Other reviewers have criticized Graeme Simsion for portraying Aspergers in the most stereotypical fashion, for writing a rom...moreNow, this was interesting.
Other reviewers have criticized Graeme Simsion for portraying Aspergers in the most stereotypical fashion, for writing a romantic comedy where he could have written something much more dark a serious, and even for writing a book where a screenplay could have gone over beautifully. Personally, I didn't take any umbrage at any of those facts.
This book was delightful, entertaining, and actually rather sympathetic to the way that Aspies work. The writing was clean and sharp, amusing and just fantastically ignorant of a deeper analysis of social cues while still providing them wonderfully. It's a bit like a puzzle with the pieces all out and face up on the table. You can see the full image if you look long enough - it's all there - just nowhere near a comprehensible order unless you take the time and effort to arrange them right. And really, do you need to after a certain amount of time? It can find its own incomplete glory, or you could try to get them right with a bit of help...
As someone reading from a similar perspective as the protagonist, I found no real fault with the book. It's a perfect quick read to put a smile on your face.(less)
Yeah, so, this book was laying around our house and I'd not yet read it. I kept hearing about it, seeing it, and finally decided to see what the fuss...moreYeah, so, this book was laying around our house and I'd not yet read it. I kept hearing about it, seeing it, and finally decided to see what the fuss is all about.
This book was too cliche for my taste. You can read the prologue and essentially get the full story. The writing is a bit sloppy, too repetitive for my taste, and didn't really do enough to elicit the feel of the times for me. I didn't much feel for the characters and thought them a bit too much like caricatures than real people. To Kill a Mockingbird did much more to explain childhood, coming of age, and the realization of just what people mean to you for me. Hell, even A Prayer For Owen Meany did a better job of making me care than this did.
Looking into it all, it seems as if Nicholas Sparks may have written this for a relative of his who was dying of cancer. If that is the case, then I can understand a bit more why the book came off the way it did, but all the same, I still don't understand how this got as popular as it did in time.(less)
I actually quite enjoyed the writing in this. Blaine D. Arden did a beautiful job of conveying the sense of sound. The main character is blind, and so...moreI actually quite enjoyed the writing in this. Blaine D. Arden did a beautiful job of conveying the sense of sound. The main character is blind, and so there was virtually no visual description. It was an interesting exercise in amplifying the other senses. Without telling a story, the rhythm of storytelling was gloriously conveyed. Wonderful job.
I didn't as much enjoy the odd name choices and the subplot of the main character being a defective aristocrat, due to his blindness. It seemed unnecessary when placed up against the beauty of the sensory descriptions.
Still, quite well written. The eroticism was conveyed far better by the sense descriptions (in particular sound) than it was by any actual sexual acts. Very cool, in that way.(less)
This free story was incredibly amusing. As a previous reader of Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, I have been acquainted with the more humorous rendition of a...moreThis free story was incredibly amusing. As a previous reader of Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, I have been acquainted with the more humorous rendition of a tentacle monster's life. This short story, however, dealt more with the... dramatic aspects of living with such a condition. Oh, Kip doesn't know what to do about his tentacles. Especially after the man of his dreams calls him a tentacle monster.
At 26 pages (on Kindle) this story was just long enough, and focused more on the emotions than any steamy scenes. Personally, I was a bit thankful for that, as tentacles aren't my thing. Still, the story was free and it was amusing. It was a bit sweet, as others have mentioned, but I would've preferred a bit more to it in general.
Why did his parents leave? Did it have to do with the tentacles? What made people change their minds about the tentacles? Is this a genetic condition or... what?
I received this book through the first-reads program.
While this isn't the sort of thing I normally read (My reviews of the Fifty Shades of Grey serie...moreI received this book through the first-reads program.
While this isn't the sort of thing I normally read (My reviews of the Fifty Shades of Grey series a notable exception) I actually enjoyed this. James Wood did a wonderful job imitating the writing of the older erotic novel writers, or, say, Anais Nin. Reading this, I was thoroughly amused.
The doctrines do a brilliant job of outlining what should have been emphasized in E.L. James'books, and in a brilliant language. Good book, if terribly short. I have to wonder how many people are using this as an instruction manual...(less)
I won this book through the Good Reads first reads program.
