This is not a feel-good book. This more like a feel-bad book.
Although Sam knows how it is when you do not belong to the in-crowd, she successfully reThis is not a feel-good book. This more like a feel-bad book.
Although Sam knows how it is when you do not belong to the in-crowd, she successfully refuses to even think about how the so-called losers and freaks and normalos and "psycho" Juliet Sykes might feel who are bullied and mocked and humilitated and pranked upon by Sam and her top-of-the-school-clique on a daily basis. For Sam's best friend Lindsay and her gang it just means securing their place in the pecking order, a fleeting sense of superiority and a passing moment of entertainment. For at least half of the plot I was rather disgusted by our so-called heroine, but I appreciated the bi-polar way she is portayed from within, first-person style: I wondered how ignorant she was as far as all the hurt and shame she caused and I felt some kind of enlightenment, too: Eureka! All those mean girls do not necessarily strive to fulfill that one goal in life: "Be as mean and bitchy as you can and score high on the ruin-people's-youths-competition." They may be just annoyed by everything that opposes their idea of fun or threatens their status and feel entitled to removed the obstacle. That is not really an improvement of matters in general, but it was kind of astonishing to me.
In the course of the plot Sam has to die at least four times to get a first whiff of what is wrong with how she is living her life. And then she has to die some more after she begins to get a hang on changing things - one tottering, tiny - and sometimes wrong - step at a time. Not only old habits die hard, old convictions - even those about yourself - do, too. "Before I Fall" is not a sparkly make-over Disney film which presents the evil witch waking up after having seen the light and making a swift 180 degrees turn. It is the painful story of someone whose wheels are already stuck in the mud and only a few drops of gas are left in the tank.
I did not cry reading this book. Maybe I didn't like Sam enough for that in the end. I do not forgive so quickly (and I am moved to tears by a book very rarely). But I had a few lumps in my throat when Sam bonded with her little sister for the last time fastening their grandmother's necklace around Izzy's neck or when Sam's mother crossed the nail polish line on the floor to embrace her daughter. A lot of hope and meaning shone through each single gesture. I liked that.
If I want to re-read "Before I Fall" sometime? I cannot say. As I said in the beginning, the story makes you feel cold inside instead of fluffy and light. But I want to keep the book with me for a while - just in case. The pull it exercised on me has been remarkable. I've read through almost every spare minute I could scratch together since I started yesterday. That alone makes it a good book in my book. Four stars from me, Ms. Oliver....more
What could go wrong? I had high expectations because Beastly has been my favourite fairytale retelliI stopped reading A Kiss in Time after 160 pages.
What could go wrong? I had high expectations because Beastly has been my favourite fairytale retelling so far.
1. In my opinion A Kiss in Time is boring. The setting is promising, but soon the air is out of the balloon. Evil fairy, go get them: I don't care anymore!
2. We do have young adult fiction here, but it does not mean, that facts can be muddled or poorly researched. I was mightily annoyed again and again: Jack and Talia sell a small trinket from Talias vast assortment of jewlery (at the first jeweller in a small Belgian town). The rest of these trinkets pass at American customs as the new - cheap - designer collection of costume jewelery. With the money (250 EUR!) they manage to buy a fake Belgian passport (finished on the same day!) at a shop recommended to them at a GAP outlet. The only hesitation at passport control arises, because the passport is new and sports only one stamp - from France. Now, Ms Flinn: If you are a Belgian Citizen (= Member of the EU), you never get a stamp from France. You are practically at home. If you are lucky, you do not even notice that you have passed a border.
3. Talia is so very bratty and annoying. But her beauty - the fairy given one she is so very aware of herself - compells Jack again and again into protective behavior. What a great soil for everlasting love!
4. Let me tell you: Europe is really beautiful in many, many places (Jack longs to see the gardens, but is stuck with one art exhibition after the next). After reading A Kiss in Time no American Teenager will go willingly on a Euopean round trip. Sad business. This is a fun story, no moral tale, but the dismissal stings a little....more
I love the japanese TV drama based on this novel and the first 100 pages were really sweet and endearing - just like many reviewers have stated. I gotI love the japanese TV drama based on this novel and the first 100 pages were really sweet and endearing - just like many reviewers have stated. I got interrupted though (I forgot by which book or assignment) and now, a month later, I do not find my way back into the story. I am positive that am going to watch the series once again, but I decided to let the book go....more
Read for the first time in 2007. I would substract one of the stars today - although I still love the book and especially the ending. I need multipleRead for the first time in 2007. I would substract one of the stars today - although I still love the book and especially the ending. I need multiple reading dates and rating for the books on my read-shelf!...more
**spoiler alert** Rachel Morgan's very first kick-ass-adventure is a must for fans of course. The novella covers about a quarter of the pages and is s**spoiler alert** Rachel Morgan's very first kick-ass-adventure is a must for fans of course. The novella covers about a quarter of the pages and is set in Rachel's pre-IS-time. Still frail from the Rosewood-Syndrome symptoms, 18-year-old, fresh-from-school Rachel is determined to enter the Inderland Security instead of completing her earthwitch studies at the university of her brother's choice. Rachel raises a cute 150-year-old ghost from purgatory and helps him to kick some vampire ass. Ms Harrison managed to make Rachel be Rachel - yet depicts her believably younger, less self-secure, less experienced. 4 Stars! The second story "Run, Run Rudolph" by Lyndsay Sands is rather a romance story with a supernatural twist. A crazy scientist zaps the heroine with a machine that turns her into a shape-shifter and tries to hunt her down for scientific experiments. The flight which involves a lot of shape-shifting and groping gets her nearer to the man of her dreams. To much chick-lit. Not quite my cup of tea. 2 Stars. The third one, "Six" by Marjorie M. Liu, brings together a tough martial-arts-trained Chinese secret agent searching for terrorists and a necromancer hunting vampires in Shanghai. It was fun, thrilling, with a touch of heart and a touch of sci-fi - I liked it. 4 Stars. The last, "The Harvest", written by Vicki Petterson follows Zoe, human-turned Agent of Light, as she tries to hide her new-born granddaughter from the Agents of Shadows. I did not finish this and will cancel books by this author from my wish list. Did not hook my attention....more
A witchy urban fantasy with a likable, genuine set of characters, an adventure that kept me glued to the pages and a romance betweeen childhood buddieA witchy urban fantasy with a likable, genuine set of characters, an adventure that kept me glued to the pages and a romance betweeen childhood buddies on top. The end was not a cliffhanger, but it promised a sequel. A sequel I would definetely like to read....more