Another one that didn't do anything for me. I found the world boring and the story boring. I liked the reader...she has a nice accent and voice. But t...moreAnother one that didn't do anything for me. I found the world boring and the story boring. I liked the reader...she has a nice accent and voice. But there was just nothing out of the ordinary in this one as far as I'm concerened. I guess the good news is that it would be good for girls who like fantasy that is clean...even tweens would probably be fine. (less)
I was pretty disappointed with this book. I was expecting to be wow'd or at least horrified. But instead, it was more like, meh.
I did like the premis...moreI was pretty disappointed with this book. I was expecting to be wow'd or at least horrified. But instead, it was more like, meh.
I did like the premise of the book...that was new to me and YA as far as I know...but I found the writing to be kind of lackluster and for their to be no real voice. I will mention that I listened to the audiobook...so maybe my experience would have been better had I read it on my own. (less)
If you loved this book, you probably don't want to read what I have to say, but here goes...
I am sooo not a fan of this book. I expected to cry and b...moreIf you loved this book, you probably don't want to read what I have to say, but here goes...
I am sooo not a fan of this book. I expected to cry and be sad...but I figured the payout would be worth it. In my opinion, not so much. I think this book is overhyped and not so great.
Pros- 1. Anything narrated by a dog is generally worth giving a shot, in my opinion. 2. New spin on the whole dog narration thing.
Cons- 1. I found the idea of a 'dog as philosopher' depressing. I have dogs. And the last thing I want/need to do is remind myself how lonely they are when I'm not home. Frankly, the best part of being a dog (I would imagine) is not dealing with human issues. I mean, that's what we like about dogs. They listen to us and love us no matter what..and I imagine that is because they don't have to deal with the complexities of human emotions. Don't get me wrong, I believe, like many dog owners, that there is more going on behind those doggy eyes than most give them credit for...I just hope it's not like my mind. Cause that would just be sad.
2. All of the other parts of the story were depressing too! Wife dies of brain cancer, Husband accused of rape, custody battle of evil in laws, and in addition to the poor dog being cursed with an almost human mind-- he gets hip dysplasia AND hit by a car! WTF Garth Stein?! All for what? the idea that the man meets a boy at the end of the story who's name is Enzo? That's the big payoff? I don't think so.
3. I also wasn't really into the racing parts. I would never even mention this, except for that I generally didn't enjoy the book. So why not go big? The metaphors for race driving and life were obvious and overdone...but I suppose that is fine since it is Enzo explaining them. But any goodness from these insights is vastly overshadowed by all the sad and hard things that happen in this story. That's life I guess.
4. I couldn't help but feel like the author was manipulating me. This might just be spite on my part. The book did depress me in many, many ways.
So, this is another of those books that teens love, librarians recommend, and everyone gets all excited about when they talk about it....but I just do...moreSo, this is another of those books that teens love, librarians recommend, and everyone gets all excited about when they talk about it....but I just don't see it. I have a hypothesis that adults are afraid to say they don't like books that win awards. But this is my second in a as many weeks that I've read, that is nominated for or has won awards that I thought was pretty mediocre. But, that may just be me. So, here we go:
Pros- 1. Boy book. Boy seem to luuuuv this book. And I guess I get it. I generally like prison type stories too. 2. Fast, easy read. 3. Alternative narrative...this goes with #2, for those that don't know, this book is written as a screenplay. The kids don't seem to have a problem with it. And it is different, so I suppose that is good. 4. Makes an easy discussion book.
Cons- 1. I usually like alternative narrative books, but apparently only if they are in verse. I couldn't stand that it was written as a screenplay. It bugged me. I found it cumbersome and monotonous. For me, much like reading a graphic novel. It disconnects me from the story because of all the stopping and starting and trying too hard to envision what the author was envisioning. Just not for me. 2. I never took a liking to the character. Don't get me wrong, I was rooting for him and I didn't dislike him, I just didn't care that much. I think the author focused too much on the style of writing and not enough on the writing itself. (less)
Pros: Written in verse Different subject than most books written this way. Most are about abuse/self-abuse. Fast read Pretty to look at. The print is blu...morePros: Written in verse Different subject than most books written this way. Most are about abuse/self-abuse. Fast read Pretty to look at. The print is blue! That was cool.
Cons: Not really a thrillins subject area for me. Immigrant stories aren't usually my thing. In general, kind of boring. There aren't really any HUGE ups and downs. (less)
Well, I'm sure there is not much I could say about this book that someone else hasn't already said much more eloquently than I ever could...but here a...moreWell, I'm sure there is not much I could say about this book that someone else hasn't already said much more eloquently than I ever could...but here are my likes and dislikes for anyone who may care. Or, at the very least, for me when I look back on my feelings about the book.