Mystical Circles tells the story of Juliet, who's sister Zoe has fallen for a man named Cra...moreI won this book through the Good Reads first reads program.
Mystical Circles tells the story of Juliet, who's sister Zoe has fallen for a man named Craig. This would be wonderful, were it not for the fact that Craig is the leader of a New Age community called Mystical Circles. He's a modern day guru preaching a renewed version of Don Juan's idea that we drop our old self in order to become a new one. Forget our past, embrace the future... etc. So, Juliet goes to the cult in the Cotswolds to do a documentary about the movement. Also, to collect Zoe. But oh, there are dark secrets...
Dark secrets in a New Age Movement? Violence, intrigue, fallen priests, and tortured artists. A confused romance? Thwarted investigations? Oh, all of this is right up my alley and I was very excited to read it. Unfortunately, the love story kind of ruined it for me. I felt that the feelings for Craig were unnatural, Craig not really inviting the feelings he should have. Likewise, Don didn't seem to radiate any attraction and that all seemed rather forced to me.
The writing meandered a little. Beautiful, beautiful scenery. Realistic enough characters. I just wanted more of it to feel natural, a bit more rhythmical. The emotions, again, seemed to get in the way of the action for me. A revision of the book could make it truly grand, but for now, it just didn't really do it for me. I wanted a bit more of the book. Still, it did engage me. It did get me reading, and hold my interest. It did make me think about it a bit. I just came up a bit bored, when I wanted my heart and mind to be racing.(less)
I won this book through the Good Reads First Reads program.
Imagine you're going about your everyday business as a high school student. You've a boyfri...moreI won this book through the Good Reads First Reads program.
Imagine you're going about your everyday business as a high school student. You've a boyfriend, a decent plan for life ahead of you, good family and friends. One minute you're coming home from school, the next minute you're under the subway and dead. Well, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray..."
The Dead Girls Detective Agency begins with that death, something that could easily be chalked up to a slip of the foot but turns out to be something far more sinister. Murder. So, in order for Charlotte to move on she's got to solve her own murder - with the help of a few other dead teenagers in similar straits.
For me, The Dead Girls Detective Agency was a pretty solid three. It was entertaining enough to keep me reading and enjoying the ride, but glib enough for me to be wincing now and again as one too many references were made to current or past trends. It would have been served by being a bit more mature, following trends in YA fiction, but as it was? It was still a fun, if predictable and groan worthy read. It would speak to the younger YA crowd, maybe middle school rather than high?
The book wasn't bad, and had some rather good moments tossed into the mix. In particular, the reasoning behind why certain characters chose to - or not to - go through the Big Red Door to whatever is beyond. Similarly, the concept was amusing and there were a few good questions posited to make a series a distinct possibility. The world is entertaining, and a bit more depth would make it even better ride. If you feel like a silly read to snack to, or a book to maybe get a middle school girl reading? This would be a decent bet.(less)
I was a bit torn about this book, as aspects of it I thoroughly enjoyed. Emily's trip to Florida, and...moreI won this book through the first-reads program.
I was a bit torn about this book, as aspects of it I thoroughly enjoyed. Emily's trip to Florida, and overall online dating experience were worthy of a romantic comedy - as were aspects of her relationship with Jerry. The evolution of Emily's relationships (familial and non) are worth a book in their own, as are her spiritual pursuits.
While I found the book delightful, in spite of the misfortunes encompassed therein, I found the balance between the sacred and profane a bit jarring. A little rearranging of some of the events in the book would have served to balance it a little better pacing wise.
I would certainly pick up the second book in this series, and actually would have appreciated something along the lines of a biography on the sacred texts that are referenced several times in the book itself. Eastern philosophy fascinates me, and not being too well read in it.. well, this book is a fine gateway to rekindle ones want of Buddhist teachings.
I won this book through the GoodReads first reads programme.
What is it about time travel romances, really? Is there something more appealing about old...moreI won this book through the GoodReads first reads programme.
What is it about time travel romances, really? Is there something more appealing about older values, the ideals of the past and the fascinating world it was? Perhaps, but that's overlooking the fact that human nature is irrevocably human nature. This isn't the sort of book that I would typically pick up and read...
Nevertheless, I admire Kathleen Kirkwood for her attention to detail with the historical aspects of the novel. She did a marvelous job of capturing the shifting syntaxes of Victorian speech and, well, Scots. She did a good job of highlighting the appealing nature of the past without romanticizing it overly much. In particular, I liked how she actually showcased just how advanced people where in the late 1400s. Barbarians? Hardly.
While this book wasn't to my taste, I loved the history. This is a historical romance that is a great bit more respectable than I expected this genre to be.
Also, points for using real Scottish Gaelic. So many points.(less)
This short story was all about a badly scarred veteran who had a strong craving to shag his college-aged hired help. Luckily, the girl young enough to...moreThis short story was all about a badly scarred veteran who had a strong craving to shag his college-aged hired help. Luckily, the girl young enough to be his daughter is terribly attracted to this disfigured veteran. So attracted that she's perfectly all right walking in on him in the midst of a bit of self-love. Moaning about her. Oh yeah.
The fellow is awash with conflict. He can't stand his appearance, himself, nor the fact that she is terribly attracted to him. She's not having any of that, and takes control. Well, that's good. I'm glad they're right for one another.
Unfortunately, I can't stand people who lack a backbone, and I felt that both characters in this story did. I was grateful that the girl went for what she wanted, but I felt that if the characters were fleshed out a bit more it would all make more sense. The fellow was a veteran, and a scholar, but he was this troubled by everything? I wanted him more damaged, or at least have his insecurities be more... understandable. Walk around in his brain a bit more, rather than feel as if he should be charged with rape. Nothing quite breaks the mood like that.(less)
I won this book through the first-reads program, and really found it quite enjoyable.
Carrie St. John was a very endearing protagonist, and her problem...moreI won this book through the first-reads program, and really found it quite enjoyable.
Carrie St. John was a very endearing protagonist, and her problems with her love interest (Mike) were very believable. Unlike some romance novels I've read, the people in this book had very real concerns regarding their careers, and Carrie St. John was not willing to sacrifice her job in order for love. She was a professional woman, and I liked the positive message that having such a protagonist sent.
The story was quick, and the writing easily accessible. I found nothing wrong with the book, so to speak. It was like a snack, or a light dessert - would be perfect for a beach read, or a lazy afternoon.(less)
I've seen some rather disparaging comments about this book, but I would like to assuage your fears. In spite of t...moreI won this book through First-Reads.
I've seen some rather disparaging comments about this book, but I would like to assuage your fears. In spite of the Fifty Shades title and cover, this book is nothing of the kind. Rather than some somewhat insipid tale of Ms. Louisa May being seduced and ravaged this is a satire on such things.
Lovingly... lustfully? illustrated with x-rated woodcuts, this book is written in full 19th century style. No one is safe. The author attacks the baser side of Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, and Hawthorne. Each encounter is written with a fine attention to detail and language. I have to admit I was laughing more than once when she brought her 'Wooden Friend' out to play. Yes, this book is ah.. one of a kind?
A few of the turns of language brought to mind Anais Nin which I suppose is a rather good thing. Now, if only I could get Karen to review this, too..(less)
All in all, I found this book a quite enjoyable read. It was easy and quick - entertaining, and incredibl...moreI won this book from the first-reads program.
All in all, I found this book a quite enjoyable read. It was easy and quick - entertaining, and incredibly sweet. I enjoyed the small fantasy element in it, and all the characters were really quite lovable.
While the book wasn't phenomenal, it was a truly engaging read for the genre which it is in. The plot was engaging, and made me smile. I'd recommend this as a nice summer read, preferably with a glass of cold lemonade. :)(less)
This book was delightful, and surprisingly, not the typical chick-lit sort of book. The protagonist, C...moreI won this book through the first reads program.
This book was delightful, and surprisingly, not the typical chick-lit sort of book. The protagonist, Christine, is trying to move on from a rather difficult break-up that she suffered earlier in her life. We learn about this event in small chunks, as she looks back over the years. Trouble with her family compounds her troubled past.
