Goodbye, I Love You by Carol Lynn Pearson

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Memoir

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: When Carol Lynn met Gerald, she was instantly attracted to him. As their relationship progresses, she finds out that he has been struggling with homosexuality, but they are convinced that he can overcome these feelings with the help of the Mormon faith.  As the years go by, Gerald begins to feel that he can no longer live as a heterosexual man and eventually divorces Carol Lynn and sets out to develop a life as a gay man.  When the AIDS crisis hits, Gerald is affected and in the end, returns to the home he left.  (Note: this is not a spoiler, it’s all on the back of the book.)

Opinion: I thought it was a sad and depressing book.  I am not sure that I could do what the author did when she divorced her cheating husband amicably and then nursed him when he came crawling back dying.  I felt that Gerald was a very selfish man, and I honestly had difficulty sympathizing with him, but I felt that Carol Lynn was an admirable person in the way that she didn’t seem to harbor resentment for the way she had been treated.

Next book: A Girl Like You by Maureen Lindley

Signs of the Hour by Mufti A.H. Elias

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Format read: Hardback

Genre: Islamic

Rating: 4 out of 10

Plot: This book covers the events that will occur at the end of the world according to Islamic doctrine.  It focuses on the main signs of the end of the world, although there is a brief mention of some of the minor signs of the Day of Judgment.

Opinion: I’ve read several books on this subject and this was by far the worst one that I’ve read.  First, this book is a series of pamphlets that have been compiled together.  Instead of editing the pamphlets so they flow in a cohesive manner, they were placed together as is, and so there’s a lot of redundancy in this book.  Second, as is the case with a lot of Islamic books, this one is poorly edited; there were a lot of spelling and grammar errors, some of which were so bad I had to reread a sentence several times to figure out what they were trying to say.

Next book: Goodbye, I Love You by Carol Lynn Pearson

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror

Rating: 4 out of 10

Plot: Baby Jane Hudson was a rising Vaudeville star until a move to Hollywood thrust her sister Blanche into the spotlight.  As Blanche’s career was taking off, Baby Jane fell into the sidelines, until a tragic accident left Blanche crippled.  Baby Jane feels guilt about the accident and spends her life caring for Blanche, but her resentment of Blanche grows until she reacts violently against Blanche leading to a cascade that affects not only their lives, but the lives of those around them.

Opinion: Overall, I was pretty bored with this book.  I thought that the characters were stereotypical and that they spent more time debating what action they should take than actually doing something.  I thought there was a build-up to a big ending, but I felt like it fell through and the book kind of petered out to a predictable ending.  I know there’s a movie based on this book, and it’s supposed to add to the experience of reading this, but I haven’t seen it, so I was left with a disappointing ending to a disappointing book.

Next book: Signs of the Hour by Mufti A.H. Elias

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: This is the second book in the Dark Towers series, which follows Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. In this book, Roland gathers the people who will help him on his journey.

Opinion:  I thought this book was less confusing than the first book, but I thought that certain parts seemed to drag on.  I thought there were parts that could’ve been left out without taking away from the story, but overall, it was a better story than the first book.  I am invested enough now to want to continue on, but I’m hoping that the next book provides some answers that I still have from the first book because this book didn’t really clear up the unanswered questions I have.

Next book: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell

The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 10

Plot: This is the second book in the Cousins’ War series, which is not a sequel to the first book, but rather a book from the perspective of another player in the Cousins’ War: Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.  Margaret grows up in an era where daughters were considered pawns to be married off for the benefit of the family.  She is related to Henry VI through the Lancaster line and watches as Henry VI is overthrown by the York line of the family.  After Henry VI is overthrown, she spends her life plotting and planning to get her own son on the thrown, believing that it is God’s will and that her son is the rightful heir to the thrown.

Opinion:  Although I liked the writing, I hated the main character.  Margaret was one of the most self-righteous, arrogant, jealous, cold-blooded, manipulative women I’ve ever read about.  Any sympathy I had for her in the beginning, when she was forced to marry against her will and then forced to leave her son when her husband died, was gone about a third of the way through the book.  Although I knew from history what the end result would be, I kept hoping that someone would send her to the tower.  It was kind of hard to keep reading this book because I found the main character to be so repugnant.  This definitely is the worst book I’ve read by Phillipa Gregory.

Next book: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King