Review: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea

%GirlsofRiyadh

Book Information:

Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
The Penguin Press
Published in 2007
ISBN 9781594201219
286 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

2 out of 5

Sending anonymous yahoo group mass e-mails, a Saudi Arabain woman tells a story of her four friends and how they are trying to survive their country’s ways on how women should behave.

This book wasn’t my cup of tea, but I read it so I can find out if I would like the ending. :P Anyways, you would like this kind of book, if you’re into “girl power”/ “love sucks, but I’ll hang in there” type of books.

What I liked: The cultural information, some parts of the romance — which is not much, and the way it was written — yahoo group e-mails — which is kind of original.

What I didn’t like: It had information about love that should be obvious, but no woman wants to really know. It had the boringly common themes about love lives and how women go at lengths for love, but the cultural point of view was nice. However, the falling in love theme and problems in the book are common pretty much everywhere. Also, there were too many point of view changes — it played any-miney-money-moe with who told what part of story.

Well, if you like those types of books — where they talk and give pity parties about love lives (bleh!) :(

This book didn’t have that many of my interests, but the culture parts were pretty the only things that were interesting to me. Also, I added the smut tag because it talks about sex — a lot. ^^

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Re-read later on.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Bookshelf: What We’re Reading
$New_Bullet Booklove
$New_Bullet Lotus Reads

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Book of Names by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori

%TheBookofNames

Book Information:

The Book of Names by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori
St. Martin’s Press
Published in 2007
ISBN 0312366329
304 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

1 out of 5

David Shepherd, a Georgetown University professor, doesn’t believe in any kind of religion, but that may change when his peaceful days come to an end. Now someone is threatening the world, his life, and the people he loves most. As the chosen one, he knows the names of all thirty-six people in the Book of Names. And whether he likes it or not, he has to use his gift to save the remaining three people listed in the Book of Names because if he doesn’t, the world will end. While running from a Gnostic Group, he learns to trust religion, himself, and the people helping him, so that he can save the things that matter most – the only question is… will he live long enough to save the remaining three?

At first, I thought that The Book of Names would be like The Da Vinci Code, and in a way, it kind of was like The Da Vinci Code — minus the excitement, mystery, and clue theme to it. Another thing that is different is that The Da Vinci Code was controversial in the Catholic religion, while The Book of Names is controversial in the Judaism religion. Though, they both add what seems to be controversial or what some would call “insulting” themes to their religion, even though it is only fiction, which means it’s not real, but who am I to judge someone else’s beliefs and religion like that — but I do have the right to write how I feel, so don’t correct me and get in a religion argument with me since I won’t tolerate it. Also, I apologize if I offend anyone in this review since religion is a “no-no” topic most of the time.

Okay, since I really didn’t like this book, I’ll just write why I didn’t like it. It was a pretty good idea to write about, but it lacks descriptions, in-depth information about what’s happening, lack of mystery and clues so that you can figure it out along with the character, and it jumps from one area to the next, almost like the authors didn’t have anything better to write for the previous point of view and just wanted to get on with the book. Though, one thing I kind of liked was the information on Judaism that I didn’t know before. The ending, like most of the book, felt rushed and did not enough description.

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read, but leaning towards maybe.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Jill Gregory
$New_Bullet Karen Tintori
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet Tales of a Book Addict
$New_Bullet Book Journey
$New_Bullet Bonnie’s Books

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry

%TheRomanovProphecy

Book Information:

The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
Ballantine Books
Published in 2004
ISBN 0345460057
373 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

After the citizens of Russia vote to bring back the monarchy, it is up to Miles Lord, a lawyer from Atlanta, to make sure there is nothing in Stefan Baklanov’s background that will take the throne away from him. It was supposed to be an ordinary assignment until gunmen try to kill him at the city plaza in Moscow, and now he has to figure out why they are after him. After reading Rasputin’s writings, he discovers that there might be a direct descendant from the last tsar, Nicholas II, which will threaten the plans of certain people if word gets out. Miles only companion is Akilina Petrovna, and only these two can solve the mystery of who is Nicholas II’s direct descendant, at least according to Rasputin’s prophecy, but first, will they be able to survive the attempts on their lives?

