Let me just start out by saying that I tend to dislike any book with unlikeable characters. I'm not talking about characters that you're meant to dislLet me just start out by saying that I tend to dislike any book with unlikeable characters. I'm not talking about characters that you're meant to dislike, the kinds that are supposed to be the villian of the story, but the ones you're supposed to root for and pray they get a happy ending. Something Borrowed was a book that had a plethora of unlikeable characters.
Seriously, who was I supposed to be rooting for in this story? Rachel, who steals her best friend's fiance? I don't care how big of a bitch your best friend is. You absolutely don't steal her boyfriend! That's like rule number 1 in the best friend handbook. Unlikeable character #1. Was I supposed to cheer on Darcy? I mean, she really was a bitch. And a horrible best friend. She was petty and downright mean in most instances. How about Dex, who's the fiance? I don't care if you feel smothered in your current relationship. If you're sick of your fiance, dump her. You don't shack up with her best friend while you're still engaged. Hook up with her afterwards. It's common courtesy.
So why did I give this book four stars if I disliked every one of the major characters? Because the book is hilarious. Seriously, is downright funny and witty. Everything I love in a chick-lit book. Sure, I didn't like the characters, but I was so invested in the book. I read it in one sitting and I didn't want it to end. It was the perfect breezy, easy, light read. Plus, Emily Giffin is a pretty kick-ass writer.
When you read the synopsis of this book, you may think that you'll hate the characters and that you won't empathize with a woman who stole her best friend's fiance. You're right, you most likely won't (even though, the things that Darcy does, I'm telling you it almost makes what Rachel did excusable). But don't let that deter you from picking up this book. You won't regret reading it. It's the perfect way to spend a summer day. (Heh, I unintentionally rhymed)
P.S. I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program, even though that was the second time I read it....more
"No one can pull anyone out from anywhere. You save yourself or you remain unsaved."
And so begins Lucky...Alice Sebold's harrowing account of her rape"No one can pull anyone out from anywhere. You save yourself or you remain unsaved."
And so begins Lucky...Alice Sebold's harrowing account of her rape that occurred when she was a college freshmen. I have read Lucky 3 (maybe 4 times) in the last few years and it never fails to have an impact on me. Lucky is written in such a beautiful way. It's both poetic and gritty. The candor in which Sebold writes about the rape was a shock to me when I first read Lucky. And re-reading the chapter in which the rape takes place made me flinch just as much this time as it did the first time.
Lucky is just an all-around amazing book. Alice Sebold's account is honest, unflinching, slightly humorous, and a book I wholeheartedly recommend....more
I originally read The Spellman Files in 2007 and loved it. So, I decided to read it again since it's been three years. And it was just as hilarious, jI originally read The Spellman Files in 2007 and loved it. So, I decided to read it again since it's been three years. And it was just as hilarious, just as zany, and just as all-around awesome as the first time I read it. Only that time I couldn't be bothered to write a review. Now, I am.
So, Izzy Spellman is basically a trainwreck-ish character, but that's why she's so loveable; because she has the POTENTIAL to be normal. Is she ACTUALLY normal? No. But that's okay. That's part of her all-around charm. In fact, I love the fact that she's far from perfect. It makes her more relateable. Plus, she's sarcastic and that's the language I'm most fluent in and therefore, love the most.
Now, the rest of the family...I mean, jeez. I seriously understand why Izzy had all of those angry and violent impulses. I would too if they were my family and I'm a pretty calm and zen-like person most of the time. But I think even I would want to repeatedly slam their heads against the wall. They were just so infuriating in that completely loveable and great way. The rest of the family was also really fun...in that dysfunctional sort of way.
So, I highly recommend The Spellman Files (and the subsequent sequels). It's extremely hilarious. I remember laughing within the first page when I first read it and laughing again while re-reading it. In fact, I think I've laughed more while re-reading just because I can't help but want to warn Izzy and tell her "You think THIS is bad? Your family gets sooo much more worse down the road much to my amusement." However, I should say that The Spellman Files isn't really much of a mystery. It's sort of mystery-lite and the mystery isn't a big deal in the book. Still, The Spellman Files is amazing, zany, wacky, and (it bears repeating) hilarious. Just an all-around entertaining read....more
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets seems to be the least favorite book of many HP fans. However, for many years The Chamber of Secrets was my secHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets seems to be the least favorite book of many HP fans. However, for many years The Chamber of Secrets was my second favorite book (this was before I read Deathly Hallows and followed my other favorite The Goblet of Fire). There's just something about it that's so captivating, a bit moreso than The Sorcerer's Stone.
