I can't say i found this any more interesting than Twilight. All the elements i loved in Twilight that i was hoping would be elaborated upon, were com...moreI can't say i found this any more interesting than Twilight. All the elements i loved in Twilight that i was hoping would be elaborated upon, were completely forfitted. In fact the Cullen's took up about 95 pages out of 500-something, leaving nothing but Bella, the deep dark whole in her chest full of pain, and Jacob. Thank heavens for Jacob (although he was quite younger than i expected after watching the movie.
I really wish i could say that i loved these books and the characters, but i find most of my criticisms comes from an inability to suspend disbelief. i just can't let go and relax into the story because Bella is just so willing to give herself over and go along with all the should be terrifying events and choices that take place. I just don't understand her brand of desperate dependency, be it on Jake or Edward, in order to have self worth and inner strength. what about her do these guys find appealing, other than the fact that she is somewhat pretty? she offers nothing to the relationship other than desperate devotion and complete acceptance of their supernatural nature, I'm sorry but that does not spell true love or friendship. (less)
At first, I was really, really annoyed by this book. I contemplated giving up and washing my hands of it. I couldn't connect with Bella, didn't unders...moreAt first, I was really, really annoyed by this book. I contemplated giving up and washing my hands of it. I couldn't connect with Bella, didn't understand her self loathing and obsessions. I didn't look forward to reading it, when i put it down, i put it down for days, weeks. I was forcing myself to like it because it was a gift from my sister who loved the stories, and wanted to share it with me. I couldn't find it in my heart to tell her she'd wasted her money, that it just wasn't for me, so i closed the book and started from beginning again after reading the first 80 pages. It was almost torture, the chapters were too long, Bella's days were so mundane. I hated her thoughts, her insecurities, her weakness, her detachment. I stopped reading again, this time for weeks.
When I started reading again it was for the sake of reading something. Bella and Edward just aren't for me. There just isn't much I find romantic about them, Bella's 'fatal' clumsiness and Edward's incessant coddling were at times unbearable to read. I was just not loving this story. Ironically, admitting this eventually allowed me to just let the story be what it was. I let go of all expectations and just read, I found myself intrigued by their dynamic. When the plot starts to pick up the pacing is very addicting. I started re-reading passages, this time for the pleasure of it, staying up later to read just one more chapter, and looking forward to picking up where I left off.
Meyer's portrait of Carlise's history and his formation of the Cullen family was by far the best part of the novel for me. I loved the Cullens, everything I feel Bella's side of the story lacks the Cullen's make up for. Their understanding of one another, Edward's love and respect for Carlise, his relationship with Jasper and Emmit and their relief that he's finally found a partner. And of course Alice, I can't wait to read how she re-discovery's her past. And I wonder what's truly behind Rosalie's hatred of Bella. I hope Bella and Charlie's relationship will grow into something more than just awkward moments here and there.
Despite all the flaws I could knit-pick to death, as to why I initially disliked the book, I find myself looking forward to how Meyer will build upon the things that I did like. I truly wish it wasn't written in 1st person narration (very few authors can captivate me in 1st person) better yet I wish it was written from Edward's point of view - imagine the insight and back story. I also have no doubt that if I'd read the book before seeing the movies and having the actors' portrayal of the characters intruding on my reading of them, I'd probably appreciate it a lot more.
