The problem I have with religious novels is that too often they read like parables, and just feel contrived. Unfortunately, this one was no exception....moreThe problem I have with religious novels is that too often they read like parables, and just feel contrived. Unfortunately, this one was no exception. Since I'm not religious, one might think I am being too hard on this book because I am biased; which may be part of it, but I still tried to read it with an open mind.
Almost a hundred pages into the book, it finally starts picking up and gets to the meat of the story. I understand the need for back story, but I think it could have been told with less fluff and gotten to the important bits faster. The overall message was a good one, and I think that if you are a Christian, this is a good book to read. It goes in line with what I was taught growing up in church, and breaks down a lot of the myths surrounding God that probably scare people away. There are some nice concepts in here, but I will probably never pick up this book again.(less)
This was the my book club’s choice for January 2013, and I chose it because a couple of my friends had read it and rated it 4-5 stars. It was definite...moreThis was the my book club’s choice for January 2013, and I chose it because a couple of my friends had read it and rated it 4-5 stars. It was definitely an interesting book, and the magic and mystery of Rose’s predicament was quite fun to read. The writing was lovely, and there were some passages that I loved so much that I just read them over and over again, and even went back later and read them again. I loved Rose’s growth throughout the book, and I really enjoyed the focus on the relationships throughout her life, not only with her family but with friends, too. Things got really interesting about 65% of the way through, when a new mystery opened up with Rose’s brother. Unfortunately, this thread of the story ended up falling flat for me, and was just weird and confusing and not at all satisfying. The rest of the story, however, I adored.(less)
This was the my book club’s choice for December 2012, and I absolutely LOVED it. Right away, I was drawn into the story and basically did not want to...moreThis was the my book club’s choice for December 2012, and I absolutely LOVED it. Right away, I was drawn into the story and basically did not want to put it down. The fact that the main character loses her memory every night when she does to sleep makes for a great mystery. The storytelling in this book was phenomenal. Some parts were so intimate, so beautifully female that I was astounded to discover that the author is male! In any case – this book was a great mystery, with really interesting storytelling. All throughout the book, I kept exclaiming and tell my husband how much I loved it and how much he needs to read it. I’d basically recommend it to everyone I know.(less)
This is a hard book for me to review, so I'm going to do things slightly differently this time around. I'm going to address a few specific aspects of...moreThis is a hard book for me to review, so I'm going to do things slightly differently this time around. I'm going to address a few specific aspects of the book. But let me say right off the bat: I absolutely loved this book.
Verity The first half of the book is written as Verity's "confession," commissioned by her jailers and torturers. Right away, I was endeared to this girl. Her attitude is admirable, and her clever mockery of the people holding her captive made me smile again and again. I liked the way she turned this exercise into her own personal novel. The way she made fun of herself, her situation, and her captors was brilliant. Verity thoroughly captured my attention and my heart.
Maddie When the book switched over to Maddie's journal, I was a bit jarred and frustrated, but I understood the reason why it switched. Watching the rest of the story unfold from Maddie's point of view was imperative and actually served to wind up that arm and punch me in the gut much harder than would have been the case otherwise. Her voice was clearly different from Verity's, but I see the love and devotion shared between these two girls.
The Story Oh my gosh. Told with such genius. I mean, I don't even know what else to say! It was a slow build, all the way through. It was like a boa constrictor, wrapping itself tighter and tighter around my heart without me even noticing. I'm going to defy everything you know about me here by concluding my review with a gif. So. Many. Feelings!
