I want to be clear that 4 stars is an enjoyment rating and not a quality rating. There were several things about this book that I had a really hard ti...moreI want to be clear that 4 stars is an enjoyment rating and not a quality rating. There were several things about this book that I had a really hard time with, but I tried stupidly hard to like it and so I did. I enjoy Cecelia Ahern's book because they are fun and light and silly and weird. The weird really shone through in this particular story. So much so, that on occasion the personification of "Life" became confusing and unwieldy. However, I think I just enjoyed the voice of the main character, her love for Gene Kelley, her unbelievable quirks, and the strange side story of her sad neighbor who was so traumatized and fascinating.
This book makes me want to read more chick lit, but I'll probably stick with Cecelia Ahern's because she is just a little bit nutty and I enjoy it. (less)
It took a while to really get into this sequel, but I'm going to ignore most of my criticisms (the lame scorpion/locust thingies ; the retelling of bo...moreIt took a while to really get into this sequel, but I'm going to ignore most of my criticisms (the lame scorpion/locust thingies ; the retelling of book 1 from the boy's point of view via visions given to her from his sword; the really bad writing that happens during any of their intimate moments (not 'intimate wink wink,' just during the moments where they're supposed to be having feelings for each other) that makes me feel bored and eye-roll-y) and just say this series is a lot of fun. Yeah, I meant all of those aforementioned criticisms, but it's a fun story and a pretty darn tough heroine and once again Susan Ee managed to completely surprise me at the end. Not as horrifically as in the first book (which reminds me, the small bits of gore in this book are reallllly gross), but I still didn't see it coming. I look forward to the next installment.(less)
Some lame parts some good parts. The same as the majority of this serious. The illustrations were slightly less endearing this time, probably because...moreSome lame parts some good parts. The same as the majority of this serious. The illustrations were slightly less endearing this time, probably because things are supposed to be getting down to the wire, and so to make it look intense, everything is dark and grey. I still like this series, though. It's fun and fast and doesn't require anything of me to get it done. (less)
The best one since the first one. This one was fast-paced (by the standards of a graphic novel... since they're all pretty fast reads), and had a lot...moreThe best one since the first one. This one was fast-paced (by the standards of a graphic novel... since they're all pretty fast reads), and had a lot of action. The illustrations remain the best part of the story. They're too cute and probably skew my opinions in this series' favor. (less)
I'm subtracting one star for the shockingly abrupt ending. But I really did love this book. I hope the author writes a sequel, but I somehow doubt she...moreI'm subtracting one star for the shockingly abrupt ending. But I really did love this book. I hope the author writes a sequel, but I somehow doubt she will.
The language was adorable, the style was kind of old fashioned... like reading Pollyanna, but that only added to the charm of this book. The old man Charles warmed my heart, and the children of Paris were fun, but also heart-breaking.
I have to say, my favorite part of the book was the first half, before they even went to Paris, when it was just Sophie and Charles at home. For the sequel, Charles could take all the Paris children back home and love and care for them... that's all I really want. It may not make for an exciting book, but it would soothe my heart. It may not be probable, but I suppose it's possible, and as Charles always says, you should never ignore a possible. (less)
This book rests somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. It was a pleasant surprise for me. I assumed, based on subject matter plus popularity, that this book...moreThis book rests somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. It was a pleasant surprise for me. I assumed, based on subject matter plus popularity, that this book was going to be either very angsty or very tragic or both. Luckily, it was just a nice story about a kid with a hard lot in life. I liked hearing the story from all the different perspectives of a few different characters, especially because I didn't really like the story when it was given in August's voice. For some reason, even though the author says quite plainly that August has no developmental issues mentally, he comes across as a 2nd grader rather than a 5th grader. It's especially weird because story also gets told from the point of view of two of his peers and neither of them had this problem. My favorite character/voice to hear from was August's older sister. In fact, the whole book may have been a lot more interesting from her point of view.
Overall, this was a sweet book and a fast read. (less)
I had a hard time deciding what to rate this one. I enjoyed it a lot... even though absolutely nothing happened in 400 pages. I like that Sarah Eden h...moreI had a hard time deciding what to rate this one. I enjoyed it a lot... even though absolutely nothing happened in 400 pages. I like that Sarah Eden has expanded to some stories about the American West, and I think she did a fine job of it. I also like that she didn't write in a heavy accent. More writers should learn that telling the readers that the character has a heavy accent is far less disturbing to the reading experience than attempting to write it out.
