This is an absolutely FABULOUS book. I don't think I could have asked for a better way to end the series (well, maybe everyone could h...moreWheeeee!!!!!! :)
This is an absolutely FABULOUS book. I don't think I could have asked for a better way to end the series (well, maybe everyone could have lived [or, the good people, anyway]). I was absolutely riveted the entire time; there wasn't a slow part anywhere in the book. The story's full of quests (both physical and intellectual), mystery, betrayal, unlikely heroes... everything you could want from an adventure story. This is by far my favorite Harry Potter book. I loved it!!(less)
Everyone remembers reading _A Wrinkle in Time_, right? I couldn't remember anything about _Many Waters_, though, so I borrowed it from a friend to rea...moreEveryone remembers reading _A Wrinkle in Time_, right? I couldn't remember anything about _Many Waters_, though, so I borrowed it from a friend to read on the bus to and from school one summer. This book totally surprised me. _A Wrinkle in Time_ is full of fantasy, but this book, on the other hand... well, I suppose it's still fantasy (I mean, the twin boys travel through time), but what's surprising is that it's set around events that (supposedly) actually happened. The Murry twin boys - Sandy and Dennys - travel back to the biblical times leading up to The Flood. I think that's what surprised me - I hadn't remembered or expected the book to be about biblical events. Still, though, I *loved* the book! It's fun and has many "Ohhhh..." and "A-ha" moments. (less)
Still more Harry Potter goodness, this time with more intrigue and anticipation. What's the Order of the Phoenix? Who's in the Order? How will the eve...moreStill more Harry Potter goodness, this time with more intrigue and anticipation. What's the Order of the Phoenix? Who's in the Order? How will the events of the Triwizard Tournament affect Harry and Hogwarts? Will Dumbledore's Army succeed?(less)
What's there to say about Harry Potter that hasn't been said already? The books in this series are some of my favorite books of all time: they're fun,...moreWhat's there to say about Harry Potter that hasn't been said already? The books in this series are some of my favorite books of all time: they're fun, funny, and a perfect way to escape. Anyone who ridicules the Harry Potter series doesn't know how to have fun. That's right, I'm talking to you, cynics. Stop being so uptight all the time. (less)
A girl meets a man and falls in love with him. What she doesn't know, but finds out later, is that he's a ghost. Duhn-duhn-duh!! Why is he there? What...moreA girl meets a man and falls in love with him. What she doesn't know, but finds out later, is that he's a ghost. Duhn-duhn-duh!! Why is he there? What has he come to tell her? Ooohhh...(less)
I first read this in high school, then bought a copy for myself a year or two later, then never touched it again until the summer of 2011. Below is my...moreI first read this in high school, then bought a copy for myself a year or two later, then never touched it again until the summer of 2011. Below is my 2011 re-reading review:
This is better than I remember it being. Or... let me rephrase that: When I first read it, I LOVED it; when I read it a few years later, I loved it. But, then, I was in that impressionable high school age where you think you're so deep, and everything you read is so deep, and just ... everything is DEEP, and you GET it, 'cuz *you're* DEEP. But looking back on it, other than a few scenes, I couldn't remember much of the book, so I figured it must not have been that good for me, if I couldn't remember it, and I only remembered loving it, presumably, then, just because I was a pretentious high schooler who thought she was DEEP.
But I reread it for our group read, and it turns out that I must have liked it for more reasons than just being a pretentious teenager. :) Rereading it reminded me how great the writing is, and how much I loved Scout and Atticus (who is the ideal father). (less)
The classic girls' series. I loved reading the Anne of Green Gables books (despite the fact that I'm totally not girlie). They're so enjoyable. Anne i...moreThe classic girls' series. I loved reading the Anne of Green Gables books (despite the fact that I'm totally not girlie). They're so enjoyable. Anne is so quirky and gets herself into such predicaments. (less)
Whenever I read teens' books, I wonder what boys read. It seems to me that most teens' books are either directed more towards girls, or I could see gi...moreWhenever I read teens' books, I wonder what boys read. It seems to me that most teens' books are either directed more towards girls, or I could see girls getting into the books more than boys would. So what is there for boys to read? I've found my answer: Slam.
Slam is the story of a 16-year-old boy, interested mainly in skateboarding, who meets a girl, falls in like with her, and ... gets her pregnant. The story then follows the crazy emotions involved in this life change for both parents-to-be, from disbelief to fear to blaming the other to acceptance and love. The story goes through the upsides and downsides of having a child, especially an unplanned child to teen parents. It's not saying "Yay, you should have a kid at the age of 16! It's fun!" but that IF it happens to you, you'll get through it. It will be TOUGH, but you'll live, you'll get through it, and you'll fall in love with your child. Kind of a heart-warming story for boys (Amazing!). It's also a good presentation of the thoughts and feelings behind first sexual relationships and teen pregnancy.
