Thank you SO MUCH, Christine, for picking me as one of the winners of this giveaway!!
This book is about two girls (16 years old) whose lives...moreThank you SO MUCH, Christine, for picking me as one of the winners of this giveaway!!
This book is about two girls (16 years old) whose lives somewhat parallel each other even though there's about 200 years separating them. I'm not going to give too much away because I think that might take away some of the book's powerful effect. Before finishing I didn't read anyone else's reviews because I knew this was the kinda book where I didn't want to know too much. But the copy I received had a letter to the reader from the Senior Editor, Krista Marino, that I did read, and I'm going to post a little of what it says. Don't worry it doesn't spoil anything.
...Revolution crosses genres. It brings history alive; it explores the importance of art and music; it takes on families in crisis, mental illness, and racial and class inequality. At its heart lie two profound questions: What does it mean to be human in a world filled with so much brutality? And what sorts of choices must we as individuals make to survive in such a world?
Of course a revolution doesn't always have to involve an entire country. The most important battles are often those we fight with ourselves - revolutions we can start only on our own. Reading this book reminded me of the power we all have to change our lives and even to change the world...
There's no way I could have said it better than that. I loved the historical aspect of it. I loved the family dynamic parts of it. I loved that it touched on racial and class inequality in both present times and late 18th century France. I loved the parallels. And I loved the use of music and art, which I was a little hesitant about before I started because sometimes that can be a hit and miss, but Jennifer Donnelly did it wonderfully.
And most of all I loved the way she used the revolution theme in more than one way. I even went back and reread certain parts after I finished because of that.
It took me a few pages to get used to the voice, but try not to let that put you off. I just read the first couple pages twice and I was completely fine. The book was a little slower in the middle but it hardly bothered me at all.
Other than that I completely loved it, and I feel so lucky to have won it! I think I might have a new favorite author!
Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I just won a book that only had two winners! That's definitely a first for me. Thank you so much, Yvonne, for picking me...moreOh my gosh, I cannot believe I just won a book that only had two winners! That's definitely a first for me. Thank you so much, Yvonne, for picking me to get your book!
I'm so intrigued by the giveaway blurb: coming of age story that includes a legal battle that's To Kill a Mockingbird for our times. Hope that doesn't give it too much to live up to, but since I haven't yet read TKaM (seen the movie though) it shouldn't have too much affect on it for me. So looking forward to reading this. Thanks again, Yvonne!
I really struggled with how to rate this book, because while for me 3 stars is a perfectly good rating, others may see it and think, eh, doesn't look that good, think I'll skip it. But a 4 star book for me is a book I really loved, but that didn't have that little something extra: that 5 star earth-moving, soul-touching aspect. A 3 star book is a book I really liked and enjoyed, but I didn't love like a 4 star. And I had to be honest, while I really did like this book, I didn't love it, so that's why it's getting 3 stars for now (but I reserve the right to change it to 4 stars in the future if I change my mind ;P ).
I'm glad I read this book, even though it was flawed in my opinion. I didn't mind the subject matter, and yeah, there is an agenda, but it didn't feel like I was being preached at or coerced in any way. It felt like we were viewing what was happening through the eyes of a 15/16 year old and we were experiencing it in the way she would. We were also limited by that too, but that's the risk an author takes when writing in the first person. Despite that, I felt like Yvonne Prinz did a really good job showing the other characters' development through Roar's eyes.
I loved the first chapter of this book. In less than 16 pages Prinz had me, I was feeling real emotion. I knew the trial plot was going to come up at some point, but I was halfway expecting the trial to be about gay rights, so it was a surprise when I was wrong. I love that, when a book takes me by surprise, in a good way. In fact, if I had to chose an overall theme for me while reading the book it would be unexpected. And I think it's because of what I felt about Roar after reading the first two chapters. The second chapter is Roar's back story. Chapter one and two made me feel Roar was a certain way, but in the rest of the book I felt she was different. I don't know, but for some reason that made her, and the story, more realistic. That was kind of how I felt overall after finishing the book, that it felt very real to life. Like everything that happened in the story is what would really happen in real life. And I respected the story more because of that. Sounds weird, but that's how I felt.
Prinz did such a good job showing small town life. I've lived in Southern California and I've lived in the country in Washington surrounded by agriculture, and she did a great job showing all the little quirks of living in a small town, like how most people read their own town's little newspaper, rather than the big national paper. She also did a great job showing what the migrant worker experience is like, illegal or not.
