Quick, enjoyable read. Didn't require a lot of brainpower on my side, though I was pleasantly impressed with some of the casual observations in the boQuick, enjoyable read. Didn't require a lot of brainpower on my side, though I was pleasantly impressed with some of the casual observations in the book.
It's an excellent book for when you want a bit of light reading.
I do believe I'll read more of Muriel Spark's books based on the feel I got from this one....more
If you're looking for a thoughtless, easy read, then this is it.
Uncomplicated plot, chick-flick drama and the chocolate-lover's nightmare. As in, chocIf you're looking for a thoughtless, easy read, then this is it.
Uncomplicated plot, chick-flick drama and the chocolate-lover's nightmare. As in, chocolate is mentioned twice on every page. Not very good if you're pregnant and having cravings.
The characters feel shallow, two-dimensional, with most of their relationships in shambles and treated superficially, and if you're an advocate for the LGBT community, then you're going to have a bit of a cow on stereotyping alone (I know I did. Several times). It felt ignorant at times on more than just gay issues, but it had its moments where the author managed to point out some very good concerns regarding substance abuse and addictions. Props for that!
The humor was so-so, mostly hit-and-miss, but all in all, silly and entertaining.
The wrap-up was rushed and messy, and while everyone lives happily ever after, it lacks any sort of complexity and real feel to it.
Chick-flick, easy, shallow, done in a day. I probably won't forget a thing about it by the end of the week.
It gets 3 stars for not making my brain hurt too much. Other than that, it's a mediocre book. Don't expect a lot out of it. ...more
What is one to do when the Holy Internet goes bai-bai? Why… catch up on the stack of books to read, of course!
‘Shatter me’ was a book I received a fewWhat is one to do when the Holy Internet goes bai-bai? Why… catch up on the stack of books to read, of course!
‘Shatter me’ was a book I received a few months ago, and which I studiously avoided reading for a while even though I was quite intrigued by the premise of it. Unfortunately, that’s where the interesting stopped and the roll of clichés began.
Be warned of spoilers from here on!
Now… in a somewhat random order, I present you the list: (view spoiler)[ 1. Hottie #1 with mysterious, lethal powers… check.
5. Hottie #2 with gorgeous eyes and soft hair, and made of chocolate muscles and sex… check!
6. Psychopath with daddy issues… yes, yes, why not? Check!
7. Both conveniently immune to the lethal touch… check!
8. District 13 Shady people organizing an underground rebellion… but of course!
9. Professor Xavier has dreads.
10. Everything is convenient? CHECK. (hide spoiler)] And the list could go on, but I shall leave it at that.
The premise of the book, while lovely indeed, could have benefited from a better execution. This is by all intents and purposes, a Twilight/Hunger Games/Hush-Hush/X-Men cocktail. My personal opinion is that the book lacks originality, and some of the writing stands out like a sore thumb. If there were less metaphors, I would have given it an A on sentence structure and composition. As it is, it seems to be a mix between disjointed (which is not a bad thing) and waxing poetic.
The characters lack depth — they each have a very specific, planned out role. You have to relate and feel bad for Juliette, the main character, and marvel at her ability to keep a pure, kind nature. She’s also surprisingly lacking in flaws. Peeta Adam — well, of course you have to wonder about him and then love him, and melt at his long, deep-set love for a girl he had a crush on since 4th grade (and hasn’t seen in three years. That’s not creepy at all). Kenji is the class clown — comic relief, must be loved. Warner is the character made strictly to be hated. James — every good guy needs a younger, loveable brother, right?
What brings the book to one-star level for me is the steaming scenes. Why not let a seventeen year old girl want to shag the first guy who’s immune to her touch, or let the other one try to force himself on her and make it sound glamorous? This is the part that I believe sends a bit of a twisted message to teenage girls. The characters are overly sexualized. This is a problem. There is no depth and no palpable context to this relationship, as far as I can see, and while it reflects some modern issues, and I applaud the addressing of them, it’s done very shabby, in a way that makes it all seem a brilliant idea. I am by no means a prude! One scene is okay, maybe even two… three-fours-five in the span of some 300 pages is pushing it.
