I found this book a bit derivative and predictable, but not unenjoyable. There were some rough parts, particularly a scraped-together ending that seemI found this book a bit derivative and predictable, but not unenjoyable. There were some rough parts, particularly a scraped-together ending that seems almost haphazard, but I found the character dynamics, mise-en-scene, and plot very likable. A good, lightweight --but not fluffy-- summer read!...more
I don't consider this review to contain SPOILERS, but there are somewhat-spoilery remarks. Proceed w/caution. ^_^
Hmm... mixed feelings on this book reI don't consider this review to contain SPOILERS, but there are somewhat-spoilery remarks. Proceed w/caution. ^_^
Hmm... mixed feelings on this book re: 2 vs. 3 stars. On one hand, it's a fairly entertaining read with a likable and relate-able narrator for my insomnia nights. I'd no idea it would delve to strongly into the supernatural when I selected it at the library, and knowing that beforehand might've prevented me from picking it when I did. The book uses the occult as the basis for all the fantasy elements. Good and evil both seem to originate from that same system, and the Judeo-Christian tenets are only manifest as some sort of flimsy and meaningless actions required in school. I couldn't help thinking as I read that this was the sort of book my parents and teachers would've warned me against, thinking it might damage my spiritual understanding. As an adult, I was less worried about that than I was that it might simply be boring. But its depiction of the "realms" was fairly interesting, albeit a bit shallow. The spiritual elements began to seem more a device through which to foil the mundane, tedious, and bleak prospects for independent women in the 1800s. The "realms" were their only release. I kept hoping for some sort of transformation where each girl might realize she could be the master of her own destiny, that the power was within her all the time, yada yada; but in the end, I felt the magic was all left in the realms. And my real understanding of the Rakshana was still pretty vague.
Still, all these thoughts are capped by the fact that I chose to read the book based on the character's name. So, my expectations were pretty low to begin with... I doubt I will read the second or third book, though I've said the same many times before (i.e. Outlander, Twilight) and later hit a reading drought. Only time will tell....more
So... Sookie books are a guilty pleasure of mine. I suppose they're not very respectable to literary types, but they're more than just romantical/mystSo... Sookie books are a guilty pleasure of mine. I suppose they're not very respectable to literary types, but they're more than just romantical/mystery fluff with vampires and werewolves. There is a lot of very interesting social commentary you may have noticed if you watch HBO's "True Blood." The book series, however, is far more toned-down and chock full of comparisons about race relations, changing sexual mores, politics/conservatism, religious intolerance, and Southern customs against the backdrop of supernatural creatures' emergence in American culture. I have to say, though, that in the 9 or so Sookie books that have been released, so many supplementary characters have been introduced, it starts to get confusing. I was hoping this book would deal with some of the build in earlier books, but again, more new characters were introduced and my brain kind of did not want to deal w/the new... Also, Sookie suffered from what I like to call Smart-Girl Amnesia. I really hate SGA. It happens when the plot is a little thin, so the normally smart, plucky narrator gets a touch of SGA and starts acting uncharacteristically foolish. Also, I honestly wasn't into Alcide as a character, so wasn't too excited to see him back in the mix. However, loved the minor progression with Bill's story....more
Collins' continuation of The Hunger Games is a hardened, even cynical, look at revolution. One thing I appreciate about Katniss, the narrator, is herCollins' continuation of The Hunger Games is a hardened, even cynical, look at revolution. One thing I appreciate about Katniss, the narrator, is her realistic worldview; she doesn't gloss over others' sacrifices and the costs of revolution. This isn't a fluffy love story; it's Science Fiction. Still, readers will find themselves holding their breath and hoping for certain outcomes. The suspense, while slightly lessened from the first installment, is still a major part of the book. While I do wish there had been a little more character development for Prim and Gale, I loved the addition of new and interesting characters like Finnick. The only thing I didn't appreciate about this book was the lack of resolution; however, as the second book in a trilogy, it's to be expected. I was reminded of the patented Star Wars episode V ending (standing on some sort of hovercraft, staring off into space, with a million loose ends hanging about). Can't wait until the third book comes out! ^_^ ...more
