I love the two first parts of this book: more political drama, more character history and well portrayed. I was set on giving it a five star already b...moreI love the two first parts of this book: more political drama, more character history and well portrayed. I was set on giving it a five star already but then when it came to the last part, things just went downhill. I felt as if the author had panicked about the page counts and decided to wrap things up as quickly as possible. The result ended up being sloppy, messy, simple and just way to confusing with such an elaborated plot (which had all the potential to be mind blowing if just executed well.)
However, I still loved the whole book, just as I loved the first one. I'm more invested in the characters (especially Peeta, oh dear) and can't wait to find out more about what will happen to Panema and all the districts. Guess I will find that out very soon now :) (less)
Sweet, short, simple, cliche, cute...what else is there to expect?
It was a quick and simple read. I needed something easy and simple - kind...moreSweet, short, simple, cliche, cute...what else is there to expect?
It was a quick and simple read. I needed something easy and simple - kind of like when you sometimes just want to sit down with a nice romantic drama or comedy, you know? I had saw my favourite local bookshop recommending this book and it sounded cute enough.
The book is about seventeen-year old Hadley who has just missed her flight to London, and is late to her father's second wedding. She remains stuck at the JFK airport and meets a British boy named Oliver, who is sitting in her row. Hadley does not look forward to the wedding and meeting her soon-to-be-stepmother. She and Oliver get to know each other during the long flight but when they reach London, they lose each others. The question is of course - will they meet again?
Even though the title and the summary suggest a romantic story, the focus is more on family drama. Of course, there is romance too though! The whole book is set in a period between twenty-four hours.
I wish I could say more about the book but to be honest, there isn't much to say. If you expect a lot of twists and turns, drama and depth, then no. This is a cute, fluffy and sweet story. It's simple, short and cliched. It's perfect if you need something quick that will make you feel good without overthinking it.(less)
Giving this a 2 stars when I felt it was a 2 1/2 star. Might change to 3 after tomorrows discussion.
Overall. A boring novel. It got interesting at so...moreGiving this a 2 stars when I felt it was a 2 1/2 star. Might change to 3 after tomorrows discussion.
Overall. A boring novel. It got interesting at some points but I found the main character to simply be just unlikeable, especially at the start. Apparently he was to have changed after meeting his "angel" (the girlfriend, an even more unlikeable character) but I beg to differ. (less)
I wish I could give this collection of poetry the review that it deserves but truthfully, I find myself unable to write about it adequately enough. Th...moreI wish I could give this collection of poetry the review that it deserves but truthfully, I find myself unable to write about it adequately enough. The book is so good. It's not often I read poetry and it is even less so that I find myself drawn into it. With this, each poem drew me in. Each line felt like a story of its own and more often than not, I found myself reading a poem further in and reminisicing a poem that I had read earlier in the collection and wondering how connected they were. I love the style of writing; it is powerful, emotional and chilling. His words are filled with details and anyone who knows me well, know that I absolutely love that.
I would write more but I'm just going to leave this review now with my favourite parts (as well as one complete but short poem):
"Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake and dress them in warm clothes again. How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running until they forget that they are horses. It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere, it's more like a song on a policeman's radio, how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple to slice into pieces. Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it's noon, that means we're inconsolable. Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These, our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we'll never get used to it.” ---- Scheherazade
"We made a graveyard// out of the bone white afternoon."
"When we were little we made houses out of // cardboard boxes. We can do anything. It's not because // our hearts are large, they're not, it's what we // struggle with. The attempt to say Come over. Bring // your friends. It's a potluck, I'm making pork chops, I'm making // those long noodles you love so much."
"Can you see the plot like dotted lines across the room?"
"I'm battling monsters, I'm pulling you out of the burning buildings // and you say I'll give you anything but you never come through."
"These are the dreams we should be having. I shouldn't have to // clean them up like this."
"A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river // but then he's still left // with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away // but then he's still left with his hands."
"Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars // for you? That I would take you there? The splash // of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube?"
This has got to be the most depressing novel I have ever read.
I spoke to several friends who have seen the film and they told me that the film was so...moreThis has got to be the most depressing novel I have ever read.
I spoke to several friends who have seen the film and they told me that the film was so depressing that they didn't even want to touch the book it was based upon. My feelings are very similar except in reverse. This book is so depressing that I don't even want to see the film that is based upon it. It's a shame because one of the ways that I discovered this book was when Precious received two Oscars awards.
Push is about the 16-year old illiterate Black girl, Precious. Since she can remember, she's been subjected to rape and abuse by her father and mother and has been neglected by everyone around her. Whilst carrying her second child (with her father), she is directed to a new school program, where she is inspired and determined by the teacher and the class to find her way, learn to read and write and actually live the life she is suppose to live. The book deals with many themes such as incest/rape, abuse, HIV, literacy, social attitudes and races and etc.
What intrigued me the most from the start wasn't however the overwhelming plot but actually the language. The book is written in a language as if it is spoken directly in Precious mind. It is colloquial and filled with grammar and spelling mistakes. The words are raw and straight forwards and it all makes it feel so much more real and harsh. There are also journal entries and poems that she writes as a form of communication and as a way to express herself and learn to write.
I really don't know what else to say about this. The book overwhelmed me. Sometimes, particularly in the beginning, it became too much. The scenes were too horrible and sad and I had to put down the novels several times and just stare at it, breathe and take it all in. I couldn't understand how it all could happen. I still don't understand how this can happen. This book isn't based on a real story but the fact remains that some parts of this life is always real to someone in this world and it just makes me want to cry.
"Listen baby, Muver love you. Muver not dumb. Listen baby: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.
Thas the alphabet. Twenty- six letters in all. Them letters make up words. Them words everything."
"I'm gonna break through or somebody gonna break through to me - I'm gonna learn, catch up, be normal, change my seat to the front of the class."
"I big, I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see when the picture come back I don’t exist. Don’t nobody want me. Don’t nobody need me. I know who I am. I know who they say I am – vampire sucking the system’s blood. Ugly black grease to be wipe away, punish, kilt, changed, finded a job for. I wanna say I am somebody. I wanna say it on subway, TV, movie, LOUD. I see the pink faces in suits look over top of my head. I watch myself disappear in their eyes, their tesses. I talk loud but still I don’t exist."
"Ms. Rain say write our fantasy of ourselves. How we would be if life was perfect. I tell you one thing right now, I would be light skinned, thereby treated right and loved by boyz. Light even more important than being skinny; you see them light-skinned girls that’s big an’ fat, they got boyfriends."
Another book I want to give 3½ star but nevertheless receive a 4 star. The series have many flaws, especially in terms of stereotypes but then again,...moreAnother book I want to give 3½ star but nevertheless receive a 4 star. The series have many flaws, especially in terms of stereotypes but then again, it is also a very entertaining and exciting read. This one started very slow for me but then got interesting towards the middle. (less)
I would have given this 3½ if it was possible but I guess I'll give it a 4 instead of a 3 though. I did enjoy this very much. It's simple and fun and...moreI would have given this 3½ if it was possible but I guess I'll give it a 4 instead of a 3 though. I did enjoy this very much. It's simple and fun and a good book to read when you want something easy and entertaining to pass time. Greek mythology has never been something I'm very interested in but Riordan twists it so that it becomes amusing and exciting. I do wish that he would vary his writing style a little bit. Although Percy's sarcasm is entertaining, sometimes he overdo it (for example, I grew tired of the "Good news/bad news" style. First time it works well, but any more and you start to think he doesn't have any creativity).
Other than that, enjoyable! I preferred the first book but still look forward to read the third as well :)(less)
The "letter exchange" form isn't really a style that I am fond of but this was an excellent read. You could tell that a lot of letters were missing bu...moreThe "letter exchange" form isn't really a style that I am fond of but this was an excellent read. You could tell that a lot of letters were missing but it still managed to convey the great story about the friendship that Helene Hanff developed with Frank Doel and the rest of the team at Marks & Co. I didn't recognize many of the works that they mentioned but it made me curious and I also loved how enthusiastic Hanff was about the books.
I'm unsure whether I should read the continuing sequel The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street which is the story of when Hanff finally goes to visit literature England. Skimming through it, I can see that there is a lot of descriptions about her travels and surroundings but at the same time, the format (mixture of diary/journal and novel) isn't very appealing so I still haven't decided. (less)
"It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybod...moreMemorable Quotes (there's several)
"It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like “Poo-tee-weet?”"
"There are no characters in this story and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters. But old Derby was a character now."
"He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next."
"We went to the New York World's Fair, saw what the past had been like, according to the Ford Motor Car Company and Walt Disney, saw what the future would be like, according to General Motors. And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep."
"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops."
"And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes."
""He was a funny-looking child who became a funny-looking youth - tall and weak and shaped like a bottle of Coca-Cola."
"'The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. '"
"He ate a pear. It was a hard one. It fought back against his grinding teeth. It snapped in juicy protest."
"If what Billy Pilgrim learned from the Tralfamadorians is true, that we will all live forever, no matter how dead we may sometimes seem to be, I am not overjoyed. Still--if I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I'm grateful that so many of those moments are nice."
