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In Which I Play Catch Up

November 2, 2010

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

From the back cover:
“In 1752, Sarah Carrier Chapman, weak with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter, revealing the secret she has closely guarded for six decades… Her story begins more than a year before the Salem witch trials, when nine-year-old Sarah and her family arrive in a New England community already gripped by superstition and fear. As they witness neighbor pitted against neighbor, friend against friend, hysteria escalates – until more than two hundred men, women, and children have been swept into prison. Among them is Sarah’s mother, Martha Carrier. In an attempt to protect her children, martha asks Sarah to commit an act of heresy – a lie that will most surely condemn Martha even as it will save her daughter.”

I was really, really looking forward to reading The Heretic’s Daughter. It had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, and every time I looked at it I thought “Oooh that is going to be a good one.” It started off promising, nice and creepy-like. But then nothing happened. For about 150 pages, there was calmness and an abundance of hints of BAD THINGS to come. I think all these hints were supposed build suspense, but the drawn-out-ness of it made me wonder if I would even care when the BAD THINGS finally happened. I came so very close to putting down the book and never picking it up again.

However, then the BAD THINGS happened and I felt bad for being so flippant about them. Because these were truly bad, real life things that happened to so many innocent people. I was hooked during the last half of the book, but the first half nearly prevented me from ever experiencing it.

My rating: 7/10

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I’m not going to bother with a description for this one. Let’s just chat about a few thoughts I had on it. I wasn’t as disappointed in Mockingjay as others seem to have been. I think if I would have read Catching Fire shortly beforehand, I would have been expecting action all over the place from the get go. As it was, the details of Catching Fire had slipped from my mind since reading it in April and now coming off of The Heretic’s Daughter, my expectation for action wasn’t particularly high.

It’s been a few weeks since I finished Mockingjay and my overall impression of it now is that it was bleak. All these characters had gone through some pretty awful things, and awful things just kept happening. Would a Happily Ever After really have been realistic? As for the Gale/Peeta debate, I feel that neither team won, as not one of them, not even Katniss, was the same person they were in the first two books.

Overall I did enjoy the book (even if the end left me a slight wreck), but it wasn’t as fantastic as the first two in the trilogy.

My rating: 7.5/10
Soundtrack Saturday
Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge 16/25

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie

From wikipedia:
When Hercule Poirot’s own dentist, Henry Morley, is found dead from a gun shot wound, the official verdict is that he has killed himself; a verdict apparently supported when it appears that he has given one of his patients a fatal overdose of anaesthetic. Poirot suspects, however, that there is more to the case than there first appears, and soon events confirm his worst suspicions.

This was my first Agatha Christie, and it definitely did not disappoint. I loved how the “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” nursery rhyme played into the plot. I loved the banter between Poirot and Chief Inspector Japp. Poirot himself was such a fantastic character, I want to read all the Christie novels featuring him as the detective. And the whodunit mystery? Yeah, Christie had me guessing throughout the book.

Agatha Christie is one of those authors with such a huge catalogue that it can seem impossible to know where to start. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe was a completely random choice, but it was definite a good one.

My rating: 8/10
Soundtrack Saturday

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

*Contains spoilers from The Knife of Never Letting Go*

From the author’s website:
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order.
But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?
And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure.

Oh goodness, this book was so good. Todd and Viola are by far one of my favourite literary couples. Their sweet happiness at their first reunion in TAatA, their dedication to each other throughout the book. All so wonderful without getting all YA-typical mushy and dependent.

I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go slightly more that this one, but it still captivated me. So much so that I read it all in two days. I loved that we got to hear Viola’s side of the story and I hope that continues in the third book, Monsters of Men. Speaking of MoM, why hasn’t my library started lending it out yet?? That Patrick Ness and his cliffhangers. I need MoM, like, last week.

I borrowed this and TKoNLG from the library, but I definitely want to own copies of them one day. They’re just filled with so much awesome that they require rereads and sharing.

In that case, maybe I’ll just buy Monsters of Men

My rating: 8.5/10
Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge 17/25

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 6:51 am

    I really enjoyed The Heretic’s Daughter, but it was a bit slow in the beginning. I had just come off of reading a Geraldine Brooks’ book “Year of Wonders,” which is similarly written in pace and dialogue, so I think I was used to it at that point. But then I started thinking, like you did, how awful these events were…and I felt so bad. Did you know that the author is a direct descendent of Martha Carrier? She has another book out now called “The Wolves of Andover,” and I hear it’s about way before the events in “The Heretic’s Daughter.” I can’t wait to read that one.

    I was soooo disappointed in Mockingjay. Sigh.

  2. November 3, 2010 12:41 pm

    You DO need MoM! Todd and Viola are the best ever <3

  3. November 3, 2010 1:32 pm

    I loved these mini reviews…great way to get so many reviews done and thanks for the rating at the end!!

  4. November 3, 2010 5:29 pm

    Oooo I haven’t heard of this AC! Nice choice! I should definitely check it out!

  5. November 4, 2010 11:03 am

    I’m with you on Mockingjay being good, but not as good as the first two books. I still haven’t written my review of it, but I wasn’t impressed – only entertained.
    And I really, really need to catch up with the Patrick Ness books! They’re sitting on my shelf, making me feel all guilty.

  6. November 4, 2010 11:17 am

    Coffee and a Book Chick – Wasn’t what happened to the Carrier family awful? The Heretic’s Daughter has at least made me want to read more on the Salem witch trials. It was amazing how quickly things went from bad to worse, and then promptly cooled down again.

    nymeth – I do need to! I saw MoM at a book store last week, and hubby had to literally drag me away from ogling it. Unfortunately that was before I decided I wanted to buy all the books, so now I wish I would have bought it then.

    Staci – Thanks! That was definitely the reason behind these mini-reviews – to get them done and clear away that pile of books staring me down on the coffee table.

    Juju at Tales – Since I haven’t read any other Christie books, I can’t say how it compares. But it was twisty enough to make me want to read more!

    kay – Really, you have the Patrick Ness books right there and you haven’t read them? I find that hard to believe ;) Actually it’s probably good that you have them all there. Because once you finish one, you’ll want to read the next one right away.

  7. November 5, 2010 12:35 pm

    The Salem Witch Trials are a subject of endless fascination for me — sounds like The Heretic’s Daughter would be right up my alley! Thanks for the caution about sticking it out past a slow-going beginning, though.

  8. November 5, 2010 5:49 pm

    Seriously, you don’t even know how happy it makes me that you are loving the Chaos Walking series. :p Not to make you feel like you’re missing out, but Monsters of Men is even better than the first two. I hope you can get your hands on it soon!

  9. November 8, 2010 4:22 pm

    Meg – You should definitely give Heretic’s Daughter a try.

    Jenny – I’ve been checking the library hold list for MoM like 5 times a day. On one hand I want to read it RIGHT NOW, but on the other I want to put it off because once I finish it, the series will be all over. So, I’m a little bit okay with the fact it’s going to take a while for the book to be ready for me to pick up.

  10. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 19, 2010 6:13 pm

    I want to read all of these!

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