I found this book interesting not because of the political nature, but because of the way people in other countries view education (not to mention how...moreI found this book interesting not because of the political nature, but because of the way people in other countries view education (not to mention how America thinks we're the world's police).
Here I sit - an American woman - watching people around me degrade teachers and schools, putting sports and family vacations before homework, and teaching children that being an educator is a profession worth frowning upon. Meanwhile, our kids are getting dumber and Americans are quickly falling behind other countries in what we know and can apply.
Without ranting more about our education system and how plans like No Child Left Behind have ruined any chance we had to catch up with the rest of first-world countries, it's inspiring to see a young girl who knows what learning means and how it can change society. The book - though choppy at first - strikes home the point that while we take a simple thing like education for granted, others are not only fighting for that right and privilege, but they're also trying harder and sound more intelligent than some people I know with college degrees.
Say what you want about the world using her as a pawn for keeping troops overseas and what have you; that's another issue entirely. But her message is clear: she doesn't want to be known as the girl who the Taliban shot in the head. She wants to be known as the girl who wants equal education in her country. In my opinion, she's doing her job.(less)
I struggled with approximately the first 100 pages of this book. I'm not sure if it's because they were so rushed or because of the occasional histori...moreI struggled with approximately the first 100 pages of this book. I'm not sure if it's because they were so rushed or because of the occasional historical inaccuracy, but I couldn't stand it.
I am, however, glad that I stuck with it and finished the rest of the book. I almost wish it had started with the trials and and covered the rest in brief flashbacks or just descriptive back story. A good, quick summer read.(less)
So here's my thing with this book - the ratings confused me more than the plot did.
For one thing, I found it enjoyable, which isn't what I thought wou...moreSo here's my thing with this book - the ratings confused me more than the plot did.
For one thing, I found it enjoyable, which isn't what I thought would happen when I skimmed the ratings. Is it the best book ever? No. Is it a well-written book to pass the time during the summer months when you have the choice between "quick and fun" or "Infinite Jest"? Sure.
People complained about the genre - well, stop reading the genre then. I knew what I was getting into when I picked it up last week and it didn't let me down. I thought it was an interesting take on this whole paranormal romance genre and it kept me entertained. Good enough.
That said, I'm probably going to read the second book and get tired of it. But whatever; I kinda want to see what happens.(less)
Took me long enough, but I finally had some time to myself to finish reading this one. It was good; the only reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I pro...moreTook me long enough, but I finally had some time to myself to finish reading this one. It was good; the only reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I probably would have is the fact I don't get to sit down anymore.(less)
Considering I devoured this series in mere days, I'm not surprised that I ran out of steam on the last one and chose to rate it lower.
In my heart of h...moreConsidering I devoured this series in mere days, I'm not surprised that I ran out of steam on the last one and chose to rate it lower.
In my heart of hearts, I know each book should be rated two stars, and that's being generous. But considering I did read them quickly and they kept me so entertained while I was laid-up with post-beach sunburn, I had to give them higher ratings.
That said, the third book was missing something compared to its predecessors. Christian isn't nearly as appealing; his bad boy side died faster than The Offspring's career after "Pretty Fly". Yes, it was nice to have a Happily Ever After (or HEA, as people here seem to call it), but the most redeeming quality about finishing the third book was going back to the beginning and reliving it again through Christian's POV.
And to be completely honest, I found myself grasping for more plot, only to be interrupted by page after page of gratuitous sex. Yes, I realize that's what the series is recognized for, and yes, it's kind of the center theme to the entire story... but I grew so immune to it that I started skipping past everything to get to the juicy parts (ie: the plot that never got interesting).
If you've kept up with the rest of the series, then you still need to read this book. That's a given. But if you're like me, it'll be a let down compared to the rest.(less)
The writing? Bad. The characters? Fanfiction. Overused phrases? Absolutely.
