It is possible that I am disappointed in it because of the genre confusion. It is, as it turns out, more of a crime/detective novel… something like CoIt is possible that I am disappointed in it because of the genre confusion. It is, as it turns out, more of a crime/detective novel… something like Coben, but not nearly as good. There is nothing like wetting your whistle for a tall glass of icy sweet tea, only to guzzle down lukewarm pickle juice instead. So the fact I was geared up for some Clive and got Coben-knock-off didn’t help. But… that wasn’t all.
As I read along, there were ways that Dekker wrote than just annoyed me. Choices in words and phrases, as well as the way he stretched credulity beyond its snapping point. By the end of the novel, I honestly didn’t know if the bad guy was going to win, not because his snazzy and clever writing, but because “Hell, at this point, anything’s possible.” Honestly. The Iraqi boneman takes Ryan, then the Texas BoneMan takes his daughter… and then that final connection between the serial killer and Ryan’s daughter was too much. It made my “willing suspension of disbelief” impossible to maintain.
Add to that the complete lack of character development, or believable motives, or any reason I’d feel any sympathy for any of them. By the end of the book I was hoping BoneMan would kill Ryan, the detectives, the publisher, me… Dekker, even. Just get it over with! End my misery! Kill me now so I don’t have to finish! ...more
One of the things that sticks out most for me with Home Repair is that it truly has a feeling of authenticity. Often in books, when the tragic or fantOne of the things that sticks out most for me with Home Repair is that it truly has a feeling of authenticity. Often in books, when the tragic or fantastic occurs, it feels contrived or manufactured, a vehicle for the author to get the characters from one point to another, or to teach a lesson. However, with this book, the events feel natural. When Eve and her seventeen-year-old son, Marcus, get into a fight about him going for a ride in his friend’s new sports car, it had a very familiar feeling to me, a mother of two teens of my own. The events that followed the argument also felt familiar and made me think back to something that had happened within my own family. Another aspect of Home Repair that I kept thinking of while reading it was that the characters were very real to me. At times I could see my own mother in Charlotte, Eve’s mom, with Eve playing my part, at other times Mrs. Dunrea could’ve been me. Also, Rosenberg has set Home Repair in her home town of Bignhamton, New York, adding even more realism to the book.
Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg begins on a bright, sunny and unseasonably mild day as Eve holds a garage sale to clear out some of the clutter in her family of four’s life. As the day progresses, she becomes aware that her husband, Chuck, has taken the opportunity to clear out for good. Eve is left with the task of explaining to her two children, Marcus and Noni, that he’s left them, and to somehow manage to dig down within herself and soldier on. The book takes us on a year journey as Eve rediscovers who she is, develops friendships and connections with new and different people, and deepens her relationships with those she already knows. When her mother moves up from Tennessee to “help,” Eve is faced with her mother’s own eventual mortality and humanness, as she struggles in the in-between land of mother caring for her own children while being a child caring for her mother. Home Repair is the story of healing, family and friendship that will stay with you and gives hope that “This too shall pass.”
Push by Sapphire is a book of truth. It is raw, heart-breaking, and hard. It is inspiring, hope-filled, naked and honest. It is not the kind of book tPush by Sapphire is a book of truth. It is raw, heart-breaking, and hard. It is inspiring, hope-filled, naked and honest. It is not the kind of book that will appeal to everyone, not that happy beach book many want, it is stark and dark and real and beautiful. It could’ve been exploitative, could’ve been depressing and hopeless, could’ve so easily become an anti-white, anti-men rant, but Sapphire managed to weave the story together, as told by the main character, Precious Jones, into an emotional tale of how education can give hope for a chance at freedom and a better life.
Told from the point of view of fourteen-year-old Kyra Carlson, it is easy to read but complex in emotions. Books are forbidden by the current "prophetTold from the point of view of fourteen-year-old Kyra Carlson, it is easy to read but complex in emotions. Books are forbidden by the current "prophet" leader of the polygamous cult community, young girls are saved for the old men, and older teen boys are run off. When Kyra is told she is to marry her sixty-year-old uncle, she is torn between the love of her family and her growing affections for a teen boy in their community, and doing what's right for her and running away from the compound. It isn't obvious in the writing what Kyra will do, as Kyra herself doesn't really know, so it's suspenseful to the end. My only "complaint" is, I'm left wondering what will become of Kyra, and that is exactly how Williams intended to leave the reader. :-)...more
Honestly, I was surprised by the book. It’s set up as a blog-to-book, and in it you watch as the narrator (the definition of the “unreliable narrator”Honestly, I was surprised by the book. It’s set up as a blog-to-book, and in it you watch as the narrator (the definition of the “unreliable narrator” to be sure) grows as a blogger, and disintegrates in some ways as a person. The idea of being able to be completely open in the anonymity is, at first, a relief and exciting thing for her, later it seems to be something that pushes her to more extreme and outrageous behavior… if for no other reason than to get a reaction from her readers.
