it's the summer of 1899. the sun is burning hot like a ball spouting fire, even the insects are desperately trying to get to a droplet of water by mar...moreit's the summer of 1899. the sun is burning hot like a ball spouting fire, even the insects are desperately trying to get to a droplet of water by marching through the smallest cracks in the tate house. amidst all the chaos is 11-year old callie vee tate. the only girl out of seven children. the title says it all. this is her story.
callie is as witty, entertaining, caring, understandably self-conscious, vulnerable as she can be determined and blunt to the point of being insolent. when being explained something, she doesn't just leave it at that and accepts the answer as the absolute truth. callie belongs to the group of people who regards the answer like an object to be viewed from all angles and corners and prods it with a stick, like the scientist she is.
i asked mother if i could cut my hair, which hung in a dense swelter all the way down my back. she said no, she wouldn't have me running about like shorn savage. i found this manifestly unfair (..). so i devised a plan: every week i would cut off an inch of hair - just one stealthy inch - so that mother wouldn't notice. she wouldn't notice because i would camouflage myself with good manners. when i took on the disguise of a polite young lady, i could often escape her scrutiny. - (p4, paperback, january 2011)
see? have a smile on your lips? i am not the least surprised.
callie tries to juggle her interests with the jobs that have to get done, like how her mother forces her to master the art of housewifery.
how were you supposed to make the stitches the same size? (..) who cared about this stuff? well, i could answer the last one. my mother cared, and the rest of the world apparently did too, for no good reason that i could figure out. and i, who did not care, was going to be forced into caring. it was ridiculous. - (p217)
"boys, i have an announcement to make. your sister made the apple pies tonight. i'm sure we will all enjoy them very much." "can i learn how, ma'am?", said jim bowie. "no, j.b. boys don't bake pies," mother said. "why not?" he said. "they have wives who make pies for them." "but i don't have a wife." (..)
was there any way i could have a wife, too? i wondered .. -(p228)
the evolution of calpurnia tate reads like part memoir, part scientific logbook recorded by the protagonist (who happens to be a devoted naturalist), as much as it is based on historical facts (obviously darwin is being mentioned, but also coca-cola, the invention of the telephone and the automobile, famous authors like charles dickens and robert louis stevenson).
as the story nears its end, it turns more and more serious, because callie struggles with the answer about who she wants to be and who she is supposed to be. (less)
i found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, grippi...morei found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, gripping, weird, magical & creepy. written in a beautifully refreshing narrative style which emphasized the story (and ultimately its narrator as well), --sometimes easy, often difficult for me to follow--, it is about a girl trying to find a place in the world... in a story centered on (fallen) nobles & all the other people serving those nobles it has many intrigues, conspiracies, playing off people against people and so on, but with lots of space for world building & character development.
since i wasn't able to understand many of the things that happened, i wasn't sure how to rate the book. 2.5 stars for not understand all of it & thus also not being able to enjoy the story in its entirety? or 3.5 stars for being utterly fascinating, never mind I didn't grasp the whole book? my conscience battled throughout the night and decided to settle on ... ~~ dramatic music ~~... 3 stars.
conclusion quote it is blasphemy to separate oneself from the earth and look down on it like a god. it is more than blasphemy; it is dangerous. we can never be gods, after all—but we can become something less than human with frightening ease. still… I could not help drinking in the view. it is important to appreciate beauty, even when it is evil.
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other...more
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other more and more. when one day, she gets tangled in the murder of a stripper, things start to change. (pene)lo(pe) obsessively tries to solve the case, as the police doesn't even really try to look behind the curtains, which in turn makes her the target of the killer who's still on the loose. of course lo finds out more than she bargained for.
what sets this book apart is most notably that the author made her main character a person with an anxiety disorder (ocd). for those who lost a loved one, there's the familiar pattern of not knowing how to handle the grief, guilt, anger and depression. growing apart as a family. and finding a way back.
