If you're like me, in order to get a good grade in a class you have to at least be able to reason with the information instead of rote memorization. T...moreIf you're like me, in order to get a good grade in a class you have to at least be able to reason with the information instead of rote memorization. This book has saved my life in organic chemistry. David Klein is amazing at mentioning simply in every section prior "information" the teacher should have told you what is but probably didn't. For example, I had no idea what a "carbonyl" group was and what exactly was happening in certain mechanisms. I'm fairly certain my professor might have mentioned in passing what a carbonyl group was, but I was too busy trying to follow to register.
Klein offers advice and gentle reminders in small sentences that don't make you feel like an idiot. He is very adamant that this is not a textbook but a book IN ADDITION TO the textbook. In fact, I read what he has to say before I even crack the textbook so I am already familiar with nomenclature and can focus on the studying aspect instead of stopping every few sentences and having to look up a term. This saves much headache and frustration in a subject that already has plenty of that built in. Plus it has loads of practice problems (with solutions in the back!) to try before tackling your textbook.
This book (and its twin for the first semester) are so much better than any Dummies book or Demystified book I've read for organic chemistry. SO much better. If you are going to buy a book for this course, get this one and First Semester Topics before you try anything else. It is so very worth it.
You might also want to buy a separate pack of highlighters just for these books too, just because there's so many great tips.(less)
Unfortunately, this is one of those books that you imagine is so much better than it actually is. Sadly, my imagination and reality weren't even on th...moreUnfortunately, this is one of those books that you imagine is so much better than it actually is. Sadly, my imagination and reality weren't even on the same planet. That's not to say this isn't a good, solid book because it is. But it is just so... well bland.
It starts out a little shaky but solid, with Dez and her friends the triplets and everyone is about to have their world shatter with their enemies hunkering down in the same city, yadda yadda. But then it turns and becomes a sort of forbidden romance (very VERY watered down romance) and BAM there's the war tearing people apart, etc. It was so very much like reading a book made for elementary students in that there's main events but hardly anything linking the events together and plot twists are almost entirely missed because you're so confused on how the story had gotten to that certain part in the first place. I was being 'told' and not shown much of the time and it just felt so off.
Even the characters felt like they had a huge major chunk missing. It felt like it was more important to have a good solid page count rather than solid characters. I know I've said before in my prior reviews that characters are the most important part to me of a story and I felt like I got nothing from any of the characters than I did from their introduction in the beginning.
Plus the folklore of the guardians of Egyptian pharaohs or whatnot was nonexistent. There's a mention of the 'ancient ways' in passing maybe a handful of times throughout the book. I felt that it was odd to not have the premise of the book actually in the book. That may be part of what made the book very unbelievable to me, but it was unfortunate because so much could have been done with this idea.
I wouldn't recommend buying this book to anyone really just because I am more neutral to it than anything. I'd borrow it or buy it used simply because I was so indifferent I'm not sure if it was worth it for me to buy it full price. I love the cover though, it's very stunning. (less)
A very good book for younger children with strong foundations in self-trust and coming-of-age, Neubert uses a different voice in his narratives than y...moreA very good book for younger children with strong foundations in self-trust and coming-of-age, Neubert uses a different voice in his narratives than your usual run-of-the-mill middle grade books that is captivating and engaging.
Timo is a reckless kid, wanting to prove to everyone he isn't just raw talent. His friend Dino wants nothing more than to read his books and try and keep Timo out of trouble. Val, a sort of crush of Timo's, wants to be independent and find her baby brother. The characters are woven together closely and very carefully, transitioning their maturity levels at a steady and rapid pace.
A great book about accepting those that are different and standing up for what you believe in. The writing is not completely polished and switches between "showing" and "telling" a little more than my tastes could handle sometimes, but this didn't hinder my appetite for the story line too much. I love the deep roots of nature this book has as well as the inventiveness of an entire complex culture introduced simply but extravagantly for a child rather than pages and pages on end of descriptions geared more for older readers.
I cannot wait to pick up the next book! I'm definitely going to let my mom have access to the book for her elementary schoolers.(less)
I got this audio book mostly because it's read by Ellen DeGeneres. I love her, I think she's hilarious, and so I thought that she'd be great to listen...moreI got this audio book mostly because it's read by Ellen DeGeneres. I love her, I think she's hilarious, and so I thought that she'd be great to listen to as if she were putting on a show on CD. This is not the case.
Unfortunately, as much as I love Ellen, her audio book sounds stilted like, well, she's READING it. The jokes are a little like jokes you plant in a speech that has a monotonous edge to it that totally ruins the entire thing.
The entire book wasn't like that, but the lead up to the punch line falls flat when she can't get that "I'm reading you a funny joke but I have to be careful I don't spit in the microphone so I'm going to read with one tone of voice for places I might spit whilst laughing" out of her voice! It's so frustrating!
The book itself was a compilation of seemingly random chapters, some very short and some long. There's a long period of silence for a 'meditation' period as well as one chapter she says 'hey, look in the printed copy because we're gonna skip reading them here' (this is the 'text lingo' chapter). Luckily, I had access to the book, but it's kind of a waste of your time to try and track it down. There's also a chapter that is all about sounds which is perfect for the audio book and not so much for the printed version.
Plus, it's short. I mean, REALLY short. Like we're talking three hours short. And I honestly didn't like it enough to listen to it again. It is definitely a woman-empowering book and some of the chapters I laughed out loud but most I really wanted to skip.
