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Monday, April 30, 2012

Brief Reviews

33 Habits of a Really Good Man by Yvonne Swinson, NF, 2010, 79p, rating=3.5
Source: won from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

This is the author's sweet and tender tribute to her father, Bill Wells.  A mini memoir.  Each story prefaced with simple quotes of wisdom then gives examples of how Mr. Wells was inspired by them and then lived them.  A wonderful legacy he left on how to make good principles become habit.  Inspirational.  A Soup for the Soul feel.

I cried at the author's poem.  There lies her talent.

Unlocking the Power of the Spirit by Campbell Gray, NF, 2010, 118p, rating=3.5
Source: won from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

A good book to help recognize and make use of the power of the Holy Ghost.  Mr. Gray gives examples from personal life experiences to make the points.  It's a good refresher course for strong, active LDS members and inspirational for those struggling to find the Spirit. 

Hotel Vendome by Danielle Steele, AF, 2011, Playaway digital audio, 9hrs, rating=3
Source: library

A trying father-daughter story.  Father, Hugues, left by wife for a rock star.  He gets custody of their daughter, Heloise.  He owns and manages a prestigious hotel and Heloise grows up in that life.  No surprise she wants to follow in her father's footsteps ..even though it wasn't what Hugues would have wanted for her.  Overall the story was about growth for the both of them as individuals. 

Character wise, with the exception of Hugues' delay in telling Heloise about Natalie, Hugues seems to be too perfect!  He had all the answers regarding hotel and life.  And Heloise, well, she was down right a spoiled brat when it came to finding out her father's personal affairs.  These qualities I found to be a flaw so it made for a stirring (not the touching kind) read for me.

By the way, Fred Stella did a wonderful job narrating this book.  :)

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks, AF, 2008, audio CDs, 10.5hrs, rating=2
Source: library

Nicholas Sparks love stories usually move me but this one didn't really do it for me as a whole.  The soldier (Logan) and best friend (Victor) angle was a classic lure so that part had potential.  I suppose I didn't completely buy into the premise ..soldier finds a picture of a pretty woman (Elizabeth) and it ends up giving him "luck" in surviving the war, so he goes to seek out the woman to thank her but doesn't tell her the entire story before they fall in love with each other so when the secret finally comes out, yikes, trouble!  Of course, there's got to be other elements to spice things up, like the woman has a son (Ben), a meddling ex-husband (Clayton, who you'd like to smack a few times!), and a wise grandma (Nana).  My favorite character ended up to be Logan's dog, Zeus ..he was consistently genuine.

Looks like the movie version might be better than the book.  Zack Efron looked smokin' on the film trailer!  Reason I wanted to get my hands on this book in the first place.  Bummer that the book wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be.  Though, I really liked the ending.  It was it's saving grace. 

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