Skip to main content
PBS logo
 
 

Cami Z. (MissZ) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 23 - Page:
American Gods
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 413
Review Date: 4/14/2009


This was my first book by Neil Gaiman. The main story is very intriguing and leaves you wanting to know what happens next. However, I found myself kind of annoyed by all the extraneous material that really had no connection to the story other than background information. Gaiman could have ommitted all the extra "stuff" and had a tight, compelling, fresh-voiced novel. I liked the main story well enough to add Neverwhere (another Gaiman novel) to my wishlist and give Gaiman another try. I just feel that the extra stuff slowed the novel down and made it a long read. If I like a novel well enough, I add it to my personal library. American Gods almost made it in, but all that extra stuff disqualified it. You may well appreciate the extra stuff if you are really into fantasy novels.


America's Favorite Backyard Birds
America's Favorite Backyard Birds
Author: George Harrison, Kit Harrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/9/2012
Helpful Score: 2


Requester beware! While this book has a lot of useful information, 99% of the photos are in black and white. Only a few color photos appear in the middle of the book. So if you are looking for a book that you can see true colors and markings of backyard birds, this is NOT the book for you.


The Book of Lost Things (Book of Lost Things, Bk 1)
The Book of Lost Things (Book of Lost Things, Bk 1)
Author: John Connolly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 134
Review Date: 1/20/2010


This book was strange, yet I could not put it down. It is one of the few books I read lately that actually blocked the rest of the world out while I was reading. The author takes time-honored stories and twists them around to make a new story. This books screams from imagination filled with fantasy and horror. As with any 12-year-old boy, the main character gets to be the hero. This book is not to be taken lightly and is definitely not for children. This "fairy tale" is written in Grimms' traditional mode of horrifying graphics and not-so-sweet endings. This is different from any other fictional work I have read lately and was a nice change of pace.


Carter Beats the Devil
Carter Beats the Devil
Author: Glen David Gold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 4/7/2009


The thing I can say about this book is that it si a different type of writing than I expected from a fresh voice--kind of refreshing for a change. This was an interesting novel about a real person. Most parts of the book kept my attention, but I did skim across some parts that were kind of boring. I lost some interest toward the end, too. Overall, though, I am glad I read the book. This is a good one for people interested in magic shows, but it also holds some interest for history lovers as well. Anyone interested in the Vaudville era will find this enjoyable. This is actually three stories in one that are linked together. It has all the important elements of love, betrayal, sorrow, murder, etc,. This is worth the read.


The Dead Fathers Club
The Dead Fathers Club
Author: Matt Haig
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 5/6/2009
Helpful Score: 3


This is one of the more interesting books I've read this year. The author pretty well captures that attitude and voice of a pre-teen, although sometimes I thought the author sounded younger than 11. Some other readers have commented that the extra, non-essential rantings of the 11-year-old are padding to the story; however, I think the extra stuff is necessary. Because this is really how the 11-year-old ind works. And none of this takes away from the charm of the story. The end of the story could be predictable; however, the reader is left very saddened by it. The quest of the youngster is achieved in the end, but by a very different method than he had in mind. This book teaches a great lesson in how to deal with death and grieving.


Fingersmith
Fingersmith
Author: Sarah Waters
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 242
Review Date: 7/12/2009
Helpful Score: 2


This book is powerfully provacative and intriguing. I was not expecting the love affair between the two heroines. It stands to reason, though, because of the way the two women were treated by the men in their lives. I also found myself routing for one of the bad guys, even though he tricked and swindled both the women. I felt a little sorrow for the uncle, even though he made his living writing pornography. The book, however, is hot about pornography. The book is about how hard and dishonest yet truthful life can be. The story is twisted and intertwined and hard to explain; one really has to read it to understand the captivity of it. I don't too often give a book five stars, but this one gets five for its originality, depth, and how it evokes emotion in the reader. It is by far the best book I have picked up this year.


