This is one of those books that you start reading and immediately think, "Oh no . . . this book is going to end eventually, isn't it? And I really donThis is one of those books that you start reading and immediately think, "Oh no . . . this book is going to end eventually, isn't it? And I really don't want it to end. I can tell. Okay, no big deal. Let's just . . . slow down. No need to gobble it all up at once. Just savor it a little. Maybe you could interest yourself in this magazine for a bit? Or this other book that . . . No? Okay, fine, let's just read it all today then."
I really connected with Demetrios's writing style, but it was much more than that. Her characters -- an 18-year-old girl who grew up in a trailer park with alcoholic parents (one who died in a drunk-driving accident) but is determined to get out of her small town and go to college, and a 19-year-old boy (we can't really call him a man yet, can we?) who is already a war veteran with one leg blown off by a bomb in Afghanistan -- are so real and funny and awful and wonderful. They make bad choices and good ones. They build real relationships and real friendships. They have to learn how to deal and cope with terrible things. And they're just trying to figure out life, like we all are.
I think what I liked most about the main character, Skylar, was that she was actually likable! She wasn't one of those whiny, always angry, condescending girls that I've become so tired of in books lately where I'm left wondering -- and this guy likes her WHY? Sklyar, on the other hand, is funny and kind, and sure, she can be a bit rough and even get angry -- but only when (strangely enough) she actually has reason to be.
And while I have labeled this book as "young adult," it definitely has some very adult themes and situations. But since the main characters are very much in that transitional stage between young-adulthood and adulthood, and as they were forced to face incredibly adult problems from young ages, it all worked to create a great story.
P.S. Dear Goodreads, Just a small request -- Is there any way, do you think, that drafts of reviews could be saved automatically as we write them? You know, so that when you suddenly, for some reason, find your screen has disappeared and the review you spent the last ten minutes writing disappeared with it, you don't have to curse the internet gods (and Goodreads with it) for hating you so very much, leaving you devoid of any motivation or memory of what you just wrote? Just a thought.
I was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was aI was looking forward to reading this book because I really enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society and Gallagher Girls books. But I have to say, it was a little disappointing. The main character was kind of annoying. I really liked the setting -- Embassy Row in the fictional country of Adria. And even the other characters were interesting and mostly entertaining. But Grace herself was such a drag, and I couldn't figure out why the other characters not only liked her, but were utterly devoted to her and her nonsense, some of them after knowing her for only days.
I probably would have only rated the book 2 stars, but the ending really did redeem it quite a bit. And I'm telling you, I was ready to be pretty frustrated. It cleared some things up about the mystery (AND made it much more interesting since it felt like there really wasn't a mystery for most of the book), although it was rather sloppily done.
So while I wasn't feeling the magic like in Carter's other books, after reading the book's ending, I liked it well enough to want to read more from the series. I have a feeling things will get much better from here. ...more
Gah! I don't know what to do with myself right now because I just realized that I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books! Interestingly, this debut novGah! I don't know what to do with myself right now because I just realized that I've read all of Rainbow Rowell's books! Interestingly, this debut novel of Ms. Rowell's was probably my favorite. Often, first novels tend to be my least favorite, but not so with Attachments. Rowell always has a very interesting plotline and distinctive alternating chapter format, but really, I think it's just that her writing style connects with me. It's funny and charming and clever, but also sweet and heartwrenching at times. I can't believe how much I feel for these characters she's creates. And the dialogue . . . good grief, the dialogue! This woman has a way with words! And nothing trite or over-done here. It's all so beautifully unique.
Like this little exchange, for example:
"I didn't plan it," she said. "I hoped that we would both just know when it was time . . . That we'd have one of those moments. Like in the movies, foreign movies, when something small happens, something almost imperceptible, and it changes everything. Like there's a man and a woman having breakfast . . . and the man reaches for the jam, and the woman says, 'I thought you didn't like jam,' and the man says, 'I didn't. Once.'
