"If I Stay" was Mia's story and "Where She Went" is Adam's. I'd had my fears about this audio book, and had put off my listening for way too long. But"If I Stay" was Mia's story and "Where She Went" is Adam's. I'd had my fears about this audio book, and had put off my listening for way too long. But once I started listening I couldn't stop. In fact, I'm letting the last disc repeat because I don't want the experience to end just yet. The reader is part of the wonder of this audiobook. He's the perfect voice, one that you could imagine a young rockstar having.
Anyway, some of the story does have elements of "I see what you did there." But for the most part it is the cause of good imagery and to make the story more compelling. The details really make this story great. ...more
Vera has a screwed up home life and an even more screwed up relationship with her dead best friend. The descriptions in this book are fantastic, KingVera has a screwed up home life and an even more screwed up relationship with her dead best friend. The descriptions in this book are fantastic, King has a way with words. Unfortunately that way with words doesn't extend to being a way with plotting. At times the book lost my interest and I had to force myself to keep going. Some awesome character saying something real and true usually would do the trick. ...more
A heart attack kills the father of two young boys, leaving their mother to raise them alone. One of the boys, Harvey, is obsessed with an old movie thA heart attack kills the father of two young boys, leaving their mother to raise them alone. One of the boys, Harvey, is obsessed with an old movie that no one else cares about.
Reading this book is like finding a moleskine someone left at a table in an independent coffee shop. You could pick it up, flip through, digest quickly and forget everything as soon as you close the last page. The book would seem confusing and pretensious and the character drawings juvenile. Or you could savor, take your time, and still feel the book resonate in your head long after you close it.
The art, while the characters are stripped down and simplistic, the textures and colors and backgrounds are so beautiful and detailed. Patterns drift off clothing onto the page and reform to mean something else.I want to take the wallpapers and fabric patterns off the pages and dress my house and myself in them. I want to live in this book, until it gets too sad.
The story of grief is so simple seeming, while at the same time, asks big questions. In addtion to grief the book touches on questions of existance. How often do you ponder that everyone knows a slightly different version of someone then everyone else knows. The father I know is not the exact same father my sister knows, while at the same time, he is father to us both, and it is the same for Harvey and his brother Canton and their father. The pages without text sometimes speak as loudly as those with a paragraph.
Samhain LaCroix is just existing post-high school. He has a crappy fast food job, but good friends and a supportive mom and sister. One otherwise normSamhain LaCroix is just existing post-high school. He has a crappy fast food job, but good friends and a supportive mom and sister. One otherwise normal day an encounter with a bad customer changes Sam's life forever. The customer, Douglas, is a local necromancer and one of the most powerful paranormal people in Seattle. No one dares cross him. He recognizes that Sam has a small necromancy power and from that point on makes Sam's life hell. When threats don't work Douglas actually kidnaps Sam. In captivity Sam meets Brid, a female were-fae hybrid roughly his age. Despite the awful circumstances sparks fly between them and being held together helps make the situation more bearable for both. The hijinks are wacky but the non-stop wisecracking is broken by moments scary, sad, and touching. The characters, especially Sam and co. (especially his best friend, Ramon), are quickly but expertly developed. Actual character motivations drive actions, which is refreshing in the paranormal YA genre (which is often plagued by characters only reacting in ways to drive the plot, no matter how against character the reactions seem.) Characters are added in through-out the story, including a sassy 10 year old ghost and Brid's protective family, setting up for future sequels while helping to wrap this adventure up nicely. ...more
Julia has never really understood her moody (and much older) sister Sophie. She dreads Sophie's return for her high school graduation, and the experieJulia has never really understood her moody (and much older) sister Sophie. She dreads Sophie's return for her high school graduation, and the experience lives up to her fears. Julia is underachiever Sophie's opposite in every way and has her whole life mapped out in front of her. Before Sophie leaves in as much of a whirlwind as she came in she gives Julia two gifts: a car and a place to drive the car. Sophie wants Julia to come up to visit her in the house she's renovating in Vermont (which will also be a bakery.) Julia refuses, of course, until she finds out her parents and sister had been keeping a secret from her for her entire life.
The rest of the story is about Julia's time in Vermont with Sophie helping her fix up the old house/bakery and her burgeoning but different relationships with two guys. Revelations and drastic personality/life shifts become almost common place in the last 1/4th of the book.
The writing is heavy handed. (Way way way too many metaphors serving as plot points and pretending to be character development. Please, you don't need to hit me over the head with your literary devices.) To be fair, the author knew what she wanted to do with the metaphors she chooses. The main problem is that very early on, I did too.
At the same time, it was an engrossing read. I wanted to know more about this family secret and more about the thinly developed romance between Julia and the boy across the street. Many times I found Julia to be an obnoxious and bratty narrator, but the methodically paced out revelations saved her from being unbearable. Julia is not the only one with character development problems. The parents in this book do some really loathsome and detrimental things to both daughters, especially Sophie. All of which is glossed over and given a shine during the unnecessary epilogue.
