The Madness Underneath
by Maureen Johnson
After reading the first book in this series, The Name ofthe Star, I was really excited to get to know the characters better in the next installment. Unfortunately, I felt like everything I liked about the first book was missing in the sequel. The plot was forced and awkward and the villain situation was absolutely ridiculous and not believable at any point. The murder that opens the entire book is completely unimportant.
The main character felt whiny and annoying and I never thought that in the first book. How is she surprised that she's failing her classes when she hasn't done a single tiny bit of work? What did she think was going to happen? All the characters that were important in the first book are pushed to the background, including the roommates and most of the special squad. It felt like they were added in as an afterthought instead of a driving force.
BOTTOM LINE: The plot fell flat for me and I don't think I'll continue with the series.
**A huge part of my complaint about this book probably goes back to the narrator of the audio version. I read a hard copy of the first book but listen to the second one and the narrator was just not a good fit. Her voice was fine, but she insisted on doing accents for every character. The biggest problem I had was that the main character is southern, but every time she's thinking or narrating her part it's in a regular American accent, and then when she speaks out loud to another character she has a thick southern accent. It was completely inconsistent and jarred me every single time.
The Secrets of Serving Champagne Bitches and Caviar Queens
by Michael Fazio
A hotel concierge explains the dos and don’ts of the service industry. His observations are at times catty, but usually entertaining. He name drops celebrities that are on both his naughty and nice list. Honestly, I just kept thinking about how insane some people’s lifestyle is. Hiring a helicopter for a quick evening trip because a cab would take too long, paying a $1,000 for a dinner just to be seen in a fancy restaurant, etc. I will never understand people who value fame and fortune above all and I think working in an industry that was saturated with those people would be awful.
BOTTOM LINE: Light and fun, read it if you’re interested in the world of people who make the behind the scenes things happen for the rich and famous. He has worked in New York City for years, so I liked seeing his short list of places he recommends checking out when you visit.