This book was a beautiful blend of narrative and introspection. Having grown up in the south in the '90s, I found that a lot hasn't changed much betwe...moreThis book was a beautiful blend of narrative and introspection. Having grown up in the south in the '90s, I found that a lot hasn't changed much between the '60s and now. Stockett did a fantastic job portraying little southern nuances that might not make much sense to the rest of the United States. There is still female cruelness and hierarchy and it delighted me to read Skeeter's thoughts on the whole matter. It did have the Scarlet O'Hara pining and whining but included what I like to call the southern woman stubbornness of knowing who you are and not caring if that isn't accepted.
Though this book is primarily about racial segregation, it's also about family and loyalty and love and heartbreak and friendship and growing up and deciding things for yourself. Skeeter is naive and purposefully blind to the way the Help has always been treated and it's a beautiful thing to see her evolve and defy Hilly, her 'best friend' since childhood. Her adoration of the woman who raised her and her indifference to her own biological mother was so very indicative that you don't have to be related to someone to be family and the people you are related to aren't necessarily your family.
The voices were so lyrical and painfully real. Their story was heavy but filled with lightness where ever they could find it. I especially loved Aibileen and Mae Mobley because they are the perfect example of loving a child because of their differences and not despite of them. Minny's dedication to Celia even though she distrusted white women was just so honest.
If you've seen the movie, that's fine and dandy, but you have to read the book. The movie leaves out a couple of small but very key details that polish the entire story and make it bloom. There isn't a perfect happily ever after, but this is the closest book of fiction I've ever read that's come closest to that bittersweet feeling of living a hard life and moving past the bitterness and savoring the good. I do think that this will most likely become a classic because the 'realness' of it mirrors, to me, classics such as TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and OF MICE AND MEN (though the Help has nothing in common aside from the presentation of the story). It is not a 'feel good' book nor is it a 'not-feel good' book. It makes you think and feel and in the end, I think that's all that a good book should do.(less)
So this book was... interesting. The premise of a "white" girl from Tennessee stealing off in the night with a false identity to the Cherokee territor...moreSo this book was... interesting. The premise of a "white" girl from Tennessee stealing off in the night with a false identity to the Cherokee territory to teach in a Cherokee seminary. Now, me having a drop of Cherokee blood in my veins, I was fascinated as to where this could go. It isn't so much about Cherokee traditions, it's more about haunting and people pretending to be what they're not. Which is fine.
And then I got to the "haunting". Frankly, I've read more foreboding ghost stories written for children. It was a little spooky, but seemed to flirt between trying to be a scary haunting and being the memoirs of poor Willie trying to fake out people. Which is fine too. But it was average fine.
And then there was this whole romance thing. While WE knew it wasn't wrong for Willie to have a crush on a student (seeing as the student was OLDER than her anyways), no one else did. And it was sort of a "Hey, I think I'll insert romance here in these few pages" and then you see no more of it for chapters and chapters.
The coolest part was at the end. But I can't talk about it and not spoil stuff, but the cool part still didn't redeem the odd uneven plot of this book.
Pick it up at the library before you decide if you like it.(less)
Sort of a "Kate and Leopold" type of story, but with more of a teenage twist. It was very sweet, the man very gentlemanly but without being a total sa...moreSort of a "Kate and Leopold" type of story, but with more of a teenage twist. It was very sweet, the man very gentlemanly but without being a total sap, and it moved fairly well. I kind of feel that I didn't really connect fully with any of the characters, and I couldn't completely immerse myself in the world, but I still read it cover to cover in one afternoon.
A little choppy, her best friend Opal was almost exclusively two dimensional, but I did admire characters who loved books as much as I do. Just a little... rushed. I hate books that have sequels and sequels, but I felt this book could have been explored better in more than one book. But that may just be me.
Very sweet, endearing, fascinating! I am getting a copy for myself now!(less)
Fantastic. A little slow in the way that there wasn't so much time together with Philip and Michele, but I got the definite feel of "Back to the Futur...moreFantastic. A little slow in the way that there wasn't so much time together with Philip and Michele, but I got the definite feel of "Back to the Future" where you meet your grandparents and relatives. The prose was very well written and flowed perfectly. I also loved how the book was so rooted in music. How you never despaired too much knowing that it was too lighthearted of a book to really give up.
The best parts of this book outshone many others I have read. The fact that the history was so well researched, that the time traveling (though still vague) had some rhyme and reason in that she only moved through years and not location, and that the whole "it was destined to happen, but couldn't have happened unless it already did" conundrum that I always find fascinating (and a bit of a headache) was present really did this book justice in my eyes. Though do know, it's more of a "explore the history of the family" rather than a lot of "face-to-face" time with Philip and Michele. And, if you know anything about me, I really don't like romance and love rich history, so this was okay for me. It was an extra bonus that the man was INCREDIBLY chivalrous and so very kind.
The drawbacks were minor, but still there. Although I loved the characters, I never felt close to them. I felt like I was watching this happen to someone else, not experiencing it with the charater in the story, face to face. Now that is SUPER picky of me, but I really do like to have a relationship with the characters I read and I was SO close but never reached that point. The other, which is typical and should have been expected, was that I was under the mistaken understanding that this was a stand alone book. So when the "TO BE CONTINUED..." showed up at the end, I had tears streaking my face (from the earlier chapters) going "NOOOO!" I will definitely pick up the companion book, however, but was just misguided and expecting a short, sweet, finished story. Plus, it was ever so slightly predictable, but without being perfectly explained. When you get to the end, you'll understand that.