Forever
Forever
Author: Pete Hamill
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 111
Review Date: 11/15/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I was pretty disappointed in this book. It was way to "slow." It took about a hundred pages for it to pick up, but only for another 20 pages. Then back to its slow saunter. If you like a leisurely walk in the park with no particular place to be this is your book. It's almost like Hamill is trying to write the great epic but falls short in a nondescript way. Not sure if I'll read more of his stuff.


The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 331
Review Date: 7/17/2012


This book is enchanting. It's a mixture of Alice in wonderland, Harry potter, and the Hobbit. While this book is actually intended for "tweeners" and young adults, it's one of the best I've read in a while. Each adventure is original nd frought with its owm scariness and humor. Highly recommended.


Heart-Shaped Box
Heart-Shaped Box
Author: Joe Hill
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 325
Review Date: 5/22/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Spooky, spooky, spooky--yet compelling. I could not hardly put it down. When I did put it down, I thought about it constantly. Did not see the end of this one coming. I read it in two days, but that was only because I could not fight off sleep anymore! A must read. I am going to keep this one for my personal library.


Innocence
Innocence
Author: Dean Koontz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 1/1/2014
Helpful Score: 2


I know that some people don't like this book. I, however, really enjoyed Koontz's step away from the norm in this novel. The characters are original, and the story keeps you guessing about their connections until the end. The main character reflects on his life throughout the book, but I feel that most of this introspect adds to the storyline. The main characters both guard their emotions and histories until the end, so the added information is essential to understanding. This book is not a contemporary detective novel or the standard spook novel. This book kind of reminds me of a cross between the Phantom of the Opera and Neverland but darker. This book also speaks volumns about mankind and our quest for power. If you're looking for classic Koontz, you won't find it here. I'll give the book four and a half stars. I read the book in two days; it kept my interest. I hope to see more like this from Koontz.


The Jewel of Seven Stars
The Jewel of Seven Stars
Author: Bram Stoker
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/6/2009


This book starts out strong but then kind of wanes until the last 50 pages. It's a little bit of a "thick" read, but Stoker manages to keep one's interest. The ending sort of surprised me because it takes on an almost Ozzie and Harriet feel while maintaining a classic Stoker spookiness. Written in true Stoker style, the book speaks of fantasy horrors that one could conceivably believe to be real. Not one of Stoker's best, though, but certainly not his worst. All in all, I would still say a must-read for true Stoker fans.


Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Author: Susanna Clarke
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 202
Review Date: 5/1/2009
Helpful Score: 3


This book was compelling. While sometimes tiring, I felt an urgency to read on. The characters weave in and out of this novel, sometimes disappearing for hundreds of pages and then popping up again. The story is facinating, really, but not for the impatient reader. This book is also not for anyone who does not have time to read every day, because one really has to keep track of all the stories going on simultaneously. I agree with other readers who say that the first 500 pages seem to drag at times, but I think they are necessary to the last 500 pages of the story. Then, long about page 600 the whole thing starts to fall into place. I'm not sure what I think about all the footnotes. In my opinion, they were not essential to the story--just little tidbits that might enlighten the reader. I chose not to read them, and the story still kept my interest. I think a glossary in the back would have done just as well. Overall, this was a dandy read that I would suggest to others as "something different" to read for a change. I will definitely read this author again.


Light Boxes: A Novel
Light Boxes: A Novel
Author: Shane Jones
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 12/28/2012
Helpful Score: 1


This is one of the strangest yet engrosing books I've read in a long time. The beginning of the book is odd--but I felt compelled to read on. The characters are fresh and vibrant. The ending left me surprised, a little confused, but very satisfied. This book may not be for everyone, but it will not disappoint if you give it a chance. I give the book four stars for originality and another half star for me not being able to put it down.