But seriously, everyone - stop over-analyzing this book. People keep saying...moreThe writing? Bad. The characters? Fanfiction. Overused phrases? Absolutely.
But seriously, everyone - stop over-analyzing this book. People keep saying that just like Twilight, this is teaching girls that it's okay to be in abusive relationships and a whole bunch of rigmarole. To them I ask - why would you ever let a 15-year-old read this? Maybe you should put this book down and pick up a parenting one. Or something about self-esteem.
Nothing about the book is remotely realistic, and about 95% of it is beyond absurd. But that's half its charm. I took this to the beach with me and couldn't have picked a better mindless read. I'm already on the third book after five days and I'm not even a little ashamed. Embarrassed to read it in public, maybe. But whatever. I was incredibly sunburned to the point I needed to get a steroid shot, so anything to take my mind off the pain was A-OK with me.
Look, it's not a serious novella. It's not Jane Austen or Victor Hugo, nor is it a modern classic. Let's stop treating it as if it was meant for greatness. It's pure tripe that's fun to read every now and then, just like its inspiration.(less)
So here's my deal with this book - I will spend more time trying to decide if it was good or total BS than I did actually reading it.
There are some gr...moreSo here's my deal with this book - I will spend more time trying to decide if it was good or total BS than I did actually reading it.
There are some great ideas that will make you think about you and the way you're living, and they may even help re-invent yourself. But it's also incredibly idealistic. It was all over for me when, at the end, Covey talks about a year-long sabbatical that he took with his wife and children to Hawaii - at which point he experienced the most profound communications of his life. You know what? I bet if I could take a sabbatical in Hawaii, I'd have some profound experiences, too. Who has time to do that? With the exception of my honeymoon, I haven't taken a vacation in over five years - it's just not something I can afford to do.
Sure, I can take some time and "sharpen my saw". Or wait, no I can't. I work full-time. I take two graduate courses. I have a part-time business. And I'm married. I'm surprised I remember to breathe sometimes.
That's not to say I shouldn't be taking an hour a day to myself as recommended. Or that I shouldn't learn how to better communicate with people because I do believe that's key to a good relationship. But seriously, the Hawaii thing at the end made me knock it down to 3 stars from 4.(less)
This is the first audio book I've ever downloaded and finished listening to, so I'm pretty proud of myself!
As far as audio books go, I found that I e...moreThis is the first audio book I've ever downloaded and finished listening to, so I'm pretty proud of myself!
As far as audio books go, I found that I enjoyed going to bed an hour earlier every night, opening my Audible player, and just listening to a book in the dark instead of propping myself up with the lights on. Although the book wasn't boring and I wanted to hear more, it was much easier to fall asleep and I felt more relaxed. Plus, if I did have something else to do (like finishing up papers or crocheting), I had something to entertain me that wasn't another trashy TV show.
I've heard mixed review for Philippa Gregory's books. I've downloaded The White Queen on my nook color, and I've also seen the movie version of "The Other Boleyn Girl". I've always had a thing for Tudor history, even before I was addicted to "The Tudors" on Showtime. I think the recent royal wedding pushed me over the edge and caused me to download this on audio book. Mostly because Lord knows the next time I'll be able to pick up another book (my guess is sometime after June 28th when my classes are over).
Overall, this was a great book. It's obviously not 100% accurate, but even approved history books can't always be. I'm guessing a lot of Tudor "facts" are based on speculation, and The Other Boleyn Girl is no different. Gregory switched Mary and Anne's ages, for example (or so historians claim - again, who really knows?) and there are a few scenes where the writing is kind of absurd (eg: King Henry dancing with Mary in front of Queen Catherine - just silly). Anne is also portrayed as one-dimensional - I really didn't like her here - and Mary is completely innocent. But like I said, it's a good, quick read (or in this case, "listen") despite its inaccuracies.
So if you're like me and love European history, the Tudor period, a little romance without too much mush, scandals, etc, then you'll like this book. I'll definitely be reading more in this series.(less)