It starts off with an interesting bit of action, but then it takes 3/4 of the book to develop any more interesting bits of action and while you wait fIt starts off with an interesting bit of action, but then it takes 3/4 of the book to develop any more interesting bits of action and while you wait for the action and answers, you trudge through it hoping it comes sooner rather than later. While the idea of using old, real photographs for inspiration is interesting and the plot is intriguing, it just doesn't come together the way Riggs probably intended it to. Some of the photos just don't flow with the story and others don't portray what he would like for them to portray, like the little girl with the giant mouth behind her head, is actually a little boy with ringlets. Some of the photos are clearly outside the time line and looping doesn't explain them.
There isn't a whole lot to like about any of the real characters. I'm not even sure Riggs likes them; although he might have a fondness of sorts for Jacob's dad. He, at least, likes the peculiars and seems to write about them with more affection although he never delves into their stories very deeply, if at all. All the characters are on the one-dimensional side.
I thought that it was wholly odd that Jacob discovers his grandfather lived on an island of peculiars, but NEVER questions why his grandfather was there and what, if anything, made him peculiar and it completely goes over his head when he's told peculiarities skip a generation. He questions everything his grandfather ever told him, but doesn't question any of that? I know, it was part of the "mystery", but not something that was handled very well by the writer or the editor.
Slightly interested in the follow-up, Hollow City, because the book did leave questions unanswered. I'm just not sure I need to know the answer immediately.
I saw this book sitting on my daughter's ELA teacher's desk and immediately picked it up to read more about it. We went straight from there to the schI saw this book sitting on my daughter's ELA teacher's desk and immediately picked it up to read more about it. We went straight from there to the school book fair so I could buy it for ME. It's a fantastic mysterious read, especially in the Fall as we near Halloween. I did not think it was as creepy as some of the other reviewers thought it was, but it definitely has a wonderful magical and eerie feel to it.
I love that the author based certain aspects of it on real history (be sure to read the author comments at the very end). The weaving of history with fantasy was beautifully done. There are some great little twists toward the end when you think you know where it's going and it doesn't go there. The characters are distinct and well-done for the story.
Sometimes the setting of the tree was difficult for me. You must imagine it to much larger than you originally think it is and sometimes (rarely) ideas could have been drawn out a little more (for example, the characters "just don't know" why they feel this or that and they just accept it instead of questioning it). All that being said, I'm still giving it five stars and recommending it to others!
Is this book okay for middle school and higher readers? YES! Especially those that love fantasy and mystery....more
Required reading for my daughter's 7th grade class. After beginning it in class, she came home and said she couldn't wait to finish. The teacher, howeRequired reading for my daughter's 7th grade class. After beginning it in class, she came home and said she couldn't wait to finish. The teacher, however, asked them not to continue until they got back to class. She's too tempted so she won't keep the book in her room.
A very easy, amazing little read with a powerful punch of and to humanity. It is pretty straight forward writing. The story, however, is eye-opening and it is stunning to think what people go through and how they live.
Glad I picked it up and can't wait for her to finish so we can talk about it. ...more
I think "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is missing the most important ingredient a Harry Potter book could possibly possess . . J. K. Rowling. WitI think "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is missing the most important ingredient a Harry Potter book could possibly possess . . J. K. Rowling. Without her, it's simply "fan fiction" that does not contain any of the magic of her imagination, in depth understanding of the characters, and incredible writing. The characters in this seem to be stereotyped shadows of their former selves. Don't be fooled by the cover with her name splattered across the front. She did NOT write it. She approved it for stage (which still perplexes me). The plot is actually very good and intriguing. The story isn't bad but the writing can be roll-your-eyes corny. In Rowling's hands and as a book it would have been phenomenal. All that being said . . I would see the play just to see how some of the action, change of scenes and magic play out live and on stage. ...more
At the beginning, I wanted to give it two stars. It was slow and boring. It took me a while to shift my focus backwards and forwards in time and constAt the beginning, I wanted to give it two stars. It was slow and boring. It took me a while to shift my focus backwards and forwards in time and constantly between very short chapters. Towards the middle it picked up to a four star, but near the end it just started falling away.
George Sand is a fascinating character that Berg obviously loves. In a way, you do get a clear sense of how Berg views Sand, but if you're going to explore how Sand searched her entire life for love, you might want to give a little more attention to the relationship which lasted the longest. To be honest, if felt like Berg slightly lost interest and just wanted to get the book done at the end.