I was torn between 3 and 4 stars. This books definitely gets points in my opinion for originality and uniqueness. I've definitely never read anything...moreI was torn between 3 and 4 stars. This books definitely gets points in my opinion for originality and uniqueness. I've definitely never read anything like this. This was a coming-of-age story in which the young men of a Michigan town struggle after their father's vanish or "go to the moon." There is a sense of mystery about the "moon" if the fathers are really on the moon, or where they could be. But there is a very realistic, disturbing pull these young men feel as they have their own families of abandoning everything for the "moon." It was haunting, sad, and interesting and very beautifully written. The book also touches on the economic struggles of the recent past with which we are all familiar and a desire for change. I think this book is how these young men learn to deal with the internal struggles of adulthood and responsibility, and the desire to walk away from it all and unburden themselves. It was definitely interesting. I liked Bakopoulos's writing style- very simple and elegant. I think many readers could definitely find the characters, and their struggles very realistic, even set among the mystery of the moon.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book surpassed my expectations. You're compelled to continue reading the story of Emma and Dexter to find out if they'll ever g...more**spoiler alert** This book surpassed my expectations. You're compelled to continue reading the story of Emma and Dexter to find out if they'll ever get it together and be together. I love the idea that the characters are revisited on the same day every year, July 15. Sometimes we see them together, other times apart. I found the characters to be particularly likeable...you root for them when they're succeeding, you are disappointed when they are making self-destructive decisions, and you laugh with them. You have to wait until nearly the end when they finally decide to give a real, adult relationship a shot, but you nearly cheer aloud when they get there. Despite all the will they?/won't they? it doesn't get boring or slow. I found their struggles and personal growth to be intriguing because they are so likeable! Unfortunately, after waiting 300+ pages to finally see the characters together, tragedy soon strikes. And while I was heartbroken, I wasn't entirely surprised. The tone of the story took that turn, and you could feel something building. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a true, pure, romantic love story. I enjoyed it very much.
I have said before that Picoult's books always follow the same formula. Some current hot topic, a legal battle, characters you love to hate and a twis...moreI have said before that Picoult's books always follow the same formula. Some current hot topic, a legal battle, characters you love to hate and a twist or two that you may or may not see coming. This is no different. Standard Picoult formula.
That being said, the reason I read all her books is becuase her books are good. I appreciate the amount of research she puts into each of her books. She does make you look at current issues in a way you might not have before. Her characters are real and I can relate to them. Picoult has a talent, there is no disputing that. Sometimes I just wish she'd surprise me once in a while with a book that breaks her formula. But then again, she's obviously talented in this niche...do you fix what isn't broken?
I thought this book was one of the better ones that I've read by her recently. I really connected to the characters and really felt their struggles. I found their stories to be intriguing enough that once I started I couldn't put it down. Picoult fans will not be disappointed in this latest novel. I wasn't.(less)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. This is not something that I would have normally picked up, but my sister recommended it and also was surpris...moreI was pleasantly surprised by this book. This is not something that I would have normally picked up, but my sister recommended it and also was surprised by it. A fantasy-romance-young adult novel, this book was good. The things that I didn't like is that while "impossible" tasks needed to be completed, and that itself adds conflict, there was little conflict otherwise. Things just always happened to work out perfectly for the characters. Their parents were fine with them getting married, though his did object a bit, it wasn't a major part of the story. They found jobs easily, a cheap place to rent easily. Everything worked out exactly as they would need it, so it lacked the internal conflict within the characters, and external character conflict. I also found it distracting that though the two main characters Zach and Lucy have known each other for years, their relationship has waned significantly until seemingly suddenly he's professing his love (which she ignores) and then just pages later he's proposing marriage. I wish there was a little bit more build up to their relationship. That being said, that is really digging for a critique. While even though a fantasy novel, the fantasy wasn't so far removed that it wasn't completely alienating to a non-fantasy reader like myself. Readers of the Twilight series would definitely enjoy this. (less)
This book was so refreshing. I loved Marcelo and what he represented. He was painfully naive about the world because of his illness. But there was som...moreThis book was so refreshing. I loved Marcelo and what he represented. He was painfully naive about the world because of his illness. But there was something poetic and beautiful about it. While he seemed so naive, he was able to teach so much to others. To me, Marcelo represented an innocence within us all. A desire to see the best in people and ourselves. He represented that moment I think we all face when we learn of the pain of the world- the jealousy, the greed, the injustice. Every day it's a struggle to see past those things and find the good and hope. Before working in the "real world," Marcelo didn't know jealousy or competition or desire. He discovered these things through his experience. I think that this novel is about hope and the hope we find within ourselves. The struggle between doing what's right, no matter how hard, and failure to try or take risks because of discomfort. This was a beautiful book, and one of the great characters that I'll always have a fondness for.(less)
Let me preface this by saying that this is one of the better Jodi Picoult books I've read recently. It still follows the predictable Picoult formula:...moreLet me preface this by saying that this is one of the better Jodi Picoult books I've read recently. It still follows the predictable Picoult formula: Controversial hot topic + alternating POV + legal drama = Picoult Novel. However, I was distracted frequently by her repeated discussion of Asperger's syndrome, which I felt stalled the plot. A few well times descriptions would have been fine, but Picoult repeatedly stopped the progress of the plot to detail symptoms and Asperger's research. I felt that it caused too much repetition.
I also couldn't understand why it took the attorney and mother to figure out what I had figured out in the first 200 pages. As Picoult reminded us several times, Jacob can't lie. So why didn't anyone just ask him if he did it?! I felt like the book moved quickly at the beginning, then got bogged down in the legal drama.
