A major improvement over Palahniuk's most recent works. Nonetheless, despite its savage cleverness and witty dialogue, Palahniuk leaves too many eleme...moreA major improvement over Palahniuk's most recent works. Nonetheless, despite its savage cleverness and witty dialogue, Palahniuk leaves too many elements underdeveloped and too many subplots unexplored.(less)
Not being a fan of anime or graphic novels in general, I was a bit apprehensive when several of my friends recommended this Japanese manga series to m...moreNot being a fan of anime or graphic novels in general, I was a bit apprehensive when several of my friends recommended this Japanese manga series to me. After two years of promising that I'd "get around to it," I decided to start reading the first volume. I'm glad I did.
Death Note follows the disturbing adventures of an exceedingly bright young man named Light, who happens upon a notebook during high school. But obviously not an ordinary notebook. If Light knows a person's face, he can write their name in the notebook, and that person will drop dead of a heart attack. Additionally, if he writes down additional details, including a cause of death, that too will happen. As the story progresses, a brilliant detective named L, whose face and identity is unbeknownst to anybody, begins to investigate as hundreds of criminals begin to drop like flies all over the world.
Death Note is a unique and very compelling story, full of vibrant characters, a whimsical plot and a provocative message: Is it evil to murder the world's most evil men?
The most moving, fascinating and beautifully written English-language novel in years.
Though this is Alice Sebold's first novel, you'd think this were...moreThe most moving, fascinating and beautifully written English-language novel in years.
Though this is Alice Sebold's first novel, you'd think this were her 10th or 15th. She has a knack for poetic prose: beautiful sentences meticulously constructed so you cannot scan over them. The characters feel genuine and whole, all of whom ring true to life in the most personal way.
In my entire life I have only read maybe one or two book that made me cry. Add The Lovely Bones to that list. I spent almost the entire book with tears in my eyes, and I managed to shed quite a few by the end. What Alice Sebold has done is taken an increasingly boring genre and injected brand new life and emotion into it. You can tell each of her characters truly mean something to her, and they all meant something to me, too.
The Lovely Bones is one of the smartest, most moving and most haunting beautiful works of fiction written in years, and will probably be on the list of books my kids will be reading in high school or college. A truly indispensable work of art that will give you a unique and deeply affecting look on life and death.
The most commercially successful fanfiction ever written.
The fourth, and hopefully final, book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga is quite simply one...moreThe most commercially successful fanfiction ever written.
The fourth, and hopefully final, book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga is quite simply one of the most insultingly vapid novels ever written. Meyer's writing has gotten worse since Eclipse, seeing as she's run out of adjectives to describe her soulless characters.
In addition to her embarrassingly simple-minded writing, her treatment of the characters is insulting and irresponsible. After two books of building suspense, Meyer decides she'd rather resolve every conflict the happiest way possible. This way, the characters gain no lessons from their actions and everybody gets everything they've ever wanted. If only real life was anything like what Meyer treats it.
But on top of everything, Meyer is incredibly sexist towards women. Her portrayal of Bella as a "Mary Sue" has reached an all-time peak. Throughout Breaking Dawn, Bella relies entirely on Edward and Jacob. She has lost all independence and caters to their every need. In fact, in a particular moment, one of her dearest companions pretty much beats her up physically, and she refuses to let him apologize.
I feel bad for all the girls and women who look up to Bella. Stephenie Meyer seems to want to revert women back to the 50s where all that was expected of them was to stay in the kitchen and not speak unless spoken to. As a man, I find her treatment of women more than insulting.
Jacob, always my favorite character, is reduced to a whining, emo stereotype as he comes to grips with Edward and Bella's relationship. I lost all respect for him after this transformation. He used to be a strong, mostly compelling character, and now Meyer reduces him to yet another soulless cardboard cutout.
Here's hoping Breaking Dawn is the last book in this increasingly annoying, cultish and just plain insulting series of books. Remember that phrase: "Well, as long as they're reading something?" Meyer has just made this statement moot.
The strongest entry in the Twilight series, which isn't saying much.
The third installment of Stephenie Meyer's über-popular vampire/romance saga is ea...moreThe strongest entry in the Twilight series, which isn't saying much.
The third installment of Stephenie Meyer's über-popular vampire/romance saga is easily the best one out there. Unfortunately, that's not a very meaningful statement. Unlike New Moon, this book actually has a plot to it. Characters interact with each other to move that plot forward, except for the numerous times when the plot halts so Bella and Edward can express their love to each other through eye-rollingly cheesy dialogue.
Jacob Black, still the only truly interesting character in the whole series, gets a much larger role in Eclipse. Sadly, his part is reduced to a pawn in an increasingly predictable and clichéd love triangle.
Eclipse is by far the strongest and most fast-paced novel in the series, but that's not necessarily the most meaningful statement when you take the whole series into consideration.
For the first half of the book, I actually thought it was better than its predecessor, Twilight. However, as soon as I got...moreA lazy and predictable bore.
For the first half of the book, I actually thought it was better than its predecessor, Twilight. However, as soon as I got to the midpoint, I realized that instead of a sequel, Stephenie Meyer was instead re-writing the original book, just with Bella becoming involved with a different mythical species.
New Moon is essentially a re-write of Twilight, and that ended up being the difference between "better than the original" and "worse than the original."