I cannot believe I wasted three days reading this book. I knew about the Twilight's plot before I started reading and wasn't impressed, but a lot of m...moreI cannot believe I wasted three days reading this book. I knew about the Twilight's plot before I started reading and wasn't impressed, but a lot of my friends liked the book and I figured I'd give it a shot. I mean, why say you hate something if you haven't read it?
Well. I've read it and I'm still not impressed. It's basically 498 pages that describe Bella's clumsiness and dependency and Edward's beautiful eyes. Also? You'd think that after 498 pages I could believe their love, but I didn't. It was so forced and the dialogue was cheesy ('Do I dazzle you?' Come on. Really? Dear Lord...). I could rant forever about how the author treated vampires and romance, but it's all been said already and a lot of the other one-star reviews can phrase the displeasure better than I can.
The sad thing is? SMeyer CAN tell a story. I would've loved to hear more about the Cullens themselves, especially Carlisle and Alice, but the bad overshadowed the good.
Like many other readers here, I saw the movie-version first and enjoyed it better. Kitty and Walter were far more sympathetic and developed than their...moreLike many other readers here, I saw the movie-version first and enjoyed it better. Kitty and Walter were far more sympathetic and developed than their book counterparts. In the book's opening, I felt nothing except loathing for the central character (Kitty) and then only a small dose of empathy toward her at the book's conclusion, mostly due to her failings in Hong Kong with Townscend which made her "transformation" seem temporary. I know many of my fellow readers are quite romantic (at least that's the vibe I get :)), and enjoyed the movie better because the love between Walter and Kitty was mutual. Although I DEFINITELY preferred the relationship in the movie, I could've respected the unrequited love within the novel if it were presented more clearly (re: with more interaction between Kitty and Walter after they depart from Hong Kong along with Walter's character being more developed).
That all being said, I do not regret reading this novel. The setting (1920s China) was EXTREMELY interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the bits about the nuns' convent. The Mother Superior was certainly a compelling character, and I loved learning about her privileged life in France before she went to China. The book is also an easy read - not too difficult to follow but not completely bland either. The author's ability to move between time-frames was very skillful too.(less)
Oh Perfume, Perfume, Perfume. This book would've gotten three stars if it weren't for the middle section. Seriously, when I initially read the back co...moreOh Perfume, Perfume, Perfume. This book would've gotten three stars if it weren't for the middle section. Seriously, when I initially read the back cover, I half-expected people to drop dead left and right while the batshit insane Jean-Baptiste Grenouille created his "ultimate scent" - which he does but it takes a long time to get there, folks! I should REALLY learn that the teaser summary isn't the entire book. For shame, Rachel, for shame.
Anyway the middle section (where Jean-Baptiste indulges in his misanthropic ways and spends a little too much time away from humanity) seemed to drag on and on and *on*. Seriously, dude, we get it: you have issues. get on with the mayhem please? I'm all for character reflection, but less than 50 pages would be nice.
As for the actual WRITING, it's quite beautiful and original and was the saving grace of this book. Süskind describes scents very well and his use of adjectives is phenomenal. Scent is often snubbed by writers for "sight" and "touch," and it's such a shame because smell surrounds people and olfactory descriptions makes story-telling richer.
I only wish this story had better pacing. Ah well. I'm still going to give the movie a go at some point.(less)
**spoiler alert** I gave this novel 3 stars with respect to Robert Louis Stevenson's memory - not because I adored the book. If anything, I was disapp...more**spoiler alert** I gave this novel 3 stars with respect to Robert Louis Stevenson's memory - not because I adored the book. If anything, I was disappointed by it. But Kidnapped does have it's interesting moments. For instance, I squeaked aloud when David almost fell in the creepy tower and I became quite pissed off when poor ickle Ransome died. However after David's escape from the tide island, I began to lose interest and almost fell asleep as Alan and David were scampering around the Highlands. This is partly my fault because I couldn't keep track of the Scottish slang (see! I can admit when I'm lazy!).
