Marvel Subscriptions made me wait so long for this; I finally got it in the mail and gotta say that (view spoiler)[ the handsome love interest sure tuMarvel Subscriptions made me wait so long for this; I finally got it in the mail and gotta say that (view spoiler)[ the handsome love interest sure turned out to be shady really fast :( and (hide spoiler)] I am heartbroken 4 Kamala and also 4 Bruno!! ;__; Loved the scene between Bruno and Aamir....more
This novel is paced very quickly with short scenes and chapters and a tension that builds up to a series of horrific events, each more heart-wrenchingThis novel is paced very quickly with short scenes and chapters and a tension that builds up to a series of horrific events, each more heart-wrenching and traumatic than the one that came before. I couldn't stop reading and stayed up 'til 2am to finish it because I was so emotionally tied to Naila and shocked by all of the things that were happening to her. Parts 2 and 3 kind of transform the novel from straight-up realistic fiction into realistic fiction with fairy tale elements (view spoiler)[ Nasim & Saba are evil stepmother & stepsister, and Saif is a prince (hide spoiler)] which intensifies the drama and makes the happy ending (view spoiler)[ i.e. Naila is rescued by Saif (hide spoiler)] possible. I feel that this real-world fairy tale worked well, and I do not mind the happy ending (in fact I am deeply relieved that there is one!), but what was lacking to me was the resolution. I think we were supposed to feel satisfied with (view spoiler)[ Naila being rescued (hide spoiler)] as the resolution, but the novel would've been so much stronger if it had a Part 4 that went into Naila's confrontation with her parents and included, regardless of the outcome of the confrontation, part of her path toward healing. That to me would've been a true resolution to the story. Instead, the book ends with a philosophical statement about love that would mean a lot more had we gotten to hear more about Naila's relationship with her parents in the aftermath. So it felt like there was a whole part of the story that we didn't get to hear but needed to hear.
Some random thoughts that I have are
-- I wonder how my reading experience would have been different had the book jacket not revealed three of the major plot points. (DON'T READ THE BOOK JACKET U GUYS! OR THE GOODREADS SYNPOSIS WHICH IS THE SAME THING)
-- Naila's parents and Amin were such complicated characters, I am still processing everything. What they did out of love that was so harmful and that is so scary and sad. Amin especially stood out to me as an interesting and sympathetic character.
-- As I read it struck me that this book seemed to be written not for high schoolers but rather for the younger end of the YA demographic, grades 6-8. I never would've thought of them as a target audience for a topic like forced marriages and I think that the author was brave to write about it for younger readers. But, warning: There is a rape scene. The note at the end of the book makes clear that what happened to Naila is a real phenomenon: Girls around the world are being forced into marriages. Before reading Written in the Stars I wasn't aware of this problem in the world, and now I am. Naila's story is heartbreaking but hopeful.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Just finished reading this yesterday and have been thinking about it since. It is definitely one of the best YA novels (and novels in general) that I'Just finished reading this yesterday and have been thinking about it since. It is definitely one of the best YA novels (and novels in general) that I've had the chance to read thus far in life, and better than almost every novel that we read in adolescent literature class, so I'm really happy OMG. I just had all these feelings of admiration and delight when the characters, relationships, plot, pacing, and writing were strong all the way through the final page. I think Meg Medina has this great economy of words, like you know that most every sentence that's in the book needs to be there. She doesn't waste words or details, which I think is part of what makes her storytelling powerful. Sometimes the narrator, Piddy, waxes poetic, but it's not in a way that is self-consciously literary which I appreciate because in many other novels with young narrators this often gets in the way for me. Piddy has a great voice. Everything is reaL. For example, I really liked how Piddy (view spoiler)[didn't completely understand at first about the domestic abuse happening in the Halper home but after her experience with Yaqui was able to understand and learn from it and feel solidarity with Mrs. Harper (hide spoiler)]. And the ending! I remember the last novel for young readers that I read and really loved (Wonder--it's been a while) also looked at bullying, and the last ~100 pages were preachier than and not as strong as the rest, but oh man, the resolution to Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass was really well done! The only thing that worries me is (view spoiler)[WHERE DID THE MAMA CAT GO?! DID SHE DIE?? (hide spoiler)]. Anyway I feel like this review has turned out to be rambly and accidentally focused on technical things even though my primary experience of the novel was an emotional one. I want to apologize also for my multiple tense changes, I hope they're not confusing, I think I am just emotional. In conclusion I gotta say that I laughed. I cried. I had a few heart attacks. And I really felt the hope and empowerment at the end for Piddy post-trauma. It was a literary experience I will never forget. 100% would reread!...more
Out of the Blue still has the telenovela plot that I was hoping for with quite a few stalker types running around and a mystery to be solved, but it iOut of the Blue still has the telenovela plot that I was hoping for with quite a few stalker types running around and a mystery to be solved, but it is more confusing and not as carefully written or proofread as the first in the series, the free Kindle book To Be With You that I gushed about here. It's also funnier than To Be With You, but (view spoiler)[when it's revealed that the main stalker is the gay member of Club Blue, the goofiness went a little too over the top, and I felt kind of offended. (hide spoiler)]...more
I now understand the love for The Fault in Our Stars: It’s charming, imaginative, and self-deprecating about its own pretentiousness. It totally readsI now understand the love for The Fault in Our Stars: It’s charming, imaginative, and self-deprecating about its own pretentiousness. It totally reads like something that was started in a creative writing class, which I liked. Also I have to say that John Green, a man in his thirties, does a creepily good job of writing from the perspective of a teenaged girl. When I didn’t overthink it, I was really impressed and not creeped out by this feat.
