Ooh, the deLuce saga is heating up! This is the first novel that we really see some actual movement in as far as the overall story arc goes, and it's...moreOoh, the deLuce saga is heating up! This is the first novel that we really see some actual movement in as far as the overall story arc goes, and it's got me chomping at the bit for more in a way the others haven't. :)(less)
4.5 stars, but since you can't give half-star ratings, I'll round up. Many people complained about the slow pacing at the beginning of this book, but...more4.5 stars, but since you can't give half-star ratings, I'll round up. Many people complained about the slow pacing at the beginning of this book, but it didn't bother me. It takes a while to set up such a foreign world as Hartman has done here, and I enjoyed even the slow bits where she was setting everything up. Once the real plot started, I couldn't put it down. It was an enjoyable read, and I can't wait for the next installment. (less)
A cute, quick little read. I think I would have adored this when I was a kid. I enjoyed reading it as an adult, though it was a bit simplistic at time...moreA cute, quick little read. I think I would have adored this when I was a kid. I enjoyed reading it as an adult, though it was a bit simplistic at times (which is OK, given its target audience). I'm actually surprised I DIDN'T stumble on this one when I was young, but I'm glad I was able to read it now. (less)
This took me a long time to get into. The unabridged audio version is about 11 hours, and it took me months to even make myself get through the first...moreThis took me a long time to get into. The unabridged audio version is about 11 hours, and it took me months to even make myself get through the first 2 or 3 hours. But once I made myself sit down and listen to it in earnest, it grew on me.
Part of what made it difficult to get into is that the characters seem rather stiff at the beginning... Sort of wooden and artificial. It's not until maybe 1/3 of the way in or so when the characters start to warm up a little and become somewhat human.
One thing that made the audio version a little difficult (and perhaps added to my frustration in the beginning) was that the story jumps around from one time to another and back again. Every so often, a new chapter or section would begin with a location and a date, but I didn't pay the dates all that close attention. It wasn't until I realized that one part of the story takes place MUCH MUCH LATER than the rest of it that things started to make more sense. I think this would have been easier to pick up on in the print version.
However, what the print version lacks is Jim Dale. And c'mon... Jim Dale is great. Ok, he's pretty bad at female voices, but even that's kind of cute. And he really did an excellent job of narrating the story and differentiating all the characters' voices.
I don't know that I'd yet classify Erin Morgenstern as a "favorite author," but I think this was a pretty valiant attempt at a first novel, and I'd be willing to give whatever her second novel ends up being a chance.(less)
I'd sort of avoided these books when the hype about them started, since I tend not enjoy dystopian stories. They either depress me or anger me. But so...moreI'd sort of avoided these books when the hype about them started, since I tend not enjoy dystopian stories. They either depress me or anger me. But so many people had recommended them -- people whose literary opinions I respect and usually fall in line with. So when Audible had a 3-for-2 sale on trilogies, I bit the bullet and went ahead and got all three at the same time, hoping I liked them.
I'm glad I did. I will freely admit -- the story DID depress and anger me, but I guess that's sort of the point. But it did more than that -- it endeared me to the protagonist and the supporting characters and made me want to learn more about this world they live in and their individual stories.
I couldn't put it down (in part because I have a lot of knitting that needs to be done in a short period of time, and I need a book to listen to while I do that, but also because it's a total page-turner, if you'll forgive the misuse of the term regarding an audio book).
As far as the audio version goes... I think I actually would have probably preferred this as a written book instead of an audio one. The narration is only so-so -- certainly not bad enough to make me stop listening to it, but not nearly as engaging as some others I've listened to. You definitely always remember that you're listening to someone read a book. (less)
I just couldn't get into this. I put it down shortly after I started reading it, and I never picked it back up again. I doubt I ever will. Into the "a...moreI just couldn't get into this. I put it down shortly after I started reading it, and I never picked it back up again. I doubt I ever will. Into the "abandoned" pile it goes.(less)
Ok, first off, I will admit that what other reviewers have pointed out is true: there's not much plot progression in this installation -- it's essenti...moreOk, first off, I will admit that what other reviewers have pointed out is true: there's not much plot progression in this installation -- it's essentially a puff piece for Christmas. However, I don't care. I adore Flavia, and while I am very keen to see where this series is leading, this little interim short was a nice read. (Well, a nice listen in my case, since I'm completely addicted to the audio versions, narrated by Jayne Entwistle, who is, by the way, absolutely PERFECT for Flavia.)