My biggest problem with this book I didn't realize until I was almost finished -
(view spoiler)[ This story is set up as a love triangle. Sadly, the rich American who is an adorable father to two children never really got a chance to court Katie, but I assume the sequel may have something to say about that even though the handsome Irish immigrant seems to have won her heart at the end of this book. It wasn't until the end that I realized why I couldn't root for the rich American even though I really thought I liked him -
The town was split down the middle (literally and figuratively) between the Irish immigrants and everyone else. The rich American (who secretly owned all the land and so had a lot of political power here) kept saying he had to stay neutral in the arguments and couldn't take sides. But (and here is where I may start to rage and rant a bit), when you stand quietly by while one group of people bully and do harm to the other group, you are taking sides. ESPECIALLY when it escalates to charging so much for children's shoes and wool that the Irish immigrants begin to worry their children may not make it through the winter alive because they can't afford these necessities. When one group purposely works to impoverish and harm the other, you can't shrug your shoulders and say "Sorry, I can't help you out, I'm busy being neutral." YOU ARE NOT SWITZERLAND, JOSEPH ARCHER, YOU ARE AN ENABLER OF TERRIBLE EVIL THINGS BECAUSE OF YOUR SILENCE. (hide spoiler)]
Despite all of that, I actually did like the book, even that particular character that I raged against. I am pleased to know she'll be writing more about this place and these people. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is easily the worst book I've ever read. That didn't stop me from enjoying it, though. We have plenty of movies which we lovingly refer to as "aw...moreThis is easily the worst book I've ever read. That didn't stop me from enjoying it, though. We have plenty of movies which we lovingly refer to as "awesomely bad" or, in my case, "delightfully terrible," but I can't help but notice that few books are admitted to be both terrible and enjoyable. I want to make it really clear, though, that this book is AWFUL. It's so bad, I REFUSE to give it more than 1 star. That way, if you decide you read it, you won't judge me quite so harshly. For those of you who never intend to read it, I'd still like to give you the gift of some of the worst quotes of this book. I tried really hard to narrow it to just my favorites, but the list is going to be long. And so, without further ado:
*"Their hands are wrapped in gloves wrapped around guns that could put a bullet through a million possibilities."
*"...I inhale so fast my lungs collapse."
*"Two three four fifty thousand pieces of feeling stab me in the heart."
*"There are 15,000 feelings of disbelief hole-punched in my heart."
*"His eyes are 2 buckets of rainwater"
*"...his lips his lips his lips are 2 pieces of frustration forged together."
*"He inhales and 5 fingers on one hand form a fickle fist."
*"I want to bury my tears in a bucket of regret."
*"Hope is a pocket of possibility."
*"His face is 10,000 possibilities staring straight through me."
*"I'd like to cry into his eyes."
*"I'll probably never exhale in his presence" LITERALLY, 1 SENTENCE LATER: "Every breath in my body escapes me."
*"His voice hugs the letters in my name so softly I die 5 times in that second."
*"His face is a forest of emotion."
*"A steam engine hits me in the face."
*"I'm a cumulonimbus existence of thunder and lightning and the possibility of exploding into tears at any inopportune moment."
*"Realization is a pendulum the size of the moon."
*"His eyes are a midnight moment filled with memories, the only windows into my world."
*"Heat rushes up my neck and I fall off a ladder holding a paintbrush dipped in red." <--THIS IS NOT LITERAL. I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. Thoughts?
*"My stomach is a flimsy crepe, my heart a raging woodpecker, my blood a river of anxiety."
*"He doesn't seem to notice me until he does."
*"Adam runs a hand through his hair. Always the same hand. Always through his hair."<--- Just curious, what else could he be running his hand through? His face? I suppose one can only hope....
*"I tuck caution in my pocket and hope I can reach for it if I need to."
*"I offer him a smile. Try to keep my organs from falling out."<-- again, not literal. She's not injured. She's just ridiculous.
*"I'm wondering...why his chest is a broken harmonica."