This review is going to be a complete anomaly from me. I'm going to do several things I've never done nor ever thought I would do. First and foremostThis review is going to be a complete anomaly from me. I'm going to do several things I've never done nor ever thought I would do. First and foremost I'm about to get real. More real that I've ever been on this site. Sometimes I think (and probably unfairly) that there are two kinds of writers. I guess you could break it down to followers vs. leaders. It seems like some write because they are following a trend, be it vampires, angels, dystopias, what have you. Then there are those writers who seem to only write a book because they have a story in their mind that needs to be told. I think it's safe to say Tiffanie DeBartolo falls in the “leaders” category. I've now read both of her books and they are both amazing. I'm just blown away by how talented she is, and I don't mean to sound like an entitled reader but it pains me to think that she hasn't written more. If I ever had the chance to speak to Ms. DeBartolo, I don't think I'd be able to stop myself from quoting Magneto and exclaiming:
So, have you ever heard the phrase “the human condition”? I have, and to be honest, I've never really bothered to find out exactly what it means; I've just come up with my own assumption. And to me, Tiffanie DeBartolo gets it. There are so many lines from this book that so utterly rang true to me. For instance:
"I always felt like that myself, that I didn't marry into the landscape of the human world like others did, that I was on the outside looking in.”
“As long as I can remember being conscious of existence, I've been conscious of death. Eternal rest isn't some abstract concept for me. It's real. It chases me down like a dog behind a bicycle. I'm faster than it is, for the moment, but I might pop a tire any second and it'll sink its teeth into my heel. Or worse, into the heels of someone I love.”
And then there's this:
"I like to say I don’t believe in mystics. I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe in destiny or kismet. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in anything. But I believe in the possibility of everything."
There are many more but they would seriously require copying pages of text. I had a note where I would write down a page with a quote I liked, and part of it says 57, 58, 59. She's just one of those rare authors who it feels like is writing things that exist in my head, only far more eloquently than I ever could. If your intentions are pure I'm seeking a friend for the end of the world. I mean the woman wrote a personal ad using a Chris Cornell song. And I kid you not, a few days before reading this, I was in the mood to listen to Audioslave, and found myself googling Chris Cornell, telling myself I need more of his music.
(view spoiler)[I don't intend to talk about anything too spoilerific, but I'm using a spoiler tag just to be safe.
There are so many books out there with numerous gif-heavy, 5-star reviews. And when I read them myself, I’m either left indifferent, or baffled because often all I felt was contrived angst. Just when I start to question how picky I am when it comes to star ratings, a book like this comes along and completely validates my position. It is just in a completely different stratosphere. THIS is heartache. THIS is anguish. This is worthy of the expression “it feels like my still beating heart was ripped out of my chest.” I realize this is not the opinion of a well-adjusted 30 year old, but I've always thought the phrase “'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” to be...well kind of a crock of shit. Now, this is where the whole “writing things that exist in my head” comes to play. It's as if this entire book was like her literary version of my own wildest dream and worst nightmare, all in one. Rather cryptic, but it makes sense to anyone who's read it. Obviously I felt the aforementioned heartache. After finishing, I would drift off to sleep only to suddenly remember what happened and feel that punch in my gut. But the strange thing is, instead of falling into a dark, despondent place where I feel righteously withdrawn from the world, I actually feel a sliver of hope. That maybe there is something to that quote above. After all, "Fear won't keep you safe from being hurt.”
So there we have it. A highly opinionated, quote laden, image macro included, spoiler tag containing review—a first by yours truly. There's so much more I wish I could say about this book, and How to Kill a Rock Star for that matter, but skilled with words I am not. I will end this by saying I sincerely hope this is not the last book I read by this author. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I wasn't even sure I would give this five stars. For several days I had to force myself to read it. But something happened and I don't even know how tI wasn't even sure I would give this five stars. For several days I had to force myself to read it. But something happened and I don't even know how to explain it. Firstly, I am totally enamored of the illustrations. This is huge since I am not a comic book or graphic novel reader. It's definitely the first time stunning illustrations have influenced my rating. Then there's the last story, which blew me away and left me wishing it had been a full novel. And finally there's the fact that reading this was reminiscent of the few times I've read Gaiman. Sometimes you're confused, sometimes you're not even sure even sure you completely get it, but always you're cognizant of the fact you're in the presence of something truly special and unique. ...more
After reading this in May I had this whole "review" written out that I wish I had posted. I gushed about how great this book was and gave it what fromAfter reading this in May I had this whole "review" written out that I wish I had posted. I gushed about how great this book was and gave it what from me is the highest praise possible: I would buy a digital and physical copy. I talked about how great the writing and editing was. Most importantly how the author did everything right, especially compared to that book that I didn't find Beautiful and was quite a Disaster. Also about how Lucas is everything Travis from said book isn't. But alas, I lost that review. I'm so happy this book is getting so much deserved praise. I just love when it happens to talented writers. I have gone on to read everything she's written and will continue to do so. In case you have't guessed, I highly recommend this book. It will no doubt be one of my favorite reads of 2012. ...more
Could almost be a 5 because *goddamn*, almost every other "rock star" novel I've read absolutely pales in comparison to this. But stupid Eliza with heCould almost be a 5 because *goddamn*, almost every other "rock star" novel I've read absolutely pales in comparison to this. But stupid Eliza with her stupid stupidity....
