Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bond Girl

"Bond Girl" by Erin Duffy
Hardcover: 304 pages
Published: HarperCollins (January 1, 2012)

When other little girls were dreaming about becoming doctors or lawyers, Alex Garrett set her sights on conquering the high-powered world of Wall Street. And though she's prepared to fight her way into an elitist boys' club, or duck the occasional errant football, she quickly realizes she's in over her head when she's relegated to a kiddie-size folding chair with her new moniker—Girlie—inscribed in Wite-Out across the back.

No matter. She's determined to make it in bond sales at Cromwell Pierce, one of the Street's most esteemed brokerage firms. Keeping her eyes on the prize, the low Girlie on the totem pole will endure whatever comes her way—whether trekking to the Bronx for a $1,000 wheel of Parmesan cheese; discovering a secretary's secret Friday night slumber/dance party in the conference room; fielding a constant barrage of "friendly" practical jokes; learning the ropes from Chick, her unpredictable, slightly scary, loyalty-demanding boss; babysitting a colleague while he consumes the contents of a vending machine on a $28,000 bet; or eluding the advances of a corporate stalker who's also one of the firm's biggest clients.

Ignoring her friends' pleas to quit, Alex excels (while learning how to roll with the punches and laugh at herself) and soon advances from lowly analyst to slightly-less-lowly associate. Suddenly, she's addressed by her real name, and the impenetrable boys' club has transformed into forty older brothers and one possible boyfriend. Then the apocalypse hits, and Alex is forced to choose between sticking with Cromwell Pierce as it teeters on the brink of disaster or kicking off her Jimmy Choos and running for higher ground.

Fast-paced, funny, and thoroughly addictive, Bond Girl will leave you cheering for Alex: a feisty, ambitious woman with the spirit to stand up to the best (and worst) of the boys on the Street—and ultimately rise above them all.

Another great book!  I must be on a roll...

I didn't know if I would like to read a book about Wall Street and finance, but it's written in a way that helps you understand.  The main character barely understands this stuff herself, and you struggle through things together.  This book reminded me of a couple other books that I enjoyed; "The Nanny Diaries" and "The Devil Wears Prada" (the second one a movie). You discover what it's like to work for a firm right out of college and all the crap that they put her through.  She manages to struggle through all their insults and duties, but realizes that she isn't where she originally thought she'd be.  The ending left me wanting more from her continued life.  I don't know if it will be a series, so I guess I'll have to imagine it myself.


"Outlander" (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
Hardcover: 629 pages
Published: Dell (July 26, 2005)

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

This book was amazing!  Totally worth the 5 stars I'm giving it.  It's been a long time since I've read anything like this.  This book has everything...historical facts, romance, time travel, comedy, heart-wrenching events, adventure, you name it.  Normally I read Young Adult fiction, but I think I'm going to read this whole series.  These books are hefty...over 600 pages each, but I would recommend them.  Reading this book was like watching a really good movie over many days.  Like "Gladiator" or "Braveheart" but set in the 18th century.  I really hope they do make this book into a movie, except that it will be hard to cast the main characters.  I've built such images in my head regarding them, that I don't know if anyone can do it justice.  I also loved this book because I have Scottish heritage.  There really isn't a good way of describing this book to depict all that I want to say.  You'll just have to read it and judge for yourself.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs
Hardcover: 352 pages
Published: Quirk Books (June 7, 2011)

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.

Ahhh...a breath of fresh air, finally.  I really liked this book for it's uniqueness.  It has the elements of fantasy yet feels more solid than most YA books right now.  If that makes any sense.  The old photographs throughout the book are really neat to look at.  They are actual photos from the collections of collectors over the years.  Only a couple were photoshopped.  This book has an ending that I could tolerate by itself, but it's going to be a series.  If I didn't read any more in this series, I would be satisfied.   Of course, I will read the next one when it comes out.


"Fever" (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Hardcover: 341 pages
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (February 21, 2012)

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

This book was good.  It's almost as good as the first one, but left me wanting to know more...hence the 3rd book in the series.  Most of this story is set in a drugged-out haze with the characters never really being themselves.  There is a really big COME ON at the end, but I won't spoil it for you.  I sure hope the next book is great.