Okay. Let me first get the obvious out of the way. This book is long. It's epic. Perhaps when you cover 420 years, there is no way to write it short....moreOkay. Let me first get the obvious out of the way. This book is long. It's epic. Perhaps when you cover 420 years, there is no way to write it short. All that said, it was a quick read. Honest.
Two pages into this second book in the trilogy, I was quickly reminded how very much I love Matthew and Diana. Harkness does a masterful job developing them as characters and drawing the reader in--not only to their love story but also to their fate as vampire and witch. And their friends? Oh, how we care about them too. Even the minor cast of characters becomes significant to the reader. In fact, I found myself wishing some would be turned into vampires just so we could enjoy them back in the 21st century.
I should note that I also loved the history. Harkness is obviously very well studied, and here she masterfully blends fact with fiction...a fiction that feels so real the lines between history and imagination are beautifully blurred. (less)
Warning: this is a hard book to read. It's a good book, and it's worth it, but it's hard. Consider yourself warned.
On the cover of my copy of The Faul...moreWarning: this is a hard book to read. It's a good book, and it's worth it, but it's hard. Consider yourself warned.
On the cover of my copy of The Fault in Our Stars, there is a quote from Jodi Picoult. I feel like I could simply write that as my review, and it would have summed up the entire book: "Electric . . . Filled with staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." Truly, nothing more needs to be said.
John Green has written a young adult novel about life and death, from the perspective of a 16-year-old girl living with terminal cancer. She narrates her journey through a terminal life--the same life we're all living, really--and the friends she meets along the way.
As a mother, my heart broke on nearly every other page. I can't even imagine the thought of normal being certain you have enough oxygen tanks to get your daughter through her next journey out of the house. Or knowing that your child will never see again. Or knowing that there is nothing left to fight with except hope.
At the end of the day, while The Fault in Our Stars is about the crap that life gives out and recognizing that people don't die after a long battle with cancer but rather after a long battle with life, it's really a story about hope. It's about finding love and loving, and it's about being strong enough to break down and cry, and it's about making today your best day. It's about leaving something behind that will last. It's about life.
Because it isn't just this novel that is filled with "staccato bursts of humor and tragedy." Life is too.(less)
Man, Stephen King can write! Seriously. I knew this from the films based on his novels, the novellas that I've read, and from reading On Writing, but...moreMan, Stephen King can write! Seriously. I knew this from the films based on his novels, the novellas that I've read, and from reading On Writing, but I just hadn't experienced it on my own. From the first chapter through the Afterword, I found myself devouring each page. I couldn't put it down and was grumpy when I was forced to do so. While King wrote about time travel and stopping the assassination of JFK, 11/22/63 is about far more than that. Along the way, this is a novel about building friendships and setting things right and how sometimes it's better to not know what is coming ahead because then we want to step in and change it. And this is a novel about hard choices and love and responsibility. In true Stephen King fashion, there are monsters in this book, but they serve as a reminder that sometimes the monsters are us.
Readers familiar with King's work will see many delightful references that make me wonder if just any author could pull off. History buffs will love the detailed research into Oswald's associates and his life in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Lovers of small towns will become engrossed in the Jodie Doin's (I sort of want to move there--to King's Jodie anyway). Conspiracy theorists will find few answers and perhaps even more fodder. Those prone to "what ifs" will be caught up in imagine a new world. And aspiring writers will wonder if there is anyone else who can pull this novel off. And then they'll want to try. (less)