"after school, i've been picking bus lines at random, finding new places to explore. mostly i go to other parts of the suburbs, find the high school or the baseball hat store at the mall or a restaurant my brother might have liked"
overall, the book was surprising in its subtle writing, which i appreciated a lot and made my rating higher. she didn't try to make a melodrama out of a drama, which happens more often to authors and their books than i'd like to admit.
random quote "i barely know anything about him, but he seems so familiar --as though i could flip through childhood photo albums and he'd be in every picture."
i'm having (fondly remembered) flashbacks:
"a warmth fills me, like it used to on saturday mornings when i was a kid and i'd wake before anyone else to watch cartoons, wrapped in my fuzzy pale blue blanket, waiting for everyone else to wake up, too"
random quote "a rush fills my whole body as i do, clears up my head, makes me feel instantly like everything in the whole world is okay, like the universe and solar system and every big, holy planet and blade of grass and flake of fresh-fallen snow are rotating and growing and falling just for me right now. when i find where it belongs, where it fits, everything will be whole: i will plug up the emptiness, the swirling, sucking drain of the universe spinning into chaos."
i feel like i should hide behind a bush before y'all are coming at me with pitchforks and everything. the first quarter was a definite 4 stars,...more2.75/5
i feel like i should hide behind a bush before y'all are coming at me with pitchforks and everything. the first quarter was a definite 4 stars, but (especially) later as the story unfolds it was kind of eye-rolling how a lot hinges on her supposed 'soulmate' and she (view spoiler)[ decides to run to the man/alien she's never met based purely on the bunch of dreams she had with him playing the male actor, so he can save her or whatever (hide spoiler)]. which i should probably understand, as terra, the female lead grew up into a pretty screwed up family, but maaan i wanted to slap her so many times i lost count ...
other things that DID work for me are that terra is into art. i dig that. and that she's a botanist. and it's a space opera of sorts. you see, i have a weakness for these kinds of things. also, the characters had lots of onion layers and i had to grudgingly put aside my hate for a couple of characters and empathize with them. some wonderful descriptions of terra doing her thing:
hardly anyone knew about my drawings. my father always told me it was a waste of time. art was a luxury. it did nothing for our lives on the ship. it wouldn't help us once we reached zeheva. i was doing nothing for tikkun olam. and sure enough, my first efforts were terrible, the pencil all smeared, then erased, then heavily layered in again. but over time i'd gotten better. the lines were looser now, more expressive. i'd learned to block in broad shapes first before squeezing in the details. now when i sketched out the crocuses that poked their heads up through the snowy ground, or the vines that twined through the oak trees beneath the dome, the final outcome actually looked close to what i'd intended. [6%]
some passages baffled me though, like these e.g.:
but a thin birdsong was the only thing that answered. [11%]
our house was blue gaps of silence punctured by the white light of the arguments my father and i had [..] [39%]
new terms (for me): talmid • asherah • l'chaim • tikkun olam
no matter the quibbles i had, i'll be sure to pick up north's sequel as soon as it comes out!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on th...more3.75/5
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on the porch with), i'd have liked him, but as a serious love interest, he was .. bleh so far.
cover the cover sums the story of the book in just one picture up: dark, creepy, terrifying, but also with flashes of beauty. i get goosebumps jus...more2.5/5
cover the cover sums the story of the book in just one picture up: dark, creepy, terrifying, but also with flashes of beauty. i get goosebumps just by looking at this cover.
story daphne (daughter of lilith and lucifer) and a mortal boy, truman meet in hell, because he tried to kill himself. but circumstances allow truman to return to earth. daphne stays in hell. when her brother goes missing, she leaves her home behind to find truman, the last person to see her brother. one thing leads to another and they find out some surprising things..
the good, the bad & the ugly the story read nicely, although sometimes a little stiff.
angels aren't all downright good or evil, more like somewhere in between, just like the demons who are in hell. that added a nice touch. i like my characters with shades of gray. there are even some horror elements (that's a plus point, btw!) (view spoiler)[a baby who can talk and doesn't need food for a month with pointy metal teeth (flashbacks to angelfall) (hide spoiler)]
there's no love triangle (hooray), there were some nice and touching moments and dialogues between the lead characters, but overall it still wasn't enough. maybe i'll feel differently at some point, but right now? nope. also the secondary characters like lilith or beelzebub (view spoiler)[In later Christian and Biblical sources he appears as a demon and the name of one of the seven princes of Hell. [ article] (hide spoiler)] or obie (her brother) were underdeveloped. i wish the author had polished the characters a little bit more, to give them a little shine.
the showdown wasn't much of a showdown. it was pretty ... anticlimactic to tell the truth.
