I can't even handle Anne/Gil. They get impossibly sweeter in this book and I'm just...do I sound ridiculous feeling so happy for these fictional charaI can't even handle Anne/Gil. They get impossibly sweeter in this book and I'm just...do I sound ridiculous feeling so happy for these fictional characters? Because I am. There's this source of warmth radiating from these two that I just never tire of. They're beautiful. I keep thinking the flame is going to dim a bit with each subsequent book but it never happens. They mature and face new obstacles together and become even more in love in their own special way. I'm gushing and I can't stop. OTP.<3
Every book I think: "Surely they're not at another new place with new characters that I may not end up caring about at all." And yet. Every book I'm proved wrong. Anne and Gil have their own little house of dreams now and make new friends, because of course they do. Kindred spirits all around. I always miss Green Gables like Anne misses Green Gables but she always manages to make every place her home. The new characters are fantastic! I wished for some miracle of happiness for poor Leslie Moore, his tale to finally get published for Captain Jim, and a neverending list of grievances about men for Miss Cornelia Bryant (this one probably didn't even need any of my wishing to come true).
This series is such a comfort to read. I honestly believe L.M. Montgomery could be describing garbage dumps and they'd seem like lovely places to visit. I can't get tired of her prose. I wouldn't say I ever hear nature calling for me but she makes every place sounds absolutely magical. ...more
It's all very unassuming. Superheroes exist and don't necessarily act like the heroes of the story. They go to work, day in andA quiet, little story.
It's all very unassuming. Superheroes exist and don't necessarily act like the heroes of the story. They go to work, day in and day out like the rest of us, because their powers don't necessarily help them in any way on a day-to-day basis. They aren't really heroes as they are in possession of major defining characteristics that others can't ignore. For such a short book, I believed it. Everything seemed like it could be possible.
There are teeny vignettes about these superheroes which can either be witty, sad, or profound, or maybe a bit forgettable/pointless but overall, it is more than the sum of its parts. Tom's mission to get The Perfectionist to see him again and break the curse keeps the story moving forward. I believed that relationship too.
I'm not sure I could really recommend this to anyone, but I'm glad I picked it up. It's quirky in all the right ways....more
I felt drained, lifeless. I was sure that everything was ruined. I'd never feel the same way around Mark. It would never be easy and comfortable betw
I felt drained, lifeless. I was sure that everything was ruined. I'd never feel the same way around Mark. It would never be easy and comfortable between us again.
I was right, as it turned out.
Now you tell me that's not the end of the world.
What a bittersweet read. I'd say it was way more bitter than sweet. It'd be polite to start off with a warning: the synopsis and design of the book does not prepare you for how quietly heartbreaking this story is. Not at all.
Stephen Shulevitz is on his last year of high school and has plans to leave his small town to go to university in Halifax. It should be an easy move. He's always been picked on by the jocks or left alone by the rest of the school. Ever since he's moved here with his parents - his dad has since abandoned the family so it's just him and his mom for years now - he's never belonged. His only two friends are Lana and Mark.
Mark McAllister. Best friend. Protector. Acts like his older brother most of the time and gets him out of trouble. Keeps him from being beat up by the other guys who calls him slurs when he's on his own. They've had this solid relationship for years, with their own routines and traditions and familiarity, but Stephen's always held back a part of himself. He's had feelings for Mark for a while now. He knows his life would be over if anybody knew. If Mark knew.
My heart ached so much for Stephen the entire time. The writing in this can be sparse at times but layered on perfectly. I can't remember the last YA read that got the atmosphere and anxiety down like this. You could feel the unease of Stephen as he's talking to you inside his head. He's either looking away and there'll be some detail or random moment, a brief linger of a sensation that'll come up because he lets himself drift, then it vanishes and he's popped back into reality. He tries all these different strategies to avoid confrontation and it hurts, because I can see myself in his shoes, to some extent. Sometimes the more quiet you are, the more you're letting yourself be noticed, like putting up this giant 'kick me' sign on your back. If you didn't have some good memories at school, this book may bring some of those rushing back. The nitty-gritty of every scene is captured in all its ugliness. These teenagers are not adorably awkward or clumsy with these teeny flaws and still loved. No, there are real consequences to being different with these people, and they'll pick and pick at you until there's nothing left. There's no sugarcoating any of it.
