I enjoyed this so much! The whole concept of this essay is wonderful. Virginia Woolf really encouraged me to write. And she gave me a short but precis...moreI enjoyed this so much! The whole concept of this essay is wonderful. Virginia Woolf really encouraged me to write. And she gave me a short but precise description of the history of writing women. (less)
Reading Shiver is like experiencing a moment in time - a moment of love between two people torn between reality and every wish,...more## UPDATE ON REVIEW ##
Reading Shiver is like experiencing a moment in time - a moment of love between two people torn between reality and every wish, want and longing beyond that. It's like losing yourself in a song and suddenly a noise beyond the sound and lyrics reminds you that reality is still there and you still have to deal with it. I thought about how different this story would have been if reality would not have played such a pressing role and I came to the conclusion that it would not have been as heartbreaking, it would not have felt so close to heart then. To portray deep longing, you need the greatest of obstacles - and what would be greater than reality itself with its cruel eyes staring at you every day? It's hard for me to find words to describe Shiver because to me it is a unique story told in amazing language.
I recommend Shiver to anyone who can truely enjoy. Only when taking my time in re-reading it, I could fully appreciate the beauty of the story and the (I almost wanted to write "verse") words. Take your time to really enjoy a moment - you won't regret it.
ORIGINAL REVIEW (Jan. 7th, 2011 - 4 stars):
Good plot, nice story and definately some amazing language. A few sentences in the beginning - the phase of longing - totally got me. It is like you instantly have the thought "this is just brilliant" in your head. In the middle the story slowed down a little too much, maybe. I also loved having the opportunity to read both perspectives, know the thoughts of Grace and Sam. This really made the book great from the beginning on - something Twilight (just to take one example) definately lacks. In my opinion it is more interesting and has more suspense for female readers to get to know the perspective of the male protagonist than the one of the female (because they obviously relate to the female main character and can imagine her feelings and thoughts easier). So, I definately recommend Shiver (I especially recommend reading it in the winter still ;).(less)
My first Bill Bryson and I really enjoyed it. This is an amazing book on the English language that I would recommend to people interested in learning...moreMy first Bill Bryson and I really enjoyed it. This is an amazing book on the English language that I would recommend to people interested in learning more about it. It covers not only the general linguistic stuff like the origins of English but also interesting (and often very funny) stories and facts you would never hear a word about in a linguistic seminar.
I have to admit that I expected Bryson's humour to be repetitive from my experience with excerpts from his travel books. However, I was happy to discover this is not the case and I found the way he wrote and told this story of English very amusing and informative.(less)
A very authentic historical novel. I didn't like the structure so much, to me it hindered really getting into the story. However, it also prevented lo...moreA very authentic historical novel. I didn't like the structure so much, to me it hindered really getting into the story. However, it also prevented long descriptions and repetitive scenes. The Golden Mean is an incredibly intelligent book that makes you think. When I finished it I wanted to start again to look for more clues, more hints about Alexander, about everything. The characters were amazingly portrayed. But then again, I would have liked more interaction between them - especially between Aristotle and Arrhidaeus. The violence mentioned now and then and in the afterword quite disturbed me in the light of all the intellectual, calm scenes and moments of the stories before.(less)
I rarely give a book five stars, and I am not saying this book is perfect but I had a great time reading it and it is a wonderful story that was close...moreI rarely give a book five stars, and I am not saying this book is perfect but I had a great time reading it and it is a wonderful story that was close to what I experienced lately (without the happy end however). When I finished the book, I was like "4 stars? 5 stars? 4 stars? or 5?" And in the end: "What the hell, give it 5!" - As I said, I rarely do that especially when I disliked something about a book. Now while I really enjoyed the conversations between St. Clair and Anna (good dialogue!), and I could relate well to Anna (narrator), sometimes the story just took a too childish or pink glasses or whatever-you-want-to-call-it turn. And that were moments when I thought: "Oh no, this could have been more sincere..." But then again, there was not a single moment in the whole book when I did not want to read on. The story really got me hooked and I am already looking forward to re-reading it! (less)
For a debut novel I have to say I Heart You, You Haunt Me is really good. Nevertheless, there is a minus behind that four stars because I found the wr...moreFor a debut novel I have to say I Heart You, You Haunt Me is really good. Nevertheless, there is a minus behind that four stars because I found the writing to be a bit rough in the beginning and it took me some time to get 'into' the main character. But I have to admit I cried like a baby at the end of the book. The funeral scene in the beginning I did not like - having lost an important person just recently, it just felt wrong for me to read Ava's thoughts. Probably my own experiences with death and loss made me cry in the end - but for the author to have struck just the 'right' cord to make me feel something real, I think this novel deserves praise and I hope many readers will pick this one up and like it as much as I did.