Personally, there are parts of this that scare the hell out of me. I have a 16 and 15-year-old, neither of which are really that into blogging and stuff… now. Maggie, on the other hand, is 10 and a bit extroverted. ”Katie” tells about her mother and her boyfriend’s fighting, her dad and his girlfriend’s abusive relationship, and how she pits everyone against each other to get what she wants. She continually tells her readers that there is NOTHING sexual behind her boss’s generosity, but relays stories about him in such a way as to leave it almost obvious. She degrades herself over “Dan,” her college instructor on-the-side, and you can’t help but feel pity for her… she so wants to be loved, she’s willing to turn herself into that girl who waits desperately for his girlfriend to go away so she can devour the scraps.
With Undiscovered Gyrl, Allison Burnett reveals a very real picture of the modern teenage life. Unable to read and comprehend a book a year unless assigned by a teacher, but reads and responds to 20 emails, IMs and text messages a second. She couldn’t fathom doing homework without the TV on, CD blaring and the Google open on the computer. It makes me glad I’ve not given any of my kids a cell phone. They don’t have TVs in their bedrooms, even. We just got a second computer last June, so maybe mine will be safe…
Here’s the thing: Undiscovered Gyrl is very graphic and I even learned a few sex-things from reading it. I never knew what a “box job” was before this book. But it’s not porn, per se, and it all goes into the story for a purpose. It is shocking… at least for me, an over-30-parent. “Katie” isn’t totally unsympathetic, yet says things at times that make me want to slap the snot out of her. She’s so stupid and I just want to grab her up and say, “Wake up! You’re throwing your life away!” But, if there’s one thing I got out of this book it’s this: The fact it came from an adult would render it meaningless all together
The purpose of Northanger Abbey, besides using the text and characters as a mouthpiece to express Austen’s own thoughts, is to parody the gothic romanThe purpose of Northanger Abbey, besides using the text and characters as a mouthpiece to express Austen’s own thoughts, is to parody the gothic romance novels of her day, with particularly appreciation and affection for Mrs. Radcliffe’s. Young Catherine Morland is an ingenue taking her first trip to Bath, the place for polite society to see and be seen by each other. Miss Morland meets Henry Tilney and falls for him by the end of the evening. However, his quick departure leaves her open to the influences of other new acquaintances, the Thorpes, who are rather vulgar and self-serving. John Thorpe lies to make himself look better, lies to General Tilney (Henry’s father) about Catherine’s financial outlook, and lies to Catherine about Tilney in order to get her to go with him on a day trip. Catherine is forced to develop her own judgment and to excercise it.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Northanger Abbey, and found it delightful to read a “new” (to me) Jane Austen. You know, everyone always reads Pride and Prejudice, and it’s a great book, I won’t argue that. But I think even those who are less-than-enthused by Austen’s writing can appreciate this book. It’s not quite as multi-layered as her other novels where people say one thing and everyone knows they mean a completely different thing (“Oh, Mrs Nesbit! What a lovely frock” really means, “Die, bitch! DIE!!!!”)
Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert picks up about 12 years later after Paul Muad’Dib has led the Fremen in a galactic jihad. He has not only become the empDune Messiah by Frank Herbert picks up about 12 years later after Paul Muad’Dib has led the Fremen in a galactic jihad. He has not only become the emporer, but also has become the religious central figure, along with his sister Alia. Officially married to the Princess Irulan, she functions more as his ettiquette and political advisor, while Chani, his Fremen concubine, is his love and true wife. He refuses to allow Irulan’s desire to be the mother of the imperial line, deferring that to Chani. The trouble is, Irulan isn’t the only one who want his genetic material, but the Bene Gesserits and the Bene Tleilaxu do, as well. The latter two want to make a kwisatz haderach that they can control. Irulan seems to want it out of pride.
Also going on is the declining appoval of the new world Muad’Dib has brought to the planet Dune, also called Arrakis. Fremen ways are passing, as water has become more abundant and the society is becoming more fragmented and people become more isolated. Really, it’s no surprise ot me, considering a second term president can go from a 60%+ approval rating before being re-elected and plummet to a less than 30% rating before leaving office.
Paul, too, has undergone change. He has become more sullen and feels trapped by his own mythology. He has known for a long time that no matter which way he turned, fanatics would take up his name as a banner in jihads, that they will worship him whether he is alive or dead, so he tried to pick the best of all the crap paths through his presience powers to lead them. Unfortunately, however, he’s become a bit of a despot, and he hates what he’s become.
So he has to figure out how he’s going to manage to ensure his child lives to carry on the emire without being under the thumb of either of the Bene schools, that he can escape the weight of being a living god, and somehow return the Fremen to their ways while still having his contributions of planetary changes remain.
