Monthly Archives: June 2015

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is a story of how a kind deed can change the course of someone else’s life. Hugo can get very wordy (obviously, considering the length of the book), but his phrasing often conjures up marvelous, and sometimes funny, images. I found Marius and Cosette to be truly annoying while Eponine and Gavroche were both pretty awesome. Sometimes it is a bit odd when the narrative of the story is interrupted for a history lesson on Waterloo or a lengthy description of living in a convent or proclaiming the usefulness of human manure and a complete description of the 19th century Parisian sewers. But, as odd as those interruptions were, they are at least somewhat interesting and often educational. Les Miserables is good, albeit very long, book. It’s great for fans of the musical version since it provides useful background information that makes the musical make way more sense (for example, I always wondered why Fantine brought an incriminating letter with her to work leading to the fight that got her turned out on the street… spoiler alert: she didn’t; the way she ended up being put out is much more believable).

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 52
Pages Read in 2015: 14,864
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book that scares you

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Filed under Classic

Younger by Suzanne Munshower

Anna Wallingham, a 57 year old doing PR for a cosmetics company, is fired and feeling quite over the hill with few prospects when she is approached by the head of a pharmaceutical company to run a campaign for a new product guaranteed to knock decades off your looks. The catch is she has to use the product, take 30 years off her face and hands, and assume a new identity, but, for all that, she will be handsomely paid. She goes with it, but soon starts piecing together the clues that everything is definitely not what it seems.

Younger by Suzanne Munshower was slow to get started, but really took off about 1/3 of the way through. The first few chapters used flashbacks that did not work well and were truly not necessary. It would have been much better if the prologue had stayed the same and then chapter 1 started several months before and moved forward from there. The end was a little confusing since so many people, many newly introduced to the story, were involved in the wrap-up and characters changed from good to bad and vice versa throughout the last several pages. Aside from these minor issues, the book was quite engaging and kept me guessing. The epilogue was excellent and finished the wrap-up perfectly.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 51
Pages Read in 2015: 13,560
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A mystery or thriller

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Filed under Thriller

Legends of the Martial Arts Masters by Susan Lynn Peterson

Legends of the Martial Arts Masters by Susan Lynn Peterson is a collection of short stories about famous martial artists. Some of the stories, particularly the ancient ones, are rather fantastic and no one really knows if they happened or not. The stories are very short and interesting. This is a great book for anyone studying martial arts.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 50
Pages Read in 2015: 13,246
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book of short stories

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Filed under Non-Fiction