Completed Book Challenge 2014

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completed book challenge

Another year, done and dusted! Here are the new books that I have made it through this year. I managed some rereads in between, but I cannot count those again. It was most enjoyable. Thanks to all who gave me recommendations that I got to, it was lovely!

1. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

2. The Perfect Husband (FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #1) – Lisa Gardner

3. Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder #1) – Linda Castillo

4. One False Move – Alex Kava

5. Windmills of the Gods – Sidney Sheldon

6. Night Shift – Stephen King

7. The Third Victim (FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #2) – Lisa Gardner

8. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

9. Unseen (Georgia #5) – Karin Slaughter

10. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

11. Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder #2) – Linda Castillo

12. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) – Stephen King

13. Horns – Joe Hill

14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

15. An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

16. Mailman: A Novel – J Robert Lennon

17. Whitewash – Alex Kava

18. Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

19. The Rolling Stones: 50 – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood

20. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

21. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

22. Drive – James Sallis

23. Looking for Alaska – John Green

24. Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Sidney Sheldon

25. The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) – Thomas Harris

26. Under the Knife – Tess Gerritsen

27. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

28. Dracula – Bram Stoker

29. Dead Until Dark (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #1) – Charlaine Harris

30. Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon

 


 

That was the original challenge. I finished all of those and then decided to up it to fifty.

31. Living Dead in Dallas (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #2) – Charlaine Harris

32. Paper Towns – John Green

33. Club Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #3) – Charlaine Harris

34. One Scream Away (Sheridan #1) – Kate Brady

35. Dead to the World (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #4) – Charlaine Harris

36. Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) – Isaac Marion

37. Dead as a Doornail (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #5) – Charlaine Harris

38. Heart-Shaped Box – Joe Hill

39. Definitely Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #6) – Charlaine Harris

40. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

41. All Together Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #7) – Charlaine Harris

42. Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

43. From Dead to Worse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #8) – Charlaine Harris

44. The Bad Place – Dean Koontz

45. Dead and Gone (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #9) – Charlaine Harris

46. A Drink Before The War (Kenzie & Gennaro #1) – Dennis Lehane

47. Dead in the Family (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #10) – Charlaine Harris

48. The Villa – Nora Roberts

49. Dead Reckoning (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #11) – Charlaine Harris

50. Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #1) – Dennis Lehane

Well, there we have it folks. I know I have some recommendations that were given to me, they are on my list, they will most likely make the new year’s challenge 🙂 Thanks so much to everyone who read, commented and recommended, it is much appreciated!

Review: Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon

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sidney sheldon tell me your dreams

SYNOPSIS: Computer whiz Ashley Patterson is convinced she is being stalked. Coworker Toni Prescott has a penchant for Internet dating and little time for anyone else. And Alette Peters prefers quiet weekends in the arms of a beefcake artist. They know virtually nothing about each other–until the three women are linked by a murder investigation that will lead to one of the most bizarre trials of the century. – via Goodreads

 

GRADE 7.5I read this book when I was younger and I remember the whole concept of multiple personalities fascinated me endlessly. This novel was set out relatively well, too. Very typical Sheldon style in the sense that it flows, it is an exceptionally fast read, the sections are short, so nothing too much to absorb at any given moment, and typically the characters are there to convey the story more than anything else. It was funny to read about the whole computer section to me, it seems to have been a relatively new thing then, as well as the internet. I understand the time that it was written in and all, just strange to see it all referred to in such unfamiliar terms, and with so much explanation, when it is almost so commonplace now. One thing that Sheldon did again in here (and he does it in so many of his other books) is writing in another language, with no translation, or any reply to indicate what was said. I absolutely hate it when authors write like that. It is very frustrating, and as I said, Sheldon is very prone to it. It’s almost as though the author is flaunting their prowess of another language and damn you if you can’t keep yup with them. I really don’t like it. Tell Me Your Dreams is quite an interesting read, and is sure to keep you stuck to it, if only to see how it turns out. The start of the book is a little rocky, as though he were struggling for purchase of where to start, but it all came together in the end. I was very happy to read through the courtroom drama bit, I find that to be captivating. If you are not into courtroom dramas, do not worry, it is not too intense, you will fly through the few chapters dedicated to it, it is not in depth, and comprises a relatively small section of the book (about a third). If you have never read a Sidney Sheldon novel before, this is one that I could highly recommend.

Review: Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Sidney Sheldon

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are you afraid of the dark sidney sheldon

Four men are murdered around the world, and it seems that plays have been made on their loved ones lives, too. Diane Stevens testifies against mob boss Altieri, and after leaving the court house someone attempts to gun her down. Arriving at her apartment and calling the police, she is surprised at their quick response. The police that are there to see her, however, are there to inform her that her husband Richard, a scientist working for KIG, a huge think tank, has been murdered and there is evidence of mob ties. Refusing to believe the news, Diane goes into denial.

World famous model Kelly receives news that her husband, Mark Harris, a scientist for the think tank KIG, has committed suicide. The news crushes her, and her whole world falls apart. Tanner Kingsley, owner of KIG, contacts both Diane and Kelly to set up meetings with them to discuss the tragedies that have befallen their husbands. Travelling to see him, Tanner is already working with the police to find out why four of his top scientists are dead. The police, on the other hand, have noticed that this is not the first time that ill fate has befallen scientists linked to KIG, and start to wonder what that is all about. Meeting with the widows, Tanner presses for information that may be relevant to the deaths of their husbands. Neither woman seems to know anything. Diane hears Tanner speak to Kelly, and decides to try and speak to the woman herself, to hear what she knows.

