A decent read. Nothing too special, though. Seth is a likable narrator and I was immediately hooked by the opening chapter when he is dumped by his gi...moreA decent read. Nothing too special, though. Seth is a likable narrator and I was immediately hooked by the opening chapter when he is dumped by his girlfriend, sees his dad with another woman, and is fired from his fourth job of the year all on the same day. But I did tune out a bit during the golf scenes. (Much of the setting is at a summer golf club.)
I picked this audio book up because I saw it has an iPod on the cover. Why, I listen to my audio books on my iPod! A perfect match! When I found out the narrator uses podcasting to make sense of his love life, I thought this would be a perfect novel for audio. I am a fan Nick Podehl's narration, and would listen to anything he narrates. He's believable as a teenage boy, and his voices for other characters are superb.
I've been a fan of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" since the day the first movie premiered. That show, and the character of Hercules, shaped my imp...moreI've been a fan of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" since the day the first movie premiered. That show, and the character of Hercules, shaped my impressionable teen years. I learned a lot about myself through it, somehow. I remember when Kevin got sick and was off the show for a bit, but of course I really had no idea that the man almost DIED. The production team kept it quiet. But really no one aside from Kevin, his wife, and his doctors actually knew the true extent of Kevin's health issues. (Nerd alert: I listened to the DVD commentaries of those episodes when they were released in 2004, and even then they only eluded to his health scare.)
Kevin Sorbo's memoir of the health crisis that nearly killed him is unapologetically honest. It needs to be. Fourteen years after experiencing the aneurysm and the strokes that nearly took his life, Kevin spills it all. He doesn't hold back, even when he talks about how weary and depressed he was while struggling with his recovery while trying to move on with his career and life in general. I sobbed through most of this book. I laughed through the rest. Kevin's story pulled my heart in all sorts of directions.
I would have enjoyed this book even if I wasn't a fan of Kevin, though being a fan is primarily the reason I picked it up, of course. I loved Kevin's personal anecdotes. I was moved by his private struggle. I felt all mushy when he talked about his relationship with his wife. Kevin's likable personality shined through and held everything together. Interspersed are essays penned by his wife, co-workers from the production of "Hercules," and even one by his mother. I listened to this on audio, and Kevin does the narration himself while Sam, his wife, read the other parts. At a few points in the reading, you can almost hear both Kevin and Sam nearly break down in tears. Which, of course, made ME break down in tears.
I loved this book. It was both heart-warming and heart-breaking in all the right places. It left me with a wonderful feeling, and it thankfully never slips into "self-help"/advice-giving mode that it very easily could have. Kevin tells his story, and you're free to make of it what you will.
After reading this and learning what Kevin went through, he has replaced Hercules as my hero. This book is a remarkable act of bravery.(less)
Fantastic sequel to "The Adoration of Jenna Fox." I was hesitant to read it at first, since it was narrated by Locke and not Jenna's story. But I got...moreFantastic sequel to "The Adoration of Jenna Fox." I was hesitant to read it at first, since it was narrated by Locke and not Jenna's story. But I got over that pretty quickly. Locke is an awesome character and it was easy to let him take me on this journey. I love the futuristic world that Pearson builds here. Every detail was so vivid, from the landscape to social issues. (less)
I enjoy Gail Carson Levine's books, but this one was just boring. The story just crawled, and more time was spent trying to get me to visualize this w...moreI enjoy Gail Carson Levine's books, but this one was just boring. The story just crawled, and more time was spent trying to get me to visualize this world instead of focusing on the the plot or characters. I know Levine is capable of so much more, so I'm a little puzzled as to why this book was so disappointing.(less)
Oh, Meg Cabot, what did you do to the myth of Hades and Persephone? Okay. I do appreciate that this story is not a straight-up retelling, but rather a...moreOh, Meg Cabot, what did you do to the myth of Hades and Persephone? Okay. I do appreciate that this story is not a straight-up retelling, but rather a reinterpretation inspired by the Greek myth. Unassuming girl captures heart of the lord of the underworld. But this book is very oddly done.
My wish list for this book:
+More scenes with the enigmatic John. There is more talk *about* this guy than actually seeing him in action. Maybe it would have ruined his mysteriousness, but a love story should prominently feature one of the love interests, no?
+Less whining from Pierce. Even now, months after finishing this, I still hear "Check yourself before you wreck yourself." Her character was so blah and annoying that I can't figure out why an eternal death deity would be fascinated with her.
Things I loved about this book:
+The setting of Isla Huesos. Everything about the description of this place felt so authentic, like I was really there, experiencing the sweltering heat and epic thunderstorms.
+The concept that there are many death deities serving many different underworlds.
Things I didn't love about this book:
-The odd way the flashbacks were incorporated. If done well, flashbacks can be very satisfying. But it felt like it took forever to learn Pierce's backstory, and the reveal had absolutely no payoff.
-The ending came out of nowhere. And not in a good way.
-Pierce. For the love of Zeus, it felt like she went OUT OF HER WAY to be ridiculously annoying and unlikable - not just to me, the reader, but to everyone she interacted with.
I'm going to stop there. I don't think Meg Cabot does "dark" very well. I much prefer her upbeat, plucky heroines like Mia Thermopolis, Sam Madison, and Ellie Harrison to the dreary Pierce Oliviera. I can't help but think that Cabot was trying to appeal to this new market of teens who like their heroines spineless, helpless, and self-absorbed.