So, it was probably better than "OK," but I have a hard time ranking it up there with the higher-starred books I've read. Definitely a guilty pleasureSo, it was probably better than "OK," but I have a hard time ranking it up there with the higher-starred books I've read. Definitely a guilty pleasure read, this is really the only mystery series I read, and the only vampire books besides the Twilight series. I like Sookie bc she's so plucky, and her Southern sensibilities make me laugh; I also love the minor characters and the Bon Temps setting. And while we're at it, the cultural critiques presented are cleverly disguised/make you think twice. OK, I'm changing it to 3 stars. ^_^ But this book needed more Sam! ...more
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies may be the single best argument on approval of fanfiction that I've ever read. The zombie lore is woven into AustePride & Prejudice & Zombies may be the single best argument on approval of fanfiction that I've ever read. The zombie lore is woven into Austen's text pretty seamlessly, along with some other humorous references. The Bennets as Shaolin-trained slayers puts a new spin on the feminist themes, and the censure of the wealthier, Japanese-trained zombie-vanquishers provides humor while still showing the divided social-class system Austen once poked fun at. I really enjoyed the book, and am excited to see what the movie adaptation holds, if it goes through. ^_^...more
Rowling does her characters justice with this beautifully fitting close to the series. Readers will be able to see how the weaving of threads from theRowling does her characters justice with this beautifully fitting close to the series. Readers will be able to see how the weaving of threads from the very beginning and throughout the books culminate in an elaborate tapestry that mirrors Rowling's imagined world....more
The Hunger Games is exactly what I would hope for, in terms of a forward-thinking piece of literature appopriate for teen readers and adults. The dystThe Hunger Games is exactly what I would hope for, in terms of a forward-thinking piece of literature appopriate for teen readers and adults. The dystopian future Suzanne Collins creates is one born of the trends, situations, and plagues of our world today. I couldn't help but be drawn in to Katniss' world, to feel her conflict, her desperation. I loved the gradual reveal of the Haves vs. the Have-Nots and how life was very different in each district.
While some of the book is graphic, it's exploring an extreme world, in which people are fighting for survival, both in the arena and out. I also love that her emotions are real and not idealized, other than maybe her adoration for her younger sister. All her interactions are colored by this desperation, the instinct for survival. If I had to pick a weak spot, it's that some more gritty details of life in the Games were left out - like, how did the contenders ever use the bathroom? Would that not have been a moment of intense vulnerability? Though, you might argue the intense setting (hardly any food, dehydration, stream-bathing) prevented natural processes.
I also loved that Katniss' confusion at knowing what she felt versus performing what was expected of her; I think a lot of teens can relate to that socially, for both friendships and romantic relationships.
I can't wait to see if Collins' second book continues the feverish pace of the first!...more
**spoiler alert** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ON BOOKS 1-7/THE ENTIRE HP SERIES.
So, I decided on a lark to reread the first book in the HP series; b**spoiler alert** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ON BOOKS 1-7/THE ENTIRE HP SERIES.
So, I decided on a lark to reread the first book in the HP series; but I picked up the British version from the library... mostly because I'm an editing dork who wanted to read the differences in the British and American texts. I remember, the first time I read this book, not only had I just had my wisdom teeth surgically removed, but I also was deep in my college coursework in adolescent literature. I'd had a pretty haughty prejudice towards the series, if I'm being honest. I was a cocky college student who didn't think much of "trendy" children's lit. Of course, I ate those words as I devoured the series along with everyone else.
Anyway, rereading this story in light of the six subsequent books cast it in an entirely new light, for me. I was able to recognize so many of the minor characters (Arabella Figg! Dedalus Diggle!); and so many of the plot points that originally irked me were now understood - like the fact that Quirrell was burnt when he touched Harry. Dumbledore had explained his theory, that Harry's "mother's love" had created some sort of shield. This was a little deus ex machina, for me, but I now realize that Quirrell/Voldemort couldn't physically touch/harm Harry because Harry is the final Horcrux. Thus destroying him would take far more dark magic. I also more deeply appreciated Dumbledore's bewitching of the Mirror of Erised and hiding the Philosopher's Stone there. The fact that Dumbledore's defeat of Grindelwald was mentioned early on (on the Chocolate Frog card) also shows Rowling's precise pre-planning. How she architected the entire series, top-down or vice versa, I'll never understand. Hats off, though; it's wonderful! ^_^...more