iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2002
Mon, 06-18-2012 - 12:30am

We don't have our read-a-thon reviews folders yet, so please post all your reviews here, and remember to number them starting with #1.

Thank you! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 9:40am

Review #10

One Summer
David Baldacci
3/5 stars

 Legal thriller fixture Baldacci (Deliver Us from Evil) churns out a creaky, contrived family drama about Jack Armstrong, a terminally ill family man just praying to make it to Christmas. Sadness abounds, much more so when Jack's wife, Lizzie, is killed in a car wreck while on a medicine run. Plans are made by Jack's mean mother-in-law Bonnie: the three kids will get divided up among aunts and uncles across the country, and Jack will be put into hospice. Miraculously, Jack's health turns around, and he's able to reclaim his kids and move the brood from Ohio to the South Carolina shore where Lizzie grew up. There, he tries to reassemble the family and learn how to be a single parent, and just as they're beginning to settle into a functional family again, Bonnie sues for custody of the kids. (

I wasn't quite sure what to give this. I went with 3 stars because it was a read that I sped through, but I didn't find it very deep. Outside of the twist with his wife at the beginning (I hadn't read the jacket so it was a surprise to me), it was very predictable and the characters lacked real depth.  Good beach read, but he should stick with his thrillers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Mon, 07-30-2012 - 9:21am

Review #11

Loving a Lost Lord
Mary Jo Putney

 Battered by the sea, Adam remembers nothing of his past, his ducal rank, nor the shipwreck that almost claimed his life. However, he's delighted to hear that the golden-haired vision tending his wounds in his wife. Mariah's name and face may be familiar, but her touch, her warmth, feel deliciously right. When Mariah Clarke prayed for a way to deter a bullying suitor, she didn't imagine she'd find the answer washed ashore on a desolate beach. Convincing Adam that he is her husband is surprisingly easy. Resisting the temptation to act his wife, in every way, will prove anything but. And now a passion begun in fantasy has become dangerously real - and completely irresistible. (

This is the first book in the series - I've read two others - so it was good to be able to tie in some of the plot lines and characters from the other books. It's an enjoyable, easy read. There are just enough twists, some predictable, to keep you engaged. I thought she did a really good job of making these characters "real." She doesn't skirt over what would be normal emotions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 5:58pm

Review #12

The Lions of Lucerne
Brad Thor

 On the snow-covered slopes of Utah, the unthinkable has happened: the President of the United States has been kidnapped, and his Secret Service detail massacred. Only one agent has survived -- ex-Navy SEAL Scot Harvath. He doesn't buy the official line that Middle Eastern terrorists are responsible, and begins his own campaign to find the truth -- and exact revenge. But his search makes him a marked man by the sinister cabal behind the attack. Framed for murder by the conspirators, Harvath goes on the run, taking the fight to the towering mountains of Switzerland. There, he finds an unlikely ally: the beautiful Claudia Mueller of the Swiss Federal Attorney's Office. Together they must brave the subzero temperatures and sheer heights of treacherous Mount Pilatus -- and their only chance for survival is to enter the den of the most lethal team of professional killers the world has ever known...(

I really, really enjoy Brad Thor's books - and Scot Harvath - so I wanted to read where it all began. This is the first novel by Thor and introduces Harvath. It was a good read and I'm always amazed by the way he can weave a story. However, this wasn't my favorite. It was a little rough around the edges, as I suppose first books can be. Having said that, I'd recommend it but encourage you not to stop reading Thor if this is your first book by him. They just get better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 8:40am

Review #13

44 Charles Street
Danielle Steele
2/5 stars

 A magical transformation takes place in Danielle Steel’s luminous new novel: Strangers become roommates, roommates become friends, and friends become a family in a turn-of-the-century house in Manhattan’s West Village.   The plumbing leaked; the furniture was rescued from garage sales. And every inch was being restored to its original splendor—even as a relationship fell apart. Owner of a struggling art gallery and newly separated from her boyfriend, Francesca Thayer does the math and then the unimaginable. She puts out an advertisement for boarders, and soon her Greenwich Village house becomes a whole new world. First comes Eileen, a pretty L.A. transplant, now a New York City schoolteacher. Then there’s Chris, a young father struggling for custody of his seven-year-old son. The final tenant is Marya, a celebrated cookbook author hoping to heal after the death of her husband. Over the course of one amazing, unforgettable, life-changing year, the house at 44 Charles Street fills with laughter, heartbreak, and, always, hope. In the hands of master storyteller Danielle Steel, it’s a place those who visit will never want to leave. (

I haven't read Danielle Steele in a LONG time, so I saw this on the new arrival table and thought I'd try it. So disappointed. I'm not sure if she has lost her touch, didn't use an editor or what, but this novel was not well written. The story line was mediocre - very predictable and then then part that really wasn't was so underdeveloped that you had to make a huge leap. There was so much repetition is almost became comical. There were times when the exact same thing was said on the same page!  The story line had some potential, but I just feel that this book was a race to get published and was missing that "it" component.

Community Leader
Registered: 03-05-2005
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 6:35pm



Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Here's the summary from b&

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I flirted with buying this book for months.  Finally, I gave into temptation and bought it (after all, it was my birthday) and I'm very glad that I did.  It was well-written and original.  It was also packed with creepy vintage photos that corresponded with the story.  This is actually a YA fiction book, but I would recommend it for ages 13 and up due to the creepiness.  Even though the ending left an opening for a sequel (which I hope is on the way) the story was wrapped up enough that it didn't feel as though you were left hanging.  I highly recommend it.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 7:57pm

Review #14 (I think)

Before I Go to Sleep
S.J. Watson
4.5/5 stars

 An accident in her 20s severely damaged her memory, so although Christine Lucas is now 47, she doesn't recall anything that has happened since the accident. Each morning, her husband has to tell her who she is, who he is, and so on. And each morning, after he leaves for work, she receives a phone call and is prompted by a doctor to retrieve her secret journal. There, she discovers increasingly frightening inconsistencies in the stories that her husband tells her--and in what the doctor says. With a story that is both "complicated and compellingly hypnotic" (Kirkus Reviews), this five-star debut will have you hooked and wanting more. (

I came so close to giving this 5 stars. The only reason I didn't was that the depth of the writing wasn't worthy of 5. But everything else definitely was. The premise to this book is mesmerizing and scary at the same time. You know there is going to be a twist and you hope it's not one thing, then you aren't sure, etc. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.