Spoiler Warning

Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees, I mean, Cee Cee Wilkes

Diane Chamberlain's "The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes" was alright.  It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great.  I enjoyed the fact that it was fast-paced and held my attention.  I liked the letters written by CeeCee's mom and how they foreshadowed and paralleled the events in the book.  Although I guessed what was going to happen 90% of the time, there were a few things I didn't expect.  I knew that Corinne was going to make up with her mom, break up with Ken, and influence the Russells to make sure her mom served a lighter sentence.  I also knew Jack would stay with and support CeeCee.  But there were enough surprises in there to make me smile.  For example, I had no idea that Ronnie would return CeeCee's box of letters to her while she was in prison.  I also didn't consider the possibility that Corinne might be Tim's baby.  I never guessed that Tim had had an affair with Genevieve, although I'm surprised I never thought of it.  It makes a lot of sense seeing as Tim is a complete womanizer and would do anything to get what he wants.  Jerk.

There were a few holes in the plot that bothered me enough to make me pause while reading.  For example, why wouldn't there be more suspicion of foul play with Genevieve's kidnapping?  Why wouldn't there be more of an intense search find the governor's wife of all people?  Why didn't Marian ever suspect that Cory wasn't Eve's baby and that it might be the governor's child?  Also, when the remains were found it was announced who they belonged to at the same time (pg 312).  I always thought that identifying remains by dental records took time.  I didn't know you could tell who a person was just by looking at their bones in the dirt.  Also, when the media are showing 28 year old photos of Tim and Marty, wouldn't they really be showing age-advanced photos (pg 324)?  What good does it do to show a picture of how someone looked 28 years ago?

Not only were there a few holes in the plot, there were a few things that bothered me in characterization and the story in general.  First of all, when Corinne mentioned abortion on pg 12, I was not pleased and I was actually turned off by her personality.  I also didn't understand why CeeCee she was so impressed that Tim was "protecting" her (pg 360).  I didn't like the fact that she didn't want him to take the fall for something she thought he wasn't responsible for when, in fact, it was because of his actions Genevieve died.  Isn't that manslaughter?   The last thing is kind of nit-picky but how often does one really pull their knees up to their chest and hug themselves and squeeze their eyes shut (pg 317)?

Even though it wasn't my type of book (that's okay, there's not many that are) I enjoyed reading it.  I even pretended to be sick on Saturday so I could stay in bed reading all day.  

Alert, Alert

Due to the lack of preparedness and a few requests, the book discush will be postponed until Monday July 5th. That gives you all another 8 days to read and report. See ya.

The Depressing Life of CeeCee Wilkes

I just got back from Wyoming not 15 minutes ago, and the Discussion is in about 10 minutes, so I don't have much time for reviewing. I'm not really sure what to say about this book anyway. I thought it was well written, and interesting, but I can't say I enjoyed reading it. It was a heartbreaking story and the little redemption there was in the end didn't seem adequate to cover the tragedy of C.W.'s life.
If only she'd turned over the bratty kid and paid her dues early on, and not had to live a life of guilt, stress and deceit, or if only she had not given in to Mr. manipulator in the first place and avoided the whole mess, or if only I had read a book that wasn't as dark and depressing as this one. So many if only's.

Everything I Liked Could Fit Inside a Coffee Cup

I don't know why that one line stuck with me, but for some reason it did. "Everything I knew about him, I could fit inside a coffee cup." Er...something like that. I can't check my book cause I sent it to my sis.

One of the things I liked about this book was the slew of emotions I felt while I was reading it. My internal reaction to the story just kept morphing as it went on. At first, I was curious and stuff. Then, I got irritated that (spoilers...) she would even consider helping them out with that dumb stuff. I knew the minute they got in that stupid white van and started arguing with each other trying to find the cabin that the entire thing was going to fall apart. Then I found myself pulled into sympathy for CeeCee. Ok, so it was a stupid decision. But now we're here...so we may as well deal with the situation. What kind of a couple of idiots kidnap a woman who's 8 months pregnant and can't tell? Stupid 20-something year old idiots. That's who. I felt so so so so sorry for that poor woman when she realized she was going into labor and I can't imagine what she was thinking the entire time she was having that baby. Then I was mad because CeeCee went to that Naomi lady who basically shoved the baby at her and said 'You're keepin' it!' Ayeayeaye.

