It took me over a year to finish this, but I did it! Obviously, this was not something I was continuously reading, but one I kept putting down and pic...moreIt took me over a year to finish this, but I did it! Obviously, this was not something I was continuously reading, but one I kept putting down and picking back up because I heard such positive reviews about it and was irritated that I couldn't stick with it myself. I will say that once I (finally) got half way into the book that I finished the second half rather quickly. If you're considering this one I'd say once you get past page 100 or so the story moves faster and definitely got better - in my opinion :)(less)
Before even reading other comparisons between this book and a Wes Anderson flick, my brain made the connection, though maybe it was due to the Royal T...moreBefore even reading other comparisons between this book and a Wes Anderson flick, my brain made the connection, though maybe it was due to the Royal Tennenbaums type cover art. The characters are quirky and it's a really fun read, but I couldn't help wondering where the book was going. The discussion about what is and isn't art is interesting, but doesn't exactly make for a great plot line. (view spoiler)[I felt that the ending was rather predictable and yawn-worthy as Camille and Caleb did what their children and the reader expected. While it certainly would've had a different tone, I was more interested in how the story may have turned out if the parents were dead. Started out with a lot of promise for me, but then winded down to three stars -- in no way terrible, but disappointingly not amazing either. (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>(less)
I really wanted to like this more, but I found Thea's character so spoiled and completely self-absorbed (view spoiler)[ and by the time she eventually...moreI really wanted to like this more, but I found Thea's character so spoiled and completely self-absorbed (view spoiler)[ and by the time she eventually does something unselfish and caring for someone else it felt like too little too late. (hide spoiler)] I also felt like the author was going to suffer a mild stroke if she did not mention the title somewhere on each page. (less)
Eugenides doesn't disappoint with his latest title. While this was no where near Middlesex, which is one of my favorite novels, I'd probably rank it i...moreEugenides doesn't disappoint with his latest title. While this was no where near Middlesex, which is one of my favorite novels, I'd probably rank it in between as I believe I enjoyed The Marriage Plot more than the Virgin Suicides. None of the characters were as compelling (this was not a book that I had a hard time putting down as I had ripped through the other ones fairly quickly) and I kinda felt like the comparisons between the current love triangle of characters with the Austen "marriage plot" books was Eugenides beating me over the head with his theme, but out of all of his works, this one felt the closest to reality. Of course stories about a Greek hermaphrodite and a family of suicidal teen girls are going to be more imaginative and filled with some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read, but The Marriage Plot rang true on so many levels. My biggest problem was the specific setting of the work directly in the 1980's -- I don't think it actually mattered, though it does make the letter writing seem appropriate as today people are constantly connected to everyone they know via cell phone, social networking sites, email, etc.
I would recommend this was a choice for a book club as I can see it being a polarizing novel and would generate a lot of discussion.
Blerg. I went in wanting to like this but it just disappointed on so many levels. Quintessentially British in plot, the small town of Pagford gets its...moreBlerg. I went in wanting to like this but it just disappointed on so many levels. Quintessentially British in plot, the small town of Pagford gets its knickers in a twist when a member on the parish council suddenly dies and his seat becomes available in the midst of hot topics like closing the methadone clinic and reassigning "the Fields," a public housing area, to the nearby city. Still awake?
This is the staging for this drama/farce where like 50 different characters are affected one way or another by the council member's death or how his open seat/vote will go. Townspeople cover a multitude of stereotypes including the abusive father/husband; the bully; the drunk wife; the Indian doctor; the junkie; etc. but you may want to draw a chart or list them all out so you can keep them straight with who they're fighting with and how they were related to Barry Fairbrother, the deceased.
Of course I did not expect this to be an adult Harry Potter and knew it would not have any of those magical elements going in, but in changing her audience, Rowling appears to have lost her talent as an interesting storyteller also. The book is dull, the characters forgettable, and Rowling seems to go out of her way to remind the reader that this isn't kid's stuff with the language, violence and sexual content. I described this book to friends as being similar to a former child actress growing up and jumping at the chance to get naked on screen to prove they're adult. Rowling savors graphically describing the porn two teen characters are looking at -- and it's still boring.
I avoided this title for awhile as it’s typically not what I go for, but I had been curious about it, the audiobook was suddenly available and that wa...moreI avoided this title for awhile as it’s typically not what I go for, but I had been curious about it, the audiobook was suddenly available and that was that.