I think my love for The Chamber of Secrets stems from the fact that this is the first time we get an in-depth introduction to the elder Weasleys. In fact, I think the chapter where Harry goes to the Burrow might be my FAVORITE chapter out of all seven books (or at least my favorite "fluffy" chapter). Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are just really great characters and so my love for that chapter knows no bounds.
Of course, The Chamber of Secrets also holds my LEAST favorite chapter out of all seven books: Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party (I can totally see why it was excluded from the movie). It's just such a boring chapter. I do like St. Nicholas, but mostly in small increments. Devoting a whole chapter to him, though, is not my idea of fun.
I also loved the whole rivalry between Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slythering. I found it fascinating how Slytherin only wanted "pure" bloods in the school and didn't want any Muggle-borns in (there has to be some allegorical meaning behind THAT). Plus, I remember reading the line "The Chamber of Secrets has now been opened. Enemies of the heir, BEWARE" and literally getting chills on my arm (I'm a bit weird that way).
Oh and let's not forget the inclusion of two very lovable characters: Dobby and Gilderoy Lockheart. There's no need to go in to why Dobby is loveable (he's sweet, loyal, and he's so easy to sympathize with), but Lockheart needs a teeny bit of explaining. He's hilarious. That's it. That's the only reason why I love him. Sure he has a big head and thinks he's God's gift to the wizarding world, but again, he just has such fantastic one-liners ("celebrity is as celebrity does" and my personal favorite "It's like magic!").
So, yes, I love Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's always one of the books out of the series that I look most forward to reading. But, let's face it, I look forward to reading ALL of the Harry Potter series....more
I absolutely love and adore Harry Potter! Sorry. It had to be said. No, but seriously I do. I first bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at myI absolutely love and adore Harry Potter! Sorry. It had to be said. No, but seriously I do. I first bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at my school's Scholastic book fair when I was in 5th grade. I remember that they were having a buy one, get one free sale and I went there with the sole intention of finding another Party of Five book told from Claudia's perspective (I had bought one of those at a previous book fair and loved it. Oddly enough, I had never watched the show at that point, just read a few of the books...) and I thought since it was free, might as well pick up The Sorcerer's Stone. My older sister by a year had been raving about this book because her teacher was reading it to the class and she loved it. So, I picked it up.
I devoured that Party of Five book in a day, loved it, and re-read it again the day after. The day after that, I picked up The Sorcerer's Stone, read one chapter, deemed the book "boring", set it down, and that was that. At least until the movie was released during my freshmen year of high school. I watched the movie in theatres and absolutely loved it. I then picked up my 5th grade copy of The Sorcerer's Stone, dusted it off, read it, and loved it so much more than the movie. That started my anything but brief obsession with everything Harry Potter.
I just fell in love with the whole world that J.K. Rowling created in the books. And I'll admit that even though I was a freshmen in high school when I first read it (all types of grown-up or so I thought), I still dreamed of waking up and finding my own Hogwarts letter delivered to me by owl post. I think that's the magic of the Harry Potter books. The children fall in love with a brand new world that's so different from their own and the adults are taken back to a more innocent time, where you still believe that good always triumphs over evil and when we all still believed in fairy tales.
Since that first initial read, I have re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and the other novels in the series) more than a dozen times. Every time I re-read it, I get something new out of it. Some subtlety that shows up in the later works that I didn't really grasp until I had read it again. It also never fails to make me feel better if I'm having a crappy day because let's face it. Harry, Hermione, and Ron were going through something so much worse.
I just loved every single one of these characters. Harry was everything a hero should be: brave, loyal, clever, etc. And Hermione and Ron are the types of friends that everyone hopes for. The ones who are with you through thick and thin and don't judge you the whole way through. My favorite characters in this series would have to be Hermione, because I'm just a big a nerd as she is, and Fred and George, because their humor always made the books for me (of course, Luna is also one of my favorite characters, since she doesn't show up until Book 5, she doesn't get more than a brief mention here). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone introduces all of us to an amazing world with tremendous characters (both good and evil and everything in between).
