In my opinion, Sarah Dessen is one of the best young adult writers out there today. This book happens to be my second favorite book from her. It's oddIn my opinion, Sarah Dessen is one of the best young adult writers out there today. This book happens to be my second favorite book from her. It's odd how Dessen can make you feel like you know her characters personally. I love that about her writing, because she makes it so easy to identify with her characters. When I finished this book, I was almost upset about it. I didn't want to leave behind the characters and in some ways I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends. That’s a true sign that you've just read a really great book. Overall I give this a 4.5/5 stars!...more
The last couple of months I have been trying to read my way through all of Sarah Dessen's books. This was the last one on my list to read and it turneThe last couple of months I have been trying to read my way through all of Sarah Dessen's books. This was the last one on my list to read and it turned out to be my favorite.
Dessen seems to like to use to same basic formula for her books (girl with troubles + meets new boy = happy ending). Even though this may be a bit predictable, I still seem to always enjoy her books immensely. Dessen has a way with getting you very attached to her characters and this book was no different. It's not just the main characters that I feel heartbroken to be leaving behind, but especially the supporting characters.... like Bert, with his Armageddon obsession and the "monotone" Monica.
This book was heartfelt and moving. There are some books that you wish you could read all over for the first time again and this is one of them. I give it 5/5 stars. :) ...more
Opening quote to Water for Elephants: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant... An elephant's faithful - one hundred per cent!" By: Theodor SeussOpening quote to Water for Elephants: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant... An elephant's faithful - one hundred per cent!" By: Theodor Seuss Geisel
This particular book has been on my "to read" list for a long time. I’ve been dying to read it, but for some reason I always end up putting off the books that I want to read the most. It's like I want to savor them and read them as slowly as possible, because I know that there is only this one time that the story will unfold before me without me having a clue as to where it will lead. However, this book I did not get the chance to read slowly... I devoured it in one day! Actually only a few hours! I just simply could not put it down. I was so captivated by the story that I even forgot a meal, but I really didn’t care about that afterwards. What’s a meal compared to this wonderful and engrossing novel!
The story begins with Jacob, our main character, who is either 90 or 93, so he says. He is in a nursing home looking back on his earlier days as a young man when he was part of the great Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, which was a circus which traveled by train. His flashbacks take us back to the 1930s where life was indeed quite hard. Jacob ends up joining this particular circus completely by accident upon hopping aboard a train one night after he leaves his college exams due to some unfortunate events. He was studying to become a veterinarian, and he gets lucky because that is just what the circus needs. The story then unfolds into a beautifully crafted story with a vivid world that makes it seem like you are the one who joined the circus. The characters like the glamorous Marlena and her Arabian horse act are layered with rich detail. You find yourself just as curious and enamored with her as Jacob is. Then there is August, Marlena’s husband and ringmaster, who has quite a violent temper and a paranoid disposition. It is not only the humans but the circus animals as well, that are just as much a part of the story. Rosie, an elephant, whose mischievous and charming ways you can’t help but love. You can tell Sara Gruen really did her research and upon reading an interview by her after I read the book, she admits to doing quite a bit of extensive research of traveling circuses in the early 1900’s. She even took a few small facts from this research and incorporated it into the story.
To put it quite simply - this book is so captivating that you can’t put it down, and if you do, you’ll end up picking it right back up within minutes. In fact, when I finished the book I felt like starting at the beginning all over again. There is nothing like the first time you read a truly great book. Its stays with you and you think upon it for days or even weeks. I have a feeling this particular story won’t leave me for quite some time. I feel like I could begin this book again right now and be blown away just like my first reading. It's very rare that I put a book on my favorites shelf these days (especially newly released books) but this one was a no brainer. It's quite simply the best book I have read in years! I can't give it enough praise or do it justice with words....more
There are some books that you know like the back of your hand, or in this case even better. For me, 'Pride and Prejudice' is one of those books. I greThere are some books that you know like the back of your hand, or in this case even better. For me, 'Pride and Prejudice' is one of those books. I grew up watching the 1995 BBC TV adaptation of this book, over and over again. Which might I say was beautifully done by the way! Considering I was about 5 years old when it was released, I guess you could say that the story was kind of ingrained into my childhood. I was never a romantic child, but I loved the story of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. There was no 'love at first sight' foolishness, but a love that grew over time. That appealed to me. And I loved the silly Mrs. Bennett, the sweet good natured Jane, Mr. Bingley, and the good humored Mr. Bennett. I knew all the characters so well, that they felt like close friends.
Of course, as I got older I naturally wanted to read the book. I remember that my mom bought me a beautiful edition of it one year for Christmas. I can’t remember how old I was then, but I was so thrilled to finally have it in my hands. Sadly I was still a little too young to quite read it. I remember getting bored easily and not quite understanding the writing. So it sat on my shelf for a few years until finally I was at the required reading level. From the moment I read that famous opening line... "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."... I knew that it was going to be all that I had hoped it would be.
For me, it’s just one of those comfort books that I go back to repeatedly. Sometimes I even find myself pulling it off my shelf just to read a few favorite passages. I feel like every girl who has ever read 'Pride and Prejudice' has or can envision themselves as Elizabeth Bennett. That is what makes this book so great. You find yourself easily loosing yourself in the story and actually forget that you are reading. Jane Austen crafted a beautifully written story set in the period where social upbringing and wealth in a young woman were of the highest importance in marriage. It is a true classic that will be around forever and never fade over time....more
From the moment I opened this book I knew I was going to fall in love with it. As it turns out, it is by far the most beautifully written novel I haveFrom the moment I opened this book I knew I was going to fall in love with it. As it turns out, it is by far the most beautifully written novel I have ever read. There is so much depth to Dodie Smith's characters and writing that I can’t even imagine trying to describe it to anyone who hasn't experienced it for themselves. This book is truly one of a kind.
To sum up the book, it is basically a coming of age story that takes place in the the 1930's. The story is told through the main character, Cassandra Mortmain, who writes through her private journal. Cassandra and her eccentric family are very poor and live in an old castle in the English countryside. A wealthy family, the Cotton's, come to inherit the Mortmain's castle and the surrounding lands. The Cotton's have two boys, Simon and Neil, who are curious of their interesting neighbors. The story takes us through the lives of the two families and their encounters with each other.
It was such a joy to read this beautiful story through the character of Cassandra. She has become firmly planted in my heart as one of the most charming characters I have ever come across. Overall, I give this book a 5/5! After all, it is my favorite book. :) ...more