I also really enjoyed the importance of friendship that Schroeder states here. "A girl can never have too many friends." So true.(less)
Never Let Me Go is a difficult book for me. I really wanted to like it but I had my problems with it. Nevertheless, it is a novel that really makes yo...moreNever Let Me Go is a difficult book for me. I really wanted to like it but I had my problems with it. Nevertheless, it is a novel that really makes you think and as those are my favourites, I had to give it three stars at least.
The concept, the idea of this novel is actually brilliant - a modern dystopia concerned with cloning. I liked Kathy H. very very much, she is a nice narrative voice. Tommy was my favourite character from the start (because he reminded me of my brother) and I disliked Ruth (but then again, I think this was intended to some extent). So, what was it that troubled me about this book? Well, on the one hand, I wasn't sad. A friend of mine told me this was a sad book but for me it wasn't. Not really... how the book treats emotions was also how it treated mine. Sometimes I felt a bit sad but it was never so real. Just like their fate seems to be okay for the characters, their deaths seemed okay for me as well. This is really bothering me and I am asking myself whether I am cold-hearted or whether this is really intended and I am now to reflect about the story in order to truely feel something. And on the other hand, I needed a lot of time to get into the story (about the first 100 pages - which is a lot considering that the book only has 282) and to get used to the way it is told. Somehow all these pointing forward sentences did not work for me in the beginning, I did get used to them but they did not do anything for me. Now that I think about it, they were probably meant to make the story feel more like real speech - an oral narrative by Kathy.
Overall, I think this might be a book that makes very different impressions on its readers, which is why everyone should just give it a try and it is probably not a good idea to relie on someone else's opinion about it. (less)
It has been a long time since I stayed up half the night to finish a book because I can simply not put it down, but with The Scorpio Races that is exa...moreIt has been a long time since I stayed up half the night to finish a book because I can simply not put it down, but with The Scorpio Races that is exactly what happened - and why I cannot give it any less than the precious 5 stars!
Maggie Stiefvater's writing is just wonderful - I liked Shiver a lot because the writing was amazing and with The Scorpio Races she has done another fantastic job. Nevertheless, I would not compare the two in terms of the writing because for me Shiver was more experimental, freer and just different. But in both books Stiefvater manages to build up a great atmosphere with her choice of language and tone.
- And of course also with the setting and the characters: I grew up in the smallest of villages in the middle of nowhere and even though there are quite a number of disadvantages to it, it's home and I love the place. The weather sucks for 90% of the year, the next supermarket is 12km away, everyone knows everyone else and gossip spreads like nothing else. This is probably why I could relate with Sean and especially Puck so well and why the book meant so much to me. Some people criticized the great detail Maggie puts into the small characters but for me that was not at all boring to read and it really helped to build up a community and a sense of what it means to be part of Thisby. The choice to tell the story from the perspective of both Puck and Sean was a good one. It took me a while to figure Sean out and reading his thoughts really helped me to place him into the bigger picture and trust him around Puck. He's a person of few words and I loved that about him - it made him even stronger, more mysterious and unpredictable (amazing!). Puck I liked from the very beginning. She reminds me of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird - they have so much in common that Puck could be Scout's older self.
When you start reading a book it's all about expectations. You decided to read it because you expected this or that from it. As a reader you have expectations (from the cover, the title, the text on the back of the book) - but these can really ruin a book for you. I expected something completely different from this book - and what did I get instead? Something even better. A book titled The Scorpio Races should be about just that, right? - Well, many reviewers agree on this point and criticize that the race only starts after 300-something pages and lasts only about 12 pages. Now, this is not so much about the quality of the book as it is about disappointed expectations. If you want to read a book focusing on the thing the title says it focuses on, read The Hunger Games and you won't be disappointed (at least not concerning this). However, I think that the title for the latter was extremely boring. Anyway, back to The Scorpio Races: The book tells us that taking part in the races is more than just sitting on a horse. And just like that, the races are more than the actual - well, race. It is about its history, participants, and especially the participants' motivation to race in the first place. All of this has a part in Maggie's book (in addition to an introduction to the mythology of the capall uisce) - and a reader interested in the characters and the story will not be bored because the pacing is good and the book never stops to fascinate and be exciting.
Another plus is humour: I actually laughed out loud a few times because the dialogue was so funny. And this is something rare because normally I laugh about things that aren't meant to be funny about a book (e.g. when I read the first chapter of The Hobbit for the first time I laughed my head off for no reason I can explain, which really annoyed the friend who had lent me the book and for her sake I reread and really enjoyed the book). That said, I can tell you that I can detect a poor attempt to make a joke all the way from Italy to my doorstep, which means that Maggie did a fantastic job entertaining me with completely unexpected and very funny comments from her characters.
