For more reviews like this one, visit my blog, Wordbird! :)
No quote. Sorry.
I wasn't an enormous fan of Thirteen Reasons Why, as many were, so IFor more reviews like this one, visit my blog, Wordbird! :)
No quote. Sorry.
I wasn't an enormous fan of Thirteen Reasons Why, as many were, so I tried to approach this book with lower expectations. I severely underestimated it.
The Future of Us is not en epic action, syfy, or love story. There's nothing particularly incredible about it, but you wrap every scene and character up into one, and you find something very unique, very intriguing, and very, very fun.
I found the premise to be perfectly timely. I've recently been sucked into the vortex - the black hole, if you will - that is Facebook, but this book's message has caused me to look at Facebook, and other social media sites, in an entirely new way. I love that Asher and Mackler managed to create an entertaining, though simple, story that does have an extremely evident point and value infused in it without seeming preachy or insulting readers who just want a fun read.
Emma and Josh are a crucial part of that fun bit. They're quirky and cute, but most importantly, they are incredibly real. They seem just like kids I'd meet in my high school (the good kids). I loved that they were just as flawed as anyone, but a majority of those flaws were things I was willing to look over or tolerate because they, as a whole, are simply worth it. Josh in particular is a darling. He's a little misguided, and he tends to flop around like a fish out of water, but it's all so very endearing. Emma, on the other hand, was sweet and clever, but she was a tad more irritating, due to the fact that she was often melodramatic or short-sighted (very). In the long run, however, both she and Josh developed into two people that I was proud of.
Nothing monumental happens during the course of the book, but I had a feeling that I was on a journey throughout most of it. I can see the book in a timeline, and I can see the events, however small, that had a drastic effect on the story as a whole. It was written in a way that felt wonderfully concise and complete. Asher and Mackler did not waste their scenes. Looking back, I can tell that each one played a role, as did every character. It's fantastic, as a reader, to feel that I'm in the hands of a person or people that know(s) precisely what they're doing.
My main problem with the book was that it finished a little earlier than I would have liked. My needs as a reader were finally met, and then it was over. Very disappointing. However, it the scene was perfect. I suppose the writers figured they'd quit while they were ahead!
I think that readers of any sort of contemporary fiction will enjoy this. It's less tragic than Asher's first novel, and therefore more fit for any old rainy day. It's incredible how realistic they make this time-travel-through-the-internet deal feel. I never felt as though I was reading something fantastical or a science fiction novel. The Future of Us is, essentially, a story about a boy and a girl who find themselves in a mysterious pickle and must figure out how to keep their lives in order....more
I’ve heard plenty of great things about Lisa McMann, but ICOPIED FROM MY BLOG. FORMATTING WAS LOST.
I highly regret this day in advance.
I’ve heard plenty of great things about Lisa McMann, but I tried to keep my expectations reasonable as I dove into Cryer’s Cross. While I wasn’t blown away, I can happily report that Cryer’s Cross will likely be a hit among McMann fans.
Life certainly isn’t as simple and routine as it appears in the small town of Cryer’s Cross. McMann does a fantastic job of effortlessly showing the reader how comfortable the people of the town are in their way of life. Things are uncomplicated and proceed in a laid-back, seamless way. Of course, that’s all before the story begins. Mundane routines are not the makings of a good story.
But murder? Make that a murder and a disappearance? Now that’s what readers are waiting for. Cryer’s Cross does not disappoint in the area of intrigue. The general idea of the novel is precisely what a person would look for in a thriller. I loved the fact that there was undeniably something… unnatural going on beneath the surface, and the promise of that weird something kept me reading.
However, I finished the book feeling rather let down. The mystery wasn’t as complex as I had hoped. On the other hand, the climax of the novel was perfect. Perfectly disgusting, terrifying, and altogether ideal for a thriller. The sweet moments of pure revulsion are just what the story needs.
Aside from the climax, there were two other highlights – the romance and the way McMann portrays Kendell’s OCD. I’d never had a clear idea of what OCD is. Kendell’s life is constantly affected by it. Every moment from the one in which she wakes up to the one in which she falls asleep is mandated by her small obsessions. She makes it to school early to straightens desks, for example, and her entire morning is thrown off when she fails to follow her routine. On the other hand, there are times when her obsessive compulsiveness comes in handy, and I think part of Kendell’s story is the process she goes through to realize there’s a reason for the way she is.
The romantic plotline wasn’t unique in the way it played out, but I believe that’s simply because the method McMann used is tried and true. Every reader falls for the hard-to-get boy with the tough exterior, right? While slightly unoriginal, it works as beautifully as always and was a treat amidst the darkness of the mystery/thriller plotline.
Overall, the book didn’t wow me or prove exceptional, but it’s certainly worth your time if you’re a fan of Lisa McMann or quirky thrillers. There’s also something about mysteries set in small towns that gets me every time....more
Quote (and because I can’t resist, you get three quotes!):
I don’t like hope very much. In fact, I hate it. ICOPIED FROM MY BLOG. FORMATTING WAS LOST.
Quote (and because I can’t resist, you get three quotes!):
I don’t like hope very much. In fact, I hate it. It’s the crystal meth of emotions. It hooks you fast and kills you hard. It’s bad news. The worst. It’s sharp sticks and cherry bombs. When hope shows up, it’s only a matter of time until someone gets hurt.
