I don't know what I was expecting when I read An Ember in the Ashes, but not this. Not this brutal, heartbreaking, real story. This novel breathed wit I don't know what I was expecting when I read An Ember in the Ashes, but not this. Not this brutal, heartbreaking, real story. This novel breathed with horror and pain, but also hope and love. It was difficult to get through sometimes. Some scenes, particularly the third trial, had my heart crying out, as I felt the wretchedness of the characters and their task, their duty, and their pure sorrow and terror at what they are commanded to do. Tahir expertly crafted a tale that spoke directly to the heart, bringing to life the brutalness of a Rome like world where dark magical beings reside. Jinn and efrits and the like, creatures thought to be myth by the people, but that reveal themselves throughout the novel.
This story is not a light, carefree story where everything ends up right at the end and the girl and boy realize their undying love for one another and the evil is triumphed. No, this story is quite unlike most novels. This novel is real. It doesn't cut corners, or spare the reader the brutality of the Masks and the Commandant. It doesn't let up when it knows you are suffering as the characters are suffering and wish that they didn't have to do what they're doing. And this is what made me love the novel so much. Tahir did such an excellent job at creating her story, at melding the dark side with the magical side and even the love. Love between a sister and her brother; love between a girl and her new found slave friend; love between a girl and a boy. That being said, the romantic love was practically not even there. It didn't lead the story and come at you screaming to be heard. It was so refreshing to have a story that is led by the plot, and to have the romance be almost an afterthought. But still there, because I do love a good love story. But I also love a good story that doesn't need romance to be a story.
As for the characters, they were so believable. Particularly the main characters, Laia and Elias. Laia was an uncertain, scared girl who's family is dead and she has to beat unimaginable odds to free her brother. She goes through so much, but she stands strong. She's afraid and weak, but she's so strong because she rises above her weakness and in the end refuses to be beaten down and to let her friends die. I love this girl. I loved watching her journey and seeing her grow and overcome her trials and fight the evil with her goodness. Elias was someone who caught my attention right at the beginning. Here's a guy who wants to do the right thing, wants to be free of the brutality, wants to save lives. And he goes through his own trials, though his station is high, and he could have everything he wants. He hates the world he lives in, but realizes that he has to face it. And, gah, that third trial, I still can't get over it. It was so heartbreaking, I didn't want it to happen. But, I guess for the sake of the story it needed to. Through everything though, Elias stayed true to who he was. Strong, loyal, good, striving to do the right thing.
This is a novel that will stay with me for a long time. I didn't expect it to affect me so. But I think seeing the darkness helped me to understand the characters better and to appreciate the good that did happen. I can see why this book is getting so much hype. It definitely deserves it. So, read on people, read an exhilarating, death defying, ruthless novel that will tear your heart out, but that will give you strength and hope to put it back together. Read a truly outstanding novel. I certainly loved it....more
That ending. Curse that blasted ending! I knew it was going to happen. I thought it might before he first played that trick on her. Then he played thaThat ending. Curse that blasted ending! I knew it was going to happen. I thought it might before he first played that trick on her. Then he played that trick, and I thought, oh good, it probably won’t happen now, why would Bracken do that after he tricked her? And then, she had to go and do it. And my heart broke. And who knows what’s going to happen in the next book? Gah. I hate endings like these.
So, The Darkest Minds, was a novel I was highly anticipating. I completely fell in love with Alexandra’s debut, Brightly Woven, and honestly would have much preferred a sequel to that novel than a new series. But alas, we got a new series. But not alas, because this book was pretty much awesome. I was not expecting a story like this. A modern dystopian book with kids who have magical abilities. Hello! Bring on the fun and adventure. Ah, but no. Not that much fun. Because (slight spoiler? I don't know. not really spoilery, but, oh well.>(view spoiler)[kids being leveled down in spurts of blood after being holed up in camps/prisons because of their freakish abilities is not fun. (hide spoiler)] But--it was adventurous, and fast paced, and I couldn’t put it down. I loved the story line, and the dynamics in the characters.
Hmm, the characters. I loved them, I loved all of them. (Maybe not the bad guys, but even then, they were written so well that I applaud Alexandra’s skill). Ruby was amazing. She’s hurting from a terrible past, and a terrible present, and can’t believe that anyone could possibly want her, especially once they find out the real truth about her. But she doesn’t let that completely destroy her. She keeps pressing forward in hopes that she can control herself, and maybe, maybe have a future with people she loves. Like Liam. This was a romance that I loved. They want to be with each other, but she fights it, because of course she can’t, not with who (what) she is. But then the romance does evolve, into something beautiful, achingly so. I loved the buildup up their relationship, and how Ruby’s feelings for him grew, and then blossomed. It was perfect. And Liam, I love him too. He’s kind, and caring, and accepting. I loved his character. And I loved Chubs, and the friendship that formed between him and Ruby. And little Suzume. I’m pretty sure she’ll show up in book 2. She just has to. Along with CHUBS! and LIAM! *hint hint* Yes. I’m going to assume they will all be there.
