"It's just - a way to go. There isn't only one way to go." I waved at his notes. "You're trying to find a road where there isn't one. It's like gleani"It's just - a way to go. There isn't only one way to go." I waved at his notes. "You're trying to find a road where there isn't one. It's like gleaning in the woods," I said abruptly. "You have to pick your way through the thickets and the trees, and it's different every time."
Well, this has been truely delightful. And completely different from what I expected.
There is a dragon mentioned in the description and the author is Naomi Novik of the Temeraire endlessology. So I had quickly concluded Ms. Novik had just half-recycled her dragon concept while pushing the result into the YA fantasy area. Zero point zero points for my plot anticipation skills. But some lucky badges for choosing to read the story spontaneously anyway (The Goodreads Choice Awards of 2015 might have provided the final persuasive nudge).
Would I be asked to write a short backcover text about "Uprooted", I would readily comply, wording it as follows: Imagine a clumsy girl with the unspectacular gift for gleaning held against her will in a Rapunzel-like tower near to the border of alternative versions of medieval Poland and Russia. Picture her captor, a youngish-looking, but old cynical wizard with the impossible task of keeping vast and spreading maliciously magical wood at bay. Look at that magnificent world-building and think of Baba Jaga, other East European legends and tales, of "Graceling" (Cashore) and of "Nausicaä in the Valley of the Winds" (Miyazaki)....more
*** 3.5 stars *** - Heroine Taylor has been great - four-stars-great, actually. Audacious, cute, sexy, confident, funny, unconcerned, spontaneous... -*** 3.5 stars *** - Heroine Taylor has been great - four-stars-great, actually. Audacious, cute, sexy, confident, funny, unconcerned, spontaneous... - The humorous banter has been utterly delightful. - The cat-and-mouse-romance and the my-dark-past-complicates-our-love-life-story have been ... rather enjoyable - most of the time. I might have even contemplated dishing out four completely-coloured-in stars had there not been that slightly annoying kidney-incident, you know?
I have high hopes, though, that one of Tanja's books will merit the whole whole-heartedly given full set. She seems to have special sense for fun conversations and lovably wacky personalities (LWP). And I am addicted to LWPs in fiction. ...more
*** 2.5 stars *** Do you see those 2.5 stars? They do not mean I did not like the book. The chunk (or half star) missing to label this a perfectly alr*** 2.5 stars *** Do you see those 2.5 stars? They do not mean I did not like the book. The chunk (or half star) missing to label this a perfectly alright and recommendable apocalyptic read got unexpectedly lost during my perusal of “Part 2”.
I really enjoyed the writing, especially Daisy’s genuine voice. Sometimes I even thought that she talked a little like I do – stringing too many words together to clumsily form a noun, for instance. And her complete lack of worry at the beginning of the – far away – bombings and water poisonings in the promising light of a task-free and adult-free (view spoiler)[ - Aunt Penn is stuck in Oslo when the international airports are closed, but manages to give the kids access to her local bank account - (hide spoiler)] almost-holidays with her cousins felt refreshingly realistic for a fifteen-years-old heroine, who has just fallen in love for the first time.
Unlike some other not quite satisfied readers I did not see anything icky or strange in cousins entering a sexual relationship. I have married first cousins among both my relatives and my friends. I rather got a bit anxious because all the talk of rampant sex never ever included any means of contraception. (view spoiler)[Later Daisy explains that her anorexia had put an end to her bleeding. But until then I unconsciously held my breath for an announcement of an undernourished baby to be born out in the woods. (hide spoiler)]
The big obstacle shadowing my path of enjoyment was the following: The believable war time scenario featuring the British military pocketing usable buildings and spreading rumors, terror and chaos in the name of the greater good changed into something rather bizarre with one single telephone call at the end of “Part 1”, which was quickly succeeded by unexplained events happening at lightening speed and an awkwardly dumped blob of passed time that culminated in a knotted bundle of stickily bittersweet soul-mate melodrama. Rating down seemed to be the inevitable consequence. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
***Read first on December 18th 2013*** I can relate so much in the parental department: Elaine Oliver's changing obsessions with food trends, her moo ***Read first on December 18th 2013*** I can relate so much in the parental department: Elaine Oliver's changing obsessions with food trends, her moods, her lack of reason, her spontaneous outbursts and her way of controlling her family reminded me such much of my own mother (That raw-wheat-grains-soaked-in-water porridge with mineral powder and raisins. Uggh. The beetroot-and-banana-salad. Double-ugh. The dry wholegrain-and-honey cakes. The pork-is-evil-phase. gh, ugh, ugh. Plus shouting, pouting, blaming, new house rules stuck to the mirror at unexpected times ... and being really embarrassing around my friends). I love Ruby for not relenting and for not taking back the things she said ... well, and for being Ruby. Ruby is far from perfect, but that makes her a perfectly shining heroine in a teen novel about relationships....more
"You get three wishes," the genie said. "I wish for a Duck for Dirk, and My Secret Agent Lover Man for me, and a beautiful little house for us to liv"You get three wishes," the genie said. "I wish for a Duck for Dirk, and My Secret Agent Lover Man for me, and a beautiful little house for us to live in happiliy ever after." "Your wishes are granted. Mostly," said the genie.
