I really enjoyed this book! I read it over Christmas break and couldn't put it down. It was nice to have time to just sit and read, because that is al...moreI really enjoyed this book! I read it over Christmas break and couldn't put it down. It was nice to have time to just sit and read, because that is all I did until I finished the book. A great exploration of responsibility, justice, and healing. Plus just a FUN read! The characters were so real, I couldn't believe it wasn't nonfiction. (less)
One of my ABSOLUTE favorite books! I've read it atleast 15 times! My sister found this book in a flea market for 25 cents. I wasn't expecting much. I...moreOne of my ABSOLUTE favorite books! I've read it atleast 15 times! My sister found this book in a flea market for 25 cents. I wasn't expecting much. I was blown away. I've since read this book aloud to my lil siblings on car trips and to my husband. I love it!
The premise, don't laugh, is about ants. Black ants in a peaceful colony are suddenly challenged when a neighboring mound is completely annihilated by aggressive red ants. The black ants must venture out by sending a spy party to investigate the motives and movements of the red ant colony. Not only are there adventures with spiders and storms, but a sort of "prisoner of war" escape and multiple fights. Back home the colony must deal with the death of a great leader, unfair treatment of worker ants, a worker ant uprising, a bird attack, etc. The book concludes with an epic battle...
I love the book, not just for how exciting it is, but because of the 'spiritual' lessons it contains. Morals and ethics are openly discussed through parables and tales. Really crystallizes the morality and immorality of war and violence as well as appreciating and respecting those around you.(less)
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I was intrigued to learn more about female relationships with one another since most historical fiction focuses on f...moreI really enjoyed this book a lot. I was intrigued to learn more about female relationships with one another since most historical fiction focuses on female-male relationships. I loved the way this book truly read as a novel, twining in folklore, songs, poetry, and regional anecdotes as if they were everyday language. I loved the protagonist the most in the beginning as a young girl. I guess I had a hard time not thinking she overreacted to imagined hurts. But I think that is the point of the novel. She holds a grudge like none other and lashes out in retaliation... and only in the very end does she seek out redemption. Very moving story of human weakness, misunderstanding, and the bonds of friendship.
There are 2 pages that were a lil ackward to read as one who is raised in Western culture. The 2 girls have a physical side to their friendship that we can't really relate to. One extremely hot night they shed their clothes and write on each other's bodies with wet fingers to invite the breeze to cool them off. Don't worry, there is no kissing or anything really uncomfortable like that, but there is a comfortableness with touch that would never be a part of our homophobic friendships here. I thought back to my mission in Korea and how holding hands, sitting on one another's laps, or even scrubbing each other down at the public bathhouse was viewed as an indicator of true deep friendship NOT as a sexual feeling. I think this is the same thing. If it makes you uncomfortable, though, you don't have to read it. Just skip to the end of the chapter. It is only there once.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the way See does not didactically pass judgement on Chinese culture or customs. Even things like foot-binding. Other books that I've read (and I've read many) almost universally condemn the act from the beginning. She doesn't. The experience is simply presented to us from the eyes of a 7 year old going through it. Though that doesn't make the pain or descriptions any less horrible for us to read, I think it is far more provocative on a personal scale. Would I have bound my own daughter's feet if I knew it was the only way for her to have a successful life?(less)
my biggest beef with this book is that it seems disconnected and tangential to the other 3 books in the series. It doesn't even share the same main ch...moremy biggest beef with this book is that it seems disconnected and tangential to the other 3 books in the series. It doesn't even share the same main character. It seems like an after thought, the plot isn't nearly as deliberate, and honestly, I found myself wondering if this 4th book wasn't just trying to piggie-back on the popularity and success of the first 3 to make more money. Not even close to as good. A couple of redeeming qualities: the action was fun and the idea of a hierarchy of fame plays on the increasing global smorgasbord of faces through resources like facebook and myspace. So, definitely some commentary, but nothing incredible. Fun to read, but not compared to the first 3. If you've never read those, you'd think this one was great. It isn't an awful book or anything. I read it and enjoyed it. But nothing I'd really recommend to others.(less)
Very fun, very funny, and all around enjoyable read. I loved the writing style of the author. I actually enjoyed the way she switches points of view s...moreVery fun, very funny, and all around enjoyable read. I loved the writing style of the author. I actually enjoyed the way she switches points of view so easily and often. I also thought the idea to use Scarborough Fair was fun and interesting. I loved the history of the writing process she includes at the end! I also loved that her characters were rational and communicative, rather than dramatic and self-absorbed. I think the biggest message of the book is that great challenges, great evils, and great pain can all be overcome through loved ones and helping one another. We can succeed in impossible tasks only through meaningful relationships.
