* The rating is based on the first 30% of the book. I couldn't finish it.*
This one was not for me. And not because I don't like slave stories, I do. B * The rating is based on the first 30% of the book. I couldn't finish it.*
This one was not for me. And not because I don't like slave stories, I do. But I don't like sappy slave stories. It's hard for me to understand the rules of the world if slaves are treated the way they were in the book. It gets even harder if the rules don't make sense. Slaves becoming masters? Really? How would that work, when they are programmed and conditioned to obey? How would that society function?
Also: I have trouble with mc's who are meant to be depicted as vulnerable, but come off as naive and childlike. And then fuck and get fucked non stop...
This story is basically the literary equivalent of a (excuse the pun) pilot episode to a new mini series. A good mix of intriguing character3,5 stars
This story is basically the literary equivalent of a (excuse the pun) pilot episode to a new mini series. A good mix of intriguing characters, mystery and humor, to grab your interest...and maybe keep you watching the rest of the season. ...more
Well... I wanted to like this book. I appreciated the author's effort to handle difficult subjects like infidelity, ménage and rape. But the end resulWell... I wanted to like this book. I appreciated the author's effort to handle difficult subjects like infidelity, ménage and rape. But the end result left me confused and with an array of conflicting thoughts and emotions- with indignation predominating. I had some minor and major issues with both style and contents.
Concerning style: I’m not a big fan of omniscient third person narrative. And I thought there was a lot of telling instead of showing in the beginning. But my main problem was the prose. Whereas another reader described the author's style as 'poetic' I think of it more as flowery. Combined with the formal speech of the characters I sometimes felt like I was reading a historical -had it not been for the occasional mentioning of cars, phones and laptops. That same formal speech made some conversations come off as contrived and lacking an emotional intensity where most needed. (Saying: “It has troubled me greatly that you might fail to realize my concern and affection for you. “ when being confronted with the outrage of a friend, doesn't sound very realistic (or current for that matter). )
Concerning contents: I felt the story was unbalanced and lacked nuance. The blurb talks about the journey of the main character, Greyson Foster, and how his life changes as he gets tangled up in the lives of 3 fortunate men, Jack Miles in particular. But what the book really is about is the rape scene which happens around 60% of the book. I felt like everything else I had read up to that point was a plot device to get the rape to play out. The insta-love between the two characters, the evil ex-wife with no redeeming qualities, the soap opera-esque sudden battle over kids who haven’t been in an unhealthy environment for years (complete with PI's and talkshows) and the way it got resolved for no apparent reason.... It was all a set up to that scene.
I was expecting a slowly unfolding relationship between the Grey and Jack. Friendship, tentative romance, expectations, manipulations and trouble in paradise. But the men pretty much fell for each other upon meeting one another. There was little reflection into how two supposedly straight men would want to be together, despite the overabundance of internal monologues in the beginning. I felt like as a reader you were hardly allowed to question the sanity of the two characters because both were described as perfect. Beautiful Greyson with his quiet modesty but strong resolve and powerful Jack with his incredible wit and charm. There seemed to be nothing wrong with both characters, which, to me, made the rape come out of left field. Yes, Jack was going through a difficult time, yes he had trust issues, but the lack of forewarning and the way he unleashed his demons left me baffled.
The rape scene, as horrible as it was, was one of the best parts of the book. The writing was simple but to the point and it was easier to get immersed in the emotions of Grey. The pain, the humiliation, the despair. It was palpable and horrifying. Which made me all the more angry for how the author resolved the issue.
(view spoiler)[ My main problem is that the whole thing happened in an alcohol induced black out. Jack, the day after, is completely unaware of what he's done. He doesn't remember even one second of the horrors that have transpired. No sights or sounds trigger any memory. I felt he was let off the hook that way. Not only did this alcohol induced amnesia lead to the fact that the depth of traumatization was limited, I also felt it was a way of relieving him of responsibility. Does he remorse the fact? Yes. Does he try to atone for what he's done? Yes. But when Jack says he's a changed man, I can't believe him. Afterall: his acts were an aberration, and incident which never would have happened under normal circumstances. Or so his friends say.
