Absolutely incredible book. I get the reasoning why this is labeled Young Adult, really I get it. After all, it's about teenagers. It's written from tAbsolutely incredible book. I get the reasoning why this is labeled Young Adult, really I get it. After all, it's about teenagers. It's written from the perspective of a teenager. Plus, it's so short and such a quick read. So of course, it's gotta be young adult, right? Well... This is one of those books that while the writing seems simple, it is actually quite refined. The diction and figurative language, the internal narrative, the description catapults this prose beyond just the intended audience, but reaching everyone. Truly rich and wonderful writing. The characters are believable, the story is believable, the writing is believable.
I found out that a movie was made from this book. I saw the Sparkling Vampire girl played the main character. How does an actress go from such a rich character and story to sparkling vampires? ...more
Over a year ago, I read some pulp Heinlein that completely turned me off from his pulp - even when I have greatly enjoyed his vast oeuvre of pulp. ItOver a year ago, I read some pulp Heinlein that completely turned me off from his pulp - even when I have greatly enjoyed his vast oeuvre of pulp. It was that bad. So a friend of a friend, a Whovian - so they have my attention, recommended this book and practically shoved his copy into my hands. I happened to have just finished a book recently so this made a great immediate next. And I was surprised with how good it was. With each turn of the page, I was immersed more any more, and for unbelievable sci-fi, it was surprisingly believable. Heinlein has always written hard sci-fi that can be backed up by physics, but this dealt with some serious and difficult emotional issues. This book is disguised as sci-fi, but in reality it is about human relationships and the fragility, resilience, and growth of them. Two twins, separated by space flight, age at different rates and the reader gets to look in on how they change and grow and not necessary from the twin that ends up being older. This is a book that I can not just have as borrowed - it has to be one that I own and is part of my collection. ...more
Dickinsonian predictability, but not too bad. I'm surprised I didn't read this at a much younger age. My scoring may be inflated by the book being sucDickinsonian predictability, but not too bad. I'm surprised I didn't read this at a much younger age. My scoring may be inflated by the book being such a famous classic. Great Expectations was better, but the archetypes present in this novel are so important (not necessarily good, but necessary) that my four stars are based more on that than the actual story....more
Epistolary wonder of a young girl separated from her family on an escaping journey for Russian Jews to the U.S. The best of the book is what's not actEpistolary wonder of a young girl separated from her family on an escaping journey for Russian Jews to the U.S. The best of the book is what's not actually said. With the protagonist going through her own horrors actually experiences a life more rich and rewarding than she would have had she not been separated.
It's an odd theme to subtly hint that our own families could be holding us back. While not rare in literature, it is surprisingly present in this book.
I would say she was saved by being separated....more
This book has been sitting on my shelf for years, even longer than Ender's Game. I had intended to read it after I finished all the Ender books, despiThis book has been sitting on my shelf for years, even longer than Ender's Game. I had intended to read it after I finished all the Ender books, despite everyone telling me that not only was that not necessary, that I shouldn't even bother with the rest of the series. I can't speak for the rest of the series, but with the movie coming out, I wanted to read about Bean's perspective on the events in Ender's Game. I figured it would be a retelling of Ender's Game with just a point of view shift, but instead, I got an entirely new and enjoyable book. While it wasn't as much as a page turner as EG, it was VERY good. Bean wasn't some miniturized version of Ender. Instead he was his own completely different character. He isn't as identifable as Ender, actually the polar opposite. While the reader is more sympathetic towards Ender, especially if it's the first reading and the ending isn't yet known, Bean is colder, more calculating. And smarter than Ender. And that's the detracted from the book - but the attractor as well. Bean is cold and calculating, a character very much like House or Sherlock: brilliant but lacking social grace. While wanting to lead like Ender, Bean just can't be the leader type. But his skills do command loyalty and he becomes a leader in his own right, just a different sort than Ender. And while Ender had a middle class upbringing, Bean was a street urchin almost since birth, and like Stewie from Family Guy, wicked smart and planning and plotting first for survival then for overcoming his size and age at Battle school, yet in a completely different way from Ender, then manipulating and positioning and quite simply knowing things