However, as much as I love The Sorcerer's Stone, I do have to say that re-reading it both last year and this year, I'm not surprised that I put it down in the 5th grade. Since it is the first book, we have to wade through the exposition of how Harry gets to go to Hogwarts. The result is that the beginning chapters aren't as exciting as the ones that follow. I do have to say that as much as I love this book because it introduced me to the spectacular world of Hogwarts, it is my least favorite of the seven. It's just that the books get so much better as the series goes on. And now I feel bad for even thinking the words "least favorite"...
Anyway, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will always hold a place near and dear in my heart because not only is it a fabulous novel, it was the book that got me back into reading. While I read a lot in elementary school, my interest in reading waned during middle school. Since I've read The Sorcerer's Stone, my interest in reading hasn't waned one bit. And I think that's the magic of the whole Harry Potter series, it a lot of people back into reading and it definitely got kids excited about reading again. I think it's influence is something that will still be significant in years to come....more
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows first came out, I remember trying to space the pages out, so that I would make it last and it did last. I fiWhen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows first came out, I remember trying to space the pages out, so that I would make it last and it did last. I finished it after a day and a half as opposed to a day. I went through The Deathly Hallows so fast that I missed the subtleties J.K. Rowling embedded in this book that tied all seven books together. The second time I re-read The Deathly Hallows, I loved it more than the first time. I took my time with it and as soon as I finished, I had to restrain the urge to turn the book around and re-read it all over again.
This is my third time reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I loved the book more in its two re-readings than when I first originally read it. This is definitely my favorite Harry Potter book. It was just so full of excitement. From the moment it says “Rufus Scrimageour is dead…The Ministry has fallen.” up until the last sentence before the epilogue, this book is full of thrills. Obviously, though, it’s sort of bittersweet because you say goodbye to the characters that everyone has grown to love, especially the ones that didn’t make it.
I loved that in The Deathly Hallows we get a clear view of the progress that Neville Longbottom makes. He goes from a clumsy, shaky, somewhat nervous boy to a strong, courageous hero. We get a clear view of how Harry, Ron, and Hermione grew up. We get to see the love that these three have for each other and that’s really sweet to me. We get to see the BATTLE of ALL BATTLES! Yep, that was definitely my favorite part of The Deathly Hallows. At first, I was worried that the final confrontation between Harry and Voldermort would be anti-climactic. I needn’t worry because it was just amazing. I also loved that you had other Hogwarts students who had already graduated come back to enter the fight.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filled with twists and thrills galore! Seriously, a lot of the things you thought you knew for certain were completely turned upside down in this book. That being said, I still say that this book is depressing as hell. People’s favorite characters were dropping like flies. But, I guess in a battle there have to be some casualties (but seriously did it have to be MY favorite character?). Still, this book was just full of awesomeness and I really can’t wait for my next re-read of it. You know why? Because the ENTIRE Harry Potter series (the books AND the movies) NEVER gets old. And due to this, the readers never will either. HP is sheer perfection....more
I had a goal this year to read 100 books by December. And so as I reached book 99, I started to look for a book in my shelves to be number one hundredI had a goal this year to read 100 books by December. And so as I reached book 99, I started to look for a book in my shelves to be number one hundred. You see I wanted my goal to end with a bang. And while some of the books I read this year were mere disappointments, I didn't want book 100 to end up being one of those. So, I picked My Enemy's Cradle from my shelf. It killed two birds with one stone. Being my 100th book and satisfying one of my other goals which was to diminish the pile of books that I have had for more than a year.
My Enemy's Cradle didn't disappoint. I thought it was utterly amazing! I found myself feeling terrified for Cyrla with the danger she was in. This book had me enthralled and kept me turning the pages in record time. I was surprised that I actually liked the romance in the book. Usually I find myself not liking the romance in most adult books because it either comes out as cheesy or terribly contrived, but I thought the romance was intriguing and I found myself rooting for these two characters to make it through.
I actually had no idea about the Lebensborn Organization. And I love it when historical fiction books tell me about some part of history that I didn't know about, so that was a plus with this book. Anyway, if anyone is thinking about picking up this book, don't hesitate and just read it. It's a beautiful book with a fast pace and an intriguing main character that you root for until the end. This is definitely staying on my keeper shelf. No swapping for me. ...more
I bought Alias Grace about two years ago (for a dollar at a library sale...Those rock!) and have been putting it off ever since. I've heard from a fewI bought Alias Grace about two years ago (for a dollar at a library sale...Those rock!) and have been putting it off ever since. I've heard from a few people that while Margaret Atwood is an amazing writer, her books weren't really page-turners. And, somewhat unfortunately, I almost always go towards page-turners in my pleasure reading. But I decided to read it because it has been on my bookshelf for much longer than it should've been. Well, I'm glad to say that my assumption of this book as a non-page-turner was way off base as Alias Grace was completely riveting!
