I was intrigued by Silence's mini-plot in Wicked Intentions, and so skipped book #2 to go straight to this title. I enjoyed it for many of the same reI was intrigued by Silence's mini-plot in Wicked Intentions, and so skipped book #2 to go straight to this title. I enjoyed it for many of the same reasons that I enjoyed the first in the series—overlapping characters, a snappy plot, a different slice of life (i.e. working class people), and a little dramatic flair (the recurrent Ghost of St. Giles)—but I didn't think the characters were as fully drawn here. Their backstories are fleshed out very well, and again, Hoyt doesn't shy away from the uglier, harder side of life at this time, but the protagonists' relationship with one another felt a bit flat and false. Why exactly they fall for each other and how Silence is able to forgive Michael for what he did to her before isn't really dwelt upon. The set-up is great and there are some fun piratey bits, but this one just isn't everything that it could have been. ...more
Another title that had been on my e-reader for some time, after downloading it at a discount, I read Wicked Intentions while traveling without remembeAnother title that had been on my e-reader for some time, after downloading it at a discount, I read Wicked Intentions while traveling without remembering when I started it what, exactly, it was about. I enjoyed this one a lot—it's my second historical in a row that features protagonists who aren't wealthy or titled and the Jack the Ripperesque subplot, not to mention the descriptions of daily life in St. Giles, added a lot, I thought. Hoyt clearly isn't shying away from the dirtier, uglier, harsher side of life in Georgian England, which is refreshing. I also love how she interwove other minor characters and their own plots within the story, creating a sort of web that she can pick up the strands of in later books in the series....more
This book had been on my e-reader for awhile, although I can't remember exactly why I bought it (I suspect it was on sale or free and had gotten a gooThis book had been on my e-reader for awhile, although I can't remember exactly why I bought it (I suspect it was on sale or free and had gotten a good review somewhere). So I didn't have any expectations for this book-I didn't even know what it was about. Anyway, I started reading it just before a trip and on a plane and it was reasonably well-suited to that purpose, although I think there is a lot about it that could be improved.
I like that the historical setting has been tweaked a bit--nice to have a country backdrop instead of a London ballroom one--and it's nice to have a male protagonist who has a profession/work of some type. But the heroine is just a bit too thin on motives and characterization: her resistance to a marriage she clearly wants seems more like a ploy to stretch out the book than anything else. And her late-breaking need for her parents approval and desire to be sheltered by them and general propriety didn't ring true either. Her brother, who gets his own book in the series, seemed more interesting, but even then, his paternalistic, scolding attitude towards the sister he loves and apparently has reason to sympathize with was just irritating. Meh....more
I didn't feel like the characterizations were as strong in this one, as compared with some of Crusie's other books (although the dogs were great, natcI didn't feel like the characterizations were as strong in this one, as compared with some of Crusie's other books (although the dogs were great, natch). The lead-up to the protagonists' great romance was rushed for one, and while Lucy more than proved her ability to take care of herself, Zack's protectiveness verged on paternalistic and it didn't really make sense with the person we'd been told that he was before the book started. Humorous as usual for Crusie, but not one of my favorites so far. ...more
Read over the course of two days while I was holed up at a writer's residency in rural East Iceland, and therefore about a million miles—mentally andRead over the course of two days while I was holed up at a writer's residency in rural East Iceland, and therefore about a million miles—mentally and spatially—away from the Bronx, Miami, Portland and discussions of powerful pussies, intersectionality, radical queer theory, POC-only spaces, and the questionable idea that (white) feminism can be universal, Juliet Takes a Breath took me on a journey, allowed me the privilege of partaking in the sometimes joyful and exuberant, sometimes confusing and hurtful summer of discovery that this funny and open and smart Puerto Rican "baby-dyke" takes the summer after her sophomore year of college, a year or so after 9/11. A wonderful book, narrated by a character whose voice is vital and fresh, whose perspective is honest and searching, and whose effort to carve out a place for herself in her various communities and hold not only herself, but also her role models, to account is truly heartfelt and uplifting and funny and inspiring. ...more
I enjoyed this, although I will say that it is a bit disheartening to read a book that was published in 1980 in which the discussions of copyright (miI enjoyed this, although I will say that it is a bit disheartening to read a book that was published in 1980 in which the discussions of copyright (mis)management and (mis)treatment of women in the workplace feel equally relevant and up-to-date, not that that's Liza Cody's fault. Anna Lee feels like a real person, and I like that while you do get a sense of her personality and life outside of work, there is still a lot about her that remains undiscussed and unexplored. It lays a lot of groundwork for future issues in the series. I did feel like her world seemed a little too circumscribed (her only friends besides the one that she makes in the course of the novel appear to be her two neighbors) so I'd be interested to see whether her sphere expands at all in future installments. This book has also been made into a TV series, so I look forward to watching that soon....more
I loved Into the Woods, not least for French's fabulous writing, and I found Cassie to be a really compelling character. Nevertheless, I had trouble gI loved Into the Woods, not least for French's fabulous writing, and I found Cassie to be a really compelling character. Nevertheless, I had trouble getting into this book and basically just skimmed the last half rather than read it properly. What with the convoluted set-up that demands more than a little suspension of disbelief, the over-long buildup to the conclusion, and the fact that structurally, The Likeness is very similar to its predecessor, I just didn't feel all that engaged in this story. It's not unlikely that if I'd read this book before Into the Woods, or even just waited longer between the two, that I'd have been more excited by this story. The characters are interesting, even when they behave in ways that feel unlikely. But as it stands, I think I need to dip into the series fresh, at a later point—perhaps next I'll try The Tresspasser, which sounds really intriguing. ...more
I've been working on a lot of translation projects lately, which means I haven't been doing hardly any reading-just-for-reading's-sake. But then, whenI've been working on a lot of translation projects lately, which means I haven't been doing hardly any reading-just-for-reading's-sake. But then, when after months of being on the library's e-waiting list for this my turn unexpectedly came around, it seemed like a good time to reinsert a little pleasure reading in my schedule.
I wasn't sure that I'd be able to fall back into these character's lives as middle-aged adults, but in the end, I didn't have a problem with that at all. And, I will hand it to Tiffany and Thorne, they were able to capture much of Rowling's writing and plotting style in his text. While this was a quick read for me, and even a fun one, however, there's a lot about it that seems a little forced. Namely, people—and teenage boys, at that—spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the value of friendship and the challenges of becoming your most authentic self and being true to your values. I realize that these are predominant themes, not only here, but in the rest of the series, but it frequently felt a bit after-school special. (The part where Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and Draco all stand in solidarity with one another goes well over the top, for instance, and characters are 'moved' and 'desperately moved' rather too often throughout.) Additionally, there are certain aspects (some of the 'cameos,' for instance, wherein beloved characters like Hagrid show up for just a moment or so) that seem a bit fan-fic-y, rather than organic parts of an ongoing story.
That being said, I did enjoy the 'butterfly-effect' plot line, the alternate realities (badass 'Granger' and her bosom buddy Snape was awesome), the rise of the spike-handed Trolley Witch, the Potter-in-Slytherin twist, and Scorpius—a sort of Neville-meets-Ron-meets-Hermione—was a joy. I liked that the play reflected on the flaws of the series' heroes even as, in Harry's case, at least, it delves more deeply into the real trauma that created those flaws. I liked that it humanized Draco and I hope that if we're going to continue to get Potterverse spin-offs, we get a McGonagall backstory next. And, although ultimately, I think this story has some flaws as a text that you read to yourself, I'm betting that it would still be great fun to see staged. I can't imagine how some of the stage directions (a weaponized bookshelf! a maze that tries to eat people! time 'thinking for a bit'!) have been made reality, but I'll bet it's pretty cool....more