I teach this play to my AP Literature students. It's a fantastic book, painting a realistic picture of life in southside Chicago for an African Americ...moreI teach this play to my AP Literature students. It's a fantastic book, painting a realistic picture of life in southside Chicago for an African American family during the late 1950s. (less)
This was a pretty solid series from start to finish. That's kind of rare with a dystopian trilogy. They usually start strong and exciting, and you jus...moreThis was a pretty solid series from start to finish. That's kind of rare with a dystopian trilogy. They usually start strong and exciting, and you just can't wait for that next book. Until, of course, you read the next book. Then you usually feel let-down and disillusioned with the world in general. Things tend to pick up with book 3, but still, it just can never recreate the magic of the first book.
Not so with the Under the Never Sky series. I thoroughly enjoyed each book, I liked the character and plot development in each installment, and I felt the ending of the series was both fitting and satisfying. Rossi definitely has a lot of talent, and I look forward to reading more of her books. (less)
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 sto...moreA 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 "Gatby'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"]>(less)
Wow, every time I pick up a book by Laini Taylor, I'm completely blown away. I mean, this woman can really write! And seriously, the way her mind work...moreWow, every time I pick up a book by Laini Taylor, I'm completely blown away. I mean, this woman can really write! And seriously, the way her mind works? Her creativity seems to know no bounds. She really took on some serious mythology here, developing what she'd started in the first two books to even greater depths (which I wouldn't have thought possible), and she completely pulled it off. I'm a little sad to see an end to this series, but it was all done so well that I was left totally satisfied to be given a glimpse of the characters' future without everything tied up in a neat little bow as if the end of the book was the end of their story, which of course, it shouldn't be. Beautifully done.(less)
I find the second book in a trilogy tends to be a little . . . I don't know, anticlimactic? Maybe it's because it usually seems to just be a vehicle t...moreI find the second book in a trilogy tends to be a little . . . I don't know, anticlimactic? Maybe it's because it usually seems to just be a vehicle to get to that final book -- the big, exciting finish. Not so with Through the Ever Night, though. I have been impressed that Rossi has managed to create books that have their own specific stories despite being part of a trilogy. And while this second book is definitely a continuation of the first, it was exciting and interesting in its own right.
Well-written and great characterization. Can't wait to read book 3!(less)
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 teenage...moreSeriously 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.(less)
While I felt like this book had a lot of potential, much of it fell sort of flat for me. Maybe it was the writing style? Maybe it was the fact that no...moreWhile I felt like this book had a lot of potential, much of it fell sort of flat for me. Maybe it was the writing style? Maybe it was the fact that nothing seemed to happen for a very loooong time? Which is weird considering that something pretty exciting happens in the first few pages.
Or maybe it was just that nothing felt fully developed. Even though the focus was on these four Victorian-era teenage girls and their burgeoning relationship, I never felt like I actually knew or understood them. Or even particularly liked them. And what about Gemma's special powers as the "portal"? What was that all about? I don't know. Because it was never explained or developed further than to just say that she had power to get to the realms and that her powers were particularly special . . . in some vague way.
And the magic itself? While interesting in its premise, it was never very clear what it was or why/how it worked. The Order? What's their deal? And why is Kartik's group so against it? And my biggest question upon finishing the book was, so what was really going on with Gemma's mother? Was that really Circe the whole time? Or just at the end? The author refers to Gemma's mother's sacrifice to stay in the realm to help her, so . . . it really was her mother? But Gemma says it wasn't, that her mother was dead and that wasn't her. Um . . . you can see my confusion here.
Overall, I'd probably give the book 2.5 stars. As I said earlier, it had the potential to be a very interesting and creative story, but it just fell short. I'm not sure I'll go on to read the next book.(less)