This book brought back all the memories of the time I first discovered Meg Cabot and spent an entire summer binge-reading everything she'd ever writteThis book brought back all the memories of the time I first discovered Meg Cabot and spent an entire summer binge-reading everything she'd ever written. It's also the written version of all my Princess Diaries fantasies come alive (future, grown-up Mia and Michael getting married? Sign me up!)
I appreciated this Mia. She's very much the high-strung, heckled girl from her high school days, but also older and wiser. Despite how long she's been royal, she is still amazingly down-to-earth and relatable. With Forever Princess, I was bummed because Michael only made a couple appearances, but he has a large presence in this book, and he is irresistibly nerdy and cute. Also enjoyed all the pop culture references because I actually understood them this time around.
This book covers a lot of huge events, and every chapter contains more of Mia's delightful narration and hilarious turns of events. I was secretly reading it at work, so I really had to work hard to muffle my laughter. This is everything that I could have wanted from this series and Meg Cabot, and I'm torn between delirious happiness that she wrote this book and sadness that it's over. Maybe she'll (view spoiler)[write about the twins? (hide spoiler)]
Love it. Read it. Rejoice. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If my tear ducts would operate correctly, I would be drowning in tears right now.
As famous as this book is, I neverOH MY GOD.
I can't. I just can't.
If my tear ducts would operate correctly, I would be drowning in tears right now.
As famous as this book is, I never put much stock in it until I picked up a version to read on the plane. My parents were both shocked that I'd never read it yet. I thought the reason was obvious, given that it was 1000 pages long and could serve better as a paperweight.
Epic. This book is epic. And not just because of its length. It is epic because it covers the entire length of the antebellum era, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction that overtook the South. It made me realize that from reading my history books, I've only seen one side of the story. Never did I consider the Southerners anything but people who were glued to tradition and bitter because they couldn't see justice. There might be glorification of the honor and loyalty, as well as the way they treated their slaves, but so much of the setting was real to me. It brought alive the untamed wildness of the South and the pride that the people there put in their legacies and their land, as well as the devastation that the war wreaked on everyone there. The characterization, also, was brilliant. There wasn't any important character that you'd forget, from the way their personalities are shown through their words and actions. Scarlett, of course, was the shining jewel of it all: intense, headstrong, passionate, and manipulative. Her flaws were so evident and I hated her for being so nasty and bitchy, but her sense of survival and the courage that brought her through the deaths of so many of her loved ones and her losses have to be admired greatly. I may have given this book five stars, but I hated the way she acted. I hated how she mooned after her ideal of a man, how she couldn't see Rhett properly, how she treated her children, how she wished everyone who stood in her way dead. But how many of us are self-aware enough to see these things? How many of us have given into selfishness and would have crumbled if we had the weight that Scarlett had to carry, if we had to support so many people off of so little? I hated her, but it is because of her that this book is so beautiful and profound.
I was anxious half the time, because I already got the ending ruined for me, and while I was looking at quotes from the book, I accidentally happened upon the very last line. And that was when I knew that everything would go to hell and there'd be no happy ending. Maybe it was because of that that the ending gave me hope instead of ruining everything. It seems fitting that at the very end, Scarlett shows her old determination. After an entire book where her determination turned out results, I can only hope that this constancy runs into the future, even if there is no sequel. I can't imagine Mitchell sitting down to write another 1000 page book anyway (one is already accomplishment enough), and you know if she wrote less, the second book would never be as epic as the first.
