The absolute best thing about this book is how utterly prosaic it is, and I mean that in the very best of ways. You would think that a war of successiThe absolute best thing about this book is how utterly prosaic it is, and I mean that in the very best of ways. You would think that a war of succession between the werewolves of London (well, Scotland, but a lot of it takes place in London, and Warren Zevon is The Man), a histrionic queen from the elemental plane of fire and her rebellious niece, and a couple of hapless university students who get caught in the middle, you wouldn't really expect that the majority of the drama and suspense in wrapped up in whether they get cable TV, or how those shoes go with that dress. Martin Millar does an incredible job of depicting daily life in all its desultory magnificance, to the point where the dramatic plot points are merely afterthoughts to the lives you'd much rather get back to learning about....more
The second volume of The Good Neighbors is a little less disjointed than the first, or else my reading of it was so interruption-prone that I failed tThe second volume of The Good Neighbors is a little less disjointed than the first, or else my reading of it was so interruption-prone that I failed to notice too many glaring leaps, and advances the story quite nicely. I'm intruigued enough to want to finish the series, whenever the next one comes out....more
He reaches out to shake my hand like we are both adults and I am not a kid or student anymore, and that's when it hits me that I am on my own, which i
He reaches out to shake my hand like we are both adults and I am not a kid or student anymore, and that's when it hits me that I am on my own, which is scary because even though I'm sixteen I am only a freshman and that is too soon to get kicked out. Plus, I have no skills, and if you do not graduate high school and you have no skills then you are shit out of luck.
So I decide that Principal Olmos is wrong about the hearing and even though he thinks it is a done deal I will make a plan. And the kind of plan I will make is a How-to-Change-Everyone's-Mind-About-Me plan since Principal Olmos is the only one who thinks I am a decent guy, but really, I am not so bad a person once you get to know me.
I'm really torn about the four-star rating on this, as part of my wants to give it five, but I always round down when I'm in any doubt.
I picked this up because I absolutely adored Fat Kid Rules the World, and my only letdown was in the recycled gimmick between them. Fat Kid's Troy spends a lot of time imagining headlines about himself, and Iggy spends a similar amount of time imagining the reactions of people when they realize how awesome Iggy really is. Honestly, that's the only reason for my downgrade.
In all other respects, this is a gut punch picture of families, love, and who really has it worse. It touches on class differences but stays tight to Iggy's perspective, and you really do, after you get to know him, realize that Iggy's not such a bad kid after all....more
**spoiler alert** To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure whether this book just wasn't as gripping as the first, or if it's just the fact that I couldn'**spoiler alert** To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure whether this book just wasn't as gripping as the first, or if it's just the fact that I couldn't sit and read it in peace, but whichever it was, I wasn't as invested in the story as I was with The Hunger Games.
I got the story, really I did, and I was as upset as anyone by the cliffhanger ending of the last book, but the pace seemed a touch off in this one. The town scenes dragged on, paradoxically without giving the richness of description I felt in the first book, and the Quarter Quell games didn't have the same sense of immediacy and impending peril. Katniss, in particular, wasn't as sympathetic as she had been previously, in spite of being more empathetic herself.
That said, there are plenty of good points. Haymitch, always an interesting character, has sneakily become my favorite character, and Peeta does show himself—again—as a wonderful person, even if it is mentioned a little too often in the text. The moment of Katniss' wedding dress catching fire is probably my favorite in the book, too.
All told, I'm still really looking forward to the next book, and can't wait to see what Suzanne Collins does with her increasingly complex world....more
An excellent exploration of a government gone mad with power. A little over-preachy at times, but mostly it's a good, fast-paced read with some excellAn excellent exploration of a government gone mad with power. A little over-preachy at times, but mostly it's a good, fast-paced read with some excellent thinking/talking points....more
An action-packed sequel to the original, this was a lovely little book. The artwork is gorgeous, and the plot remains intriguing, with excellent, realAn action-packed sequel to the original, this was a lovely little book. The artwork is gorgeous, and the plot remains intriguing, with excellent, realistic characters....more
While the writing is perfectly lovely, the message is rather skewed.
Borrowing against the method of Scheherazade, Keturah, lost and dying in the foreWhile the writing is perfectly lovely, the message is rather skewed.
Borrowing against the method of Scheherazade, Keturah, lost and dying in the forest, bargains with Lord Death for another day via an unfinished story of how a girl found her true love. As the girl in the story was, in fact, Keturah, she is granted twenty-four hours to find her love, at which time her life would be spared, or else she would have to accept her death. She is also warned of an upcoming disaster to her village.
Returning with these weighty matters on her mind, she promptly...worries about baking pies to win the heart of someone she doesn't much care for, and half-heartedly tries to speak to the local lord's son about the prospect of plague.
Her grandmother and two friends stick by her as the rest of the small English village begins to shun Keturah for her weirdness and possible association with fairies or worse, and they serve as examples of love in different forms, with the friends firmly denying that they love the men that they—very obviously—love. These lessons are important for the ending, as Keturah confesses the love she's denied herself, but her conduct to that point is questionable.
She bullies someone who loves her into making greater and greater sacrifices on her behalf and she willfully leads on someone she has no interest in. She wants to save her village, but she has no qualms about breaking hearts. In spite of her pain at being virtually outcast by the people she's trying to help, she fears and avoids the strange woman who helped her.
All that aside, the one thing that bothered me more than anything else: I could see the ending telegraphed from the very start. I knew how it was going to end, although I read in hopes that I'd be mistaken. I wasn't.
As with all story collections, there's a variance in enjoyment from one to the next. Overall, I found the writing darkly lyrical and the sentiments juAs with all story collections, there's a variance in enjoyment from one to the next. Overall, I found the writing darkly lyrical and the sentiments just a few degrees skewed. The first story in the book is the one that made the biggest impression on me, evoking the feel of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" with its jubilant celebration and human darkness intertwined, but there were others that were just bizarre and, so far as I could interpret, largely pointless....more
Dear Die-ary, I stared, motionless, before the mirror. As always, I stayed until I'm convinced that there is no glass, nothing, separating me from theDear Die-ary, I stared, motionless, before the mirror. As always, I stayed until I'm convinced that there is no glass, nothing, separating me from the room I see on the other side. I imagine that everything is different over there. Better. There are people, in that world, who I would like. But, like always, my hand hits the glass. I know that if I'd only waited just one more second... Shit. I'm gonna go kill a party clown.
Johnny—call him Nny—has problems. Nobody gets his humor, Mr. Eff and Mr. Z debate over whether Nny should kill himself, callous, self-centered people stand in judgement over others, it's impossible to get a BrainFreezy after 2 AM, the blood on the wall keeps drying out, his Happy Noodle Boy comics depress him, and the girl he liked kicked him in the head and ran away. It's a good thing he has Nail Bunny and his Die-ary to keep him company, not to mention the boy next door that he's got a soft spot for and inadvertently terrifies on a regular basis.
A (frequently heavy-handed) screed against judging others by their appearances, Vasquez (best known for Invader Zim), has, in JTHM, created a morbidly hilarious look at life, consumerism, and the worst in all of us. And, of course, Happy Noodle Boy, or, as he might put it, "No! Don't leave me, intestinal gas! Please! Don't go!! I thought you loved me!!" ...more