I absolutely could not put this book down. Even though I sort of knew that we weren't going to get a definitive answer on whether or not Grace Marks was actually the mastermind behind the murders or just a victim of circumstance (as this was actually never known in real life), I was still compelled to know how exactly the whole thing would be resolved.
The resolution (and the ending) was what fell a little bit flat to me. It just seemed to cheesy and a bit abrupt. But at the same time, I'm having trouble coming up with a suitable ending that wouldn't have left me a bit disappointed. I think because Alias Grace was overall awesome, the ending was sort of destined not to live up to the brilliance of the novel.
Regardless of the semi-flat ending, I highly recommend Alias Grace. It really was a brilliant character study on Grace Marks. Again, although we won't ever know Grace's part in the murders, the journey that Atwood takes us readers to is more than mesmerizing. ...more
Okay, so I've only read one Christmas book previously so obviously I'm not an expert on them, but am I the only one who finds them semi-annoying? SeriOkay, so I've only read one Christmas book previously so obviously I'm not an expert on them, but am I the only one who finds them semi-annoying? Seriously, the first one I read was okay, but too sugary-sweet by the end. And Skipping Christmas? I sorta wished I would've skipped it (Bad pun, you say? I know...)
Every character in this book grated on my nerves heavily. The husband was a bit too smug and condescending for my liking. The wife complained incessantly. Seriously, it was whine after whine. And the neighbors, oh dear God, the neighbors...They must've been the most annoying. Okay, so your other neighbors don't want to celebrate Christmas. What's the big deal? That's their prerogative. It doesn't give you permission to judge them and generally be assholes about it.
The humorous parts were few and far between. There may have been a couple, but for a book that was about 170 pages, this took a bit too long to read. My current history in Christmas books explains why I read only one a year......more
I have literally been wracking my brain for a way to write this review. I loved The Myth of You and Me. I guess that's why this review has been so harI have literally been wracking my brain for a way to write this review. I loved The Myth of You and Me. I guess that's why this review has been so hard for me to write. It's easier to just rip apart a book you completely hate and words come to you so easily when you try to do that. It's also easier to write a review if you liked a book you really expected not to like. I had a feeling I was going to love The Myth of You and Me, so the element of surprise that comes from loving a book you would never have read on your own in a million years, was not really present for me. My point is is that The Myth of You and Me was a wonderful novel.
In The Myth of You and Me, you're intrigued from the first page. Throwing a mystery at the beginning of the book is a sure-fire way to keep readers reading even if they hate a book because they're curious as to what the hell happened. That's what happened with me. I didn't at all hate this book, but if I'd had, I still would've kept reading because I needed to know what exactly caused the rift between Cameron and Sonia. While she's telling the story, Leah Stewart, weaves in flashback scenes of the friendship between Cameron and Sonia and we readers start getting a sense as to how strong their friendship was. That intrigues us more as we start to think "It must've been something huge that caused this". The Myth of You and Me sort of exemplifies that while strong friendships really do exist, it can take something small (or not so small) to put a kink in the armor, so to speak. Friendships are strong yet completely fragile. I really got a sense of that in this book.
When it comes to the secondary characters, I found that they were also extremely interesting. Although, Sonia's mother really takes the cake for "Most mysterious/weird Character Ever". The psychology major in me really wanted to know more about her and why exactly she was the way she was. Granted I understood that while she was a major character, she wasn't really a focal point in the whole book, so I could forgive that air of mystery that particular plot point left.
So, The Myth of You and Me was an amazing book. It was an extreme page-turner (I literally read it in one sitting) and I thought that it explored Cameron and Sonia's friendship extremely well. We got to know these women separately and as a whole and how their friendship and the consequent "breaking-up" shaped their futures and the way the were now in the present tense. The Myth of Me and You is highly recommended....more
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was just one of those books that I had assumed I would love. It's set in World War II and those books intrigue me.The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was just one of those books that I had assumed I would love. It's set in World War II and those books intrigue me. And it's a retelling of one of the creepiest fairy tales ever, Hansel and Gretel. So, it should have been a win-win, right? Well, it sort of wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I liked it enough, but I just didn't love it the way I expected to.
