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Peacock Flock Book Review #4 - The Help

Peacock Flock Book Review #4

The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett

Length: ~ 464 pages

Genre: Literary/Real 

Heat level:  Mild - for details highlight between parentheses
(Some anatomical references in an attack by a naked man)

Stars:  4 Stupendous Purple Stars 
Book Summary:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

This book was excellent and very well written. We enjoyed it and truly liked delving into the characters. We especially loved Skeeter and how even though she was scared, she took the plunge and dared to write something she cared about. The dialogue and the writting voices used were done so well that we felt immersed in the south. The plot was interesting and kept us reading. Will we ever read it again? Probably not. We just don't do 'realism' type books. We still enjoyed it, but when we read it is for the happily ever after, we do not do well when the romance doesn't work out. All in all an excellent read, but we won't be picking it up a second time.

That's it from the flock!

Peacock Flock Book Review #3 - Chip

** I promise I'll get better at getting these reviews out on time... my son's been waking up lots (hmm future blog post?) Anyways... Here it is! Finally!

Peacock Flock Book Review #3


Author: Aviva Bel'Harold

Length: ~ 531 pages

Genre: Science Fiction 

Heat level: Clean

Stars:  3 Enjoyable Purple Stars 

Book Summary:

The year is 2047.
Things have changed, with hover cars and touch contracts. Yet, many things remain the same.
Tia is just one teen trying to be normal, but with enhanced eyesight and an uncanny ability to know the future, Tia is not your average 17-year-old.
Neither is Teig.
Genetically altered to look 17, he is being sent from one school to the next in search of the perfect recruits for the company that changed him.
Discovering Tia creates a dilemma for Teig…
Either he will report her to the company; and she will be destroyed, 
Or he doesn’t, and could be.

What should he choose?
And what of Tia’s premonitions?
Even if she can see her future can she change it?

This book could have easily had more stars. We LOVED the characters and the very intense world that was created. Set in 2047 Tia and Teig, the two main characters, live in our future society where you must have a contract to touch members of the opposite sex. As crazy as that sounds it makes for some very interesting play which we really liked. This book was different and unique in that every few chapters you changed point of view from either Tia's head to Teig's. You also went back through the same scene (with more and other smaller bits added) from the new perspective. Ie. We read one scene of them driving in the car from Tia's point of view and thoughts and then the next chapter was from Tieg's point of view for the same scene and then continued on. This made it a lot easier to get to know and enjoy these characters. The world created and the characters were excellent. 
What this book needed? More of a plot (story) arc and to be more concise. It took a lot of words to get to the end, and it felt like there was a lot of intermediary things that didn't exactly need to be in there. The entire book felt like rising action, it needed a bigger climax (don't get us wrong the rising action was good it just need to go beyond that). We really were caught off guard by the ending. The plot just simply ended. There was no resolution, no feel like this was how things ended up. We will definitely read the second one (we know there are more planned) but it felt like this book should've ended differently and we felt gypped as readers. All in all a good read, wanted more though from this book on its own though.

That's it from the flock!

The Only YA Novel I Didn't Finish

So for the first time in my life I actually didn't finish a YA novel that I picked up. It may happen again, but this is such a strange occurrence for me, as I've been reading YA for going on 13 years and it hasn't happened once. Usually I can tell if I'm going to like a book, by the description on the book jacket, the genre and what I've hear about it from others and reviews. This wasn't the case.
I had to resist the urge to throw the book

The book that I didn't finish was Gone by Michael Grant. I'd seen and heard a lot of hype about it, and I knew it was a series, I also read about it on the book jacket. It sounded interesting - all the adults disappear and the kids have to survive on their own with no tv, no internet, no phones? All while some of the them are getting strange powers to boot? Yeah I'm all over that.

Much to my chagrin and annoyance it took me a while to get into it. I didn't really feel any connection to the main character Sam (it didn't help that the book leapt around in point of view to many other characters). The incident where all the adults disappear happens within the first three sentences of the book. I felt thrown in and didn't care as much about it because I didn't know the characters before hand. Some novels can pull this off well - jumping right in to the main event - this one didn't succeed at all.

I got 100 pages in. Gone is the first book in the series and is 500+ pages. In that first 100 pages so many characters were introduced it got really really aggravating. I had to keep flipping back to try and understand who people were. I have done this in other books, but only with epic fantasy and then I kind of expect a lot of characters. Didn't expect it or want it in this case. In addition, Sam just fell flat to me, the more I read the more each of the characters seemed to take on a stereo-type.

Now a couple of things in that first 100 pages sent up a few red flags so I went online and found out more about the series. Much to my shock I found out that this series is in the horror genre. Just watching the 'book trailer' on the website for Gone bothered me. I cannot do horror in any way shape or form. It disturbs me too much and my imagination flies away with it and I can't deal. For a better explanation as to why see my post here: Why Being An Ann is Both Exciting and Horrifying. In the few details that were shared in the review of the series I was disgusted and completely turned off.

I hate not finishing a book because I feel like I can't give a valid opinion (as evidenced by this post on my Lasera blog: Haven't Read It? Or Seen It? No You Cannot Hate It). But with this book I just couldn't do it. I wasn't enjoying or connecting with the characters and the plot was horrific enough that it worried me to even consider continuing on.

So I've had an experience that a lot of others have had, and that I never wanted to have happen to me, but there it is. Gone was the book I was going to review, yeah didn't happen. Long and short of it? I only got 100 pages in.

Anyone else ever have this kind of experience with a book you thought you were going to love?


Peacock Flock Book Review #2 - Black Sheep

Peacock Flock Book Review #2

Black Sheep

Author: Georgette Heyer

Length: ~ 232 pages

Genre: Historical Romance 

Heat level: Clean

Stars: 5 Fantabulous Purple Stars 

Book Summary:

With her high-spirited intelligence and good looks, Abigail Wendover was a most sought-after young woman. But of all her high-placed suitors, there was none Abigail could love.

Miles Calverleigh had no regard for the polite conventions of Regency society. His cynicism, his morals, his manners appalled Abigail. Yet she was irresistibly drawn to his knowing smile. But how could she persuade her wealthy, respectable family to accept this unconventional, unsuitable man?


If anyone out there loves Georgette Heyer this is one of her best! Miss Abigail Wendover is the main character and we absolutely love her! She's feisty and in her very first meeting with the main 'man' Miles Calverleigh trips over her verbal feet but brings all her cleverness and humour to bear. But a case of mistaken identity makes that first meeting not go at all as planned and the result is extremely entertaining. Abby's niece Fanny is besotted by Miles' nephew Stacy, and Abby is desperately trying to enlist his help to deter them from marrying. We love Miles as a character! He is strange, funny and completely unlike any of Georgette's other leading men! He made his money in trade - which is unusual enough in an of itself, but he also doesn't care much about what other people think and is the subject of so much talk, that we couldn't help but laugh. After an entire book of hilarious brashness, we fell in love with him, along with Abby, when he took the time to comment on her and his concern for her! A great plot that pulled us along and characters so much their very own, Black Sheep had it all. As we borrowed the copy of Black Sheep that we read we will definitely be buying a copy!

** This is not the original review I was going to do this week, to read about the other book and why I didn't review it click here

That's it from the flock!

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