Okay, so this is a little late, but better late than never, right? The Catch Up Readathon was last week, and ending Sunday. I’m posting late because between last and this evening I’ve been working, going to school, having to deal with homework and studying for tests, been traumatized by a horrific CNA at a local nursing home, and battling a sinus infection, and I still managed to lots of reading. Because I rock.
The Eleventh Victim by Nancy Grace
Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Hailey Dean is a young and tremendously successful criminal prosecutor in Georgia, equally proud of her career and her adoring fiance. But just a few weeks before the wedding, her fiance’s murder and its aftermath send her into a tailspin. Grief-stricken and disillusioned with her profession, Hailey decides to leave Georgia for New York City; she hopes the change of pace and surroundings will help her heal. Transplanted to a lively, vibrant city where she has no ties and no painful reminders, Hailey embarks on a new career as a therapist. But just when she’s beginning to feel settled in her new life, another tidal wave of turmoil engulfs her: Someone is murdering her patients, one by one. And the killer operates in the same way as the victims of the last case Hailey prosecuted. Clearly, Hailey hasn’t left her past behind quite as well as she thought – and unless she returns to her true calling and solves the case, still more innocent people will die. Inspired by lawyer and television personality Nancy Grace’s own beginnings as a prosecutor and the tragic death of her fiance, The Eleventh Victim is a compelling mystery full of intrigue that thrills from start to finish.
My Two Cents:
A really good mystery, although the main character might as well be named Nancy Grace. The book shows the many flaws of both our judicial and political system. It’s scary because these things happen. Next time your governor pardons someone or commutes a sentence, you might want to look into the whys of it. Just saying…
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
Barnes and Noble Synopsis:
The most fascinating killer in modern American history…Ann Rule has an extraordinary angle that makes The Stranger Beside Me as dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight.
My Two Cents:
True crime writer and former policewoman Ann Rule was friends with Ted Bundy. They worked together at a suicide prevention hot line. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Ted Bundy, he was a prolific serial killer, meaning he killed lots and lots of young women. When Ann first met Ted, she was mostly writing for detective magazines. When the killings began, she was contracted to write a book about the murders, but at the time she had no clue that man she called a friend was behind the murders and disappearances of dozens of women in Washington, Oregon, Utah and eventually Florida. I don’t read a lot of true crime, although I did at one time in my teen years, but I continue to read Ann Rule books. She is such a champion of victims, and she does her best to warn people of the dangers lurking in humanity. As serial killers go, Ted Bundy is in a category all his own, and its fascinating to actually read a personal account from someone who was in contact with him during his early arrests, trials and escapes. I’ve read this book several times in the past, and I’m sure I’ll revisit it again.
The Visitor by Christopher Pike
Barnes and Noble Synopsis:
Tom was not like a normal teenager. First off, he looked weird. He was too tall, too thin, and his hair was practically white. Also, he had incredible eyes. Some thought he was from outer space. Almost everyone believed he was a nice guy. But was Tom really nice? Was he even human?
My Two Cents:
It’s weird that that the B&N summary mentions Tom so much, he doesn’t even show up until half way in the book. The story is that of Mary and her recently dead boyfriend, Jerry. Mary feel guilty for his death, as well she should, and can’t help but feel that something isn’t quite right with her. It’s not. There’s a strange seance, some aliens and some ancient Egyptians. I probably read this book when it first came out, but honestly I don’t remember it. I’m a huge Pike fan (in part, it’s how my blog got it’s name), but his books fall in to two categories: Early Pike, where maybe one or two people die but the ending is more or less happy and Later Pike, where things take a decided turn for the science fiction and happy endings are rare. The stories are still wonderfully interesting and captivating, but I can’t help but feel that someone wasn’t taking their happy pills during the writing. The Visitor is a solid science fiction story, without being too complicated or over the headish. But I’ll settle for reading the Final Friend’s trilogy for the umpteenth time before picking this one up again. I’m just not much of a science fiction girl, and I prefer Pike’s mysteries. I’ll still continue reading his books until one of us dies though.
Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (re-read)
Barnes and Noble Summary:
Only a handful of fictional characters are recognized by first name alone. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas is one such literary hero who has come alive in listeners’ imaginations as he explores the greatest mysteries of this world and the next with his inimitable wit, heart, and quiet gallantry. Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward, to a destiny he cannot imagine….
The legend began in the obscure little town of Pico Mundo. A fry cook named Odd was rumored to have the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. Through tragedy and triumph, exhilaration and heartbreak, word of Odd Thomas’s gifts filtered far beyond Pico Mundo, attracting unforgettable new friends – and enemies of implacable evil. With great gifts comes the responsibility to meet great challenges. But no mere human being was ever meant to face the darkness that now stalks the world – not even one as oddly special as Odd Thomas.
After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil separating him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks – his dog Boo and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere. Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority…and in this dark night of the soul, dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all.
My Two Cents:
I cannot state this enough: Odd Thomas is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. There is a musicality to the voice Dean Koontz has found in my Odd one, which you can hear even if you’re not listening to the audio books- which I highly recommend because the narration is wonderful! I re-read Odd Thomas’s fourth adventure for several reasons. One, it’s the only Odd book I haven’t re-read and I couldn’t remember it as well as the first three, and secondly because I know Dean Koontz is planning on at least 3 or 4 Odd books and Odd Hours is where you first began to see just how far a simple fry cook with one extraordinary talent must go to save the world, and thirdly because I’m anxiously awaiting the October 5th release of the newest Odd Thomas Manga, which I hope to have before Dewey’s 24 readathon. It’ll be another prequel to the first book.
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
*Barnes and Noble Synopsis:
A year ago, Cal Thompson was a college freshman more interested in meeting girls and partying than in attending biology class. Now, after a fateful encounter with a mysterious woman named Morgan, biology has become, literally, Cal’s life.
Cal was infected by a parasite that has a truly horrifying effect on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan. All three have turned into the ravening ghouls Cal calls Peeps. The rest of us know them as vampires. It’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they can create more of their kind. . . .
Bursting with the sharp intelligence and sly humor that are fast becoming his trademark, Scott Westerfeld’s novel is an utterly original take on an archetype of horror.
My Two Cents:
I loved Peeps! It gets a full Midnight rating on my scale. Technically, I just finished the book this afternoon, so I was in the process of reading this during the catch up readathon, but you saw what kind of week I had, so how about cutting me some slack? Peeps surprised me, fed my inner geek with lots of icky, squirmy facts about parasites, and had a fresh, male perspective in a genre heavily loaded with female main characters. And I realized the main character was a boy immediately unlike the first chapter of some other YA book (yes, Beautiful Creatures, I’m referencing you, I liked you, I did, it just took me several beats to figure out the MC was a Pointer not a Setter (can you have parentheses inside parentheses?, the Pointer and Setters remark is from my favorite Ocean City Restaurant, Shenanigans, and is from the signs of their bathrooms ). I plan on reading the sequel as soon as possible.
*One thing disturbing about the Peeps cover is that the boy looks a bit like the actor that plays Stefan on Vampire Diaries, so I couldn’t help but picture him in my mind when I was reading.
So that’s it for the Catch Up Readathon.
Right now I’m reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and it’s already amazing! And my book club read is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which I’ll happily be re-reading in honor of Banned Book Week.