Orenstein introduces interesting concepts in an engaging way, and offers valuable insight into marketing scams aimed at children. The author did a goo...moreOrenstein introduces interesting concepts in an engaging way, and offers valuable insight into marketing scams aimed at children. The author did a good job maintaining a voice that was never too disdainful toward everything pink, and often lightly self-deprecating toward her own parental experiences. This was a quick read, but it seemed to end rather abruptly. On the last page, I felt as if the book were missing something. It did, however, provide me with some ammunition for when my daughters get older and potentially drawn into the princess culture. I just felt Orenstein could have included more in the text, and perhaps drawn a more concrete conclusion.(less)
I'm really impressed with McMann after reading this. I knew she could do third person, present tense after reading the Wake trilogy, but in this book,...moreI'm really impressed with McMann after reading this. I knew she could do third person, present tense after reading the Wake trilogy, but in this book, I think, she does it so much more convincingly. The characters were real, likable, and sympathetic. I'm glad she wrote a stand-alone novel instead of a series. I also like that it's a short book, telling the story and just enough extra information to flesh it out, rather than stretching to fit into a certain amount of pages.
This story reminds me of The Devil's Backbone, but I think it would make a really good Guillermo del Toro movie in its own right. He would bring all the creepiness to life in that unique way he does, and maybe even make the viewers cry. So, Mr. del Toro, you should do whatever it is movie people do and direct Cryer's Cross on the big screen. Immediately!(less)
There are some very interesting stories in this book (my favorite being the one about a couple of Nobel Prize medals being dissolved to hide them duri...moreThere are some very interesting stories in this book (my favorite being the one about a couple of Nobel Prize medals being dissolved to hide them during WWII), but there were also some long, boring parts about, like, electrons and stuff. Obviously I expected this book to be science-y, but for someone like me who is really, really not science-oriented, those passages detailing processes or why elements work the way they do, for example, caused me to zone out. I probably won't be remembering the names of too many scientists mentioned, or the atomic numbers of elements, or even the symbols for certain obscure elements, but I'm glad I read this book, if only for what little education I took from it.(less)
I was really excited to read this book. It was full of interesting and original ideas, but quickly I found myself bored with the characters and their...moreI was really excited to read this book. It was full of interesting and original ideas, but quickly I found myself bored with the characters and their struggles. It's just this thing with me and fantasy, but I had issues with the place and people names (this probably won't bother other readers at all, especially fans of fantasy). The writing was good and I might be interested to see what Hellisen does in the future (though perhaps with a different book and set of characters). Ultimately this book just wasn't for me.(less)
I was skeptical of this book while at the same time anxious to read it thanks to all the great reviews. I did enjoy this one despite the ebook format,...moreI was skeptical of this book while at the same time anxious to read it thanks to all the great reviews. I did enjoy this one despite the ebook format, of which I'm not a fan (though I can't really argue with the $0.99 price tag on many of them). I thought the story was interesting from the beginning, yet I found it slow and for me it didn't get really exciting until about two thirds of the way through. One minor gripe I had was the chapter endings, which sometimes were awkward and not very tense. Like they should have ended at some point in the following chapter, maybe. But it was a very minor issue, as I said. I also wished we'd been given more of an idea of why the apocalypse happened, especially since it was different than the biblical apocalypse. Sometimes the time line was confusing; I kept forgetting that it had happened only two months before. It seemed longer, and I can't see a particular reason that the time between it and when the story takes place was so short.
I liked that Ee used traditional angel names and appreciated that her angels weren't do-gooders trying to achieve some elusive purpose. Like Raffe said, "Even in your Bible, we're harbingers of doom, willing and able to destroy entire cities. Just because we sometimes warned one or two of you beforehand doesn't make us altruistic." I don't know if any other YA books have portrayed angels this way, but definitely not any of the ones I've read. Biblical angels are some fierce meanies. So, points to Ee for that.
Anyway, this was a great debut and I'm looking forward to the sequel.(less)
I can't say I really liked this book as a whole, but there were several parts I really did like. The one thing that stands out most in my mind is Wood...moreI can't say I really liked this book as a whole, but there were several parts I really did like. The one thing that stands out most in my mind is Wood seems to have the courage to take her YA heroine places no other YA heroine has ever seen before. I don't think I've ever read another YA novel where the heroine gets to do things that "debase" and "ruin" her. But Jessamine does. AND IT IS AWESOME. So many YA authors shy away from ugliness, or else present it in a less offensive light, and all because of the all-important "virtue". Maryrose Wood, thank you for not doing that.
