Oh, man. Wow. This book is suffocating. It so vividly captured what it might be like to be a good person, caught up in something so terrible, somethinOh, man. Wow. This book is suffocating. It so vividly captured what it might be like to be a good person, caught up in something so terrible, something that is yours and yours alone, that you can't share with anyone. You feel the weight and isolation of this truly terrible secret and what it must be like to force yourself through the day-to-day in the mean time. Just wondering if this poor kid will ever get out from under it. It is so good and so grim and so real, which is what made it so terrifying and just like CRUSHING. Just the way it presented such innocence around the loss of such innocence was crazy amazing... seriously, you guys, this book crushed me. How do we live with anything, let alone this kind of mistake? Blake Nelson deserves every accolade he gets.
This was THE book at a certain point in my life and I hadn't even read it, but the cool girls I wanted to be like were reading it, and whether they liThis was THE book at a certain point in my life and I hadn't even read it, but the cool girls I wanted to be like were reading it, and whether they liked it or not, I had to have it because they had it. And I could quote the parts they liked best because they were quoting them and I still remember a lot of those quotes. Anyway, I asked for it for Christmas. Six or seven years ago. And I'd read the first page and flip ahead but I'd never actually READ IT. I was really reluctant and I'm still not sure why. Maybe because the girls I wanted to be seemed so distant from anything I could be and it was weird (to me) to try to dive into something that was so in their sphere, which I assumed was so outside of mine. So I watched the movie instead. And every time I'd pass Girl on my bookshelf or hear someone talking about it I'd get nostalgic about this book I hadn't even READ. And now it's six or seven years later and I read it and it was good*. The end.
I don't know how much I can say about the plot without giving everything away. So just read the description on GoodReads and then come back.
Okay. Isn'I don't know how much I can say about the plot without giving everything away. So just read the description on GoodReads and then come back.
Okay. Isn't that a cool plot description? I KNOW. The Boys Are Back in Town is my second Christopher Golden book, the first being his YA zombie book, Soulless. In both books, Golden takes something I'm not crazy about (talking zombies in Soulless and magic in Boys) and then incorporates it into a story in such an awesome and entertaining and compelling way, he forces me to give him a pass. This is a big deal, especially if you know how much I hate talking zombies (Ihatethemsomuch). My ire for magic is less fiery in my heart, BUT STILL. It is enough so that my loving this book unreservedly is a feat. And I loved this book! I really enjoyed it.
It's just GOOD. I wish I had read it in October. The book is set IN October and he just nails the crunchy-dead leaves, creepy/cozy feeling so well that I wanted it to be October while I was reading. Such perfect atmosphere. I love that kind of atmosphere and seek it out in horror movies all the time, so if you are into that kinda vibe you should check out this book.
It's an adult novel but I think it has crossover appeal because it's set in two different times--an adult present and a teenage past. Golden really nails how the petty problems of high school can quickly become exacerbated to the point that people make SCARY choices that they can't take back. You just see the snowball effect happening and you totally understand it and you're like agggh nooo this is awful turn back turn back now agggh and everything gets steadily worse for the characters but it is impossible to stop reading because you have to see how it continues to unfold and is (hopefully) resolved. And the nostalgia laced throughout the novel is also something that's dead on... we all feel that wistfulness for youth as we get older. It's articulated very, very well in these pages.
The final showdown was very BIG and DRAMATIC, which I'm not sure I was expecting or at first wanted, but enjoyed nonetheless (maybe "enjoyed" is the wrong word because it was horrific but... yeah, okay, I enjoyed it). And the epilogue made me sad and the final page made me go gah (not a bad gah). Hm. I am trying so hard not to give anything away... I read ahead to see who was responsible for the terrible and fantastical going-ons (bad Courtney) but even that didn't prepare me for some of the twists and turns getting there. It was just a great ride.
Reading Christopher Golden kind of reminds me of reading some of my favourite mystery/sci-fi/thriller/suspense teen novels when I was younger, books I still love to this day. More specifically, his books remind me of the FEELING I got when I read them. Both times I've picked up a Christopher Golden novel, I just felt totally assured I was going to be entertained and the writing was going to be solid and I was going to be told an excellent story and it would be worth my time. Both times it was. He's a fantastic storyteller is all. This is definitely not going to be the last book I read by him. And given his catalogue, I am going to have fun choosing which one is next!...more
Like lots of people, my introduction to Jill Bolte Taylor was via her TED talk, which I found totally inspiring and incredibly compelling--if not a liLike lots of people, my introduction to Jill Bolte Taylor was via her TED talk, which I found totally inspiring and incredibly compelling--if not a little incomplete. I wanted to know more, more about the brain, her massive stroke, her recovery, more on the left hemisphere, the right hemisphere... just more! The book was as inspiring and compelling, and mostly complete. My only complaint is it's a short read--less than 200 pages--and I was very sad to see it end.