It is obvious that Picoult devotes a lot of time to researching her novels and I respect and admire that. I felt that Jacob was well fleshed out and realistic. I could understand Emma's struggle with balancing finding treatments and help for Jacob and motherhood and work. I could understand and empathize with her stuggles.(less)
Nothing really surprising here...a typical Nicholas Sparks novel. I did like that this book did have a tad bit of mystery and drama woven in with that...moreNothing really surprising here...a typical Nicholas Sparks novel. I did like that this book did have a tad bit of mystery and drama woven in with that classic Sparks love story. (less)
I wish Goodreads let us give 1/2 stars, because I'd give this 4.5 stars. I love reading books that get you hooked from page one and you can't put it d...moreI wish Goodreads let us give 1/2 stars, because I'd give this 4.5 stars. I love reading books that get you hooked from page one and you can't put it down because you NEED to know what happens next. This book definitely leaves you guessing until the very end. It is very hard to read at certain times, but only because it is graphic and the subject matter is a little disturbing at times. That being said though, I thought the author did an amazing job. While the characters are not particularly "likeable" which normally is a turn off for me, they were understandable. I could understand why Libby is the way she is. And that is the mark of a great author- one that doesn't have to make likeable characters, but creates real and raw characters with their own beautiful hang ups and makes it realistic. I look forward to reading more of Gillian Flynn's work!(less)
"Each glacier, nebula, hurricane, human society, and biological species, and even each individual and cell of a sexually reproducing species, is uniqu...more"Each glacier, nebula, hurricane, human society, and biological species, and even each individual and cell of a sexually reproducing species, is unique, because it is influenced by so many variables and made up of so many variable parts" (Diamond, 1999 p. 423). I think that sums up this book. Diamond examines human societies through environmental and geographical factors that allowed some societies (Eurasia) to conquer or overtake others. I found the historical account of human society very fascinating. I learned so much about how factors such as geography can have profound impact on plant and animal domestication, population, and culture. I also found the spread of disease very interesting. While I would hope that this book would be something that everyone could learn from and appreciate, it's certainly not for everyone. A reader must have a certain affinity for history, geography, linguistics, anthropology and science. Excellent book and very informative!(less)
I first read this book in high school, and I read it several times. I recently purchased a copy and finished it again. I will agree with some other re...moreI first read this book in high school, and I read it several times. I recently purchased a copy and finished it again. I will agree with some other reviewers and say that the story does drag a bit at the end. But I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK! I love Deanie, and how real and raw she is. As the story unfolds, you can understand exactly why she is the way she is, and why she makes the (poor) decisions she makes. And Sam is a classic hero- honorable and moral but with this own flaws and weaknesses that make him so real and likeable. I would have to say this is one of my favorite books. This is one of those books I love to read again and again. It's just a really good love story full of hope and redemption. (less)
This is easily one of the best books I've read in a long time! I've heard this book compared to Jodi Picoult, and fans of Picoult will enjoy this. The...moreThis is easily one of the best books I've read in a long time! I've heard this book compared to Jodi Picoult, and fans of Picoult will enjoy this. There is the same alternating POV and a controversial issue and plot twists you may or may not predict in classic Picoult style. But what I feel this author did was create characters that are relatable, likeable, and real. Each of the characters has depth which I always appreciate in an author. And that's where this books power comes from. I've read some reviews which said the plot twists were easily predicted. I predicted none of them and was shocked a few times. I love this book!!(less)
The Crying Tree is an amazing book about family, forgiveness, and grief. I couldn't put this book down. Naseem Rakha did a terrific job exploring deat...moreThe Crying Tree is an amazing book about family, forgiveness, and grief. I couldn't put this book down. Naseem Rakha did a terrific job exploring death row in a way I had never really considered before. But that issue was really second to forgiveness. The two are interwoven in a believeable, realistic way. I wish she had given us more of a perspective from Bliss, the sister. But I suppose that could be a separate story in itself. I love it when books leave a lasting impression and keep you thinking long after the final chapter.(less)
WOW! This book far exceeded my expectations. I am ashamed to admit I kind of pegged this initially as a YA novel that might skim the surface of the is...moreWOW! This book far exceeded my expectations. I am ashamed to admit I kind of pegged this initially as a YA novel that might skim the surface of the issue, have weak characters, an unbelievable ending, and too much teen drama. I was wrong! While some people might say this book is about a school shooting, it's really about the healing and recovery of Valerie, the shooter's girlfriend. I love how Jennifer Brown created her as both a hero and villain. Valerie was not a one dimensional character. Jennifer Brown made Valerie very multi-faceted. And toward the end of the book you can really see the progression and growth of her character. Valerie admits at the end that yes, she was filled with hatred. Yes, she started the hate list. Valerie's progression toward healing wasn't unbelievable. I was quite skeptical at first, but I found her entire transformation and growth to be completely realistic.
It is a heartbreaking book. Valerie is so misunderstood. What she thinks is harmless turns out to be so much more. I found her emotions to be so real, too. She was so confused as to how someone she loved was capable of such horror. And while we can argue that Nick did exhibit warning signs, I find it completely realistic that young Valerie, being so in love with him, so comforted by the escape he offered her from her parents and home life, could have over looked those things. She's angry at the people who bullied Nick. She feels guilty and lonely. My heart broke when her father tells her that he can't forgive her. It's heartbreaking that despite being perceived as she is (a villain) you can see there is so much more to her than that. I related so much to this book. The psychologist in the book encourages Valerie to see what's really there, not what she thinks she sees. And I just found that to be such a powerful message, one that we can all relate to. With Valerie, there is more to her than what people see/think. There is so much more to everyone around us, fictional and real, than we see.
I was so surprised by this book. It surpassed all my expections and I can't wait to read more by this author.