My goodness. I'd have given it 4 stars for plot, but it loses a star for the love-at-first-sight thing -- I am so over that trope -- and another for tMy goodness. I'd have given it 4 stars for plot, but it loses a star for the love-at-first-sight thing -- I am so over that trope -- and another for the bad editing.
The biggest issue I had was the use of "-ing" phrases as full sentences. The first one I noticed was on page 4: "Vowing to stay silent, out of sight, until the child's sixteenth year when she'd find herself in need of the counsel only Paloma could offer." Why couldn't it read, "She vowed to stay silent..."? Or even easier, why not change the period ending the previous sentence to a comma? It's almost like Noel was afraid of over-using commas, and so she randomly changed them to periods. That, or Noel claimed it was a "stylistic choice" and the editor went with it. I'm not, though. I think it's clunky and sounds stupid, so I've been reading on auto-correct (only I'm smarter than your phone). Of course, that gets really awkward when Noel uses the "-ing" phrase correctly, and I try to correct it, only to realize later in the sentence that I didn't need to. Then I have to go back and try again. Arg. I counted 59 instances of improper "-ing" use in the first 50 pages. Then I ran out of paper and stopped counting.
I also noticed some issues with changing tenses. Pages 18, 37, 58, and 92 have sentences that lapse into past tense for no reason, even though most of the book is in present tense. I might not have bothered mentioning it, but I started taking notes, and after the "-ing" thing, I didn't have a lot of patience.
I don't like how Dace's eyes "...mirror my image thousands of times" (p.64) It makes me think of a dude with fly eyes. Ew. (She also uses this phrase on pages 43, 93, and 114.)
Page 40: I consider "stifling Siberia" to be an oxymoron. Sibera is cold. I think I get what she was after, but no.
On pages 45, 47, and 53, Noel uses "if not" instead of "and." "She grasps my hand in hers, squeezes tightly, if not briefly...." "But Chay is calm, if not methodical...." "I... exchange a pleasant, if not generic greeting...." All of these make more sense to me as either "and" or only "if." So much irked.
Page 51: How does a pencil "clock" a page?
Page 57: "But after traveling the paved highway for over an hour of seriously bumpy dirt roads..." Um, I'm confused. Are you confused? Because I'm confused.
Page 66 has a sentence that ends "...snuffing the life it beheld like a flame." It should read "...the life it held..." "Behold" means "see." Come on.
Noel leaves out linking verbs a lot. (I noted pages 68, 69, and 72. I wasn't really keeping track of this one.) I suspect she's going for an "internal dialogue" thing with this, but I use linking verbs when I think. I don't skip verbs, or speak in funky non-sentence "-ing" phrases. Ergo, this irks me. A lot. Dislike.
Page 79: When you're in Nowhere, Arizona, how do you hid a town behind a corner? What corner?
Page 93: "I can longer trust the things [my mind] shows me." Um, do you know that you forgot an entire word? I could deal with a quote mark or comma going missing (really, I could), but a word?
And then I stopped taking notes because I ran out of paper. And really, who wants to bother with more than that? I feel like it's bad enough I had all this to write down, and that's only in the first 100 pages. What frustrated me most is that I really liked the plot (except for the aforementioned love-at-first-sight thing). And I couldn't get into it and enjoy the story because I kept editing. Will I keep reading? Yes. Once I stopped taking notes, this went pretty quickly, and I want to know what happens next. Will I recommend it to others? Only with a strong warning about the poor writing/editing jobs, because my friends are big on grammar. This would make them weep. Or rage. Maybe both....more
This book contains 4 to 6 pages of images from different libraries around the world and a paragraph about each. While the pictures are gorgeous, I oftThis book contains 4 to 6 pages of images from different libraries around the world and a paragraph about each. While the pictures are gorgeous, I often found myself wanting more about each library or image. A caption explaining the sculpture featured here, a picture of the hidden staircase mentioned in the paragraph, etc. I wouldn't want to be the one to create a more in-depth book on this subject, but I felt like what I've got here is 192 pages of tease. "There's so much gorgeous in this library, but we're only going to show you these two pictures!" This was especially frustrating when the two pictures were of the same space from different angles. I want to see it all! No fair. Excuse me whilst I go pout like a child.
P.S. I think my favorite library is the twig-covered LiYuan Library in Beijing, China (pgs 22-25). So many little nooks and crannies to curl up in or tuck a stack of books! Can this be my house when I grow up?...more
I was not impressed with this one. I found the author's writing unclear and disorganized. When discussing how to cover a cloth-bound book, Muir tellsI was not impressed with this one. I found the author's writing unclear and disorganized. When discussing how to cover a cloth-bound book, Muir tells you how to place the book to cut the cloth (p.86), then discusses the consistency of glue you'll need (p.86-87), then lists all the tools and supplies you'll need to complete the operation (p.87). Shouldn't I have the supply list before I start? I had a hard time understanding his directions. I didn't even try to apply any of these techniques to the books I need to fix. The only thing I actually understood was re-sewing the signatures together, which is really pretty useless if you can't put the covers back on. He talks about how to put covers on, but not in a way that left me feeling comfortable with the idea of trying it myself. Further, the last chapter on lettering the spine/covers in gold leaf is basically, "There's no way to learn how to do this from a book. Go to college and learn it there. But I'm going to tell you how it's done in this book anyway." Um, really? If you're going to explain a technique in your book, maybe you shouldn't say that learning a technique from the explanation in a book is futile. Because who would read that chapter? And my final quibble, which is more minor than the others: two of the figure number/caption pairs are reversed on p.84-85. How did no one notice that?...more
I had a hard time starting this one, which is a little odd, since I've read this one before and that usually makes it easier to get through. Not thisI had a hard time starting this one, which is a little odd, since I've read this one before and that usually makes it easier to get through. Not this time. I just disliked the main character so much at the start of the book that I almost didn't finish. But Helen becomes a more mature character as the novel progresses, making her much less detestable and I made it through. It's hard to know how to rate this because people can't improve if they don't start out badly, but I have a hard time with people who make fun of, well, me. Helen stops making snide remarks about people like me (those not on the cutting edge of fashion, for example) as the book progresses, but I get the sense that it had more to do with being too busy to belittle others and not all that much to do with realizing that belittling others is petty and pointless. So… two stars....more
So, these three stories are all interconnected. Same vampire universe, right? In one story, if you un-stake a vampire, they'll2.5 stars, rounded down.
So, these three stories are all interconnected. Same vampire universe, right? In one story, if you un-stake a vampire, they'll start to heal. You have to leave the stake in while you cut off the head and burn the pieces in two separate places. But then in the last story, you stake a vampire and they go poofy-ashy, Buffy-style. This is a problem for me. I like consistency. Where is my consistency?...more
Light and fluffy. Not something I'd run around recommending to anyone other than my mother, but just what I was looking for, which was something to liLight and fluffy. Not something I'd run around recommending to anyone other than my mother, but just what I was looking for, which was something to lift me out of my funk. It didn't entirely eliminate the funk, but it's definitely helped with the snappishness....more
I'm going to reserve judgment until I actually try this "method." I think that, for me, it's going to work for some things and not for others, but thaI'm going to reserve judgment until I actually try this "method." I think that, for me, it's going to work for some things and not for others, but that's all I'm willing to say at this point. I'll let you know how it turns out if I ever get around to trying it....more