Finished this book in practically one sitting. (Was listening to it in audiobook format, and only stopped briefly because I had to go to work.)
I have...moreFinished this book in practically one sitting. (Was listening to it in audiobook format, and only stopped briefly because I had to go to work.)
I have to admit, it has been so long since I read the first two books in this series that it took me a long time to realize that I already knew the characters. And then when the Morales kids showed up I got a bit of a shock. I hadn't really anticipated seeing any of these characters again... I just sort of felt like Pfeffer was planning on leaving them all unresolved 'cause life is like that.
I consider myself lucky to have come to this book now, though, because apparently if I'd read it when it first came out I'd have been all excited and then disappointed with the news about the 4th book not coming out, but apparently it did end up getting published last month after all, so that's fun news. Now I just have to wait for the audiobook. (GET ON IT, #AUDIBLE.)
Apparently, from other reviews, I'm glad I didn't read the flyleaf. Honestly, when I saw there were more books, I just went straight to Audible, searched up the author, and bought the one I didn't already own, no questions asked. Therefore, it all came as a surprise. (view spoiler)[Well, sort of. I mean, when Alex and Julie Morales arrived, I was surprised. When Miranda decided she had fallen head over heels for the "LLBA," I was not entirely surprised. And while I'm totally against #instalove, I can't side with other reviewers as saying it's unbelievable that she'd feel that way. We're talking about 17 year olds. I remember being 17. I was hormonal, impulsive, prepared to cross my entire family for the sake of the fixation of my romantic ardour, and absolutely certain that love was life or death. Add to that the fact that these folks are in a legit we-could-die-tomorrow situation, and mix in a generous helping of there-aren't-any-other-teenagers-anywhere, and I can't say that I felt them developing a "relationship" (even one that is obviously based on lust and infatuation) was terribly out of character or unbelievable. BTW, why just hate on Miranda and Alex? I mean, Matt and Syl much? How is the teen romance any different from that? This is the kind of world they apparently live in. (hide spoiler)]
I, too, was disappointed in the change in Matt's character, but having never been in a situation like the ones these characters have gone through, I can't say that it wasn't realistic to imagine he'd fray like that.
(view spoiler)[ btw, I'm not hating on Syl. She is what she is, and she's at least honest about that. She's a survivor. Also, I totally don't blame her for Horton's death. I mean, seriously, folks. She isn't a cat killer. Letting him outside didn't equal his death. The cat was dying, that much was painfully obvious. Have you ever had an incredibly elderly pet that was just ready to pass? I'll tell you from experience: they like to go hide somewhere to do it. They don't tend to like to lie down in their usual nap spot to expire. He clearly had been holding out for a chance to get some privacy. Syl obviously had pets before and felt she was being kind to Horton and sparing the kids' feelings, which was awfully big of her, considering NO ONE ELSE seemed willing to own up to the very obvious fact of what was happening, and no one else was capable of helping Horton on his way, what with the notable lack of humane veterinarians in town. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, though, glad to have read this book. Looking forward to the 4th and last (thanks, Pfeffer! I know the world isn't getting better, but I sure appreciate you taking the time to wrap things up for us.)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This is a great introduction to the idea and practice of "unschooling" and some very useful advice and resources for a parent considering making it pa...moreThis is a great introduction to the idea and practice of "unschooling" and some very useful advice and resources for a parent considering making it part of their lifestyle & children's lives. (less)
I had a hankering to re-read this book, and so I did. Having read this through once before, I appreciated the addition of the author's interview and t...moreI had a hankering to re-read this book, and so I did. Having read this through once before, I appreciated the addition of the author's interview and the prologue to Wall that has yet to become a novel. Again, I am so pleased that Gaiman himself reads so many of his audiobooks, and I love how he tells them. It had been an appropriate amount of time since I last read this that, although I was familiar with how the story would end and the events between beginning and end, I still was able to be surprised quite often, and enchanted, and entertained. The style of writing is different than his other stories, which is intentional, and it works well for his purpose. I also appreciate that the romance in this tale takes time and develops organically, and doesn't involve "insta-love" or any brooding bad boys. Tristran Thorne is a sweet boy, and I enjoyed following his coming of age and growth as a character from ungainly youth to self possessed man. I got very different things out of this reading compared to the last, and I'm glad that I took the time to re-read it!