Is it fair to rate up a book after reading another book by the author? Oh well, because I'm bumping this up to a full 5 stars. God Shaped Hole totally rocked my world and I actually love it a bit more, but it made me even more appreciative of Tiffanie DeBartolo's talent....more
This book, in all its awesomeness, made me a little angry. Why? Because while it seems like all I do is lament the lack of quality young adult novelsThis book, in all its awesomeness, made me a little angry. Why? Because while it seems like all I do is lament the lack of quality young adult novels during my adolescence, this book was published in 1992, meaning it was out there and I had no idea of its existence. I truly think reading this book back then would have been a momentous experience for me. Which I guess is what a “coming of age” novel is supposed to do, right? As an Italian-America, I was just so fascinated to learn that Italian families really aren’t that different, no matter where they’ve immigrated. But then I was also shocked to learn how the childhood of someone like Josie could differ so much from mine. Growing up where I live, we didn’t experience that kind of prejudice. In fact, here, anybody with even a drop of Italian blood would walk around proudly bragging about how Italian they were! I don’t know if that’s really how it was in Australia in the 90s but I hope that’s not how it is today.
So this is more of a personal, hit close to home 5 star rating for me, as opposed to the knocked my socks off Jellico Road.That book was such a sucker punch I couldn't even try to review it. But either way, having only read two of Melina Marchetta’s book, I can’t even begin to express how enamored I am with her writing! ...more
I'm going to share a story rather than review this. A while back, I took my niece and nephew to the last hour of the local library book sale, where foI'm going to share a story rather than review this. A while back, I took my niece and nephew to the last hour of the local library book sale, where for just $2 you could take home a bag full of books. I browsed with them, since the YA books were in the same section. I picked up A Northern Light, hoping to impart a little bit of literary knowledge. I told them, "Guys, when you see a book with a medal like this on it, read it. This means it's a good book." Luckily, my advice was correct because this is an excellent book! ...more
Wow. Wow. This book is amazing. Seriously, why is it not available in paperback? I would gladly pay twice just to have a physical copy of it. That's pWow. Wow. This book is amazing. Seriously, why is it not available in paperback? I would gladly pay twice just to have a physical copy of it. That's probably the highest praise I can think to give a book. Like others have said, the title and cover of this book can be a little misleading. It is not your average romance novel. There is so much depth and emotion to it. When something good or bad, exciting or sad happened I literally felt it in my gut. I found the characters and their relationships genuine and believable. I even thought the book within a book was rather clever. I don't necessarily consider myself a "romance" reader, although I have read my fair share of them lately. Reading this makes me reconsider my opinion on the whole genre. I can't explain it, but I just found it to be special and unique. Am I just naive and are there lots of books out there like this? Did this book come along at just the right time and scratch an itch I didn't know needed scratching? It's possible. But either way, it completely blew me away. I don't think I expected to love it as much as I do. So in conclusion: Did I feel the character's emotions in my gut? Yup. Have I been rereading it for the past couple days because I'm not ready to move on? Yup. It gets 5 stars from me. ...more
The subject matter of this book is not for everyone. I myself am never one to shy away from depressing or disturbing books so I dove right in. I quickThe subject matter of this book is not for everyone. I myself am never one to shy away from depressing or disturbing books so I dove right in. I quickly began to realize it was basically the sum of my worst fears put on paper, with several new, unimaginable fears thrown in. To be honest, I almost wanted to stop reading, but I kept going. This is one of those books that you hesitate to say you loved. I mean, how can you love a book about a woman who was abducted, raped, and forced to live in terror? What I can say is that it is truly amazing. I loved the narration, the writing style and the way the plot unfolded. I felt so many emotions as I read. If this were a movie, it would be one where I watched while grimacing, with my hands over my eyes for much of it. In fact, I had to take breaks from reading, but would find myself still thinking about it and have to pick it back up and continue. I like to think that you learn something new with each book you read. I think I learned something about myself as I read this book. As I ponder what Annie went through, I do not know if I would be strong enough to survive it. That being said, I think I did relate to Annie and if God forbid I ever were to go through anything like that, I would imagine my behavior in the aftermath would be very similar to hers. All the descriptions you read on the back of the book—gripping, compelling, terrifying—are absolutely correct. This book grabbed me from start to finish, and ended with a twist that left me saddened but ultimately at peace. While I probably wouldn’t recommend this book for everybody, I think for people who might be interested in reading it, you will not regret it. Unbelievable debut; I am glad I got the chance to read it and am a new fan of Chevy Stevens.
*I received a copy of this book for review. ...more