I was excited when I first learned of this book. There is so little known about Jane Grey, so for some reason I was under the impression that this boo...moreI was excited when I first learned of this book. There is so little known about Jane Grey, so for some reason I was under the impression that this book was the result of years of research. Boy, was I wrong. It doesn't really reveal much more about Jane Grey and her life than what is shown in the movie "Lady Jane" That would be tolerable, but it just isn't written very well. All of the characters have the same voice. Weir's attempt to tell the story from different angles doesn't work. In an afternote, Weir states that she has previously written non-fiction ~ perhaps she should have stuck with it. Unfortunately, she is not the storyteller I hoped she would be when I picked up this book. It reads like a bad romance ~ but it's even worse, really. At least a bad romance has some good dirty parts ~ which of course don't belong in a novel about a deeply religious teen forced to marry a man who disgusted her. Furthermore, Weir was more than a little over the top writing about Jane Grey's obsession with beheading. C'mon! We all know what happens in the end. At one point Jane is freaking out because she has been given a necklace with red stones ~ and the stones remind her of drops of blood around her neck. Seriously?! Whatever her past accomplishments may have been, Weir lost a ton of credibility with me at that point. (less)
(First read 6/22/2010)Darkfever pleasantly surprised me. I have noticed this series on lists, etc. but it never seemed very interesting to me. However...more(First read 6/22/2010)Darkfever pleasantly surprised me. I have noticed this series on lists, etc. but it never seemed very interesting to me. However, recently I have seen Goodreads friends raving over the series so thought I should give it a chance ~ now I'm happy I did.
What I like most about Darkfever is MacKayla Lane. I love that she is attractive, outgoing, concerned with appearances and not only knows it, but likes this about herself. Seriously ~ this makes it much more believable when hot guys are falling for her. It seems that many UF novels have heroines who dress in too large t-shirts or sweats or some other unattractive clothing… mention that they don’t keep up with hair/makeup/fashion trends…are loner bookworms… Ugh! That’s me! And I don’t want to read about myself, lol! I find Mac to be refreshing, and her attention to both nail care and ass kicking is inspiring =)
UPDATE 1/4/11: I was worried that re-reading this less than a year after the initial reading would be tedious, but that couldn't be more wrong. This was actually more enjoyable the second time around because of all of the heavy forshadowing. I'm tempted to giveDarkfever 5 stars... but am still holding out for the conclusion of the series!(less)
AWESOME!!!! Laughed my ass off the entire time :) I have been a huge fan of Chris Elliot since his David Letterman days in the 80's and was thrilled t...moreAWESOME!!!! Laughed my ass off the entire time :) I have been a huge fan of Chris Elliot since his David Letterman days in the 80's and was thrilled to discover he wrote another book (anyone remember Daddy's Boy?) (less)
Seems to me that Sookie spent a lot of time explaining in this book: the backstory, various characters, herself. I realize that Harris is doing this f...moreSeems to me that Sookie spent a lot of time explaining in this book: the backstory, various characters, herself. I realize that Harris is doing this for the benefit of those who haven't read the series in order, or who may have poor memories regarding the books that came before this one. But for the love of Pete... does she have to rehash the exact same information? Every single book?
I spent the majority of the book skimming. Which sucks. Books which are part of a series are always labeled as such. And I am a firm believer that if you pick up a book in the middle of a series, then you should expect to be confused. But it wasn't just the long, long, long explainations. The writing was somehow off in this one. Hopefully book #7 will be better. (less)
What a letdown :( Craving more from Charlaine Harris I picked this one up because of the Sookie/Pam/Eric story. Unfortunately, even that wasn't as goo...moreWhat a letdown :( Craving more from Charlaine Harris I picked this one up because of the Sookie/Pam/Eric story. Unfortunately, even that wasn't as good as I expected. Without giving away specifics or spoilers, let me just say that at the climax of the story, Sookie acts very out of character. In fact, the vampires act out of character, too. Although I enjoyed the brief trip to Harris' Bon Temps and Shreveport, I was left feeling ripped off. I mean ~ I sort of enjoyed Harris' story because I already enjoy her characters. But if I were approaching it as a Harris "virgin" ~ sadly, I don't think I would be inspired to read more of the Sookie universe.
I didn't care for the other stories, either. Reading the introductions, I gathered that a lot of the authors are established genre writers, and that many of the stories revolved around characters that would already be known by fans of the author. No problem, except the stories don't hold up on their own. They were just too hard for me to get into and never developed that nice pace that good short stories have. I was overwhelmed with each authors take on vampires, magic, etc. ~ I mean when so many of the stories features a different paranormal world with different paranormal rules, etc ~ and of course limited space to introduce all of this... there just isn't space left over for a good story to evlolve.
I wouldn't be suprised to learn that Harris & Armstrong asked a collection of authors to write a story involving vampires and birthdays ~ rather than seek out really good pre-existing work that happened to fit that criterea. Whatever the reason, the stories suck. No pun intended ;)(less)
"The Suprising Story of Real Life Vampires in the 20the Century" Meh. I remember this being slightly on the kooky side back when I first read it somet...more"The Suprising Story of Real Life Vampires in the 20the Century" Meh. I remember this being slightly on the kooky side back when I first read it sometime in the 1990's. Haven't found the motivation to read it a second time, so I am getting rid of it during the Great Home Library Purge of 2010.(less)
When my husband & I bought our home, my younger brother gave this to us as a Christmas present with the note, "If it's not in this book, don't do...moreWhen my husband & I bought our home, my younger brother gave this to us as a Christmas present with the note, "If it's not in this book, don't do it!" This book helped him remodel & repair his home :)
Very easy to read, step-by-step instructions that any moron or novice can follow. Great photos, and tips included throughout. Some home improvement projects can be pretty scary, but this book makes them seem less intimidating. A fantastic resource for all skill levels. (less)
Our first mention of the Nightside is (in my paperback edition) on page's 10 and 11 where we learn that, "The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark he...moreOur first mention of the Nightside is (in my paperback edition) on page's 10 and 11 where we learn that, "The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark heart of the city. London's evil twin. It's where the really wild things are."
From that point on, Green continues to write the phrase the Nightside on nearly every single page, often accompanied by a lengthy description of the horrors one will find in the Nightside. For example,
p.12 I considered the matter. How much, to go back into the Nightside?
p.13 ...compared to what was waiting for me back in the Nightside, her anger, and implied threats were nothing.
p.14 You know the Nightside.
p.15 Let me tell you about the Nightside... The Nightside is a square mile of city streets and back alleys in the centre of the city, linking slums and tenements that were old when the last century was new... In practice, the Nightside is much bigger than that...there are those who say the Nightside is actually bigger than the city that surrounds it... It's always night in the Nightside... You can buy or sell anything in the Nightside...
p.16 You can find anything in the Nightside, if it doesn't find you first.
p.19 My name is John Taylor. Everyone in the Nightside knows that name... so there I was, going back again, back to the Nightside...
p.20 I left the Nightside five years ago, fleeing imminent death and the betrayal of friends, and swore through blood-flecked lips that I'd never go back, no matter what.
p.21 I used to be a dangerous man, even for the Nightside...
p.22 My closest female friend is a bounty hunter, who operates exclusively in the Nightside... I'm more than just another private detective, in the Nightside... All routes lead to the Nightside.
p.27 Anyone can walk down the wrong street, open the wrong door, and end up in the Nightside. Most of them don't last long, though. London and the Nightside have rubbed up against each other for so long now that the barriers are getting dangerously thin. Someday they'll all come crashing down, and all the poison in the Nightside will come spilling out...
p.28 There are more worlds than we know, or would wish to know, and most of them send people through the Nightside sooner or later.
p.30 Something new has come into the Nightside
p.31 We have to travel through strange, harsh, places to reach the Nightside. Dangerous and unnatural places, that would blast the sight from your eyes and the reason from your mind.
p.34 There are a great many mysteries in the Nightside, and much against my will, I'm one of them
p.36 The only thing that moves faster than the speed of light is gossip in the Nightside.
p.37 Many of the sleek and gleaming vehicles darting through the Nightside had to be new to Joanna...Taxis that ran on debased holy water, limousines that ran on fresh blood, ambulances that ran on distilled suffering. You can turn a profit from anything, in the Nightside.
p.38 I've never been sure whether the moon really is bigger in the Nightside, or whether it's just closer... There were wonders and marvels to be found in the Nightside, sights and glories to be savoured and clutched to your heart forever... the Nightside is really just like...the city streets we walk in dreams and nightmares.
p.39 'Welcome to the Nightside,' I said, smiling. 'Abandon all taste, ye who enter here.'.. She gave me a hard look. 'I can never tell when you're joking.' 'Neither can I sometimes, in the Nightside. It's that kind of place. Life, death, and reality are all flexible concepts here.'
ENOUGH! I made it through 78 pages before giving up. Even if Simon Green didn't tell, rather than show... and even if his characters were well written... and even if this story is perhaps much spookier in his head than it is in the actual writing of it.... I am freaking sick to death of reading the phrase, THE NIGHTSIDE ~ let alone the multiple descriptions of it on every single page. Normally I am not an advocate of violence, but something really needs to be done about the person who let this book be published in its current state.
Even though the protagonist was frequently referred to by his full name, John Taylor ~ and even though that name (as always) brings me blissful images of my favorite sexy bass player ~ that still wasn't enough to rescue this horrid book. Ugh. Let me go listen to some Duran Duran, remember the good John Taylor and get this back to the library ASAP. (less)
How I Live Now is a book that I actually rather liked. Why is that so surprising? To start, there is a very sweet (yet strange) first love (view spoil...moreHow I Live Now is a book that I actually rather liked. Why is that so surprising? To start, there is a very sweet (yet strange) first love (view spoiler)[ which takes place between cousins! Gross! (hide spoiler)], this book also involves anorexia, it is at times a survival story, a pseudo post-apocalyptic story, and has a bit of magical realism and mental illness thrown into the mix. Yet, despite this plethora of topics, How I Live Now never delves into the realms of an issue book, unlike so many contemporary YA's.
The main character here is fifteen year old Daisy, who seems fairly normal and likable at first. However as the story continues you learn that Daisy has problems. Anorexia, an uninvolved father and a (possibly) devious stepmother. Although we don't know what precipitated this decision, we do know that at some point Daisy's father felt the best way to deal with her problems was to send her to England (in the spring, before the school year is out) to live with her maternal Aunt and cousins. Daisy had never before met these family members and the world is on the brink of war. What transpired between Daisy, her father to warrant such drastic actions? I am clueless. If needing to know details and backstories is important to you, this book would be best skipped. Because I cannot even begin to stress how much Meg Rosoff has left out of this story.
Daisy is a fairly typical, self-absorbed teen. She takes no interest in the world around her, and although she isn't as prone to dramatic emo inner monologues as many teen protagonists, she isn't interested in that which doesn't directly affect her. For me, this technique worked for most of the book. Daisy clearly has issues, and with being thrown into a strange environment with strange people, on top of scattered terrorist attacks and a world war breaking out I expect Daisy to be quite self-involved. This book uses a stream of consciousness writing style and is fast paced, so it is easy to be sucked into the story.
What didn't work for me was that throughout this novel Daisy's character and prospective never changed. She did not experience growth or an epiphany. How We Live Now chronicles Daisy's experience through the beginning and most difficult part of the war. Once she makes it through her immediate ordeal, her story abruptly stops and picks up again six years later. Sadly, it may as well have been six weeks or even six months because Daisy (view spoiler)[ and her cousins (hide spoiler)] is basically the same person with the same voice, wants, and needs as she had been previously. Disappointing.
There is so much I loved about this story. The survival aspect, the lovely garden descriptions, the paranormal abilities which are mentioned but never brought front and center... I loved the vagueness of this book. Despite the fact that so very much is left unsaid, this How I Live Now is beautifully written and evokes a certain mood which stayed with me for a long time after reading it. Yet, even with loving all of the strangeness which Meg Rosoff created, I wish I knew what exactly she wanted to convey with this book. I can understand a survival tale except, why revisit Daisy in the future when she has not grown or changed as a result of her experience? I do recommend this book, however. Unless you absolutely have to know what, why, where and how ~ then it would be best to leave this one alone. But if you are looking for a unique, thought provoking, quick read, then I highly recommend How I Live Now . ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I wish I could find a few reviews of this book from when it was originally published. I am sure that by not living through the women's lib movement &...moreI wish I could find a few reviews of this book from when it was originally published. I am sure that by not living through the women's lib movement & the sexual revolution, I am missing something from this book.
However, as a person who grew up in the 80's, this book dooesn't strike me as a "precautionary tale." Rather, I really, really dislike Theresa Dunn. This is a woman who rarely speaks up for herself & always lets others make her decisions for her. Then, she becomes upset when her experiences don't live up to her expectations. Well....duh! Again, perhaps if I had lived during the period this novel takes place, I would have a better appreciation and understanding for Theresa's reluctance to assert her opinions and feelings. Theresa is dissatisfied with everyone in her life and she is incapable of forming a true friendship with either a man or a woman.
Clearly, Theresa is a hot mess. Rossner does a good job of offering an explaination through Theresa's early childhood sickness, her family role and her twisted relationship with Martin Engle. Nonetheless, I just can't bring myself to like her. Don't get me wrong ~ I am rooting for her throughout the book and hoping she will change her ways. But I don't think she would have, even if she wasn't murdered. (less)
Generally, I do not seek out inspirational stories. The writing, characterization, and plot all fall short in favor of a higher message ~ which I cou...more Generally, I do not seek out inspirational stories. The writing, characterization, and plot all fall short in favor of a higher message ~ which I couldn't care less about. I read for escape, entertainment... getting a good message is secondary to a getting a good story. And, really, a talented author should be able to do both anyway, right? Regardless, I am not a feel-good sort of girl looking for inspiration in life, and I normally find these sorts of things not only badly executed, but so filled with sappy love, tearful emotions and good messages that I want to go out and do something really really bad to even out my scales again ;)
That being said, I can't for the life of me remember what provoked me to add this to my TBR list? Small Change is an incredibly quick read which, as promised, tells of the secret life of Penny Burford. I'm not going to go into the message that can be taken from this book ~ really, a few messages can be inferred. And I'm not sure that someone as cynical as myself can give this book the review it probably should have. What I can say is that my one star is more a reflection of my personal taste in reading material ~ this soooo isn't it. Small Change is a lesson told in story form. As such, the writing isn't fantastic, but it never is in books such as this. (less)
This was okay. While listening I kept thinking of how much more I would have enjoyed this as an actual kid, rather than an adult interested in YA book...moreThis was okay. While listening I kept thinking of how much more I would have enjoyed this as an actual kid, rather than an adult interested in YA books. Also, Goonies. For some reason, this story reminded me so very much of Goonies.
Sorry for the crap excuse for a review. This is a cute story, something both kids and adults should be able to enjoy. It just didn't inspire any deep thoughts or strong emotion. (less)
Oh crap! I just wrote a review but Goodreads froze up & now it's not saved :( Ok ~ in a nutshell... Almost gave up on it due to the slow start, but...moreOh crap! I just wrote a review but Goodreads froze up & now it's not saved :( Ok ~ in a nutshell... Almost gave up on it due to the slow start, but glad I didn't. Ended up liking The Goose Girl better than The Princess Academy. This has so many similarities to so many other fairy tales, but Hale has a way with words ~ and I was engrossed even though some aspects of GG was very predictable. I think I may move both GG and PA from YA to my Children's section. Bad guys, violence, murder and a very tame love interest... but not really adult or edgy enough for YA. Ok Goodreads....don't make me do this a third time! ;)(less)