We get to see a great part of Greyson's physical recovery. I loved the attention to detail when it came to Greyson trying to get his body in normal working order. But what about his mind? I felt like it was completely overlooked. Nightmares, sight and sounds triggering extreme fear… No PTSD? There were several scenes in where Greyson was confined in a small space with Jack. That should have triggered physical and emotional responses. Anything from flinching away to a full blown panic attack. But it didn’t happen. Anger yes. Some fear, yes. But that’s it? The guy was raped and tortured for God’s sake! Greyson might still be wanting Jack, but with trauma cases it's a matter of body over mind. You might want to like and trust your aggressor, but your body won't let you. It takes a long time to feel safe again, to condition the natural responses of your body and mind. So even if it's 10 months after the fact, for Greyson to go down on Jack outside the restaurant was ridiculous. For Greyson to take part in a foursome in Jack’s penthouse wasn’t much better. And for him to waltz back into his torture room… ridiculous. (hide spoiler)]
As it was, the more I read, the more respect I lost for the characters. The foursome are described as a group of supportive old friends (mind you: Grey was a part of it for about 3 months) but I found a lot of their actions to be selfish and oppressive. Grey and Jack lost their charm along with their minds. And at the end I felt like the kids got the shaft.
Gentleman's Game left me drained and frustrated. 2 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Maybe Peter was the answer. The problem and the answer. The answer without being a solution. Another tick in the inconsistent life of Austin Glass.
Ab Maybe Peter was the answer. The problem and the answer. The answer without being a solution. Another tick in the inconsistent life of Austin Glass.
About a year ago, my friends LA and Tina started raving about a book that was just released. It was by a new author and it was self published. It was different, fun, engaging, well written, humorous—you name the complimentary adjectives, I heard them all. Then, pretty much everyone started talking about Shattered Glass. It seemed the best thing since sliced bread and that got my alarm bells ringing. I have this horrible tendency of disliking hyped books, and I thought this might be another one for that stack. So I pushed it to the back burner and devoted my time to other books in my insurmountable TBR pile... until my friend Lenore had the author send me a copy. You'd think that would make me immediately pick the book up and read, right? Nope. Waited another six months before doing so.
Turns out, I missed out on a whole lot of raving and squeeing along with my friends. In fact, the only good thing about me waiting this long is that I won't have to wait more than a year for the sequel. Although, honestly, waiting for even one week seems too long. I just want to be reunited with the characters as soon as possible!
Because Shattered Glass, ladies and gentlemen, was Superb. With a capital S, yes. I. LOVED. It.
The plot alone deserved a 4 star rating. There was a mystery/suspense story line which had me guessing till the end and which was handled in a very satisfying manner. And then there was the romance story line which was sweet and cute and frustrating and awkward and hot. And all of this goodness was weaved together intricately. But what tipped the scales to a 5 star rating (because Goodreads doesn't do tens) were two things: characterization and narration.
I LOVED Austin. He is arrogant, selfish, childish, inconsistent, obsessive, inconsiderate... But he's also brave, loyal and determined. And he is funny! His inner thoughts were to die for. If I wasn't grinning, I was laughing out loud. Austin Glass must be one of the most entertaining train wrecks in fiction history for sure. I loved how flawed he was, but how I sometimes inadvertently just went with his flow, only to later realize he was being an asshole. I loved how he recognized his mistakes as the story progressed. And if he didn't, there was always someone else there to remind him. Like Peter.
Oh, Peter Rabbit! It took me a while to warm up to him, but once I did... bunny slippers for the win! Peter could have just been the lustworthy prettyboy. But no: he was never the passive recipient to Austin's interest(/obsession). Loved how he outsmarted and lectured Austin. How he figured him out and put it all out there when Austin's behavior called for it.
Next to the main characters, the secondaries were equally great: Luis, Darryl, Cai, Dave, Angel —even Desmond Glass... I was enticed by all of them. Just when you thought you had them figured out, they would surprise you. In good ways or bad...