I'm not a brain scientist (sometimes I say I am just for kicks, jk jk) and I don't regularly read about the brain, but I never felt lost reading this. I enjoyed and respected the straightforward, sincere and passionate way Taylor narrates her experiences. I think there's much to contemplate in "taking responsibility for [our:] energy," and "stepping to the right." And those who know someone who has suffered a stroke should DEFINITELY pick this up because it offers valuable insights on the healing process and your role in it. I loved, loved, loved reading about the brain's capacity to heal and its determination to communicate.
I just love Jill Bolte Taylor's story. I think everyone should pick it up and give it a look (at least watch the TED video!). I learned a lot. It was a fascinating story that made me feel like one amazing, incredible, miraculous machine and gave me a newfound appreciation and interest in what's going on in my brain and everything it's doing for me. This is definitely not going to be the last book I read on the subject....more
It's hard to envision any writer not getting a lot out of this but anyways my favourite parts, personally, were the ones where King talked about how mIt's hard to envision any writer not getting a lot out of this but anyways my favourite parts, personally, were the ones where King talked about how magical/fulfilling/awesome/wonderful the actual act of creating is, especially after his accident. It choked me up a lot, ngl. Yay for the writers of the world....more
I don't think I've wanted any fictional character to die more in my life than I did Daisy. And then Gatsby. And I hated Nick sometimes. But especiallyI don't think I've wanted any fictional character to die more in my life than I did Daisy. And then Gatsby. And I hated Nick sometimes. But especially Daisy. What a great book about a bunch of sad bastards....more
There is nothing startling about this book. None of it will make you go, "Oh, so THAT'S who Pierre Trudeau was." But it is amazing anyway and I lovedThere is nothing startling about this book. None of it will make you go, "Oh, so THAT'S who Pierre Trudeau was." But it is amazing anyway and I loved it. I could be biased, though. But I doubt it....more
(The first chapter of this book references VOLCANOES!!! What more can I say. Did I tell you all my family and I spent Christmas Day watching SUPERVOLC(The first chapter of this book references VOLCANOES!!! What more can I say. Did I tell you all my family and I spent Christmas Day watching SUPERVOLCANO? I know.)
(Maybe I'll watch it again tonight.)
I remember when Total Constant Order first came out--I was interested but wary. I love--probably not the right word--reading about OCD. I'm always interested in furthering my understanding of this totally complex and torturous disorder. But nothing annoys more more than poor portrayals of OCD in the mainstream media. Like, NOTHING. Now, I didn't get the impression that TCO would be like this but even the remotest possibility left me hemming and hawing for uhm, well, years, actually. WOW, how embarrassing to admit, but there it is. Don't be like me, everyone.
This was a really really solid, GOOD book that unfolds at a leisurely pace but is a quick read, if that makes sense. I like Chappell's writing style a lot. There was something dreamy and artisty and fantastical about it and made for an interesting juxtaposition against the realities/harshness of Finn's obsessions and compulsions. From page one we are totally thrown into Finn's thought process, the OCD and it's intense. I like that about it. I think I read someone say that it was hard to be that far into the disorder, to read it, to follow it, but to me that's the novel's honesty! That's what makes it critical, especially in the face of so many craptastic looks at OCD out there that only glimpse at the surface of the disorder (or worse) use it for comic relief or a character quirk. If you aren't going to go there, I don't see the point and Chappell really & truly (and I think) fearlessly goes there. That's important.
One thing that I really appreciated was that Chappell didn't skimp on the anxiety, how hard it is and how awful it feels to not follow through on a ritual when you're right in the thick of the thing. For some reason, going into TCO, I was expecting a bigger romantic arch between Thayer and Finn, and even though there was a tenderness and sweetness to their relationship, this isn't a book where dude saves girl from herself--THANK GOODNESS. They helped each other but I think the key to their success was themselves, on their own. I really really liked that about it. I like the way they drifted through the high school scene a pair, trying to make sense of it in the only ways they knew how, with all they had to contend with.
Reading a lot about anti-depressants as "waterwings" (as Jeffrey Schwartz called them) for people with severe OCD, one thing I had to remind myself as I read was that this was Finn's journey--that her decision to not take the anti-depressants in the end was her own. At first that left me a little nervous, because I think when a character makes that kind of decision it's hard for the author not to look like they're coming down one side or the other but I think ultimately, Chappell balanced this nicely and as I got into the story my reservations about that melted away. I didn't feel preached at and it seemed fair, imo. FINALLY, the setting of this book was absolutely delicious. I have never been to Miami, but Chappell's portrayal of it, even from the eyes of less-than-loving it Finn, made me want to go there.
I think lots of people should read this, not only if you have an interest in OCD, but also because it's good stuff....more