In the end, I think I couldn't help but feel for so many of these characters. They're so trapped, in a sense. I like that every one of them are flawed in their own way, some more than others, even Stephen. He isn't always in the right. You don't root for him in every situation. He makes some awful decisions, and yet, you can understand why.
I'm so glad I picked this up out of the blue. It's one of the few times where I haven't heard anything about this book: nothing via ads or word-of-mouth or lists, but just old school browsing the shelves. A tough but beautiful read. ...more
I'd give anyone $10,000 if he could turn Herb Carnegie white."
This quote from Conn Smythe was how I came to learn of Herb Carnegie. It's a shame thatI'd give anyone $10,000 if he could turn Herb Carnegie white."
This quote from Conn Smythe was how I came to learn of Herb Carnegie. It's a shame that this book isn't more popular and better edited to do justice to Carnegie's story, because it's a remarkable one and deserves it. You don't even have to flip open the book to find errors - the above quote on the back is credited to Conn Smyth. That's ridiculous. The overall project feels haphazardly put together, but nothing can take away the strength of Herb Carnegie's voice.
The tale of Herb Carnegie began like you'd expect of many hockey players back in the day. He grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada in North York and spent many hours outdoors on the ice, skating and practicing his skills. One day, if he keeps at it, he'll be good enough to play in the NHL. Race surely wouldn't play a part in it if he was good enough, he believed. Foster Hewitt was going to announce his name on a TV broadcast someday.
He was definitely good enough. Carnegie moved up the ranks to play in the Quebec Provincial League and won MVP accolades, yet never got called up to play until the New York Rangers invited him to camp in 1948, well past the age where players of his stature would be entering the league. He ended up only getting an invite to the minors, not the NHL team, and declined. That quote from Conn Smythe was actually when Carnegie played for the Young Rangers Junior A club in Toronto back in the 1930s, seeing him on the ice at Maple Leaf Gardens. That dashed his hopes of playing for the Leafs.
There's no sugarcoating any of this. Carnegie acknowledges the racism he faced as he played the game and like you'd expect, had regrets that his dream didn't pan out, but did so much more after putting up his skates. He spent time with his family, had a new career, started the Future Aces foundation to help kids, excelled in golf, and basically lived his life to the fullest.
I was fortunate enough to find a copy of this at the library because it's out of stock everywhere, even online. With the lack of good hockey books out there, this one shouldn't be forgotten. ...more
I think I can't help but forget about just how great Bobby Orr was. I mean, he's got so many accomplishments in the sport of hockey that it's easy toI think I can't help but forget about just how great Bobby Orr was. I mean, he's got so many accomplishments in the sport of hockey that it's easy to miss a few. Quite a list. As I was reading this autobiography, I realized that if you weren't even remotely familiar with Bobby Orr or a hockey fan, you wouldn't think he was that great of a player at all by reading this. Or as great a player to garner 'legend' status.
He is that humble.
This book reads more like Bobby Orr, the retired player/grandfather telling you the story of his upbringing and his time in the league, with life lessons added to the mix but very little focus on his achievements. I'm not talking about humble bragging or anything but really, he mentions his Cup wins with Boston but all of the credit goes to the coaches he's had and his teammates. If you didn't know about him beforehand, I think it's possible to think that he was just another defenseman playing on this great team, instead of being the greatest to play in that position of all-time.
It's a pleasant read. It won't do things like get new fans into the sport but if you love hockey, I think you'll enjoy this one. Bobby Orr reminisces a bit which is understandable, and actually has a few insights on the current state of the game and what he'd do. That was refreshing. It isn't really a tell-all sort of book, but nonetheless, a valuable addition to hockey writing. I think there's a terrible shortage of hockey books out there as it is. This can only be a positive thing, to have one of the greats have his say. ...more
I really wanted to give this a higher rating, but even 3 stars is a bit of a bump up - 2.5 would be more accurate.
The premise of this novel is a soliI really wanted to give this a higher rating, but even 3 stars is a bit of a bump up - 2.5 would be more accurate.