What I will appreciate is the author’s age and her success with getting published. Kudos to Tahereh Mafi for this.
However, I’m afraid this is where my praise stops. If the book had any depth, I would have been more inclined to bringing it a more favorable review. As it is… the world goes on.
... And so one year later, I revisit my Goodreads account.
Nevertheless, this book make a long-lasting impression on me. Call me a dreamer and a romant... And so one year later, I revisit my Goodreads account.
Nevertheless, this book make a long-lasting impression on me. Call me a dreamer and a romantic, but hot damn, it was an enjoyable read. The characters feel real and very well defined, a feat which really appealed to me.
And I will admit I was sold on the dog and it's ending. Can't help it, I'm a sucker for that!
I'll give the book props for accessibility — easy language, fast read, quick-paced enough to be interesting without rushing through.
Definitely a book I'll consider rereading in the future....more
While I liked this book, I didn't exactly love it, though I can't put my finger on why exactly that happened.
I can say, however, that Ellie is a lovelWhile I liked this book, I didn't exactly love it, though I can't put my finger on why exactly that happened.
I can say, however, that Ellie is a lovely, lovely woman, who I could fully relate to. I adored her character in many ways, and I could understand her relationship with her mother-in-law. I also found her to be rather funny on occasions, which is a bonus.
The book per whole is an entertaining read, easy to go through and not particularly profound, so if you pick it up as a read-on-the-beach sort of thing, it's absolutely ideal!...more
I love Lauren Henderson's books. Absolutely adore them.
I think this book was quite ingenious, portraying the very fine line between having a healthy rI love Lauren Henderson's books. Absolutely adore them.
I think this book was quite ingenious, portraying the very fine line between having a healthy relationship with someone, and slipping into the I-am-completely-obsessed-with-the-partner-who-dumped-me idea.
I think the ending was a little bit rushed, but the book per whole? LOVE....more
While an easy, enjoyable read, this book still left me wanting.
I don't think the relationships in the book were very well developed, which I think isWhile an easy, enjoyable read, this book still left me wanting.
I don't think the relationships in the book were very well developed, which I think is sad, because we had the main character's point of view very well done. Claire was very clear on her dislike for her boss, but we were left completely in the dark about the rest of the living characters.
It's a book I would recommend to read for the simple fun of it, but not if you're looking for something a little more gut-wrenching or insightful.
I did like it, all in all, and I will happily read more of Birdie Clark's novels along the way. ...more
Even though I initially set out reading the Sam Jones series with the firm idea that I would hate the main character... I can honestly say I can't getEven though I initially set out reading the Sam Jones series with the firm idea that I would hate the main character... I can honestly say I can't get enough of the little private eye!
Freeze My Margarita has proven to be a rather entertaining read, and I honestly laughed out loud at many parts of it. I'll agree that for the great He-Is-The-Killer reveal scene I was expecting a little bit more, but I'm also quite content with how the novel progressed. This is the second book in the series I have read and I must confess I am happy to see that past books have their little mentions in it.
I can't say anything very sparkling and witty, but I will say that I really enjoyed the damned thing :)...more
**spoiler alert** Let me just start by saying I really, honest-to-God liked this book.
I found I Think I Love You to be rather refreshing, in the sense**spoiler alert** Let me just start by saying I really, honest-to-God liked this book.
I found I Think I Love You to be rather refreshing, in the sense that it also gave my memory a good refresh. I'd forgotten how I used to be at 12, 13, 14, when I thought I was madly in love with pop stars. (For God's sake, I swore I'd marry Michael Jackson when I was 3! I call myself tenacious! I also claim Alzheimer's for forgetting it)
Apart the easy read that Allison Pearson's book makes, I feel I also need to point out a few factors that really add savor to the whole experience.