Other times, I kind of was tho. Another thing that kept taking me out of the world was that Hazel, Augustus, and even Peter Van Houten have very similar voices and the same linguistic tendencies. For example, the speech of all three characters is filled with British English, and I was surprised when Augustus complimented Hazel for making adjectival forms of nouns since he does it a lot himself (as does Van Houten, though I guess that Hazel could’ve picked it up from him, her favorite writer). So when they would praise one another for their wit and intellect, it was a little weird, and even moreso when I thought about John Green writing all of this and how he was basically praising himself, which killed his self-deprecation game a little bit. And if this book were a Word document I would CTRL+F and delete every instance of "vague"/"vaguely" because they seriously have to go OMG!
Voice/style aside, I was also unsettled by Isaac, who seemed to serve as comic relief until the last quarter of the novel, when he stopped being a caricature and became a character to be taken seriously. While I thought that the dark or irreverent humor was often used well, when it was used in relation to Isaac, I could not help but feel uncomfortable. I liked him and wished that he wasn’t the sidekick whom we were supposed to pity because he went blind from eye cancer (view spoiler)[and was dumped by his girlfriend (hide spoiler)]. The way that Green treated Isaac kind of counteracted his message about not pitying kids with cancer. In short, John Green needs to be nicer to his sidekicks.
The beginning of the novel was stronger than the middle, and the middle was stronger than the ending, which was probably the corniest part of them all. In general I have no problem with corniness but felt that Green owed it to us readers to be more authentic at the end. What Augustus would call “metaphorically resonant” existential lines increased in frequency, and then it was over.
But I feel like I am being too negative in this review. Overall, I did enjoy The Fault in Our Stars. It may have weirded me out in a few different ways and used a few too many clichés, it may have been too self-conscious for its own good and misstepped in its tragicomedy, but there was a lot to like. I admire the heart that John Green put into this project, even as the product is not without its issues. And it would be interesting to see what he writes next.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Still curious about self-published books and the romance genre, I decided to select another free Kindle book for bedtime reading. This turned out to bStill curious about self-published books and the romance genre, I decided to select another free Kindle book for bedtime reading. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my Kindle life.
1) It was like a telenovela in book form, which is to say that it was all my dreams come true. I could not stop reading. Sometimes you just have to suspend disbelief RE: implausible situations and go with the flow, and it is 100% worth it.
2) Nicole deals with the trauma of abuse, which I did not expect, and I found that narrative to be very moving.
3) It was totally an interracial romance. When I started reading, I assumed that the protagonists were white, but then the narrator said that Nicole was black, and Sean was some kind of mixed child(?).
4) There were no sex scenes, so my prudish self was spared!
5) Villain A+!
The ending was a little rushed, but overall this was a quality piece of romance literature with a big heart and healing & redemption narrative. So, I have already purchased the second book in the series YOLO...more
[This star rating does not include the hyper-patriarchal tract of Book V, which I didn't read.]
Though it meant pretending that everything he said abo[This star rating does not include the hyper-patriarchal tract of Book V, which I didn't read.]
Though it meant pretending that everything he said about "man" also applied to woman, I got a lot out of this book. Rousseau is eloquent, entertaining, and highly quotable. And sometimes I just burst out laughing because he is so hyperbolic and dramatic. I really appreciate his philosophy of learning and education....more
Having unknowingly befriended my share of sociopaths and narcissists in life, this book really speaks to me. I wish I had had it to guide me in the afHaving unknowingly befriended my share of sociopaths and narcissists in life, this book really speaks to me. I wish I had had it to guide me in the aftermath of those friendships, but even now, the tips for recovery are so helpful to me. Though the focus is on sociopaths in romantic relationships, most of the insights in this book can apply to non-romantic situations and situations with narcissists as well. My only issue is that the author describes psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists as "demon," "not human," and pure evil, and his/her theology (it's not exactly a theology, but I'm not sure what else to call it) doesn't really add up as a result. But I know that we are all having a tough time trying to integrate the existence of sociopathy into our worldview and our concept of humanity, so to me it is OK that the author isn't there yet, and if any of us are, THAT IS AMAZING AND I AM DYING TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. Overall this is one of the best resources I have read for people who are healing from encounters with sociopaths/narcissists. It is written in a kind, caring voice; it gives wise, practical advice; and it is super precise and enlightening in all of its descriptions. It frames everything in a way that helps you to come to terms with what happened and guides you in what you can do to move forward. It also prepares you for potential challenges in the recovery process. I learned a lot and reflected a lot on my relationships and the relationships of friends who have been through these kinds of experiences, and I will keep referring to it and try to apply its insights in the months to come....more