Book reviews

I am currently single-parenting two kids, as Z is out of town for the week. Taking care of two kids on my own is – yikes. I am not at my best. I’m wondering if all parents feel the same way that I do, but for the most part with these kids, particularly when we are out and about in town, I feel barely competent to be raising children. Something is always forgotten, or dropped on the ground, or someone’s screaming (sometimes me). My toddler can be a hooligan, there’s no other way to put it. And I am just sometimes completely overwhelmed.

Although thinking about it, I think that might just be my personality type – often overwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of great qualities, but being put together was never one of them. I sometimes find the world so confusing that it’s a miracle that I’ve survivored this long, let alone have done as well as I have.

On the bus today with my two monkeys yelling and swinging off of the stroller, another mom passed me. Her toddler was perfectly behaved in her stroller, while the baby was snuggly wrapped up in exactly the right position. And she had on this wrap jacket clearly designed to go around the sling, and she had all the gear, and I bet she even showered today. I was immediately jealous. I never have all the gear, and if I did I would probably be wearing it wrong. I rarely shower and congratulate myself if I ran a brush through my hair. I will just never be totally put together. So I’ve established I am not super mom. At the moment I’m aiming for adequate mom, especially until Z comes back. I guess it’s ok to have goals, right?

So on that dispiriting note, and in a complete non sequitur, here’s what I’ve read lately.

The Book of Life, by Deborah Harkness

Book description: The third and final book of the All Souls Trilogy follows uber witch Diana Bishop and her super sexy scientist vampire boyfriend (now husband) back to the present to try to put together the Book of Life, so they can save all the downtrodden vampires, witches and demons in the world. Hijinx ensue.

My review: I read this book over Halloween. I was looking for a book about witches, or something appropriately spooky, without being scary, when I remembered that the last of the All Souls trilogy was out. So it seemed like the perfect book. I hadn’t read the second book in a really long time and remembered very little about it. I actually had to look up a very detailed plot recap of the first two books to have any clue what was going on – there’s a lot going on. And so many people to remember. Yikes. Even with a cheat sheet, essentially, it took me a good 150 pages into the book before I felt like I had a clue as to what was going on.

Things picked up from there. It really is an exciting series, particularly if you like your vampires rich and powerful (and, c’mon, who doesn’t?) Diana is pregnant throughout, which is actually a plot point I found kind of annoying, but whatever. Basically, this series is Twilight for grownups. If you liked Twilight, read this. If you hated Twilight or wanted to read them but were too embarrassed, congrats. You’ll probably like this, since you’re into vampire fic anyway.

Mr. Kiss and Tell, by Rob Thomas

Book description: The second book in the Veronica Mars series, following Veronica 10 years after high school (continuing from the movie that came out a few years ago). Veronica must discover the identity of a whore-killing psychopath, and bring him down in face of police corruption. So, you know, another day on the job.

My review: I just love these books so much. This one wasn’t quite as squee-inducing as the first one, but I think it’s only because the novelty has worn off slightly. And sometimes, I feel like the book is trying just a little bit too hard to be as cool as the series, if that’s possible. But, at the heart of it, it’s a fun mystery, with the most awesome badass heroine since Buffy, so you’ve gotta love that. An excellent holiday read, if you’re already caught up with Veronica Mars. If you don’t know anything about Veronica Mars, do yourself a favour and go watch. The first season of VMars is the most well-put together season of a tv show there ever was or will be.

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