I'll start with the first half of the book, written from two characters' perspectives — Petra and Bill's. The first half happens in 1974, when pop star David Cassidy was at his peak. Petra is his adoring fan, and Bill... Bill just makes a living out of being David Cassidy.
For once, it's amazing to see the dynamic of 13 year old girls and the lives they led. Petra and her controlling mother, her struggle to climb the social ladder by adhering to Gillian's group and the need to fit in. Gillian... I found her to be very well portrayed, for a secondary character. You can feel the way she manipulates people around her, and how she's a bad influence. It's quite a realistic portrayal, if you've ever encountered people such as herself in middle school (which I did, unfortunately). Sharon! Oh dear God, Sharon... I want to marry her. I kid thee not, I want to marry that girl! She's fresh, she's fruity, she's completely bonkers! I adore her!
There are important lessons to learn from 13 year old Petra. It's important to be yourself, even if you think it's less glamorous, and it's important to have real friends, not people who try to be puppeteers.
As for Bill, I'm not sure I learned something specific from him. What i can say is that I have really enjoyed his portrayal and that I could relate to him: He's a liar, trying hard not to disappoint his girlfriend. I can remember a time in my life when I would sugar-coat the truth so I wouldn't disappoint my parents. It's what makes his character real for me.
Moving on to the second half, set in 1998, we find Petra and Bill all grown up.
I was sad to see how Petra's life evolved, and even more so to see that her mother hadn't changed at all. It saddened me to see that she was so willing to disregard herself to gain her mother's approval. I loved how she did something for herself in the end, decades after it should have happened. Better late than never has never been more accurate.
1998 Bill has lost some of his realness to me. It's not that he's not consistent as a character, but I felt he lost something along the way. Maybe he's just one of the men who actually grew up instead of being 15 forever.
I found the second half of the book to be more jumbled up, however. It's mainly what prevents me from giving the book 5 stars. While the first half was impeccably written, I found the last part to be harder to follow. I had a difficult time keeping track of the timeline. It was almost as if the author took a long break between the two halves and couldn't remember how to find her voice, or as if she couldn't gear up and write to full capacity — like she couldn't be bothered, because she got out what she wanted to get out.
To conclude with, I'm just going to quote Miss Fairfax:
I think I love you. I think I love you. I think I love you. I think I love you. I think I love you.
There's so many ways we can talk to people, and words, like songs, cannot be said the same way twice.
I started reading this booking thinking a little lowly of Sam Johnes. She had this air of confidence that just about killed my every intention of trulI started reading this booking thinking a little lowly of Sam Johnes. She had this air of confidence that just about killed my every intention of truly liking her, because it seemed a little forced, and thus not real.
But as I read on, she grew on me. Sam Johnes is the sort of character that turns to bite you in the ass and makes you love her for it. She's witty and very intelligent, and I'll admit that she taught me a few lessons along the way.
Lauren Henderson has a lovely writing style. I can easily keep reading and not grow tired, and there's quite a lot of humor in there to keep one entertained. I loved how easily she made you paranoid while reading the book. "Is it this guy, is it that one, is it the girl, was it Mrs. Henderson, in the parlor, with a knife?"
Though, what I loved most about the book was the dynamic between Sam and Nat, particularly after the car incident. If I could carry that scene with me forever, I'd do it. I think it's what makes the ending heartbreaking, in a way. It's like a train wreck. You can't look away, no matter how much it hurts.
All in all, I'm rather sorry I can't write a more creative and witty review to match the book's quality, but I will conclude that the thing is well worth a read.
(And I will also add that taking things at face value isn't always all it's cracked up to be)...more
I liked this book. I really wanted to love it, but I couldn't.
I'll admit it's a quick, at times painful read, and the author manages the heroine's emoI liked this book. I really wanted to love it, but I couldn't.