I remember one time I was with a friend whose dad was a foreman of a farm and he asked her to drop something off at one of the worker's houses, but when we got there she said to give it to a guy who was in the orchard right around the corner, so we drove into the orchard. It was one of the most shocking and eye-opening experiences of my life up til then. As we drove between the trees I saw what was a little tent town hidden inside the orchard, but there were no real tents. It was all tarps and sheets set up as make-shift tents. And there were kids in there too. Apparently I had lived a very sheltered life because I had NO IDEA that this existed in our little town. And you know the funny thing is, besides the kids, one of the most disturbing parts of it was what the guy looked like that came up to our car. He was our age, tall, and very good looking. He could have been any one of the guys we went to school with. I had this idea in my head of what a migrant worker looked like and I was so wrong. They were just regular people. But they lived a different existence than most Americans are even aware of. At least most modern Americans, because from what they taught in school that kind of lifestyle was not uncommon to Americans pre-WWII. It's easy to forget though.
I remember being so shaken by that sight, but one of the things that struck me as we were leaving was how did they live out there all season without running water and stuff, and so I asked my friend and she said they usually used the bathroom at the house we stopped at around the corner.
It all still shocks and boggles my mind.
*This is a good book that I think is appropriate for most young people to read. There is something that happens that some parents wouldn't like their younger kids to read, but honestly just 'cause you don't let them read it doesn't mean they're not gonna do it. The better thing to do is let them read it - it's something that's perfectly natural (they're all gonna do it someday) and TALK to them about it. That's the better way to handle the situation in my opinion. Like I said earlier: the book has a very realistic feel. Everything else in the book is very appropriate (and probably important) for all young readers.
**I just wanted to say thanks again to Yvonne for picking me to win her book through gr First Reads! I forgot to add this before because as I was just about to finish writing my review, and about one sentence away from clicking save, something happened to computer and IT CRASHED! and I completely lost my review. Ack! So when I was trying to remember what I wrote (while totally worried about my computer), since I now had to completely rewrite the whole thing, I forgot to add another Thanks :). Soooo... Thank you, Yvonne.(less)
My review's gonna have to hold off because the last disc of the book is MIA (bummer). So even though I've seen the movie I can't rate and review based...moreMy review's gonna have to hold off because the last disc of the book is MIA (bummer). So even though I've seen the movie I can't rate and review based on that! The four stars are for how I feel about it so far... and so far I think it's my favorite out of the three! I hope I don't have to wait too long to finish it!(less)
Whoa. There is a LOT going on in this book. And I kept falling asleep (nothing to do with how I felt about the book, I swear :P ) while listening to i...moreWhoa. There is a LOT going on in this book. And I kept falling asleep (nothing to do with how I felt about the book, I swear :P ) while listening to it and I'd wake up and couldn't stop thinking about Dobby or Rita Skeeter or Cedric or Krum. It was like their names were ingrained in my subconscious or something, especially Dobby (I think I fell asleep at the beginning of a disk that included a whole lot of him or something). There was so much going on I had a hard time getting all the people straight for a while: Crouch, Krum, Bagman, Moody, Cornelious (though he was easier to remember from previous books), Karkaroff and all the new(ish) people introduced at the Quidditch World Cup and Triwizard Tournament. I even started confusing old characters with new characters.
I think it was a lot harder for me to keep track of all the characters because I'm listening to the books instead of reading them, so I'm not actually seeing their names in my head. I think this is the first book that I feel like it would have been better to read it than listen to it. Interestingly, this is the first movie that I remembered almost nothing. Maybe a slight memory of a kid with a shark head, and a vague memory of the first appearance of a fully realized Valdemort. But that's it. I remember Harry's crush on Cho, but I can't recall if I remember it from the fourth or fifth movie.
Anyway, with the size of this book and everything JKR fit in, and with falling asleep while it was still playing... many times, and with reading all four books pretty close together, I felt/feel completely immersed in the HP world. There were quite a few times that I gasped at what was happening, and a few times I did the "No, no, no!" with my hand to my mouth (though, other than the thing that happened at the end, I can't specifically remember at what points I did that).
All of the characters I loved in the previous books I found even more reasons to love in this one. And Hermione grew on me even more too. I thought the part about Ron and Harry stressing out over finding partners to the ball was funny and endearing and infuriating all at the same time. A little bit like how I feel about most of what they do! Ron is still my favorite even though he's back to being a little more angry than he was in the second book (where I thought he really shined). And I absolutely loved his unconscious jealousy regarding Hermione and his total unawareness of it!
There were a lot of convenient writing choices made for the sake of the story, but since I'm not really trying to criticize the book (what would be the point, so many people have already read the book and probably already know about the story's problems) I'll leave that stuff to other people's reviews. None of it bothered me to the point of truly affecting the story for me. Not that it couldn't have been better, but... oh, well. It's still good as is.
I don't feel like this is a children's series anymore. With this book, the line has been crossed into at the very least middle-grade. The book is too dark and too many dark themes overshadowed the entire book for it to be any good for younger children. I mean, basically the overall theme from the very beginning was death. Introduced through Harry's very vivid dream and playing a prominent sub story throughout the book 'til it came to the forefront with a very dark turn of events towards the end. Great for older kids/young adults, not so much for the little ones anymore. (less)