I tried reading this via audiobook, which was a massive mistake. A book that is incredibly thin on plot and full of superfluous prose is worse when ev...moreI tried reading this via audiobook, which was a massive mistake. A book that is incredibly thin on plot and full of superfluous prose is worse when every.single.word is read aloud. As some other reviewers have said, the book did start off promising - but it never seemed to go anywhere. Sabiya' s character became progressively more frustrating and unlikeable, to the point where I gave up and switched back to the radio, permanently. -unfinished- (less)
I have to admit I was very disappointed by this book. I found the concept ridiculous and unbelievable, there was not enough plot to justify 400pg of p...moreI have to admit I was very disappointed by this book. I found the concept ridiculous and unbelievable, there was not enough plot to justify 400pg of plot (I knew too Much about Alex's eyes!) and the journey of the character was cliched and predictable. I hadn't read a teen dystopia novel in a while - I used to love them when I was a bit younger, and the hunger games was unexpectedly entertaining and complex, and delirium was recommended as a follow up.
Perhaps I'm being a little harsh because I've never felt "amor deliria nervosa" myself (at least not romantically - yes i love my parents!) but I couldn't get behind the concept enough to become involved in the story. It just didn't make sense that anyone could think that the surgical removal of love (which somehow became extended to 'want', and how exactly do you surgically remove love anyway what) was good for society. Love is what motivates people to work harder and longer and be better - love for themselves, for their partners and children and society, why would anyone do anything if they didn't love or they didn't want? Why eat? Why have sex?
A YA fantasy novel based in a fictional set of kingdoms where some of the population are "graced" with certain talents. The protagonist - violent but...moreA YA fantasy novel based in a fictional set of kingdoms where some of the population are "graced" with certain talents. The protagonist - violent but surprisingly engaging Katsa is one such girl, graced with the ability to kill. The book is her story, as she falls in love with a graced prince and learns to find independence and a sense of purpose. It was a bit of a slow start, but the book is engaging and fast paced and at times unexpected (the ending!! :( :( At first I thought Katsa was like every other "gutsy independent" perfect heroine - but as the story went on she became complex and flawed and someone I was really supporting. Her guilt and struggles with her temper were some of the most fascinating aspects of her character.
The YA and fantasy genres are becoming a little saturated but Graceling is definitely worth the effort. (less)
Set entirely within the confines of the Santa Caterina nunnery in 14th century Italy, the story is told from the perspective of two nuns - Sister Sera...moreSet entirely within the confines of the Santa Caterina nunnery in 14th century Italy, the story is told from the perspective of two nuns - Sister Seraphina (a young and beautiful noble girl forcibly sent to seperate her from her poor lover) and Sister ----- (the nun interested in medicine, who after decades has resigned herself to the place). It has moments of beautiful prose and unique insight, but the ending was overly melodramatic and partly ruined it. In addition, there wasn't enough plot line or depth to justify the number of pages, leading it to drag through long descriptive passages or discussions about getting closer to God.(less)
**spoiler alert** Unexpected. That's all I can really say for this book right now. It was more interesting, bloody and with a much greater focus on Ka...more**spoiler alert** Unexpected. That's all I can really say for this book right now. It was more interesting, bloody and with a much greater focus on Katniss's psychological state (though after the 5th or 6th breakdown description I started skimming) than I expected. I was glad for it, though. I think it ended in a more realistic and truthful place than most YA series (Harry Potter, I'm looking at you!) I've read, and I loved the fact she didn't suddenly become a rebel leader or that being in love with Peeta properly didn't restore her.
I think the weakest part of the series, and this book, was the love triangle. Gale didn't ever have enough of a personality for us to root for him, but we knew enough about their relationship for it to feel very like a cruel betrayal on Katniss's part for her to suddenly never speak to him again because a bomb he created (but didn't authorise for this particular use) may or may not have killed her sister. (less)
I'm going to be honest... I wasn't interested, and I didn't really "get it". I suppose I can see the messages - the awkwardness and confusion and diff...moreI'm going to be honest... I wasn't interested, and I didn't really "get it". I suppose I can see the messages - the awkwardness and confusion and difficulty of getting through adolescence in a rough and ever changing world, but I didn't feel it at all. I suspect perhaps that part of the reason I disliked this book so much is I'm just a little too old for it - I had Holden's self loathing world loathing "it's all phony" phase in high school, and while I still get that way sometimes, travel and university and cognitive maturity have helped me move past it to a stage where I want to see and achieve more with my life. Now Holden's whininess and banality just frustrate and bore me. Salinger's captured the angst of teenage life perfectly, but I hate that the book never really comes to anything... Holden doesn't get anywhere, and neither does the reader. (less)
Evelina is a very VERY old book - written in the 1700s, no less - and basically comprises of letters, the bulk of which are from main character 16 yea...moreEvelina is a very VERY old book - written in the 1700s, no less - and basically comprises of letters, the bulk of which are from main character 16 year old Evelina Anville to her guardian Vicar Villars. Evelina has been raised in almost seclusion in a small rural town, and when she gets invited out to go to London for the first time, she begins her adventures in "society", life and love. As adorably naive and ridiculous Evelina can be at times, and as charming as her beau "Lord Orville" (though incredibly boring D:) is, I don't think there's anything in the story which makes it a classic. The characterisation wasn't good enough for me to really empathise with Evelina, or to see