Oh, how i do love the cover and town map, but after 28 pages its just not happening. The first paragraph about the corpse of the 50ft monster was enti...moreOh, how i do love the cover and town map, but after 28 pages its just not happening. The first paragraph about the corpse of the 50ft monster was enticing enough but then the author abandons this trail for the narrators story and i just lose interest. I could barely get through the Mandrake Temple chapter which is written like an excerpt from an old published journal. Its a quirky written book with Pushing Daisy's-like mentality and strange uniqueness but i just don't have the patience and will to commit wholeheartedly.(less)
No i don't know Jack, and i never ever want to, ever! What a DULL catastrophe this turned out to be. I was so excited when i read the synopsis, 'what...moreNo i don't know Jack, and i never ever want to, ever! What a DULL catastrophe this turned out to be. I was so excited when i read the synopsis, 'what a fresh approach to a romance novel,' i thought, wrong! i should have given up after reading the foolery that is Beckwit in the prologue and all that psychic love nonsense. What a waste of time, half the plot was wrapped up within a couple chapters, turning out to be inconsequential and oh so weak, leaving an unbelievable almost 25 consecutive pages of sexing [:O ?!] and insufferable self wallowing thoughts from both Jamie and Jack.
Seriously, i'm not even convinced Jack was a man, let alone a desirable one. Sorry, McCarthy, but having 10 million in the bank and taking in stray/homeless people does not make you a catch. He was not only a pansy but a fool, i mean who goes through life wallowing in self pity and embarrassment because he has 10 million dollars and the girl of his dreams looks down her broke ass nose on rich people. He kept offering to donate ALL of his supposed hard earned fortune to charity if she would just be with him, if that's not foolish and idiotic i don't know what is. Is McCarthy really that inadequate a writer that she couldn't find some other way to illustrate that money wasn't a priority to Jack, rather than making him into a loser who was ashamed by the fruits of his labor or talent? The man had no hobbies or passion and begged Jamie to love him every chance he got.
Its a given when you read romance to understand that these perfect, loving, giving, and sexy men are written by women, but other authors do an amazing job of making me suspend disbelief. My goodness, all my feeling about jack went something like this -- geez, grow some nuts, OMG not again, FOOL, what a pusssssy, -- excuse my honesty. The only saving grace would have been if Jamie realized Jack was useless and went on her way to find a real man, but alas this did not happen. Oh and Allison, a bright humorous spot that had me wishing the story was about her. I wanted to save her from the other characters.
Reading this was torture, i even made my sister read it just to proof i wasn't being too critical (she was tormented as well). Next time i see another Erin McCarthy book, i'll just close my eyes and slowly walk away backwards, i was that disturbed, especially after looking forward to reading this. i refuse to be manipulated by McCarthy's stellar synopsis again.
P.S. what mugger did Jack save her from? the dirty man standing next to him on the train minding his own business? maybe my edition was missing some pages or something. (less)
Its been a week now and i'm still debating how to approach this review. Should i analyze or just review it and be done with it? but i figure after tak...moreIts been a week now and i'm still debating how to approach this review. Should i analyze or just review it and be done with it? but i figure after taking two and a half weeks dragging myself to the finish line, i might as well do both.
I think Michelle Zink is an excellent writer -it was obvious after reading the first chapter that this wasn't just another author getting by on intrigue and no literary credibility- but it's her approach to the actual storytelling that fell short. It took me a bit to put my finger on the fact that it wasn't just the choice of 1st person narration that made the story lackluster, but the fact that her narrator was so clueless. Lia had absolutely no knowledge of the prophecy, NONE! Nor did she stumble upon it mysteriously, one gloomy day, grieving for the loss of her father while reminiscing through his prized books.
Basically, she had no story to tell until one dropped in her lap by way of a very curious boyfriend. Who had not only discovered the strange one page book but had already translated it from Latin and thought it important enough to present it to her privately, and all this took place off page because 1st person narration means the readers discover as Lia discovers. But Lia isn't the most interesting narrator. She's passive and somewhat nonchalant until its almost too late. She doesn't take much initiative to source out the depths of this prophecy that has been passed down generation after generation to the women in her family. Everyone around her who has a lesser role in the prophecy seems to be leading her to the answers she should be desperately seeking. There just seems to be no urgency on her part about the pending apocalypse. Alice is the one who leads her to Sonia, Sonia is the one who leads her to Madame Berry, Madame Berry leads her to a library of forbidden books and to the man with the tea drinking goat (forgot his name) who helps her decipher the nature of the gate 'keys'. And this is the step by step linearity of the story, which makes for a boring progression. I mean seriously, what good is a narrator who doesn't do much to envelop you in her own tale?
