Confession: I haven't watched this film in years, but I remember not being overly in love with it. It was all right, but never my favorite Austen adapConfession: I haven't watched this film in years, but I remember not being overly in love with it. It was all right, but never my favorite Austen adaptation (but then the book has never been a favorite either).
But I've been meaning to read this for years, after seeing bits and pieces of the diaries around. Happy to have read all the diaries; they're hilarious, informative, engaging. I only wish there were more of them, and especially more appearances in them of the incredibly dry and much-missed Alan Rickman. I'd read book after book of Emma Thompson detailing even her most boring days. The script was less interesting to me, but more interesting than I'd expected. When I'd finished it, I found myself considering actually watching the movie again. This might have just given me a newfound appreciation for it....more
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. It was recced to me by two people within a couple days (people I usually trust!). And if you had just tI wanted to like this so much more than I did. It was recced to me by two people within a couple days (people I usually trust!). And if you had just told me the plot I would've thought I'd be into it. But I found it really hard to connect with the characters, mostly because the dialogue was often unnatural. So much referring to each other by name! In casual conversations! When I'm talking to people - especially a one-on-one conversation - I rarely, if ever, use a person's name unless I'm trying to get their attention or something, but the dialogue in this book is filled with people calling their conversational partner by name constantly ("That's not going to happen, Ari"/"They'll always love you, Dante" - followed by Ari using Dante's name in four of his next five sentences!). I kept finding myself rewriting the dialogue in my head to get rid of all the names which is a pretty frustrating way to get through a book.
Also, (view spoiler)[I wish Ari had come to understand himself without his parents sitting him down and telling him he was in love with Dante. Like, good on them for being supportive, but that was awkward and unsatisfying. After everything he'd gone through, I just wanted him to figure it out on his own. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
I loved the setting and the writing and Gauri and KAMALA. But then the plot is nothing new (not necessarily always a bad thing, but there were no surpI loved the setting and the writing and Gauri and KAMALA. But then the plot is nothing new (not necessarily always a bad thing, but there were no surprises here), I'm never a fan of insta-love (although, ok, it was somewhat justified here), I kept being frustrated that Maya didn't have better relationships with other women, and it kind of drags a bit in the middle (but picked up later - the second part, after everything goes wrong, was much more interesting to me than the rest). All in all, not a bad read for the afternoon. And it looks like the companion book will be about Gauri; I will be totally down for that when it comes out....more
Much Ado About Nothing + genius high school + nerds? Yeah, okay, I'll bite. (Okay, tbh, it had me at being a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. I'mMuch Ado About Nothing + genius high school + nerds? Yeah, okay, I'll bite. (Okay, tbh, it had me at being a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. I'm easy.)
For the most part, I really liked this! I thought the setting worked really well, Trixie and Ben were A+ fab, and it was overall really charming. However, this is told in first person from Trixie's point of view, and while I generally liked her narration, there were a few moments when I missed not being able to see the other side of something or a companion scene to something that happened to her (like, Benedick's eavesdropping scene is one of my favorite bits in MAAN, and I would have loved to be with Ben for the equivalent part in this book). It just felt a little limited by its structure at times.
If I could give half stars, this would be a solid 3.5, but I'm happy to round up for 4.
Pretty sure I could walk into plenty of crowds today and yell, "Ev'ryone, give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!" and have at least onePretty sure I could walk into plenty of crowds today and yell, "Ev'ryone, give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!" and have at least one person shout back, "LAFAYETTE!" What a time to be alive. Like, thanks, Hamilton! If Lafayette returned from the grave for another US tour, he'd be a star (again).
What an interesting dude though. This book offers just a glimpse of that really, but what a fascinating slice of a fascinating life. I love Sarah Vowell's stuff - always accessible, funny, and engaging - and I was thrilled to see she'd written about Lafayette (and the people and circumstances surrounding his adventure as America's favorite fighting Frenchman). I've been interested in him for ages, although I was adultish before I ever heard of him. Like, the exact moment I first heard of Lafayette has stuck with me for years: in college, watching Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill and being thoroughly shamed for not knowing who he was. "You don't know who he is, do you?...Revolutionary War. Hung out with Washington. Lafayette. Street named after him in New York." I had no clue. My excuses: the awful history books used by the Christian school I'd gone to growing up (if it couldn't be tied into Christianity, we didn't learn about it) and my west coast upbringing (things like, say, the Revolutionary War have always seemed very east coast and far removed from the history of my part of the States).
So, sincere thanks to Eddie Izzard and Lin-Manuel Miranda (and Daveed Diggs) and Sarah Vowell for conspiring to teach me more about the Marquis de Lafayette than I ever knew I needed to know....more
The epic ending of a mega popular series...that doesn't really exist! Kind of weird, conceptually, but it works for me. The tropes are familiar enoughThe epic ending of a mega popular series...that doesn't really exist! Kind of weird, conceptually, but it works for me. The tropes are familiar enough that it doesn't matter that we come into the story at the end, the magic system is fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, and I dig the romance. There are things I would have liked to see resolved, or more fleshed out, at the end, but overall I found it a satisfying read (reread actually! I read it when it came out, before I'd even read Fangirl - having since read it, it was nice to reread this knowing where the idea originated)....more
This is how to read a series: four books devoured over a few days (in planes, in airports, in bed late at night even when I knew I needed to wake up eThis is how to read a series: four books devoured over a few days (in planes, in airports, in bed late at night even when I knew I needed to wake up early). I'm just done with reading things as they come out. If it's a series I want the story all at once.
