Just a family trying to figure it out. I find the relationships in White's books to be very thoughtful and for that I am grateful, because without herJust a family trying to figure it out. I find the relationships in White's books to be very thoughtful and for that I am grateful, because without her I don't know if I could have understood the tiffs between parents and children can be fixed and the quarrels between siblings can be remedied and the silent treatment of friends can be forgiven. A lot of times English teachers will tell you to look for the theme of books and "what the author is trying to teach the reader," but I don't think that's exactly what's happening here. And I hope you'll let me get a bit opinionated because I think what's happening here that there is a writer who can see real people who are stubborn and broken and cowardly and naive. White doesn't lecture on how people can be fixed or who is good and who is bad. Here is a writer who sees people who mutually exist and disregards all the connotations. She ignores who's famous and who's a criminal and who's smart and who's violent. Here is a writer who sees real people with interlocking lives and here is a writer who understands how people live together without falling apart. This is a writer who understands acceptance, and I read her books because I want to figure that out. ...more
Probably not a good way to analyze a book but this was so much fun to read because the words was so user-friendly. Not in the puns-and-general-humor wProbably not a good way to analyze a book but this was so much fun to read because the words was so user-friendly. Not in the puns-and-general-humor way (though those were abundant), but the yay-this-font-is-big-and-the-lines-aren't-all-squished-up way. It really made me happy. It made this book really fun to read. ...more
I understand that not all stories have happy endings and that happy endings get a bit stereotypical in fantasy (especially fairytales) and I did likeI understand that not all stories have happy endings and that happy endings get a bit stereotypical in fantasy (especially fairytales) and I did like the whole problem solving schemes in Bitterblue. But sometimes I just get this feeling.
Okay. No, not really. Competitive memorizing calls into play a few dirty and fairly embarrassing images (to make them all the more memGood, clean fun.
Okay. No, not really. Competitive memorizing calls into play a few dirty and fairly embarrassing images (to make them all the more memorable). It's really very mundane (though it takes work and can get pretty exciting). But I appreciate Foer's effort in making the mundane feature into something meaningful (don't abandon tradition, it was useful once and can be useful again. Nothing is really useless.
Reviewing this book reflects on one very important flaw of mine: indecisiveness.
It's really a bugger when I rate books. Four stars? Three? Yes? No? MaReviewing this book reflects on one very important flaw of mine: indecisiveness.
It's really a bugger when I rate books. Four stars? Three? Yes? No? Maybe? Maybe 2. I don't know.
The problem is that Pink fluctuates so much. I like the pink cashmere sweater. I like that Ava wants to test out the other extreme. But it's doubtful that these problems of hers are so mind-consuming that she switches from deciding she likes girls to she likes guys to she likes girls and guys to she likes neither and so on. That, my friends, will make my indecisiveness flare. And not knowing how to review this book makes me irritable.
One thing I did realize, though, as I smirked at yet another romance in yet another summer with yet another sad tint (see TheUnashamedly predictable.
One thing I did realize, though, as I smirked at yet another romance in yet another summer with yet another sad tint (see The Summer I Turned Pretty), was that corniness and bad puns was not an excuse to brush something off. Surprisingly, I learned a thing or two from Second Chance Summer.
1) Don't run away from things when it gets hard. Life is about making bad things better, not about letting things go from bad to worse.
2) As if you couldn't piece it together from the title, give people second chances. It makes the world less sucky.
3) Raspberry sorbet and coconut ice cream. Must try sometime.
Those are my thoughts.
EDIT: There is this quote in the book. "You want to know something about gymnastics? . . . The things is that people only get hurt -- really hurt -- when they're trying to play it safe. That's when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they're scared. They hurt themselves and other people." Corny but deep....more
I got the warnings. You're reading Code Name Verity? Better bring some tissues. Except I only legitimately shed tears o So many feels from this book.
I got the warnings. You're reading Code Name Verity? Better bring some tissues. Except I only legitimately shed tears once, when the smushing of "I have told the truth" and "after a while, all children tell the truth" made a feeling come up that I don't have a word for. Good books are more like lasting pangs in the chest for me.
No romance, either. This is a writer - someone who makes reader feel less alone without telling them that the only way of doing so is to hook up and get married. Maddie and Julie are a sensational team.
I didn't quite grasp the abbreviations - SOE, WAAF, ATA, etc. - because I was too busy mulling over things like Julie-during-interrogation saying, "I am no longer afraid of getting old. Indeed I can’t believe I ever said anything so stupid . . . I desperately want to grow old."
So many feels from this book. I'm still in the muddle of feelings, actually. Finished it this morning.
