This book has been on my "to purchase" list for a while now. When I saw it on sale, I snapped it up. I really wanted to like it and based on other revThis book has been on my "to purchase" list for a while now. When I saw it on sale, I snapped it up. I really wanted to like it and based on other reviews, I was convinced that I would. Unfortunately, I just didn't.
I'm pretty sure that the author saw James Cameron's Titanic and decided to take the basic scenarios, character interactions and visuals, give them a few twists and write this book. I understand that it's a historical event, but maybe some originality could be used to deviate from what someone else has already told. I also felt that actual sinking and the events of her life thereafter were rushed and glazed over.
It wasn't a bad book per se. I wish that it had been more focused on events of 1912, without jumping to the 1980s throughout the whole book. Or at least pulled Maggie's character forward from 1912 to 1985 while covering the events of her life in between the two plot lines. I understand where the author was trying to do with the formatting. I just don't feel like she quite got there.
The only thing that sort of saved this book is the fact that it is loosely based on factual events. It just didn't save it enough....more
Hello, anti-climatic ending full of unanswered questions, disappointing explanations and plot holes.
You know how it almost seems that the writerHello, anti-climatic ending full of unanswered questions, disappointing explanations and plot holes.
You know how it almost seems that the writers of Lost didn't quite believe the show would be a success and then when it was it became clear that they hadn't properly thought things through and they didn't know where to go with the storyline? They started filling the episodes with strange and mysterious things that they never explained and then the series (eventually) ended in a weird, nonsensical way? At least that's how I think it went. It was explained to me that way. I stopped watching part way through season 2. Or when Stephen King just kind of gave up on the Gunslinger series, but wrote four additional books that he really didn't seem to care about and then gave it that ending? Yeah, this series is kind of like that.
This book was interesting enough, but it was a very slow. Nothing really happened. The characters were fairly flat, the "big reveal" was unsatisfyingThis book was interesting enough, but it was a very slow. Nothing really happened. The characters were fairly flat, the "big reveal" was unsatisfying and the unfolding of the story, though intended to be clever, was somewhat disjointed. I felt like it all ended a little bit too disappointingly and a little too suddenly - where was the rest of the story? Everything was wrapped up and tied with a neat little bow, but I felt that there needed to be more. Within a few hours, I had actually forgotten that I had finished it.
The writing was decent enough - I think that given a few more years and some maturity to her writing Amy Bright will be a pretty good author. She writes well and it was a quick read.
This is probably one of the best, but also one of the absolute worst books for me to be given as a Good Reads First Read. Having worked with rescue grThis is probably one of the best, but also one of the absolute worst books for me to be given as a Good Reads First Read. Having worked with rescue groups that brought in dogs from outside the United States and having had my bleeding heart lead me to adopting 4 dogs of my own, I was already well aware of the horrors that some abandoned animals have to endure. Yes, this book was jarring and heart wrenching, but it's a story that needs to be told, especially for those who aren't aware of what goes on in some countries. Every so often, a horrific story of animal abuse makes national news in the United States and people spring into action, making donations and helping the cause. Eventually, the novelty dies down and people go back to their normal, daily lives. What most people don't realize is that these types of things are daily occurrences in numerous other countries and most people don't care. Even here in the US, most of the atrocities aren't reported, at least not nationally. This book gives a small glimpse into what goes on outside of most peoples' safe, happy world. It's definitely a reality check.
I was instantly sucked into the story and I kept reading, flipping page by page, struggling to correct the blurriness of the words as the tears slipped from the corners of my eyes. I knew that the author had eventually made connections with a rescue to pull the dogs out of Puerto Rico; I just wanted to reach that point in the book and get these dogs out of their horrible situation at a faster rate than what was happening. When rescue space is such a limited commodity, how do you chose who stays and who goes, especially when staying, even for an additional week, could be a death sentence for any one of these dogs?