Who should read this book? Realistic fiction readers who like a some drama and a hint of romance will enjoy this book. Despite my criticisms this book would be popular with anyone who has a difficult sibling relationship to work through. What sibling relationship isn’t at least a little difficult at times? It also really was a very well paced and plotted novel with some lovely descriptions. ...more
While I found the writing lyrical (almost overly so, to the point of being distracting actually) it was a little short on personality for the main chaWhile I found the writing lyrical (almost overly so, to the point of being distracting actually) it was a little short on personality for the main character. I felt like she was a very "insert yourself here" character. I did not understand why this boy who was so amazingly awesomely gorgeous and fantastic would seek her out. I also was seriously annoyed by yet another teen girl using Wuthering Heights as a model for romantic love. W.H. is possibly the single WORST example of romantic love I can think of outside of Twilight. I also wondered if the sister hadn't died what would have ever gotten them main character to grow up and come into her own. Kirkus is right, this book is a good effort that gets lost in its own emo....more
The future looks a lot like the past in this book set in a far future London that is basically a country unto itself. Fever has been raised by an ordeThe future looks a lot like the past in this book set in a far future London that is basically a country unto itself. Fever has been raised by an order of scientists who believe in rationality above all else, and she's being sent out into the world beyond the order for the first time in this book. The world building is excellent in this tale, and I loved the inner conflict between rationality and normal teenaged emotion that Fever constantly battled through the story. But, I found the plot and most characters rather flat and a bit too simple/predictable. If there is a sequel I hope it works on making the characters and plot as full as the world it is set in....more
Katarina Bishop is kicked out of the Colgan academy, framed for a crime that this one time, she actually didn't commit. Before she's even off school gKatarina Bishop is kicked out of the Colgan academy, framed for a crime that this one time, she actually didn't commit. Before she's even off school grounds the real reason she's been kicked out becomes apparent in the form of billionaire heartthrob and burgeoning teen thief W.W. Hale the somethingth. Hale is the bearer of bad news. Her dad is in trouble and he's refusing to try believe that situation is as bad as it is. It is up to Hale and Katarina and their junior thief friends to work one of the most difficult heists in the world to keep her dad safe.
Katarina has been gone from "the world" and "the family" for three months, and her confidence is shot. Add to the mix a new boy who is...interesting and who Hale is jealous of and doesn't trust and you have what could be an explosive time.
I was underwhelmed by this book after really enjoying the Gallagher Girls books. Katarina didn't engage me very well and I liked every other character much more than her, I think because despite the specific description and background, Ally Carter was trying for that "everygirl" sort of character that we can all identify with and it didn't work for me. I found the love triangle a little predictable.
I wasn't a huge fan of the audiobook reader either. She wasn't bad, but I wasn't drawn into the story through her voice. That has a big impact on how I like the book. At no point did I feel the tension that should have been inherent in the scenes where Katarina and her loved ones are being threatened or in the scenes where they are pulling off a huge and impossible con job.
But in concept and secondary characters this book shines. It was one of those escapes where, even though hackneyed a bit, I did feel like I was a part of a criminal underworld I would never even glimpse in real life. I don't want to be an art thief, but it was kind of fun to think "what if." Could be a younger read-a-like to some of Jennifer Cruisie's books, like "Bet Me.' ...more
Jace has just had his face "relandscaped" by his father. He's been kicked out and has nowhere to go, except to his brother, who disappeared with the hJace has just had his face "relandscaped" by his father. He's been kicked out and has nowhere to go, except to his brother, who disappeared with the help of friends 5 years before. I loved the tension in this novel until it devolved into only being graphic descriptions of abuse inflicted by the family patriarch onto the family members. I loved the characters and their struggles until they too easily resoloved their issues **SPOILER ALERT** (I know Jace is struggling w/the fact that he is an abuser too, but his brother tells him he's an ex-abuser and magically he decides he'll start talking about what happened and he's not an abuser anymore?)
***End Spoiler Alert*** Basically, this book started out strong, and I wish it had stayed that strong. Jace has a great voice and the struggle between family and patriarch is fascinating plot, but it needed something more to really have a satisfying ending....more
Sebastian is a lump of tofu, soaking up the flavor of whoever he is around, with no personality of his own. The facts about Buckminster Fuller are intSebastian is a lump of tofu, soaking up the flavor of whoever he is around, with no personality of his own. The facts about Buckminster Fuller are interesting, but the Bucky-obsessed grandmother is unrealistic. Overall the book didn't suck me in or hold my attention well, very slow paced and not literary enough to make up for the pacing. I found the female characters unbelievable and the Sebastian's obsession with Meredith is kind of creepy. ...more
Helen, a successful writer, lost her husband, and after a year of emptiness and blank pages. She's turning all the energy she used to spend on writingHelen, a successful writer, lost her husband, and after a year of emptiness and blank pages. She's turning all the energy she used to spend on writing and hr life towards interfering in her daughter, Tessa's, life instead. Then she finds out her husband was keeping a very big secret which involved removing most of their life savings. Reading this book is like having a long conversation about everything with an old friend you haven't talked to in a while. Helen and Tessa and their muddled relationship jump from the page. Since Helen can't write and is suddenly in more dire financial straits than she was prepared for she takes on teaching a writing class, and the class finally draws her out of herself.