I have to admit the romancey stuff in the middle got a lil annoying, but atleast wasn't over the top sappy. I think this book would be most enjoyed by HighSchool readers. Especially girls.
be aware, there is a rape. It is actually pivotal to the plot, not graphic in the least, and did not leave me feeling scarred, dirty, or otherwise pained. It would not prevent me from recommending this book to mature HS readers. Mature being important, I think.
Only 4 stars bc I reserve 5 stars for books I would really want to read again. Once was fun, but enough for me. (less)
It makes me hungry. I read it and want to visit New York City so I can try out these delicious restaurants. It also makes me want to...moreI like this book.
It makes me hungry. I read it and want to visit New York City so I can try out these delicious restaurants. It also makes me want to experience eating out the rich way: with evening dresses and jewelry. *sigh* I don't think that will ever happen though. I become aware of how little I know about the dining opportunities for wealthy and cultured people. Fascinating. I didn't even realize so much of that still exists today. I just thought everyone went out to eat at Red Lobster and considered that fine dining.
Also, I really like how she "becomes" the people as she dresses up in disguise. It is interesting to think about the different facets of her personality that so easily escape when given the license to expose themselves by anonymity. It makes me wonder what I would be like or if I have similar facets hiding somewhere.
I have noticed a few language problems, mostly from her bosses. Something about journalists, I think they feel obligated to include conversations verbatum lest they inadvertently take something out of context. (Funny, that is what a lot of reporters do on purpose these days just to put their own spin on things.) I guess I can respect that, but it doesn't make it any more fun to read that kind of language, especially when it is coming from a highly educated EDITOR who ought to have plenty of other vocabulary from which to draw! Seriously. That said, it is mostly in a minor conversation on page 120. Just skip the last 2/3 of the page, you won't miss anything important, and you'll avoid all that ugliness. (less)
excellent book! the only reason it gets 4 instead of 5 stars is because I reserve 5 stars for AMAZING books that I would read over and over again. and...moreexcellent book! the only reason it gets 4 instead of 5 stars is because I reserve 5 stars for AMAZING books that I would read over and over again. and I just can't get the stamina to do that with GWtW. But it is a fantastic book! Enjoy!(less)
fun, but don't be naive enough to believe the fiction as fact. So many twists on truth that are offensive to many and are not founded upon sound histo...morefun, but don't be naive enough to believe the fiction as fact. So many twists on truth that are offensive to many and are not founded upon sound historical research. Just make sure you go into the book reading it for a fun plot not for its conspiracy theories. Oh, and there is a BAD scene. we're talking really risque. We skipped that entire section. You don't need it. (less)
good book, nothing spectacular. I actually only got half way through. Someday I'll finish it, since I liked it reasonably well, but it just didn't eve...moregood book, nothing spectacular. I actually only got half way through. Someday I'll finish it, since I liked it reasonably well, but it just didn't ever really grab my attention. You know a great book when you can't put it down and look for every excuse to curl up and read. There were other things I wanted to read more, so I returned it to the library. (less)
overall, a disappointing read. I really had such great hopes. So much more could have come from this author and this story. I really admired the autho...moreoverall, a disappointing read. I really had such great hopes. So much more could have come from this author and this story. I really admired the author's writing style. The prose was fluid and descriptive in such a succinct manner that demonstrated great command of the English language. Unfortunately, it was just too lewd. In the beginning I hoped that maybe it was only that one character, Elphaba's mother. It even at least lent itself to the plot because it explains why Elphaba and her sister were illegitimately conceived (essential for her green skin). But, it was not just her loose mother. There is poor humor from that point on. I actually didn't know what they were talking about sometimes. Then around page 160 or so, there is a completely unnecessary lewd scene. I stopped reading at that point because it was clear the immorality was not confined to a solitary individual. It is throughout the book. I really struggled with only giving this book 1 star because it has such GREAT potential, but I don't feel comfortable recommending it to anyone. And I didn't even finish it, so that certainly doesn't earn 2 stars. So sad. (less)
This is JUST as fun as the movie! In fact, the movie did a great job of sticking closely to the characterization and settings of the book. Some of the...moreThis is JUST as fun as the movie! In fact, the movie did a great job of sticking closely to the characterization and settings of the book. Some of the dialogues are verbatim.