I'm still waiting to find out more about Harriet, because I'm SURE there's more coming about her. But in the meantime, we did actually get a bit of plot movement in this book, for all its fluff: we learned a bit about Aunt Felicity's history and got hints at Dogger's background.
Part of me wishes I hadn't discovered these books til ten years from now, so I could just fly through all of them without waiting for each new book to come out. But I didn't, so... I have to wait. *goes off to check when Book #5 comes out*(less)
I adored this book. I haven't read any of Gaiman's other "kids" books, but I've enjoyed most of his other adult novels, and this one didn't disappoint...moreI adored this book. I haven't read any of Gaiman's other "kids" books, but I've enjoyed most of his other adult novels, and this one didn't disappoint. It's a great little unconventional story (just what we expect from Gaiman), and the audio version gets bonus points on two fronts:
(1) It's narrated by Gaiman himself, who does a fantastic job reading his own novels (what I wouldn't give for a version of American Gods with him narrating), and
(2) The intro music is a banjo rendition of Danse Macabre performed by none other than Bela Fleck himself. (The full version of which was finally put up on iTunes over a year after the book came out... thank heavens.)(less)
As with the other Flavia de Luce books, I adored this one. I especially liked that, now that we're a bit more into the series and know the players a b...moreAs with the other Flavia de Luce books, I adored this one. I especially liked that, now that we're a bit more into the series and know the players a bit better, more time can be spent developing the plot, both in this individual story and in the overall story arc of the series. I'm horribly eager for the next book in the series, and I can't wait to learn more about Flavia's mother, as there's sure to be more about her coming.(less)
**spoiler alert** I give it 5 stars for 2 reasons: 1) it was my favorite of the four Twilight books, and 2) I heartily disagree with the masses of fan...more**spoiler alert** I give it 5 stars for 2 reasons: 1) it was my favorite of the four Twilight books, and 2) I heartily disagree with the masses of fans who read this book and thoroughly disliked it for the so-called "negative" message it supposedly sends to teenage girls.
I very much anticipated the release of this book, and it did not let me down. Granted, I might have enjoyed it a teensy bit more had I not already read parts of the story, but that's my own fault for giving in and reading fanfiction while I waited for this book to come out. (Granted, it was a little eerie when I realized that some aspects of the story were almost dead-on to some of the fanfics I'd read... Makes you wonder (just a bit) where Meyer gets her inspiration from...)
Many people seem to be complaining about how this sends a negative message to teenagers - that it's okay to give up college, get married at 18, and get pregnant with a child right away - that everything will turn out peachy keen and you'll get to live in a beautiful stone cottage and everyone will love you and you'll never have any problems with money or anything. I don't agree that this is the heart of the message, or that it's even a realistic message at all. Anyone who's reading this book will realize that (a) this is piece of fantasy fiction (hello- vampires and werewolves do not exist), and (b) Bella is not exactly a normal teenager.
The message I did like is that as you grow up (or, well, DON'T grow up, in Bella's case, but still...) you will find your true place in the world and find what you love, what you're good at, where you belong and the people you belong with. Bella found all these things, and while yes, she had o be a vampire to achieve it in this fictional world, it still does translate into the real world. NO one feels like they belong or fit in or are good enough when they're in high school, and while it doesn't usually happen when you're 18, at some point after that, most people DO find their calling, their people, their home. THAT'S the message I liked in this book.
Messages aside, I enjoyed the story. It felt far less slow and drawn out than the others in the series (esp. New Moon) despite it's 750+ page length, and it certainly kept my attention the whole way through. The old characters stayed true to form, and the new characters were all different enough that there was no difficulty in telling them apart. The plot moved, it twisted a bit here and there, and it had a sweet, happy ending (which, of course, we all expected). It also seemed to leave it open for future sequels, even though Meyer has said there will not be any. We'll see about that...
So, yes. 5 stars. It probably only deserves 4-4.5, but what the hell. I'm feeling generous, and I DID really enjoy it. (less)