Book Reviews

The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham

Milly is our "Wedding Girl" who is engaged to the son of a very wealthy entrepreneur. He views her as perfect and she has a number of skeleton's in her closet, one being serious enough to destroy their upcoming wedding.

I LOVE me a good story from Miss Madeleine Wickham or Sophie Kinsella (Author of the Shopoholic series). While writing as Sophie, our author adds a lot of humor she has a more serious tone as Madeleine. Either way I love them both.

Anyways on to this book. The Wedding Girl had some great twists and turns and some things that I thought I had figured out left me guessing till the very end (I love when that happens!). I was secretly hoping the main character, Milly, would have a chance to break through the fake character she had created for her soon to be husband. Without giving away all of the details I was very happy with the outcome and the ending tugged on the old heartstrings.

Madeleine Wickham is more of a risque author that her counterpart Sophie Kinsella. You can count on quite a few f-bombs along the way. This is a total chick book and while I read I shared the details with my hubby, who in turn said yes this is a very girly book. If you liked the "Shopoholic" series I would recommend any of her other books as Sophie and if you are in a more serious mood grab something from Madeleine!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Water for Elephants is about a man named Jacob who is in his nineties living at a nursing home. As the circus rolls into town he is recalling his early twenties when he travelled with a circus as their veterinarian. 

To be honest I saw the trailer for the movie before reading the story. As an avid book-before-movie fan I had to read the story first.
It is not a completely original story: Young man finds himself orphaned and penniless, meets a girl who is already married, disaster follows. 
With that said, I LOVED the ambiance of the circus. This made the story fresh and made me think about the days before animal cruelty and the acceptance of freak shows. This particular circus had some sinfully seedy characters and was not at all times a very legitimate business. Sara Gruen did some great research and included proper terminology during these prohibition times. The chapter breaks which bring us back to the future with old man Jacob are very real and bring forth the realities of life. I loved the crotchety old man and had myself a few chuckles with his aged character.

Sara Gruen's writing made for a read that was entertaining  and had the ability to carry the story quickly and smoothly at all times. I never found myself bored and I finished the book in a week (which must be record for this new mom!)

Make sure to read the author's notes at the end and research the two mentioned "greatest circus disasters". I did and found myself quite intrigued with these real stories.

I would have to say this is more of a "chick" book but could be enjoyed by either gender. Beware some foul language and adult scenes. NOT recommended for under 18. Not sure how risque the movie will be....will have to wait and see. Though it might prompt young fans of Robert Pattinson parents watch for ratings!

Firewing by Kenneth Oppel

This book is the third book in a trilogy. It started with Silverwing and the second book was Sunwing. 

I read Silverwing as a class novel to 10 yr olds who loved it. I found it to be well written so I continued the series on my own. 

In a nutshell the first book is about a bat named Shade who gets separated from his colony. Shade meets another bat named Marina and they have many adventures trying to find Shades colony. They meet Goth who is a cannibal bat and turns into Shades nemesis for the series. 

In the second book Shade attempts to find his missing father and again has troubles with Goth hot on his tail. 

Finally in Firewing Marina and Shade have a newborn son, Griffin who is the opposite of his heroic father. Griffin becomes trapped in the underworld along with his friend, Luna. Shade must go to rescue them and has limited time. Again Goth is never to far behind!

The third installment was my favorite of the series. The main character of Griffin was very different from his father which made for a new refreshing book. 
When the bats went into the underworld anything was possible. While the first two books were (mostly) based on events that could happen, the third was pure fantasy. The transition was well done taking the reader from the real world into a place with nightmareish qualities. While the first two books were very well written I wasn't overcome by huge emotion. Firewing tugged at the old heartstrings a number of times and had me with full on tears at the end.

 I would recommend this book for pre-teens on up. Some frightening and gruesome details throughout the series may not be well liked by kids 8 and under. Great read for animal and fantasy lovers. This would be a wonderful original series to read aloud as a family.