Okay, I'll quick finish up the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy...
Fifty Shades of Gray - Darker, 2; Fifty Shades of Gray - Freed, 3, by E.L. James (Kindle) - Let's get this straight - I didn't like any of the three, but I have to admit that at least his character developed a bit by the end of the third book. By the end of the trilogy (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) he comes to love her and realizes that although she is willing to incorporate some of his sexual wants into their sex life because she finds some of them exciting, he needs it less because he learns that he loves her and the love is more valuable than the domination and submissiveness. For me, though - YUK. Not the explicitness of the stories, none of that bothers me. Not the dominant/submissive storyline, it happens. What REALLY gets my goat is that a 22-year old would even consider, in 2012, making herself submissive to a man because that's the only way she can have any relationship with him. Ugh. I spend so much time and energy telling friends and family that you need to be treated WELL, not abused in the name of "love." That you should believe in your own strength, that you don't need a man or a relationship with a man, to be happy. And I feel as though this trilogy just takes everything women have accomplished and throws it right out the window. NOT A GOOD READ, not IMHO.
Stay Close, by Harlan Coben - LOVED this one! I'm a huge Coben fan, and in this book we have new lives, old lives, and the convergence of the two. Old loves, new loves - which will Megan choose? Cold cases, new murders - and a surprise twist when we find out who really done it!
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins - OMG, it's "popular fiction" month. Okay, most of you have either read the book or seen the movie. Yea, "everyone" was reading it this past year, this book, the trilogy. But I'm not usually big on reading what everyone else is reading. My daughter had the book and loaned it to me to read one weekend. I was against the basic plot even before I read the book: I don't like the idea of kids/teens having to kill kids/teens in the name of a game. It reminds me a bit too much of all those violent video games I hate so much. And although I read it, and will read the other two because now I sort of want to find what direction the storyline can go since (SPOILER ALERT!!!) they won the contest and didn't die. But I'm not going out of my way to read them; when Neen has them to lend me, I'll read them; I won't be buying #2 and #3 myself...
Guilty Wives, by James Patterson and David Ellis - I liked this story! Four best friends take off for a weekend away in Monte Carlo (yea, insert Atlantic City for real people!) and they end up having sex with strangers, apparently murdering one of the guys, who turns out to be the President of France, and go to jail in France and have to prove their innocence and find the real killer(s) while behind bars. Lots of excitement and a great plot twist that I admit I saw coming but couldn't quite wrap up neatly, at least not without Mr. Patterson's help!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (Kindle) - At this point I don't think I have to summarize the plot of any HP book. Let's just leave it at this: Even though I read these on my Kindle Fire, I.LOVED.THEM. As I've said, I'm not an e-book reader fan although I can see when they might work, but I love Harry so much that even on an e-reader, I.LOVED.THEM!!! I guess it doesn't really doesn't matter how I read them, if I listen to them or watch them - I.LOVE.THE.HARRY.POTTER.BOOKS.
The Witness, by Nora Roberts - I haven't read a lot of Nora's books lately, maybe one a few months ago, but this one? Loved it! A young girl escapes from a loveless home, gets involved in murder and intrigue and goes "undercover" without the help of the Witness Protection Program. She's brilliant, awkward, not very socially at ease. And eventually, Abigail meets Brooks and eventually tells him everything and together they solve the murder that has kept her on the run and alone for twelve long, lonely years.