In the beginning of The Romanov Prophecy, it starts with violence and some gory details of the scene — yeah, it was a lovely, vivid picture in my mind, and I don’t like a lot detail in gory scenes filled with blood that much. Anyways, it starts with the killing attempts on Miles Lord’s life, but if you’re wondering why he’s in Russia and targeted by gunmen, you have to either read the summary or wait until later on in the novel — which will explain in great detail as to why he’s there and some more little tidbits that can be boring at times. ;)

The idea of the prophecy and combining it with Rasputin, who is usual is viewed as a conman, was very well thought out and mixed with some history of Russia — it was pretty interesting reading that Rasputin was a viewed as a good guy at the end of a novel. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book. :)

The ending was well thought of and was really good, and to get to that great ending, it had a lot of history and descriptions of what happened — which got a little boring at times. Throughout the book there are a lot of politics, violence, racial prejudice, culture and history of Russia, a little bit of mystery, and a lot more politics — bleh! :(  Things I liked about the book are the culture and history of Russian that the author added in there, the clever idea of Rasputin actually being a good guy and coming up with the prophecy, the mystery whether or not there was a direct descendant of Nicholas II, and also, how it showed that the United States isn’t the only one that has racial problems. The things I didn’t like about it are the politics and details of the murder/gory scenes. Overall, it was actually a pretty good book, if you can stand the violence, politics, details, and the boring parts.

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Not planning to re-read.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

 Steve Berry
Goodreads
Library Thing
Bookwormom

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal

%TheDowryBride

Book Information:

The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal
Kensington Publishing
Published in 2007
ISBN 0758220316
343 Pages

Series Information:

Not a series.

Review/Rating:

5 out of 5

After being stuck in an arranged marriage to a “momma’s boy” for a year, Megha overhears her husband and his mother discuss their plans to murder her. With no choice left but to run away from their evil plans, she goes to Kiran, her cousin-in-law, for help and protection. However, when their relationship grows into something more than friendship, what will happen? Will their feelings bring forth their doom?

For this being her first novel, the author writes in detail about arrange marriages, customs, and how they are seen in India by writing about something that is a no-no topic in India – dowry bridal burnings. I’ve never read a book about arranged marriages and customs of India, so I found it very interesting to learn some new information about the country. :)

For the first part of the book, it was kind of boring and you’re wondering why the author would put that first, plus it will become redundant since she mentions it later on in more detail. Other than that, the book is pretty interesting and not that boring, however, it is kind of slow paced with a lot of descriptions in between.

The book was pretty much slow paced half of time and left me wondering if or when Megha and Kiran were going to do something smutty and gushy, but around page 200 they finally start getting more gushy than smutty. Most books I know would have gone for smutty and explain the sexual scenes the characters have in detail, but The Dowry Bride puts more detail in the romantic parts of it like touching each other’s hair and snuggling with your lover afterwards. It was a nice change from the smuttier books that I’ve read. I went, “Awwww,” so many times when the author described the romantic parts of love — walking under the moonlight, talking by river at sunset, etc. So those of you expecting more smut than romance, you will be disappointed, though, the romantic parts are still nice. ;)

Throughout the book there are a lot of climaxes, suspenseful areas, and a lot of character building, so you won’t be that bored — you’ll be so into the book that you’ll forget what time it is. In about 10 hours, I was already on page 270. :) As for the ending, it was kind of okay — the relationship part for Megha and Kiran leaves you wondering if they really do get married, however, the point of this book, I think, is to show women’s independence and how women, like men, can grow whenever something terrible happens and still lead a successful life.  It is a good book to encourage women to take a stand in things they know isn’t right for them or others, but as far as romance (and smut) goes, it isn’t that good of a book. :(

Where I Got It:

Checked out from the library.

Challenges Apart Of:

None.

Re-Reading:

Once with a 2nd review added.

Other Reviews/Author Site:

$New_Bullet Shobhan Bantwal
$New_Bullet Goodreads
$New_Bullet Library Thing
$New_Bullet My Book Place

Places to Buy From:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble