Next Up For Review

Next Up For Review
The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mistakes With Deadly Consequences

Hello blogger book review fans, long time, no see.
Where, pray tell, have you been? (That's me, pretending to be you)
Well, let's see. First, I was stuck from close to a week without power--and what fun that was, especially after my Kindle went dead, Arghh!--and for a lovely follow up, I am now smack dab in the middle of the Great Midwestern Heatwave of 2011. Three, yep I said three, people in Tennessee have already perished due to mishaps such as not realizing their window unit air conditioners were blowing hot air into their closed up, already insufferable, blazing homes.
At least I have a pool (which coincidentally nobody but me ever uses) to keep cool while I wind my way through Stockings & Cellulite (hilarious).  It's one of the last paper books I bought. After soaking the edges against my wet suit & watching it disintegrate, it will most likely be the last.
At any rate, I'm back, baby, Yeah! So, without further adieu....

1.    Mistakes by A.M. Hayward & L.J. Holder
Everyone makes them. We are only human.
Some of our mistakes are small... like the times you stay up till 2 am studying for a test that you end up failing because you are too tired to think.
Others are so catastrophic that they change your life.... forever....

Maddison regrets not listening to her parents, not being a 'good girl' and not staying at home like she was supposed to instead of sneaking off with her friends for a Spring Break getaway. How she wishes she could turn back time; then maybe she wouldn't be in the nightmare she is in now. Kidnapped and taken to a different country unaware of where she is or what these men want with her.

Maddy's parents can't help her, in fact they aren't even aware she is in Mexico. Who can save her? Or can she save herself?   

Cover: B It fits the book. Not the type of cover that will reach out & grab you at first glance, but nicely done just the same. 

Story: B+
This book is geared towards adolescents, but I would say older adolescents due to some minor amounts of sexual behavior etc. I never read too much of the preview of a book, since I like to be surprised. In the case of MISTAKES I'm exceptionally glad, because I truly did not have a clue as to the horrible place Maddison would end up. I knew it would be bad. I knew she would be kidnapped--but I kept thinking, "Hello, you stupid teenage girl, have you not heard of Natalie Holloway?" (Which, I really think this story...the disappearance, the circumstances, the company...closely parallels) But guess what? I was wrong. Then again, they never did find Ms. Holloway, did they?
Overall: B This story is a nice solid 'B'. The plot is entertaining. The action rev's up early on and the characters are nicely developed. I really enjoyed the concept of two different authors, in two different places, writing the same story. That has to be tough. After a bit I could detect slight stylistic nuances of each writer. it didn't detract from the book, it was more like a Where's Waldo? game added in.  
Mistakes is the first book in the Mistakes Trilogy. By the end of book one I could easily see the flow into book two, and I daresay a happy ending for Maddison (although as a parent, I can't say I'd approve of certain aspects of certain Knights in Shining Armour). 
Stop by & grab a copy of mistakes for your snotty, know it all teen today. It might make them think twice and avoid unnecessary danger.

2. Do You Know What I love About Jane Austen?
 I am so ashamed; and yet, so very proud. I'm ashamed because up until my power went out on Monday, I'd never ventured into the sweeping fiction of the late, great, Miss Austen. Now, I'm proud, because I read, understood, & loved my very first Austen book. (Pride and Prejudice, the very most commonly read of all the Austen lit's, but still...)
Now, I've never claimed to be a literary genius. On the contrary, I threw Wuthering Heights against the wall, repeatedly, before finally gaining a tiny inkling of what on earth people were saying. I know it's written in English...but really it might as well have been Portuguese. Even when I finally dissected it enough to understand the broad strokes, I failed to see why ANYONE would fall in love with an A$$hole like the extraordinarily bone headed Mr. Heathcliff. If memory serves, Catherine was a piece of work in her own right. I found them to be a well matched couple, where each works to outdo the other to win the Oscar of the self serving miserable bastard awards. It was the last classic I attempted due to the PTSD that comes from reading a page, coming to the bottom, and saying, "What the hell did I just read?" Before going back to the top & starting over...for the fiftieth time.
I expected the same of Austen. Ha! Can you believe that?
So, to answer the question posed at the top:
I love that I can read an Austen book and understand what's going on (from page one). Furthermore, I love that her love story, is a LOVE story. People make mistakes. They have faults greater than the San Andreas fault line; but in the end, they learn something & they are happy. Her morals lessons still ring true today(if this doesn't hold true for the rest of her work, please don't tell me. I downloaded all of it on my Kindle late last night). Lastly, I read a really great article about her inability to memorize the rules of grammar, thereby driving her editor to the brink of insanity.
Yes, all of this points to a woman I would love to have sat next to & had a drink with. I'm a fan, tried & true. Are you?
Next up on my classics list: The Count of Monte Cristo. I hear it's fabulous... 


  1. Mistakes sounds fantastic in that 'oh God, please don't happen to me' kind of way.
    And Elsie, you hadn't read Jane Austen? Welcome to her wonderful world! So pleased to hear you liked P&P, and understood it. I had the same fears, but kept up with the language, much to my surprise!

    Madeline x

  2. I'm wondering if I managed to get a copy that was "revised"? ala Austen for Dummies? It was sooo very different from Bronte.
    Yep. I managed to go through my entire school career w/out Pride & Prejudice. How on earth did that happen? No clue.
    I downloaded everything on my Kindle. Now I can catch up & be fully schooled in the classics!

  3. Sounds like a pretty good read there! Thanks for shining a little light on it. As for your power outage...tough break. Even you ereader was out? Ah yes...the beauty of a paper book shines through. :0) be carefel with the heat wave...hydration and staying indoors will go a long way. Happy reading!

  4. My kindle holds the battery charge for a month. unfortunately for me, I was due for a charge. It went out on Tuesday. I damn near broke down!