Neverwhere (London Below, The World of Neverwhere, Bk 1)
Neverwhere (London Below, The World of Neverwhere, Bk 1)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 276
Review Date: 6/1/2009


In Neverwhere, Gaiman's characters are believable and rich. Gaiman creates a fantasy world that the reader can imagine actually exists. This book kept my attention throughout, and I was anxious to find out what would happen next. This is a classic mixture of the dangling carrot and the grass is greener on the otherside, but Gaiman gives it a few twists to keep it really interesting. The main character spends a lot of time pining for the past while missing the excitement of the present. He does not relize this until after he encounters a few challenging obstacles. He must overcome these obstacles to regain what he's lost only to discover that the very thing he tried to get away from is the very thing he loves. Sound confusing? It is until you start reading. Neverwhere is much better than American Gods because the author picks one story line and sticks with it throughout. Good read.


The Open House
The Open House
Author: Michael Innes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/27/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Reading this book is like playing the game of Clue. Who killed the nephew in the dining room with the gun? The butler could not have done it because he was in the study with the bobby and the professor--or was he? And is he really the butler?. The professor could not have done it because he was preparing the house for the return of the prodigal nephew. Was the acquaintence the real son of the dead nephew or was his mother simply crazy? Was the doctor involved or simply trying only to save family dignity? And who is the sinister foreigner with the drooping mustache?

Each page brings a new twist to the story as characters appear out of no where but enter the story for logical reasons. The story takes place in a typical setting--dark dreary night, a typical spooky mansion, and a chase through intense fog. Even character names are cliche: Snodgrass, Appleby, Pembrooke, and Beddoes Beddoes, to name a few. This book reminds me so much of a Shirlock Holmes' novel that I had to remind myself I was reading Innes not Holmes. However, this does not take away from the anticipation of the book. A short read (only 159 pages), but captivating. Innes keeps one's interest peaked with constant twists and turns.

Although the book is kind of cliche and incorporates corny humor, I still give it a 4 and would recommend it to Innes (and Holmes) fans. A good "starter" book if you have never read Innes before or any books from his Appleby series.


A Question of Guilt
A Question of Guilt
Author: Julianne Lee
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 2/27/2009
Helpful Score: 4


This book turned out to be more interesting than I anticipated. Beware, though. The first 70 pages are pretty slow, and you may wonder when the author is going to get to the heart of the story. Once the author gets rolling, the story is a page-turner and will leave you anxious to find out who the guilty really are.


The Shack
The Shack
Author: William P. Young
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 3088
Review Date: 4/8/2009


This book is a really easy read, although I thought it long at times. Some of the extraneous information could have been left out and the book would not have lost anything. I also found it easy to "skim through" a lot of the book without missing too much. The story is somewhat predicatable and often reads more like a newspaper article than a novel. However, the book did flow well and had a few hidden gems throughout. The author puts a little different twist on the usual. It's a good read for anyone who is grieving over the loss of a loved one.


The Stranger
The Stranger
Author: Albert Camus
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/10/2010


This book is odd yet intriguing. I had a hard time putting it down. The main character is quite apathetic through most of the book until he finally realizes that life had been more real than he'd admitted. The main character spends most of the book taking life and people for granted while caring little for anyone or anything. This book also demonstrates how seemingly meaningless actions can result in drastic ends with encouragement from the right set of circumstances. This book definitely makes the reader realize that every action matters.


The Veil
The Veil
Author: Diane Noble
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 6/1/2012


This book is really good, but I agree with others that the author is biased. That being said, I think Noble did a fair job of establishing background for both sides. One can see, maybe not understand, why the chain of events occurred. This is a part of American history few people know about, but the story is interesting and important. I wish I could know what happened at the end. I feel like I was kind of left waiting.


Violet Dawn (Kanner Lake, Bk 1)
Violet Dawn (Kanner Lake, Bk 1)
Author: Brandilyn Collins
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 5/29/2012


Could not put it down. The only disappointment I had was that one of the character's situation was not resolved in the book. That's the only reason the book did not get five stars.


1 to 20 of 23 - Page: