if holden caulfield, the narrator from "the yellow wallpaper," and winterbourne from "daisy miller" had a po-mo baby, it would be david federman.
lookif holden caulfield, the narrator from "the yellow wallpaper," and winterbourne from "daisy miller" had a po-mo baby, it would be david federman.
look, the subject matter here is complicated on the normal scale of human empathy BUT if you are a true lit nerd who loves the stories referenced here you will be able to push aside some great disgust for the character and appreciate the genius of the writing.
i'm being vague because i don't want to spoil too much.
this is not for the gentle of heart, for people looking for a loner who turns good and finds his place in this big lonely world of ours (holden would be disappointed in you for that phony display of manufactured love). david is charismatic and unreliable, in the vein of humbert humbert; you want to root for him but you know, fundamentally deep in your soul, that do so will violate everything you believe in. i love when narrators can convincingly manipulate me, even when we know they are troubled (read: disgusting)...and the literary allusions here are mighty and great.
my biggest issue comes in the last twenty pages or so...i was hoping more for a sid and nancy from this story and it didn't really go that way. the denouement is rapid to the point of hastiness - a drawn out first term of school brought to a too-fast conclusion within a span of pages.
3.5 stars -imperfect "love" story for the disillusioned, antisocial 21st century reader. a complicated and terrible narrator whose saving grace is his wielding of words in a narrative he obsessively but successfully drives to its uncomfortable conclusion. ...more
write novel about two women in a coffee shop who spend all day picking apart orange scones and drinking milky tea while discussing how tnew life plan:
write novel about two women in a coffee shop who spend all day picking apart orange scones and drinking milky tea while discussing how the men in their respective lives fail to excite or enthrall them, imply lack of male attention is making them "stiffer" and more rigidly fighting against the natural sway of the world who wants them and their barren wombs less and less. call book: failing the bechdel test. laugh all the way to the bank.
it would still be better than this one.
julia is a 26 year old virgin whose name i actually had to spend several minutes trying to recall.
i read the book this afternoon.
she has a crush on her long-haired, new-agey co-worker who may or may not be married and has more unsuccessful attempts to lose her virginity in one summer than any person with internet access should.
it's called tinder, girl.
of course, it might be because she's a thoroughly unlikable and awkward character that she truly fails for so long...she's terrible at her job, unambitious about so much in life, and singularly preoccupied with her aging libido.
really, i probably should have read the back of the book before picking this one up. i thought it'd be a quirky mid-life crisis thing. #oops
poor one-dimensional aunt viv never stood a chance.
for readers hoping that this one will turn into a lovely homage to "how to make an american quilt," it doesn't and it won't. julia and finn rate equally on the likability scale but finn was surrounded by a rich cast of characters who helped drive the plot. julia has elliott and aunt viv and some other one note songs to sing without ever feeling emotionally connected to anyone.
which might be part of the reason she's in her particular pickle - a casual detachment wrapped in an investment to the awkward. but that's too subtle for this particular romp through delayed loss of innocence.
1.5 stars - some nice sentences in a book that just felt dismissive of the central subject
okay, seriously, eborby is a small city with a serial killer problem that would make mrs. fletcher salivate with the need, the need, for...speedy justokay, seriously, eborby is a small city with a serial killer problem that would make mrs. fletcher salivate with the need, the need, for...speedy justice?
i don't know.
all i'm saying is: this town gets a lot of semi-possessed/haunted disappearances of young women that turn out really, really not good for those missing women and i'm a little worried that their police force seems so preoccupied with 1. their weights, 2. their spouses (living and dead), 3. their awful sister-in-laws, and 4. their last names.
oh wait. i wrote that rant already.
this one was good, but maybe two of these back to back was a bit much in retrospect. the ability to suspend disbelief was weak.
by which i mean, not the odyssey. or jane eyre. although i do enjoy those books.
i also decided i was goini finally started reading for pleasure again.
by which i mean, not the odyssey. or jane eyre. although i do enjoy those books.
i also decided i was going to write a review, which is something i haven't properly done in ages.
because, dear goodreads, you're my book-y diary and i missed you.
when i first started this series (i think i read book #5 first...), i definitely didn't notice some of the writer's quirks.
BUT I DO NOW!
first, could we, maybe (MAYBE), stop pointing out emily thwaite's weight? i've started calling her "weighty thwaite-y" in my mind (because in my mindspeak, the name rhymes with her one personality quirk).