"Or maybe it isn't even that obvious. Maybe he reaches for the jam, and she just looks at him like she doesn't know him anymore. Like, in the moment he reached for that jar, she couldn't recognize him.
"After breakfast, he'll go for a walk, and she'll go to their room and pack a slim brown suitcase. She'll stop on the sidewalk and wonder whether she should say good-bye, whether she should leave a note. But she won't. She'll just get into the taxi and go. . . .
"Who's playing me in your movie?" he asked gently.
"Daniel Day-Lewis," she said. She smiled. Lincoln could probably kiss her now if he wanted. Instead he leaned toward her ear so that she could hear him whisper.
"There's never been a moment," he barely said, "when I didn't recognize you."
I mean, honestly. This particular moment in the novel is almost unbearably lovely. So here's hoping to many, many more books from Rowell in the future. And in the not-so-distant future, at that....more
Well, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of bWell, this book was just lovely. Truly. I continue to be a big fan of Ms. Rowell's writing and currently have Fangirl sitting on top of the stack of books on my nightstand, just waiting to be read.
As I'm tired and just don't have a lot of time to review this, let me just give you a quick (and most likely unintelligible) run-down on how this book went for me:
Love the beginning. Love the quirky characters. Heart is breaking a bit for Eleanor and her situation (creepy, deadbeat/abusive step-dad and doormat mom--thus Eleanor and the rest of the kids are basically starving all the time because there is no money for food, or anything else, for that matter). Love the character development and the relationship development between Eleanor and Park. Love the middle. Hold on. What's happening here at the end? I do not like where this is heading, but I will trust Ms. Rowell to get us where we need to be. Um, Eleanor, what the freak is wrong with you? Get your act together! Hating, hating the end. Seriously, this ending sucks. Oh, wait. Last paragraph redeems the ending. Beautiful.
I kind of loved this book. It was one of those books that you really have no idea what it's about when you start it, but you picked it up because youI kind of loved this book. It was one of those books that you really have no idea what it's about when you start it, but you picked it up because you thought someone had mentioned that it was good, and hey, you were looking for something new to read anyway. And then you start reading it and find that you cannot put it down. And you get a little annoyed when someone or something interrupts you and you have to put it down. And when you get to the end, it was just so good and so satisfying that you just kind of sit there for a few minutes digesting it and feeling it and, well, just wishing you were still reading it. That's what this book was for me.
This is the first book I've read by Rainbow Rowell, and let me tell you, this woman is talented! This book was creative, incredibly well-written, and surprising all at once. The character development was probably my favorite part--they were so interesting and different and real. I became so invested in everything that happened to them. I wanted to know them myself, in person.
I can't wait to read more of Rowell's books. Okay, I'll admit it--I'm actually reading Eleanor & Park right now. And yes, I'm loving it. ...more
I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-I don't know . . . I think I'm ready to give up on this author. I thought the first book I read by Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall, was incredible. Well-written, carefully constructed, original take an interesting plot idea. But these last two books I've read have just fallen completely short of any of the expectations I've had.
I will refer you to the review of Emily May as I strongly agree with her assessment of this book and why it failed where Before I Fall succeeded. ...more
A modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby that I just won from First Reads! It's been fun to see classic characters and symbols in this contemporary stoA modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby that I just won from First Reads! It's been fun to see classic characters and symbols in this contemporary story. I'm only about halfway through, so we'll see how it all pulls together.
Well, I finished the book pretty quickly, which I consider a good sign since I was drawn into the story and invested in its ending. Although, to be honest, a lot of my interest was in seeing how this re-telling paralleled the original. And while the plot and characters leaned toward the melodramatic, I'm not sure how to retell The Great Gatsby without some melodrama. The fact that the characters are spoiled, rich teenagers probably also lends itself to that tendency.