I could talk about so much more, about how Melanie is the epitome of the Southern ideal, of Rhett as this foul, condescending man who is still a gentleman. I could talk about how damned angry I am that his arrogance and Scarlett's arrogance couldn't give it a rest, and how mad I am that they never were in a situation where both could sincerely express love for each other. But this isn't just a love story. It's about how a woman builds her own way up from the ruins of her past. It's about the loss of a past that can't ever be rebuilt, the honor of a civilization, and the capacity for forgiveness and understanding in a human being. I may despise the characters, the plot may have infuriated me, but I can't deny the depth and profundity that this book offers. ...more
There's a reason this book got a Printz Prize, and it ain't because it has sparkly vampires. Jellicoe Road, to me, encompassed all the things life isThere's a reason this book got a Printz Prize, and it ain't because it has sparkly vampires. Jellicoe Road, to me, encompassed all the things life is made of. There is trauma, sadness, grief, and yet, the underlying message is that there will always be hope, and that it's never too late. The main character, Taylor, has her hatred and quick judgment of others, but she also has remarkable courage and love for the people in her life, although she takes a while to realize it. The job that Marchetta does in expressing each character's nuances is nearly perfect. I can remember all the characters in the book, it seems: Jude, Fitz, Narnie, Ben, Raffaela, Santangelo, Tate, Taylor, Jessa, Chloe P...They all have such differences, yet their love for each other is all the same. And don't even get me started on Jonah.
Jonah may be one of the most realistic boys I've ever read. Broken, damaged, yet still capable of love. He stands out to me as someone full of issues but still able to care behind it all, especially when he says, "'I'm here because of you. You're my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don't think that will be happening in my lifetime.'” If that isn't fittingly romantic, I don't know what is.
You get those stories that are full of death, angst, and tragedy, but it's rare where you see something so poignant and profound beneath it all. When I first picked up the book, the prologue captured me, especially its last line: "Wonder dies." After I read that, I knew I had to keep reading. The first hundred pages, I had absolutely no idea what was happening, but I read the reviews on Goodreads ahead and decided to keep reading, since everyone said it would be worth it. And it completely was. It seems impossible that all the pieces could finally come together, but they did, and maybe that's what Marchetta was trying to do: let our discoveries parallel Taylor's, so that when she came to her revelation, we were right there with her. This book took me on a bumpy ride, made me sad and made me laugh, and it ultimately made me understand that things do have the potential to get better....more
I was sitting in on my company's quarterly business report, and the founder of a VC was talking. Someone asked him what business book he recommends evI was sitting in on my company's quarterly business report, and the founder of a VC was talking. Someone asked him what business book he recommends everyone reading, and he said this one.
I'm glad I read Hsieh's book. It still sounds a bit too good to be true, and of course we don't know about the millions of people who approached things the same way he did and failed in the end. But it's a book that's about holding tight to your passion. Its message is that being passionate about something will always return greater results than just feeling meh about it. I can definitely agree with that. Skimmed some of the long emails, but ultimately, this was a good read. If you ever want to start a business, or you don't know why in the hell you sacrificed everything for that one distant dream, this book is a good way to remind yourself why.
But I still don't shop at Zappos. Their shoes are too expensive. ...more
What a fantastic end to a series that just kept getting better and better. I'm sure plenty of people could argue that the ending was cheesy, but I perWhat a fantastic end to a series that just kept getting better and better. I'm sure plenty of people could argue that the ending was cheesy, but I personally enjoyed it and thought it was appropriate to the characters, especially considering the promises they made in the beginning. I love how this last book was like peeling apart an onion, as everything began to make sense, layer by layer. Chima has crafted a intriguing plot that turns mysterious at times, with likable characters to boot. I don't know how I survived with the minimal role that love took in the first book, but despite its larger influence in The Crimson Crown, I thought it was a great tie-in to the history that had kickstarted all these events. Despite the multiple points of view and conflicting parties, Chima managed to tie everything off in a satisfactory way. ...more
There needs to be a destination, even if it's way off in the haze of my unlived life. And in that life, I'd like to be an artist.
I have a headache from reading this book. I think this is one of the few times where I'm pleased, despite the pounding in my head.
I honestly didn't expect the impact this story would leave on me. Maybe a few iguanas, some rain forest talk, barracudas...But Hubbard managed to make this into something profound. She brought the eternal problem of discovering yourself to South America, and in the process, she made something beautiful.