One of the issues that I had with The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was how the parallels between the Grimms' story and this one were few and far between. In fact, if the book hadn't been called The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, I doubt I would have put two and two together (well that and the fact that the kids sort of adopted the names Hansel and Gretel). I'm spoiled in that the retellings I have read have all had a clear connection to the fairy tales they have originated from. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel...not so much.
However, I think the main reason that I didn't love The True Story of Hansel and Gretel was because I didn't feel that emotional tug as much as I usually do when reading books about WWII. That's not to say that the book wasn't sad because it without a doubt was, but I just wasn't bawling my eyes out the way I usually do when reading a book about this war. I also couldn't help comparing my emotional reaction from this book to the emotional reaction I had when reading The Book Thief. While I thought that The Book Thief was teeny bit overhyped, I'd be lying if I didn't say that the book was definitely more heartbreaking than The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, yet the latter was more gruesome.
Besides that, I did like The True Story of Hansel and Gretel. I thought Magda was a great character and I loved the relationship between Hansel and Gretel. It was definitely a sweet yet sad story. It's just not one that I found highly memorable when compared to other WWII books....more
My finding of The Book Thief was a bit serendipitous. Not my finding as in actually knowing about the book (since this book was highly talked about whMy finding of The Book Thief was a bit serendipitous. Not my finding as in actually knowing about the book (since this book was highly talked about when I first joined Goodreads), but my actual finding of it...in the store. I was just entering the thrift store I frequented at the time (is there a better place but a thrift store to find books? I think not.) and I remember thinking "God! If only I could find The Book Thief in this place instead of having to pay full price for it!" (I was a broke college student then, actually I still am). And lo and behold, there it was! On the second shelf hidden behind yet another copy of a James Patterson novel. Oh, you would not believe how fast I snatched that book up (It was only two dollars, after all, for a hardcover in mint condition)!
This happened about two years ago (or at least a year and a half) and I've only now just read it. Why did I wait so long? Because this was one of those books that was hyped up like you wouldn't believe. So many people were talking about the greatness that was The Book Thief. My expectations, which were already quite high, went through the roof. Of course, then comes the inevitable thought "This will never live up to my expectations" and so it kept falling further and further down the Mt. TBR. Finally, after two previous failed attempts at getting into the story (only made it to page 30 both times), I buckled down and said "I WILL READ THIS". And I did. While it didn't exceed my expectations (or reach them, but again I say "Through the roof!"), I will say that The Book Thief was a really great book.
I loved that this book was narrated by Death (or The Angel of/Grim Reaper, whatever you want to call him or it--whatever!). The author could've taken the easy way out and had Liesel narrate the book. I'm certain that the flow of the events would've been done in a "normal" way had that been the case. What do I mean by normal? Well, a lot of the time, Death tells us the events that are about to come. He just spoils it for you (not really)! He'll just come right out and tell you what's going to happen in the next part because he's just not into building suspense or curiosity. That's kind of what I liked about him. For the most part, he was dispassionate. The events just were what they were. And then something would happen, which would make Death be in awe of humans; whether it be at their extreme capacity for evil or their extreme capacity for goodness.
As a reader, I have much love for the written word (as I'm sure everyone on GoodReads does), so I could understand how Liesel found words to be completely beautiful, yet heartbreaking, especially since that's how I was feeling when The Book Thief ended. I was sobbing my eyes out through the last 150 pages. In fact, those last 150 pages were five-star caliber. It was the rest of the book that ultimately led me to give this four stars instead of the five that most people are giving it. I just kept thinking "Okay, this is pretty damn good, but am I missing something? Why am I not just automatically loving this?" In fact, I spent a majority of the novel in like. Again, it was the last 150 pages that made me fall in love. So, I took the majority of like and the rest of love, put it together and ultimately decided on the four star rating.
So, pretty great novel. I personally think that it was a tad (just a teeny, tiny, tad) overhyped. But if you take out all the hype, you still have a tremendous novel that will touch and simultaneously break your heart. And really as readers what more can we ask for? After all, The Book Thief makes me value the written word that much more....more