I was disappointed by this book. I wanted to like it, and expected it to be strange from the start, but it was so dismally boring, I found myself hatiI was disappointed by this book. I wanted to like it, and expected it to be strange from the start, but it was so dismally boring, I found myself hating this compulsion I have where I have to read books all the way through, even if I hate them. (Because what if something changes my mind?) I didn't HATE this book, just mildly, okay kind of strongly disliked it.
I saw the ending coming about a quarter through the book. There were a few parts that did suspense fairly well but for the most part I wished I was just reading The Tale-Tell Heart instead. And the 80 million pages about how humans can be part bicycle and bicycles could be part human were a bit overkill.
I might have gone on a tirade on Twitter about this book. I'll just copy and paste.
You ever read a book that never gets better or worse but just a maI might have gone on a tirade on Twitter about this book. I'll just copy and paste.
You ever read a book that never gets better or worse but just a maintains the same level of awful? Yep. http://t.co/Ghd1vX0GeW
It's been a while since I've felt so violated by how terrible a book was. Like, I can't tell if it was SUPPOSED a to be scary or funny.
Spoiler alert: it was neither. And the Ikea knock-off furniture having Norwegian names and/or puns made me wonder if a child wrote it.
It was bad, you guys. So bad. Don't even bother. #horrorstör
Okay, I'm done.
Correction: in my book-rage I accidentally a word in a tweet. The Norwegian names were dirty words. Hence. A child. http://t.co/jvOHTCZTJR
I'm just sad I wasted $15, okay? :(
Additional thoughts: the premise sounded fun. I've seen the premise used before, effectively. But the situations that the characters found themselves in were just... silly. They kept getting captured by the "ghosts" but it was ridiculously easy to escape. I'm pretty sure the main chick escaped 3 times. Things were pretty telegraphed. The end was really dumb and obvious. There was ONE tense scene where shit started to go down (though didn't really ever), but that's it. Lame lame lame. Disappointed....more
I don't know what I was expecting. Is this a case of ruining the book by seeing the movie first? Maybe. I really liked the movie. I don't know. I loveI don't know what I was expecting. Is this a case of ruining the book by seeing the movie first? Maybe. I really liked the movie. I don't know. I loved all of the chapters from Oskar's POV. I love how precocious he is, and how hurt he is, and how much guilt he carries around with him for such a small boy.
I hated almost every single chapter from the grandparents' POV. Specifically the grandfather's. What a weirdo. I don't know if I was supposed to, but I felt close to zero sympathy for him. The grandmother I liked only in relation to Oskar. The whole thing about nothing spaces and putting up with the grandfather's crap kind of made me mad. The chapter where I finally started liking her didn't come until about halfway through the book, where she writes to Oskar about That Morning.
I did tear up a few times during the book, because of course I did. And it was always only during Oskar's chapters. Oskar is a great character. I just couldn't muster feelings for anyone else (except some of the Blacks). Meh.
This is the story of a thirty-five year old woman who has been on death row for ten years, for a crime she may or may not have committed. Evidence poiThis is the story of a thirty-five year old woman who has been on death row for ten years, for a crime she may or may not have committed. Evidence points toward her, but she never even spoke in her own defense during trial. But is that necessarily an admission of guilt?
I really liked this book and the way it presents a sort of unreliable narrator. Noa P. Singleton (P stands just for P, or sometimes Persephone, after Noa's childhood friend) admits that she committed the crime for which she's imprisioned, but the question is whether the guilt lays entirely on her. I love the way the book twists the reader along with the story, so you're not really sure what even happened until she finally tells her side of things much later into the book. It actually at times reminded me of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which is a good thing.
I liked the twist, but going by my rating, you can see it wasn't perfect. I think mostly what I disliked is personal preference on the ending/resolution. I don't need a happily ever after. God, why would I want that all the time? But there was too much... injustice in this book, which actually was kind of the point. So while very, very well written, it wasn't my cup of tea. But boy did it make me hate some of the characters. Most of the characters.
The other main character, who I don't really want to consider a main character was Noa's victim's mother, who is kind of the worst. Not to give anything away, but she and Noa both spend the book trying to figure things out: what's right, what's wrong, who's responsible for what, and in the end what's the right punishment. That's great and all, but man, I really hated Marlene. Noa's final verdict on these questions is quite poignant, though.
The funny thing is, who I saw as the real instigator in everything wasn't even brought up in trial, or by Noa later during her prison visits with lawyers. That was probably most frustrating of all, considering the things that happen IRL in violent crime trials. But, as is life I suppose—another of the book's main points, right?
Over all, it was enjoyable. Very well written. An uncommon topic with an uncommon protagonist, who is surprisingly relatable.