I did have some minor issues. The way the whole (view spoiler)[Jessie-thing (hide spoiler)] was handled for one. Also: there were some editing glitches and a few parts were hard to follow. Most importantly: the ending could have used a few extra pages (because of all those important events happening at the same time) and I felt like some events needed more screen time. Then again: any excuse for more pages is a good one. I just couldn't get enough of Austin's voice.
All in all Shattered Glass singlehandedly destroyed my belief of all overly hyped books being overrated. Great writing, superb characterization, exquisite humor—an excellent read. 5 stars
Now where is that sequel? ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Short, cute story. Way too saccharine for my liking though, despite the effort to steam it up. I also felt the characters didn't really feel like adolShort, cute story. Way too saccharine for my liking though, despite the effort to steam it up. I also felt the characters didn't really feel like adolescent boys. Rounding it up to three stars since it was free. ...more
Ugh, it's so hard to rate this book. There was a lot I enjoyed about the story and one major thing that evoked a whole different reaction. But I'm stiUgh, it's so hard to rate this book. There was a lot I enjoyed about the story and one major thing that evoked a whole different reaction. But I'm still not sure if it's due to something Lanyon did intentionally or something he inadvertently overlooked.
Starting out with the good: Lanyon's main characters. They're layered, they're real, they're engaging. More often than not, they carry both physical and mental scars which makes that the books are not only about solving the mystery or finding love, but also about finding balance and making piece with oneself. Next to that, there's the fact that most of Lanyon's main characters have certain passions that color their perception of the world. Whether it's mystery novels, poetry or painting, the characters have a way of seeing the world that makes them unique and makes the writing that much more beautiful. And so Lovers and Other Strangers starts out in hues and shades, as tired, weary and numb Finn Barret returns to Seal Island to recuperate.
The first scenes are terrific. There's a particular awkwardness which permeates everything from descriptions to dialogues. Despite all of the chit chat of the people around Finn, there's a certain sense of silence and unease that grips you as a reader. Part of it is due to Finn's own fears as reservations, part of it is due to the Twilight Zone air of the island. As the story progresses, the silence ebbs away but the weirdness stays as an essential part of the mystery plot.
As for that mystery plot: this one was very exciting and had me losing sleep in order to find out who did it. I loved how literally everyone was a suspect at a certain point. I had trouble connecting to Con, or enjoying Paul, or even trusting Finn because I kept seeing one or the other as a suspect. And I was kept guessing until the very end.
The setting, the characters, the mystery plot... it all made for a wonderful reading experience and very much worthy of a 5 star rating... had it not been for the following. (I'm going to spoiler tag this as it's an essential part of the mystery and knowing the fact beforehand might ruin the experience, do beware.)
(view spoiler)[When Finn arrives at Seal Island and he finds out that no one has heard from his twin brother Fitch in three years, he immediately knows something is up, since it's nothing like Fitch to stay away that long without a word. And while I certainly understood Finn's fear that something serious had happened, I didn't get how he jumped to the conclusion that Fitch had been murdered. Not only is it a big leap rationally, it is a HUGE leap emotionally. Someone you love being dead. The first natural reaction would be denial. And to look for any proof possible the contrary is true. But in stead of searching for signs of Fitch being alive, Finn jumped into the murder investigation with too few reflections about how Fitch's death would make him feel. Yes, he states that being angry with Fitch takes a whole new meaning if there's a possibility they will never be able to make up anymore. But that's pretty much it. It was his twin for god's sake! This book was about love, betrayal and jealousy. But what about loyalty and brotherly love? As it was, Fitch wasn't mourned. Not enough by Finn and seemingly not at all by his family and friends. And it made me sad, really sad for Fitch. For your absence not to have been noticed and for people to accept your death so readily... However mean it was implied he could be at times, I don't think Fitch deserved that little.
So: I really would have loved to see more of Finn coping with (the idea of) Fitch's death. Mourning, acceptance, peace. As it was, the story felt unfinished and I couldn't enjoy the happy ending because it felt too fast too soon and (a bit like dancing at a funeral) inappropriate somehow. (hide spoiler)]
Still, an obviously emotion evoking and good read, but I feel like Lanyon overlooked something major. 3,5 stars. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more