Jessica Lavé writes with a keen eye for humor and cynicism. Her writing is both easy to read, and incredibly entertaining. The book moved in a very different direction than I expected, but at the same time - she took it in a far more realistic direction. This would be a more grown-up sort of chick-lit, though don't take that to mean the book is full of raunch. It isn't. This is far more about becoming the mature person you never quite expect yourself to be, all the while, retaining what makes you you.
Excellent book. I'm looking forward to reading more of Jessica Lavé in the near future.(less)
I received this book through the First Reads program!
Just about everything in this book surprised me. I was initially quite put off by the cover art,...moreI received this book through the First Reads program!
Just about everything in this book surprised me. I was initially quite put off by the cover art, as well as it's designation as a "Dead Celeb Mystery". They say not to judge a book by its cover, though, so I dove in and ended up finishing it in two days. Sometimes books are like that.
This book... well, it's very odd. Surprisingly odd. I would like to say shockingly odd but after learning that a book that stars a "screwnicorn" exists I'm not certain that this book qualifies. Among other things this book includes... evil jaguar women, Bob Marley and Janis Joplin singing together and smoking pot, fantastic fish tacos, decidedly bad vibrations, and demons that enjoy vast amounts of kinky sex. There is also ghost sex, which is apparently quite good. There is also a magical ball of energy called a "luster" which makes ghost sex possible. I'm still laughing at that one.
I think you can tell by my tone that I enjoyed this book. The book wasn't stunning incredible literature, but rather a plenty fun read that was easy to relax to. It was nice to take my mind off of things and instead be creeped out by certain denizens of the bar and roll my eyes at Simone's f-bomb dropping hilarity. The plot was solid, and actually left me disappointed when I discovered that this is going to be a series. I wanted answers! That's good, though. Who doesn't love it when you discover that you have yet more books to read?!
My only complaints come from some typos and one chapter (only three pages or so) that had inexplicable missing spaces between words. How does that mistake happen? Luckily, as I said before, it wasn't for that long. Still, that's a bit of an issue I hope gets resolved.
So, if you enjoy murder mysteries, L.A. style crazy, a variety of musical in-jokes, ghost-sex, and a very strange explanation of the afterlife... then this book is for you. It certainly entertained me. :)(less)
Semi-Charmed Life is Nora Zelevansky's authorial debut, and also a novel that she wrote during NaNoWriMo if I'm not mistaken. The book is a well-done satire on how obsessed we are as a culture with the concepts and trappings on fame, and how hollow a pursuit it truly can be. Wrapped up in all of this commentary is a dash of magical realism, well placed humor, and an air of mystery. That's quite a lot for a first novel to contain.
Personally, I found the book a bit difficult. Primarily, I think that's more my problem than it is a reflection on the book. Not being too engaged in the TMZ culture the book is talking about, some of the references were lost on me and I think a fair bit of that humor missed me. I felt a bit late to the party, but I can think of a few friends of mine who would be caught right in the middle of it all.
The jokes that I did get were unanimously hilarious. In particular the line about Jackson Pollock was great, and some of the jabs at both the Goth culture and poetry culture were great. I think if the book had been more focused on literary figures and the like I would have had an easier time of it. Actually, Fifty Shades of Louisa May comes to mind, though these books are leagues apart.
The writing was solid, though bit too reference heavy for my taste. The actual story was well done, and once I passed the 73 page mark the book really began to flow for me as a reader. I enjoyed the fact that she took a magical realism approach to the book, and would actual push to emphasise that aspect of it next time around. The no-holds barred approach to the fantastic element reminded me of Jonathan Carroll's sheer weirdness, though as a first novel, the writing lacked some of the confidence needed to truly pull off something of Carroll's stature.
All in all, I did enjoy the book and am curious to see what happens next. Nora Zelevanksy is an author that I'm hoping to see more of, and I'm hoping will keep up the irreverent air shown in this first novel. Now, if only I could conjure up a Veruca for my own life!(less)
I won this book through the first-reads program, and am quite looking forward to listening to the songs that Ty wrote in the book.
Grace Grows is a st...moreI won this book through the first-reads program, and am quite looking forward to listening to the songs that Ty wrote in the book.
