More of a 2.5 star book. I've read a couple other reviews of this book, which came from opposite ends of the rating spectrum. One person thought that...moreMore of a 2.5 star book. I've read a couple other reviews of this book, which came from opposite ends of the rating spectrum. One person thought that viewing everything from Jack's perspective prevented the reader from getting to the nitty-gritty of Jack's mom's emotions/mindset/etc. Another reader bawled. I landed somewhere between the two. What most struck me is how no one seemed to realize just how well Jack's mom realized her goal: to protect him from their situation and give him a happy childhood. After their escape, everyone was telling Jack that he didn't need to think about "that place," but to him, that place was home. It was everything he knew for five years. He was taken away from everything he ever knew and people expect him never to think about any of it ever again? I can't tell if that's just grown-ups being dense or if the author missed it. Probably grown-ups being dense.
Beyond the above personal insight about Jack's childhood, I didn't really come away with any strong impressions, which is why two stars instead of three. The characters are perfectly believable, but I didn't feel especially attached to any of them. Jack sounded both adorable and bratty – like most kids his age, I suspect. His mother sounded like lots of loving mothers, though she was perhaps more damaged than some. If I had to choose a favorite character, it'd probably be StepPa (not sure how Donoghue wrote it – audiobook). Despite never having had kids, he seemed the best at dealing with Jack's peculiarities. Maybe because he didn't know other kids well enough to compare Jack to them. Probably my biggest question: Would a mental hospital really let you move into a halfway house with your child only a week (or was it two?) after you attempt suicide? (less)
Overall, on its own, Twin of Fire is a perfectly acceptable historical romance. However, I read this after reading Twin of Ice (not knowing that there...moreOverall, on its own, Twin of Fire is a perfectly acceptable historical romance. However, I read this after reading Twin of Ice (not knowing that there was a companion novel). Thus, when I read Twin of Fire, I kept trying to match up the timelines for the two novels. And I could not make it happen in my head. I cannot figure out when Kane Taggert went where. (view spoiler)[Or, for that matter, when the Little Pamela mine exploded. Or when Houston blew up the jail. (hide spoiler)] I know these are plot points from a different novel, but they're two closely connected novels, so I went into Twin of Fire expecting the timelines of the two novels to sync up; when they didn't, I kept trying to figure them out and getting frustrated. If you're going to read both of the Chandler twins' stories, don't expect them to match up much once you get about two-thirds of the way through (view spoiler)[-- that is, once you get past the wedding (hide spoiler)].(less)
Think Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but about 100 years earlier. My feelings are mixed and, at the moment, I am unable to articulate them fu...moreThink Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but about 100 years earlier. My feelings are mixed and, at the moment, I am unable to articulate them further. As there are four books and two stories that follow this one, I'm unsure as to whether I'll continue. I can probably comfortably skip the two stories, but four books is still more than I'm willing to commit to at this time. Especially since there is no indication that the most recent book is the last (other than the four years that have elapsed since its publication – but that means nothing. For all I know, Gleason stopped writing to help her husband through his cancer treatment, and now that he's in remission, she'll get the next installment sent to her agent. Not that this is what happened. Just that it could. I wish GoodReads had a thing that indicated the conclusion of a series. An asterisk by the final book's number or something. e.g. "Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3*" Just so I would know when it's safe to start reading a series… But that's besides the point.) The point: I'm not falling all over myself to get the next book, but neither am I totally uninterested in what happens next. I think I'll mull it over a day or two before I decide.(less)
I picked this up because I recognized Hicks's style in the art. I read it because it looked interesting. I liked it because it was. However, I wasn't...moreI picked this up because I recognized Hicks's style in the art. I read it because it looked interesting. I liked it because it was. However, I wasn't convinced on the romance aspect of it. I believe that it could happen. I see that it was necessary. I don't disagree with it. I'm just not convinced it would've happened here without Writer On Board. I just wanted a little more transition from "Freak/Thug" to "Smoochies!" But it's a fast-paced graphic novel with only 165-ish pages, so I can see where timing may have been a difficulty. Brain Camp wasn't a waste of time to read, especially considering that it only took me about an hour. I will continue to look for work Hicks has created/collaborated on, but it will continue to be the absent-minded, unintentional, "This look familiar…" kind of looking I've been doing up to this point.(less)
I know, I know. I'm not a teen, nor am I raising teens. However, my brain still thinks I'm a teen, so I thought it should know some more stuff about b...moreI know, I know. I'm not a teen, nor am I raising teens. However, my brain still thinks I'm a teen, so I thought it should know some more stuff about being an adult. Perhaps this will help it realize that I'm supposed to be a grown-up now. (Please excuse me whilst I shudder.)
First complaint: Is it really necessary to write "They should know" 1,001 times? Every single item started with "They should know". How about starting the book with "They should know…" and each item finishes the sentence?
"1) …how to dress themselves. "2) …how to wipe their butt. "3) …to ask a lot of questions."
Is that such a ridiculous idea. Reading "They should know" 1001 times is a waste of my time. "So skip that part!" you say. Fabulous idea! Except that I inevitably found myself skipping the first 6 or 7 words or the first line, being confused, then having to go back and reread the whole thing again. Even more time wasted! Score.
On page 139, #455: "They should know the necessities of life – cable TV, satellite radio, a new cell phone – won't be acquired without an enormous amount of hassle." Please tell me Harrison is being facetious here. Anyone? Those are not the necessities of life. Try food, clothing, shelter, and socializing. 'Cause I'm 26 and have never had cable tv, satellite radio, or a new cell phone. (I do have a cell phone. It was 6 years old when my mother got it for me.) So either these things are necessities, or I'm the walking undead. Get out your cast iron pot-helmets or I just might eat your brains!
On page, 187, #632: "They should know to close the lid before flushing. Especially if toothbrushes and washrags are sitting nearby." Pardon my passive-aggressivity, but, see, Dad? Mom and I aren't the only loons who think this is a good idea.
Conclusion: Some tips that are helpful, especially in the big-ticket-item-shopping sections (car, house/apartment…). But mostly, I already knew that I need to know these things. I just don't know them (like cooking). Between the I-know-I-need-to-learn-that factor and the Are-you-seriously-going-to-say-that-1001-times? factor, not thrilled. Just shy of wasting my time. 2 stars.(less)