I'll admit it's a quick, at times painful read, and the author manages the heroine's emotions brilliantly. However I did feel the book had several shortcomings.
The book was hilarious as it followed Imogen's struggle to adapt to country life (though I have no idea how those darn hens were trained to follow people around for food. The bloody things I had when I grew up were pretty self-sufficient, and when we gave them food, they gathered around it and that was that).
I don't think I can quite buy into the final pairing at the end of the book. It doesn't feel well built for me, and I always kept thinking "That's it? That's just... it?"
On the other hand, I was quite pleased with Imogen's parents. Those people really made me laugh! And so did Hannah. I loved her struggle with the surprise she had and how her character was presented in the book.
Rufus was... wow. Can I have a kid like that? Can I, can I, can IIIII? (though not right now)
I actually struggled with Alex. I was torn between liking him and hating his guts. I think he was very real as a character, so the author gets top brownie points for that.
I can't pinpoint exactly what I disliked about the entire book that doesn't allow me to give it a 4/5-star rating, but I do recommend the book to everyone who wants a hilarious, heartbreaking read.
[ETA] Oh! And what I forgot to add (and I think is very important), is the fact that Catherine Alliott teaches us two important lessons:
1. People around us are just that: people. They have their own weaknesses and their own strengths, and while you might be intimidated by them, they can also feel threatened by you. Nobody's stronger than us. Key point, ladies and gents.
2. Trust your gut instinct, even when you fear you've gone one step too far into paranoia or schizophrenia....more
This was probably one of the hardest books I've read.
I've had a pretty sheltered upbringing, and while I knew the effects of domestic violence on a coThis was probably one of the hardest books I've read.
I've had a pretty sheltered upbringing, and while I knew the effects of domestic violence on a cognitive level, I wasn't prepared for the insight on the matter. I'm very glad I read this book. It's quite a bit like hitting a stone-cold wall and waking up.
Plus... the characters are inspiring. Grace is a force to be reckoned with, and Lola... Lola is the epitome of CUTE, if you ask me. Alicia is less likable for me, but I can entirely see where she's coming from, even if her perspective had just a handful of pages.
And MARNIE... Marnie isn't so much inspiring as she's complex. It's a spot-on take on addiction, and I'm glad to have read her part.
All in all, an easy read (style-wise) and a tough read at the same time.
"Sushi for Beginners" is definitely a lighter read than Marian Keyes' "This Charming Man". By comparison, I also found it less rewarding when I finish"Sushi for Beginners" is definitely a lighter read than Marian Keyes' "This Charming Man". By comparison, I also found it less rewarding when I finished reading, but that's only when putting the two books side by side.
Individually speaking, Sushi for Beginners is quite an enjoyable read. Ashling was cute and I didn't find her entirely boxed into the she's-a-weird-nerd type, thankfully. I still feel that her struggle with long-lasting issues wasn't dealt as nicely as it could have been. She pulls through a little too neatly, and while at it, we're not privy to exactly HOW the relationship with the man of her life progresses before they're officially declared an item. But maybe that's just me being a picky little bugger.
I found Lisa's character to be the most compelling. She's infuriating, she's a bitch, and she's the most complex character of the book, in my opinion. Fiercely independent, heartbreakingly vulnerable, ambitious, dominant, passive, trusting, willing to be led by the man she loves, and damn good at her job. Her story was bittersweet and I felt she truly deserved the ending she got. She grew a lot along the way, and I found that admirable.
Clodagh... her name alone just about killed my brain. I can't picture how it's pronounced to save my life. I could relate to her to a certain extent, but in the end, she was the hardest to swallow. Immature and self-centered, she's the one character I would have just LOVED to throttle a little. Still, her portrayal was quite spot-on, so there's nothing to complain about, I suppose.
All in all, I liked the book, despite its shortcomings. ...more