It took a while for me to get into this book and, while I never felt particularly invested in any of the characters, Greene again managed to bring inIt took a while for me to get into this book and, while I never felt particularly invested in any of the characters, Greene again managed to bring in aspects of God, faith and fate in a way that really gripped me.
The last 40 pages or so was the best part for me as the villain Pinkie struggles, as an almost heartless character, to keep any goodness out.
I found it difficult to visualize some of the details of the places, which I would attribute to not knowing anything about the seedy underbelly of a 1930s seaside British town.
Also, for this edition, a crucial note about what Brighton Rock is was at the end of the book, while the introduction (except for the first few paragraphs which were helpful for the setting) gave away the plot, as usual....more
It's no Hunger Games. The characters could be better drawn, the dystopia could be more unique and the suspense could build quicker. It's a fast read,It's no Hunger Games. The characters could be better drawn, the dystopia could be more unique and the suspense could build quicker. It's a fast read, but as far as finishing the trilogy, I could take it or leave it and read the cliff notes....more
I expected to like this book more. There were lots of witty literary (and cultural) allusions, but the characters were scatter shot to me. I could havI expected to like this book more. There were lots of witty literary (and cultural) allusions, but the characters were scatter shot to me. I could have put it down at any time without really wondering what happened to the characters. Plus, the Jane Eyre part of the story was pushed towards the back half of the novel and that was the most clever part....more
**spoiler alert** Jeannette Walls proves that truth is stranger than fiction. Jeannette grew up living a vagabond life as her aloof parents dragged sh**spoiler alert** Jeannette Walls proves that truth is stranger than fiction. Jeannette grew up living a vagabond life as her aloof parents dragged she and her siblings from one place to the next, often with the cops on their heels.
Jeannette's father is an alcoholic dreamer who is as brilliant as he is flawed. Always with the promise of creating an invention that will propel the family into infinite wealth (and with it a castle made of glass), he one by one loses the faith of all his children, Jeannette last.
Jeannette's mother is just as much a dreamer and after living with a supposedly overbearing mother, she wants nothing to do with established order (even to the point of denying her eldest daughter glasses). Despite her teaching degree she lets the children go hungry while she spends the days painting and reading. When the children force her to get a job, she throws tantrums, gets depressed and eventually loses her job and the only income the family has. Without food much of the time, they rummage through dumpsters and sneak food out of other students' lunchboxes at school.
The Wall children eek out an existence despite their parents neglect but not without significant scars. Because their parents believe in being "open" to the world around them, they leave the doors of their house in New Mexico (left to them by Jeannette's grandmother) unlocked day and night. At one point a pervert accosts Jeanette yet her parents still refuse to lock the door with a flippant 'what doesn't kill you...' attitude.
At times there are glimpses of love from the parents, but their own selfishness wins out. As the parents try to escape the lives they had as children, they completely fail to provide any stability or care for their kids. In their escapism, they reject even the smallest social norms without realizing their children are incapable of doing the same.
Over the years their parent's care deteriorates as Jeanette's father dives headlong into his addiction and her mother the same, though hers is simply doing what she wants. The family leaves the Southwest for an impoverished area of West Virginia, where they are the poorest of the poor, living in a shack they can barely afford with no running water or electricity and leaking ceilings. What little money they have gets spirited away to alcohol as the kids go to school dirty and disheveled.
After a few years the Wall children begin to make their escape each moving to New York city where they try to make something of their lives and their history.
The Glass Castle is something of a page turner as life at the hands of the Wall parents gets worse and worse. Yet Jeannette never veers into cynicism or bitterness. Her anger is tightly contained and she shows true love for her parents, though it's hard to imagine how she mustered it...or how she even functions as a human being. I definitely recommend this read. You'll be hard pressed to come up another one similar to it....more
Although some things like the love triangle weren't quite as compelling in the Mockingjay, my heart was literally pounding for the last 100 pages. I lAlthough some things like the love triangle weren't quite as compelling in the Mockingjay, my heart was literally pounding for the last 100 pages. I like that Collins doesn't let us forget how vulnerable and flawed Katniss is, how ill prepared she is to face the horrors of war. Both she and Peeta are mentally and physically destroyed by war and their inability to deal with it psychologically feels real.
I was also glad Gale was a prominent figure after just being a shadow in the other two novels. That he was such a clear character with his own purpose and flaws was refreshing, rather than making him a puppy-eyed suitor.
Now I'm going to try to return my heartbeat to its regular rhythm....more
At first I thought the style Zusak uses to describe everything was going to drive me insane if I had to sit through 550 pages of it, but I ended up beAt first I thought the style Zusak uses to describe everything was going to drive me insane if I had to sit through 550 pages of it, but I ended up being very impressed with how he turned emotion and the invisible into the visible by using concrete and unexpected phrases.
The characters were human, real and surprising, although at times it may have been a little fanciful. Funny, devastating, gripping, heart-wrenching, euphoric, honest, insane are all words that could describe this book and its characters.
Only someone with a great imagination could cook up this book (it's 1,000,000,000 times better than Zusak's The Messenger) and it's one that stays with you....more