Sunday, May 10, 2009

TSS - Reviews - Sunday shorts

Today, I have a selection of shorter reviews - these are books that just didn't captivate me like some of the others I've read. There wasn't necessarily anything wrong with them, I just haven't been inspired to write lengthy reviews.

The Silent Note by Patrick Davis -

Synopsis: The Silent Note tells an intriguing story of an old piano that conceals a daunting secret; a tale of a young pianist, who, in her era, struggled to choose courtship over her first love music. But her own fate is about to be discovered when an antique collector, Maria Weisman, rescues the aging piano from an auction, nearly a century later.Sadly, a sudden illness takes young Maria. Left behind is her husband, John Weisman, and Melissa, his four-year-old daughter. Melissa, after a year of grieving with her father, finds comfort when she aspires to become a pianist. Whiles she plays on her mother's old piano, she strikes a note that reveals a love saga, hidden for decades. The spellbinding mystery leads John and his daughter on a journey to seek answers that may hold the key to their future happiness.

My thoughts: This book was fine - I think I just expected something a little more from it. It is primarily a sweet courtship story - nothing flashy or fancy. The "spellbinding mystery" was somewhat overstated - it turned out to be pretty simple. The novel itself was well-written, but I never really felt like I got beyond the surface of the characters. It was, though, almost comforting to read, with its old-fashioned morals. I just don't know that I will remember much about it in a few months, because there wasn't anything that really captured my attention as I read.

Finished: 4/23/09
Source: Author Marketing Experts
Rating: 6/10

Family Plots by Mary Patrick Kavanaugh -

Synopsis: Family Plots is a fresh and funny autobiographical novel about a young mother trying against all odds to create a normal family life with her new husband, a criminal attorney, who—it turns out—is committing a few crimes of his own. The novel offers readers a wry, unsentimental account of a marriage barreling toward calamity. In an attempt to find romance, family, and financial stability, its struggling heroine stumbles into a world of pseudonyms, fake weddings, and hidden bank accounts. Events that land many of the players into the family cemetery plot also reveal unexpected secrets and stashes that manage, in small ways, to transform a tale of seeming tragedy into one of surprising healing and redemption.

My thoughts: I try really, really hard not to judge people - I believe you can't truly understand someone until you've walked in their shoes, and so I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubt. That being said, this woman was CRAZY! The guy she married had more red flags than a downhill ski run, and yet she just kept plowing ahead. Her sister gave her a book that listed the traits of a person with someone to hide - and this guy had every one of them! This was in chapter 6!!! She lived for 20 more chapters with him!!!! Yes, it was funny in places, and there were parts that had some charm, but I could not get over the fact that this GUY was a criminal - and she just ignored it!

Finished: 4/30/09
Source: Author Marketing Experts
Rating: 6/10

While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky -

Molly and Robin Snow are sisters, and like all sisters they share a deep bond that sustains them through good times and bad. Their careers are flourishing—Molly is a horticulturist and Robin is a world-class runner—and they are in the prime of their lives. So when Molly receives the news that Robin has suffered a massive heart attack, she couldn’t be more shocked. At the hospital, the Snow family receives a grim prognosis: Robin may never regain consciousness.

As Robin’s parents and siblings struggle to cope, the complex nature of their relationship is put to the ultimate test. Molly has always lived in Robin’s shadow and her feelings for her have run the gamut, from love to resentment and back. The last time they spoke, they argued. But now there is so much more at stake. Molly’s parents fold under the devastating circumstances, and her brother retreats into the cool reserve that is shattering his own family. It’s up to Molly to make the tough decisions, and she soon makes discoveries that destroy some of her most cherished beliefs about the sister she thought she knew.

My thoughts: This novel was a little bit like a Lifetime movie for me - fine to pass a couple of hours, but nothing that will really change my life. I had a hard time liking Kathryn, the mother, and Chris, the brother, and each time they were in a scene I could feel myself getting irritated. I've read Delinsky in the past and remember liking her novels more - perhaps this one just isn't one of her best.

Finished - 5/1/09
Source: Franklin Avenue Library
Rating: 6/10

I'd been toying around with the idea of doing a few shorter reviews in one post, mainly for books I'd read but just found to be "meh", and when I read this post at BethFishReads about unfinished books, I decided to go for it. It was nice to know I wasn't the only person wondering what to do. I'll probably do a post like this every month or two - hopefully not sooner, as I plan on only reading books I love! =)


Alyce said...

I was hoping that While My Sister Sleeps would be a fun read since I have read some good reviews of it, but it does sound like the plot to a Lifetime movie. Not that there's anything wrong with that - I'd just have to be in the right mood.

Literary Feline said...

Writing mini reviews when you don't feel like writing longer ones sounds like a great idea. Sometimes books just don't inspire me to write either.

I have heard about The Silent Note. I think I may have read another blogger review not too long ago, which expressed many of your same issues with the book.

Here's hoping the next several books you read will be ones you love. :-)

Elizabeth said...

Alyce - right, it's definitely a mood dependent book. I've read other Delinsky novels that I've liked more.

Literary Feline - I really think it takes the pressure off, at least for me! And thanks - the next few have been good ones! =)

Zibilee said...

The Silent Note sounds kind of interesting, but I think I will pass on the other two.