I think one of the biggest reasons why those who loved Dune and hate Dune Messiah do so because this book shows Muad’Dib in a very human and flawed light. Pride, arrogance, and even cruelty at times are all part of who Paul is and he shows it. He goes on walks around the city after dark, despite council against it from Stilgar, his closest friend and advisor. He take in Hayt, the ghola (a reanimated corpse, or a clone of a dead person, not sure which) of Duncan Idaho, despite his warning to get rid of him, as well as his own feelings that Hayt’s meant to be a weapon and every advisor telling him it’s unnatural. In this second book, Paul is a bit less likeable than in the first.
Oh my god… where do I begin. Let’s start with the good things about it. The plot is an interesting concept. The Nephilim were the biblically mention sOh my god… where do I begin. Let’s start with the good things about it. The plot is an interesting concept. The Nephilim were the biblically mention sons and daughters of the forbidden union between the angels who were suppose to keep an eye on people and those whom they were suppose to watch. The creation of this new race gave them a variety of supernatural powers and it is they who are the vampires, werewolves, gods, etc of our mythologies. Opposing them is a federation of good who seek out and destroy the evil Nephilim. Another thing I liked about the book was the action (not the action, btw) of demon hunting and solving the mystery of who killed Ruthie, everyone’s favorite mentor.
So where does it go wrong?
There is vulgar and graphic sex scenes that go on for pages. I’m not a prude, I can enjoy well-written love-making when it’s appropriate to the story, as in Bedlam, Bath and Beyond. Even more barbaric and twisted sex like in Bentley Little’s The Store is okay, because it was a necessary part of the story. But what soils the pages of this book is just gaggy. The first event occurred within the first 50 pages in which the female narrator describes how she wants to give the guy a blow job. Later she’s date-raped by the guy who’s suppose to be teaching her how to use her powers, then forcibly raped for a few chapters toward the end. The sex is bestial and perverse, and isn’t gentle “love” until it’s too late. No, you don’t have your heroine being raped all over the book, then try to slip in some sweet-lovin’ to make the reader forgive the rape.
And it’s not just the whole rape thing, but it’s the way in which it’s shown. I swear these are straight out of some guy’s rape-fantasy magazine, because as she’s being raped, she reaches orgasm over and over, as if she has to be taken to have pleasure. And if all that wasn’t enough, you get to the big boss bad guy’s lair and it’s Gor all the way. Women waiting around wearing nothing but a chain around their waist, desperately hoping to be used next. It just started turning my stomach after awhile.
Besides the rape and lack of any moral fiber of anyone, good or bad, except Ruthie who dies in the first chapter, there is the way the book is put together. At times, the writing is less-than-descriptive (which never happens during the porn), events and sections of the story seem thrown together and not woven in well, and it seems like Handeland wanted to make sure to use ever supernatural being anyone has ever heard of, whether it worked or not. Case in point: The half-Nephilim (called breeds) who is a werehyena who fights the cougar (in rural WISCONSIN in April) that’s possessed by a chindi (what the hell is that?), but is defeated when it touches the turquoise necklace our heroine just happens to be wearing that was given to her by her “teacher” who is a skinwalker and hates her dhampir ex-boyfirend who turns out to be a dream-walker. Oh, and the reason he’s an ex is because she had a psychic vision of him screwing a chick who turns out to be a fairy.
Stretch the limits of credulity much?
Oh yeah, and I got a very strong feeling the two lovers here will turn out to be brother and sister....more
Molly’s is an average child’s fantasy. “Oh, how I wish I could get back at Mom for making me eat lima beans. She knows I hate them, that’s why she givMolly’s is an average child’s fantasy. “Oh, how I wish I could get back at Mom for making me eat lima beans. She knows I hate them, that’s why she gives it to me!” The idea of being able to get revenge for being served vegetables they hate and being force-marched to bed at 9 o’clock makes Molly Moon a fun and silly read for the 8-12 crowd.
I also made the mistake of reading it by myself. It was actually a restart. Mags and I had started reading it last spring and had to set it aside when we were 1/3 the way through while she went to visit her dad. We never picked it back up, and I figured it’d be a quick book to help me hit my 75-book goal (this one makes number 68, only 7 to go ) I remember we’d laughed and laughed until tears came into our eyes and my throat was hoarse from doing the voices and cackling so much. Without her, however, I only chuckled a couple times and found myself wishing I was sharing it with her. Children lend their magic to some books, a magic we adults seem to have lost.
