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A Written Rhapsody: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Notes: The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees

"I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.
I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother.Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and—ahem—maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh.Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed...."

I wanted to like this book from the start, but it just didn't end up that way. I was always annoyed by the main characters. I'd usually always like a guy that spoke in Shakespearean English, but Edmund just didn't do anything for me. Other than being a relative, I don't feel like I was given much about who he was as a character. The issue I had with Miri was that the author gave very little into showing that she even liked Edmund. She also seemed a little overly whiny to me.

Another big issue that made me dislike the book was when all issues were just automatically accepted. Everything about the story was a bit too convenient. Mom had no issues, friends had no issues and everything was just hunky-dory.

I also felt like Rees began the story like Miri had very few to no friends and later decided she needed to have some. Overall, the pacing of the story didn't work for me. Though the storyline had everything to be interesting, it was just poorly executed. I'd say pass this up unless you're bored and looking for an easy pass the time read.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Notes: Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

“I don’t want him to love me because of a potion,” she said. 
Izzie loves Mark, and why shouldn’t she? As the captain of the basketball team, he is kind and loving and he’s everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. Her BFF loves . . . somebody, but she won’t say who. So when a hot new guy, Tristan, shows up at school, who better for Izzie to fix up her friend with? And what better way to do it than with a love philtre? 

But even the best of magic has a way of going awry—and Izzie finds she’s accidentally fallen in love with Tristan herself. And that’s a problem. First of all, there’s Mark. Second, Tristan comes with baggage—like the supernatural creatures that keep attacking whenever he’s with Izzie, and the fact that he comes from the place where Izzie’s father was killed, years ago, by an enormous, evil serpent that’s still around—and it knows Izzie is out there." 

I was so excited to read this book when I saw it. I've always loved the story of Tristan and Isolde, and realy wanted to see how it would be retold. Sadly, this is where my positive notes end.  I have no idea what this book was trying to do at all.

Izzie was one of the most annoying characters I've read in a while. I don't know if Harrison did so on purpose, but I never got a great feel from Izzie or any of the characters. Some of the language used for students in high school felt really unrealistic. Nothing in the book really flowed naturally for me. I kept having these, "Really? Why would you do that?!" type of moments while I read.

Though the book wasn't my cup of tea, I do think Harrison did decently well with her writing. If you like books that are a bit over-the-top in imagination, you may like the story. However, I don't think I would ever recommend this book to anyone.  

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Book Notes: Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

"Olivia Bishop is no fun. That's what her ex-husband said. And that's what her smart bob and glasses imply. So with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She's going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble—in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan—may be too tempting to avoid.

Jamie Donovan doesn't mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. Now it's time to grow up. He's even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong?"

I regretted starting this book about a third way through. I wanted to like it and the main characters, but I just couldn't help them annoying me. The story wasn't all that bad. My major issue with the book was the lack of character development and interaction in the beginning. There wasn't much mention of Jamie noticing her at all, but then he suddenly asked her out and it just left me sitting thinking, "Well alright then." I just felt like a lot of the events didn't feel realistic to me. For a very reserved person, Olivia opened up fairly quickly. I also never felt like their relationship developed normally. Sure, they were in lust with each other, but love? No.

I'll credit Dahl with being able to write some pretty steamy scenes. However, maybe it's just me, but there were a lot more sexy time scenes than I needed in this book. I know it's a main objective of the book as it's be a romance type of novel, but I think it got to a point where there was no real radical chemistry or tension between the characters to give me anything to look forward to. 

I wouldn't go to this book if you were looking for a deep type of love story, but if you want something light to get lost into it could work. 

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