The problems don't stop there, The story started to deteriorate further when it seemed Zink didn't know how much she wanted the readers to know in this first book. She fell through her own plot holes and started carving conveniences where ever she wanted. How convenient is it that Virgina (who was once a major part of the prophecy) could be helpful with information one second, then clueless the next? How convenient that James knows about the prophecy yet fails to mention it ever again? How convenient that the creepy girl keeps appearing out of thin air to return the medallion, yet Lia takes no initiative to discover who she is? How convenient that in her letter Lia's mother mention never telling the father her secret, yet he is the one who found the biggest clues while conveniently keeping Virgina in the dark all those years? How convenient that Virgina decided now was the time to give Lia the useless letter, even though Lia had confronted her about her knowledge of the prophecy many times? How convenient that the letter was so useless even though it was 5pgs long? How convenient that Alice (mistakenly for her side) leads Lia to Sonia, yet we never know why she went there in the 1st place? How convenient that Alice knew so much for so long, yet never had the upper hand in finding the keys? How convenient that the souls never quite reeked enough havoc to put a fire under Lia's arse? How convenient that the other world had a committee who punished those who interfere where they shouldn't, yet no one was ever punished? How convenient that so much happens in this books by way of information overload, yet little or no action what so ever?...i really could go on.
The plot and storyline is so enticing and well written that it really annoys me that Zink's decision to be so linear with it and the horrible pacing was what ruined it for me. i thought the concept of not only sister vs. sister but twin vs. twin was already complex and freaky, but then to add the mishap of their birth which causes a major reversal in their fates was so delicious. And Henry was such a sympathetic character but he was never put to proper use, shame. The pacing of the storyline was shot to hell with the girls traipsing around town and country searching for clues for a good 250+ pages while Alice was left on the wayside even though she was the most intriguing character. I shudder to think how much more frightening and brilliant this tale would've been from her perspective.
In my head i keep making the excuse that this was a YA read, so i shouldn't be so critical, but didn't Harry Potter series prove that just because its meant for a younger audience does not mean it should lose its luster along the way. JK is no Michelle Zink when it comes to excellent writing for a younger audience, but Zink is definitely no JK when it comes to brilliantly executing you story telling. so all in all [3*:] for the amazing concept and what it would've - should've been but minus [2*:] for the dreadful 2 1/2 weeks it took me to get through it. Done and Done...i don't know if i should continue with the next books but it also annoys me because had this been done right i would not hesitate.
*i think this is my longest review, that's gotta say something, right?(less)
I know i'd sworn off this series, but the synopsis of this was just too damn intriguing especially the possibility of a Sookie and Eric romance which...moreI know i'd sworn off this series, but the synopsis of this was just too damn intriguing especially the possibility of a Sookie and Eric romance which i've been hoping for since the beginning (Bill & Sookie bore me). Needless to say after 79 pages of same'ole-same'ole, i decided it was best i spare myself before hitting 100 page mark and my OCD kicking in and i'd have to finish it. Eric just wasn't the funny, sexy, irritable and irresistible Eric. He is as dull and blank as Bil now that he's been cursed with memory loss, and his new vulnerable lost puppy dog persona just wasn't cutting it. Oh well, can't say i didn't try.
The books are no longer worth the time to read them, i hope the HBO production is way better and cohesive because i do like the concept of the series. (less)
OK i'm done with this series, this was another so-so read. Although there is plenty of action and constant plot twists, surprises and interesting new...moreOK i'm done with this series, this was another so-so read. Although there is plenty of action and constant plot twists, surprises and interesting new facts about other supernatural creatures, i just can't seem to wrap myself into the atmosphere of these stories. Mainly because of Sookie's devil-may-care narration of such horrific events that are occurring (she's so shocked, frighten, and hurt yet somehow i don't believe her or care too terribly) or the fact that the plot jumps in three different directions - where are we headed, why should i care? I've already read two books more than i thought i could handle but its official these novels just aren't making that huge an impression on me as they seem to have on everyone else.