strictly by observation. While Ender had no clue what was going on that would lead to his story's climax, Bean figured it out early. This, for the reader, again distances this character away from Ender. Bean is not as likeable as Ender, but his story is gripping. I read Ender's Game my second time at a slow, leasurely pace as opposed to the can't put it down and read it one day pace, so I can concentrate on the differences between these two protagonists. And in Ender's Game, Bean is just as not likeable - but even more so. He comes off as arrogant, abrasive, and obstinate. He is the same in Ender's Shadow, but with his inner thoughts, there is reason behind his actions and words, mostly coming from his frustration with everyone else's lack of equal intelligence. It's amazing comparing these two characters. While Bean is smarter, can see more, and quickly creative, he doesn't match Ender in shear knowing how to use people to his own ends and doing what must be done for survival. While Bean can do what needs to be done for survival, it's more Bean centric, while Ender considers not only who threatens his survival, but who ever his audience is. He makes sure he will not be threatened by anyone else who sees his actions. Bean, and Ender even says this, is more like a scaple. Over all, I enjoyed both books, yet, they are wildly different. I had compared Ender's Game to a marriage of Heinlein and Miles from the Vorkorgisan saga. Bean is a marriage of Heinlein and an insecure Sherlock. ...more
While I'm enjoying the story, I'm getting annoyed with how stupid Katniss is. Bella didn't have this much trouble choosing between two men and that waWhile I'm enjoying the story, I'm getting annoyed with how stupid Katniss is. Bella didn't have this much trouble choosing between two men and that was even stupid. It's absurd that she claims that she loves one, but then crawls in bed with another. And then, she keeps missing the obvious. She did it in the previous book and I have a feeling that she's just going to continue being clueless about the world around her. She's got that cabin close to home - she should just stay there and avoid all contact with people so no one will ever find out how clueless she is. There. That's the the story. ...more
Eldest begins where Eragon leaves off. After repelling the attack on the rebel base and destroying the Death Star, Luke is injured and receives a visiEldest begins where Eragon leaves off. After repelling the attack on the rebel base and destroying the Death Star, Luke is injured and receives a vision to seek out a new teacher to replace his recently deceased mentor to further his learnings of the force on the forested planet of Dagoba. There, he meets his new teacher, an extremely old and diminutive fantastical being who shows how the force flows through everything around him and teaches Luke how to expand his senses and be one with nature. Meanwhile, the empire is getting ready for war and desperately seeking Luke. While practicing the force with his new teacher, Luke senses that his friends are in danger and leaves with the promise to return to complete his training. He arrives just in time as the evil massive forces make themselves known and finally realizes it was all just a diversion for his own capture and return to the Emperor. During this climactic battle, he finally discovers who his father really is and is horrified. I can't wait to begin the next Inheritance Cycle book.
Waaaaait a minute. That was just the synopsis of The Empire Strikes Back. No matter, replace all the names with the names from Eldest and you have pretty much the same story.
While the English teacher in me screams at the predictability of the book, the dragon fantasy lover in me loved reading it. It was a very well written and engaging book. I'm not sure how many books will ultimately make up the Inheritance Cycle (perhaps it's already done with the fourth book - oh, a bad number for a series), but I'm looking forward to them.
Luke, er, Eragon is an engaging and complicated character who grows not only physically, but emotionally as well. It's interesting to see what had horrified his morals before now being acceptable to him.
Like the first book, and while derivative, it is fun and I would recommend it. ...more
Second in a young adult series by Allende, I am now even more enthralled with Allende. The first book I said that I missed her lyrical and poetic prosSecond in a young adult series by Allende, I am now even more enthralled with Allende. The first book I said that I missed her lyrical and poetic prose. It was commented that something was lost in the translation, and of that, I have no doubt. But in this second adventure, I don't know if it had a better translation, or if Allende was purposefully putting in her signature prose, I noticed the heightened language. What I love most about this series is that while it is intended for young adults, it is not dumbed down and it isn't patronizing. I remember last year reading the popular Percy Jackson series and being disappointed. It had a very Mythologies for dummies feel to it. That series, while also targeting young adults, had none of the poetic flare that Allende has for words. But then again, who does? ...more