As for this particular edition, maybe I liked the book more because it was an audiobook, and because of the narrator. Oftentimes audiobooks get on my nerves because I zone out while listening, or the narrator's voice bothers me for one reason or another (which leads me to zoning out more). With Nicholas Hoult, though, that didn't happen. His voice is charming with its British accent, and he reminded me of Mike Skinner from The Streets (Some of Hornby's writing in the beginning of the book even reminded me of The Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free). His voice was perfect for the book, sounding like an honest teenage boy, not some Actor who is Acting As A Teenage Boy. A lot of the reviewers on GoodReads disliked the book and said it was filled with cliches and it was weak overall, and I wonder if maybe I would have felt the same way if I'd read the book rather than listening to Hoult's brilliant reading of it.
Either way, the experience I came away with was one of a charming book, beautifully read by a wonderful English accent of an honest-to-God teenage boy. I'm not a boy, and I've never been a boy, but this book *seems* to me like it would be a book that is accepted by boys, especially those of the age when they're beginning to eye girls and think about having sex for the first time.(less)
I don't want to be cliche and say "What an amazing debut novel by Jay Asher" because it's a great book, whether it's his first novel or his 20th.
Real...moreI don't want to be cliche and say "What an amazing debut novel by Jay Asher" because it's a great book, whether it's his first novel or his 20th.
Really, this was a great book. It was one of those books that I never wanted to put down, but once I put it down, I didn't want to pick it back up, because I knew that picking it up would result in eventually finishing it, and I didn't want it to end.
The basic premise (I don't want to give away too much) is that a girl, Hannah, has recently committed suicide, and as a form of a suicide note, she creates 6.5 audio tapes--one side per person whom she feels contributed to her suicide--and sends them to each of those people. Thirteen people who made her want to kill herself ... or is it 12? Clay Jensen, the narrator of the story, receives the package of tapes and fears what horrible things might be said about him on the tapes.
The thing that I liked about the book, yet at the same time disappointed me, was that I was engaged in the plot. I wanted to know who was next, what they did to Hannah, what she would say about the events, how everyone fit into one twisted life story. And what Hannah would say about Clay. However, I didn't always feel 100% engaged--I wasn't on the edge of my seat...but definitely very near the edge of it.
Like one other reviewer (Terry) said, it didn't seem to me like Hannah was suicidal. She seemed like she had a lot of bad things said about her and mean high school stuff happened to her; but she seemed strong enough and level-headed enough that it didn't feel like she was the type of character to kill herself. The character development wasn't deep enough for me to actually believe she was suicidal. Angry and wanting some form of revenge, yes; thinking about suicide, perhaps; full-out suicidal, no.
But still, I really liked the book. I often found myself "Awwwww"ing or "Oh!"ing, or sighing/shaking my head at the things that were said and done to Hannah. The only reasons it didn't get 5 stars from me were the character and plot development: so close, but not *quite* there. Still, a great book that I'd love to re-read.(less)
Amazingly, I have never read this book. How did I make it through elementary and middle school without reading it? It's about time I get to it.
-------...moreAmazingly, I have never read this book. How did I make it through elementary and middle school without reading it? It's about time I get to it.
------------- (May 2014)
So now I've read it.
Now that I've finally read it, and had some time to think about it, I don't think I missed anything by not reading it when I was younger! It obviously wasn't written for my age group, since I'm about 25 years late to the party. That said, there's still a lot of YA fiction I like. But this just wasn't clicking with me. I tried to put myself into the mind of my ten-year-old self, but it still didn't spark anything. I can read a lot of YA-type books and see what I would have enjoyed about them as a youngster, but this book, I just couldn't.
For one, I wasn't a girly girl. I wasn't a tomboy, either, but I didn't want to grow up and be a teenage girl like most girls do. I wasn't looking forward to bras and my period and earrings and makeup and all that. So in that sense, this book wouldn't have really meant anything to me. The most it would have resonated, though, is that I, like Margaret, wanted to get to the bras and period only because I didn't want to be the last one of my friends and classmates to get there, wondering whether I was a freak of nature who would never grow up. But the *joy* of wearing bras and menstruating wasn't something I ever thought about. So I think that's about as much as this book would have meant to me: not wanting to be the last one of my friends to mature. The rest, I could live without.
The more interesting part of the book to me was Margaret's indecision about religion and spirituality, which is where I think Judy Blume really dropped the ball. To me, that was where there could have been good depth, but it was kind of blown off. Probably because the book is aimed at 10- to 12-year-olds and can't get too profound, and because it was more about Margaret wanting to be a grown up girl, not so much wanting to find herself. Still, the bras and whatnot aren't as interesting to me as a spiritual quest. *shrug* I guess I'm just still not a girly girl.
But as other readers have said, it was nice for young girls to be able to read about other girls going through the same situations that they're going through, and nice for those young girls to see that Margaret's mother was there for her, reminding the readers that their mothers are there for them, too. Still, though... I just couldn't separate my 30-something brain from the book and see the real depth that my 10- to 12-year-old self might have appreciated. Either that, or my 10- to 12-year-old self just wouldn't have appreciated this book. Too girly for me.
I'm sorry, Judy Blume, I think I failed you. I'm sorry, femalehood, I think I failed you.(less)