And I'm really glad I read this all at once. (It's kind of hard to review each book on its own though - they all blend into each other.)
Four-starring the whole series, although I don't really know how much I liked it? I honestly can't tell. Like, I really enjoyed reading it, and I loved things about the writing and the characters (Noah! Gwenllian! Ronan! Adam! (view spoiler)[Ronan and Adam! (hide spoiler)]) and the plot (dreams and dead Welsh kings: keys to my heart). But I think the plot feels way more substantial than it really is, and there are things about it that don't really sit well with me, and I don't know. I don't know if I would like it less or more on a reread. I don't know if it's something I will ever reread (but maybe?). I enjoyed it more than I didn't though. And I don't usually even manage to read while on vacation! I always bring a book and fail to read more than a chapter. So yay for being entertained enough to get through an entire series while traveling.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So Sunday night I had an awful struggle with insomnia. Monday night, determined to get some sleep, I downed some ZzzQuil and settled into bed hoping tSo Sunday night I had an awful struggle with insomnia. Monday night, determined to get some sleep, I downed some ZzzQuil and settled into bed hoping to find myself drifting off soon. "Maybe I'll just read a few pages of this book while I'm waiting to get sleepier," I thought.
"Why don't I ever learn?!" I asked myself much later, having fought off the ZzzQuil and sleep so I could keep reading. I had three hours before I had to get up for work. But, hey, at least I'd finished this charming book!
The Bridget Jones comparisons are understandable, but this book is definitely its own thing too (and Sofia is much less a total disaster than Bridget - than a lot of chick lit heroines really - which I like). I really enjoyed this! Barely even regretting the life choices that led me to stay up most of the night reading it....more
This is a difficult one to rate! There were a lot of things I loved about it: seeing a bit more of Lunar society, Thorne and Cress, Scarlet, Winter (aThis is a difficult one to rate! There were a lot of things I loved about it: seeing a bit more of Lunar society, Thorne and Cress, Scarlet, Winter (although in spite of her name in the title, she never feels like the focus here), Iko. When it finished, I felt like it was a really satisfying ending to a series I enjoyed way more than I expected when I started it.
But getting to that ending! There's a lot of awful stuff happening in the previous books, but I always felt like there was a thread of hope there. But this was just hundreds of pages of unrelenting hopelessness before things finally turned around. People constantly being separated and controlled and defeated, over and over and over. It got repetitive. It got exhausting. I didn't want it to be an easy victory, but a bit less of the endless one step forward, two steps back would have been a more enjoyable read.
So, probably rating this a little higher than my actual enjoyment of the reading experience. 5 stars for the things I really loved (seriously, IKO), maybe 2.5 for what I didn't. I guess it averages out. And I suspect it might improve on a reread (and I can imagine rereading this series)....more
On vacation in New York last November, I ran two and a half blocks as fast as I could to make it in time for Ham4Ham (I'd tried the lotto twice alreadOn vacation in New York last November, I ran two and a half blocks as fast as I could to make it in time for Ham4Ham (I'd tried the lotto twice already that week; I had not won). The crowd was massive, our anticipation and excitement undeterred by some really inconveniently timed sirens. "Guys, please don't get hit by a bus," Lin said. (We definitely almost got hit by a bus.) Crushed against a barricade, still out of breath, I stood in the street utterly entranced by that afternoon's performance (a poem by the astounding Sarah Kay). It was messy and chaotic and moving and perfect. "History is happening in Manhattan" felt like the truest thing at that moment; months later, it still does.
I saw (and loved) another show that night, but one of the brightest memories of that day and that trip is that brief moment outside the Richard Rodgers. I'd already really wanted to see Hamilton - I'd heard such good things! I liked what music I'd heard from it! I'd been of a fan of Lin for years! - but that was the moment where it really hit me that this was something important, something big. I downloaded the album the morning I left New York and listened to it on the flight home. Before we landed I had cried over "And when my time is up / Have I done enough?" for the first time (but by no means the last), and I proceeded to listen to nothing but that album for at least the next month. This show, no matter that I haven't seen it, is in my heart for life now.
And now along comes this book! Hamilton has been an amazingly accessible show even for those of us who haven't seen it - Lin-Manuel Miranda's endless generosity in sharing so much about it for those who can't get to it is A+ incredible - and this book is a welcome addition to everything else we've been given. And, like, what a book! Here's the musical, in words and annotations and pictures! Here's the history of the musical! Here's glimpses at the history of Hamilton himself! And here's how all of it somehow came together to be something so relevant to the here and now. (All of the above somehow contrived to make me cry multiple times reading this.)
Such an interesting read, and such a gorgeous book to boot. I do, like, 99% of my reading on my phone these days, so an actual physical book was something different for me. It was a pleasure! I was reminded that an actual physical book can be a very lovely thing.
I'm so glad I put off reading this series until it was over. That ending would have made me so angry otherwise. Actually. I'm still kind of angry abouI'm so glad I put off reading this series until it was over. That ending would have made me so angry otherwise. Actually. I'm still kind of angry about it. Four stars anyway because this was an interesting read, I want to know more, and at least I know I can just move on to the other books and actually finish the story....more