Likes: 1. It's John Green, yo! How can you NOT like it? Am I right? It's funny and witty and thought provoking...like all of his books. 2. I just love how irreverent he can be. I normally would NEVER pick up a 'cancer book'--but that's the thing about good authors, they can make you read things that you normally wouldn't...and rethink your current reading standards. ;) 3. Love the characters. I thought Hazel Grace and Augustus and Isaac and both sets of parents were great. They were funny and real and smart and well adjusted...maybe a bit toooooo well adjusted, but I still loved them. And it was a relief and so much fun, to read something with such insight and virtually no angst (which most of you know is basically required in a teen book). 4. The book is totally relatable. How can that be, you say, I don't have cancer! But it doesn't really matter. The philosphies posited in this book can easily be related to us everyday people who are just struggling through the day with our own 'tiny' problems. 5. Perspective. A by-product of #4, for those of us who feel overhwelmed and drowning in our everyday problems, who wonder why life is the way it is...this book is a welcome reminder to be thankful for each day and for every part of our lives. You never know when your luck will change. And even then, there is still beauty to behold and things to enjoy. 6. Full of wonderful little antidotes and clever insights. I kind of wish I had been by a computer while I read it...then I would have qouted them here...but I'm sure someone else already has. This book kind of reminds me of that Baz Lurhmann song from 1999, Sunscreen. You know, always wear sunscreen, use your body everyday, etc. etc. Seems kind of fluffy and too sweet at first, but when you look back on it, you realize how brilliant it is in its simplicity and forthrightness.
Dislikes: 1. Well, there aren't many. Really, my only issue was that becuase of all the witticisms and clever banter and healthy insights and general well adjustedness, I did have a hard time suspending my disblelief at times. But then I thought, as the story points out, this is a work of fiction and is not meant to be real...so why does it need to be completely realistic? And really, maybe there are teens and families out there like this and I'm just being a cynic...
So, with that in mind, and with all the pros outweighing the cons, I changed my star rating from 4 to 5. :)(less)
I probably should have read this years ago, but it is (literally) checked out whenever I go to find myself a copy. I finally got my eaudiobook...I was...moreI probably should have read this years ago, but it is (literally) checked out whenever I go to find myself a copy. I finally got my eaudiobook...I was so excited...afterall, teachers assign this book ALL THE TIME! And kids/teens seem to love it. So... my expectations may have been a tad high. With that in mind, here are my pros/cons:
Pros- 1. Survival Story...that's always fun and interesting 2. Would make a great (and easy) discussion book...which is probably why teachers love it 3. Book that works for boys
Cons- 1. The stuff about divorce and his cheating mother. I don't know, it bugged me. I get why it's in there...that Brian needs to work through it and think before he acts and all the super obvious lessons that Paulsen beats over our heads...but it felt obvious and out of place to me. I would have like it more if it had been worked into the story better...like maybe revealing the 'secret' as he was dealing with survival. 2. The things that make it a good discussion book...All the obvious lessons! This isn't really fair to complain about. It's not Paulsen's fault I'm a full grown adult reading a kids book. But I am, and I found it tiresome and a bit eye-rolly. Is that a word? ;) 3. The reader. Couldn't stand him. And the quality of the recording was weird. So, about 2/3 of the way through (I had a copy sitting at the ref desk waiting for a teen to pick it up), I read the rest of it. Much better. (less)
Cute book. Actually, there are some interesting things that I might try with my Teen group...maybe during Poetry month or something. Not really sure t...moreCute book. Actually, there are some interesting things that I might try with my Teen group...maybe during Poetry month or something. Not really sure this makes a great library book, but I'm still glad we have it. :) Part of me wishes it was mine so I could use the postcards! (less)
Cute book about animals loving each other. If you play on the internet though, chances are you've seen many of these duo's...but that's ok, it's still...moreCute book about animals loving each other. If you play on the internet though, chances are you've seen many of these duo's...but that's ok, it's still fun to get a more in depth look at their stories. Although, I'd vote for more pictures, less words. In my opinion, we just need a few short paragraphs...not several pages per animal. But that's just me. (less)
Ok, I tried. I just can't do it. Everyone is reviewing saying how amazing this book is...and it may be. But I can't get passed the first few chapters....moreOk, I tried. I just can't do it. Everyone is reviewing saying how amazing this book is...and it may be. But I can't get passed the first few chapters. They style of writing just isn't for me. I feel totally disconnected from the character. I realize that is on purpose, but I just can't read it. Also, I'm not entirely sure most teens would like it either...seeing as my library copy never goes out.(less)
I recently decided to reread this series. Well, I should say, that I'm actually listening to it this time. Which as I've mentioned in the previous two...moreI recently decided to reread this series. Well, I should say, that I'm actually listening to it this time. Which as I've mentioned in the previous two 'reviews'-- I love! The reader is awesome and I just adore her. I've had such a different experiance this time through because of it. Or maybe I'm just more focused than I was when I started this series...who knows?
what I do know is that I'm soooo glad I did. I didn't realize how much I couldn't remember from these early books. This whole book, with the exception of the opening snake fight, I have no memory of. If you had asked me if Anita got 3 marks from another vampire, I'd have said no. If you'd asked me if she had been cleared of Jean Claude's after that whole debacle, I'd have said, wha?? so yeah, it was like reading a whole new book. Yay for me!(less)
This is my second time through...only this time I'm listening to the early books rather than reading them and I swear they are better. Guess I just re...moreThis is my second time through...only this time I'm listening to the early books rather than reading them and I swear they are better. Guess I just really like the reader. :) I must say that I'm impressed with how well the books hold up. It's crazy to think that they were written 20 years ago...I had never really appreciated Hamilton's ability to keep most "time sensitive" references out of her writing until now.(less)