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
I found this one fascinating and I use it in my teaching to discuss why Jack from LOTF is such an effective leader (Gladwell's dissection of the "saleI found this one fascinating and I use it in my teaching to discuss why Jack from LOTF is such an effective leader (Gladwell's dissection of the "salesman" and his anecdote re: Paul Revere is particularly helpful). It also helps students understand why Ralph is not.
I'm not really into nonfiction (if you can't tell by my stellar reviews of nonfiction books) but I love Gladwell's writing style which I find accessible and engaging. He doesn't make me want to be a scientist (not even a social one) but he makes me appreciate how charisma can be broken down into understandable components on a micro level.
Interesting read (4.5 stars but I liked it better than Outliers so I'm bumping it up)...more
somehow, i got my hands on the large print version.
and, so help me, i kindasorta liked it.
this is another thrillingly vanilla homagsomehow, i got my hands on the large print version.
and, so help me, i kindasorta liked it.
this is another thrillingly vanilla homage to the continuing saga of everyone's favorite american septuagenarian murder mystery writer-turned-amateur homicide detective.
this one features all the trite old lady verbal cliches (like Jessica talking about circadian rhythms...I play a drinking game with these books and that's number one) we've come to know and love. but adds a little spice by throwing JB on a boat with almost ALL of her would-be former suitors/crossover partners: dennis stanton and michael haggarty. TOGETHER.
plus george sutherland and seth show up to make sure we know exactly how hot and virile JB still is.
plus there's murder and jewel thieves and other sundry predictabilities that only make me wonder how JB is so good at her fake job and so terrible at it at the same time.
still, love these books to nostalgic pieces.
2.5 stars. not the worst one of these i'll ever read. not one i'm aching to own.
"The world is wrong. You can't put the past behind you. It's buried in you; it's turned your flesh into its own cupboard."
my reaction to this book fee"The world is wrong. You can't put the past behind you. It's buried in you; it's turned your flesh into its own cupboard."
my reaction to this book feels dickensian and paradoxical in scope.
i feel like this is one of those books you need to sit with for awhile. and probably reread parts of. and sit with some more. it made me feel sad. it made me feel angry. it made me feel invisible and then all too visible.
it was easy to read but also too difficult.
I worry about this nation's relationship with the past. I really do.
4.5 stars - imperfect but powerfully lyrical confrontation of what it means to be a citizen in our "post-race" society...more