If you haven't seen the film, read the book, then see it. You will love it!
A 5 for young readers. If you have never seen the film, also a 5. If you have seen the film already, I would have to say a 4 because you will already know all the "holes" and won't be intrigued by the creative connections. Fast, easy, fun!(less)
Okay, to be fair, I really think this book deserves a 3.5 star rating. But since half stars aren't an option...
What I enjoyed:
This book is FUNNY! I l...moreOkay, to be fair, I really think this book deserves a 3.5 star rating. But since half stars aren't an option...
What I enjoyed:
This book is FUNNY! I loved Strohmeyer's wit and humor. I am not exaggerating when I say I found myself laughing out loud just about every other page, at least!
Very insightful into our relationship with food and weightloss. Especially poignant for me right now as I'm trying to lose the baby weight. Honest and well researched.
What I didn't enjoy:
Okay, I get it. modern Cinderella. The predictability of the plot didn't even bug me that much. I guess it was more the unlikelihood of a hot, successful, intelligent man falling for a 250+ lb woman. I hope I don't offend anyone with this, it is just my gut reaction to the characters. It isn't that I think she didn't deserve a great guy no matter her size, I just don't think it happens that way. No matter how witty and fun she is, I just think it isn't very likely. I'm not saying he has to be shallow and go for the gorgeous cheese-puffs-for-brains girls throwing themselves at his feet for his money. He can be intelligent enough to choose a girl with a personality who doesn't have to be a super model. I just don't think he would need to resort to the really overweight girl. Call me cynical. I think it is different when you fall in love with somebody and then they GAIN 70 pounds. I just don't think he would be attracted to her so quickly. I mean he asks her on a date the 2nd time they even see each other, before she has lost weight. Anyway, it just didn't feel very real. Maybe I'm just too jaded cuz of the fat issue...
The language and sexual references (no scenes, just kind of open appraisal of bodies and too much information from her friends about their sex lives--just kind of felt like I was overhearing a dirty joke sometimes) got pretty annoying. Really, I think Strohmeyer threw in those things to sound chic and hip, but I didn't think it helped her at all. It actually brought the book down an entire star in my mind. Be aware, there is an F-bomb.
There you have it. a fun entertaining read, I didn't want to put it down, but afterwards I didn't come away feeling too rewarded. Kind of annoyed, actually. (less)
I was captivated by the mystery of the story from the very first chapter. I stayed up many a night to read because the chapters are short and "just on...moreI was captivated by the mystery of the story from the very first chapter. I stayed up many a night to read because the chapters are short and "just one more" seemed irresistible. Why only 3 stars, then? Well, the writing was not nearly as captivating as the plot. Some people might like detailed descriptions of trees, houses, tea, and cocoa (seriously, this book is very English if the number of tea and cake breaks are any indication) but I am not one of them. Quite often I found myself skimming entire pages thinking 'get to the point'. Also, the narrating character was a bit on the melo-dramatic side for me. All in all, a fun read, but not a quick read. (less)