My wishes were not granted, mostly. I was prepared to read a short, but pleasantly shocking, quirky urban young adult fantasy novel of the ageless sort. Something that has earned being referenced in every other modern fairytale review. But I was disappointed by something so decadent and otherwordly silly of novella-sized proportions - which is maybe hip and maybe multi-layered and satirical and whatnot - that I failed to get it.
Please don't misunderstand. I am not complaining about the "plot" or what the story deals with in general. I do appreciate that it celebrates love in countless forms and outlets between friends, gay lovers, couples who have already split up but cannot let go, parent and child, human and pet, love in different modes of bliss and hurt, family as patchwork as it gets, forgiveness and beauty. I draw my hat because drugs, AIDS, the downsides of stardom and other problems occuring in Hollywood and elsewhere are not glossed over, but brazenly interwoven into everyday life.
I felt let down, because "Weetzie Bat" could only be compared to a fairytale in the sense that both dump unbelievable or exciting facts onto the reader using a detached point of view and a really compact, condensed style: The evil frog turned green with envy, followed the princess into her plush chamber and impregnated her on the spot. He left the castle seven nights before his daughter Swampsea was born. "Good riddance," said her mother, now a royal single parent, and employed a gnarly-horned wet-nurse from hell. Oops! Wrong tale! The man's name was Valentine Jah-Love and the woman's name was Ping Chong. [...] "Jah!" cried Valentine, lifting his stormy face up in the greenish electric light. "You'll have to stay here. It will rain for seven days and seven nights." It rained and rained. Everything in "Weetzie Bat" happens immediately and reminded me of the times in my childhood when I tried to made up a story, started by choosing the characters' names with painful elaboration - the wackier, the better -, moved on to outline what was supposed to happen to whom, jotted down some experimental dialogue and then ... left it to its own devices, because playing some other promising game of make-believe had gained my attention.
In addition to the rush and the lack of filling everything is so easy and too superficial. I.e. My Secret Agent Lover Man (that's a character's name) and Weetzie successfully "make" a couple of movies with the help of one or two friends and their house-mates, who function as actors, wardrobe people and whoever is needed, and earn enough money to live, indulge in their favorite sushi and buy a new car although there is no talk about financing or selling the projects or even of anybody watching the outcomes.
Plus my expectation of a magically version of an 80s L.A. had to be satisfied by a voodoo practicing seductress popping in as a supporting character and by a genie suffering from occupational burn-out who transplants Weetzie and Dirk from being teenaged, desillusioned lesson-cutters to living as house-owners on the look-out for the perfect, respective "Duck" (guy).
Please forgive me, enthusiastic Weetzie fans, for missing the spectacular wonder Weetzie's adventures are supposed to present and for being impatient enough to skip all four sequels without dishing out a second chance to Cherokee, Witch Baby and yet unknown Angel Juan to eventually wow me....more
"Salvage" presenting itself on my nightstand has been the result of an on-the-fly book-swap I did with a friend here on Goodreads.
Though curious, I ha"Salvage" presenting itself on my nightstand has been the result of an on-the-fly book-swap I did with a friend here on Goodreads.
Though curious, I had already braced myself for draggy, beautiful, but rather boring parts, because of some reviews by Goodreaders, whose opinions usually do no stray that far from mine. I waited and waited, holding my breath from time to time, but that bored feeling just would not come! There were some things that made me go "Huh?" (view spoiler)[like the earlier actions of Ava, who did not even dare to look men and boys straight into their eyes because of her upbringing, consenting to have spontaneous sex with her supposed future husband in an onboard citrus grove after sharing a few forbidden kisses and sloshing a bit around in a water tank (hide spoiler)], but all in all my reading experience can be labeled as a success. I stayed up much too late and started reading right with my coffee mug in hand in the morning. The sceneries both in Mumbai and on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch colony were an unexpected bonus and effortlessly easy to picture in my mind.["br"]>["br"]>...more
I ordered this to fulfill the Young Adult Book Club's 17th quarterly challenge, although teen pregnancy books are seldom my thing. But I had a prettyI ordered this to fulfill the Young Adult Book Club's 17th quarterly challenge, although teen pregnancy books are seldom my thing. But I had a pretty good feeling about this story. I shouldn't have had it - that gut feeling. The main character, her best friend, all the boys AND her parents are completely unlikable in my opinion. 83 pages and some skimming through the rest provided no joy or satisfaction at all. That said I need to stress that my rating does not have anything to do with the outcome of/decision about the unwanted pregnancy dilemma. ...more