So, I won this book on First Reads way too long ago. But now that I've finally read it, I can try to write a coherent review. And mostly fail. My firsSo, I won this book on First Reads way too long ago. But now that I've finally read it, I can try to write a coherent review. And mostly fail. My first note is that I started this book around my birthday. So, almost exactly three months ago; take what meaning from that you like. I didn't have the problems with it that my sister had; I was more accepting that how things occurred in the book is just how things were. I rather liked Temujin, particularly when compared to his brother Bekter. But I think I would really appreciate a novel about his youngest brother, Temuge. He seems like a much more interesting character to me, and I think I would find his personal struggle to be accepted by his brothers despite his dislike for killing much more compelling. That said, Temujin almost feels like Eragon, in that they're both so very perfect. I know that to have conquered like he did, Temujin could not have lost a raid; that would mean he died. But all we ever see him struggle with are the threat of starvation in the middle of winter when he's twelve and really heavy iron armor. Oh, and his emotions; he has a hard time reigning them in, sometimes. Is there anything he's actually bad at? I find such un-flawed characters difficult to identify with, though I sympathized with Temujin's situation and could see the justification for his conquering ways. Overall, I would say that this is an engaging read, but I wouldn't want my sons reading it and saying, "I want to be just like him!" largely because, physically, he is presented as an unattainable dream: good on horseback, good with the bow, good with the sword, with strength, stamina, and speed... Who needs that kind of pressure?...more
When I first started this book, I had a hard time getting into it. The author adopted a narrative voice that really got on my grammar-police nerves. IWhen I first started this book, I had a hard time getting into it. The author adopted a narrative voice that really got on my grammar-police nerves. I couldn't tell if Meyer was trying to write like most of his characters speak, or if he was just that dumb. I wanted to tell his editor to bust out the grammar books. But after I allowed myself to become involved in the story, I decided that Meyer was trying to write like his characters and that he is not, if fact, an idiot. (But maybe that's just because I got used to the style.)
In terms of plot, I have very mixed feelings. It's as if the bad guy always won, but you wanted him to win. But really, the bad guys bit it, and the good guys, who all reacted badly, won. Of course, there are exceptions, but these only seem to add to the reality of the story and to the awesomeness of the good guys' win. Again, mixed feelings about the illegality of the winningnesses, but it makes a person think about the gray areas of right and wrong, what makes a person one of the bad guys, and so on and so forth. While I tend avoid such ambiguous lines of thought, since they usually just make my head hurt, I like to see other people exploring said ambiguosities and convincing others (I hope) to think about them carefully. I just hope Meyer doesn't hate me for getting it all wrong. Or stop exploring the ambiguous nature of so much because idiots like me get everything all wrong....more
So I finished this book about a week ago and have spent the time since then thinking about what kind of review I should post. Well, and going to classSo I finished this book about a week ago and have spent the time since then thinking about what kind of review I should post. Well, and going to classes and doing homework and reading other books and such, but also thinking about my review. I find that I'm not very good at reviews of praise. If I don't have something to complain about, then I don't have anything to say. And I did like this book; I do not feel that there was much I want to complain about. I do feel that things worked out for Betta almost too easily, but that's how it happens sometimes. Not often and never for me, but it's still believable. And now I'm going to cut myself off before I start to get ramble-y and confusing; I'll just say that this book has not led me to decide that I shall never read Elizabeth Berg again. While I won't exactly go seeking her novels out, I am more likely to pick one up off the Rough Sort shelf at my library....more
