I am just not in the mood for a big long "tell" I need some "show" right now. Maybe I'll come back to this when I've finished reading the rest of theI am just not in the mood for a big long "tell" I need some "show" right now. Maybe I'll come back to this when I've finished reading the rest of the CP books on my shelves....more
I'm disappointed. And I'm disappointed that I'm disappointed. I so wanted to love this. The photographs are incredible and the general idea of the stoI'm disappointed. And I'm disappointed that I'm disappointed. I so wanted to love this. The photographs are incredible and the general idea of the story is good... but the execution is just not at all what I expected. I didn't even know that it was YA until right before I started reading it. Some of my favorite books are YA, but this seemed too young, if that makes any sense. I think I was expecting something more along the lines of The Little Stranger or The Ghost Writer and instead got a Magic Tree House book for older kids. On the bright side, I think my oldest daughter will love this....more
Well, I gave it a good try (100 pages). I didn't hate it, which is why it didn't get 1 star. It just failed to hold my interest. Ah well, on to the neWell, I gave it a good try (100 pages). I didn't hate it, which is why it didn't get 1 star. It just failed to hold my interest. Ah well, on to the next book......more
I don't know you, Gary D. Schmidt, but I love you. I had to stop reading your latest book while in the doctor's waiting room because it was making meI don't know you, Gary D. Schmidt, but I love you. I had to stop reading your latest book while in the doctor's waiting room because it was making me cry. This was literally about 30 seconds after it made me laugh out loud. Some of Doug's one liners were so hilarious I had to read them to my oldest daughter. And you know that noise you sometimes make when you are trying so hard not to cry, that little squeak that escapes from your tightly pursed lips? No? Oh, me either. That totally didn't happen to me when Doug broke down and told Mr. Ferris about his "birthday present". Your emotional roller coaster, Mr. Schmidt, makes for one exhilarating ride.
My only complaint is with the final (10? 20?) pages of the book.
(view spoiler)[I am just not satisfied with the way that everyone - especially the biggest mother effers in the book - magically redeemed themselves in the end. I could see it being plausible for the So-Called Gym Teacher, whose horrible behavior could very well be explained by his recent experiences in Vietnam. It is also fitting for Doug's older brothers, who are both struggling so hard against becoming their father. But Principal Peattie? He just all of a sudden becomes this warm, smiling, apologetic benefactor? What the hell? The deplorable way he treated Doug, the things he said to him... and as the principal of the school! And anyone that refers to himself in the third person - and only in the third person - deserves to be punchisized in the face. Not redeemed. BUT. Of all the assholes in this book, Doug's father takes the freaking cake. I just can't believe that this drunken, abusive POS all of a sudden gets a heart and a conscience. A man that treats his family like absolute garbage for years upon years and doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about anyone other than himself and all the ways in which everyone else is out to screw him over. He should be in jail for what he did to Doug! Not once in the first 9/10 of the book is there even the tiniest shred of evidence that he has any good in him, so where the hell did the last 10-20 pages of the book come from? Who is that guy sitting at the dinner table? I just don't get it. My ideal ending would have had Doug's dad either getting a hefty jail sentence for the crimes or maybe dying in a freak accident at the paper mill. I'm not really picky as long as he was out of the picture. Then Doug's mom could've married Mr. Big Bucks Ballard. There's your happy ending. (hide spoiler)]
Ok, so I guess the ending bothered me a lot more than I thought it did. But you know what? I'm still giving your book 5 stars. Because I fell in love with almost every character in this book, especially Doug. Because you managed to make me both sick about the ways in which people are cruel to one another and in awe of the generosity of others. Because you stitched my heart back together just as many times as you broke it, and left me grateful for the experience rather than regretting it. I just ask that if you ever write a sequel, please keep in mind the alternate ending I mentioned above. It's not too late for a relapse, if you catch my drift.