All in all, 4 and a half stars. Good enough to keep in my collection and good enough for me to eagerly await the companion. Fantastic read!
This was an interesting read. I wasn't expecting it to be set in Victorian-like times, but it was an interesting bonus. The characters were really twi...moreThis was an interesting read. I wasn't expecting it to be set in Victorian-like times, but it was an interesting bonus. The characters were really twisted. Alice made me shiver, and Zink didn't go with the cliched "twin sisters must be best friends and do everything with one another". Alice was one twisted sister. I liked Lia well enough, and the mystery behind the whole story was pretty fascinating. I am a sucker for old "treasure map" mysteries, and this one even had a dash of magic!
I wasn't really sure about the other characters. Lia's younger brother was fairly well fleshed out as well as her aunt, but I felt her boyfriend/lover/friend was a little flat. Well, a lot flat. I understand that he didn't have a big role in the book, but I felt their romance was cardboard.
The role of her friends Sonia and Luisa, as well as some shocking twists that hit me full force, I was not entirely sure where the book was headed. The end clearly left a lot to be done in the next book, but it didn't leave a large "I can't wait for the next book to come out!!!!" void. It was just a little lackluster.
All in all, a good read. I devoured it in a day. (less)
This book was an interesting blend of historical-ish, sci-fi (biology-wise), and love. Camille hunts werewolves with her guardian. Her sister lives in...moreThis book was an interesting blend of historical-ish, sci-fi (biology-wise), and love. Camille hunts werewolves with her guardian. Her sister lives in a psych ward, but there's nothing wrong with her. And she falls in love with boy who will be her victim on the next full moon. Enticing right?
Well it actually was pretty enticing. Although it is essentially a "werewolf" book, the story didn't give any indication that werewolves were anything but feral (unlike many popular books today where it's okay to date/mate/marry one) and it was more realistic in that way. Even though Camille did some very, let's say, wimpy things for a heroine, she was always strong and didn't ever let her emotions rule her more than her logical side. She was a likable character. A bit eccentric, but that made her all the more real.
Nathaniel Strider was enticing, but I don't think he'll have a very big "fangirl" gathering. He was appropriately bland, yet with facets of intrigue. Of course, he was also a bad boy orphan, who stole from corpses. He didn't "wow" me, but he didn't falter under the aura Camille exerted throughout the story, which was a feat.
Camille's sister, Emily, didn't appear very much but was mentioned a lot. She added an interesting depth to the story, a thorn in the picture. It never was explained clearly why she was in the mental facility to begin with, other than the fact that she just "could no longer face the outside world", which I thought was odd for someone who wasn't ill, but maybe she was and I missed it. Either way, I kind of liked her, both whimsical and moody alike.
The biology aspect of the whole story really appealed to me. The details were a little sketchy on how the Doctor described things, but then again, I'm pretty sure this was set back at least a good 70 years or so and they wouldn't know half as much about blood cell intricacies as we do today. As a molecular biology major, it bothered me slightly, but it probably won't be noticed by anyone other than me. Plus it was technically historically accurate.
All in all, the story was decently paced. I never really lost interest. The action starts right away, but it doesn't quite pull you all in like some other thriller books. It's more of a lazy read, or to have your Kindle read it to you while you drive back and forth from Nashville to Atlanta. It was fairly decent and not too shallow development-wise for some enjoyment to come out of it.
The Kindle edition does have its fair share of typos (like, GLARING typos) so be warned. (less)
I wasn't aware that this book was so rooted in Christianity, but even though I am a Christian, it's a bit... much sometimes. It's one thing to pray an...moreI wasn't aware that this book was so rooted in Christianity, but even though I am a Christian, it's a bit... much sometimes. It's one thing to pray and praise the Lord, but a whole other thing to surreptitiously preach to the readers that the Lord has our best interests in mind. I believe that, but it's a huge turn-off to me for those people who force their beliefs on others.
That being said, it was a decent book. It was more like a fairy tale towards the end, which is fine, but a bit overly done in my opinion. It started out pretty strong, albeit very predictable, but I felt the fairy tale aspect was added randomly towards the end of the novel. Sorta made it... too cheesy to enjoy.
It was good to listen to from my Kindle on two separate drives home. That's about it. Fluff read, not too difficult to just listen to.(less)
I thought this was a sweet book. I just wasn't drawn in. The characters are a little flat and the book moves haltingly along with a story that seemed...moreI thought this was a sweet book. I just wasn't drawn in. The characters are a little flat and the book moves haltingly along with a story that seemed to never really have a core plot. Good for those of you who want a quick and sweet romance book. But don't expect anything more from it, because it's more of a fluff book than anything.(less)
I found the book very slow for the first half or so, only to pick up afterwords. For anyone who likes historical fiction and is patient, this is a gre...moreI found the book very slow for the first half or so, only to pick up afterwords. For anyone who likes historical fiction and is patient, this is a great book for you. If you're like me who likes to get into plot development in the first few chapters, I'd avoid it unless you really like the synopsis.(less)