quotes daphne & truman: "I have a toothbrush,” I tell him, trying to make him feel at home. “You can borrow it, if you like.” He just looks at me. Then he smiles a little, shaking his head. “Toothbrushes aren’t the kind of thing people usually share.” “I know. I haven’t used mine yet though, so it’s new. It could be yours instead.”
beelzebub: “What you have to understand is that this is his life, and he’s the one who has to live it. People make decisions, and maybe you don’t always agree, but those choices are still their own.”
flashbacks to daughter of smoke & bone: All I know is that demons are born from chaos. They’re born from rage or blood or fire, or ruined holy water. They’re born from eggs. They come into the world as wisps of smoke or in grotesque forms that splinter off and multiply. There are all kinds of origins, all different ways to be born [..]
love is a bitch: (view spoiler)[I remember kissing Truman on the balcony, and maybe he never said he loved me, but he meant it anyway. And there’s my mother, shrieking in pain when she thought something had happened to her son, and Myra with her sly smile and her dead eyes, grieving for Deirdre in the only way she knew how. My father, holding the razor to Beelzebub’s throat, telling him that it would all be over in an instant. (hide spoiler)]
moloch & truman: “I’m not a holy man,” Moloch said from behind his hand. “I’m not pious, and I’m not good. But if I were, your penance would be to start reaching for the things you want and giving up the things that will destroy you.”
wow woah :0 it seems i have a soft spot for psychos misguided villains with lotsa onion layers on their character self and get a chan...morerating: 3.25-3.5/5
wow woah :0 it seems i have a soft spot for psychos misguided villains with lotsa onion layers on their character self and get a chance to redeem themselves... review to follow after further inspection and thorough rereading.
note: copy was generously provided by the author; came across polymer via giraffedays(less)
usually i don't bother buying a book which practically landed in my lap for free (netgalley arc!). usually. this isn't one of those occasions, even th...moreusually i don't bother buying a book which practically landed in my lap for free (netgalley arc!). usually. this isn't one of those occasions, even though i skipped parts of it, i think this is a book that deserves to be heard of. so i additionally bought the e-book copy of this, to contribute in a small way.
the honesty and realness of the situations played out, is what actually made the story so different and original from any other book with ya-characters on the market. (view spoiler)[ feeling pangs of sorrow on behalf of théoden. (hide spoiler)] i bow to you, andrea! ["br"]>["br"]>(less)
☺ name: mary shelley black ☺ character: mary shelley black ☺ goggles ☺ mary's bluntness ☺ mary's love for science ☺ stephen's anagrams ☺ spirit photog...more4.5/5
☺ name: mary shelley black ☺ character: mary shelley black ☺ goggles ☺ mary's bluntness ☺ mary's love for science ☺ stephen's anagrams ☺ spirit photography ☺ illustrated book (*swoon*) ☺ creep factor (including the beak mask) ☻ julius, not enough of a fleshed out character ☻ ending :'( ☻ stephen's (view spoiler)[disdain for his brother, cause i kind of pitied him and how his family treated him as if he were exactly like his father .. well, it just seemed as if they didn't really give him a chance that's all: "his father was a drunk who treated my mother terribly before she left him. and violent, thieving drunks often breed violent, thieving children." (hide spoiler)] [ click ] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
in the second installment of just you taylor and her boyfriend try to make their long-distance relationship work. things get a bit complicated when ne...morein the second installment of just you taylor and her boyfriend try to make their long-distance relationship work. things get a bit complicated when new friends enter the scene and a boy who sparks her interest.
though i skimmed through the book, i was suprised at how different it is compared to the first one. i did expect the female lead to overcome hurdles, but not the kind where she is in an unhealthy relationship with a guy who continously demeans and instigates feelings of shame in her. i was shocked to tell the truth. but even (view spoiler)[ after cutting free of this abusive relationship, -- because she finally realizes it's not healthy for her and also makes her a bad role model for her younger siblings, she cares what happens to the abuser (hide spoiler)]. ...that is not to say that it's all drama with no moments of relief. it has its ups and downs, with an open ending that left me somewhat satisfied and i think the author realistically depicted various issues and situations (from what i've read/skimmed).
i'll be on the lookout for her next work, that's for sure.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)