I like the story, and I usually really like Jorjeana Marie's narration, but I find the broad, exaggeratePutting this audiobook on hold 8 chapters in.
I like the story, and I usually really like Jorjeana Marie's narration, but I find the broad, exaggerated accent she's doing for this 1920s book too distracting. I keep picturing a little girl playing dressup/make-believe imitating gangster/mob movies. :/ I guess I'll try to get ahold of the book eventually......more
After an uneven start, this became surprisingly entertaining, though it's not a "good" book by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because of the aAfter an uneven start, this became surprisingly entertaining, though it's not a "good" book by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because of the abundance of humorless, meant-to-be shocking sex.
But it's enjoyably sociopathic (or psychopathic, depending on how you interpret the MC's behavior), and it's an interesting/different thriller because of its backdrop of stolen art, expensive clothes and meals, money laundering, and assorted hustlers. I was surprised to see the door left open for another installment, as I think the character has run her course? But another bag of potato chips would be hard to resist.
Great plane reading if you have a weakness for thrillers featuring thoroughly shallow and unpleasant people. ...more
2.5 stars Frankly, I'm confused by who the intended audience is for this book. It seems to be marketed as YA and is released under Viking Children's,2.5 stars Frankly, I'm confused by who the intended audience is for this book. It seems to be marketed as YA and is released under Viking Children's, but the protagonist is college age and the situations (which involve a family ranch, restoring historical places, etc.(view spoiler)[and also having sex/courting someone specifically for a business venture (hide spoiler)]) are decidedly grown up. But the narrative voice and main character felt very young. It's fine if she's naive or inexperienced, but even the thought processes and emotions felt very high school--which is weird when the end game love interest is a millionaire running a business, complete with an assistant who makes great lattes.
The audio book narrator might've also contributed to this; Erin Spencer's voice is pleasant but very youthful in its tone and diction, though in all fairness the book sends wildly contrasting messages, too.
I don't know. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the charming traditions of a debutante season, and the characters could be more nuanced. For some reason, I also expected the book to be funnier, and certainly the dialogue and prose could've used a bit more wit. From my vantage point, the soccer thing also just seems to be there to make Megan into a sporty modern girl.
I think the book actually does work in a broad sense as a Pride and Prejudice-inspired story(view spoiler)[mostly romantically, and the weird ranching deception and misunderstandings involving her sister (hide spoiler)] and I quite liked Andrew, the Mr.Darcy of this tale; his story and character are portrayed very well and true to a modern Darcy. But overall, the book is too emotionally simplistic to be a satisfying adult book and is tonally and topically too off to be satisfying as YA.
I'm curious to see what other people think, as the very few early reviews I've seen thus far have not seemed at all bothered by the disparate messaging. Almost 3 stars, but not quite; it's not a terrible book by any means, and I was interested enough to push through to the end, but I think it suffers from an identity crisis that never gets resolved. It's too bad.
Audio review copy from the publisher.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
3.5 stars I liked most of this book very much. Set during World War II, it's the story of Annabelle, whose idyllic farm life and friendship with an ol3.5 stars I liked most of this book very much. Set during World War II, it's the story of Annabelle, whose idyllic farm life and friendship with an older war veteran named Toby is threatened when a bully (view spoiler)[and really, sadist (hide spoiler)] named Betty moves into town.
Things I enjoyed: the rural Pennsylvania setting, Annabelle's family (particularly her parents), the friendship with Toby, and the explanation behind the title Wolf Hollow, which is also the name of the town. My favorite thing about the book was the way it makes you feel deeply for veterans of war, especially the way trauma can change someone and how little sympathy and patience we sometimes extend to those we don't understand.
Even as I experienced sadness and pity, however, I couldn't help being conscious of being maneuvered into feeling that way; it's not overly written, exactly, but perhaps some of the "teaching" moments were emphasized a touch too much or a touch too often for me to dissolve into the kind of grief or tears that I think a story like this would normally elicit. Betty the young villainness is also so cruel, and the scenarios so involved (view spoiler)[REAL spoilers, so don't read if you don't want to know (view spoiler)[she starts out as a regular bully, but then wrings a bird's neck and uses a wire to hurt Annabelle's brother, then she lies about seeing Toby doing something terrible, and THEN she falls into a well and publicly blames him for it and THEN she dies because of gangrene (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)] that I sometimes had a hard time suspending disbelief. It's not that children can't be cruel, but within the context of this story and our limited understanding of Betty, I didn't feel entirely satisfied with her portrayal or her role in the way things play out.
On a more positive note: I don't know the exact inspiration behind this book, but I definitely felt shades of To Kill a Mockingbird as I was reading it, and seeing the blurb afterwards confirms that those echoes aren't unfounded. The parallels are strongest for the unjust accusations and mob mentality (view spoiler)[though in true modern form, our heroine is allowed to take more action (hide spoiler)], the mockingbird/wolf analogy, and the feel of a childhood disturbed. Whether this was meant to be a reimagining of TKAM, or just strongly influenced by it, the author really does pull off the difficult trick of giving us a Boo Radley figure, as well as tracing the way a friendship with an adult can be an important basis for our formation. As a child, I had strong relationships with adults that help make me who I am, and I'm glad to see that books like this and Tell the Wolves I'm Home explore that. We see so many stories, real and imagined, about the dangers adults can present to kids that it's nice to enjoy a positive experience as well.
Worthwhile reading? Most definitely. I was moved by it and appreciated what it set out to do. I just wish it had pulled back just a little, and that Betty was better realized, and that some of what happens didn't feel quite so inevitable.
I might've even cried if the story didn't work quite so hard to make me do so.
An audio review copy was provided by the publisher.
Emily Rankin does a lovely job narrating the story, by the way. Perhaps a few too many meaningful pauses, but her overall reading (and the different voices) were very enjoyable to listen to.
Very different from anything I've read before, in a good way. I liked how the MC developed in particular, and that the story keeps you guessing. RevieVery different from anything I've read before, in a good way. I liked how the MC developed in particular, and that the story keeps you guessing. Review to come.
But I gotta say, women writers are ON FIRE this year with the sly digs at Jonathan Franzen. *insert smirk emoji*...more