**spoiler alert** I generally liked the novel, though I think Romance just isn't my thing. I was impressed with the first 3/4s of "Wild Sight" because**spoiler alert** I generally liked the novel, though I think Romance just isn't my thing. I was impressed with the first 3/4s of "Wild Sight" because it tied in Donovan's "Sight" so well with his modern life; everything seemed to make logical shifts and the storyline was quite intriguing. However, I was suddenly thrown off by the direct interaction of the "Sight" with the current action. I could understand Donovan's forays into history and into the mystique, but when everything coalesced into one jumbled wrap-up, I couldn't take McGary seriously any longer. I mean, c'mon, McRory coming into the picture as some Norse warrior? I thought that whole "battle over the woman" thing a little unnecessary. But as I mentioned before, I just don't think I truly appreciate the over-the-top nature inherent in the romance genre. I must admit, I was thoroughly impressed with the development of Rylie and Donovan's relationship. They didn't jump each other immediately (one cliche), but it wasn't because one hated the other (another cliche). The speed with which they developed feelings for one another was understandable, logical, and perfectly enjoyable. I was actually impressed, overall, with "Wild Sight" and will probably check out more of McGary's work when I get the chance....more
I had a really hard time getting through the beginning, but I kept getting little hints at the beauty of Moody's style. I wasn't a huge fan of the chaI had a really hard time getting through the beginning, but I kept getting little hints at the beauty of Moody's style. I wasn't a huge fan of the characters (never really became one, actually) but I finished the book in love with the writing. It was stilted, random, filled with unnecessary details and rambling exposes on the landscape and teenage dystopia, but it all fit together so well that I loved it like an abandoned, scruffy mutt. The characters eventually came together in a way that made total sense without really needing to make any sense at all. I guess the book connected more with my particular disposition while reading it rather than my general favored type of reading, so perhaps upon a reread, I'll generally dislike it, but I'll until then look upon the novel with a sort of fond exasperation. In my mind, it has that underdog feel - there's so much that Moody wrote that propted eye-rolls, sighs, skimming, but something about it keep me rather enchanted. We'll see if that favor weathers my maturation when I give this novel another shot in the future, for I know I'll eventually come crawling back to it, hoping for more....more
I can't explain to anyone exactly why I adore this book. It's absolutely everything that I want in a novel - quirky, to the point, both fanciful and yI can't explain to anyone exactly why I adore this book. It's absolutely everything that I want in a novel - quirky, to the point, both fanciful and yet biting. These characters were all insane in one way or another and yet, it all seemed to make so much heartbreaking sense. I honestly inhaled this novel and felt strangely satisfied upon its completion. To me, a piece of literature isn't as good if it makes me want more; it should stand on its own and leave you with just enough to remember it, but not enough to want something beyond the pages you're given. I could easily ramble on about every aspect that I loved, but to put it simply, this was a really f**king fantastic book. Every word was heartbreak and hope and the lovely intrigue of human existence. Beautiful....more
(ARC - Trade Paper, 470 pages) I could hardly put this book down! It was my first of Zafon's writing and certainly encouraged me to check out his other(ARC - Trade Paper, 470 pages) I could hardly put this book down! It was my first of Zafon's writing and certainly encouraged me to check out his other work. The writing was so lush, so enchanting and fluid, that I was easily and immediately drawn into the dark, clawing Barcelona setting. Zafon truly has a marvelous style and I simply couldn't get enough of the way he chose precise words and details. Each phrase seemed lovingly planned, delicately placed amongst others to envelop the reader in this sordid yet irresistable life.
However, others aspects of the novel left me wanting. The plot ultimately threw me off more than satisfied me and the characters were often repulsive, but not in a fitting way. I felt Cristina to be most loathsome, Vidal quite pitiful, and David often very stupid. I completed the book wanting so much more, having too many questions to feel truly finished. Perhaps with a slower reading in the future, I will pick up nuances in the characters that will make them more useful and intriguing. Hopefully, I'll see details in the plot and mystery that will answer all the very important questions left by the end of my reading. I felt so despondent as I shut the book because nothing felt solidified in my mind - the mystery seemed to have so many holes and the reader was expected to fill in those holes based on wild guesses and assumptions. I could generally grasp everything up until the last sixth of the book, but after that, I gave up trying to understand what was happening.
I'm going to give this novel a second chance because Zafon's style is truly magnificent and addicting. I'm hoping that it was simply reader error that led to my disappointment and confusion over the plot because such beautiful writing deserves a much better base than through which I blindly wandered....more
**spoiler alert** To be totally honest, I wasn't entirely fond of this book. The writing was lovely, with a wide vocabulary and an interesting style,**spoiler alert** To be totally honest, I wasn't entirely fond of this book. The writing was lovely, with a wide vocabulary and an interesting style, but the plot and the characters fell flat. The only character that I felt stayed (mostly) true to the general establishment of her personality was Pevenche. She began as a spoiled brat and ended as a spoiled brat, albeit in a much better atmosphere. The two other primary characters, Mimosina and Valentine, seemed to develop new traits as it was required of the ending, even if those traits were in direct opposition to previous statements about their characters. Mimosina began as a character we would all love to hate but in a pitiful sort of way. Suddenly, at the end, we're expected to feel deep remorse and concern for this suddenly tragic creature and yet, we shortly thereafter are expected to again embrace the nasty, petty truth of Mimosina. She was a great and loved damsel in distress only when it suited the needs of the climax. Her character lacked a general progression of change that would have otherwise made it quite easy for the reader to suddenly feel distress at Mimosina's dire predicaments. Valentine's character was, I felt, similarly wishy-washy but to a lesser extent. His changes appeared to be less of a mental wild goose chase and more attributed to a change in perspective.