EVERY book we get to hear how she's put on a few pounds, or joined a gym she has no intention of ever visiting. we also get her struggle to be a high-power mom with a job. I GET IT. the struggle, she's real. but cut the woman some slack and let her just enjoy her food without feeling compelled to point out that the pants are tight.
IN. EVERY. BOOK.
it reminds me a little of the babysitter club books that used to start off with the litany of character traits pertaining to the main characters. these 10 pages or so were almost always identical in content and structure and i used to just skip over that chapter to get to whatever problem maryann was having with logan this week.
DID YOU KNOW CLAUDIA REALLY LIKES ART???
this rant extends also to: sunny's name not matching his personality, jamilla being short, pretty, and no-nonsense, joe's aching shoulder and his crushing grief over kaitlin and his old partner, and all his hang-ups regarding his last name.
the mysteries are also a wee bit formulaic - when everyone else can be eliminated, only characters we met briefly at the beginning seem particularly relevant by the end. there's always a hint of a ghost story lurking but everything is neatly tied up with the catching of an all-too-human killer.
but still...better than grading essays.
three stars - a creepy diversion for a sunday afternoon...more
I enjoy the Joe Plantagenet series, even if I've read some of them out of order. This one is a little predictable but still creepy in a safely enjoyabI enjoy the Joe Plantagenet series, even if I've read some of them out of order. This one is a little predictable but still creepy in a safely enjoyable sort of way. ...more
instead of freshmen year, we get the full high school rundown - a narrative split into four slices ofthis is speak with an angry edge and an R rating.
instead of freshmen year, we get the full high school rundown - a narrative split into four slices of secondary school life. also, unlike speak, there's no mystery, no question about why this poor girl is the way she is (and, sadly, no real surprise that she ends up the way she does). just more frustration that another fictional child feels incapable of telling anyone the truth of what has happened to her.
books like this one make me feel...conflicted. on one hand, i absolutely believe that these stories - real or fictional - need to be told in order to help young people in similar circumstances cope with what has happened to them. that's imperative, and if this book helps one person, then it's totally worth it. but i also worry about popular fiction that might unintentionally minimize the experience, tokenize it, or romanticize it into - as it does here - a hero's quest toward acceptance, recovery, and admittance.
and there's definitely the vibe of "it gets better" here, as well as the pro-female "I don't need a man to save me; I must save myself!" moral. totally acceptable, but it's a little...simple. after losing friends, after denigrating herself for YEARS, the resolution is one of almost ease: if she tells, she will be healed! there's a brief moment where the reality that "this revelation will impact everyone" is mentioned, but it's strewn carelessly away in the need for a positive (I won't say "happy") resolution.
and I worry about our society's need to end story's with the girl "getting" the right guy (she doesn't technically here, but a certain young man feels manufactured in here to serve as the knight in shining IHOP).
still, i really dug this one. if not entirely realistic, it felt sincere (which is a form of truth), not a glamorizing of a taboo subject to sell books but an attempt to give a little more credence and a little more space to a topic so many people deal with but so few want to talk about.
4 stars - imperfect but important narrative with a compellingly flawed protagonist....more
let's get this straight: i love jessica fletcher, murder she wrote, and 80s/early-90s nostalgin honor of shakespeare's birthday...
i read this drivel.
let's get this straight: i love jessica fletcher, murder she wrote, and 80s/early-90s nostalgia. i will read these forever. FOR-EV-ER.
that said, this series isn't great. i mean SOME JB Fletcher is better than NO JB Fletcher...and maybe I just don't remember her voice / character right...but this version seems colder. harder. less lovable.
JB gets a lot of play, and the joke about how she's this geriatric bella swan in this series is running a bit thin. particularly since she's coldly shutting down suitors. of course, that may just be my patriarchally-ingrained mindset that females should "let down" aggressive suitors gently, so as not to hurt their feelings, even when they're stalker-y septuagenarians who can't seem to understand "I'm tired" means "no" and that they really just need to stop tryin' to get in my granny panties.
i don't know.
like the tv show, bain generally focuses a little too closely on the murderer initially (this one was actually sort of a riff on two of the old episodes, so it was pretty easy to figure out the murder "weapon" in one of the cases...and no one except maybe frank here comes off as particularly likable.
another "wish it were better" and "would read the next one regardless"......more