Book Reviews by Robin

goat lipsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green – This is a “wow” book for me. It doesn’t start off that way – in fact, I was worried because it starts off by letting you know all the characters are young people with cancer and you just know someone is going to die. In fact, I suspected many would die. But Green does such an excellent job with VOICE and CHARACTER that I knew these characters, not for their cancer but for themselves. Sarcastic and clever, Hazel is amazing. I was happy that she met Augustus, every bit as clever. High school students who “get it” in their own funky, conquer-the-world way. Green has done an excellent job. Rate 4.75 stars

Run by Ann Patchett – I was happy to find this one among the bags of books I get from my mother and other friends. I have always liked this author and this book didn’t disappoint. The simple, but complex story of the relationship between father, son, adopted sons, birth mother, and sister. The whole thing takes place in a two day period, with some flashback in the way of character thought. Patchett does such a wonderful job letting the reader in on the secrets of our worries. 4.0 stars.

Coming Back to Me by Caroline Leavitt – I read this book because I am thinking of taking a writing class from Leavitt. This is the story of Molly, her sister, her new husband and her new baby and a serious medical condition. I do like her writing, although at times I was bogged down in the life of a character who wasn’t as exciting as the one I left, and as the chapters are long and alternate between characters I had to keep reading to get back to some item of suspense. Leavitt does a good job of describing scenes, but there were a few holes, or scenes that led me to believe something would happen and it never did. I never really figured out why the sisters resolved their issues. Or why the neighbors weren’t nice to the new young couple.  For a while I thought there was something evil going on, but it never panned out. Rate: 3.0 stars.

Bitter River by Julia Keller – I think this is another “genre”, whip out the books, writer. (I got a bunch from a friend). While I find this type of book very entertaining, very readable, I don’t find them very memorable. In fact, I have to go back and read a bit to remember what the book is about if I don’t write these reviews immediately upon finishing the last word. This is your standard small town, female prosecutor, sheriff, mysterious death novel. Well written. Rate: 3.0 stars. This author won a Pulitzer Prize for a series she wrote for the Chicago Tribune, so I am going to search that out and read it.

Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt – A tricky story line, well thought out and moves smooth from start to finish, although the ending was slightly abrupt in my opinion. Isabelle is a great character, with the right amount of confusion. Leavitt does a good job changing voice when she changes point of view, although at times I felt Sam, as a nine year old boy, was a little too immature. A very entertaining read. Rate: 3.5

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