• tactless & a bit dumb as well as racist heroine • easy to guess mystery • boring romance (d...more1.75/5
low star rating because of the following aspects:
• tactless & a bit dumb as well as racist heroine • easy to guess mystery • boring romance (dreaded instalove trope)(view spoiler)[to borrow lucy's words: "i'm sickened by this 'love at first sight' nonsense --it's all shine and no substance." [57%] (hide spoiler)] • forbidden teacher-student relationship (sorry but: zzzzZ)
remember how peter pan fruitlessly tries to put his shadow back in its proper place and in the end wendy sews it on to make it behave properly? k...more1.5/5
remember how peter pan fruitlessly tries to put his shadow back in its proper place and in the end wendy sews it on to make it behave properly? keep that in mind.
now imagine a world in which people who committed an unforgivable error find themselves in the form of a shadow where they are divided into different ranks. they are tied to a human or object and have to replicate their every movement and only if they do everything to the fullest satisfaction can they redeem themselves and hope of getting into a higher shadow ranking.
* * *
though i'm never by myself, i'm always alone. [arc, 10%]
* * *
being a shadow, devoting my life to another, is suppose to prove my worth. a sense of selflessness. it's a chance at redemption. [arc, 26%]
* * *
the pentrals is told from a very unusual pov --that of a shadow. and for that alone the book had my curiosity and attention, because the premise was calling to me like my neighbor calling her cat for some delicious snacks "come kitty, kitty!". alas, i'm afraid that it did not deliver.
the pretty package with the bow proved to have disappointing contents: a love triangle i could have done without, the evil corporation that is fooling humankind (view spoiler)[ with these ridiculous mirrors with the accompanying reflections that manipulate the way people see themselves and leading them to take drugs so they get their oblivion (snooze) (hide spoiler)] and poorly drawn characters including the mustache twirling villain.
... and in the end the storytelling may be flawed, but the narration is immensely readable (if that makes any sense). and while i may not be a fan of this book or continue to read this series, i'll be on the lookout for what crystal mack's imagination will bring to us readers next.
this arc copy has been kindly provided by the publisher through netgalley["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
i knew that sooner or later the day would come where an aussie novel would not be able to meet my expectations. in this case it was sooner.
with when the world was flat, ingrid jonach safely ticked off everything in her checklist that makes the debut in a set of three (i assume). here we have a textbook example of a story that hit all the wrong notes and recycled the same old, same old in the ya-paranormal genre
☺ small town ☻ girl with 2 obligatory friends (one 'tramp', the other 'man-girl') ☺ interest in particular subject (here: photography) ☻ convenient absent parent syndrome with a hipster mom ☻ lonely, mysterious, brooding bad guy who's rude and keeping female lead ignorant ☻ discovery of the dark secret ☻ tru lurve, soul mates ☻ love triangle of sorts ☻ mean girl clique
i honestly tried giving this a chance, especially because of strange chemistry being the publisher. if at least the girl friendship had been more developed instead of the female lead constantly dissing her 'friends' in her mind if not out loud, i could have put up with this book. but this was one huge snoozefest in flatville.
no, thank you and bye bye!
this arc has been kindly provided by strange chemistry through netgalley(less)
(view spoiler)[these paintings are actually tiny spoilers you will only understand after you read the book (heh). so consider yourself unspoiled...more3.75/5
(view spoiler)[these paintings are actually tiny spoilers you will only understand after you read the book (heh). so consider yourself unspoiled for now. (hide spoiler)]
every year they come out of the sky at the same day and same time to take people.
this understandably scares the shit out of people. pastor warren takes it upon himself to soothe people and point out that those beings coming to take people away are indeed angels sent from god. and that the town was blessed to be chosen. riley thinks it's all bullshit and shoots the "angel" in the face when it comes to get her. and this, people, is where all the fun begins! (not telling anything more for fear of spoiling the book)
i didn't have any expectations whatsoever concerning this book, which is why i was able to lay back and enjoy the ride all the more (even at scenes that had me scratching my chin). outcast is so much fun to spend time with and really you do NOT want to miss out on reading this! the main lead tends to be a bit mary sue-ish, but it can be forgiven. and all the other characters, take lacy for example, who starts out as the clichéd popular, bitchy cheerleader and gets so much more developed as the story unfolds.
