Having recently finished Parks and Rec I thought I'd give Amy Poehler's book a try. I think she's funny and at first I found myself relating to a fellHaving recently finished Parks and Rec I thought I'd give Amy Poehler's book a try. I think she's funny and at first I found myself relating to a fellow short girl with imperfect teeth who decided long ago she wasn't a raging beauty and would have to rely on other strengths. But then she quickly lost me with her rambling stories of her life interspersed with complaints about how hard it is to write a book (and she enlisted friends and family to help, even) along with name dropping and her memories of her early comedy career (though her recollections are spotty due to her frequent drug use). Ugh. It seemed she couldn't decide if she wanted to write a memoir, a book of funny essays, or a self-help book.
There were some genuinely touching moments, like the parts about her boys and her parents who seem like nice people and a little bit about time travel which is really just about the ways the past and future are connected. I enjoyed those.
I also liked the section about Parks and Rec, since that's what brought me here in the first place. One of the neatest bits was about the filming style being like The Office and how different characters relate to the camera at various times and in various ways and how eventually Leslie Knope stops doing that because she's not embarrassed by her choices and doesn't care what people think of her so she doesn't need to look to the camera. I think maybe I like Leslie Knope better than Amy Poehler. Or at least I prefer her onscreen antics to her book writing....more
X-Men meets Heroes in a young adult setting. I liked some of the characters (Flicker and Anonymous especially) and found others annoying (I'm lookingX-Men meets Heroes in a young adult setting. I liked some of the characters (Flicker and Anonymous especially) and found others annoying (I'm looking at you, Oh Great Leader). The powers these kids had were different and inventive but I wanted more on the cause of their abilities. While some mysteries were left for future books, I appreciated that it had a storyline that actually wrapped up in the one book instead of the usual annoying YA-trilogy-cliffhanger. I may check out future installments, but they aren't high on my list....more
Hipster couple moves to Vermont to live a more authentically woodsy life they can brag about to their artsy friends left in Brooklyn. Life in their quHipster couple moves to Vermont to live a more authentically woodsy life they can brag about to their artsy friends left in Brooklyn. Life in their quaint and quiet town becomes threatened when environmental disaster looms.
Just gets a big yuck from me. My eyes glazed over and sped through the bits about the town arguing (with survivalist preppers and community-minded authority figures squaring off) over what would be best to do to prepare for The Storm. Lots of foreshadowing and heavy-handed messages and strangely a lack of details on the actual practical parts of the disaster prep, event, and aftermath.
But worst of all, I just didn't care for any of the characters. I never believed that Ash and Pia were really happy together ever and I didn't like either of them. I'm not saying I wanted them to get blown away in the storm, but I was also not really invested in the idea of the survival of their forest life (or their marriage, for that matter).
There's better fiction out there, of the disaster persuasion or otherwise....more
A big family saga about how chances and choices change the trajectory of lives.
I really like how Ann Patchett writes. Much of this book is very vividA big family saga about how chances and choices change the trajectory of lives.
I really like how Ann Patchett writes. Much of this book is very vivid and puts you right in the middle of the action. It also brings up a sense of foreboding that mostly didn't amount to anything, and I'm not sure if that left me relieved or disappointed.
While I enjoyed the ride and getting to know the many characters in the novel, it just didn't quite hit the sweet spot for me. I think many people with blended families (like my much older cousins whose parents divorced and remarried and had stepparents and siblings coming and going in their lives) could relate more to the story.
Apparently there is some autobiographical mining happening here which is also reflected with an author in the story using someone else's history as the basis of a novel. So meta. I think there's something being said about how our lives turn into stories. One of many interesting ideas here that in the end was just not explored to my satisfaction.
What's the appeal of Pigeon? I think it's the his ridiculous antics coupled with the chance for children to be the ones saying no for a change. True sWhat's the appeal of Pigeon? I think it's the his ridiculous antics coupled with the chance for children to be the ones saying no for a change. True story....more
I'd heard this book compared to an Agatha Christie novel. If she wrote about foul-mouthed drunken heroines, I guess. No really, I do get the comparisoI'd heard this book compared to an Agatha Christie novel. If she wrote about foul-mouthed drunken heroines, I guess. No really, I do get the comparison with the claustrophobic setting, suspense, and cast of possibly guilty characters. But I just could not get into it.
I didn't relate to the main character at all. She's paranoid and overly dramatic and out of control. At one point another character tells her "there's no need to swear." Seriously what is with all the language here? To make it modern, I guess.
I ended up skimming and wasn't impressed with how the mystery played out. And I thought events from the beginning were going to come back around, but they never did (that I could see). I was waiting for something more sinister. (view spoiler)[Like what if the intruder at the beginning was really her boyfriend trying to scare her into a bigger commitment with him? Or it could have been someone on the cruise and it would all make sense later... Did I miss something or was the initial break in ever solved or referred to again, or was it just to heighten/make us sympathize with the main character's anxiety throughout the book? (hide spoiler)]
Oh, one last thing: it's unhygienic to borrow mascara. That is all.
Two young adults, children of immigrants, cross paths on an important day for both of them. Are Natasha and Daniel MFOE (ma2.5 if I'm being generous.
Two young adults, children of immigrants, cross paths on an important day for both of them. Are Natasha and Daniel MFOE (made for each other) or is their meeting just the result of a series of chances? Can a cynical, scientifically minded gal and a romantic, optimistic poet of a boy find a common ground or perhaps even love?
There were many things I liked about this book in theory but the details of it never quite gelled for me. The setup of opposites attract and their differing life ideas had potential, as did their family situations with the conflict of the cultural divide between immigrant (both legal and non-legal) parents and their Americanized children. I also liked the insights into the peripheral characters, a nice reminder that everyone has a story. But something about the pace and the shifting tenses weakened the effort for me. A longer, slower paced book with a consistent third person omniscient narrator along these same lines appeals more to me, but then of course you'd lose the edge and immediacy of it being about one day in the life of two teens who have to tell their story in the first person by way of being in a young adult novel.
Maybe I've just reached an age where I no longer understand young people, or the books for and about them.