To begin with, the main character, Bria, has incredible character development. Over the course of her stay in various places of the wilderness, she develops her own independence and confidence in fighting for what she loves. Of course, she is pretty pitiful in the beginning, but I found it adorable instead of irritating. She has a voice that's completely sincere. As a teenager, I can completely sympathize with the way she feels: torn between places. Her connection to her art reminded me of how much I love my own writing and the possessiveness that comes with our own personal creations. Also, I loved the little pieces that Hubbard would slip in that made Bria so much more believable. For example, there's this one part when she's trying to put on her summer dress in front of Rowan and two other girls and gets stuck before she can get it all the way on. It's stuff like that that makes me believe that the author really has gotten into the mindset of the characters she's writing and knows that it's not just pretty words that makes a story: it's voice. And I'm happy to say that Bria's is an especially enjoyable one to read.
Onto Rowan. Damn, does he sound like a delicious piece of man meat. Despite his ponytail. Ha. I loved that he had his own problems, and that his bad boy past hadn't turned him into some dark poetry-reciting maniac (It has happened in other books. I would know.). Throughout the story, he comes off as someone truly likable and sweet, with a big heart and secrets of his own that he won't share unless the right person comes along. I loved tracking how he changes and opens himself to Bria throughout the novel, and I'm thankful that Hubbard never made their love story easy. Caution: whenever Rowan and Bria seem to be getting along better, don't get your hopes up. Something, be it Scandinavian giants or seasickness, will probably mess it up. Those who've read this book know what I'm talking about. But it all comes down to the issue of trusting someone else, not just with your safety, but with who you really are. That's why those who are sick of insta-love and unrealistic characters should read this book. There are real discoveries of what it means to exist in this world, and what it takes to step out of the comfort zone and pursue dreams that are actually worthwhile.
Not only do we have a hilarious, lovable, and begrudging travel couple, we have the beautiful backdrop of South America and the Caribbean. After all this, I have a hankering to visit there. Although I would never backpack. It sounds brutal, and I like comfortable hotels. Yup. Anyway, the way Hubbard describes the seas and brilliant sunsets are so vivid, it makes me yearn to be able to experience it once in my life, too. The drawings that were included were a lovely addition, especially the last couple ones, which let me visualize what kinds of people Starling, Rowan, and Bria are. I'm actually considering buying this book, which is big, since I'm pretty stingy in buying books because I think I won't ever read them again.
In truth, I don't think any review I write can do this book justice. You'd have to read it to know why I love it so much. Just like Bria observes that people can't understand the beauty of travel unless they've done it themselves.
READ THIS BOOK. If you don't like it (which is doubtful), at the very least you won't have felt like you lost brain cells in the end. ...more
I don't know if I can write a review that will fully articulate the impact that this book had onThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I don't know if I can write a review that will fully articulate the impact that this book had on me.
If I Lie is a contemporary read that is fully contemporary. It has none of those charming happy endings or fluffy kisses. Instead, it contains nothing but reality and the fact that even when things become the worst that they can be, there's nothing to do but remain stoic and keep trying to escape.
Sophie's story is not an easy one to read. She is intensely ridiculed by her old friends, hated by everyone in her small town because she "cheated" on her boyfriend, Carey. Recently, I read a book, Speechless, that involved the same sort of high school ridicule. But Speechless has nothing on If I Lie. Sophie isn't just hiding a secret from everyone; she's also juggling the feelings she has for Carey's best friend, the stony silence of her father, and the way her mother abandoned her years ago. Jackson weaves a complex and heartbreaking plot, and there's no way for you not to sympathize for Sophie and admire her bravery for keeping Carey's secret safe despite everything. In addition, the loving relationship she has with George just tears you apart. I was very close to crying when I got to the end of this book.
There is extraordinary depth in this book. Not just to Sophie and the push and pull factors that lead her to keep her secret, but also to side characters like her mother and father. It's so hard to understand how they could treat their daughter the way they do, but you come to realize that it's all about that one defining moment when things change forever. Sometimes, you can't go back. All of the characters can be related to, with the exception of Jamie, who's just a bitch. There's nothing good about her, but you can understand that because of her position, as someone who's always loved someone who never loved her back, who's always had to stand out of the spotlight. It makes sense that she would fight back.