I first heard of this book through TNBBC nearly two years ago and was intrigued by the rather positive reviews...more**spoiler alert** Setting: United States
I first heard of this book through TNBBC nearly two years ago and was intrigued by the rather positive reviews it was receiving. A circus and animal-themed book just didn't seem that interesting to me. I purchased my own copy but like many of the books that I buy, it somehow end up dusting on the bookshelves instead of being read. A year later, I heard that there was a film in the making (and with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in the cast!) and decided that it was about time for me to pick it up and read.
I read. I gasped. I flailed. I was on the brink of tears and laughter (but mostly tears) and I was completely taken by the story. I was moved by the characters and the descriptions of the nasty conditions at the Benzini Brothers Circus and absolutely appalled at the gruesome treatment of both animals and workers. You could tell that Gruen is a very avid animal lover. One scene could reflect how sweet and innocent animals could be (I would be lying if I said that I wasn't grinning at the scene where the elephant Rosie was happily chewing food on someone's private vegetable patch or whenever the chimpanzee Bobo's needed a hug and a hand to hold) and the other scene could have you wanting to pull out a character (mostly August) from the pages and simply strangle said character for the awful and terrible animal treatment. On the other page, you would have workers who were working to their very last sweat drop until they were weak or complaining enough to be thrown of the train in the middle of the night. Not to mention, the characters! And love plot (triangle drama, oh my!)!
This book was a fantastic reading experience. I recommend it very much. I'm trying to figure out why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 (it was a while since I read it) and I can't seem to remember but alas, do give this book a try. Especially if you like general fiction or would like to try something new and more original.
"When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."
"Age is a terrible thief. Just when your getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse."
"I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. I lie motionless, savoring the feeling of her body against mine. I'm afraid to breathe in case I break the spell."
"Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of."
I read about 3 quarters of this book ages ago. A friend of mine borrowed it before I was done and well, it's been years, she hasn't returned it and I...moreI read about 3 quarters of this book ages ago. A friend of mine borrowed it before I was done and well, it's been years, she hasn't returned it and I guess it is officially lost. I don't feel inclined to finish it though. I hardly remember the book and although it had it's moment when it was enjoyable, it wasn't good enough for me to hunt it down again and finish that last quarter.
The TV series and the movie? MUCH MUCH BETTER. (less)
I have very conflicting feelings about this book, especially Katniss, but overall it was truly exciting and I definitely enjoyed it very much. Looking...moreI have very conflicting feelings about this book, especially Katniss, but overall it was truly exciting and I definitely enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to reading the next.(less)
The summary of this novel made me immensely interested and I looked very much forward to read it. It took me a while to find time but I am glad to hav...moreThe summary of this novel made me immensely interested and I looked very much forward to read it. It took me a while to find time but I am glad to have now finally read it.
I've seen a lot of negative criticism, particularly regarding the characters but I would actually like to give praise to Kim Edwards for creating such complex characters. The novel has a very complicated plot and with even more difficult characters. Because of this, I can imagine that for many it would be hard to empathize and sympathize all of their actions and feelings. For example, how easy is it exactly to empathize Dr Henry's life-changing decision of giving his sick daughter away in the beginning? Truth to be told, I was myself shocked at how someone, particularly such a loving doctor, could do so but as the story continued, we got a deeper insight into Dr Henry's personality and more importantly, his past.
All the other characters were somehow the same yet different - they had their huge flaws and strengths, their emotions and thoughts and they were after all humans who had to undergo certain trauma of loss and neglect. One character that particularly touched me was Dr Henry's son, Paul, and the conflict he had with his father. Although I could not empathize, I could indeed sympathize and I think that this could be common for many of the readers to one or more characters.
Other than the characters, I also really enjoyed Edwards' style. It wasn't the most exquisite and creative form that I had encountered but it was simple, easy to follow and nice. Sometimes it was confusing to keep track of the ages of the characters, despite the year given.
However, one of the reasons why I gave this a four star and not five was because of the angst and dark mood of this novel. Indeed, there were light scenes. The love scenes were beautiful and the imagery was although not incredible descriptive, it was still good. However, there was always a brooding and sad tone. Sometimes it was not even sad but blank and neutral in a negative sense. I also wasn't too fond of the ending but that's because I like to leave a book, happy and satisfied. The ending was well but very bitter-sweet and I wish that one of the things that happened in the end did not happen. I'm not going to be explicit though because I don't want this review to contain spoilers.
So overall, I enjoyed this book a great deal. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone as it is a rather dark and complex but if you like complicated characters with a controversial plot, then sure, why not. Give it a go.
Good quotes "You missed a lot of heartache, sure. But David, you missed a lot of joy."(less)