Grace Grows is a story of... growth, as one would expect. The book is a romance, but one often thwarted. Grace, the protagonist, fights her burgeoning love for the spontaneous Tyler Wilkie. Tyler is a musician, newly becoming famous; Grace is more far-sighted, more pragmatic - yet she can't fight these feelings.
While the book is your typical romantic fare, it is written in a lively voice and is infused with some great classic rock. So much music is in the book... there's a playlist, and the songs in the book actually have been recorded. How cool is that?
I'd recommend it as a great summer read, a fun beach read, and something I could easily see being put on the silver screen. It's a fun book, and although the characters annoyed me at times - just communicate!!! - without a certain amount of misadventure the plot just wouldn't move. Also... great taste in books, Ms. Grace Barnum. Editors will surely rejoice.(less)
I won this book through the fantastic First-Reads program!
While the title may inspire all sorts of Twilight related snickering, the book bears little...moreI won this book through the fantastic First-Reads program!
While the title may inspire all sorts of Twilight related snickering, the book bears little in common with Twilight. It is written by a woman, and it does take place where the weather is cold and the sun somewhat optional... but that's about it. Sparkle is the name of the Colorado town that the protagonist, Jill, finds herself returning to when her marriage goes sour. Thus it begins.
I adored this book, personally, and a lot of that comes from the fact that the Montana town I lived in resembled the Colorado town in this book. How I Came to Sparkle Again is a very good depiction of the small ski resort town philosophy, and how different life can be when lived within the confines of the jagged Rocky Mountains. Uncle Howard is the incarnation of what many longtime Montanans I've known have become, and the Kennel boys... well, I've eaten more than one turkey that was roasted in a garbage can.
How I Came to Sparkle Again can be seen as a different way to live ones life, and of course, skiing is a reflection of that life. You surrender to the storm, and you survive - you fight it, and you end up hurt. You might end up hurt anyway, but that's just because that's life. Montana and Colorado are both states that tend to subscribe to zen life philosophies...
Well, when the Church of Stuff Happens opens up you'll see me sitting in the pews.(less)
Bravely, I have gone through the Grey trilogy. I have survived the numerable love scenes that seemed to never end, I endured the tedi...moreThus, it is done.
Bravely, I have gone through the Grey trilogy. I have survived the numerable love scenes that seemed to never end, I endured the tedious dialogue, the poor characterization, and the attempts at suspense scenes. I made it, dear readers. I made it. Barely.
Overall, E.L. James is a vastly better author than she was when she began this trilogy. While I didn't enjoy this book, this genre isn't one that I normally read to begin with. I'll be interested to see what her next project is - the paranormal romance thriller(?) and how her writing improves as she continues. What separates E.L. James from other often criticized authors is that one can tell she's trying. She's taken what criticism there was, and applied herself to fixing it.
In more capable hands, this trilogy wouldn't be half bad. As it is, I think that E.L. James could use a better editor and have her books cut down a little. With less erotic scenes and superfluous drama these books could be concise, snappy reads and perhaps even attract a wider audience. (less)
Well, the author tried to develop the characters more. Most notably giving Mr. Taylor a wife and and child, who we never met and remained unnamed. One...moreWell, the author tried to develop the characters more. Most notably giving Mr. Taylor a wife and and child, who we never met and remained unnamed. One of Christian's subs decided to attack.. Mr. Hyde was - surprise, surprise, a near rapist.
Yeah.. I'll probably update this review later. For now, at least I finished it.(less)
Probably my favorite Crusie book so far. The mystery was interesting enough, and the humor out in force. All the characters were likable, and the conf...moreProbably my favorite Crusie book so far. The mystery was interesting enough, and the humor out in force. All the characters were likable, and the conflict, while not too tense, was still very good.
Well, this book was a bit of a mess. I honestly didn't like it, but have given it two stars because - well - there were a few moments that were good i...moreWell, this book was a bit of a mess. I honestly didn't like it, but have given it two stars because - well - there were a few moments that were good in it at least.
The problem I had with this book was the overall lack of character development. While Crusie's protagonist did evolve over the course of the book, the male 'lead' didn't. And the fellow in the swamp? Honestly? I still don't know what he was doing there, and I already finished the book.
