This book has been on my 'to read' list for almost twenty years. All my Honors English friends had read it while I was reading...I don't even rememberThis book has been on my 'to read' list for almost twenty years. All my Honors English friends had read it while I was reading...I don't even remember what. Though I did like this book over all, it moved a bit slowly in the beginning. I spent a lot of time wondering "OK, when does the plot start?" Once the action started, I was more engaged and didn't want to stop reading.
Throughout the book, I struggled with the sense of apathy the characters seemed to have, especially about their knowledge of Tom's affair. How could everyone just sit back and not call him out on it? How could Nick just sit there during the impromptu party at the mistress's flat? When Tom slapped Myrtle, everyone pretty much threw their hands up in a fake yawn, looked at their watches and said "Oh my, look at the time." I know, I know. It was another era.
The development of the characters was quite intriguing, though there were few of them that I would want to invite to tea. I had a hard time liking Nick as he seemed so ...soft. He had no voice. He was just there observing and going along with it all. I guess that is just what he was, the narrator. He was a neutral vehicle to watch the story unfold. Oddly enough, the character that seemed to irritate me the most was Jordan Baker. She seemed as flat and lacking in the same moral courage as Nick. I guess they were a perfect match and that similarity is what precluded a relationship between them. Their own characters were too morally...bland, I guess, to get over any hurdles and build a relationship. In the end, Nick found that the East Coast was not his speed and went home. Ya. Probably a good idea. I ended up doing the same thing. Maybe our modern day society is alright, after all. ...more
I really liked this book. It was engaging, yet light. I was happy to let my 13 yr old read when I have maybe steered her away from some other dystopiaI really liked this book. It was engaging, yet light. I was happy to let my 13 yr old read when I have maybe steered her away from some other dystopian books. Cassia seemed believable to me and I found myself watching over her back trying to see what the boogie-man was up to. As my daughter read, she would say to me "Well, I think it would be awesome to have all your food prepared for you. How cool is that!" Keep reading, honey. (Which of course would later lead to the ""Agh! Ok, Mom. I see what you mean!" floating down the hall from her room.) This book is the perfect entry-level dystopia. It was compelling enough to keep me going and thinking, but didn't haunt my dreams like a few others. I must say, I never look at that color of green without thinking of that little swatch of silk. I can't imagine a world were that is as far as ones luxuries extend. IN teh romance department, it was fun to have the two love interests and to keep switching sides of who I wanted to win. I must say I am a bit Team Xander and can't wait to find out more of the secret knowledge he has to share. Can't wait to read the next one!...more
I gotta say, this book took me a while to get into. Starting out I was struck with the similarities to a few other novels. Uh, oh. We're in a biologyI gotta say, this book took me a while to get into. Starting out I was struck with the similarities to a few other novels. Uh, oh. We're in a biology lab again. I had read The Golden Spiral by Lisa Magnum recently, and I just couldn't stop seeing the similarities. (Never mind, Twilight!) First, the edgy bio partner with a with a penchant for unpacking every bit of the heroine's emotional baggage, like some pervy TSA attendant. Second, there is the oversexed, annoying friend who is easily manipulated to become the bait in the climax of the story. But it was intriguing. Sure, I rolled my eyes a few times. The plot seemed a bit predictable, and I generally don't like fallen angel stories. But eventually, I just decided to let go of the stuff that bothered me and sit back and enjoy the book for what it was. An ode to a 'bad boy'. I have no problem admitting that a couple of those near kisses convinced me to stick with the book. I ended up not being able to put it down. It was fun summer reading. It spoke to my inner teenage rebel and I'm alright with that. Hmmm. I wonder if Dale and I should take a continuing ed biology class. ;) ...more
Having seen the The Last Unicorn cartoon many times as a child, I was a bit hesitant yet intrigued with this book. As a seven-year-old, many of the deHaving seen the The Last Unicorn cartoon many times as a child, I was a bit hesitant yet intrigued with this book. As a seven-year-old, many of the deeper subtexts of the plot were lost to me. My kid brain saw a creepy old dude, a gorgeous, whiny unicorn, and a ridiculously terrifying Red Bull. (That bull chased me through many a nightmare through the years, most often around the time book reports and research papers were due.) Never mind the whole 'watery equine' thing. Years and years of living in the waves? I just couldn't figure out how they didn't drown!
I was excited when I heard that we would be reading this in book club. "How was the book different from the movie? Did it have a happier ending? Is that freaky vulture thing in the books? Will the magician come across as an elongated Hobbit, like he did in the movie?" These were deep questions that needed to be answered. I was excited to finally understand the work.
