I was a little apprehensive in picking this one up after reading some mediocre (and less than mediocre) reviews - and I only had a few days to read itI was a little apprehensive in picking this one up after reading some mediocre (and less than mediocre) reviews - and I only had a few days to read it before it was due back the library, and I was worried I'd slog through it. Perhaps my low expectations had something to do with it, but I was pleasantly surprised, and really enjoyed this.
I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the whole thing. Niffenegger does a wonderful job of setting the stage for the novel. It starts out with a realistic depiction of our world, with a slight creepy factor due to Highgate Cemetery neighboring the flat. And then, of course, there's the haunting. From the summaries I'd read, I wasn't sure how literal this haunting would be - just an overbearing sense that Elspeth still "owned" the flat? Her belongings and what she left behind keeping the twins from feeling like it was their home? The hold her memory still has on Robert and the others she knew? Or the actual presence of a ghost? It turned out to be the latter, and I thought the "haunting" factor was very well done. It's gradually built up so that it's almost believable, with Elspeth beginning as a weak, vaporous spirit and eventually becoming capable of moving small objects, etc., and the atmosphere is a big help in allowing the reader to suspend disbelief.
Speaking of which, the reader's ability to do just that is important for this one, I think. A lot of other reviews I read said the ending took it too far, pushing it past the point of believability. I can see how; there are several twists at the end, some more far-fetched than others, and one that I saw coming from early on in the book. Nonetheless, I think she ended it the only way she could, if that one big twist (if you've read it, you know which one I'm talking about - I don't want to give anything away!) is something she was aiming for through the whole novel, and I get the impression that she was. One the whole, it was beautifully written, and with great characterization (I especially liked Martin, and it was interesting to see how his journey - or lack thereof - paralleled Elspeth's). There were a couple of things that bothered me about the ending, but on the whole I really enjoyed this once I allowed myself to get lost in it. ...more
Before I say anything else, I just want to comment on how fantastic the narrator (Anna Bentinck) was on the audio version of this. I think I actuallyBefore I say anything else, I just want to comment on how fantastic the narrator (Anna Bentinck) was on the audio version of this. I think I actually enjoyed it more than I would have if I had just read the book - she really brought the characters to life for me.
That said, I really, really liked this, up until the end. I won't spoil it, but...really? I was pulling away from the gas station when the twist happened, and as a result was slightly distracted. If it's possible to do an auditory double-take, I did. I had to rewind a few minutes and go back to be sure I heard it right.
Besides that, it was a wonderful fun and light romance. I was rooting for Dexter & Emma the whole time, despite Dexter's frustrating (and often, incredibly stupid) behavior. I laughed out loud more than once, and I actually looked forward to my commute!...more
I love Melina Marchetta. The emotions in her books are so powerful, and even though I felt a little lost in the beginning of this one, by the time I gI love Melina Marchetta. The emotions in her books are so powerful, and even though I felt a little lost in the beginning of this one, by the time I got halfway through I was so invested in the characters and the story I felt lost to the book. There is so much about this book that I want to express, but there are other reviews that say everything so much better than I could, so go read them (Maggie Stiefvater's especially), and then go read this book. Can't wait to get my hands on The Piper's Son, although then that means I have no more Marchetta to read until she comes out with something new......more
Like, the rest of the series, this was an enjoyable read, although not quite up to par with the rest. The pacing seemed rushed – a long introduction,Like, the rest of the series, this was an enjoyable read, although not quite up to par with the rest. The pacing seemed rushed – a long introduction, followed by the two lovers quite suddenly finding themselves, well, in love. Penelope and Alex didn’t seem as fully-fleshed as characters as the protags of the previous books, and their relationship didn’t have much of a foundation. Perhaps it was the deviation from her usual formula – Penelope’s status as a married woman complicated things in a way the other novels didn’t have to deal with. Still a good, light read that I had fun with, but not Willig’s best. ...more
I'll be honest - I read this one for the cover. I saw it back in August and just loved it. I mean, look at it. Gorgeous!
The book itself though, not soI'll be honest - I read this one for the cover. I saw it back in August and just loved it. I mean, look at it. Gorgeous!
The book itself though, not so much. It was a relatively entertaining, quick read, but on the whole it didn't do too much for me. I really like the concept of fallen angels (who are poised to take over the throne from vampires, apparently), but I feel like so much more could have been done with it.
I suppose the biggest problem I have is the characters. The only ones who have any personality are Arriane and Penn. None of the other characters - Luce and Daniel included - seemed remotely real. Luce doesn't do much besides feel sorry for herself and moan about how misunderstood she is, how she doesn't belong in a place like Sword & Cross, etc. She wasn't all the bright either - I mean, you figure out that this guy you've been seeing is essentially a violent control freak, so when he leaves you a note telling you to get in the car and the driver will take you to him god-knows-where, you actually go? Really? I'm pretty sure this is the type of situation my parents were referring to when they told me "Don't get in the car - if you do, you'll probably never be seen again."
Ok, enough ranting about Luce. It got better towards the end, with some surprising twists and others you saw coming, and once Luce finally figures out what's going on, some of the fallen angel stuff gets pretty cool. My three stars is more like a two and a half - but decent enough that it gets rounded up to three rather than down to two. There's enough romance in this with the same sense of mystery that Twilight has that I think it will do well - after all, Disney already has a movie in the works, and there's a sequel on the way....more