You probably already know the premise here. Basically the whole book is an experience. It presents like a librarOkay. Let's see. There's just so much.
You probably already know the premise here. Basically the whole book is an experience. It presents like a library book, stolen (or "borrowed permanently") from a high school in California by one of the "main characters." I put that in quotes because they're only ever notes in the margin. Literally. There is never much of description of either of them because everything is written communication. I think all we ever learn is that the guy, Eric, is tall, very tall. The girl Jen, I don't think we know much about her at all re: how she looks. Either way, they exist solely in the margins of this book around which their story is framed. They're trying to sort out this enormous mystery in the literary world (their world is our world -- or a sideways world in which Willy Wonka is still a pop-culture thing that exists, but also in which Straka exists): who is V.M. Straka, the author of 19 books, including The Ship of Theseus, which you currently hold in your hands.
Throughout the book, which has its own story you can read -- and is kind of poignant actually (though much of it is strange. A lot of faith involved in this on your part, as the reader), you follow the plot and their comments, which happen at different times. You can tell by the color combinations (black and blue, red and purple, green and orange, black and black). Jen and Eric continually come back to make comments -- but don't worry too much about the sequence. You catch on, and you don't totally need to read everything in order. But slowly their story emerges, one that drags them down into the world of V.M. Straka more than they ever anticipated or bargained for.
Oh and the inserts! Because this is a book that you've seemingly FOUND somewhere, you are privy to all of their inserts: newspaper clippings, postcards, personal letters and notes, pictures, prayer cards, etc. It all just adds to the experience of reading/living the story of S. Not to mention the ciphers that Jen and Eric have to figure out in each chapter. The reader can follow along and try to figure out ciphers for themselves, and it's just part of the fun. The last one. Boy, the last one is a doozy. Don't skip to the end. It won't hold much weight unless you get through the rest of the book first. But when you do, ALL the weight. I'm not so sure the book was about what it seems to be about.
Why? Because JJ Abrams. Seriously, this was kind of like the show Lost in book form. It was about the experience, and the characters, and the mystery, but not so much about the answers to the mysteries. In that way it really did feel like I had READ a movie or TV show. It's definitely worth the read if you like intrigue and having to think while you read. I wanted more about Jen and Eric, but what I got was satisfying. It was a really fun time. ...more
I'd say it was kind of like the Southern Vampire Mysteries books. Only not as entertaining. It was occasionally funny, but pretty predictable and theI'd say it was kind of like the Southern Vampire Mysteries books. Only not as entertaining. It was occasionally funny, but pretty predictable and the main character was kind of dumb ((view spoiler)[Seriously, someone demands that you give them "the flash drive," and you don't immediately ask them "what flash drive," but instead think "shit, I have to go to Walmart and buy a flash drive now"?! (hide spoiler)]). It was weird. There were some things she seemed helpless about because she lived an oh so sheltered life, but she was totally cool with using sex as a weapon and shooting a gun fairly accurately. I only finished it because I felt like I needed to. Should had listened to my gut when I wanted to stop after it was revealed that her sister's name was Violet Beauregard. Only without the last e, because, you know, copyright....more
The premise sounded really good, though. I think I just didn't care much for the author. It felt like he explainedI think I'm aging out of this genre.
The premise sounded really good, though. I think I just didn't care much for the author. It felt like he explained really simple things sometimes, and the juxtaposition of narration and the audiotapes felt really forced at times.
I also had a really hard time buying most of the characters' emotions. I didn't really buy that Hannah was suicidal until more than halfway through the book. I thought it would be revealed that she faked her own death or something. I get that by this point she was disconnected from her actions/emotions, but I didn't get why Clay was reacting (over-reacting) the way he was until ALMOST THE END when we finally find out how he felt about Hannah. It just took too long to get to any payoff and I felt Hannah could have exacted perfect revenge without killing herself. She seemed pretty witty, sharp and self-aware. Not suicidal. But I guess that's the point, eh?
Really loved the descriptions in this book. Very vivid. I know there's more to the story, but this chunk can definitely stand alone, and it ends in aReally loved the descriptions in this book. Very vivid. I know there's more to the story, but this chunk can definitely stand alone, and it ends in a satisfying way. There were some parts that were reminiscent of other books, or other fictional characters, but the main character(s) were pretty realistic. I loved the naivete of some of the characters in the silos. There were even a couple of "oh crap" moments, which is always nice. It was really enjoyable....more
Thought-changing. Completely. I'm freer for having read it. It's honestly a must-read for all writers. There's a decent bit on grammar and the like, bThought-changing. Completely. I'm freer for having read it. It's honestly a must-read for all writers. There's a decent bit on grammar and the like, but I'm a big nerd about that stuff so I loved that too. Most useful was the discussion of processes, drafts, readers, and editing. The memoir part at the beginning was pretty fascinating, too....more
3.5, rounded up. It took a while to get going, about 100 pages or so. The author paints pictures really well, but on the whole, the book wasn't comple3.5, rounded up. It took a while to get going, about 100 pages or so. The author paints pictures really well, but on the whole, the book wasn't completely and wholly enjoyable. It got really intense in the last 100ish pages, but up until that, it was hard to get through. I had to stop every few sections to take breaks. There were a few convenient plot twists, a few predictable ones, but also some really prime, gruesome nastiness, which is what I was hoping for in colonial serial killer mystery. The inevitable romance was telegraphed fairly early on. Though I did really like that the book was third person omniscient so it gave you little snippets of other characters that you knew would come up later. In a way that sort of ruined some of the mystery, but it liked it. The whole history of New Amsterdam thing was really pretty fascinating, too.