I'd borrow it from the library before you decide to buy the audio book. But a decent read nonetheless.(less)
There are hardly words to describe how much I adore this book. I am just at a loss.
First, I'm fairly certain it's a stand-alone, which actually works...moreThere are hardly words to describe how much I adore this book. I am just at a loss.
First, I'm fairly certain it's a stand-alone, which actually works out very well. This is the way the story needed to be; it just feels so right. But just in case you were wondering, I have now dispelled that curiosity.
Second, I LOVE every single character in this book. Every one. I am not kidding. Is it a lyrical masterpiece that will go down in history as a "classic"? Probably not. But it's real. The characters had depth (although I didn't pay much attention to Zak, the original boyfriend person, so I suppose I could be wrong about him) and personality and REALNESS to them. Lenzi was a "typical" girl by being slightly "atypical" and aptly side-stepping stereotypes at the last minute instead of making large swerves around them. Something about that "oh I know who she'll be... wait no. Oh but it could go this way.... oh. I guess not." was a surprisingly desirable 'road less traveled'. It was just a fascinating take on how to make a heroine.
And Alden. Oh Alden. He is the kind of boy that is perfect right where he is. I have no impulse to "re-imagine" him in a different setting with a different character, nor do I have any "crush" on him in the same regard that one would not desire a married man (metaphorically and all). He fit so seemlessly, so absolutely perfectly, but in a toned down "breath of cool air after you've endured a long winter" sort of way.
There were parental figures (that actually were present and normal), families, friends, and even the ghosts had personalities. Lindsey definitely did something right when she wrote this book. I am seriously SO in love. I devoured this book and can see myself re-reading it over and over again (whereas some of the books I loved I felt I had found all the mysteries in their pages reading them only once and they sit, untouched, on my bookshelf) with an insatiable appetite every time.
I will now read anything Mary Lindsey writes, no matter what it might be. (less)
First off, I hate the fact that they changed the cover when the first two in the series are similar. I don't particularly like this cover either. It's...moreFirst off, I hate the fact that they changed the cover when the first two in the series are similar. I don't particularly like this cover either. It's too retro '70s and doesn't match the first two with the awesome models posing like gangsters. Why can't they just give me the option to buy a cover similar to the first two? It's messing with my OCD, not even kidding.
This was a decent end to the series. In the first two, there was a lot of people "working" people, using their powers, and even an exploration of what powers are and how they came to be. There isn't a lot of that in this book by comparison. However, what there is totally makes up for the slight blandness of the story. You get to learn more about Cassel's powers, his flirtation with the feds and what he deems "the good side" of his life, and the one and only love of his life. I was mostly satisfied.
The book series as a whole leaves me lacking. I sort of feel like I'm talking with a person who just has a forgettable face and personality and leaves me with no impression whatsoever. That's not to say that it isn't very well written with strong characters, it's just that it isn't my favorite nor will it ever stand out in my mind as a series that impacted me one way or the other. Cassel will forever be a fantastic inherent "bad" guy always trying to be good, but he left me with nothing to aspire to daydream with.
All that aside, if you've read the first two books, you must read this one because I believe Black did a good job ending the story. Plus I did care quite a bit about Cassel and his views on life, even if he wasn't very memorable to me. So I enjoyed it, but it was more like a small snack before a big meal in terms of satisfaction in the long run.
P.S. Why is the cover art on the audio CD and Kindle version different than this '70s pop art nightmare? That artwork would match my set! I demand a printing of it in hardback!!(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the first sentence, I fell in love with Sage. It's unusual to have a strong male lead that has spunk in young adu...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book. From the first sentence, I fell in love with Sage. It's unusual to have a strong male lead that has spunk in young adult literature, and Sage is definitely it. I was immediately drawn to him like a magnet and he held me captivated the entire story. He is strong, cunning, stubborn, and honorable to a fault (all on his own terms, of course).
The entire book was enjoyable to read in every aspect I could have hoped for. There are plenty of books that I like well enough, mostly for a certain background character or for superior writing. To be honest, sometimes it's a struggle to continue reading, as opposed to voraciously devouring it and willingly sacrificing sleepless nights as you are craving more. Unfortunately, I valued my grades more than sating my curiosity, so I did not stay up nights, but did find myself reading more than one chapter whilst waiting for, say, my computer to load and looking up forty-five minutes later to find that I had no memory of what I had meant to do.
Nielsen incorporated everything I love about medieval times: no useless technology complicating a good story, chivalry, and the will to survive. I suppose not all of those are exclusive to the medieval period, but that is of little concern. The plot didn't drag too much, mostly due to Sage and his incorrigible personality, and there was such a stark realness to every character that captivated me (though not too real as to remind me of the world I am currently occupying by no choice of my own). I was, however, a bit baffled with the plot twist. I'm sure other readers caught on quicker than I did, but it slapped me in the face and knocked me for a bit before I could follow the story again. This wasn't a huge detraction and I might just have horrible reading comprehension skills, but I didn't see it coming.
After that point, the story felt ever so slightly forced. That might be because, as I already mentioned, I am apparently not the most observant reader in the world, but I felt like Nielsen ran out of things to say in the allotted pages that wouldn't leave a huge cliff hanger. Possibly my mind was still reeling, but I felt the transition could have been a little smoother.
Overall, if you liked GRACELING or FIRE by Kristin Cashore, I highly suggest you read this book. There aren't huge similarities other than superficial plot comparisons and characters that are, well, characters, but I got the same vibe from that series as I do from THE FALSE PRINCE. I cannot wait for the next one!(less)