If I Lie has a bittersweet ending. It shows that there are some wounds that can't ever be healed, and that sometimes, we have to put ourselves first in order to be happy. But there's also the importance of friendship, and how, with the right people, those bonds will never fall apart. I think that's what Jackson wanted to emphasize: the power of friendship. The characters make millions of mistakes and are defined by their flaws, almost. In the end, this matters, but so do blood and loyalty, which also reflects the attitude in the army. Even if two men hate each other, they'll still save each other.
Jackson uses gorgeous language to express Sophie's emotions, and if you look at my status updates on Goodreads, you'll see some of them. She also calls attention to the "don't ask, don't tell," policy. Before this, I assumed that it was a good policy to just keep it on the DL, but now I've realized that's no way to live. Not sneaking around and getting beaten up for something you can't control.
Overall, this book... made me speechless. This isn't one of those "WOWZA SO GOOD" books, but it's one that makes you think about your perceptions of other people and makes you want to know their stories. Because we don't know each other's stories, and that's what handicaps us in our judgment. If you want to feel, then I suggest reading this, because you definitely will. There's quite a lot of crying, but it's understandable because of all the shit that Sophie's been through. One of my favorite parts was her relationship with an old veteran at the hospital, George. It was tear-worthy, especially their banter and the way George treats her like a daughter. Jackson has basically twisted my heartstrings into an ugly mess, and I'm recovering slowly.
Maybe I'll be able to stir up some motivation to read While He Was Away now, but I doubt it.
Thanks PulseIt for giving me a chance to read&review this book....more
Review for another time when I don't have all this homework piled up because I just spent my entire day finishing this book.
Edit: Now that I have a bReview for another time when I don't have all this homework piled up because I just spent my entire day finishing this book.
Edit: Now that I have a bit of time, I'd just like to say how this book has made me chronically sad. I don't know how John Green does it, but everything he writes has such depth. I was taking down quotes every couple pages (I'm going to convince my teacher to let me do my literary analysis paper on this book). He gives such life to his characters, you can easily imagine that his books are just biographies of their lives, and that somewhere, their lives are still going on. We have Hazel, the protagonist, and she is amazingly strong and unique. She has cancer, but the cancer hasn't taken her over. Throughout the book, she maintains her own identity, though she comes into conflict with the effect that cancer will have on her and the people she loves. She calls herself a "grenade," and I think that's a bit of a universal term for all of us who have families and people who love us.
And Augustus, my goodness. A boy who is sweet, funny, gorgeous, yet impeccably real. When he (view spoiler)[died (hide spoiler)] I think I did a little bit too. It just got to me because I felt like he was a real person.
We have Augustus and Hazel, but we have everyone else too. Hazel's caring parents, who are as important because they must have a daughter with cancer. Green beautifully portrays the feelings of both the cancer patient and those who have to deal with the illness. And Isaac, who's an observant third person suffering himself. He has a story all of his own.
Now, onto the theme of the book. Green was trying to show that even if we don't have control over our fates or whether we become heroes in history, there is still a possibility of enjoying life. And he accentuates this with a trip to the Netherlands and a book that I seriously thought was real. There are so many unconventional ideas in this book that it's become a living, breathing thing of its own. I'm still pretty torn over the ending, and I won't be forgetting Augustus and Hazel for a long time. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book was truly a masterpiece. It takes a lot to get the courage to narrate something in such an unconventional yet fitting way, and Zusak managedThis book was truly a masterpiece. It takes a lot to get the courage to narrate something in such an unconventional yet fitting way, and Zusak managed it with a skillful artistry that moved me completely. I'm not going to say any more about it because I don't think I could manage to describe the beauty he gave to words and how they breathed life into the characters living along Himmel Street, suffering and rejoicing during the events of World War II. That, I think, is something that everyone should experience for themselves. ...more
I read this when I was a child, but I only remember bits and pieces. Reading it with my sister was a new experience, and I didn't know the ending,:')
I read this when I was a child, but I only remember bits and pieces. Reading it with my sister was a new experience, and I didn't know the ending, so that really surprised me. Despite all the loss, love is still the prevailing theme in this book, and it's the reason Edward's story is so beautiful. ...more