned issues. 

Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : No
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand alone

The Weight of Blood: A Novel by Laura McHugh

Book: The Weight of Blood
Author: Laura McHugh
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Small towns hold secrets. A small town in the Ozark Mountains has deeper secrets and 16 year old Lucy Dane is determined to find them. The secrets start when her mother disappeared when she was still a baby. When Lucy's friend is found murdered, Lucy is bound and determined to get to the bottom of those secrets. Will she become the next victim? Some secrets are better left unturned.

My rating: 3 stars
My opinion: I enjoyed this novel written, in the beginning, as 2 points of view (POV) and 2 timelines. Three quarters of the way in, the author started to bring in more POV's that threw the story off and really dropped it in ratings for me. I thought the ending was a given and there was no surprises whatsoever. It was good for a debut-not great by any means. I might give the author one more shot, but if the same issues exist, that would be it. 
Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : Yes, I still would. It is a slower read though.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

The Winter People: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon

Book: The Winter People
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis:  From Goodreads.com:

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: I do believe that this is my favorite Jennifer McMahon book. I have read almost all of hers at this time. I loved this because something about this book reminded me of Steven King's Pet Cemetery.

This one is much more "tame" than some of her other ones, but I am saying that there was something just downright creepier about that tameness. 

Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : Already have and it is Sisterhood of the Traveling Book's April Book of the Month
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Three Souls: A Novel by Janie Chang

Book: Three Souls: A Novel
Author: Janie Chang
Narrator (if applicable): n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: In 1935,  China is on the brink of Communism. Leiyin has passed, but is unable to enter the afterlife. Her three souls (yin, yang and hun) have a lesson she needs to learn before passing over. What does it have to do with her spoiled childhood and her strong will as an adult woman? Will she learn her lesson or be stuck in limbo?
My rating: My second 10 stars out of 5 stars of 2014.
My opinion: To call this book amazing is not giving it enough credit. There was just something just hauntingly beautiful, on so many levels, about this book. 

The author wrote characters and a setting which were so strong that I felt like I was there. The storyline, which was set in the beginning of Communist China , gives an engrossing description of the status of women and their struggles for identity. 

I started off with a egalley of this book, but ended up waiting for it to come out in print form before finishing. This was one of those books that I think my entertainment of the book was enhanced by having the feeling of pages between my fingers. 

This is the author's debut and I can't wait to read more from her.
Source: Publisher for review
Would I recommend? : I have recommended this book many times, including for Sisterhood of the Traveling Book book of the month.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone