"#40 (Feb 11). Mixed reviews, mostly negative. Thomas couches a very particular agenda within a religious/political/supernatural framework, and it becomes only too obvious that the main character is just a thinly-veiled version of the author herself. If this were done skillfully, and the agenda not so condescendingly force-fed to the reader, it might have been interesting."
"#41 (Mar 11). One of my all-time favorites, this was not as beloved by all. It can be confusing if you're not giving it your full attention, and you must be tuned in to the satire, which can be deliciously subtle at times. I find it an endlessly re-readable, twisty satire full of mounting dread and tension; others struggle to get through it once."
"#42 (Apr 11). A book narrated by a dog who wishes he were human is obviously not going to be everyone's cup of tea. But if you're a fan of man's best friend and you like a well written, quirky, touching, and insightful read, this fits the bill nicely."
"#44 (Jun 11). Lovely and evocative of a very specific time in New York City's artistic history, this memoir nevertheless could have benefitted from a little more editing and structure, as it drags in the middle and becomes repetitive in some places."
"#45 (Jul 11). Not the book to go to if you desire solid writing or character development. However, its plot is masterful, nonstop action and suspense. Don't let the "young adult" designation fool you: This is tense, violent stuff."
"#49 (Nov 11). Very divisive opinions. Some loved the shifting perspectives--the chapters more like linked stories than sequential episodes in a novel--whereas others needed a flow chart to keep track. Definitely an intriguing way of telling a story."
"#50 (Jan 12). No divisiveness here: Universally disappointing. It is not so bad it's worthy of "hate it!" status, but for such a long book, the plot, characters, location, and mythology behind the story were just too thin. Lots of potential, no follow-through."
"#52 (Mar 12). Another of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books. Frank just did not seem like enough of a compelling character to sustain an entire book, especially when compared to the tour de force stories of Rob and Cassie. Beautifully written nonetheless."
"#54 (May 12). A great departure from our club's usual fare. Sci-fi seemed an interesting genre to try, and Ender's a great entry into it. Some loved it, others hated it, others were bothered by the author's personal controversies."
"#55 (Jun 12). I found the book poorly written, terribly contrived, absurd, and infuriating. I finished it hating every character. Others were swept up by it and fully intended to read the sequels. To each his own!"
"#56 (Jul 12). Lovely. Wonderful. Engrossing. Intriguing. Not a negative review in our group. We can't wait to see what this author comes up with next. All we wished was for a bit more depth to the ancillary characters."
"#57 (Aug 12). Both well defended and well disliked in our group. Those who found it engrossing and unique were stunned by those who found it slow and contrived, and vice versa. Led to a fantastic discussion in our group about the nature of happiness."