An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

This book on the other hand started out great, I was super excited to find out what happens to Brianna and Roger and how they are living their life, and we do get to see it, at least some of it. Most of the book is focused on John Grey and William. (Doesn't John Grey have his own series. Why is he taking over this one too.) I go to admit, I did skip quite a few chapters because I DID NOT want to read about William, I have no interest in him, so he's a grown boy and in the war, who cares. I don't that's for sure. It was really difficult to enjoy this book, I read a quickly as I could so I could move on to something else. Will not be starting Written In My Own Hearts Blood for a while, I need a break from their boring life. Diana Gabaldon  needs to focus more on the actual story and the details that matter, not the sex life of 60 year old, I don't want to know anymore what Claire's breasts look like and how Jamie likes to touch her butt. So that is all, I won't go into detail much more, because if you read this book you must have read the first one, and if you read the first one you know that the story is good, it's just the 1300+ pages that really get in the way.  Let me know how you felt about these books. And do you recommend me reading the next one soon. It's already sitting on my shelf, ready to be picked up, but I don't think I'm ready yet.

The Dark by James Herbert

James Herbert is knows as the equivalent of Stephen King in the UK, with many other horror books under his belt he is known well as the master of dark fiction. Many might be more familiar with his other book "The Fog"which was later made into a movie.  The story follows Chris Bishop who is a paranormal investigator familiar with the events that happened on Willow Road a few years back. He is hesitant about getting into this investigation because he doesn't want to remember what had happened and what he saw that day. The true evil that is responsible for those crimes is back and the town of Beechwood is in peril. People are committing unthinkable acts of violence in the "dark". It is up to Bishop to try and figure out what it is and how to stop it, before it spreads too far.

I was not recommended this book, in fact I was told not to read it because of how gruesome it is , and what do you think I did. I read it. Well I tried to finish it but I gave up a little before the end.  I had very high hopes for this book. I thought it was going to be scary, and I mean, keep me up at night kind of scary. But no it was not. It was boring and I dreaded the idea of picking it up. I tried to finish it, because I just hate not finishing books, but this was bad. At times it was very grotesque and disturbing and I had to try and not picture what I was reading. It was hard for me to follow the story, half the time I didn't know what character was speaking or where they were. I didn't know what was going on half the time and it just didn't have that thing that should have pulled me in. The first few chapters were good, they were engaging and we were introduced to many interesting characters, who then went on to commit crimes, and that was that, we never heard from them again. They were just put in the story to show the reader what The Dark can do. And this kept coming up in the book, we are introduced to someone, only to find out they really don't have anything to do with the main plot, other than be an example. I don't think the book is badly written, it just wasn't my style and I couldn't follow it. It shows the reader that The Dark can exist in anyone, people all over the world are committing crimes every day that no one  thought they were capable of. This story is a good example of evil and how it can manifest itself in someone, and how peoples actions can turn evil in a matter of seconds.

Ugly To Start With by John Michael Cummings

I was asked by the author to review this book, but what can I say, I really didn't feel connected to this book, it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't my type of read. I just couldn't get a feeling of the boy. Each chapter is a different story, so they don't really follow each other, and I couldn't tell how much time has passed between them. The boy is supposed to be in this teens, but sometimes I felt like he was a child. So it would help a lot of the chapters had dates.
 
Jasons life deals with violence, neglect, social and racial issues, as well as some abusive language so don't let your kids read this. The title pretty much sums it up, Jason consideres his family ugly. Not in the bad looking kind of way, but their manners, living style, and overall characters seem to be ugly and offensive. Well I don't know if Jason should be the one talking, he tried to kill his cat because after a few cat fights it looked ugly. That was a sad moment, I almost put the book down right there. 
 
The writing itself was clear enough and had a good flow, I just didn't connect with the story, maybe it was a bit exaggerated. It deals with so many topics at once, it's hard to image a young boy going through all that. As the stories continue, the reader sees more and more issues that Jason goes through in order to become a better person, he does have a good soul, and he tries to understand the world around him. 

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Ok so I'll be honest for the first half of the book I thought I was just going to give up on it. I couldn't get my head around all those characters. There was too much going on in the first few chapters. I felt like I just popped in unannounced and had to catch up to the story. And then once I did catch up on what was going on I didn't feel like Fannys story was important enough. Austen paced the book well, maybe too well. There was too much unimportant information between the important, interesting events.

The story of Fanny starts with Mrs. Norris inviting her to live in Mansfield Park, because Fannys' mother just had another baby and with her no good husband her sister (Mrs. Norris) decided to help. But she herself couldn't suppost Fanny, instead she told her brother in law Sr. Thomas to keep her. He and his wife reluctantly agreed to help the girl. They had four of their own children Maria, Julia, Tom and Edmund. Fanny was treated as she was, poor and ignorant. Her cousins Maria and Julia made fun of her and never let her forget that she was below them. But Edmund took her under his wing and protected her. He made sure she was treated equal.  That's the beginning, the rest pretty much covers how her life evolved at Mansfield Park, how from a poor young girl she grows up to be a civilized young lady. If your read Pride and Prejudice this might be a disappointment to you, it doesn't have the same suspense, you can pretty much guess the whole story from the beginning.

 

A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay - REVIEW

It's very hard to describe how upset I am with this book. Antoine Rey is an architect living in Paris, he recently got divorced and is trying to make sense of life again. After taking his sister on a birthday trip where they mostly reflect on their childhood, Mélanie remembers something shocking. As she begins to tell Antoine she looses control of the car.  As a result from the crash she cannot remember what she was going to tell him. After months the big "secret" emerges. While they try to discover more about their mothers' death Antoine is struggling with his own life. Repressed memories, unloving father, rebellious teenagers and his ex-wife.

This book was really disappointing compared to the authors previous book Sarah's Key, which I enjoyed. This one did not interest me at all. Pretty much 90% of the book deals with Antoines' mid-life crisis, and how he can't communicate with his children, about his one night stands and repressed memories he can't put to rest.

The author throws so many upsetting events (divorce, car accident, amnesia, adultery, lesbians, death, another death, troubled teenagers, cancer, possible murder?) at us that it seems like she was trying too hard to make this book interesting.

And the 'big secret' —once we actually get to it, by the end of the book— doesn't seem all that important. I found my self saying 'Big deal'.  I HAD to read this in one sitting because if I came back another day I would not open it again. There was no suspense or big climax, just boring boring boring.