In truth, I entered to win this book because I don't read poetry and I thought I should expand my horizons. I don't think it worked. I feel like I shoIn truth, I entered to win this book because I don't read poetry and I thought I should expand my horizons. I don't think it worked. I feel like I should spend more time with each poem, really get into the nitty gritty of meaning and symbolism and stuff. Which I don't. I think about it as I'm looking at the page, and then I kind of say to myself, "Naah, I don't feel like it." So maybe I'm missing a lot. I'm not feeling like any of these poems has had a considerable emotional impact. But maybe they don't have to. I feel very indifferently about these poems, but I also feel like I want to keep them, read them again, and maybe their meaning will gradually seep into me, and I will find I love them. More than any of this though, I set the book down feeling like I should pay more attention and go somewhere far away from dirty ol' Chicago and absorb the scenery. I'm thinking rural Alaska.......more
Admittedly, I may be building this book up slightly because I just got a snow day and a half and I'm feeling benevolent, but I truly enjoyed this bookAdmittedly, I may be building this book up slightly because I just got a snow day and a half and I'm feeling benevolent, but I truly enjoyed this book. It was a book that had sex and money and violence, but was about none of these things. I'm not exactly sure what to say about it; I'm not a smarty-pants to dissect the language or themes or laud the poetry of the prose or the something-or-other thing-a-job. Quite simply, in my less than brilliantly knowledgeable opinion, this was a good book. It was happy, but not everything ended perfectly. It was realistic, but not gruesome and horrid. For those who don't speak Spanish, there are some phrases that aren't explained or translated, but very few, and I think a pleasant balance was struck between, "For you idiots who only know one language, this is what that word means," and "I'm telling a story, don't interrupt me." So given all these myriad but vague praises, I was very sad when I was too tired to hold my book and dropped it, at which point it fell off my bed, caught a page on something-or-other, and tore. Sad. Said page is now all crumpled and broken, but I will keep my book despite my compulsively perfectionist nature and my copy's imperfection. It is worth the niggling irritation.
Also, this is my FTC-compliant notice that I received this book free via First Reads on GoodReads....more
So if we really want to know what I think of this book, I'll just say that I bought it. At Barnes and Noble. Not my favorite resale shop. At Barnes anSo if we really want to know what I think of this book, I'll just say that I bought it. At Barnes and Noble. Not my favorite resale shop. At Barnes and Noble. With money. (Well, a gift card, but still.) I think I like it so much because the main character knows how much of a screw-up she can be. She's smart, but still imperfect, and she knows it, and she's snarky. I like snark. Yay snark! I'm going to stop blathering now. . ....more
That's right, it's 3:30 AM, and I decided to come write my Firebird review. Now, that's mostly because Gramma woke me up after I'd been asleep for aboThat's right, it's 3:30 AM, and I decided to come write my Firebird review. Now, that's mostly because Gramma woke me up after I'd been asleep for about an hour and a half, so I'm not tired now, and I'm tired of laying in bed, where I just spent the last hour and a half finishing my book. But don't let me confuse you! Had Firebird been less my speed, I really would have finished the chapter like I planned and gone back to sleep. But it was tewtally my speed; I like when average types kick butt with diligence and wit. I'm not going to spend a lot of time analyzing the writing or plotting, 'cause that'll kind of ruin it for me. Suffice to say that I like talking foxes....more
**spoiler alert** Oh, goodness. I'm going to feel really badly about this if I'm wrong, but I get the feeling that this was meant to be a satire of th**spoiler alert** Oh, goodness. I'm going to feel really badly about this if I'm wrong, but I get the feeling that this was meant to be a satire of the mystery-romance type genre. Why do I feel this way? Perhaps it has to do with the seven gents presented as love-interests for our main character. Or with the fact that one ends up dating her sister and another ends up dating her mother. Or maybe it with the three-to-one date with the band guys, each of whom was in the early twenties ("We've been reading Cosmopolitan.") And the part where she holds up the bad guy with a glue gun? Definitely a contributing factor. ("You should've shot him." "I couldn't. It wasn't plugged in.") Also, at the police station: Bad Cop: Don't mess with me! Isabel Stanley: I'm not! You don't have to scare my into spilling my guts. I'll spill them without the act. Good Cop: What act? I.S.: Good cop, bad cop.... Don't feel bad. You do it very well. It's just that I was expecting it. I can pretend I don't notice if you want.
So, apologies to author and fans if I'm wrong, but I definitely think that this is a mystery-romance satire. And I think it's a very good satire. I laughed. Out loud. It's possible I was a little punch-drunk, since it was three in the morning, but I still laughed. Out loud....more