The book was a wash, but I'll probably read the other collaborations these two did anyway. The books are fun, and I adore Crusie's wit.(less)
Jennifer Crusie is an author that I adore. I would call her a guilty pleasure, but that would be implying that her writing isn't quality... and her wr...moreJennifer Crusie is an author that I adore. I would call her a guilty pleasure, but that would be implying that her writing isn't quality... and her writing is quality. There's nothing guilty about that.
Her books are the good romantic comedies of the business. Laugh out loud funny, each and every one of them packs at least two moments that you'll find yourself shaking your head and relating to the protagonist. Her mysteries are good, and compelling. Reading through her back catalogue you can see the care that she puts into each and every one of her books as her writing continues to develop.
I can say with confidence that there isn't a single book of hers that I have disliked. Some are better than others, true, but each book is its own fun, sexy romp into the psyche of one of the best chick-lit authors out there.(less)
I'm wavering between rating this two stars or three.
I'd been told to read this book before it got popular (yes, I am that much of a book hipster.) The...moreI'm wavering between rating this two stars or three.
I'd been told to read this book before it got popular (yes, I am that much of a book hipster.) Then it got popular, and I was told to read it again... and again. I finally got around to it.
I don't know if the hype was what killed the book for me, or if it was the content. The book read like a bestseller.. it was easy to read, and altogether enjoyable. The book wasn't bad, nor was it disappointing. It just was what it was - an enjoyable, easy read. I can't fault the book for that.
My expectations were a bit skewed. I wanted a book that made me look at race relations in a new way. I wanted a book that would surprise and titillate me. I wanted something that would make me think. The book entertained me, and it soothed me the way a mother would with her obstinate child. I wasn't expecting that, and I wasn't prepared for it. These things happen.
I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been approached from a third person perspective, rather than three first person ones. I think that I would have enjoyed the book more if there was a greater aspect of worry, an certain degree of uncertainty a lá To Kill a Mockingbird. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I came at it from a different perspective.
All of this aside: it is a good book. The rating is my fault, not the fault of the book. Ah, and yes, I do wish to see the film.(less)
Welcome to Temptation is the first of the Dempsey series by Jennifer Crusie. Wow - what a hot read. I'd been told beforehand that the book got rather...moreWelcome to Temptation is the first of the Dempsey series by Jennifer Crusie. Wow - what a hot read. I'd been told beforehand that the book got rather steamy, but I still wasn't expecting the amount of sex within it. Brilliant plot, though, and quite a fun murder mystery. Can't wait to see how the next one is.(less)
Bet Me tells the story of Min Dobbs and Calvin Morrisey. What do you do when the man of your dreams is not the man of your dreams at all? What do you...moreBet Me tells the story of Min Dobbs and Calvin Morrisey. What do you do when the man of your dreams is not the man of your dreams at all? What do you do if you learn that he only went out with you to win a bet, and has a hit-and-run history of girlfriends? Hilarity, wonderful shoes, and fairy tale romance all mix with families-from-hell and ill-chosen diets in this Crusie book.
Bet Me was a bit of a refreshing read, as it takes on the self-conscious challenge of being a zaftig girl in a world that isn't quite fond of people of that shape. Furthermore, it detailed the funny parts of beginning courtship, poked fun at the psychology profession, and the different sorts of lifestyles that people choose to live with.
Oh, yes: it also highlighted the genius that is Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello.
Andie and North have been divorced for ten years. Andie wants to cut North out of her life completely before marrying her new fiance, Will, but North...moreAndie and North have been divorced for ten years. Andie wants to cut North out of her life completely before marrying her new fiance, Will, but North has one last job for her: taking care of his wards, Alice and Carter. The catch? The house they're staying in is said to be haunted, all the nannies they've had have left screaming. And the last nanny? She died. Welcome to Maybe This Time.
The book is pleasantly creepy, incredibly funny, and deeply infused with the best of Crusie's style. A fun retelling of The Turn of the Screw, this book comes off as more literary than the other Crusie books I've read; it's less chick-lit, and has a far deeper plot than simply 'getting back the man.'
I really look forward to reading more of her stories, this one had me grinning and laughing. Not such a fluffy light read, but not at all a bad or serious one. (less)