Even beyond the chracters was the plot. Perhaps it was only so for me, but by the first third of the book, I knew the basics of the ending. I had solved the mystery before we were ever truly made aware that there was this great mystery ahead. I spent pages upon pages waiting to see revealed what I already knew and felt that while the author did a decent job with weaving small details into the mystery without giving much away, she was trying too hard to keep a fairly obvious result as hidden as possible. Even if I hadn't already known what was to occur, I think the details still would have been tedious and obvious in their attempts to hide something. A good mystery leaves you realizing that you missed so many clues, made so many incorrect guesses by miscalculating the information and the results. This mystery, however, made it very clear that the hints were HINTS and that they MEANT SOMETHING and you should REMEMBER THEM. The entire plot was just one shoulder-nudge after another from the author.
Lovric has a wonderful style of writing that is both unique and intriguing, but all the other aspects of the novel spoiled whatever joy I may have otherwise experienced....more
You know, this books starts out pretty appropriately. It tells you to stop reading, to put the book down, to walk away, because you're not going to liYou know, this books starts out pretty appropriately. It tells you to stop reading, to put the book down, to walk away, because you're not going to like what you're about to read. I guess that's why I liked the novel. It's pretentious and vulgar in all the wrong ways, and yet, it's so very honest about everything. There were some passages that never seemed to end, seemed to keep rolling on with the same useless words and opinions over and over again, but even in that obnoxious monotony, Palahniuk gets his point across so very well. The characters are worthless and disgusting and yet, because they simply embrace who (and what) they are, they redeem themselves. A reader cannot imagine being so extreme in living and yet, eats up the very extremism that all the characters in this novel project.
I haven't decided if I absolutely loath this novel or if I absolutely love it, but I guess that's just one more thing that makes Palahniuk very good at what he does....more
An endearing and heartbreaking view of how the bubonic plague nearly destroyed the town of Eyam and how the citizens of the small town dealt with andAn endearing and heartbreaking view of how the bubonic plague nearly destroyed the town of Eyam and how the citizens of the small town dealt with and attempted to overcome the devastating disease.
The story was sparse but captivating - the characters were easily taken into my heart and the setting began to feel a little like home. Written as a first-person narrative by a survivor, Mall Percival, everything about the book seemed rather thin, including dialogue, characterization, setting, and more, but worked perfectly for the pretense under which the story was written.
I finished the book easily in one sitting, but that's not to say it wasn't an impactful and important story. The short novel would be perfect for younger readers interesting in exploring the effects of the Black Death for it gives the reader something to care about while still providing quality information....more
I thought I knew what to expect when diving into this book because I had heard so much about Hornby already - I thought it would be an great read duriI thought I knew what to expect when diving into this book because I had heard so much about Hornby already - I thought it would be an great read during a long drive, a book with enough humor to keep me amused while not causing me to roll my eyes at its self-assumed righteous wit (though that was abundant with the husband David) - but I was taken aback when I began to sincerely read the book.
The book begins with a slightly unfortunate, though rather common downslide into marital homicide, and travels through the battles of keeping the marriage together, the kids happy, and the spouses generally appeased, though these tribulations are not exactly what you'd expect from a middle-class doctor-wife and writer-husband. At first, the situation seems to be going according to the expected path towards divorce, but then a character is introduced that simply lost me. Through the character, I saw the driving idea of "how to be good," but the reactions of all the characters began to confuse me and take me away from the enjoyment I felt while reading. I think I almost understand the points Hornby was trying to get across, but I got too caught up in the surreal, impossible journey that the rest of the plot went through.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the book. I didn't really get into the book as much as I had hoped, and was both disappointed and impressed with the end, but How to Be Good was a decent novel with a lot of quirk and intriguing ideas. I was able to grab several "laugh out loud" quotes and learned a few new things about myself, but I can't say I'll pick up the book again....more
There's little to say about this novel other than that I've never felt so strongly about a book. It started out as an AP Psychology project and finishThere's little to say about this novel other than that I've never felt so strongly about a book. It started out as an AP Psychology project and finished as a deepl cherished novel that evoked more emotion in every single page than I've ever experienced in any other novel.
Even from the first few pages, you're devoted to Charlie. As he meets new friends, you become devoted to them as well. Charlie's sincerity and innocence beckons you to both smile and cry for he does everything with the purest of intentions. Even as he struggles with things others simply take for granted, he worries about what is best for those about whom he cares and is never anything but honest, even as that gets him into trouble.
The book truly taught me what it meant to find a balance between caring for others and caring for oneself. More than anything, this novel inspired me to be a much better, more sympathetic and understanding individual - to see the world and the people within it as essentially good, even as everything around me seems bad. Charlie helped demonstrate to me what it means to be purely and simply human....more