I wish I had reviewed this right after I read it because my review will not do this book and it's impact justice. quite simply here is a man who teachI wish I had reviewed this right after I read it because my review will not do this book and it's impact justice. quite simply here is a man who teaches us how to find purpose wherever we are and that purpose is the meaning that gives us the desire to live. This lessons classroom is a Nazi concentration camp. this book is transformative and to be read annually, in my opinion....more
I'm done with book 2, onto book 3 and i have to knock off a star. The reason is, I cannot stand when the main character starts to become so self absorI'm done with book 2, onto book 3 and i have to knock off a star. The reason is, I cannot stand when the main character starts to become so self absorbed and it happens with Katniss. Every wrong to someone else, she starts to blame on herself. It is way too self important and "neatly wrapped up" in the books. There are more sophisticated ways of showcasing guilt or responsibility. This just seems to be the very easy way out.
However, that said, book 2 has a solid plot twist. I can't say it's a shocker because I kind of saw it coming, but I didn't see it coming until just before it actually did. Furthermore, it was less about being predictable and more about the fact that that this book will have you wondering, along with the characters, what the hell is going on!
I'm reading this at the same time as reading Game of Thrones. It was sort of a read-off to see on which I'd want to spend more time. "The Hunger GamesI'm reading this at the same time as reading Game of Thrones. It was sort of a read-off to see on which I'd want to spend more time. "The Hunger Games" wins by a hair (a big hair) for 2 reasons. 1) I saw Season 1 of Game of Thrones and the season so closely follows the book there is not much I will learn over and above what I already know (er - rememember). 2) This is such a unique story and unfathomable in many ways, but the emotions that thus far are going into how the main character makes decisions and works out internal dialogues allows everyone to relate.
Book 1 was awesome to put it simply. What an interesting story and very well written. I found that I didn't think too much about gender and had no problem suspending disbelief. Often when a female is put in a strong physical role where she's triumphing over men, it sometimes is hard to not to consider that she's female and either have an opinion that either it's unrealistic or she's some extraordinary female (I'm female). This was so well written that I never once thought that. Also, the level of violence is another angle that's hard to get right but I found myself not questioning the necessity of it. Well done book 1!
So far, I love it. I love that this is sci-fi fantasy rooted in medieval times. I did watch the first season of "Game of Thrones" and it prompted me tSo far, I love it. I love that this is sci-fi fantasy rooted in medieval times. I did watch the first season of "Game of Thrones" and it prompted me to read the books. The series matches the book so far, seemingly word for word (although I have not verified this). What I gain from the books is reliving the series again (before watching the second season I planned on re-watching the first - now I won't have to) and getting an insight into what people are thinking. In the series, you must rely on the actors interpretation but in the book, you are able to gain additional insight.
If you've seen the series and loved it enough, you'll enjoy reading it again. If you have not, then it's a must read if you believe you'd like this blend of genres.
I believe I will save watching the second season until after I read book 2. ...more
This is what I'd call an entertaining and easy read. I did like it, but I wasn't surprised by anything. If anything, I believe this book speaks to manThis is what I'd call an entertaining and easy read. I did like it, but I wasn't surprised by anything. If anything, I believe this book speaks to many women (and men) because it's about finding that perfect relationship and then running into an ex who's so far from the man (or woman) you're with that it causes you to start re-evaluating or even questioning what might have been. My favorite part of this book was when Ellen (the protagonist) found out her best friend, years ago, had lied to her about her ex coming back to see her. This, to me, should have been explored much more as it was the most interesting part of the book. Why? Because it called into question the very friendship that Ellen had with her best friend (which happens to be her husband's sister) and that leads to an interesting topic of whether or not you can or should make decisions on behalf of other people because you believe its in their best interest. This is the "playing God" scenario. And of course, it calls into question whether or not what could have been, should have been. Giffin did utilize this effectively, I just think it's the far more interesting part of the book and should have been a focal point, not a tool to further the plot.
What I liked about this book was the way that Ellen's best friendship changed based on environment and circumstances. This seemed very realistic to me. I think we've all encountered feelings associated with our best friends where we thought we were invincible, knew each other 100% only to realize later on in life that a minor or major shift in environment can change all of what we knew.
As I write this, I realize the more interesting part for me was the friendships and not the marriage of Ellen.
I recently gave this book away with the recommendation that "I liked it, I wanted to finish it but if you find you don't like it, just pass it along". It's not a resounding "You will LOVE it!" because I just couldn't give it that. I think if you have ever struggled with having a relationship tested by an ex or a friendship tested by loyalty and trust, you will like this.
My assessment thus far of Giffin is that she's likeable as an author precisely because she writes about experiences that resonate with a larger enough population. If you have never experienced what her characters experience, I don't think you'd be interested. ...more
I'm choosing "liked it", which is 3 stars, because I wanted to finish it. I will put a book down if it doesn't catch my attention. Otherwise, I mightI'm choosing "liked it", which is 3 stars, because I wanted to finish it. I will put a book down if it doesn't catch my attention. Otherwise, I might have chosen 2 stars. That said, I didn't like how this book was so neatly tied up. You have a central figure, Claudia, who doesn't want children, meets a man who also doesn't want children and they get married. Her 2 sisters fill the roles of "woman who marries rich, has 3 kids, but a cheating husband" and "woman who marries perfect, loving partner and teaches children all day long, but can't have children". Her best friend fills the role of "otherwise good, successful, smart woman who has affairs with married men". These characters allow Giffin to explore the main list of stereotyped lives of women easily, but also predictably. While the focus is on Claudia, there are sub plots with each of the women. At the end it's all neatly tied up. Eh. I'd have loved if Giffin made it messy in some ways at the end. Adults should be sophisticated enough to be left without resolution. The point of some novels should be to keep us thinking hard about our own lives at the end precisely because it reminds us that life is not always neatly tied up. And a novel about the difficult topic of whether or not to have a baby ESPECIALLY when it's related to the women's struggle (because of clocks and whatnot), should fall in the category of messy, in my opinion. ...more
I am a long time admirer of Nelson Mandela. Ever since I wrote my first book report about him when I was 13 years old, I have been inspired by him. II am a long time admirer of Nelson Mandela. Ever since I wrote my first book report about him when I was 13 years old, I have been inspired by him. I was hoping to gain some of his wisdom by reading this book, but I'm afraid I found it devoid in the first 1/3 of the book. That's as far as I made it. I am not going to say it wasn't at all interesting, but I wasn't reading it to understand the minute details of a young boys journey into early manhood. Rather, I was hoping to understand what sets Nelson Mandela apart from most men. Perhaps if I were to finish the book, I'd learn that, but as one who loves to read, it really shouldn't take that much effort to get me to finish a book. It's rare that I don't finish. My feedback to the editors would be to step back, forget who the book is about for a moment, and ensure that it's not superfluous. I wish I could give this a better review.
PS: After my book report on Nelson Mandela in 1985, I went on to read Kaffir Boy and was blown away. A true story of a South African boy.