Unpopular opinion: I don't love this book. I had really high expectations which may have something to do wi...moreI wish that I could give this a 2.5 rating.
Unpopular opinion: I don't love this book. I had really high expectations which may have something to do with my disappointment. John Green writes so well. There are some beautiful paragraphs in this book.
I just didn't like the characters much. I didn't mind Miles and Chip. I feel like the reader is supposed to connect with Alaska but I didn't. At all. I didn't like her.
I think I would have loved this book if I read it as a teenager. At the same time, I wouldn't have been able to relate to any of the teenage characters and their constant drunkenness, excessive smoking, immature pranks and their general need to rebel and do stupid things. I would have hated them in real life!(less)
While I appreciate that this book is well researched, and that it was written before the internet exploded, aside from a couple of pages at the end, i...moreWhile I appreciate that this book is well researched, and that it was written before the internet exploded, aside from a couple of pages at the end, it contains no new information. I expected the writer to have met with somebody... anybody... connected to the case. Instead it is pieced together from publicly available documents in a way that doesn't particularly make it stand out. Honestly, you'll learn just as much from Wikipedia.
It's also clear that the writer is not Australian, and at the time of publication, was not extremely familiar with Australia (one example being stereostypical Crocodile Dundee/ Paul Hogan references.) With the odd exception, Australians just tell Australian stories better, even to an international audience.(less)
It's hard to even find the words to describe this book. I've been thinking about how best to word this for a couple of days. What I can say is that if...moreIt's hard to even find the words to describe this book. I've been thinking about how best to word this for a couple of days. What I can say is that if you are ever so very unfortunate enough to become a victim of a horrific crime, Megan Norris is who you want to be telling your story.
On Father's Day in 2005, 3 beautiful boys were murdered by their father while on an access visit. He claimed that he suffered a coughing fit while driving with his 3 little boys, in which he blacked out, for the very first time in his life, conveniently on a dark, isolated stretch of road and that he woke up to find the car in the middle of a 7m deep dam.
We now know that he deliberatley steered the car into the exact location where it ended up, escaped the car and left it to sink with 3 helpless, terrified little boys inside. We know that he flagged down a passing motorist and refused to call emergency services. Instead he demanded to be taken to his ex wife's house so that he could tell her to her face that her children were dead. He dragged the legal proceedings up to the High Court of Australia in 2013 for maximum impact.
And that's just the beginning... Norris explores the disturbing trend of fathers murdering their children in revenge attacks on their ex wives/the mothers of their children; something that is on the rise in Australia. She delves into the psyche of somebody who would commit such a horrifying crime and does her best to advise of the 'warning signs,' (if there are any at all), using examples of events in Cindy Gambino's life, which could help other mothers out there.
Megan Norris approaches the narrative with a sensitivity that I have come to admire in her work. The way that she delicately handled Cindy Gambino's reliving of her trauma (that persists to this day) is admirable.
This book is disturbing, and some may be tempted to put it down when it gets too heavy, but it is an important book, about a discussion that Australia needs to have.(less)
This is a book that will divide people. I'm not a fan of James Frey as a person, and I believe that his narcissistic personality fueled his decision t...moreThis is a book that will divide people. I'm not a fan of James Frey as a person, and I believe that his narcissistic personality fueled his decision to write this book and that he intended for it to gain notoriety via blasphemy. I'm not personally offended, though. I'm an athiest and it wasn't religion that drew me to read this book. I (frustratingly!!! ) love the way that Frey writes.
It draws you in from the very first page. Each character has such a distinctive voice that I could picture them so clearly in my head. Upon finishing the book, I feel like I know these people and I won't forget them as easily as I forget a lot of literary characters. Frey has a wonderful way making the reader see the world through a marginalised character's eyes; making the reader realise how the odds really are stacked against some people in society and how we shouldn't be so quick to judge them. There is more empathy in this book compared to Frey's previous works.
I think some of it was unnecessary. Sometimes intimate scenes are essential to a storyline. They further the plot, but it seemed like Frey had the Messiah initiating and engaging in orgies for pure shock value. Ditto with women 'seeing God' when the Messiah had his d**k in them. That was undoubtedly put in there for attention... and I guess it worked since I'm talking about it! I didn't love the portrayal of Christians in the book as being mean spirited, closed minded and violent people. I have known a lot of Christians in my life and every single one of them is peaceful, kind, well intended, open minded, educated and wouldn't even raise their voice at another person.
I did really like the book though. it engaged me all the way through, it was a truly original plot which is SO refreshing to see. I can never get enough of Frey's writing and I think this is his best writing yet and his best characterisation yet. I think I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
But if you're a Christian, you might not want to read this.(less)
Every day I think of the things that I am thankful for. After finishing this book, today I am so very grateful for Detective Peter Seymour and everyth...moreEvery day I think of the things that I am thankful for. After finishing this book, today I am so very grateful for Detective Peter Seymour and everything that he did for these victims and their families.(less)