Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart and Lucy March

Synopsis: Abby has just arrived in Summerville, Ohio, with her placid Newfoundland, Bowser. She’s reluctantly inherited her grandmother’s coffee shop, but it’s not long before she’s brewing up trouble in the form of magical baked goods and steaming up her life with an exasperating college professor.
And then there’s Daisy, a web code writer, and her hyperactive Jack Russell, Bailey. Her tightly-wound world spins out of control when she discovers the chaos within and meets a mysterious dog trainer whose teaching style is definitely hands-on.
Finally there’s Shar, professor of ancient history at Summerville College, who wakes up one morning to find her neurotic dachshund, Wolfie, snarling at an implacable god sitting at her kitchen table, the first thing in her life she hasn’t been able to footnote.

What on earth is going on in this unearthly little town? It’s up to Abby, Daisy, and Shar to find out before an ancient goddess takes over Southern Ohio, and they all end up in the apocalyptic doghouse… (from the back of the book)

Review: I picked this up on a whim at a local used book store and I am SO glad I did! The story was intriguing and well-written, the characters were distinct - not something easy to do when you have this many main ones - and the world-building was believable - even if it was about a real life goddess! And the dogs - oh, I laughed out loud several times at the dogs! I highly recommend this if you enjoy a good light funny read!

Prude Note: There are several sex scenes, and one rather odd scene with paint. You can skip if you want, but they are integral to the story - unusual for a romance novel, by my standards. However, just knowing that happen is enough and skipping is fine if you want.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 5-17-2012
Pages: 388

Review: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos

Synopsis: Catharine's mother has died, following the birth of an infant son, and when her father decides to remary, Catherine faces painful changes, not the least of them in herself. (From the back of the book)

Review: This story is told in the form of a journal, written by a middle school girl. She lives on a farm with her father and siblings in 1830. This is excellent. The story is vibrant and well-told, with real-to-life struggles of the time - slavery, school, death and a blended family. I enjoyed this immensely and highly recommend!

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: Newbery Medal, 1980

Date Finished: 4-26-2012
Pages: 144

Review: Cultures of the World: Afghanistan by Sharifah Enayat Ali

Synopsis: This is a children's book, part of a collection, on countries around the world. It goes over culture, geography, history etc, and includes many color photos.

Review: This is an excellent introduction to Afghanistan. I was pleased it was half words and half pictures. I'd recommend this for children age 5+ who wish to learn about other cultures.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

Date Finished: 4-25-2012
Pages: 144

Review: The Practical Princess and Other Liberating Tales

Synopsis: What was the fairy thinking of when she gave the gift of common sense to a baby princess? After all, what does a princess need but beauty and charm? But Princess Bedelia's common sense  bought through many a dangerous situations! (From the back of the book)

Review: This is a collection of retold fairy tales, featuring hapless males and strong females. It's delightful! It's a quick read, fun and funny. If you find a copy, buy it and enjoy!

Bookmarks: 7 of 10
Awards: None
Date Finished: 4-15-2012
Pages: 94

Review: Astropilots by Laura J. Mixon

Synopsis: Andrea Ito has the right stuff. She's an ace pilot, the Top Gun of the toughest space academy in the solar system. Then mysterious Jason Stiletto blasts into her life from Eridani, a distant star system. He's the best cadet she's ever seen. But he has a terrible secret.
Jason doesn't play by the rules. He only has one goal - revenge on the man who tried to kill him. And he only has one friend - the gently alien Sssrei. That is, until he meets Andrea. But can he trust her with the truth? And how can he stop his enemy's deadly plan?
Review: Published in 1987, I expected this to be cheesy and stupid. I was pleasantly and completely surprise to find it an excellent read, with complex plot, well-rounded characters and excellent world-building. This is first-class space fiction novel. I'm eager to read more of the author's work and would recommend this to anyone wanting a quick, excellent read!
Bookmarks: 8 of 10
Awards: None
Date Finished: 4-12-2012
Pages: 236