Pros: If you’re looking for a thrilling read, this one pretty much guarantees a good ride. I saw several people comment that they hated the first part of the book, which amused me because that is when I was the most engaged. Since I was listening to it instead of reading, several times I found myself in the predicament where I didn’t want to get out of my car to go to work or inside the store to do my grocery shopping, etc. because I was so caught up. One particular scene caused me to sit in my car an extra half hour just so I could find out what happened next. And what happened next rarely was what I expected…which I enjoyed but also frequently loathed.
Cons: Not the most original storyline and toward the end it felt more like I was listening to the screenplay for a Lifetime movie. (view spoiler)[The actual end I hated and made me roll my eyes so hard that I think the car shook. I enjoyed the whole Crimes and Misdemeanors/Matchpoint existential thriller part with an anti-hero and unreliable narrators, etc. What I didn’t like was that it took an interesting idea and ended putting such a ridiculous spin on it to satisfy its own means -- confusing good, realistic storytelling with shocking, Lifetime-esque, over the top drama. Blergh. But that doesn’t mean I won’t recommend it to someone else! (hide spoiler)] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I hesitated reading this book for a long time, but with the movie coming out I thought I'd give it a try. Reading some of the criticism of the stereot...moreI hesitated reading this book for a long time, but with the movie coming out I thought I'd give it a try. Reading some of the criticism of the stereotypes or writing across racial boundaries didn't get me too excited to read it either, but I gave it a chance and overall thought it was a solid read. For a long time I thought I would be bothered by a white author telling a story I felt was maybe not her's to tell. But when I thought about it, it's not that uncommon for authors to write across boundaries, though maybe it might more frequently be gender or religion than race, but I don't get angsty over those books (usually). I will agree with the reviews I read about it being a little heavy handed on the white person helps lead the civil rights movement theme (I think someone called it the "White Feel Good Movie of the Year"). The basic plot was very predictable yet there were several storylines that I had no idea where they were going and didn't seem complete in the end (Celia or the cancer, anyone?). I also kept waiting for Skeeter to stand up to her friends, family, and boyfriend instead of buying mini skirts and Bob Dylan records... If this was the South that Stockett grew up with (or imagined),then she can share her story; the reader only has to remember that it's a story, historical fiction. Most books are written to entertain and this book does deliver. (less)
I was assigned this novel as one of our old librarians retired and this was the book club selection she made before she left and I’ll be filling in un...moreI was assigned this novel as one of our old librarians retired and this was the book club selection she made before she left and I’ll be filling in until they hire someone new.
I keep going over this book back and forth in my mind -- did I like it, or did I not? Was the ending satisfying and if not, why not? What did I expect? I considered bumping it down a star, but I'll just leave it for now. At least this book will probably have a charged discussion group.
A very well written, funny, and sometimes touching account of the dating landscape and the lifespan of a relationship. I would've given it 4 stars exc...moreA very well written, funny, and sometimes touching account of the dating landscape and the lifespan of a relationship. I would've given it 4 stars except it depressed me a bit and I too often wanted to hit titular Nathaniel over the head...with a book or something slightly heavier. (less)
Yikes, I wasn't even going to cop to reading this except I felt I had to speak up when I saw how many 5+ ratings it got. I have never wanted negative...moreYikes, I wasn't even going to cop to reading this except I felt I had to speak up when I saw how many 5+ ratings it got. I have never wanted negative star points so much on here!
One word review: Ugh. Multiple word review: Just about the worst self-published junk one could imagine. For example, the book actually opens with main character Anastasia describing her looks while gazing into the mirror. Shall I continue?
I'm definitely not the target audience for title and admittedly not a reader of romance or eroticism, however with all the hype I decided to go back on my rule of not reading fan fiction. I wish I hadn't. I could only stomach about half of the book before calling it quits, but I'm impressed I kept with it for that long. Christian is a bore and Ana is so embarrassingly inexperienced in not just relationships but in life that it reads like a fantasy more than anything else.
Would make a fantastic drinking game though, almost every adjective is "grey," "steel," (including the characters last names) or "cold." Take a shot every time Christian "growls" something or has "his mouth in a line;" when Ana "whispers" something, when Ana mentions she's never hungry even when she hasn't eaten all day, when you read one of their lame emails, etc. If you decide to drink when Ana is fighting with her "inner goddess" or "subconscious" (who are the second and third most annoying characters in the book), you will be hammered before you get to the second chapter. (less)