What can I say? Ruby Oliver has dazzled me yet again. She is the voice of the female species, or at least, the neurotic halfRe-read in February 2012.
What can I say? Ruby Oliver has dazzled me yet again. She is the voice of the female species, or at least, the neurotic half of it.
Regardless of how many times I revisit Ruby's story, I never fail to find something new to love about her. She's the kind of girl we've all been and while we, as Ruby, should all strive to be better, who she is is kind of awesome. Over the years, The Ruby Oliver series has become a bit of a guilty pleasure. Something that I delve into when I'm feeling girly and want something light to read without having to make allowances in the character/plot/dialog department.
In The Treasure Map of Boys, it seems dear Roo can't catch a break. Just when she has finally gotten a handle on her panic attacks, formed a new group of friends, and has begun an enjoyable internship at the city zoo, it’s all turned on its feet.
Roo gets fired Jackson sends her a frog laden with meaning Noel is flirting and sending her notes Gideon sits with his thigh touching hers Nora is ignoring her once again And Roo has just met Doctor Z’s fungi footed boyfriend.
Could things get any more complicated?
The answer is yes, yes they can. The Treasure Map of Boys does not disappoint. Filled with bake sale stand offs, emulsions of the kitchen variety, hair band therapy, goat correspondence, Operation Sophomore Love, bodyguard duty and more, we are once again transported into the quirky, neurotic mind of our beloved Ruby Oliver. ...more
I hesitate to call this book brain candy, or categorize it as a beach read given the serious subject matter contained within these pages. However, BigI hesitate to call this book brain candy, or categorize it as a beach read given the serious subject matter contained within these pages. However, Big Little Lies is not a heavy handed book and at times, it is extremely funny and is always entertaining. Because of this, I do not feel that I was as properly horrified by the dark subject matter as I should have been, though one item, shared by Jane, had me so enraged that I lamented the injustices of the female sexual experience to my husband for half an hour...so there is that.
Since reading the book, I have watched the series on HBO, and though I enjoyed the book much more, the show more adequately addresses the horror of the characters personal circumstances. ...more
Laini Taylor is, and remains, one of my most favorite storytellers. However, it's my opinion that Laini Taylor is more than a storyteller, she is an aLaini Taylor is, and remains, one of my most favorite storytellers. However, it's my opinion that Laini Taylor is more than a storyteller, she is an artist. I've never experienced an author who can successfully count their prose as a pivotal component to their setting, characters, and world building, while avoiding the pitfalls of becoming overly dramatic and nonsensical. Yet Laini Taylor does so expertly. No review of mine will ever effectively articulate her works and the imaginative genius they provide to readers curious enough to seek them out. But those who do will be vastly rewarded.
The tale of Lazlo Strage, the Dreamer, has solidified itself as one of my all time favorites and Strange the Dreamer will certainly be one of, if not my only, favorite book of 2017....more
When I first heard about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, I was not particularly inclined to read it. I’ve read too many stories where topics of abuse are poorly written, sensationalized and leave the reader feeling icky and perverse. But as the reviews came in, and I saw they were, and have remained, overwhelmingly positive, I couldn’t keep my intrigue at bay. After all, some of the most thought provoking and lovely stories exist in the darkness.
The title is one of the most apt descriptors of this book’s content. Bryn Greenwood holds nothing back, yet avoids the pitfalls of sensationalism and other devises which are so often used to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of readers. We are made privy to Wavy’s abusive family dynamic, as well as the thoughts and feelings of those she is exposed to, by switching between perspectives, as well as alternating first and third person narration.
The writing is stunning, yet sparse, allowing readers to look inward and make their own determination about how they feel. I’ve never read anything that says so much, by saying so little.
With that said, I’ve also never felt so conflicted by a book’s content. I had two less than restful night’s sleep while my unconscious mind attempted to sift through my varying thoughts and emotions, and I have yet to come to a firm conclusion.
For me, this is a testament of a great story....more
Small Great Things is my first Jodi Picoult. I had what is now perhaps an unfair bias towards her books, associating them writers such as Nicholas SpaSmall Great Things is my first Jodi Picoult. I had what is now perhaps an unfair bias towards her books, associating them writers such as Nicholas Sparks, who I find rather trite with his tried and true formulaic books designed to provoke the reader to have an emotional response.
