Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (YA)

From the back cover:

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school--typical, that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses, but it's really a school for spies.

Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man seven different ways with her bare hands, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl.

Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"--but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

My thoughts:

First, I want to thank my friend, Laura J. for recommending this author. I'm not a fan of first person narrative, so it did take me just a bit to get into the book. That said, I truly enjoyed this book. I loved the world, which was brought to life. A super, secret spy school filled with genius students, and a very colorful faculty. I found both Cammie's mother, who is the headmistress, and her Covert Ops teacher, Joe Solomon to be very interesting characters.

The book takes place during the fall semester of Cammie's sophomore year. She's known as the chameleon because she's able to blend into her surroundings so well. But when she meets an ordinary high school boy who notices her, Cammie has no idea how to handle it.

The book is quite hilarious in some places, yet just as poignant in others. I'm looking forward to reading more about Cammie's missions.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Sister Wife by Diane Noble

From the back cover:

What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife?
What if the woman was your best friend?

Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new 19th century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife, is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith. When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Brownyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage. But can she really be married to the same man as her best friend?

Can Mary Rose and Brownyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what is right?

My take:

Mormon polygamy is a subject which has been in the new the last few years. From the legal proceedings against various polygamy leaders to the success of HBO's drama series Big Love, Mormon polygamy has been brought to the attention of the American culture. I am a fan of Big Love, and I admit the show has made me ponder the psychological and sociological aspects of modern day polygamy.

The first section of book, where they are on the ship to America was a little slow for me, however I felt the story picked up when they arrived in Nauvoo. Almost from the beginning, Mary Rose is hearing the rumors of polygamous relationships amongst the leadership of the sect. The scenes were Joseph Smith gives the men his revelations about polygamy were fascinating. It was deceptive and manipulative all at the same time, just like Eve and the snake in the Garden of Eden. The later scene where Gabe is trying to convince Mary Rose that it is imperative for his marriage to Brownyn to be consummated is just as manipulative.

I won't say The Sister Wife was an easy read, because it was not. However, it was one of the most thought provoking books I've read this year. It was not a light read, quite honestly I found it to be spiritually dark in many places. A Christian reader will be shaking their head at the Mormon theology, and at the actions of the characters. However, the light is there, peaking through the darkness. The seeds of later redemption are planted.

The Sister Wife was a book which stayed with me long after I read the last page. Honestly, it is the first book I can remember renewing at the library, even though I've finished reading it. I look forward to the rest of the books in the series, and to the journey to redemption.


My apologies for being MIA the last few weeks. Real life sorta took over for awhile. I am back, and I'm planning to post at least one review tonight, possibly two. Hope everyone is well.