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Content by Heather Pearson
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Reviews Written by
Heather Pearson "Heather" (Ontario Canada)

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Little Women
Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 4.92
79 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars My reading time is too valuable to spend on this book, April 23 2016
This review is from: Little Women (Paperback)
dictionary definition of insipid: narrator of Little Women
I listened to an hour and a half of the audio version and it was painful. The four girls are so spoiled and unworthy of being written about. They complain about being poor, yet they live in a warm, snug house, with food to eat every day, a house keeper and changes of clothes. Even when they meet a truly poor family they still feel hard done by.

I can't possibly listen to another minute of this story

to clarify, i think the reader of this audio book did a good job for the part I listened to. She was enthusiastic and had good characterizations of the various characters.

Two If by Sea
Two If by Sea
by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.07
29 used & new from CDN$ 23.15

4.0 out of 5 stars A solid story about who we call family, April 22 2016
This review is from: Two If by Sea (Hardcover)
The opening passages of this book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I read with both dread and fascination the rapid chain of events resulting in the turmoil of Frank's life and knew I had to keep reading, I had to learn more and see what this upstanding former police officer would do.
Frank Mercy has everything he wants, a loving wife with a baby on the way, a job he enjoys and welcoming inlaws, in a blink of an eye, mother nature takes it all away. Still in shock from his losses, he reports to his job and helps to save others affected by the tsunami. After rescuing a three year boy whose family was swept away, he feels compelled to claim him as his own. He knows this is not the right thing to do, as the same time, deep in his soul, he also knows that he can't relinquish this boy.

Each time the story line seemed to calm down, author Jacquelyn Mitchard threw in a new twist that set me on edge once again. It was hard to find a peaceful moment where it felt safe to put the book down.

I enjoyed the characters in this story. Frank had seen everything as a cop, and the events surrounding his new son, Ian, didn't phase him for long. He took it all in stride, just as a good parent should. Claudia was a surprise. She had no idea what she was in for when she first approached Frank, but being a strong woman, both physically and mentally, she quickly adapted. The responses of the children seemed appropriate for their ages and situation. I never for one instant felt that they should have responded differently.

For me, this book was all about family, both the one you chose and the one you actually end up with. Instead of giving up and succumbing to a long downward spiral of mourning, he accepted what he did have and moved forward. He forged new bonds and expanded his definition of family. This story gave new meaning to the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child'.

The Scorpion Rules
The Scorpion Rules
by Erin Bow
Edition: Audio CD
Price: CDN$ 35.23
12 used & new from CDN$ 27.43

3.0 out of 5 stars Too little hope - spoiler warning, April 19 2016
This review is from: The Scorpion Rules (Audio CD)
I did not 'get' this book. From the first, it was obvious that there was no hope for the children, so why bother with the story. I was confused by the audio between who were computer characters and who were human. I really wanted to love this story, as Erin Bow is a wonderful story teller, but the audio version left me flat and confused.

Those who oversee this world, strive to keep the various jurisdictions at peace by demanding that each leader surrender a child to act as a "hostage of peace". These children, housed at the Precepture School, are well cared for, educated and are released when they turn eighteen. However, should their nation enter into war before that time, then his or her life is forfeit.

I kept hoping that Ms. Bow would introduce a twist on the fate of the hostages, that she would find a way to keep them alive. During their years at the Precepture, they were taught about statehood and politics and they formed life long bonds with the children who were the future leaders of opposing states. These children should have been kept alive as they were the best equipped to keep the peace. Kill the war enabling parents and install the peace hostages as the new leaders. Don't keep killing the children leaving the inept parents alive to surrender yet another child as hostage.

I listened to the audiobook as read by Madeleine Maby. 10 hours 13 minutes - unabridged.