what was crazier was that she seemed to love being this stereotype. even more than that, no one else seemed to notice what a stereotype she was. it was like no one else in my school watched movies. [arc, 15%]
how lacy coped with living her life as a barbie doll i had no idea. then again, maybe she just had no concept of irony. or maybe this was all meant to be ironic? [arc, 20%]
in one short bizarre (view spoiler)[drunken (hide spoiler)] conversation with a cheerleader my entire perspective on life had changed. well, on cheerleaders at any rate. who the heck was lacy green? who the heck were any of them? (..) i'd grown up with them. i knew them as lists of features, but that was it. i didn't know them at all. not really. felt kind of stupid about that. kind of bad. [arc, 26%]
that leads me to the swearing in the book with all its shits, hecks, shut ups. i love it when the author doesn't shy away from language. more please. moar! the ending is obviously (thankfully) a set up for the books to come, as it leaves space for a sequel with unanswered questioned. outcast is a gem among stones. it has some really interesting conversations about bible interpretations and questioning faith in general and i sincerely hope to read more of that in the future. allow me to conclude with a smirk-worthy scene:
"thank you for choosing us, and in your glory we ask that you continue this gift. we thank you for sending us guidance to steer us into your love, and we thank pastor warren for taking this burden unto himself. thank the angels." "thank the angels," repeated the fold. i wondered if pastor warren ever said the thanks, and if he did, if he had to thank himself:"we thank me for taking this burden unto myself .." [arc, 37%]
this copy has been kindly provided by diversion books through netgalley["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["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)
note: plot was mediocre, narrative voice smooth and all. the book itself was too short in order for me to get attached to any of the characters i...more2.25/5
note: plot was mediocre, narrative voice smooth and all. the book itself was too short in order for me to get attached to any of the characters including the main lead. the love interest was meh, but as mentioned before, i suppose it is due to the book being more a ... novella instead of a full fledged novel. the paranormal aspect was interesting while straddling the fine line between incredulous and interesting. i've read stranger things than that of a teen girl seeing future/past visions through asthma attacks. lisa mcmann's wake trilogy being the exemplary case of paranormal done right (well, except for her last book "gone" which sadly sucked).
note: oh, my! how i hated these meddlesome people living in the mountains. insufferable fools. i disliked most of them on several or all occasion...more2.75/5
note: oh, my! how i hated these meddlesome people living in the mountains. insufferable fools. i disliked most of them on several or all occasions, even the female lead.
jess was the only one so earnest in what he did and said. so pure of heart, oozing goodness and spreading it around like butter on toast, because that's the kind of person he was. i kept thinking that he reminded me of someone and then i knew! marcelo (in the real world). no wonder i liked him so much!! (less)
19th century: iris, a plantation owner's wife is sent away to an asylum to "cure" her of her madness. as soon as she's there, she already plans h...more3.5/5
19th century: iris, a plantation owner's wife is sent away to an asylum to "cure" her of her madness. as soon as she's there, she already plans her escape. she meets a boy who becomes a friend. a man who becomes the object of her affections. a docter who is obsessed.
a terrific premise if you ask me. but a premise that did not quite live up to its potential. memorable nonetheless. just not a book you would ever think to read again. ever.
the book's narrative is split into several different views: that of iris, ambrose, dr. cowell, the doctor's son wendell and occasionally some other minor characters.
the issue i had with blue asylum is that the reader is always, always kept at arm's length from completely connecting with any of the characters. although i was moved at a few scenes (alright, dammit! emotionally drained!), the author's writing lacked in ... arggh, i do not even want to go there, so the short version: it was too detached, too dry, too everything, even though a great many things happened and most of them tragic.
now, on reflecton, it reminded me a bit of the orchardist, the lost garden and atonement. all of them brutally ugly stories as only life itself could have written them (minus the moments of relief. there are zero in them).
fair warning: ambrose will destroy you with his war-stories and ptsd hallucinations!
this must be some kind of art, as i do not understand how so many horrible things can happen to the characters and all i felt after finishing this book is relief, resignation and a quiet sadness. (view spoiler)[ and i really wanted to mention in this spoiler-tag how ridiculous i found the part of the wendell boy who masturbates constantly (constantly! in every of his pov's *weary*) --that is until he loses his hand and he rejoices in that fact, and praises it a fricking miracle) (hide spoiler)]
this book is everything i wanted by these ten bones by clare b dunkle to be and then some!
