I didn't engage with this book like I thought I would. My mood while reading it was a major culprit, but I also thought it lacked coherence. I know, II didn't engage with this book like I thought I would. My mood while reading it was a major culprit, but I also thought it lacked coherence. I know, I know - that was part of the point since it was written in vignette form. But even within the vignettes it jumped around a bit and I had a hard time getting into it. That said, it was funny at parts. And I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had been in a more whimsical state of mine (darn the downside to being at the mercy of the public library waiting list)....more
My local library sadly only had the young readers' edition of this book, so I wondered while reading it what rich details and geopolitical backgroundMy local library sadly only had the young readers' edition of this book, so I wondered while reading it what rich details and geopolitical background I was missing out on. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and Malala's compelling personal narrative. ...more
A couple months ago, it finally happened: I went on my first blind date with a book. I'd heard about the practice a couple years ago and longingly bidA couple months ago, it finally happened: I went on my first blind date with a book. I'd heard about the practice a couple years ago and longingly bided my time until it caught on at my local library.
True to the essence of a blind date, the packaging on the book I could chose was delightfully cryptic: "Hope Dunne made her way through the silently falling snow on Prince Street in SoHo," it said at the top. And below: "Genre/Subject: Fiction--Women photographers, authors, Irish-Americans."
As I peeled back the wrapping paper, I saw a picture of a huge European mansion with the title Matters of the Heart in a gold serif font typical of all the romance novels you see at big-box stores while waiting to check out. I'm not usually one for romance novels--but, hey, I've learned you never judge a book by its cover image, title, or font selection. After all, this was a blind date!
The book date started out pretty typical. Forty-something divorcee meets forty-something widower and they hit it off. And just in case you fall asleep while reading (which I managed to do something like 47 times), the author, Danielle Steel, conveniently reminds you of the woman's violet eyes and the man's blond hair every few pages, along with several other odd details that never add up to anything.
Things dragged on and on and I realized this was fast becoming the longest blind date of my existence--but then things got weird. As in, psychotic weird. And--despite entire pages dedicated to one sentence rephrased 25 different ways, minimal descriptions about things you want to know more about, ultra-detailed descriptions about things you don't care about (see: her violet eyes and his blond hair), and a few moments where I wanted to scream at one of the main characters because of her naiveté--the plot finally managed to get quasi-interesting and I finished the book on a quasi-good note.
To be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever take the author out again. But this book dealt with some difficult issues (*begin spoiler alert*) like emotional abuse and how to overcome it (*end spoiler alert*) and had enough potential that I'm sure someday it's going to connect with someone, somewhere, and make them really glad they read it. ...more
My mouse hovered over the rating box, not knowing quite where to place it. It was such a gripping novel that I found myself taking it everywhere withMy mouse hovered over the rating box, not knowing quite where to place it. It was such a gripping novel that I found myself taking it everywhere with me so I could read just "one more page." The twists, turns, and paradigm shifts were refreshingly original and always took me off guard. I also appreciated the writer's way of telling the story through the details - not just through the obvious. BUT I always struggle with writers who rely on swear words, especially the f-word, so much that you start wondering if any of the characters actually have a vocabulary. It's one thing if it's used to create character development or contributes to the message or story in some way (like in M.T. Anderson's novel "Feed"), but it's another when it's just flippantly put into almost every sentence. That probably makes me sound prudish, but I feel like it ruins the integrity of the book. Other than that, great read!...more