I would love to give this book four stars (and indeed, many reviewers loved it!) but for me this book was a tad slow-moving and melodramatic. I LOVEDI would love to give this book four stars (and indeed, many reviewers loved it!) but for me this book was a tad slow-moving and melodramatic. I LOVED the setting and the dialogue--this is an excellent book for lovers of Pride & Prejudice and Victorian era dramas. The settings and details are beautifully described and imagined. The main character here, Celia, has basically fled her home because of a mysterious sad occurrence. She works as a bookstore clerk and fends off (flirts with?) three different suitors in her new life. Of course, there are petty dramas, secrets discovered, and more that comes to light over the course of the book. But these developments take place ever-so-slowly...and for me, almost painfully slow. I received this book as an ARC and was honored to read it. ...more
The idea behind this book is solid, I just found it poorly executed. Having had both miscarriages and two children (and experienced these things withThe idea behind this book is solid, I just found it poorly executed. Having had both miscarriages and two children (and experienced these things with a husband), I had a unique outlook on the author's handling of all these situations. But Hamilton dives into much more than the norm--in Expecting, the main character Laurie and her husband Alan try artificial insemination (IUI) to raise their chances of having a baby. Unfortunately, a vengeful nurse switches Alan's sperm with a stranger's. Of course, Laurie becomes pregnant--with a stranger's baby. What should be a very interesting story kind of slogs.
Hamilton chooses to give each of the main characters (Laurie, Alan, and the mystery dad) rotating chapters from their own POVs. Unfortunately, each character is written as insufferably introspective. Especially Alan, unlike any man I've ever met, who is deeply insecure and anxious. Alan second-guesses everything and allows the sperm mix-up to cast doubt on his identity, his marriage, and his relationships. It was hard to read his viewpoint because I honestly didn't think it was that realistic and it was very repetitive. Some other details seemed manufactured as well: I deeply related to Laurie and Alan's miscarriage history, but doubt seriously whether anyone, even first-time parents, buys and builds a crib within the first eight weeks. I also floated this whole scenario past my own husband--he drew the line at involving the mystery dad's family in the child's life. Truly, the 'happy family' at the end is a bit hard to swallow. Ultimately, I was excited to read this book (as a pre-pub from NetGalley), but I was disappointed. ...more
I have to preface this review by saying that a) if I get a book to read before publication (through NetGalley, like this one, or anywhere) I want to gI have to preface this review by saying that a) if I get a book to read before publication (through NetGalley, like this one, or anywhere) I want to give it a real chance, finish the whole thing, etc. and b) the idea behind this book is one I’m thrilled about. With this book, I found it tremendously difficult to even finish.
The Word Exchange has a fascinating premise. Ana lives in a world where helpful technology has infiltrated our lives, our psyches, and our choices so fully that it is starting to cripple us. Everyone has a Meme (which, as near I can tell, is like our smart phones only smart enough to take some direction from our brain waves). The Meme, for example, logs you into the Word Exchange (TM!) automatically if you need help remembering a word. As a result, humanity is losing their words. Interesting, right? If only.
I got into Chapter 4 (by way of skipping Chapter 2 entirely and skimming when I got frustrated with the text) before my husband suggested that maybe it was the writing ‘style’ I disliked. So I started over, reading every word carefully and really piecing things together. Sadly, now I’m just better able to articulate what about this book goes so horribly wrong—-run-on sentences, way too much backstory, information dumps, word vomit. I found the underlying story quite enjoyable—Ana is looking for her missing father! Where is he! Oh my! And then Chapter 1 is totally overtaken by flashbacks, emotional drama the reader has no context for, and confusing sentence structure and narration that totally confounds any forward motion of the story.
The same happens with Chapter 2 (or B: Bartleby). Instead of the reader meeting Bartleby and maybe learning more about the focal mystery, we’re treated to a veritable mess of words about how beautiful Ana is (pages and pages of this drivel) and afterwards we still don’t get an answer to our question. Instead we’re stuck inside Bartleby’s confusing head where he ruminates forever on Ana’s ex-boyfriend Max. At the end of Chapter 2, I was exhausted. An example of a sentence that made me want to tear my hair out: “And what happens next, or roughly at the same time, is that you sort of forget where you were napping, which was underneath your desk, and when you try to rise up quickly, you clock yourself so hard in your (admittedly large) forehead that while you’re still half asleep, you nearly concuss, and the screaming seems still to be going on and on, like a siren song, until it reaches an apotheosis, and it isn’t until you’ve managed in a bruised approximation of panic to crawl out from below your desk (maybe with the vestige of an erection) that you realize the person standing there in the dark is the star of your once pleasant, now departed dream.” That’s 11 commas, folks. My problem is that the first time I encountered this sentence, my brain rejected it and jumped over it. The second time I forced myself to read it, it just made me angry. All the writing in this chapter that was probably related to the overarching plot (Bartleby also expounds on the role of language influencing the content of communication) was lost on me because I felt like I was drowning in extraneous detail.