There is only one thing I fear now-love. For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.
Cry your grief to God. Howl to the heavens. Tear your shirt. Your hair. Your flesh. Gouge out your eyes. Carve out your heart. And what will you get from Him? Only silence. Indifference. But merely stand looking at the playbills, sighing because your name is not on them, and the devil himself appears at your elbow full of sympathy and suggestions. And that’s why I did it….Because God loves us, but the devil takes an interest.
Review (which I encourage you to read, though the quotes above are evidence enough that you should read the book):
I received a copy of this beautiful book last October, just days before the release date. You’d think I would have read it already – after all, who can resist something so obviously focused on France? – but the size of this thing! It was daunting. However, after all the fabulous things I’ve heard about Revolution in the past few months, I couldn’t pass it on my way into my room without stopping, picking it up, and apparently, devouring it.
Revolution is a striking book. It exceeds expectations in almost every imaginable way. The setting, the premise, the mystery, the characters, the complex relationships and wild range of emotions – every aspect of a good book is magnified, improved, steroidal.
First of all: FRANCE.
Yes, in all caps. FRANCE.
This book has a lot of it. Not the language, really, but the feel, the atmosphere, the setting, foods, and history – it’s all so very French. I learned so much from this book without feeling like I was being taught. I eagerly looked forward to every bit of historical information. This book gives you the French Revolution so up close and personal you can see the blood staining the guillotine.
The main character, Andi, is phenomenal. I loved that her deep misery and biting attitude took root in something worthy of such terrible aftershock. Once I understood what she and her family had gone through, I could comprehend and sympathize with her general instability and the different ways her family members grieve. Her past literally haunts her, but that terrible past also does just what it was meant to – it molds her. She might be desperate and miserable at the beginning of the book, but it soon became evident that the horrors she struggles through have a purpose. Andi’s such an intricate person, and I found she’s incredibly likable for someone so rugged.
Relationships are the core of Revolution. All sorts of them. Father-daughter, siblings, friendship. There’s reluctant love, dutiful love, lack of love, romantic love, and just about every other type you can come up with. It’s such a dark and mysterious book, so I was surprised to think back and realize that it really does revolve around love. Andi’s relationships are so strained you’re waiting for them to reach their limit and snap – heck, you’re waiting for her to snap. There’s such contrast between, say, her relationship with her father and that with her little brother, but both of them play crucial roles.
Honestly, though, it wouldn’t be fair to focus solely on Andi, her story, and her relationships because this book is as much about Alex, the doomed teenage girl of the eighteenth century, as it is about Andi. Alex’s story begins with the end. You know instantly that she’s walking a tight rope while wind is crashing against her. She doesn’t have much time left, yet she’s bursting with the need to write down all that she’s gone through, particularly her relationship with Louis-Charles, or the lost prince of France. Alex is Louis-Charles’ companion and is charged with keeping his spirits up by the queen herself. Alex’s story takes place during the French Revolution, so clearly being charged with the happiness of the prince isn’t in her best interests.
Though Alex’s story is the more suspenseful of the two and I’m sure I was meant to be completely enthralled, her story is actually the only thing I had trouble with. I was definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY interested. Her diary is stuffed with gloriously fascinating bits of French history, retellings of horrific events, cunning people, and a beautifully told love story (not a romantic one). I wish I could tell you what it was that simply didn’t cut it for me, but I can’t. Alas, all I know for sure is that I found myself occasionally waiting her entries out, excited to get back to Andi. I have no idea why this was the case, but it was.
(I’m looking at the word count of this review now and freaking out. How on earth can I include everything I want to? A super long book requires a long review! Bear with me, please.)
The most delectable thing about Revolution is the way it’s all done. This book would have amounted to so much less in the hands of someone else. Jennifer Donnelly’s prose and style transform this book from an interesting story to a magnificent one. There are lines that I couldn’t resist reading to my mother. There are lines that made me stop and reread. I love it when I come across a book that just wows me and reminds me why I love words with the passion that I do. They have impact. They have force. They can make you feel and experience things you’d never have felt or experienced otherwise.
I’ll admit that the fact there’s some time-travel in the book escaped me. I suppose I knew it at one point, but I was definitely taken by surprise when Andi suddenly wound up in 1795. Not the sort of thing you expect after four-fifths of the book has passed with her snug in the twenty-first century. However, it was a sweet surprise to have the book take an unexpected turn so late in the game. My favorite character was suddenly in my favorite era! It was a little odd, but definitely a fun little romp. (That was the understatement of the week.)
Oh my goodness! Have I not yet mentioned there’s a love story (a romantic one this time)? What? No! My bad. Those of you who were losing interest due to the lack of mushiness, come back! There is indeed a love story, and it is, indeed, awesome. It’s simple, relatively smooth, and is everything you’d want it to be. The romantic plotline does include the only super predictable and cliché moment, but I think every book should be allowed one. The boy also has a really neat name (bonus!).
Revolution is, well, revolutionary. I reveled in every moment. Beautiful passage on top of beautiful passage, heart-wrenching moment on heart-wrenching moment, Jennifer Donnelly has constructed a story – wait, no, two stories – so captivating that 472 pages feels like 150. ...more