If Small Great Things is at all reflective of Picoult’s other works, I’ve been severely underestimating her talent for writing challenging, thought provoking stories.
Small Great Things is a page turner. I had to discipline myself not skip ahead as I just had to know how the story would unfold. And what a story it was. I loved everything about it. The setting (hospitals and courtrooms are my favorite), the plot, and most of all the characters, no matter how off putting or frustrating they were at times.
As you can discern from the summary, Small Great Things tackles subject matter (race, privilege, prejudice, the justice system) that could easily become heavy handed in the wrong hands. Luckily, I did not get the sense that Picoult was attempting to be a spokesperson for something she herself has not experienced. Rather, Picoult developed well rounded characters in Ruth, an African American Labor and Delivery nurse, her white public defender, Kennedy McQuarrie, and the neo-Nazi father of the deceased child, Turk Bauer. The story moves through each of their perspectives and paints a picture of each of their lives that is as insightful as it is enthralling.
I learned something while reading this story. Perhaps even several somethings and I could not get it out of my head days after I had finished reading it. To me, that is a testament to a great piece of fiction....more
Though politics evokes a great deal of anxiety in me, I am constantly listening to and reading about it as I find it endlessly fascinating. However, gThough politics evokes a great deal of anxiety in me, I am constantly listening to and reading about it as I find it endlessly fascinating. However, given my constant immersion in the topic and discussion of American Politics, it becomes easy to assume that those who are part of opposing parties or political beliefs are inherently antagonistic with and towards one another. This book provides a peek behind the veil and demonstrates that respect and even friendship can exist among those who politically oppose one another.
I loved learning about the traditions, friendships, quarrels and life experiences and characteristics shared by these women. Such an interesting read that prompted me to re-think how I viewed the role of First Lady....more
I devoured this book! I seriously did not want to put it down, which surprised me given the hokey cover and the fact that I could not stand Kiersten WI devoured this book! I seriously did not want to put it down, which surprised me given the hokey cover and the fact that I could not stand Kiersten White's bubble gum Paranormalcy Series.
And I Darken has it all…an original and intriguing story, a heroine that I can respect, a little bit of swoon, well developed characters and great, well-paced writing.
And Lada, our heroine is beyond amazing.
I would even say she is reminiscent of Quintana of Quintana of Charyn, though Lada is slightly less insane than Quintana…though maybe not by much.
“On our wedding night," she said, "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.”
I appreciated Lada's struggle to reconcile her ambition with the very real limitations presented to her by virtue of being born a woman. And I admired Kiersten White for writing such an honest portrayal of a women in such circumstances. Lada is not willowy. She plots, she rages, she endeavors to best every man in her path, and she is blinded to the power she is giving up thru her disdain of her own gender and denying her own femininity. She is flawed.
But Lada isn’t the only amazing part of this story. And I Darken contains well drawn secondary characters as well. They enrich the story as this book is split on being driven by characters as well as plot.
The story White depicts is enthralling and action packed. But I would be remiss if I didn't also voice my appreciation for the unconventional setting, Eastern Europe, and the fictitious portrayal of very real historical figures within the Ottoman Empire. I’ve not yet read a book that tackles this time period, or geographical location and I for one, am fascinated.
I cannot wait to get my hands on book two. ...more
My feelings of Like a River Glorious are mixed. Overall, it was a decent sequel, and many of the components that prompted my love of its predecessor cMy feelings of Like a River Glorious are mixed. Overall, it was a decent sequel, and many of the components that prompted my love of its predecessor can be found within this story. However, I felt that Rae Carson did a disservice to her story by not adequately addressing the plight of Native Americans in the same vein as Lee's struggle navigating a male dominated world in a time when women had no rights to claim. I think that would have made for a much more compelling story that would not have had to rely on the reader hating Lee's Uncle Hiram with a fire of a thousand suns to move the plot forward. Because let's be real, at this point, Hiram's character has become so villainous, he reads as borderline cartoonish.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story overall, and I believe Rae Carson has accomplished what many authors hope to achieve when writing the second book of their series, which is to propel the overall arc in a way that will enable the final book to tell an entertaining story that will provide a realistic resolution. ...more
A Court of Wings and Ruin was primed for success. It’s predecessor left readers with a whopper of an ending that would have lent itself well for thisA Court of Wings and Ruin was primed for success. It’s predecessor left readers with a whopper of an ending that would have lent itself well for this installment to become an edge of your seat entertaining, dramatic, and emotionally devastating read. Instead, I had to slog thru nearly 400 pages of what I believe to be unnecessary filler to get to the meat of the story. And once I did get to the meat of the story, the plot and relevant details felt hurried, in spite of the book’s length, and all too convenient. Though A Court of Wings and Ruin finds its rhythm at the half way point, the ending was nothing short of a cop out as there are no real losses, consequences, etc.
