Saturday, January 27, 2007

Boo by Rene Gutteridge

Boo, by Rene Gutteridge, is a funny and surprising story. You won’t be disappointed if you like quirky romantic comedy. This book brings to mind Stephen King, as well as Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird. Being from a town only about 40 miles from Monroeville (where the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, was filmed and where Harper Lee grew up) I couldn’t help but draw the connection.

Wolfe Boone is the monstrously successful, Stephen King-like, horror writer who decides to set up residence in Skary, Indiana, transforming the little town into a tourist attraction. There are some residents who think renaming the town’s restaurant “Haunted Mansion,” with its specialties changing to Mad Cow Meatloaf, Queasy Quesadillas, and Screamy Potatoes, is a good idea. One lifetime resident, our heroine Ainsley Parker, definitely doesn’t, and she resents—dare we say, hates?—the man who brought this “darkness” to her hometown. What she doesn’t know is that Wolfe, also known as Boo, has had a crush on her for years. When Boo converts and becomes a Christian, Ainsley must deal with her attitude toward him, and they both will start to get to know each other a little better.

This is a kooky story, complete with a kooky, quite original, villain. I enjoyed it very much. My friend, Mary Connealy, whose own first novel comes out in February, says it’s one of her all-time favorite books. What more endorsement could you ask for?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mending Places by Denise Hunter

Wow, what a great book! I get excited when I find another writer that I really like, and I got excited right after I started this book.

The heroine of Mending Places is Hanna Landin, a young woman who dropped out of college to help her grandmother run the family lodge in the mountains of Wyoming. Problem is, the lodge hasn’t been doing well and she’s about to lose the place if they don’t drum up some more business.

Hanna is also a woman haunted by a horrible thing that happened to her eight years earlier: She was raped. She’s easily spooked and still sleeps with the light on. She is turned off by men, even her own college boyfriend, and has pretty much avoided men ever since.

Enter the hunky Christian trail guide whom she hires to take her lodge guests on hikes. He’s the first man to appeal to Hanna in years, and boy does he appeal to her. However, he has sworn off women. You see the conflict? Anyway, the attraction between them is well-done, and I loved it. If you like romance, you should enjoy this book. The ending I could see being somewhat controversial, but I thought it was great, actually a whole new concept that I’ve never ever seen done before. Which is really saying something.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Life as a Doormat

My Life as a Doormat by Rene Gutteridge

Most books I read are pretty predictable. By page 10 you already know basically what the ending is going to bring about. Well, this is one book that isn’t predictable. I had no idea what was going to happen, and I couldn’t have guessed the ending until almost the end. And if a good book is supposed to stir your emotions and make you feel something, then this was a great book. I thought a LOT about this book after I finished it.

The heroine is playwright Leah Townsend. And I absolutely hated her boyfriend. He wasn’t SO bad, but then, he was! And when he signed her up for a conflict management support group, I could understand her humiliation. But he lived to regret it, and she ended up happy that he did.

This is a book that makes you examine your own choices and attitudes, and I like that in a book. I highly recommend it.