I read the book in one evening. It was a very quick read, though, admittedly, I did keeping putting it down and reaching for something much, much lighter to set my mind right. However, after a chapter or two of the more positive and light-hearted book, I would reach again for this one. If you can get through heaviness of this book and not allow it to too badly warp the way that you view human nature in regards to stray dogs (or unwanted animals in general), it is a very important read. I sincerely hope that this helps raise awareness and maybe, just maybe, will turn the tides of change. ...more
This really was kind of a funny story, but it was, in my opinion, much more than just that. It was about depression and suicide without really being aThis really was kind of a funny story, but it was, in my opinion, much more than just that. It was about depression and suicide without really being about depression and suicide. Oddly, the best way to describe it would be that this book made me happy. Yeah, that sounds weird and maybe makes me seem a little bit demented given the subject of this book, but it really did make me happy. It was an easy, quick read. The characters were relatable and, for the most part, likable. It was just... GOOD.
I do have to say that I was absolutely heartbroken to learn that Mr. Vizzini succumbed to the battle with his own demons and committed suicide in December 2013. Given the last few paragraphs of the book with all the positive affirmations and the hope, it seems that he himself knew how to manage his depression. Unfortunately, having the knowledge and living by it are two different things. Ned Vizzini was clearly a very gifted man with the ability to make somewhat light of a serious situation, but in a very positive way, while still getting across a very important message.
**spoiler alert** First off, I wish I could give this book a 2.5 rating, but I can't so 2-star it will have to be.
Secondly, let me state that I was ve**spoiler alert** First off, I wish I could give this book a 2.5 rating, but I can't so 2-star it will have to be.
Secondly, let me state that I was very excited for this book. A Great and Terrible Beauty ended wonderfully and left me anxious to continue the trilogy. Rebel Angels lacked some of the excitement of the first book, but again, left me excited to read the final installment. The Sweet Far Thing... ugh. This book is about 780 pages of nothingness and then 40 pages that left me brutal disappointed. Luckily it followed in the vein of the previous novels and was written in a style that was a quick read, which was its only saving grace given that absolute nothing happened for 95% of the book.
So now let's see... what was wrong with this book.
1.) Circe is now a good character? Throughout the first two books, she was beyond evil. She killed several people, including Gemma's mother, in order to gain control of the power. She fought Gemma with in the intent to kill her (twice, if you count the, *ahem*, "battle" in the second one) and then suddenly, it was all to help her? Yeah, okay.
2.) Character flaws were sprinkled throughout the entire book. The girls all reverted back to the immature, back-stabbing, squabbling girls that they were in the first book. I would think at this point, having been through the events of the first two books, they would have gained some maturity, some ideals of womanhood. Nope. I felt like they were 13 again, not 16/17. Ms. McCleethy, who was such a careful and cunning woman, sacrificed herself with absolutely none of the forethought that she had continuously shown throughout the trilogy and without even first assuring the safety of the girls for which was giving her life. Bessie, the group bully and Pippa's own personal bodyguard, did a complete 180 and decided to join the "good guys." And Pippa! Everything was wrong with Pippa. Let's just leave it at that.
3.) Felicity is a lesbian? If I remember correctly wasn't she partaking in impure activities with a MALE GYPSY (Ithal, I think) in the first book? Her kiss with Pippa was completely random and seemed more suitable for young teenage male readers as opposed to the female demographic who actually read the book. So the completely normal Victorian female friendship was twisted into a scandalous lesbian relationship. That's not even a good twist.
4.) WOMEN'S RIGHTS. Being a female, I like women's rights. They have made my life what it is today, BUT I DON'T LIKE HAVING THEM SHOVED IN MY FACE EVERY FIVE MINUTES WHILE READING THIS BOOK. I also felt that the shameless plug at the end of the book was completely out of left field. How could a character like Gemma, who never gained an ounce of maturity and didn't learn much of anything while holding this magnificent power, decide that the girls at Spence needed to be taught about equality and women's right, calling it "real" education. Women have the right to make their own choices, women have their own strengths, women don't need men, women have made great sacrifices to give their daughters a choice of how to live their lives. Yes, we get it. Enough.