It always start of mellow or mostly dull, with Sookie rambling on about her "disability" or her job as a barmaid, or her vampire Bill, or her low economic situation, or her crown as town weirdo, and just when i'm about to give up and call it quits, the plot picks up only to sag all too quickly. Then suddenly i'm hit over the head with action, action, action. Finally when the mystery is solved, it all seems inconsequential and not worthy of all the bloody carnage and trouble it took to get there. I mean if you are going to capture and torture a fellow vampire, then let his 'secret mission' be worthy of it. Was anyone really titillated or excited by what Bill was up to? Frankly it was bullshit, any vampire worth his age could've compiled that info, and why lore him away so extravagantly from the town where they know its hidden, where they know his infamous telepathic girlfriend also resides, if they want her dead so bad? And if Edington is the powerful King vamp of Mississippi who doesn't want this info released, why was he so clueless and willing to cave so easily when all was said and done? Why should he care who knows his dirty deeds? He's a vampire King!
The element that should've drove the importance of the plot and Bill's agenda turned out to be ridiculous and forgettable. I understand Harris trying to establish that supernaturals exist outside Bon Temps, and have their own power hierarchy, but it was just misplaced. And Bill's indiscretions did nothing to further him in my favor. In fact it just solidify the irrelevance of his and Sookie's 'love' which was always a bore to me (except for the sex). What did save the storyline were the moments of unexpected humor, Eric, and the introduction of the ruthless werewolves. I thought Alcide was a steamy character (of course he had to find Sookie irresistible *rolls eyes*), and Eric always makes me want to keep reading. I mean angrily smacking an armed robber for mentioning Sookie's 'nice tits' in the middle of an interrogation, ROFLOL! 3 stars just for Eric.
Sadly the books have acquired a mundane formulaic routine from my perspective. Sookie's gonna definitely cry or want to about most things - but don't forget she's very brave, and there is something 'uncivilized' brewing inside her, she said so - then she's going to get fatally injured, but not to worry, there is always a vamp willing to give her his healing blood so she'll be shiny and new in no time. Then there's going to be a deadly someone wanting something and Sookie's telepathy will be the answer and all she'll have to do is read minds no biggie, but then chaos ensues and in the end it all doesn't matter. Proceed to next book, i promise, it won't all happen in said order - No thanks i get it nonetheless.(less)
I can't say i was fully engulfed in this story, but i can't say i was disappointed either. I wanted to get a background history on the main characters...moreI can't say i was fully engulfed in this story, but i can't say i was disappointed either. I wanted to get a background history on the main characters by reading , but i became uninterested in the storyline (not the characters, if that makes sense) and gave up after 4 chapters and proceeded to this one which is a very good stand alone. (less)
I love this novel. When i first read the first couple of paragraphs i was stunned by how easy the writting was. Maybe it was the complex and stunningl...moreI love this novel. When i first read the first couple of paragraphs i was stunned by how easy the writting was. Maybe it was the complex and stunningly beautiful imagery of the movie, but i thought this was going to be a challenging literary read. Although i was looking forward to that complexity, i'm glad the writting was straight forward. Sayuri's words flowed throughut the novel as lovely as all her similies.
Sayuri took her time telling this story therefore it only felt natural that i take my time reading it although at times i just wanted to be done with it, but i just could not bring myself to rush through because i was completly captivated by the simple lyrisism of this world and its people. Golden's best accomplishement was establishing Chiyo-chan from Sayuri although they were one and the same. Many times i could almost hear the sound of Sayuri's wisdom giving way to Chiyo's cleaverness and vulnerability when she narratted her childhood, and switching back when sayuri interjected her own narration while speaking in hindsight.(less)