I found her voice characterization confusing. The voices she used for the computers were smooth and lilting, yet for some of the child hostages, she used broken, halting voices which reminded me of the way William Shatner speaks in some of his roles. Each time one of the girls spoke like this, I thought she was one of the computers. Very confusing. This helped to spoil my enjoyment of the book. I honestly feel that I would have enjoyed this story more had I read a paper copy.

What I did enjoy was the normal aspects of the children's lives. They worked the Precepture farm for agricultural produce and cared for the herd of goats. If you have ever watched goats, their antics are primers for laughter. The goats in this story were no exception and they served to diffuse some of the tense situations the hostages found them selves in. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to overcome the despair I felt for the children's plight.

Wait for Me (Montgomery Brothers)
Wait for Me (Montgomery Brothers)
Price: CDN$ 5.38

4.0 out of 5 stars A sweet story, April 17 2016
I read this book serial fashion, a section by email each morning over three weeks. After a few days, I was eagerly looking forward to that mornings installment. It was enjoyable getting to know Emma and Lucas and how they would work out their budding relationship. Even though this is not a new story line, I found it well written and it kept my interest till the final paragraphs.

The Peripheral
The Peripheral
by William Gibson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.40
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Good story line but hard to read writing style, April 11 2016
This review is from: The Peripheral (Hardcover)
I liked the story line but didn't enjoy William Gibson's writing style. His sentences often didn't seem complete (missing/implied pronouns) and there were many others from which I could drive no meaning even after repeated readings.

The first one hundred or so pages I felt lost with no key to unlocking the secret code. A glossary of the authors invented terms/processes/items would have helped immensely. I would have given up early on if I hadn't been reading this for my local book club meeting. I gave up on trying to understand much of what Mr. Gibson was writing, and settle for following the basics of the plot line, which I did enjoy.

The story starts in some point after 2023 in the United States. Flynne Fisher is an ex-gamer, but just this once she agrees to sub for her brother and work his shift beta testing a game. Well, she does it again the next night and this time all doesn't go so well. Some one in the game is killed in a gruesome manner and she begins to question whether it really is a game.

The story skips back and forth between Flynne's time and a future time, about seventy years from them. In the future, Wilf Netherton has some involvement with the death that occurred and it's important to him to protect Flynne from any backlash from that event.

The character of Flynne is well developed and I found her down to earth and likable. She is very family oriented and ethical. She sticks to her morals even when large amounts of money are waved in front of her face. My other favourite character is Conner, a long time friend who is ex-military with multiple crippling war injuries. He's in your face, does what he needs to with no apologies.

This story made me ponder the role of technology in society. Change used to be a long time coming, but now, technology seems to change almost over night. Download a file, a bam, with a 3D printer you can have a new product in hours. Who's to decide/determine whether this is good or bad.

All things considered, I enjoyed the story line and had no trouble believing the bridging of the time differences, I only wish that it had been easier to read and understand the actual wording.

Samson's Lovely Mortal (Scanguards Vampires Book 1)
Samson's Lovely Mortal (Scanguards Vampires Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Well developed plot driven story, April 8 2016
I enjoyed this romance. The character of Delilah is well developed. She is a strong woman who has a pretty good idea of what she wants in life. Samson is a man who is always in control and also knows what he wants in life and currently it's he libido back on track.

I particularly enjoyed the closeness of Samson's family of employees. They aren't just in it for the money, they truly seem to care for each other.

I look forward to reading more of this series.

The Work Boyfriend
The Work Boyfriend
Price: CDN$ 3.82

4.0 out of 5 stars You never stop growing up, April 7 2016
Kelly wants to be making her own films, but instead has been doing publicity for a studio. She doesn't like her job, drinks too much and is having an emotional affair with Garret, a co-worker. She is young and should be having the time of her life, instead she is stuck and pondering the what-ifs about her quasi relationship with Garret and with Christian, her high school boyfriend.