5.) As a continuation of my previous point - each of the main female characters successfully eschew the stereotypical roles that were unchallenged for women of their time? Ann becomes a stage actress rather than a governess, Felicity goes to Paris to wear pants and be a lesbian and Gemma goes unaccompanied to America. No one really even questioned their decisions or tried to stop them. Given the time, all three of these should have caused a social uproar, but no, it was just accepted. Sigh.
6.) UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. What happened to Eugenia? Why couldn't Gemma save Kartik with her power? Why couldn't Kartik speak to Gemma as Eugenia could when she was a tree? What happened to Polly? Are the gypsies allowed to stay on Spence land? Upon finishing the book, I was left with more questions than answers. Disappointment and confusion - that is just not good writing.
And to keep this review from becoming as long and as boring as the book, I will stop there. Just trust me... it's a disappointment.
While the idea for this book was good in theory, I feel that it fell a little short of accomplishing what the authors were hoping to achieve. Not onlyWhile the idea for this book was good in theory, I feel that it fell a little short of accomplishing what the authors were hoping to achieve. Not only was the print in large "retard print" but the writing itself was choppy and disjointed - almost childlike. There were several parts that required a re-read because I became lost in what the authors were trying to relay. It tied in a Christian God/Devil/Good/Evil element, which was, at best, was awkward. I read it in four hours, not because it was overly enthralling, but because I had nothing better to do at the time. It's definitely the kind of book that is only bearable if you're trapped on an eight-hour flight or at really bad family vacation....more
This is the first Jodi Picoult book that I have read. I admit that she is a good writer and I found myself unable to put the book down; however, I felThis is the first Jodi Picoult book that I have read. I admit that she is a good writer and I found myself unable to put the book down; however, I felt that there was a lot lacking to make this a solid GOOD book. In my opinion, though this book was supposed to be a drama/love story, it severely lacked drama. I felt it was worthy of three stars rather than two solely because I completely fell in love with the main character, Chris Harte. He was the only character that I felt was well-developed and the least bit interesting. If every man could be like this 18-year-old boy, the world would be a much better place. On the opposite side of the spectrum I found myself abhorring his girlfriend, Emily Gold, with her mother, Melanie, taking a close second.
The basic plot of this book was two children, Chris Harte and Emily Gold, growing up together as neighbors and best friends. They were inseparable and starting dating around the age of 15 and 14, respectively. By the age of 17, Emily was dead and Chris was on trial for her murder due to an apparent suicide pact gone awry. The trial that takes up at least half the book and then there's a predictable ending. The only true thing that kept me interested in this book was the fact that every other chapter told an account of the past, explaining the circumstances that lead us to this suicide pact (I was curious!).
There were a few glaring problems with this book, at least for me. There were several issues that were touched upon, but then never resolved or explained. At times, I felt that the maturity of Chris and Emily's relationship was extremely unbelievable. Most importantly, I felt that Chris and Emily were not a good couple. Chris is obviously a very caring, devoted and sensitive boy. He was completely in love with Emily. Emily, on the other hand, turns out to be weak and completely self-centered. She doesn't even consider how ending her life will affect other people. Though her issues were legitimate, I don't think that she was deeply scarred enough, nor was her situation grave enough to feel that suicide is her only way out. I feel that she needed a good thrashing to snap out of her funk and realize that the world does not revolve around her. Heck, I probably would have shot her as well.
Overall, it's not a bad read, as Jodi Picoult is an excellent writer. It is entertaining, though somewhat under-developed. It's not a book that upon finishing I find myself wishing that I had those two days of my life back; however, if her other books following the same vein of this one, I will quickly retire from reading her work....more