Now, my emotions while reading this wonderful, dang gruesome book. Sometimes I really hate loving gruesome books. Gruesome sad books that make me cringe, and cry inside as my heart shatters to pieces. I hate reading (hearing) about kids getting hurt. And for some reason they can’t control, or explain, or get rid of! It’s not their fault they have these abilities. So, pretty much, there were some parts that still make me cringe, and I would like not read them again. Upon re-reading this book (whenever that may be) I may just skip those parts. And then the ending! Yep, made me cry.
In the end, I loved this book. When a book makes me fall in love with the characters, and the romance, and plays with my emotions, makes me cry, it more than likely will end up being a book I love. And that this book did, and so I did. So I can’t wait to read the sequels, and find out how in the heck is this all going to work out!
... Oh my gosh, Black is the Color is FINALLY on goodreads!! Now I can add it as must read, and anxiously waiting for, and...2013? Seriously? That long? Ah well, I am so flipping excited!!
Edit 4/21/11: And now it's going to be made into a movie!! So exciting :D And the book might be released in Summer 2012? Oh please please please please...
Edit 11/20/11: Uh, sudden different title, why the change? I mean, it's cool and all, The Darkest Minds, kind of foreboding, but Black is the Color was an awesome title. And, well, on IMDB it's still Black is the Color. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907629/ Sooooo, I guess we'll just have to see, now won't we? Either way, it's gonna be an awesome book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This sounds almost exactly like Fallen. Even same names! (though it's Lucy here) Same plot of reincarnated lives, falling in love over and over and ovThis sounds almost exactly like Fallen. Even same names! (though it's Lucy here) Same plot of reincarnated lives, falling in love over and over and over again, and Daniel remembering everything and Lucy/Luce nothing. Only differene I can see is that there are no angels in My Name Is Memory. Hopefully this won't be a reincarnation of Fallen, (though I liked Fallen well enough, who wants the same story, names and plot, twice?). I love the title though!...more
Forgotten is spellbindingly mind boggling. I was so intrigued with London’s strange life. Cat Patrick certainly created a keeper with her debut novel.Forgotten is spellbindingly mind boggling. I was so intrigued with London’s strange life. Cat Patrick certainly created a keeper with her debut novel. It’s so intricately developed, the messages and emotions vividly portrayed that had me living anxiously alongside London, watching as she forgets again and again her yesterday, and then seeing her remember her future. It was such a unique premise, and confusing at times. Kind of like one of those time travel concepts that stretch your mind.
Each morning at 4:33, London forgets everything that happened the previous day. She writes notes to herself every night telling her about her yesterday, and reminding her what she needs to do the next day, like study for a quiz, (which how tiresome would that be? You wouldn’t be able to study early, you’d have to study the day of, because anything you try to study ‘remember’ will be lost the next day, so it would be totally pointless). But she knows her future. She remembers events that will happen, and people that she’ll meet. But then she meets a boy that she can’t remember, he’s not in her future. Each new day, London meets Luke for the first time, and though her notes tell her how gorgeous he is, she’s never prepared for it. The premise is actually quite similar to the movie 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore. I wonder if Patrick got her inspiration or seed for the novel from that movie. In any case, Patrick’s novel is original and amazing and I loved it.
I loved all the characters. London especially, for her strength and acceptance of her life, and the love she has for the people around her, and trying her hardest to save them from an unpleasant future. She does go through her times of doubt and sadness, (seriously, who wouldn’t with a life like that?) but she was so strong and a very likeable heroine. And Luke was great. He stayed by London’s side no matter what, and in the end, he was an integral part of London starting to remember her past.
There are several subplots, involving London’s best friend, her father, and a funeral. As London tries to unravel her past, and find out what her mother is keeping from her, the puzzle pieces come together in a rather startlingly, intriguing, brilliant way. Patrick holds all the pieces, giving them away at just the right time to keep the reader on their toes, and slowly let them see the ever brightening picture alongside London.
The ending was done very nicely, wrapping the story up with a feeling of completion for the reader, while still not having all the loose ends tied up. Forgotten could stand on its own, and I wouldn’t feel entirely cheated, but I would love a sequel. And I’m pretty sure there will be one. :D
This book has already been optioned for a motion picture (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1845798/) and I am all for that! I think it would make an incredible, romantic movie, that would be slightly like 50 First Dates, which I like also.
So, kudos to Cat Patrick for writing an unforgettable novel. I’m sure I’ll love everything that she will write in the future, and I hope many people read Forgotten and love it, or at least find some gem in it....more
The Night Circus is a beautiful, transcendent lifelike dream, carefully constructed out of magic and intrigue. The circus is unlike other circus', briThe Night Circus is a beautiful, transcendent lifelike dream, carefully constructed out of magic and intrigue. The circus is unlike other circus', bringing strange, unique entertainment and illusions, and is, in actuality, the base for a game between a man and woman, trained since children, and pitted against each other by two rivalries. These two opponents have been training for years, with different methods, to win this decades old game that is basically their life. They use the circus as their game board, one moves a piece, and the other retaliates with a piece of their own, shaping the circus into something truly magnificent and awe inspiring. I found the magic and circus life enchanting, with beautiful writing and elegant execution that formed a true work of art.