I really didn't like Kelly when I first met her. She was so self-absorbed and heedless of the troubles she was stirring up for others. She had so much going for her, a good education, a well paying job, a condo and man who loved her, yet she seemed to be squandering it all. Her redemption started when she revealed her concerns about purchasing her condo with her boyfriend Rob. That brought out a whole different and responsible side of her, a side I could like.

The three mothers in Kelly's life are so different from one another, but each care deeply about her. They have experienced so much in their lives, that she could learn lots about herself if only she would be listen to them and be honest in her self evaluation.

I thought this was going to be a fluffy book without substance. Lots of shopping, drinking and flirting, but it turned out to be much more. The Work Boyfriend begs you to stop and take a look at your life to double check that you're heading in the direction you truly want to be going.

Sapphire Blue
Sapphire Blue
by Kerstin Gier
Edition: Audio CD
Price: CDN$ 34.50
15 used & new from CDN$ 3.54

4.0 out of 5 stars More plot development than in the first book, April 4 2016
This review is from: Sapphire Blue (Audio CD)
The days keep passing back and forth and Gwen is no closer to understanding the secrets of the Circle of Twelve nor her feelings for the brooding Gideon. With the help of her friends, she is becoming more comfortable with time travelling, though James, the ghost of a long dead boy, Leslie, her classmate and Xemerious, the ghost of a gargoyle demon can't travel with her. The inclusion of Leslie helps to keep Gwen grounded in the present. Her presence shatters some of the mystery of the secret society.

This second installation of the story provides much more plot development. We learn more about the guardians as well as those who are working against them. It's still up in the air as to who is good, bad, devious and just plain demonic. While there are fewer passages describing the wonderful period clothing, there is still enough to satisfy my curiosity.

As a fencer, I appreciate the accurate details of the sword fights even though they were rather brief. I can't imagine wielding a sword while wearing a cloak other cumbersome garment, and at my club we only joke about fighting until we draw first blood, figurative blood that is.

I listened to the audio book as read by Marisa Calin, 8 hours 57 minutes. She did a good job of the voice characterisation. I was easily able to differentiate the characters and was chilled by the words of one of the ghosts.

The story concludes in Emerald Green.

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
by Jonathan Evison
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.71
6 used & new from CDN$ 7.91

4.0 out of 5 stars The secrets make her life interesting, March 31 2016
Her husband Bernard has been dead for two years when Harriet receives a call from a travel agent about the cruise to Alaska that he had won. Having no other obligations, she decides to take the cruise and spend the time pondering what else Bernard failed to share with her during their long marriage. Aided by his ghost and revelations from her best friend Mildred, it isn't long before Harriet starts to wonder whether she really knew him at all.

I was taken in by this story right from the opening pages. I enjoyed the 50's game show style of the narrator. It gave the tale a friendly inviting feeling. With the story jumping around through Harriet's life, the narrator helped keep me on track when I didn't pay attention to the dates at the beginning of the chapters.

Harriet seems to have led a full life: career, a solid marriage and children, but when we take a closer look, we notice that all is not shiny and perfect, there are chips along the edges and scratches in the finish. Was she unaware or did she chose to view her life through rose coloured glassed to hide the imperfections.

In a crowd of people, I don't think I would have noticed Harriet. She is a competent women, but not outstanding. Friendly but not the life of the party. She'd be a comfortable person to hang around with but not one I would seek out. That being said, author Jonathan Evison made her more interesting by slowly revealing her life and the twists and secrets of which it is composed. I look forward to reading more of his works.

The Wrong Highland Bridegroom: A Novella (Campbell Sisters)
The Wrong Highland Bridegroom: A Novella (Campbell Sisters)
Price: CDN$ 2.34

5.0 out of 5 stars An attractive romance, March 26 2016
I enjoyed this story, but then again, what's hard to not like about a man in a kilt. The characters of Effie and Connor are well developed and both are very likeable. Effie wants to marry for love and Connor supports that decision. What follows is somewhat predictable, but enjoyable none the less. I found myself rooting for Connor.

I would definitely read more by this author.

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