Overall, the characters were interesting and the modern adaptations were fairly clever. And I don't think I'm revealing anything here by saying that the ending (view spoiler)[is pretty much dead-on with the original, with just a twist at the very end. And I think this is what I liked best about the book. Because perhaps the most bothersome thing about The Great Gatsby is how Daisy literally gets away with murder and faces absolutely no repercussions (at least external ones). In Great, however, there is a revenge on the part of Jacinta's (i.e. Gatsby's) character that I thought very fitting and satisfying. (hide spoiler)].
For more conservative readers, the fact that "Gatsby's" character is a girl, may be a little disturbing, but I thought it actually worked really well. Probably better than a teenage boy, to be honest, because I can't see a teenage boy today (even a rich one) throwing lavish parties and going to such extremes to get the attention of a girl. And there wasn't any sort of dwelling on a lesbian relationship, so it just didn't bother me.
But speaking of lesbians, the one character who I just really couldn't stand was Naomi's so-called best friend, "Skags". She was an absolute nightmare, and every time she entered a scene, it was like nails on a chalkboard. SO condescending and irritating. I think I would just edit her right out of the book.
Now was this book the modern equivalent of The Great Gatsby? Of course not. But surely no one is expecting the quality of that classic. It is, however, an interesting and compelling read, particularly for those who are familiar with the original.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'll be honest, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I was looking forward to reading it because I enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall so much,I'll be honest, this book was a bit of a disappointment. I was looking forward to reading it because I enjoyed Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall so much, but Panic just didn't live up to my expectations. It's not that Oliver isn't a skilled writer, but many parts of the plot were so far-fetched or unrealistic or, even worse, felt forced or too convenient simply because they needed to happen to move the story forward. I wasn't really enamored of any of the characters either. The choices the main character made were confusing and overly dramatic.
If you're a fan of all of Oliver's other books (personally, I wasn't completely crazy over the Delirium series), you may still enjoy this, but otherwise, you may want to give this a pass. ...more
Seriously enjoying this book so far. I don't want to put it down!
This book was so much fun to read. The narrative voice was great. I work with teenageSeriously enjoying this book so far. I don't want to put it down!
This book was so much fun to read. The narrative voice was great. I work with teenagers everyday, and Audrey and her friends reminded me so much of some of my favorite students. I will admit that Audrey and her usually charming voice got a little whiny at the end when, as her friend Victoria points out, EVERYTHING was about Audrey. Luckily, that didn't ruin the book for me, and Audrey redeemed herself at the end. I'd love to read something more by this author....more
Holy crap, this book was just all kinds of crazy! Seriously, this messed with my mind. It was awesome. I mean, warped, twisted, horrifying . . . sure.Holy crap, this book was just all kinds of crazy! Seriously, this messed with my mind. It was awesome. I mean, warped, twisted, horrifying . . . sure. But also amazingly awesome, too. I don't know where Flynn came up with this freaking crazy plot, but she has my admiration for some pretty stellar writing. And also, she frightens me just a little. ...more
Lisa Lutz just never fails to disappoint me. Judge me if you will, but I refuse to apologize for those 5 stars! I love Lutz's writing style, the wittyLisa Lutz just never fails to disappoint me. Judge me if you will, but I refuse to apologize for those 5 stars! I love Lutz's writing style, the witty characters, funny dialogue, ridiculous situations, and her ability to keep me guessing even when I think I have it all figured out.
I love the way this book played out with what I thought was a great way to end Izzy's story (at least from her perspective). I am dearly hoping that we'll get to continue to hear more about the Spellmans with this "next generation," as they've renamed this book (although, can it really be considered another generation when Rae and Izzy are siblings?). ...more
I'm a big fan of E. Lockhart, and while this certainly wasn't my favorite of her books, it was definitely worth the read. This was just a very differeI'm a big fan of E. Lockhart, and while this certainly wasn't my favorite of her books, it was definitely worth the read. This was just a very different type of book than I was used to from this author. What I have loved about Lockhart's books in the past is the witty and smart humor of the characters and the story lines. We Were Liars is a very interesting, but very serious drama. Actually, I would really tag it as a dramatic mystery. The writing was excellent, and the characters and mystery drew me in to the exciting conclusion and revelation. ...more
This is probably one of the funniest young adult books I've read in a long time. No, that is not a hyperbole. I mean it. And okay, yes, it's about a bThis is probably one of the funniest young adult books I've read in a long time. No, that is not a hyperbole. I mean it. And okay, yes, it's about a boy befriending a girl with terminal cancer, so "funny" may not be exactly what you're expecting, but trust me on this one. And also, if you're expecting another The Fault in our Stars, I'd say, keep moving, buddy. This book is soooo not for you. Which is probably another reason that I loved it so much.