The only real interest in the story for me was the way it portrayed England and the cultural and social politics of the day. It's fascinating to see the way society was so dividied by money and title, and women were so subjugated and restricted physically and mentally. There's an awful line where one of the characters says that he (and I'm paraphrasing, obviously) thinks it's unattractive for any woman to be "strong in body or mind". I MEAN ARE YOU KIDDING ME. (less)
Seriously, everyone - don't bother. I do understand the pleasure in reading a formulaic series, there is something warmly comforting and familiar abou...moreSeriously, everyone - don't bother. I do understand the pleasure in reading a formulaic series, there is something warmly comforting and familiar about the characters and the situations. But there's no quality at all to back it up anymore, and when you've read the same jokes eighteen times in a row (Lula's fat, Vinnie's a creep, Ranger's hot and saves her all.the.time, poor Steph is an incompetent bounty hunter with two guys to choose from bla bla bla) it just becomes boring and depressing reading. At this point (I read 16, 17 and 18 all one after the other, which probably didn't help), I'm finding it hard to summon fond memories of the earlier books to remind myself why I began this in the first place. There are a lot of other authors to choose from out there with fresher ideas, funnier characters and better plotlines. If you've got a choice between this book and one of them, pick the other one instead. You won't regret it. (less)
Set in the early 90s (and based off the experiences of author Bhaghat), the book follows the narrated story of Punjabi IIM graduate Krish on his (long...moreSet in the early 90s (and based off the experiences of author Bhaghat), the book follows the narrated story of Punjabi IIM graduate Krish on his (long and at times painful) journey to marrying Tamilian girlfriend Ananya. The book succeeds because it's funny and feels so real, and he doesn't shy away from the nastier comments made about other communities in India while still making it a completely entertaining and ultimately heartwarming read.
This isn't a 'classic' novel, but it is one of the few books I've read that really seems to accurately capture some of modern, middle class India -and is written for Indians, and not as a weepy tale pitched to the Booker Prize judges. Krish even makes the comment when he's at his girlfriend's house and is being forced to endure the sensory overload that is cooking South Indian spices that if this was a "literary" novel then he would be commenting about the beauty of the aroma. But because it's just him all he can say is that it's making him sneeze and cough and wonder what his girlfriend will cook at their own home.(less)
Set in... the 1980s? I think? I never really knew - it details the lives of a bunch of young college students in a small liberal arts college studying...moreSet in... the 1980s? I think? I never really knew - it details the lives of a bunch of young college students in a small liberal arts college studying Ancient Greek. They live a different life (total snobs, haha) drinking whiskey and discussing Plato, until some of them do something that changes the course of their lives. Forever. ... And that's really all I can say without giving the whole plot away :)
I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I first started reading - and I still have that feeling now that I've finished. Enjoyed the prose, but I feel like I need at least another read before I can really pass any kind of judgement. I do have to agree with one of the reviewers here though, that this book starts off well, builds to an interesting climax, and then... well, drops off until the ending is so confusing that you don't really quite know what to make of it at all. I'm not sure whether it's something I missed as I was reading (trying to work things out on a crowded bus at 7am on your way to class possibly doesn't help) or whether there really is something missing in the novel.(less)
Austen's work is always enjoyable, and so was this one - funny and easy to read and relatively well paced. It tells the story of Anne Elliot, a young...moreAusten's work is always enjoyable, and so was this one - funny and easy to read and relatively well paced. It tells the story of Anne Elliot, a young woman who (on the urging of her best friend) gives up the love of her life at 19 in a young sailor named Wentworth, who had ambition and talent aplenty but no name and money to recommend him. 7 years later, a rich and still ever-so-handsome Captain Wentworth reappears in her life, and she has to struggle to control the feelings of desire again.
... Yeah, that's basically it. That was why Persuasion only gets 3 stars - I feel like there wasn't enough to the story to really merit an entire novel. My favourite Austen novels Emma and Pride and Prejudice (and even most of the others) have a really interesting and fleshed out cast of secondary characters - but here we barely even get to know Wentworth, who we should be falling in love with almost as much as Anne.
I did appreciate the relative 'maturity' of Anne's character and her romantic relationship compared to most of the other young Austen heroines, though. Anne has a dry wit and calm resignation as she goes about her life (it's cute watching her try and suppress her 'girlier' emotions), and I LOVED that Wentworth fell back in love with her despite having passed her stage of "youthful bloom". There's a beautiful line at the end of the book where she talks about being grateful for the fact that they had to wait 7 years because it made her sure of her decision and sure(r) that they would be happy together.
Also. As a side note - when I was younger, BBC miniseries and the other Austens had really romanticised the time period these stories are set in for me. But I read this book as I was curled up on buses travelling around rural Peru, a trip I treated myself for surviving my second year of medical school - things Anne Elliot would never have been able to do or even survive to do (woo tuberculosis). I can honestly say that the opportunities I have now I wouldn't give up for all the Wentworths in the world.(less)