In conclusion, I can recommend this to anyone looking for a read that doesn't let you go until you turned the last page. Don't expect a love story between a girl and a boy, but look forward to the story of a love between a boy and his deadly water horse and a love between a girl and everthing that she feels is worth fighting for.(less)
This book turned out to be quite different from what I expected. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading it most of the time (though I have to mention that Fo...moreThis book turned out to be quite different from what I expected. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading it most of the time (though I have to mention that Foster - like many teachers - likes to repeat himself, which became annoying at some points). I think that Foster offers a lot of interesting insights in this books, a lot of hints for readers on what to pay attention to while reading in order to get more out of a novel, poem, play ect. Foster's voice was occasionally funny and always very sympathetic and motivating, which for me just about felt right. Sometimes I read the beginning of a chapter and I would trail off with my thoughts and interpret some novel I read recently with a new perspective or suddenly an explanation for why this or that bit of a story felt just like it had hit me. In other words: Foster inspired me to own thought and I think that's about the best you can say about a literature professor or a guide to reading literature like one. I really had a great time following his train of thoughts about literature because it evoked active thought about so many things about this great field in me. I even got a great idea for a short story while listening to Foster going on and on about something... yeah, sometimes it did feel like I was in his classroom - and the atmosphere was good. The last chapter is a test case for the reader to interpret and see where it gets him or her (which brings me to something else that was strange but also kind of cool: whenever talking about "the writer" Foster used the feminine pronoun "she" instead of the general "he" - what first seemed strange to me became a nice gesture... still, I would have liked him to say a word on that in the end of the book). The reading list in the end is really good and I am sure I'll check out a lot from that list.
So, overall I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read and think about literature or wants new insights to the field. However, it's not going to help you figure out any piece of writing in your courses at university (some might expect that) - it is more about opening your eyes to own observations by making you fimiliar with a few tools to use and hints or signs to watch out for. (Also a warning from me: In order to explain everything clearly, Foster gives away quite a lot of stories (aka spoil these for you), which can be quite a downside - after all, you don't want someone to tell you how a book ends that you still wanted to read. So, beware these spoilers - I didn't care about many of them (lucky me) but some were just painful ("no, he didn't have to just give that away, damn it!").) (less)
The Lock Artist is an amazing book. It is full of suspense, has a wonderful narrative voice and great humor. I recommend it highly.
The thing that bot...moreThe Lock Artist is an amazing book. It is full of suspense, has a wonderful narrative voice and great humor. I recommend it highly.
The thing that bothered me a little about the book was the fact that Michael's narrative voice was so lively when he as a person had stopped talking for years... I mean, I loved his voice and he's one of the most original characters I've ever come across, but nevertheless I kept asking myself whether this was not a bit of an inconsistency. I wouldn't have wanted it to be different though, which makes my whole argument pointless, I know, it's just something that got me thinking once in a while.
If you love books for their characters, this is definitely for you. If you love funny crime/action movies, this is definitely a book for you. (In case some readers out there are as easily freaked out with scary stuff as I am - don't worry, you can read this without getting nightmares.)(less)
I really like this manga but this is starting to get ridiculous! No new developments and the episodes are beginning to repeat themselves... I hope the...moreI really like this manga but this is starting to get ridiculous! No new developments and the episodes are beginning to repeat themselves... I hope the next volume will be the final one. (less)
A book that made me laugh. A book that made me cry. And a book that made me everything inbetween. One review included in the first pages said that thi...moreA book that made me laugh. A book that made me cry. And a book that made me everything inbetween. One review included in the first pages said that this was "about something that matters". I think The Help actually is about a lot of things that matter, about life itself. And just like life is sometimes cruel and sometimes wonderful, this book portrays moments of life - that somtimes make you gasp and sometimes make you smile.
Even though I had a strange feeling about the book sometimes and there is a hype about it that can make a careful reader prejudiced ("it just cannot really be that good") - I give it five stars because it is so original and it feels like a book that will survive out there in the real world for years to come. A wonderful accomplishment.(less)
I love this for portraying friendship so amazingly. (Don't let the first chapter turn you from reading this - I was quite disappointed about that one...moreI love this for portraying friendship so amazingly. (Don't let the first chapter turn you from reading this - I was quite disappointed about that one BUT the rest of the novel was really good!)(less)
I had fun reading the end of this mini-series but I had hoped for a bit more feeling and a little less stereotypical everyone-becomes-best-friends. I...moreI had fun reading the end of this mini-series but I had hoped for a bit more feeling and a little less stereotypical everyone-becomes-best-friends. I liked the first chapter the most - sooo cute! But there was a big fat plot hole from the second chapter onwards... this did not have a bad effect on the ending but it just did not make much sense.
Overall, this series is really enjoyable but it lacks a bit of depth... However, the art work is really good and the two main characters are created very well. (less)