Review: Bad Luck Cadet By Suzie Ivy

Posted in Review, Uncategorized on October 29, 2011 by Julie Mangan

Definitely interesting and a quick read. Very informative and made me root for Suzie from the first page. It is a writing style I’m not familiar with, but it didn’t interrupt with the story. The fourth wall was broken a few times, but I didn’t mind. I have to be honest and admit I don’t know if this is fiction or autobiographical. But it felt very much like a memoir. when’s the next book out?

Princess of Glass (Princess #2) By Jessica Day George

Posted in Review on October 8, 2011 by Julie Mangan

Princess of Glass is the sequel to Jessica Day George’s Princess of the Midnight Ball. Both are fairy Tales and all that that implies.

While I enjoyed the book on a basic level, such as prose, characters and conflict, I found it lacking in a couple of areas. The most important of which: It’s resolution.

While happily ever after is what we’ve come to expect from the genre, and what was implied in the end of this story, I don’t see how it actually occurred. There was never any clear solution presented to the protagonists problems. They went into the grand finale with no plan and fell out of it, just assuming it was over without actually vanquishing the villain. The villain suggested that even if they did beat her little test she could still not give back what she promised. So why should they assume that just because they escaped her realm that she’s never coming back to get them (literally)? She’d snatched someone out of their home only moments before. What’s to stop her from doing it again? I still don’t know.

The above being said, I am not the target audience for this book. It is obviously geared towards teenage girls, so perhaps I’m over thinking it. But then again, even though I don’t know many, I still assume that teenage girls think logically, and would find this a problem themselves. At least I hope so, since just assuming your problems have vanished when their out of sight isn’t sound teachings for future trials.

In summary: I liked it. But I didn’t REALLY like it.

Review: Little Lady, Big Apple by Hester Browne

Posted in Review on September 14, 2011 by Julie Mangan

I’m sad to say this book didn’t grab me like the first one. It took me six weeks to read. The plot of Melissa joining Jonathan in New York didn’t have much inherent conflict in it. Yes, her office would be manned by two self-absorbed women who thought more of their own needs than those of the clients, but Melissa didn’t spend much time worrying about it. At least, not enough time to make it believable that she really was concerned for her company’s future. But then, she’s so gung-ho about the whole business she’s willing to brave Jonathan’s displeasure by refusing to quit. And that was just one of my problems. Don’t get me started on Jonathan himself. I haven’t liked him from the start and his behavior in this book simply solidified my dislike for him, instead of bringing me around to his side.

At its core, this was just another book where the main issues at hand could have been solved by a frank conversation between the two lovers.

I do intend to read the next book, because I did truly enjoy the first in the series. Hopefully it has all the charm and humor of that first installment.

Review: Smokin’ Seventeen By Janet Evanovich

Posted in Review on August 10, 2011 by Julie Mangan

The latest installment in the Stephanie Plum series is about the same as the last book. Nothing like the first ten, but not as bad as a few of the subsequent novels.
The plot seemed a bit forced. I figured out the murderer before I was even halfway through, but even once the motive was explained to me I still only barely got it. It seemed a bit of a stretch.
The best thing about the book was Ranger. As usual.

A good book

Posted in Writing on August 9, 2011 by Julie Mangan

Just finished The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne (Isn’t that a great name?)

This book was pretty good. Funny, clean, and the characters were engaging. It didn’t end the way I thought it would when I started the book, so that was a pleasant surprise. There were only two problems.
1 – The main character is sooooo incredibly naive. But, in her defence, she knows she’s this way and everyone keeps telling her to knock it off, so it’s not annoying.
2 – It ended kind of abruptly after the plot resolution. We didn’t get to see any of the aftermath or adjustment to the new status quo, or even talk to people that I felt still deserved a little page time.

Talents

Posted in Something that got me thinking on July 20, 2011 by Julie Mangan

A while ago we read the parable of the talents and it got me thinking. The point of the story is clear. Take what you’re given and turn it into something more. Don’t squander or hide it. Value it. In the parable the master gave the men their talents. They knew what they had been given. It was right there in their hot little hands. Two men went out and used their talents to get more talents while another guy buried his, only to hand it back to his master later.

Here is my concern: I don’t know what talents I’ve been handed, so how can I be held accountable if I don’t use it/them to gain more talents? Maybe I’m really good milking cows, but I’ll never know because I don’t live on a dairy farm. Some of you might ask, “well, do you have an interest in milking cows?” My answer would be “Of course not. Do I seem like a morning person to you?” But just because I have no interest in doing it doesn’t mean that wasn’t one of the talents given to me.

On the flip side: There are things in my past which I have considered talents. I tried to enhance them, but they never went anywhere. But in those moments, in the midst of those experiences, I really tried. So why, if the Lord wanted me to do something with them, did it not work out? If those were the talents I was given and expected to use to garner more talents then why the big Fail?

I guess what I’m trying to say here is: How do you know? I can’t go out and experience everything. With the things I do suspect as talents, how do I know when to say, “Ok, I guess that’s not one of the talents,” and move on. Maybe I’m spending so much time trying to enhance a talent I suspect I’ve been given that I’m really missing the talents I actually did receive.

At the beginning of the movie Matilda (and maybe the book too, I don’t remember) they talk about people being born into this world as unique individuals. Some will be butchers and so on, and others will only be really good at making Jello salad. For some reason that has always stuck with me. Whenever I get to wondering about my talents that line pops into my head. And before you ask, no, Jello salad is not one of my talents. Trust me. It never sets properly. But I digress.

What if my talents are in that realm? What if my talent is getting knots out of shoelaces? What if my talent is memorizing movie lines? Folding underwear? Brushing the cat? If this is the case, then shouldn’t things I gave up on in the past stop bothering me? Shouldn’t I NOT have to wonder, “maybe that was it, and I missed the boat. I gave up to soon, and now I’ll never get that talent back, and I’ll have to answer for it when I meet God.” Why do I feel the need to do something more if this is what He intended me to do?

On to the next!

Posted in Writing on July 7, 2011 by Julie Mangan

I’m trying to figure out what project to work on next. I’ve got a lot of ideas floating around, and even a few projects that are started. I just can’t decide which way to go. Do I want to go the urban fantasy route, LDS chick lit, contemporary romance, or murder mystery? I’ve got ideas for them all but I just can’t narrow it down. perhaps I should combine them all. How does an LDS urban romance mystery sound?  Or maybe I should stick with the editing and work on something I’ve already finished.

I just can’t decide.