The writing was one thing that drew me in; that, combined with the vivid descriptions of the circus and the characters and their lives. I delight in a descriptive book done well, and while some will think the pace too slow, or that there is too much description, it was just right to me. I found I was hanging onto every word, seeing the world as if I was actually there. Interspersed through the story, between chapters, there are little excerpts that take you into a few tents in the circus, written as second person so it is as if you are a character in the story, and are seeing the wonders for yourself. I could see and taste and feel everything that Morgenstern wrote.
There are several points of view, but I felt that it was needed. Because it isn’t just Marco and Celia’s story, it was Bailey’s, and Poppet and Widget’s, and the man in the grey suit’s, and Tsukiko’s. It starts telling the beginning of Marco’s and Celia’s lives, going on to building the circus from the seed of an idea, and then we see Bailey, an average boy years later who finds something special in the Night Circus and becomes an integral part of the story. We see the circus through Bailey’s eyes before it has truly formed in Marco and Celia’s lives. It gives a sense of subtle excitement, and a need to know how the circus comes to life, how it becomes the largely successful, mysterious, enchanting wonder, and how Marco and Celia play into it. And then the two stories finally meet, and we see how the puzzle pieces fit together seamlessly, and how the characters fight against the odds to achieve what they believe in.
I was expecting a bigger, shocking conclusion, where the revealing of the story’s end and how it all works together would be surprising, but done amazingly. It wasn’t though. It was executed wonderfully, but it was nothing unexpected and utterly brilliant. But I loved it anyway. It was magical, and intriguing, and perfect, so I wasn’t disappointed at all, and finished the book with satisfaction.
This book was like a breath of fresh air. I loved the originality of it, the strange beauty of this strictly black and white circus that, even void of color no matter where you turn, manages to attract you, to draw you in with words of enchantment, and magic woven into the story. I was enchanted from the beginning, and it lingered long after I turned the last page.
So, enter if you will, a place of wonderment and magic, where dreams become your life, and where life, may just be a dream. ...more
What makes a life worth living for? A life, that isn’t just about you, but is in part, about others, about making their lives more worthwhile. It’s thWhat makes a life worth living for? A life, that isn’t just about you, but is in part, about others, about making their lives more worthwhile. It’s the precious moments in it. The subtle things. The moments that if you’re living too fast, or believing yourself to be the most important one in your life, you will fly right by, and miss them. You will miss the beauty, the joy, the opportunities to lift someone, to want to see light in someone’s eyes, instead of thinking about yourself and not caring about other people’s feelings. What if you had a chance to live one day in your life again? Several times? What would you do different? Would your thoughts change? Would you look at an occurrence in that day more closely, because you’ve seen it several times before, and you’ve become accustomed to it, and begin to see things that you didn’t before?
This book is more than just about second chances. It’s about being given a new look on life, of the world. It’s about seeing people for who they really are, seeing things that are not on the surface. About gaining an understanding of people, why they act the way they do, and how the simplest of acts can change an entire outcome.
This book is incredible. It has such powerful messages in it, messages that really make you think. Think about what something you say can affect someone’s entire life, how one occurrence could ruin your life, or by doing something, ruin someone else’s. It makes you look at things more closely. At your life, at other people’s lives, and that words and actions (good and bad) have more impact than we realize, but that we can change that! We can change how we live, we can make someone’s day, and feel the better for it. We don’t have to demean someone to fit in, or to feel worthwhile. We have more control over our lives than perhaps we realize. The problem is we don’t look deep enough, or closely, or slowly. We live our lives fast, not worrying about consequences. If we would just slow down, and love people for who they are, look beneath the surface, and accept people despite their faults, we would be happier, and have more meaning in our lives.
You’re probably wondering why I gave this book a four instead of a five. While I believe it is worthy of being a five, I can’t give it. There was too much sexual content and swearing for me to be comfortable with. But I can understand it. It made Sam’s transformation more meaningful, and I know that that is life. Teenagers (people) swear, speak vulgar, participate in parties and sex left and right. I just don’t like reading about sex and seeing so many swear words in novels, but this is just me. Asides from that, this story is amazing. Lauren Oliver really knows how to tug at reader’s heartstrings, how to flesh out her characters with such life that they seem so real. Before I Fall is so well crafted and executed. Each new day that Sam lives brings new light to her and the reader. We’re given more knowledge about something that was just a brief moment in the previous day. We see more of the picture, we find out more about the people around Sam. And we understand Sam. Her feelings, and how she changes.
Lauren Oliver created an incredible story. It’s one that will stay with you, one that will make you cry, and make you think. I really did love it, and am glad I read it. I highly recommend it....more
A really fun, cute novel! It's original with great characters and an interesting plot. I liked Evie's personality, and that she's not some simpering,A really fun, cute novel! It's original with great characters and an interesting plot. I liked Evie's personality, and that she's not some simpering, woe is me, I'm beautiful but only I don't know it, girl. She takes charge, she has fun, she gets excited over little simple things and doesn't care what other people, er, paranormals, think about her. I liked Lend and that he never gave up on Evie, and that he doesn't care what she is. I'm certainly glad I picked this book up, and I'm excited to read the sequel!