book pairings: plain kate by erin bow foxmask by juliet marill...morethis book is everything i wanted by these ten bones by clare b dunkle to be and then some!
book pairings: plain kate by erin bow foxmask by juliet marillier the near witch victoria schwab wuthering heights by emily bronte (view spoiler)[ haven't read it myself (yet), but i think its a somewhat good match anyways (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
sam climbed into his berth, and i squeezed in beside him, so he could see the pictures and follow along as i read. [..] i read sam a tale about someone named jack, and it struck me as i read that they are all jack -- the guys who are simple and despised by their smarter brother but who always figure out how to follow the princess into her enchanted realm and bring her and all her sisters back. then jack marries the princess and gets half the kingdom and everyone lives happily ever after.
sammy, nearly out by the time i finished, murmured to me, "jack finded her. like you find me, sarah. you're my jack."
i smiled. "you mean i'm not the beautiful princess in our story?" but he was already asleep.
glory is a piano prodigy. after her mother died, she retreated into her music. her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at carneg...moreglory is a piano prodigy. after her mother died, she retreated into her music. her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at carnegie hall and across the globe. brilliant and lonely, glory is drawn to frank, who moves in next door frank becomes glory’s connection to the world—and her escape from reality. before long, glory is unable to play anything but the song "chopsticks"; f and g notes moving closer together, and farther apart.
artsy people will probably find the aesthetics to their liking. i know that is what drew me to this book.. what makes this different from other novels isn't the story but its execution, which ranges from letters, doodles, notes, instant messages, post cards, invitations, newspaper articles and music/music sheets depicted in photo format. an intimate snapshot of two desperate teens. [ video ][ chopsticks app ]
i expected to be wowed by what's left of me, because of all the buzz surrounded by it. i expected to connect to the characters, any of the charac...more2.5/5
i expected to be wowed by what's left of me, because of all the buzz surrounded by it. i expected to connect to the characters, any of the characters really. nada. sure, it's not a bad book. not at all. but ultimately it's mediocrity is its downfall among all the other ya-sci-fi books that've already been published.(less)
i wouldn’t say the film improved upon the book, but rather, it revealed the limits of my own imagination, which is what good adaption can do. th...more2.75/5
i wouldn’t say the film improved upon the book, but rather, it revealed the limits of my own imagination, which is what good adaption can do. the film imagined the abject poverty of the ozarks with more dignity and respect than i could. characters i thought of as monsters in the book came through with such humanity on screen—their restraint told you so much about who they were and their strict code of conduct. the mythic overtones i gathered from the book —-ree dolly as a modern-day antigone—were fully captured in granik and rossellini’s treatment. [ article ]
it was a relief and, ultimately, a pleasure to discover that the film avoids all of the inherent pitfalls of its premise. though it is driven by the poverty and insularity of ree's world, winter's bone neither romanticizes that world, nor does it make it exotic. it achieves this by locking us thoroughly into ree's point of view--to which end jennifer lawrence's unflinching performance is an integral component without which the film would have failed completely.
ree spends the film tramping up and down hills and through forests as she tries to determine where her father is and why the local criminal element wants to stop her asking questions about him, and an important subplot involves her teaching her younger brother and sister important survival skills--how to hunt, clean their kill, and prepare food from it--but winter's bone is subtle enough, and ree, who takes the world she shows us for granted, is a powerful enough presence at its center, that the film never feels like a guided tour. as she draws closer to the criminals who know where her father is, ree is repeatedly confronted with the attitude that she has done something wrong by working with the law and going outside the community, even though that community is happy to see her and her siblings thrown out of their home. what's interesting about winter's bone is that ree herself doesn't dispute the notion that what she's done is wrong, but rather insists that her obligations to her brother and sister take precedence over her obligation to remain stone-faced in the face of threats from law enforcement. the film, in the end, isn't one about a rebel or an outsider, but about a girl who plays by the rules and uses them to her advantage, even when those rules are designed to keep her down and seem cruel and restrictive to the audience. the arc of the film is ree's acceptance--as the abandonment of both her parents becomes more obvious, and as her dreams of escaping to the army grow more distant--that she will likely never leave her home, and this is depicted as neither a tragedy nor a triumph, more an acceptance of the fact that though ree could have a better life, she is well-suited, through breeding and upbringing, to the one she has, and can even be happy in it, at least for a time. [ asking the wrong questions / abigail nussbaum] [ unfortunate metaphors ](less)