I'll cut it short here, because I'm afraid that if I go on I will turn into a blubbering fool. As Julie would say, "careless talk costs lives." ...more
You know that feeling when you've been following a series for the past four years and you've gone through reading it through thick and thin and now itYou know that feeling when you've been following a series for the past four years and you've gone through reading it through thick and thin and now it's over and you don't know what to do?
Yep. Right over here.
I've had a long and tumultuous history with Maximum Ride, and at one point I swore never to read it again (that was around book five), but here I am, reading the same plot line for the umpteenth time. Maximum Ride is a very distinctive. I still remember all the main characters, because James Patterson pounds each of them into your head, just like how he pounds betrayal into his books (there are a lot of betrayals). By far, I still love Angel the best and all of her sociopathic-telepathic-seven-year-old self.
But it's time to say goodbye to my first brush with dystopia. When I get around to re-reading you, I'm afraid I'll be armed with more criticism. Here's to hoping that you won't be a stranger. ...more
My love for a particular book can be counted by the number of paper slips I have used to mark my favorite parts. There are so manyTore out my heart.
My love for a particular book can be counted by the number of paper slips I have used to mark my favorite parts. There are so many paper slips in my copy of The Piper's Son that the book seems to have doubled in thickness.
"The world goes on, stupid and brutal." (Jennifer Donnelly, if you're wondering). But it only takes one good book to see this world as a slightly less sucky place. Somebody back me up on this. Please.
The Piper's Son is a good book. It makes me want give a hug to a stranger, just because they might be feeling lonely. It makes me want to get hugged by strangers, because sometimes I feel lonely too. So hugs to you, stranger. Can I have a hug too?
I would blurb the book right around now but I like to imagine diving into this book headfirst. But if you're looking for a blurb, then here's a good one. I avoided this book for the longest time and held it at arm's length and the whole nine yards, and I am an idiot for not reading it sooner but I still got to it eventually. So I can't really force-feed this book down your throats when it took me so long to read it myself. So take your time. But when you get around to reading The Piper's Son, comment. I want to hear that I'm not alone and that there's somebody out there who will talk to me about this book. ...more
This book makes me feel like one of those kids who can manage to say something extremely awkward and make it unawkward. At least, that's what the dramThis book makes me feel like one of those kids who can manage to say something extremely awkward and make it unawkward. At least, that's what the dramatics make me feel like. And Jaclyn's characters are just so franks and insouciant and carefree. I believe the word I'm looking for is refreshing. i I I especially love Em. Em, you are ja shining beacon of life amidst seriousness of humanity! Did you hear that?
"You know the Joint Ashbury-Brookfield Art Exhibition? . . . It happened at the end of last term and everyone was all: 'Wow! So much talent! So much, you know, art!' and so on. The best ones --
Wait. I just have to eat some coconut chocolate. I can't stop eating it."
Her words, not mine. I think what I really pick up from reading Jaclyn Moriarty's books is her surprisingly readable format. I say that it's surprising because she uses writing elements that readers (namely, me) have trouble following. See, Jaclyn seems to like writing with multi-perspectives, monologues, and rambling. To a reader like me, that is a dangerous combination that says something along the lines of:
WARNING! STEER CLEAR! THIS BOOK CONTAINS WRITING STYLES POSSIBLY HARMFUL TO YOUR READING INTEGRITY!
I apologize for the all caps, but that's what it usually feels like. But Jaclyn Moriarty, for some inexplainable reason, is different. Her 500 page hunk of a novel clipped right along. I finished it in a mere two days (I, for one, am very impressed by writing skill that can compel me to lug around 500 pages for two days).
There's something magic about Australians. Or at least there's somethint magic about YA Australian writers. And you know what? I think I'm starting to get fond of this aussie lit. It's a great place to be. Very laid-back and fun and generally friendly and agreeable. And it's also sunny. Wait. Is Australia sunny? I feel like I've already said something along these lines before (*cough* Oh hello, Melina Marchetta. What are you doing in my parentheses?)
SOUNDTRACK: I was listening to this song called "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (I am convinced that they are downtrodden country folk musicians who have picked up on modern times), and then they started talking about a girl who fell out of a window. I kid you not. It connects with something in the middle-ish part of the book. I nearly fell out of my chair.
But really a better song to match this book (I think) is "We're Going to Be Friends" by The White Stripes because it is one of The White Stripes' nicer songs. Oh, and it matches with the story because the innocence of the song contrasts nicely with the deception-turned-honesty of the book. And by that, I think that this song should go to Amelia and Riley, because even though they didn't start off so well, they ended up okay and they are still going to be friends. (Was that a spoiler? I hope not. And excuse me for the sappiness. It was lapse in judgement.)