This book is one to suggest to most every mother, daughter, grandmother, or person who has ever lost anyone ever.
Red Flags: The book groups are unrealistic and not as well drawn as they could be. Since it is a book about a writer other writers may find this jarring. If you don't like tidy endings you may not like this book....more
**spoiler alert** There is a device in fiction (and sadly, sometimes in real life) that I can not abide. When adopted/ive family members, for whatever**spoiler alert** There is a device in fiction (and sadly, sometimes in real life) that I can not abide. When adopted/ive family members, for whatever reason, are considered less than and not equal to biological family. My mom, my uncle, and a cousin I didn't know I had until just a few years ago were all adopted by their parents. Two things in this otherwise charming series of somewhat disjointed vignettes ruined my enjoyment because of my particular bias.
The first is one of the 7 siblings adopted makes out with one of the other siblings. These children were raised as brothers and sisters from nearly birth.(This family is comprised from 7 of 43 babies that were spontaneously simultaneously expelled as full formed infants from women who had not shown any signs of pregnancy. The Hargreeve's could only find these 7 left from that incident and he adopts them all as soon as possible after they are born.)
I don't know about you, but because I was raised in the United States and ingrained with certain views on incest, I'm grossed out by sibling makeouts even if the siblings weren't "biologically related." Maybe this was an intentional gross-out factor? The other moment that set me off is at the very end--not even in the main story arc, but a part of extra stories at the end--a villain asks the rough/broody Wolverinish character, Kraken,if it will bother him to see his whole family killed he says, "Not Really--we're adopted." My blood boiled my vision went hazy and red and I turned into The Awkwardable Hulk. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Mostly because now I'm going to tear your book--that you obviously worked hard on to prove that you aren't just another alcoholic rock star--apart.*
Of course, I don't know how intentional it is, but if you haven't noticed by now the story is a bit of a spoof (or rip-off, depending on just how much you really hate My Chemical Romance) on the X-men, with the enigmatic "father" Prof.X-type figure being a total Jerkface McGee to his family. Though actually other than the whole raising up the mutanty superpowered kids Hargreeve is more "Dr. Kellogg" from The Road to Wellville than Prof.X. He's such an over-acheiver who expects too much from children that the "unspecial" one actually writes a tell-all memoir. I like that each of the main characters is as dysfunctional as they are special, and each in their own way. And I like that instead of much world-saving the family is mostly showcased at some of their worst moments.
Okay, I have to admit, the adoption thing does bother me, a lot, and the storytelling is choppy at best. But it IS interesting, and there is a talking chimpanzee named Dr. Pogo, whose hideous past is only briefly hinted at (these hints are actually the choppy/disjointedness I'm talking about. I get what they were going for but it really didn't work for me.) Actually there were a few little moments of humor in the book, for instance I crack up at the repeated use of "space" as a modifying descriptor for "alien." But maybe that is just me.
The art is great. The Viole Blanche is well imagined and beautiful, if not the most original idea. But still the whole flawed superhero thing is starting to be as tedious as the whole perfect superhero thing was during the golden age.
*I know, low blow, but google "drunk Gerard Way" and you will get 138,000 results. I understand sudden fame is difficult to handle and according to internets he is not drinking anymore, good for him. ...more
**spoiler alert** It is so far into the future after the Zombie-pocalypse that everyone in Mary's village is acclimated to unquestioningly following t**spoiler alert** It is so far into the future after the Zombie-pocalypse that everyone in Mary's village is acclimated to unquestioningly following the rules that the Sisterhood sets forth. Well, follwoing the rules has kept them relatively safe and alive from the Unconsecrated hoard just outside of the fense so far, right? But, as her future becomes more tenous, mary grows more defiant of the edicts and the sisterhood. On top of all that, Mary's got boy troubles, family troubles, best friend troubles, and of course, Zombie troubles.
The book has all the interesting mysterious parts of the M. Night Shyamalan movie "the Village" but instead of a boring backstory about the evils of the "Modern World", we get ZOMBIES. Scary, flesh-eating, mindless, zombies. Zombies with the rotting faces of Mary's mother, father, sister-in-law, and friends. Did you ever notice that zombies are an interesting metaphor for the evils of the "Modern World"? Mary's world has been shaped so much by living under the constant fear of horrifying death that every moment and every choice she makes is so very important.
Mary could be you, she has the same sorts of desires and daydreams as anyone. The first half is so atmospheric, creepy, and tense with the human side of living in a undead world that when it flows into the second action-packed (and a little violent) half you won't be able to put the book down. Don't let the "Teen Book" label fool you either. Carrie Ryan's story is not JUST for the young, it is for everyone who ever wondered what happens to humanity hundreds of years after the Dawn of the Dead.