Not only are the contents of this book awesome, but it is a beautiful specimen of the book form, as well. The interior of the dustjacket, the endpaperNot only are the contents of this book awesome, but it is a beautiful specimen of the book form, as well. The interior of the dustjacket, the endpapers, the binding... the whole thing is a marvelous artifact.
The content, too--yes. Equally wonderful, but then being a xkcd fan, I expected nothing less. I don't think I've laughed aloud at a science book as much as this, and that is a good thing.
Buy this. Read it, even if in chunks, a question or two at a time. It's worth it. You'll learn stuff. You'll laugh. What is better?...more
I can't remember the last time I had to deliberately slow down reading because the book I was reading was so amazing that I didn't want to finish it.I can't remember the last time I had to deliberately slow down reading because the book I was reading was so amazing that I didn't want to finish it.
Equal parts grotesqueness, hilarity, depravity, and thoughtfulness. You can say what you want about Manson, but you can't say he isn't self-aware or iEqual parts grotesqueness, hilarity, depravity, and thoughtfulness. You can say what you want about Manson, but you can't say he isn't self-aware or intelligent. It makes for a great read....more
Another awesome Veronica Mars novel. I will read these always and forever.
But there are a few errors that bug me--stuff that should have been caught iAnother awesome Veronica Mars novel. I will read these always and forever.
But there are a few errors that bug me--stuff that should have been caught in editing, a couple of character name mixups, some weird word swaps. But then, I face the world with a red pen in hand, so there you go. Still, it left the impression it was rushed in some way.
The main plot--the Veronica mystery--was pretty well done, though there were still some unrealistic leaps in process. I liked how the book balanced the main story against the B plot of what Keith was up to.
But when it all comes down to it, who cares? I will gobble up anything Rob Thomas puts out, because he has earned my trust. So has Veronica....more
Yay! I won a copy through the First Reads! Of course, it arrived after my preordered hardback copy, but who cares, because it's Sarah Addison Allen!
SerYay! I won a copy through the First Reads! Of course, it arrived after my preordered hardback copy, but who cares, because it's Sarah Addison Allen!
Seriously. If I had to pick only one writer's books to have with me if marooned on a desert island, Allen's would be my pick.
I LOVE them. The way she crafts a sense of place, the way she weaves magic into the fabric of the story in a way that feels naturalistic and honest. She writes amazing, complex female characters who have fascinating stories in their past, even if they don't want anybody to know them.
And above all, Allen *gets* the South. She gets it, and she preserves it, and she distills it, and she presses it into the pages of her books, and for that I am eternally grateful.
As for First Frost, I, of course, enjoyed it. It's a revisit to the characters from Garden Spells, which vies with The Peach Keeper for being my favorite of Allen's work. So it's wonderful to see all these characters again, to see what Claire and Tyler are like as parents, how Bay grew up, how Sydney fared with Henry. It's great to revisit Bascom, NC, to see how the generation has changed but nothing much else has. Because that, too, is part of the south.
As much as I enjoyed it--and enjoyed it I did--I am only giving it 4 stars, if only because the end of the novel felt just a bit rushed, convoluted, and tied up in a slightly-too-convenient bow. The pacing seems a bit off throughout, and the characters perhaps a tiny bit weaker than usual. Perhaps because it is a sequel, and it's expected you would have read Garden Spells first, that Allen uses that as a kind of shorthand. But I felt like had it been drawn out, fleshed out just a tiny bit more this novel too would have been as excellent as her others.
Yet all in all, this is small criticism. It's a wonderful novel about the power of family, the strength to be drawn from knowing yourself, and the inexorable march of time and age.
And when I reread it--because let's face it, I will, probably even this calendar year--I will in all possibility knock it up to a 5 star rating. Because Allen's work, much like the South, is charming that way--always even better upon subsequent visits. ...more
I find it depressing that this book has so many negative reviews, many by people who "wanted a light funny read" and were bewildered by this clever, bI find it depressing that this book has so many negative reviews, many by people who "wanted a light funny read" and were bewildered by this clever, biting satire. (Many of the reviewers even say they went to Harvard and then proceed to pan the novel, which is doubly depressing, as I would hope that Harvard was churning out grads who could detect irony and absurdism instead of just reducing the story to 'nonsense'. But I digress.)
At any rate, this is a smart, funny book, one with a wry wit that had me chuckling consistently. If you want some overwrought romance, this is not the place to look, but it you want to read about a girl who is mystified by the absurdities of college, by social conventions, and who stands apart as a one-woman bullshit detector, this may be the book for you....more
Man... the movie version of this novel that's about to come out is going TO FUCK EVERYTHING THAT IS WONDERFUL AND AMAZING ABOUT THIS BOOK ALL UP.
You cMan... the movie version of this novel that's about to come out is going TO FUCK EVERYTHING THAT IS WONDERFUL AND AMAZING ABOUT THIS BOOK ALL UP.
You can tell, just from the trailer.
And it pisses me off, because THIS BOOK, and the story of Bianca and her unwillingness to change and her (ENTIRELY REASONABLE) demand that people take her as she is? THAT is a story that Hollywood needs to be telling. Not another version of She's All That where a girl magically takes off the overalls and becomes gorgeous and popular and beloved by all the people that had hated her for so long. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE TRAILER IMPLIES.
Ugh. This is such a wonderful novel, one about trying to navigate the labels we give ourselves and each other, and realizing that rejecting them is the best thing of all. STOP FUCKING UP EVERYTHING GOOD AND RIGHT IN THE WORLD, HOLLYWOOD....more
Disclosure: I received a free Kindle copy of this from the author, though all she asked was that I leave a review.
First, I love Viv Daniels. (I also lDisclosure: I received a free Kindle copy of this from the author, though all she asked was that I leave a review.
First, I love Viv Daniels. (I also love Diana Peterfreund, which is her actual identity, but Viv Daniels is the alter ego she writes her New Adult work under.) She is, plain and simple, a damn fine writer. Stories and plots that might seem schlocky or ripe for overwrought cliche are, in her hands, deftly handled. Her work always feels sincere and emotionally honest. Yes, that is a hard thing to find in today's world. [See: all the rest of NA, with only a few notable exceptions.]
Hear Me is, like her other work, just wonderful. It's a great story, one about the lost love of youth and trying to reclaim it within the confines of a complex, adult world. Ivy lost the boy she loved when her town erected a magical barrier between the village and the forest in which dark magic was said to be building and threatening the town. Now, as an adult, she lives beside the barrier and leads a quiet life, remembering and resignedly longing for Archer, the boy who chose the forest over her.
When the barrier is destroyed and she finds Archer wounded, lying in the snow, she learns that everything she thought she knew about him, about the forest, and about her deceased father has been terribly, horribly wrong, and she will risk herself to save Archer, but also to save herself.
Daniels creates a beautiful world here, one not entirely unrecognizable from our own, which adds a nice verisimilitude. Furthermore, the lure of a man who wants you to save him is a powerful thing, indeed, and the book is delightfully hot and steamy. Yet... Ivy is a strong, clever character, one who avoids the trite 'damsel in distress' trope. And Archer is complicated, and at times brutal, but the novel avoids the misogynistic, abusive "it's all okay because it's romance" bullshit that plagues this genre. And for that alone, I want to stand on my chair and applaud Viv Daniels....more