I also liked seeing how the characters had actually changed and grown because of their struggles. Dramatically, in some cases. This book was a continuation of the first, yet a reaction to it as well. I was a little bored during most of my reading, but the ending really picked up for me. WOW. I thought it was great. So different from the usual YA. I can't wait to see what happens in the third book.(less)
**spoiler alert** My thoughts on this book are rather jumbled, so I'll try to be coherent writing this.
I loved the prologue. Loved it. I loved the beg...more**spoiler alert** My thoughts on this book are rather jumbled, so I'll try to be coherent writing this.
I loved the prologue. Loved it. I loved the beginning of the book, until I realized that Juliet really was going to fall in love with Ben. I liked Ben much better than the usual YA love interest—I mean, not only did he have a crooked nose, but he also had crooked teeth and violence issues! How interesting!—but I was holding out hope that Romeo and Juliet would fall in love again. At first I thought they were going to and my stomach even dropped during a few of their interactions. Alas, I was disappointed. I really wanted to see Romeo become the man he's supposed to be, lose his selfishness and become, you know, sane. Obviously he'll have the chance to do so in his sequel, but still.
I really liked the writing. This book is a great example of how to do present tense. When reading present tense, I always know I'm reading it, mainly because the author is doing it just for no apparent reason, and it's usually awkward and forced. However, I have no problem with present tense (or any tense) if it's done well. And this was. Juliet had a great voice. I loved how she was good without being one of those insipid, afraid-to-do-bad heroines. Actually, all the characters were SO EFFING INTERESTING (mean rich girl best friend with huge issues [some of the daddy variety], scarred host body with possible buried issues, bitter Juliet, insane Romeo [complete with occasional insane laughter], psycho-the-making host body with rock star dreams and an abusive father, I mean HELLO!
So. I don't know whether this appeals to fans of Shakespeare or non-fans, but I fall into the non-fan category and I really liked it. I think this story could have worked with any pair of lovers, famous or not.
Honestly I'm surprised I liked Incarceron as much as I did. It's been a while since I really enjoyed a YA novel, it seems. I wasn't even interested in...moreHonestly I'm surprised I liked Incarceron as much as I did. It's been a while since I really enjoyed a YA novel, it seems. I wasn't even interested in reading this for the longest time and now I can't remember what convinced me to give it a try. It wasn't as nail-biting as some other series, but I felt the story unfolded in a way that kept me at a slight distance, always wanting to know more but willing to savor the events rather than plow right through them. I'm really looking forward to reading the second book.(less)
**spoiler alert** I found Hidden Wives interesting, for the most part, but I did have a few gripes that really had nothing to do with the story as a w...more**spoiler alert** I found Hidden Wives interesting, for the most part, but I did have a few gripes that really had nothing to do with the story as a whole. For example, I understand Rachel was very beautiful. I can buy the fact that seventeen people in the community received testimonies to marry her. I have a harder time buying the fact that she was so beautiful her own father decided to rape her. Equally hard to buy is that the pawn shop guy would make some random proposal to her, and the drug store worker would comment that she shouldn't hide under a baseball cap in the same day. I'm pretty sure most people don't get daily comments about their looks, beautiful or not. Not only that, but a pimp probably isn't going to approach someone on the Strip in front of a fountain I assume was at the Bellagio. And he won't be followed by a cheap prostitute handing out flyers. The Bellagio is on the nice part of the Strip and that fountain is going to be packed with tourists, not low-end sex workers. Which brings me to my last gripe. Prostitution is not legal in Nevada as a whole. It's actually illegal in Las Vegas. So there!
Okay. As I said before, the story was very interesting, particularly the parts detailing the secret parts of the Blood of the Lamb group. Because it was so i interesting, I may look into getting a nonfiction book on the subject of fundamental Mormonism. However, the characters lacked depth and personality. Nearly every one was like a cardboard cutout on the side of good or evil. And most of the time the dialogue seemed unnatural. Still, the story was interesting enough that these things did little to hinder the readability.(less)
It was interesting (and sometimes horrifying) to read some of the issues brought to attention in this book. While I agreed with much of what the autho...moreIt was interesting (and sometimes horrifying) to read some of the issues brought to attention in this book. While I agreed with much of what the author said, some of it I did not. It all seemed very extreme; the author did, however, mention middle ground later in the book, which was sort of what I was looking for. I didn't like how she resorted to sarcasm way more than seemed appropriate, even if it was in the footnotes much of the time. I also didn't care for how often she mentioned her blog. But I do think this is a book worth reading (although it did make me very, very reluctant to ever have a daughter).(less)