Monday, June 15, 2009

Beach Trip: A Novel by Cathy Holton (Hardcover - May 12, 2009)

Beach Trip: A Novel by Cathy Holton (Hardcover - May 12, 2009)
When we first meet Lola, Mel, Sara and Annie in the first chapter, it is the very early 80’s in a small prestigious Southern College in North Carolina, but we aren’t going to stay there…oh my no! We have a long and winding road to go on and the author, Cathy Holton, takes pleasure in leading the way.
In the next chapter it’s 23 years later and we meet up with the ‘girls’ now women at the peak of their lives and they are going to meet up at the beach for a week long reunion of sorts. We learn how each of the woman have grown and how some have changed and that, well, some really have not changed all that much. The week becomes very cathartic, as past secrets that they all have been holding for these two decades are finally revealed. In addition, this is the crux of this novel…how we all have secrets. Secrets that even our very best friends do not know about, secrets that we don’t even want to admit to ourselves. Secrets that finally come out and bite us on the butt.
We have some very hilarious moments (Mel’s revenge on Mr. A Lincoln at the club and free dinner during Casino night for one) as well as some very emotionally scarring ones.
Ms Holton deftly swings from decade to decade, without getting the reader confused or pulling them out of the story, as so many authors have the habit of doing. She weaves the traditional tale of ‘best friends against the world’ with unique and strong characters.
I am not going to spoil anything for you, but let me say that this book does have several big revelations at the end. This is a book that you read the first time straight through with no stopping because you just know something important is going to happen. You want to read it again almost immediately, so you can fit the pieces of their lives together and see why they all chose the actions they did as well as have a clearer picture of the consequences of those actions.
A great, fast paced, well plotted read, with realistic characters and great secondary characters. It is a great story and Ms Holton is a great storyteller. Beach Trip is well worth your hard-earned book-buying dollar.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Larry's Kidney

I'm not going to waste my time recapping this piece of crap book for you. If you're interested in a fairy tale written to be auto- biographical, then please be my guest and buy it. If you want to encourage more unethical behavior of the "Ugly Americans" then go ahead and waste your hard earned cash...if you just like really crappy writing...then be my guest and kill another tree.

May I say that if you have any morals at all you will not buy this book…and I thank God I got it for free and did not line Mr. Rose‘s pocket with my hard earned book-buying money.
The writing is poor, the supposed “humor” isn’t funny, the over use of Larry’s speech impediment was extremely annoying, the non-stop use of dialect writing was in very bad taste…everything is just over done and I have to wonder how this book every got the green light.
If I could find some brain Brillo being sold by Amazon I would have it sent to me over night so I could get the remnants of this book out of my head. This was the most painful book I have ever read (attempted to read). I’m ashamed to say that I would rather donate my kidney to Larry than finish this highly disturbing look at kidney transplants and the high handed ethics of a certain type of Ugly American.
While I did get this through Vine, my reasons for choosing this particular book are not the same as most people here who had read this because they had traveled to China. I have a friend on the 74,000 person waiting list for a kidney and has been on this list for many years; I had hoped to find some answers in this little book of horrors, some humor, maybe some empathy and a side trip for Larry to hook up. Sadly I was hood-winked.
Imagine my horror while reading this unethical never ending, torturous book that I had recommended that they stock this in the dialysis department’s library? I hope they will forgive me.

The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax

The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax
Wow! Just wow! I just this moment finished this book and I’d like to say to Ms Wax BRAVO! If you are a published author, you will appreciate the insiders look at some of the quirks of the industry and perhaps you will even recognize someone you’ve had to deal with in the past. If you are a pre-published writer, you may appreciate the look into what other authors have to do to get over those dry spells. If you are simply a book lover like me you will appreciate everything about this book. And if you are a woman, you will appreciate the author’s views on best friends who will help you out when life seems to be too much; no matter what it costs them. And in this book they all have the potential of loosing it all.
Years ago four women from varied back rounds met at a writer’s conference and formed a bond. None of them had been published, but they sure hoped to be one day. Well that “one day” happened for all of them. Each woman writing a different style of books: Faye writing Inspirational Romances, Tanya writing contemporary romances books for a Harlequin-esque company called Masque; Mallory striking, confident and very prolific with her novels. Yet as successful as they are on the surface, each one holds a secret close to their hearts. And then there is Kendell.
Kendell is having problems in the literary world and has tumbled into mid-listdom, not only that, a new book deadline is quickly approaching with nothing yet written, and to add insult to injury her husband has left her for a younger woman.
Kendell is the main protagonist of this book, or is she really? We find her escaping to the mountains to lick her wounds. And of course Kendell’s BFF’s come to help her through this rocky time and hope to kick-start the creative juices that seem to be missing from Kendell’s messed up life. I won’t spoil anything for you more than has been already, but a plan is hatched, goes into effect and they collaborate on a novel using their own lives and unfortunately their own writing voices.
What no one would fathom is the book becomes “The Accidental Bestseller” (literally) and true to life - what may go well one minute, collapses the next.
We learn the secrets behind each of the masks each one wears and I found my stomach in knots praying that this would work out well for at least some of them in the end. But I’ll leave that up to you to find out.
Very fast paced, deeply absorbing, well plotted and written. It has finely drawn characters that you can imagine as your own bet friends. Do not by any means mistake this as a “chick-lit” genre book, it most certainly is not. This book is unique and a breath of fresh air . Something that you will not regret spending your hard earned book buying dollars on. I know that I haven’t.
I think this book will be putting Ms Wax on the best sellers list.