If Ove were real, I'm confident he would have been one of my most favorite people. He reminded me of my grandfather, and a bit of myself. I laughed, cIf Ove were real, I'm confident he would have been one of my most favorite people. He reminded me of my grandfather, and a bit of myself. I laughed, cried a bit, and had an overall positive reading experience....more
Don't ask me why I read this...I really can't explain it. There are so many sex scenes within this book that James makes sex boring. I mean, who has tDon't ask me why I read this...I really can't explain it. There are so many sex scenes within this book that James makes sex boring. I mean, who has this kind of time?
I was bored. The writing is so, so horrendous. The characters are ridiculous, fantasy figures, who live in an alternate reality that somehow exceeds itself.
Yet....the series is mindlessly entertaining. Just like the movies....more
The characters - along with their feelings- are shallow and melodramatic. There is insta love times a million and there are so many sex scenes, that IThe characters - along with their feelings- are shallow and melodramatic. There is insta love times a million and there are so many sex scenes, that I found them boring by the end of the book....BUT, this book was compulsively readable, no doubt due to the elementary writing, and, though I am loathe to admit it, very entertaining. #sorry,notsorry...more
I decided I was long overdue to read something I wouldn't have to hide from the serious looking adults at book people and Sharp Objects has street creI decided I was long overdue to read something I wouldn't have to hide from the serious looking adults at book people and Sharp Objects has street cred. Flynn has received great press with her latest release Gone Girl, but those who are "in the know" claim that Sharp Objects is where its at, hence my reading of this as opposed to the aforementioned best seller. Plus, it has a razor blade on the cover. No one can claim that I only read sappiness now, right?...But seriously, I've heard nothing but how wonderfully creepy, well developed, deplorable, etc, this book is, so street cred aside, I wanted to read anything that received such great hype.
For me, Sharp Objets was about on par with a disappointing episode of Criminal Minds. Er go, I didn't fear walking my dog at bed time and was only mildly challenged by the who-dun-it crime of the night plot. Perhaps I've watched too much Criminal Minds, thus over developing my ability to identify pervy perps while simultaneously desensitizing myself to the vicious acts of sick freaks, but the who-dun-it theme was very underwhelming in Flynn's debut, as was the creep factor. Don't get me wrong, the crimes committed in this book are disturbing, but lots of things in life are, including any and all acts of violence. With all the fuss being spread about Sharp Objects I think I was just expecting a bit more if that makes any sense. I mean, even Vampire Diaries has a ripper! The characterization falls right in line with Sharp Objects mediocre plot. It takes a little more than mental instability, addiction, etc. for me to consider a character well rounded, and once you get past the shock factor of these characters individual mental/emotional issues, there's not much to see. In fact, they are a bit annoying.
Above comments aside, Sharp Objects is paced well, so perceived faults aside, its nearly impossible not to finish reading this short novel, but that time could have also been spent watching a really good episode of Criminal Minds, or two....more
The Passion is the final installment to the Dark Visions trilogy, and my favorite of the series. Kait has followed Gabriel to the Institute in hopes oThe Passion is the final installment to the Dark Visions trilogy, and my favorite of the series. Kait has followed Gabriel to the Institute in hopes of saving him from a tormented fate and destroying the crystal, however, Kait soon finds more than she bargained for in her new roommates and her ever evolving feelings for Gabriel. Will she and the gang have the strength to stop Zetes once and for all? And if they do, who will Kait chose, noble, reliable and golden Rob or dark, mysterious and passionate Gabriel? The Passion is a fantastic conclusion to the trilogy and will leave readers satisfied but desperate for more....more