I don't tend to gravitate to teen suicide novels, or even bleak teen novels in general, but I picked this one up on the strength of its title and coveI don't tend to gravitate to teen suicide novels, or even bleak teen novels in general, but I picked this one up on the strength of its title and cover.
Daelyn is a lonely teen who has been bullied her whole life, for one reason or another - generally her weight. After several unsuccessful suicide attempts, she decides she's not going to fail again and joins an online suicide "countdown" site. But then someone starts noticing her. And he won't go away. She's determined to ignore him, determined not to get attached. It's too late.
There are so many wrong ways to write about teen suicide. I feel that Peters walks the line between having a ridiculously unbelievable happy ending where the main character is miraculously "fixed" and an overly bleak, utterly hopeless ending. She depicts realistic interactions between Daelyn and her parents, who desperately want the best for their daughter, but fail so tragically in their attempts to reach out to her.
Santana, the boy who starts noticing her has his own story as well - one we care about in his own right.
Sweet, funny in that dry British way, and somewhat tragic. Alan Bennett's novella explores the idea of what might happen if the Queen of England wereSweet, funny in that dry British way, and somewhat tragic. Alan Bennett's novella explores the idea of what might happen if the Queen of England were to read, you know... for fun. A quick, entertaining read. ...more
It's difficult to know what to write about this book. I picked it up (or, more accurately, put it on hold) at the suggestion of Nancy Pearl, I believeIt's difficult to know what to write about this book. I picked it up (or, more accurately, put it on hold) at the suggestion of Nancy Pearl, I believe, but had forgotten about it by the time it arrived. It's one of those thick, character-driven books that I should like, but sometimes don't when the characters behave despicably. It's haunting in places, tragic in others, and even infuriating at times. But through it all runs this thread of needing to know. There's a man in a brown suit who begs a character to just tell the truth. And by the end, that's all we want too. The characters manage to worm their way into your mind and heart and you just want to know.
Margaret Lee is an amateur biographer and the dutiful daughter of a bookseller. To her surprise, one day she is summoned before Vida Winter, the brilliant and reclusive author, and given the task of writing Miss Winter's biography. Reluctantly, she accepts, and is drawn into the storyteller's tragic past - a past she isn't quite sure she believes is true. But as she hears the story, more of her own story comes to light.
It's beautiful and tragic and utterly compelling. A must-read for character/language readers. ...more
Martin Pippin wasn't easy to get in to, and it certainly wasn't a fast read. But I found myself more and more captivated as I went on. It's not so mucMartin Pippin wasn't easy to get in to, and it certainly wasn't a fast read. But I found myself more and more captivated as I went on. It's not so much a romance as a story about the nature of love, and not so much a fantasy as a fairy tale about the natures of men and women.
It begins with the description of a child's game--of the Emperoror's daughter in a tower, the damsels who guarded her, and the minstrel who loved her and set her free. But, the author relates, the children have it wrong. And then she tells it right. It was Gillian, a farmer's daughter who was locked away from her beloved and it was Martin Pippin the minstrel who came to rescue her, though he was not acting for himself, but for another. The book is largely composed of the stories he tells the young milkmaids who guard Gillian, sweet and moving stories about love.
Highly recommended for those who are in love, have been in love, or hope to someday be in love. It's an older book (1922), and in an odd sort of style that took a little while to get used to... but really, it's utterly brilliant. ...more
I didn't plan on liking this book, actually. Tam Lin was the first of the Fairy Tale Series that I'd read, and after reading a couple others, I thoughI didn't plan on liking this book, actually. Tam Lin was the first of the Fairy Tale Series that I'd read, and after reading a couple others, I thought I'd happened upon the best of them and half-decided not to bother with any others. But I'd put The Nightingale on hold a while ago, so when it showed up I decided to read it.
The prose was lovely, sweet, and delicate. The setting was well-drawn and understandable, even to those of us who don't know much Japanese history. The characters weren't terribly compelling to me--they all seemed distant and somehow unemotional. (And the romantic in me is muttering and grumbling about the inadequacy of the novel's love story.)
But the story itself is an intelligent, creative departure from Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale of the same name. To be perfectly honest, it was a fairy tale I had forgotten until I read the afterward and was reminded. I would recommend it without hesitation for those who enjoy fairytales, but are a bit tired of reading about Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty. =)...more