I'd recommend this classic novel to people who enjoy adventures but are ready for a slightly challenging read too.(less)
I MIGHT give this one another shot. I had to read it as a summer assignment, which I had to do for entering high school, and I was only 14. Along with...moreI MIGHT give this one another shot. I had to read it as a summer assignment, which I had to do for entering high school, and I was only 14. Along with my age, I had the attention-span of a gnat. As I read along, I half-expected the main characters to either kill each other or embark on a steamy homosexual affair. Maybe if one of those two things happened within the first 20 pages, I would've finished it. But alas, I was not so lucky, haha.
Anyway this is a bogus review because I don't remember enough of it to give my concrete opinion. I only remember my 14 year-old self being bored.
Sooo in all fairness, I'll probably give it another chance. If anyone wants to tell me why "A Separate Peace" is in-fact a good book, you're free to leave a comment and tell me why. :)(less)
Man, reading this book for 18th century literature was like a bad hangover except with no booze involved - just a headache. It was so very very long a...moreMan, reading this book for 18th century literature was like a bad hangover except with no booze involved - just a headache. It was so very very long and so very very bad. I had to skim through the last half of the book, because I couldn't be bothered to give a damn.
The main character Pamela irritated me to death. Her virtue is her defining point and while I understand that morals and sexuality were VERY different in the 1700s, I didn't want to sit there and read page after page about a servant girl protecting her virtue from her CREEPY employer. The parody take on her (Shamela) was much more entertaining.
And don't even get me started on Mr. B. I wanted to throttle him and thrust a chastity belt in his face. This isn't to say I don't enjoy morally ambiguous characters ("A Clockwork Orange" is one of my favorite novels ever and we all know how sweet Alex is), but Mr. B and Pamela felt so flat to me. A cardboard box has more personality.
Of course, being forced to read this book for class and then being told repeatedly that it was the Greatest Thing Ever probably had a negative impact on my overall opinion. *sigh* Thank you, dear professor!(less)
My hatred of this book stems from a class that I took in college. I expected crazy libertine writings and pornography (for instance: the Earl of Roche...moreMy hatred of this book stems from a class that I took in college. I expected crazy libertine writings and pornography (for instance: the Earl of Rochester's poems), because that was how the professor advertised it, but alas! The course I got stuck with was clogged with sentimental writings and other works that I had no interest in.
I'll be blunt: I only read about 1/3 of the way through because I couldn't be bothered. While it's obvious that Yorick isn't meant to be a three-dimensional and flawed character, he bored me so so so much that I just couldn't read further.
My professor declaring that she had a crush on Sterne didn't help much either.(less)
Oh god. You know? I honestly wish I could remember cool things from high school English, but whenever my roommate and I embark down memory lane, all I...moreOh god. You know? I honestly wish I could remember cool things from high school English, but whenever my roommate and I embark down memory lane, all I whine about is this book. What can I say about "The Chocolate War?" (Spoilers ahead, folks!)
It stinks. No seriously. Jerry's musings about "disturbing the universe" (poor T.S. Eliot) put me to sleep and I honestly couldn't wait for the school's secret society to knock the ever lovin' crap out of him. I may also be missing some grand message, but I honestly don't get why this book was published... I mean, there's this secret society that RULES the school and what does Jerry do? Refuses to sell their damn chocolate and gets into a boxing match as a result, where he's pulverized. I'm all for people standing up for their beliefs and everything, but it's not as if the Vigils wanted Jerry to go on a crusade to murder kitties and puppies. Whatever. Maybe I'm getting something wrong here, because I tried to block out as much as I could about "The Chocolate War."
I'm not a prude (have you SEEN some of the books I've read) but the sexual frustration present in this novel did nothing for me. I'll go with the shallow reason and say it was because I did not want to think about Jerry's or Archie's or this random boy's desire to bone someone into the next world. *shudders*
Also I think part of my seething hatred stems from the fact that I attended a private Catholic prep school much like the one in "The Chocolate War." Imagine that!(less)