Also, having just recently read Gaiman's "Ocean at the End of the Lane" -- I could not help but notice the presence of Hempstocks in the village of Wall. Perhaps an offshoot branch spawned from the absent male Hempstocks mentioned in that tale?(less)
Very good narrator in audiobook format (and, in all fairness, the Bartimaeus passages were very well written. I couldn't imagine his voice being any o...moreVery good narrator in audiobook format (and, in all fairness, the Bartimaeus passages were very well written. I couldn't imagine his voice being any other way!) A fine adventure in a very interesting fantasy Britain that could stand alone, but has laid the groundwork for more books to come. I look forward to reading the next two :-)(less)
This was quite the book! I admit I was completely taken by the entire concept of being forced to speak of intimate things entirely in metaphor. I am c...moreThis was quite the book! I admit I was completely taken by the entire concept of being forced to speak of intimate things entirely in metaphor. I am certain that the Iranian poets and authors have to stretch further to get their messages across. As an author, myself, I enjoyed the author's conversations with himself about his lack of control over his characters. I am grateful to my friend Milan for bringing this book to my attention!(less)
This was certainly worth reading, as a mother intending to Enroll a child in Suzuki music study. There is a great deal of emphasis on how big an inves...moreThis was certainly worth reading, as a mother intending to Enroll a child in Suzuki music study. There is a great deal of emphasis on how big an investment of time and energy this method of study is on the parent's part, not to mention the child's, and even explicitly states that a parent unprepared to incorporate music so thoroughly into the whole family's life should probably not pursue Suzuki style learning for one's children. I felt that the practical advice on how to fit practice into family life, along with the games and creative teaching strategies described in this volume, are just as useful and do-able today as they would have been when this was first published. The summer and Christmas holiday practice suggestions are great (and even include a list of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs that beginner/book 1 students could probably pick up during the break!) While the information included in the "how to build a record collection" section is clearly dated, I felt it, too, still contained quite a bit of useful information. This book will remain on my personal bookshelf and will definitely be referred to as my son and I work our way through his music studies. (less)
It is important to note that this is a very simplified overview of the Montessori Method, a "primer" (as the title states) for parents who probably kn...moreIt is important to note that this is a very simplified overview of the Montessori Method, a "primer" (as the title states) for parents who probably know very little about the history of the movement.
I found the information to be to the point and organised in such a way that it summarises the Montessori way naturally. The appendix lists common Montessori tools (with pictures) and their purposes, as well as useful tips for how parents can support and further the Montessori work when at home. This is a great first book for parents just being introduced to Montessori, because it's a concise, clear, and very quick read.(less)
What an unusual and unique retelling of the snow white tale! So many gems of language are hidden in this tiny novella.
It took a little while to get us...moreWhat an unusual and unique retelling of the snow white tale! So many gems of language are hidden in this tiny novella.
It took a little while to get used to how the story was told (in very short chapters, told by Snow White herself for the first half and then by a separate narrator for the second half because "You can tell a true story about your parents if you're [...] good at sorting lies like laundry, but no one can tell a true story about themselves.") What's more important about the storytelling style is that it mimics (very accurately!) the oral storytelling style of the First Nations, which is unique and unfamiliar to many mainstream readers. That a First Nations style oral tale never feels the obligation to bother having a beginning, middle, and end is important to know, as it'll save some readers a bit of grief if they're not expecting the kind of structure they're used to.
Many readers have already complained that they have difficulty feeling connected to the characters because of the sparse storytelling. It's a valid point to make, but I personally feel it is part of the authenticity of this form of storytelling, both that it emulates original fairy tale style and First Nations style, which were oral and evocative/atmospheric, but not particularly descriptive. (Grimm doesn't really connect you to his protagonist in your standard novel's style, either.) Valente's language does evoke a wild west that is stark and real and gritty and hard.
I loved that there is no Prince Charming. She isn't exactly a self-rescuing princess, though, because she does get some help from her friends (ps, I absolutely love the retooling of the seven dwarves into seven women on the run from the law of the land and gender expectations), and she isn't exactly rescued. Charming is the name she gives to her trusty palomino, so I suppose being independent could be considered her love. Though the love that is really showcased in this story isn't romantic, it's the broken, abusive love between Snow White and her step mother, because even as she breaks her, Mrs H loves Snow White in her way, and weeps, catches her when she falls dead before her. "A mother's like a poison made for only one soul."
I'm very grateful to my friend, without whom I would not have known about this book, nor owned a copy (as she gifted it to me.) This tale is rich and deep and layered, and will bear re-reading.(less)