And it just had so many things that endear me to a book and make me think about it long after I'm done reading it:
1. Funny (oh, SO funny), self-deprecating (but not in an annoying martyr-ish way) main character narration
2. Hilarious dialogue
3. Cast of great supporting characters
4. Witty chapter titles and clever scenes
4. Avoidance of any emotional manipulation (don't make me cry unless I WANT to cry, damn it! You won't necessarily know when. I will tell you when.)
5. Development of above-mentioned main character without a shove-it-down-your-throat obvious and unrealistic change
6. Lots of offensive language and/or teenage boy topics (Wait . . .what? No, no, that's not on my list! But okay look, for whatever reason, it didn't bother me. It worked with the characters and their personalities and this story. If that's something that is going to bother you, then I would probably advise against this book. Maybe go pick up a copy of The Fault in our Stars . . . ?)
7. Just, you know, life. What it does, how it moves on, how it changes us and forces us into uncomfortable/painful/awful situations and then has the gall to just keep moving forward without stopping for us to even catch a breath but maybe make us laugh when we least expect it.
So, well-done, Jesse Andrews. But could you please, PLEASE tell us when we can expect that 2nd book? ...more
This is probably one of the most well-written books I've read in a long time. I mean, seriously, there is some amazing writing talent going on here, pThis is probably one of the most well-written books I've read in a long time. I mean, seriously, there is some amazing writing talent going on here, people. That being said, I'm fully aware that this book is not for everyone. It is definitely, well, scandalous.
The story relates the affair of Sheba, a 40-year-old art teacher and Steven, a 16-year-old student. It is written, however, from the perspective of Barbara, Sheba's much older colleague and friend from school. What is fascinating is how much the reader comes to understand about Barbara's life and personality as she tells Sheba's story. Barbara's loneliness and dispair are achingly apparent. Her feelings toward Sheba are also intricately woven into the telling of the story.
Equally fascinating is how Sheba could get involved in an affair of this nature and yet maintain a sense of sympathy from the reader. It seems absurd that she would risk her family, her job, and her reputation for a physical relationship that she herself admits cannot last. And yet, in Barbara's telling of the events, Sheba is actually portrayed as the victim, with an almost innocent-like quality in her perception of their relationship.
Heller's writing is exquisite and flawless. Each character, shown through Barbara's embittered and condescending eyes, are revealed to perfection. I found myself completely riveted right from the start. Given the subject matter, I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but I certainly have great respect for Heller's talent....more
I think this is the first book I've read by Walter Dean Myers, and I have to say that this one is definitely deserving of all of its awards. The bookI think this is the first book I've read by Walter Dean Myers, and I have to say that this one is definitely deserving of all of its awards. The book is written from the viewpoint of 16-year-old Steve, who is in prison and currently on trial for felony murder. He can't cope with his circumstances, so he deals with it by depicting his situation in the format of a screenplay, alternating with diary entries. I loved this writing style. It gave everything such an interesting perspective.
There is something so real in Myers's writing. Even though the screenplay format creates an emotional distance between the reader and Steve, somehow it manages to convey the desperation, fear, and despair he feels even more acutely. Even more effective is the ambiguity the author creates about Steve's guilt or innocence. You're forced to come to your own conclusions about Steve given everything you've learned about him through his own telling of the events.
I'm interested in trying more of Myers's books to see if they carry the same strength and emotion as Monster....more