The main character of the book is fascinating, a total train wreck. She barely has a grip on reality and is an egotistical sociopath, but her scattere...moreThe main character of the book is fascinating, a total train wreck. She barely has a grip on reality and is an egotistical sociopath, but her scattered narrative is well-paced and ended quickly enough. (less)
First off, this book is not for people who don't already know how to sew. You should have already sewn a few garments (so that you know what the gener...moreFirst off, this book is not for people who don't already know how to sew. You should have already sewn a few garments (so that you know what the general steps are when constructing them, because even though it's included here, it's done in a huge paragraph that you're better off not trying to follow) and have a working knowledge of sewing terms (which is weird when the author goes on to differentiate between muslin the cloth and muslin the garment you use to try on for fitting purposes).
This looks rather cute and has Anthropologie-looking clothing worn by attractive models. Unfortunately, it takes a very simplistic view on pattern making. If you have a body that is relatively straight without a lot of curves and you can get away with wearing clothes that aren't very fitted, then this book has you covered. But if that's your case, you probably don't have too much difficulty with commercial patterns that are already available to you.
There are five basic garments that this book walks you through constructing: an a-line skirt, a t-shirt, a button-down shirt, a dress, and pants. What's not working for me is that only the skirt and the dress has steps for adding darts (seriously, pants without darts?), and even then it's done in a haphazard fashion: for the dress, you are to take what's drafted of the top, make it out of fabric, drape this over yourself, pinch and pin some darts until you're satisfied, and then "do your best to replicate the darts on the other side". She talks about squaring edges, but again, it's in a pretty rudimentary way.
What this book does do well is the variations. If you already had a basic template/sloper that fits you well but don't know how to use it to make something more complicated, this book is pretty useful. It walks you through adding extra fullness at hems and necklines, pockets, yokes, ruffles, and drawstrings.
There's also a tiny section in the back that discusses how to create patterns from clothes you already own and love and how to grade patterns to different sizes, but you're better off looking for books that are dedicated to these topics if you're going to be serious about it. (less)
**spoiler alert** More like a 3.5. Liked this one, though it's less violent than usual Reacher books. Still, it was fun to read (I felt silly not bein...more**spoiler alert** More like a 3.5. Liked this one, though it's less violent than usual Reacher books. Still, it was fun to read (I felt silly not being able to guess what the bad guys were smuggling, though). It didn't have a lot of the things that were bugging me about several of the previous books (a tacked-on love interest, silly foreshadowing, an obvious mole feeding information to the bad guys-- and subsequently, it was fun to watch the bad guys try to figure out what's happening along with Reacher). (less)
**spoiler alert** Really liked this installment. The countdown really helped build up the tension without the usual annoying foreshadowing. The lady i...more**spoiler alert** Really liked this installment. The countdown really helped build up the tension without the usual annoying foreshadowing. The lady interest in this one was compelling and Reacher didn't even have to ravish her. There's funny imagery about a six-year-old Reacher, which is probably my favorite of the anecdotes about his checkered past that are sprinkled throughout the series. It has a cliffhanger ending, but I think it's pretty clear that our hero is okay and how he might have saved himself (looking at the publishing dates, it was pretty thoughtful of them to publish this book and the next only six months apart).
One sticking point for me: it was really obvious who it was in this book that was leaking the information to the bad guy. I was starting to think it was a red herring, but the other red herring was so thinly drawn that there was no way he was involved. After a while, I just wanted the author to use names instead of dragging it out so much. But this is really a minor quibble, I think this book is the best in the series since maybe the first or second. (less)