I know this review is kind of rambling. The book was good, the language was nice, there were some good effed up parts, and there were even some pretty funny parts. I stick by the 3.5 stars....more
Ah, it pains me to rate a John Green book this low, but meh. Seriously, meh. I didn't think the main character was charming at all, and was instead, jAh, it pains me to rate a John Green book this low, but meh. Seriously, meh. I didn't think the main character was charming at all, and was instead, just a brat. His friend was a little more likeable, but was basically just The Fat Funny Friend, who meh. I knew the girl was going to be The Love Interest as soon as it was made known that she was actually smart and not a country bumpkin, and meh. She probably was the most likeable, and most dynamic character, but we didn't really get to know her well, and I think I would have liked a book from her POV. Her story was more Broken Small Town Girl and less Smart Kid First World Problems.
Not trying to hate on the book that much, I was just disappointed. My least favorite John Green book, by far. ...more
On the eve of her brother's wedding, Emmy takes her brother Josh on a road trip to determine if he wants to get married at all. They had always been cOn the eve of her brother's wedding, Emmy takes her brother Josh on a road trip to determine if he wants to get married at all. They had always been close, but Emmy realizes that there's probably more to Josh than she thought. Meanwhile, she's dealing with the memories of her own failed engagement (don't worry. I'm not spoiling anything), and the remnants of her life, which she doesn't think are so bad, thank you very much.
But life-truths are realized, as they always are, and Emmy realizes that none of them is really who she thought they were. I really enjoyed her final epiphany because, GOD, that's me. So much. I really loved all most of the characters, especially Josh and his friend Berenger (sorry for spelling; I listened to the audiobook). I wish there was more Berenger. It was fun, and heartfelt, and I almost did cry at one point, which is what tipped my rating from a 4 to 4.5, which tipped it to a 5. It wasn't perfect. Probably not my favorite book I've ever read. But I liked it. A lot....more
This book. Well, it started out pretty strong. The writing is pretty flowery, and I felt like the author sometimes went on tangents there are sort ofThis book. Well, it started out pretty strong. The writing is pretty flowery, and I felt like the author sometimes went on tangents there are sort of interesting. It was fine when the main character, Gabrielle Fox, the therapist was actually the main focus. But then the apocalyptic events started being real, and then I wasn't sure who was the main character anymore. When I want to know if the apocalypse is really coming, I really could care less about paraplegic sex (spoiler alert). I don't know. I had high hopes for his, but I was disappointed. The end was kind of abrupt, and just strange. And. Disappointment is a good word to sum it up....more
I just want to read everything Rainbow Rowell writes now. It's all so smooth and fluid. Even though I thought the main character, Cath, was a MAJOR brI just want to read everything Rainbow Rowell writes now. It's all so smooth and fluid. Even though I thought the main character, Cath, was a MAJOR brat, she really grew on me. And after a while, the fanfiction didn't bother me. I mean, I KNOW it's about a girl who writes fanfiction, but I wanted to know about HER and her relationships more than her fanfiction. The snippets before chapters were fine, but the only negative was the stretches of her reading her own fanfiction to Levi. Like, I don't know these characters, I don't really care. It was the only reason I almost gave his book 4 stars.
But I gave it 5 because Rowell's grasp of style is so wonderful. The way I could read the snippets of Simon Snow's world and eventually tell if it was from Cath's fic or from the "actual" series. That was impressive. And like I said, Cath grew on me. I liked Levi from the start and the way his smile and his forehead was described, all I could picture was Heath Ledger, which is a nice image. Reagan grew in me too, and dammit, this book made me REALLY nostalgic for college and the first year I did NaNoWriMo in 2006. ALL the words.
This book was pretty great, and even prompted me to contact a fic writer I used to read a few years ago to tell her how much I appreciated her and her writing. If you've read fanfic or at least know what it is, or at least love frustrating narrators, I recommend. Excellently written. A+...more