I didn't like how slowly the story moved through all of the little tiny motions of Cory growing up. I'm not surprised she was angry, but I kept hoping that after she'd met her real family that they would tell her that her paranoia and fear of everything was a hereditary thing she'd gotten from Russell's side of the family.

I kinda wish there had been a few less moments of, sex stuff. It always felt like I was being smacked in the head when all of a sudden I read some sentence.

It was a fascinating story. Could you imagine? Poor thing couldn't even run home and google Tim's sister to find out what had really happened with her, and the way it paralleled with her mom's life kind of explains another reason why CeeCee fell for his crap. And too darn bad that they couldn't have looked up the cabin on their gps. Too bad she didn't have a stinkin' cell phone. She could've called 911.

Sorry my review is so discombobulated and stuff. I re-read it and I sound like one of those people who talks really fast and changes the subject 500 times. And just so you know, I'm FREAKING out about what kind of a book to pick for July. The pressure is killing me!

Discush

So, I believe the discush is tonight. Please get your reviews posted. I am just waiting for Dwight to fix the other laptop where I saved mine. I'm way too lazy and unmotivated to rewrite it. See you all in cyberspace tonight at 9pm mountain/8 pm pacific.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Something New (for kids)...

HotPants came up with this smart idear to start a new branch of the SRBC for kids, as some of our book selections can be grossly inappropriate for children. (See first sentence of our current book)

I think that is an excruciatingly smart solution, don't you? Thanks, [Smarty]Pants!

Of course, our junior followers are always welcome to read our book selections too (with parent approval, of course) and post a review on here, but this way they'll have a guaranteed age-appropriate book to read every month, and their very own blog on which to review and discuss! Ah, the joy of reading!

So, without further ado, I am thrilled to introduce:


(Web addy: http://smartremarksforkids.blogspot.com/)

The SRBC: Junior Edition will focus only on middle-grade to young-adult level books. Anyone at that reading level is welcome to join. The club will be run by its members (not us adults), although they might need our help to get the club up and running. I asked Cord ESP to write the welcome message and choose the first book.

Our junior division will differ from our parent book club, in that there will be no official fast-and-furious one-hour discussion at the end of the month. I think it would be near impossible to get kids to converge on the Internet like that--we adults can barely manage it. So instead, they will have a one-week period to post their book review, and will be encouraged to read and leave feedback on all the other reviews. Contests and games will be up to whoever is leading the club that month, just like we do it on here. (I have a feeling that the kids will be better at this than we are.)

So, if you're a kid and want to join the new SRBC: Junior Edition, or if you have a kid who might want to join, leave your email addy and I'll send you an invitation to be a contributor to the new blog. That invite will allow you to post things. The blog is otherwise open for public viewing, if you'd rather be a silent follower.

As Cord ESP said, "Happy reading strangers and people i actually know."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drum Roll Please...

I know you all have been DYING to know what book you will be reading this month. Sorry it took me so long to get to this post. Crazy day. I had to work at the Y. Then I came home and made a quick lunch cuz I was starving. Then I had to take Howie out to spend his birthday money. (yeah that's right, you forgot his birthday) Then I had to make a run to the dump, where btw I got invited to go fishing with a weirdo, but was flattered none the less. Then I had to pick up my kids from school. Then I had to vacuum out Dwight's truck, it was super dirty. Then I had to go to Zamzows, we have aphids. Then I came home and sprayed the trees and bushes. Then I came in to sit for a second. Then I remembered you have all been waiting for me and my big announcement.
Are you ready?
We will be reading "The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes" . Click on the link to buy it from amazon, or head over to Target. Or get it from the library, sickos.

I read this a couple years ago and loved it. I will say it is more PG-13 rated. There may be a little more involved that just levi-lovin. And maybe a few more four letter words, can't remember for sure. It's dramatic, it's romantic, it's interesting. (I read that on a review)
Here's the premise...An unsolved murder. A missing child. A lifetime of deception. In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child. CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth, and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies...
Oh Yeah, you're all hooked!