Kelly is cold to Diane, and the women narrowly escape a death threat. In a fury, Kelly demands that Diane go see Altieri and get him to call his people off, to get him to stop. However, it soon becomes clear that it is not Altieri that is behind the attempts on the lives of the widows. Much to their chagrin, it seems that the ladies will have to work together to find out who is behind this, and why they have been marked. It must be closely linked to their husbands’ work, someone must think that they know what the scientists did at work. Whoever is out to get them is doing their level best to take the women down. Women who are unarmed and unaware of what it is that they are supposed to know, women who grudgingly have nothing but each other, each equally suspicious of the other, and their wits about them.

Will Kelly and Diane find a way to work with each other in peace? Who is to blame for the attacks the women are facing left, right, and centre? Will the police or KIG figure out who is responsible for the spree of murdered scientists? Will Diane and Kelly ever find a way to grieve and get past the terrible fate that awaited their husbands, or will they, too, be taken care of?

GRADE 6.5This was a quick book, nothing too heavy or serious to commit yourself to. I liked it for what it was, though there were times where the actions of Diane and Kelly seemed ludicrous, as well as the way they would talk. It was just a little unbelievable, but it worked overall. It doesn’t really have a story that will linger and stay with you for very long, I only remembered nearing the end that I had actually read this one before. So it is a great way to pass the time, something quick to read, but not really a novel that is going to inspire an immense amount of thought or something that will ripple out into your life a long time after. There isn’t really much to say about this book. It is another stock standard Sheldon novel, with mystery, a bad guy, a conspiracy, shallow characters and little development, but still entertaining nonetheless.

 

Review: Windmills of the Gods – Sidney Sheldon

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windmills of the gods cover

Mary Ashley is your typical all-American woman – educated, well-mannered, moderately successful, married to a doctor named Edward and living in a beautiful home in Kansas with their two children, Beth and Tim. Hence she is so shocked when Paul Ellison, the new president of the United Stated of America gets into contact with her to become the Ambassador to Romania. She has no experience or training in it and absolutely no idea what it entails. He wishes for her to be the first ambassador he appoints in his latest people-to-people program with the Iron Curtain countries. His idea, however, has caused outrage in some areas: the communists think President Ellison is opening doors for the Allies to move in and take over while the West feels that the communists will step in to spy freely and break their country into a communist dump.

Edward is happy for Mary but a tiny bit jealous, and Mary declines President Ellison’s offer. The two continue as normal when one fateful morning Edward is killed in a car accident, very violent. Soon after President Ellison offers her the position again and puts Mary into contact with Stanton Rogers, his right hand man. Mary is on a whirlwind trip to prepare to go to Romania and take up her position with the little knowledge that she has. The distraction helps her not mourn Edward so terribly, and it becomes her help. Meeting Mike Slade during Romanian preparations, she takes an instant dislike to him and the two never see eye to eye, though she cannot get rid of him (even though she has put in the request). Mary is faced with the issues that the world seems to think she does not have it in her to be the Ambassador to Romania, and she is going to need to fight tooth and nail to prove her worth to the world.

Secret meetings are taking place all over the world that seem to be deciding the fate of a lot of people, yet the organisation is so hyper secret it is unknown. Those that have tried to work out what is going on and how exactly Mary Ashley slots into some big political plans seem to end up murdered. Angel, a mysterious and incredibly successful hitman in Buenos Aires is called upon regularly by the Committee and given expensive assignments to carry out, and Angel has yet to fail them. Romania is unstable, and it seems that a coup is in the works somewhere, making a lot of people nervous, as well as making the situation very tense for Mary Ashley to start in. Mary and the children move into the Residence of the Ambassador in Romania and seem to slowly but surely be picking up the pieces and starting a new life. Things are not going overly smoothly in Romania for Mary when it becomes evident that she is unpopular and that someone really wants her to be sent home. Mary soon meets Louis Desforges on fateful evening, and soon she feels the need for companionship again.

Will Mary be able to deal with all the political issues in Romania now that she has taken up her post? Will her and the children be able to make it in a new country with their fresh mourning and cultural shock and stress? Is Mary up for the position? What will Louis bring to her life, though he will never be able to replace her husband, is he the companion she needs? Will Mary and Mike be at odds the entire time she helms the post of Ambassador? Will he always remain the untrustworthy snake to her?

GRADE 6.5I have always enjoyed Sidney Sheldon’s books, interesting, quick reads though there is nothing in particular that will keep you thinking about it long after you have read it. This one was no exception. I enjoyed it, the pace was moving along speedily and the plot was decently laid out. Not necessarily real character growth, though that does not phase me, the characters are only supposed to carry the story. Initially when the story starts it is very confusing seeing as there are so many characters and different places and thing being presented in code and what not, but eventually they become normal and stick with you and don’t confuse you so much. If you are familiar with Sheldon’s work, this is very much the same as his other stuff, which is not an issue. If it works it works! The paragraphs are short and sweet and constantly jumping between an array of characters and events. The one thing that works with this book is that you can feel the whirlwind world that Mary Ashley has been dropped into seeing as everything jumps around quickly, shifts and changes, yet is still so full of information that it could only be similar to something she was going through. Another solid entry by Sidney Sheldon.