From scanning all the negative reviews below, it would appear that I am in the minority with my opinions of this book. I personally found it to be outFrom scanning all the negative reviews below, it would appear that I am in the minority with my opinions of this book. I personally found it to be outstandingly well-written, insightful, and unflinchingly real and honest. Koren holds nothing back as she recounts her decade-long love affair with alcohol. Much like a bad relationship, she clung to drinking in high school and college as if it were her oxygen; though it was clearly damaging to her physically, mentally, and emotionally, she returned to it night after night because she was too insecure to be able to breathe without it. That said, the book has been a pretty depressing read. Her descripions have evoked memories of all the drunken nights and hungover days I spent during my own twenties, to the point that I have felt almost nauseous at times while reading... a great reminder of exactly why I have never missed all the "fun" I used to have when I was young and stupid, lol. Smashed sends a powerful message by showing, rather than simply telling, what happens when you regularly abuse alcohol, as so many college students are prone to do. I'm not sure that it will necessarily deter young girls from binge drinking, because young people are all about the now, and are going to do what they want to do in the moment. Still, if it helps to keep just one girl from falling so far into the depths of alcohol that there is no return(serious accident, illness, or death), then it has served its purpose. As for those of us who are already far past that stage, it is nice to be able to read this and relate, knowing that by some miracle we managed to come out safely on the other side....more
Today I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon reading this book, which was one of my absolute favorites back in my pre-teenage years. Oftentimes when you goToday I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon reading this book, which was one of my absolute favorites back in my pre-teenage years. Oftentimes when you go back and reread a book that you loved in your youth, you don't find it nearly as enjoyable as an adult - but this book did not disappoint!! I found it to be just as good as I had remembered. I LOVE this book!!! It's about 11th-Grader April whose family is forced to relocate under the Witness Protection Program. They are instructed to cut all ties with their former lives, change their names and appearances, and start a brand new life in a small town in Florida. But mistakes are made and trouble predictably follows. Unputdownable, and at just 179 pages, you can easily read it within one day's time. ...more
What can I say here to urge everyone to try this book? It was outstanding. A brilliant debut thriller, from a talented new author who will undoubtedlyWhat can I say here to urge everyone to try this book? It was outstanding. A brilliant debut thriller, from a talented new author who will undoubtedly join the ranks of Dennis Lehane and James Siegel. This man is a genius. I started reading Mania day before yesterday and finished it about an hour ago. I found myself carrying it around with me all weekend long, not wanting to put it down until I'd finished; yet at the same time, I didn't want it to end. It was that good.
The story in Mania takes place in rainy Seattle, and the author achieves a wonderful sense of place with beautifully descriptive paragraphs. The low-hanging clouds and gray skies create a dark atmosphere that lends perfectly to the suspense as the story unfolds. The book is full of twists and turns, and you never know for sure where things will go until you reach the very end. The timeline jumps back and forth between past to present, yet it does so smoothly and at all the right places. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I went into this book not knowing much about it, and I want future readers to enjoy the same ride. Amazing!!!...more
I really enjoyed this book, which follows Francie and her friends through their senior year of college. It takes place in the 50's, when every girl waI really enjoyed this book, which follows Francie and her friends through their senior year of college. It takes place in the 50's, when every girl was expected to become either an elementary school teacher or a nurse, and all hope was lost in the romance department if you weren't at least proposed to before graduation. Francie, however, attempts to fight convention and carve out her own path in life. Great read!! :) ...more
Wow. I just read the final page, and I must say, this book was extraordinarily good!! This one is a keeper; I can't keep them all, because space justWow. I just read the final page, and I must say, this book was extraordinarily good!! This one is a keeper; I can't keep them all, because space just won't allow for that, but I do like to hang onto some of my favorites that I might like to reread again some day.
I don't remember how I discovered this author, but he has become a top favorite of mine. Master of the Delta is the third (and, by far, the best!) of his that I've read, following Red Leaves and Into the Web. And luckily, I have nine more of his paperbacks on my bookshelves, anxiously waiting to be read!
But on to my review. Master of the Delta is a complex suspense novel that takes place in the Mississippi Delta (hence the title) in the spring of 1954. Jack Branch, in his mid-20's, teaches a specialty class on evil at the local high school. When he assigns his students a term paper on an evil figure of their choosing, young Eddie Miller decides to delve into the life of his own father, who was dubbed the "Coed Killer" for killing a local girl when Eddie was just a kid. The novel has many literary and historical references tied into the class Jack is teaching, most of which I wasn't too familiar with, but which were pretty interesting all the same.
But now I won't say anything else!, because you should just read the book and let the story unfold on its own. It's a good one, very well-written, and I highly recommend it.
Wow, I really loved this book! It has all the right elements: an interesting storyline, complex characters, great sense of place, a bit of humor. A deWow, I really loved this book! It has all the right elements: an interesting storyline, complex characters, great sense of place, a bit of humor. A definite page-turner, one of those rare "unputdownables". I totally fell in love with the characters. Lena has certain characteristics to which I can relate. Clarice is a sweet girl, a loyal cousin/friend. Rose Mae is a hoot, small but feisty. Burr is the man we can all only hope to find one day (all of us single ladies, that is). And even Aunt Florence redeemed herself in the end. My one and only criticism: I haate it when animals are killed/mistreated in books, even when it's not a major plot point....more
I just finished this book, and I LOVED IT! I've read all 3 other books by this author and am a huge fan. I was a bit worried that this one would be meI just finished this book, and I LOVED IT! I've read all 3 other books by this author and am a huge fan. I was a bit worried that this one would be mediocre, based on reader reviews, but it greatly surpassed my expectations. I found it to be fast-paced, suspenseful, and absorbing. On a side note, I always like it when an author weaves bits of historical truth into an otherwise fictional story, as Siegel did here. ...more
Hoax or not, I love this book!! I was fascinated by it in high school, and I re-read it a couple years ago and became intrigued by the story once agaiHoax or not, I love this book!! I was fascinated by it in high school, and I re-read it a couple years ago and became intrigued by the story once again. You can find a ton of info and pictures online about the *real* story -- the DeFeo murders that took place in the house before the Lutz's moved in. There are even pictures of the crime scene and the bodies... gross, I know, but I stumbled upon the pics and had to look! I always love a good creepy story, especially if there's at least *some* element of truth to it. ...more
I read Palindrome back in high school and recently read it again. It's set on beautiful Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia, which is mostly naI read Palindrome back in high school and recently read it again. It's set on beautiful Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia, which is mostly natural and free from development. I visited once a long time ago, and would love to go back some day. This is a quick read, a fun and suspenseful mystery with a great atmosphere. Loved it!...more