A Small Note About the Airplane Lingo: While some reviewers have either DNFed or low-rated this book due to an excess of airplane language they didn't understand, I barely noticed this and it did not bother me at all. I noted that while Verity does describe airplane things frequently, she also makes it clear that she is making all of that stuff up (you know, to make her story more interesting!), so I didn't feel it was necessary for me to pay these things too much attention. (less)
I’d been wanting to read this for a long time, so I chose it for my book club pick in March. Everything I’d heard about it said it was going to be a t...moreI’d been wanting to read this for a long time, so I chose it for my book club pick in March. Everything I’d heard about it said it was going to be a total mind-fuck. My experience with the book went something like this: “Oh, I like these character voices… This is becoming predictable… Okay, I hate this guy… Well, that’s interesting!… Yeah, I thought that might happen… Boring… Oh, my god… Oh my god… Heh… Jeez… Ugh… Well, then.” So um… Look, I liked this book, but not as much as I was hoping and expecting to. I think Gillian Flynn did a fantastic job, and the whole thing is very well done. I was left feeling a bit dissatisfied in the end, but maybe that was the intention, I don’t know.(less)
This was my reading assignment for book club this month. I was less than thrilled when an almost-600-page book was chosen, but I decided to just go wi...moreThis was my reading assignment for book club this month. I was less than thrilled when an almost-600-page book was chosen, but I decided to just go with it and try to enjoy the book. She chose it because of all the rave reviews it’s gotten, being called a modern classic. Let me tell you, this book started off slow and kind of confusing, but when Edgar Sawtelle finally entered the picture, I became much more interested. The description, I think, was somewhat misleading, because this book is really about Edgar and how he relates to people — and mostly dogs — throughout his life. The journey he goes on doesn’t happen until pretty late in the book, and by then I was thoroughly entrenched in his story. I liked it, and I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the relationships that Edgar had with all of the dogs. It was slow, yet enjoyable reading, despite the overall shitty circumstances throughout most of the book. The ending was kind of bittersweet for me, but by then I knew: this is Edgar’s story, and somebody needed to read it.(less)
This one was a book club pick, chosen by my friend’s aunt. David Baldacci is her favorite author and she just loves this book, so I was at least optim...moreThis one was a book club pick, chosen by my friend’s aunt. David Baldacci is her favorite author and she just loves this book, so I was at least optimistic about reading it. It was a pretty easy read, but overall I was rather blasé (as my mom would say) about it. I liked that Lou had spunk, and I have to admit that I could relate to her basic agnosticism or whatever. I don’t know, I think the book just… not very much happened, really. And then the “miracle” that happened in the end was so cliche and so… utterly typical-slash-boring… and they didn’t even try to explain it or have it make any kind of sense. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. Like, maybe I would have enjoyed this more when I was a kid, Lou’s age, but no. Not anymore. Blah.(less)
This one was a book club pick, chosen by my friend’s mom who found several copies of it at the dollar store. Yep. Well, turns out, this book was a goo...moreThis one was a book club pick, chosen by my friend’s mom who found several copies of it at the dollar store. Yep. Well, turns out, this book was a good choice for me, because I was able to read it and pretend that these people were my relatives (or at least *like* my relatives). Treating it as a personal journey was interesting and much more enriching than if I had just tried to slog my way through it. Overall, I enjoyed the story, and the surprising similarities between this family and my own ancestry were fascinating. I do think that the story had some issues with pacing and consistency, mostly because the two sisters wrote differently and didn’t go back and try to make the story completely cohesive. I can respect that, but some of the issues still bothered me (like Jesse sometimes being spelled Jessie, or Betty being called like 8 different names throughout the book). In the end, I was the only one in my book club to finish the book, and I was glad I did.(less)
This one was chosen by my friend’s aunt for our book club, and I was happy that my local library had it available as an e-book. I’m not very big on ho...moreThis one was chosen by my friend’s aunt for our book club, and I was happy that my local library had it available as an e-book. I’m not very big on holiday stories, but this one turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than I had anticipated. Maybe it’s because I can sometimes be curmudgeonly and so I could relate rather well to Luther, who wanted to skip Christmas and all the stress that comes with it altogether! The story was a light, enjoyable read, peppered with plenty of humor. I was kind of frustrated with Mrs. Krank near the end, because I felt like her actions were somewhat unrealistic, but I guess there wouldn’t have been as much of a story otherwise. All in all, a fun little read!(less)
My friend’s grandmother chose this one for book club, and I was keen to read it because I’ve seen the author’s name around a lot. First jarring observ...moreMy friend’s grandmother chose this one for book club, and I was keen to read it because I’ve seen the author’s name around a lot. First jarring observation: this book is written in third person present tense, which I really dislike and found awkward at time. The story was okay, and I actually did learn a few interesting things about Cherokee history. I found a lot of the plot to be predictable (not all of it, though), and some of the characters were quite frustrating. It’s one of those stories where I understand that without the stupid decisions the MC makes there would be no story, but that’s kind of what bothers me. Overall: interesting, but I didn’t like it enough to keep my copy (I gave it away).(less)
When I realized this was going to an upcoming book club assignment, I jumped at the chance to see Sue Monk Kidd when she came through town back in Feb...moreWhen I realized this was going to an upcoming book club assignment, I jumped at the chance to see Sue Monk Kidd when she came through town back in February. Her discussions and readings from the book made me fall in love with it before I’d even read a word. Even still, I had trouble getting started with this one. I ended up having to read it half on audio and half on paper so I could finish it in time for my book club meeting. Here’s the deal. The writing was absolutely beautiful. Kidd is a master at the eloquent turn of phrase, and this was one thing that I loved all the way through. I deeply admired the characters and their development throughout the story, but I found the pacing to be a bit too slow for me. I was impressed by Kidd’s inclusion of so much history and fact, and weaving that into her own story inspired by real people who made a HUGE dent in gender and racial quality.(less)