The premise of this novel is a solid one. It definitely stayed with me when I picked it up to read the synopsis because of the bright cover. Adam as the hero of the story, with obsessive-compulsive disorder, has his own inner and outer obstacles to deal with when he falls head over heels in love with Robyn, a newcomer to his support group. I'm not sure how I had confidence that this wasn't going to be more of a teenage romance and instead delved more into Adam and his struggles, but I did.
Overall, there isn't really anything big for me to nitpick over! I know I said 2.5 stars, but the story and the characters are quite solid. I got the sense the author did her research and made a real effort for the reader to empathize with Adam. I was firmly with Adam and rooted for his successes. There's a decent chemistry with the rest of the support group - there's a sort of superhero parallel that permeates the story that was a bit strange at first but worked. The romance might feel a little bit forced but we're getting only Adam's inner thoughts so I warmed up to it. I got used to the tone of it.
I didn't give this a high rating despite sounding like I would recommend it to people because I had a hard time getting through it. 'Getting through it' sounds the worst for 'reading it,' but that's what it felt like. All the pieces were there to make this a memorable YA read and even though I really liked the intention and the ingredients to it, I just wasn't engaged enough in the writing itself. I'm not sure what it was but for the good...first half or so, every chapter felt like a hurdle. I wanted to make it work so bad and the novel did improve for me by the end but if it wasn't for the premise and the heart behind it, I wouldn't bump this up to a 3 stars. ...more
**spoiler alert** Speaking from Among the Bones was actually my least favourite of the series and I was getting worried that the mysteries would becom**spoiler alert** Speaking from Among the Bones was actually my least favourite of the series and I was getting worried that the mysteries would become stale without further emotional advancement for Flavia and the other characters. I generally don't read many mysteries so having followed this one from the beginning is something special. I didn't want to lose interest.
It turns out I was worrying for nothing. I wasn't as excited about this one as the previous releases, but The Dead in the Their Vaulted Arches, the sixth in the series, reinvigorated everything. It packed a walloping emotional punch from the very start - a cumulation of all that we've learned about Harriet and how much her disappearance has affected the family - and never slow its pace. The grief of all the mourners hang heavy throughout the novel and changes the atmosphere completely. It isn't like the series that we're familiar with, but it works. Flavia's inner voice is as sharp as ever, but instead of providing poisonous tidbits, she offers tender insights about death and loss, more specifically, how the living must now deal with it all.
The usual formula worked well for the other books but I was feeling a bit of staleness. Flavia's humour never tires but full credit for Alan Bradley for making me want to find out more about the constant characters, so when I wasn't getting much development there and just the mysteries, I got bored. So to have Harriet as the centre of the novel not just in the sense of character development but the actual mystery? Wonderful. There's so much more at stake and seeing how the concrete fact of Harriet's death affect everyone in the house is heartbreaking. Especially Haviland. Oh god. All along, as seen through the eyes of Flavia, he comes off as this standoffish character that show much of a personality, and every little detail about his mourning here had my heart aching. There are only bits and pieces but now I can piece together a past for him, a story that existed before Flavia. A story that consisted of him and Harriet, being happy together.
With the twists and turns in this one and further adventures for Flavia at her new school, I'm now excitedly awaiting the next book! Bradley's done it. Aside from the first book which introduced me to this series, my favourite one out of the series has got to be A Red Herring Without Mustard because there was more emotional development with Flavia, mostly to do with Harriet. I wanted more after reading it and that was one of the reasons why I was disappointed with the next two. Now that there's this whole other backstory for Flavia to uncover, the possiblities are endless! And we will get to see her interact more with other children! Okay, Undine was not my idea of fun (and quite grating) but I think Flavia having some friends would be nice. Bike rides, picnics and chemistry experiments need not be lonesome activities, afterall.
I was hoping for more improved relationships with Daffy and Feely (I think I'm more like Daffy myself out of the three sisters) but ALAS. It was not to be! And now it looks like they're going to be driven even further apart. I know it wasn't important to the overall story but I was looking forward to Dieter and Feely's wedding, and more truces between the sisters. Perhaps distance may heal some wounds instead of letting them fester. I really hope it's the former. Maybe someday there can be a reunion or sorts and the family can be together again. ...more