In this book we are introduced to Kisa Sohma, who is the tiger. She enters the story when Tohru and Yuki are walking home and come across a drenched HIn this book we are introduced to Kisa Sohma, who is the tiger. She enters the story when Tohru and Yuki are walking home and come across a drenched Haru carrying something in a blanket. The bundle turns out to be a baby tiger, Kisa in animal form, and Tohru squeals “What a cute kitty!” in delight. The “cute kitty” shows her how much she wants to be around people by chomping down on Tohru’s hand. As it turns out, Kisa has run away from the Sohma house because she’s being made fun of at school. She refuses to talk, and bites Tohru every time she tries to comfort her. But Tohru’s persistance and kindness brings the girl around, and her explosive, “I LOVE YOU!!” accompanied by a warm, long hug turns her into a big sister in Kisa’s eyes. Tohru’s past healing affection for Yuki, Kyo and Haru move them to compassion for Kisa and help her come out of her shell.
Other things in Fruits Basket, Volume 5 - Ayame… oh, Ayame! makes a visit, much to the consternation of both Kyo and Yuki, the latter telling his older brother he’d rather see him sink to the bottom of the lake than “bond” with him, to which Aaya replies, “I See! We’ll ALWAYS be together as brothers then!” LOL.. poor Yuki!
We meet Megumi, Hanajima’s little brother, when the Prince Yuki Fan Club girls visit “wave girl’s” house in an attempt to find Hanajima’s weakness so they can get her out of the way of their destroying Tohru. Megumi, like his sister, also has a power. He can use a person’s name to curse them. The girls run screaming from the strange siblings house in fear. It’s also revealed in this scene that Hana has been a bit jealous of the Sohmas for taking Tohru away but, unlike the Fan Club girls, she understands if you love someone, you have to be willing to let them have their own life and other friends and not try to possess them.
Fruits Basket, volume 4 begins with a new year at school and the addition of Haru and Momiji as first years at Yuki, Kyo and Tohru’s high school. AkitFruits Basket, volume 4 begins with a new year at school and the addition of Haru and Momiji as first years at Yuki, Kyo and Tohru’s high school. Akito, the abusive, frightening, mercurial head of the Sohma family visits the school, specifically to see Tohru. He tries to come off as being kind, but it’s even scarier than when he’s his normal evil self.
Tohru is meets another Sohma in a shocking way when Yuki’s older brother, Ayame, crawls into her clothing in his snake form. Ayame’s visit is an attempt to get closer to his brother, but Yuki seems to dislike and resent him. Ayame’s visit also brings a reunion of the Madubachi Trio (The nickname of Shigure, Hatori and Ayame as a group in high school) and stories of their escapades when they were in school. ...more
The book opens up with Diesel popping into Stephanie’s kitchen, telling her he’s been assigned to her to teach her Christmas cheer. He accompanies herThe book opens up with Diesel popping into Stephanie’s kitchen, telling her he’s been assigned to her to teach her Christmas cheer. He accompanies her as she tries to bring in Sandy Claws… sounds like a criminal caught stealing truckloads of cat litter, right? LOL… who is a toymaker hiring elves to handmake product in a wharehouse converted from a daycare (hence the need for elves, as the potties and other equipment are just the right size). Stephanie’s divorced and formerly-perfect sister has moved back in with mom and dad, and has found out she’s pregnant by her less-than-stellar boyfriend (who faints). Add to all of this, Grandma Mazur has a new studmuffin, and there’s a supervillain with electrical powers trying to kill them. It all adds up for some absolute craziness.
While I found it a fun and quit book, the super powers stuff kind of irked me. Honestly, I felt it was a bit of cheating on Evanovich’s part. I’ve always enjoyed the mystery-book aspect of the Plum books, but reaching for the paranormal makes me wonder if the next book will have aliens and spaceships to chase down her FTA’s on.
I found the concept of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddorto be utterly fascinating. What if Alice Liddel as the Reverend Dodgson (aka Lewis CarrolI found the concept of The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddorto be utterly fascinating. What if Alice Liddel as the Reverend Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) had been telling the truth: She was the rightful heir to the Wonderland throne, exiled to England while her black imagination-practicing aunt Redd ruled by ursurption. What if, in telling Dodgson, she had been hoping the book he’d write would prove her credible, but instead he’d took her for only being highly imaginative and had twisted her tale until it barely resembled the truth.
Unfortunately, either because I’m just not enough of a Wonderland fan, or I wasn’t in the right mood for the book, I found I couldn’t get into it. I can’t say what I found “wrong” with it, can’t say what I’d wish more for or less of. The writing is more than worthy, the concept imaginative, and it has sparked a bit of hatred from die-hard Carrollians, but it just didn’t grab me. It has everything I like, fantasy, adventure, maybe it could’ve used more humor. It is a mystery why it missed the target with me.
I would recommend it to anyone who likes both the Alice books and darker stories. There are also sequels to this book, as well as one of Hatter Madigan’s tale. I’m satisfied that my adventures in the Looking Glass Wars is ended, personally, but I will probably watch the movie when it comes out, which doesn’t seem to be planned at the moment, but I’m sure there will be one someday.