It wasn’t until Chapter 4 (or D: Dictionary), in an inserted article entitled: How the Meme is Replacing the I, that this book really started to make sense. Oh, how I wish this had prefaced the book and offered some clarity.
Nonetheless, I noticed that the reviews of this book are either 4/5 or 2, which leads me to believe this is the type of book you love or hate. I gather that some with a more artistic sensibility (who aren’t distracted by run-on sentences, but adore detailed descriptions) might enjoy this book in a way I can’t. ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I haven't read the first one so I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy this one at all, but I really did. Kate OI was pleasantly surprised by this book! I haven't read the first one so I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy this one at all, but I really did. Kate O'Hare is a great protagonist and the dynamic between Nick Fox and O'Hare is humorous and full of romantic tension--I can't wait to see this movie play out, with all it's funny moments, on the big screen! This is a light-hearted, action-filled romp. It was fun to read. ...more
So I'm not a teen-romance kind of person because lots of teen-romance is full of insecurity (realistic, yes, but hard to read) and melodrama. This booSo I'm not a teen-romance kind of person because lots of teen-romance is full of insecurity (realistic, yes, but hard to read) and melodrama. This book had plenty of that--Alex likes Ethan but is totally confused by this. Becky likes Alek, but Becky is just realizing Alek might be gay. Alek's family obviously doesn't know he's gay. Melodrama! Anyway, the elements of this book I really enjoyed had nothing to do with the romance at all--Alek's Armenian family and Becky's razor-sharp wit were the high points for me. Alek's family is adorably (and stereotypically, I'm guessing) Armenian. They bicker, they judge, they belittle, and they also care deeply about one another. Alek's family is more formal and more picky than his best friend Becky's family. Becky is written more adeptly than any of the other characters, in my opinion. When Becky gets fed up with her summer job, this is how she quits: "I can forgive you for many things, Laurie [her manager]. The way you need to take the scrap of power you get being a manager at a Dairy Queen and use it to torture all us hapless innocent employees. Your obvious lack of social grace and the way you envy other people's friends because you don't have any. I can even forgive the slurping sound you make when you try to get the last drops of milk shake out of the container. All those things I can forgive. But it will take me years--do you hear me?--years to be able to have ice cream again without thinking of you. This association will destroy one of the world's greatest gifts." The moments like that in this book are perfect. :) I could still do with a little less teen angst. I received this book through NetGalley--the finished version may be a tad different than the one I read. I hope to God they leave that quote though!...more
I've never read a book by Grimes before--this one came to me by way of a Goodreads Giveaway. I'm glad to have read it. Grimes sets up an intriguing woI've never read a book by Grimes before--this one came to me by way of a Goodreads Giveaway. I'm glad to have read it. Grimes sets up an intriguing world (this is the 2nd in a series) where two hit-men are actually the good guys! In this one, Grimes tackles the world of publishing--someone wants a mean publisher whacked, but Candy and Karl decide to take matters into their own hands and, as per usual, do things their way. The supporting cast of characters is charming--the "bad" guys are endearing, the publishing crowd is intriguing, and then there's Cindy. Cindy is the girl that Candy and Karl are hell-bent on protecting and defending. If you like ensemble casts a la Get Shorty with some mystery, some humor, and a little mob--you'll like this one. :)...more
Excellent series--thought not as intriguing as the first, Burn was a good read. Pressia and her friends make progress towards really rectifying the wrExcellent series--thought not as intriguing as the first, Burn was a good read. Pressia and her friends make progress towards really rectifying the wrongs done in the past and moving towards reconciliation with the Pures. But...this book just ends. Right as the reader is anticipating a climatic battle or resolution, the book...just...ends. ...more
One of those mysterious, family-drama filled, suspense books! I had trouble putting it down because I knew that the puzzle pieces of Livvi's past wereOne of those mysterious, family-drama filled, suspense books! I had trouble putting it down because I knew that the puzzle pieces of Livvi's past were quickly coming together. Well-written and titillating....more