This book surprised me. As a grown woman with home and family I picked up on the themes of innocence lost, the burden of time, and the cost of potentials realized. They kept me looking inward throughout my time with this book. Of course, , I expected and understood the theme of maidenhood , often associated with unicorns, but that was as deep as I expected to go. "Ya, ya, youth lost. OK, got it, we don't look as young and all that." But, the book went deeper than that. In her quest, the unicorn gave up a blissfully ignorant life to save her people. She carried the burden of knowledge, experience, and loss. For her family. She tried to keep the bigger picture in view, though she often lost her focus. Smendrick wanted to help her and sacrificed much for her and her quest. On the other hand he had one of his own. He sought his own magic. It seemed similar to a marriage at times. She had the big picture in mind, but struggled to keep focused. He wanted to serve her and her quest to the ends of the earth, but his ambitions came along for the ride. That isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it was always something that had to be balanced.
Molly Grue brought another facet of experience to the story. She was reconciled to who she was, but found hope of more when she saw the unicorn. As a wife and mother, one who is well along on her journey, I felt Molly's pain when she yelled "How dare you come now, when I am this." Even if you love where you are (which Molly, obviously didn't) there is always that wonder of "Did I do enough? Did I try hard enough, then? Am I as far along as I really should be?" But, she gave it all to the unicorn. She knew she would be made better, just being near her and what she represented.
All in all, I enjoyed this book so much as an adult. I can understand why it is read and loved so much. It is timeless. It is a classic, in my eyes. ...more
I loved this book. I was giggling the whole time...well most of the time. (I am a chicken, and should never read anything with the word 'ghost' in theI loved this book. I was giggling the whole time...well most of the time. (I am a chicken, and should never read anything with the word 'ghost' in the title at midnight, alone in my living room.) I loved how the Ghost chose his characters and costumes with such care. I think my favorite line of the whole book was "He selected Friday, the 17th of August, for his appearance, and spent most of that day in looking over his wardrobe, ultimately deciding in favour of a large slouched hat with a red feather, a winding-sheet frilled at the wrists and neck, and a rusty dagger." It sounded like a Mary Higgins-Clark heroine deciding what to wear before she pulls her hair into a chignon, dons a caftan, and begins to make her omelet. Delicious fun. My favorite characters of the book were the horrid little Otis Twins. Oh, they were naughty! Having little naughty boys of my own, their antics seemed quite plausible and hilarious. Oh, the Facebook statuses Mrs. Otis could post about those two! Of course, I was frustrated that the story drops off before giving you the really scary bits, but oh well. It was just so much fun. I am sure there is some piece of fan-fiction, somewhere, that speculates on Virginia's scary ordeal. :)...more
I think this book has an amazing premise. When my mom told me about the plot, I was excited. Time travel? Sweet. Unfortunately, I struggled a bit withI think this book has an amazing premise. When my mom told me about the plot, I was excited. Time travel? Sweet. Unfortunately, I struggled a bit with how long it took to get to the answers. By the time the answers came, I had lost interest. In all honesty,I was off in my reading at the time, and I just might have been worried about other things. I hope the second book speaks to me a bit more. I've had it sitting on my shelf for about a year. Not in love enough to have read it yet, but also not ready to give up on this cool idea. ...more
You know what? I really liked this book. It wasn't all phony and such. Even with all the crumby swearing, I got through it all right.
OK, enough HoldeYou know what? I really liked this book. It wasn't all phony and such. Even with all the crumby swearing, I got through it all right.
OK, enough Holden-speak.
This book was a fascinating read for me. When I first began it, I was feeling all rebellious to be reading a book with this much swearing. I usually have a very timid ear and can't handle hearing 'g-d'. I then realized it was just a kid trying to sound tough. At first I was irritated at Holden. I dismissed him as 'that guy I hated in high-school'. I was the good girl that Holden would have seen as 'phony'. I could never relate with those that didn't care what the higher-ups thought. As I continued to read, I found I understood him more and more. He was just a kid. He was extremely intelligent, but had some stuff to work out. I love how he freaked out about being a madman and couldn't understand how he could get caught up in a moment and say something crazy. He marveled that he would truly mean it at the time he said it. Ha. Been there.
All in all, I found this book much less scandalous than I feared it would be. I read a few synopses make sure I could handle it. Sure, I'm not running to put in on my 13 yr-old's reading list, but what is so atypical or unstable about it? I understand the language was over-the-top and, of course, reading the thoughts of a 16 yr-old boy would always be disturbing, but I don't see Holden's experience as that different from my own. (With some glaring exceptions, of course!) I guess that is what surprised me in this book. Angst is angst. We all just work it out in our own way.
If you disagree with me...you are probably a phony. ;)...more
This book was a surprise. I didn't think I could make it through the letter format. I began making up excuses to not go to this night at book club. IThis book was a surprise. I didn't think I could make it through the letter format. I began making up excuses to not go to this night at book club. I continued, fearing the shame of the unread book (a fear I have since overcome).I quickly fell in love with the heroine's quirky wit and her honest style. I could not put this one down. When I turned the last page, I was exultant. I loudly proclaimed "This is my new favorite book!!!!" Thank you, book club!...more