Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review Thursday - 6/2

I'm going to do my best to get back on my posting schedule! Starting today with my book reviews.

I decided to listen to Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin this week because the movie version of Something Borrowed is being released and she wrote that. Seeing the previews made me remember the first book by Giffin that I read and I wanted to listen to something light and easy again. Unfortunately, Heart of the Matter was anything by light.

Nick is a skilled plastic surgeon, married to Tessa with 2 kids and living in the Boston area. Valerie is a single mom to a 6 year old boy who was badly burned in and accident and in need of a plastic surgeon. The story is told from Tessa's and Valerie's points of view as Nick struggles with his bonds to Tessa and his family and his pull to Valerie and her boy.

Giffin generally writes her main characters as sympathetic people, but I felt aboslutely no sympathy towards Valerie and very little towards Tessa. The only reason that I think I felt any towards Tessa is because Valerie was making the moves on Nick. Valerie comes off as whiny and in great need of male companionship for herself and her son and then gets ticked off if Nick makes a decision that doesn't involve her. She lets her son bond with Nick without regards to how her son will react when/if the man disappears from her life. Nick also acts like more of a father to Valerie's son in the book than to his own children. Well, either that or Tessa just doesn't seem to care about interactions that he has with the kids other than to say that he is a good father. The readers just never see him as a father to anyone other than Valerie's boy.

Tessa is not very sympathetic because she seems to be constantly comparing herself to other mothers in the area and does not seem to be too happy about being a stay at home mom. At the slightest sign of trouble with Nick, she begins to over analyze everything driving him further into Valerie's arms. When she tries to talk to him about the growing distance between them, she feels guilty about even bringing it up.

Compared to Giffin's other books, I feel like this effort was very lackluster.

Pepperoni Pizza Can be Murder is the second in the series by Chris Cavender. I reviewed the first, A Slice of Murder, here and inadvertantly identified it as this book. Only the title in that post is incorrect.

I enjoyed this book as much as the first. The plot was well set up, there wasn't an overabundance of characters to muddy the waters and it was easy to keep track of who was who.

Greg, the delivery boy and part time employee of A Slice of Delight Pizzeria, is battling his brother Wade for an inheritance. Wade is the golden boy of the family who gets into all kinds of trouble and always had whereas Greg is the good boy and has never gotten into trouble. Of course, Greg's parents side with Wade and expect Greg to give up the inheritance to make Wade happy. After what Greg hopes will be the final meeting with lawyers, Wade winds up dead on the pizzeria floor after taking a rolling pin to the head.

When the body is found, the police chief again takes the narrow minded point of view that Greg is the only suspect and fails to adequately follow up leads which leaves Eleanor and Maddy to save the day.

Things seem a little more dangerous from the start in book. Greg takes off knowing that he is the main suspect and he sneaks around trying to give Eleanor and Maddy clues. Greg's ex-girlfriend goes missing and seems to know more than she is letting on. Wade has had financial troubles which include owing a large sum to the local bookie and stealing from his work to cover his bets. As if that wasn't enough, Greg and Wade's mother is all too eager to pin the murder on Greg and have him sentenced to death.

Eleanor and Maddy have their work cut out for them! This is a moderately paced book and great for a summer read! With all of the suspects, I was guessing whodunit until the very end.

Anyone else reading anything exciting? I would love to know! Share in the comments.


Deanna said...

My daughter got me reading Shannon Hale. She is (mostly) a young adult author, but I am not so young and still enjoyed the books. So far we have read Princess Academy and Thousand Days. She has also written Forest Born and Goose Girl. You might enjoy them.

"Lois Grebowski" said...

We like the same kind of mysteries, so I'll have to pick up the pizza books.