And on a side note I had trouble following the black holes and ghosts and shadows part of this book, so kind of sort of not quite 5 stars. More like 4.5. But on the higher end of that....more
I could follow the characters! A first in my fantasy excursions. Seraphina is what I expected it to be, though the rigidity of the fantasy is a bit boI could follow the characters! A first in my fantasy excursions. Seraphina is what I expected it to be, though the rigidity of the fantasy is a bit bothersome. Must all the action happen in the last 100 pages?
I'm just completely blown away by Melina Marchetta's writing ability. She's really well known among the contemporary YA world (as seen when Jellicoe RI'm just completely blown away by Melina Marchetta's writing ability. She's really well known among the contemporary YA world (as seen when Jellicoe Road received the Printz Award). A lot of people were very heasitant when Marchetta decided to take a dip in fantasy writing. I'll admit that i was more than a bit doubtful when I picked up Finnikin of the Rock.
There is no doubt now about Melina's truly staggering range of writing. Finnikin of the Rock is definitely on my good side, when it comes to fantasy writing. I hate to say that I tend to stray away from reading fantasy novels because they just become slow and laborious to me. I suppose it comes with the genre, but it bothers me to no end. I was more than a little frustrated with Finnikin's love life (at times it was so achingly drawn out that I was tempted to bang my head on the nearest wall), but I must commend Melina Marchetta for keeping with the story and pulling real meaning from it. Things about optimism and family and self-worth and great profound things that are just as important in the real world as they are in the world of Skuldenore. Oh. And she never killed anyone off without a reason. And for that alone, I love Melina Marchetta.
So maybe some people (ahem, me) didn't like the idea of a contemporary author suddenly switching gears and writing fantasy. But as Melina says, "I was told often that I couldn't write fantasy unless I had read all the greats and knew the conventions well, but I think the first step to writing good fantasy is knowing this world we live in well. I wanted to look closely at that world -- where loss of faith, loss of homeland and identity, displacement of spirit, and breakdown of community are common -- because these are the scenes in today's media that affect me the most. In this sense, the book is a search for identity in the same way that my other novels are." She's absolutely right, and that's why I am riding the Aussie-Author Fan Train. And I don't really want to get off of it....more
The fifth star is for the PowerPoint chapter. That was an excellent use of a commonly brushed aside / stereotyped thing.
This book is thick, but not iThe fifth star is for the PowerPoint chapter. That was an excellent use of a commonly brushed aside / stereotyped thing.
This book is thick, but not in the thousands-of-pages sense. It's just a lot crammed into a little space. Kind of like the last page of the newspaper. The editorials. Where journalists lose their objective stance and become opinionated for a moment. Where the thick but short stories go, like a single chunk of honey-nut zucchini bread that is such a small piece but tastes so heavy. The op-eds. Goon Squad is like that.
I'm not going to say that everyone will like this book because that would be a lie. But there is a lot to be learned from Goon Squad. Do with that what you need. ...more
I've been a recluse for the past month or so, but I have someone to blame: school. The seemingly productive qualities of school, once again, turn outI've been a recluse for the past month or so, but I have someone to blame: school. The seemingly productive qualities of school, once again, turn out to be not so productive.
But even with the roadblock that is school blocking my access to books, I still read. And this last book I read is seemingly just as unproductive as school - this is a book about fonts and typefaces (and there is a difference).
Now I can stare into the infinite stretch of my ten pound textbooks and laugh quietly to myself and make fun of those naïve editors who thought it would be acceptable to change the spacing between lines in the middle of an introduction.
Now I can belittle all those Power Points written in Comic Sans or Papyrus.
Now I can tell you the story of a certain Eric Gill (creator of Gill Sans) and his screwed up mind. I can tell you about Albertus and Coldplay. I can tell you about the Futura vs. Verdana feud of IKEA. I can elucidate on the obscurity of Doves. I can also tell you with utmost certainty that this paragraph is quickly becoming a remake of Snape's monologue in the first Harry Potter movie.
Just My Type may seem like a book of useless information, but at least I learned something, which is, at least, a one-up from school....more
I know I'm the outlier, but I'm always a sucker for those tortured/grief-stricken/depressed/spiteful/unstable protagonists. So while the better readerI know I'm the outlier, but I'm always a sucker for those tortured/grief-stricken/depressed/spiteful/unstable protagonists. So while the better readers of this generation complained of how depressing and sluggish the first half of Revolution is, I was listening to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" like it was the greatest song ever written, waiting for when David Gilmour got sadness down in four notes.
This book is easily some of the best historical fiction ever. Especially because it is so deeply connected to the world today. I want to read it again, but I know that reading it a second time will never match up to the wonderful feeling that I got from reading it the first time. France and Romance and rock music. Is there anything sweeter?...more