I understand why this book got good reviews and won awards and can appreciate the unique workings of the short story/novel format. I think she accomplI understand why this book got good reviews and won awards and can appreciate the unique workings of the short story/novel format. I think she accomplished what she was trying to do but it didn't work for me. ...more
"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
Tough, intense read. I got angry at it several times because it was so hopeless. THe voices and characters are so strong you just want them to catch aTough, intense read. I got angry at it several times because it was so hopeless. THe voices and characters are so strong you just want them to catch a break, you know....more
Rhine is trying to make extra money for herself and her twin Rowan by answering an ad to sell her marrow. The ad is a trap and she's captured by gatheRhine is trying to make extra money for herself and her twin Rowan by answering an ad to sell her marrow. The ad is a trap and she's captured by gatherers with a group of other girls. Out of the group 3 are chosen, including Rhine. The others are shot. This is a near future dystopia. Genetics created one perfect generation, but that generations children die young. Women at 20 and men at 25. Rhine and the other two girls are married off to the sheltered son of a wealthy doctor. Her husband is ridiculously unaware of reality. His father's mansion is designed to keep the outside world out, and those inside the walls are kept in as well. Rhine's conflicting emotions about her situation are believable. Sometimes she gets sucked into believing the lies and caring for her captors. The real conflict of the book seems to lie more in whether or not she follow through on her plans of escape or if she will give in to luxury and comfort. This book could have used a lot more tension and uncertainty, but the language and imagery moves the book along.
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
Teagan Wylltson leads a busy life. She has an exciting job at a primate house, a supportive best friend, and a fantastic and supportive family. One daTeagan Wylltson leads a busy life. She has an exciting job at a primate house, a supportive best friend, and a fantastic and supportive family. One day she comes home from work to find a cousin she didn't know existed would be moving in with them. But Finn brings more with him than just a troubled foster family history, he brings an entire fantasy world and attendant monstrous creatures. Hamilton has based her elaborate mythology on Irish faery lore, and she does a great job with integrating the mythology into the story. The sidhe that terrorize Teagan's family and wreak havoc on her life are terrifying and the tension doesn't let up often in this tale. When their father is kidnapped by the faeries, Teagan and her little brother Aidan must go with Finn into the evil faeries lair to save him. In the midst of turmoil we see a budding relationship between Teagan and Finn (who are not actually related) and a rekindled relationship with Finn's biological (and their mother's adoptive) grandmother Mamieo. This book has a little bit of everything, and while it doesn't focus as much on the romance as Wicked Lovely, is a great read-alike for people who like that brand of urban fantasy. The book suffers from a few lapses in timing/pacing and locale. People who don't live in the Chicagoland area would probably never notice how strange the covering of ground by this family seems. Chicago is a place of many diverse and distinct neighborhoods, and this book doesn't acknowledge that at all. The pacing also seemed off, this story takes place over the course of months maybe? But it feels like a day with disproportionate amounts of time spent on Teagan's time in the ape house. It was a great way to get to know Teagan and be introduced the the story, but then important parts of the actual story felt rushed and told more than shown. All in all this book is a promising beginning to another urban fantasy YA series. It's set apart by being lighter on the romance and heavier on the lore than many of the other series that seem to focus too much on eternal love and finding The One in a post-Twilight world. ...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
Raina had just gotten braces on her teeth when a far more serious dental tragedy struck. After a Girl Scout meeting she tripped and fell. One of her fRaina had just gotten braces on her teeth when a far more serious dental tragedy struck. After a Girl Scout meeting she tripped and fell. One of her front teeth was knocked out completely, the other one was knocked far into her gums. The rest of the memoir reflects on Raina's experiences with corrective orthodontia (and other specializations that will give the average reader dental nightmares) as well as chronicling her puberty and growing up processes. Raina isn't always brave about what is happening to her mouth, but she's always relatable. In fact, the art, the story, the characters are all so relatable (to someone with a middle class background and decent health and dental insurance, anyway.) Though dental drama and orthodontia seem mundane, what they really are are the things that those of us who've experienced them don't just forget, but actively push to the corners of our memories. Bravo to Raina Telgemeier for being able to pull the experience out and use it to flesh out her coming of age story into something recognizable to every kid who ever had headgear or remembers what it felt like to have a guy reach into your mouth, tighten a wire, and make eating painful to impossible for the next several days. ...more