I struggle to put Neil Gaiman's novels into words, especially this one. He writes the very stories we crave to read, the stories which whisper vaguely...moreI struggle to put Neil Gaiman's novels into words, especially this one. He writes the very stories we crave to read, the stories which whisper vaguely at the back of our minds, yet are never fully born. He writes the stories critics will tear to bland pieces, dissecting every word, leaving a bleeding mess only to declare it's a simple children's book, with no literary merit. Well, let them tear. Any faithful fan of Gaiman can't be turned off by them. He writes feeling and beauty in the very simplest and nakedest of forms, with no pompous and no lies. With bittersweet whimsy, he swallows the reader whole, shrouding them with the warmth of his words. Many may not understand the appeal to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, they may not understand why it made me smile and cry (often at the same time), but that's alright, because I'll never understand it myself... That's why I struggle so much. This novel proves one of his most personal and delicate, and while I gave absolutely nothing but gooey rambling in this review, it's a read everyone should enjoy. Refreshingly different, yet familiar to everyone's hearts. It's Neil Gaiman at his best.(less)
Hrm. I barely know how to begin reviewing this one. I finished it, quite literally, five minutes ago, because I realized how long I had been putting i...moreHrm. I barely know how to begin reviewing this one. I finished it, quite literally, five minutes ago, because I realized how long I had been putting it off. Whenever you dread having to pick up a book again, and are doing it merely for the purpose of being able to finish it for good, you know it's certainly not going to get past two stars. I almost struggled with giving this one star, in fact, but realized for the sake of the slight, guilty pleasure and escapism it gave me, it deserves a bit more.
Reading this was nearly eye-opening, as it made me realize I never want to read young adult fantasy again. There are a couple that, yes, are enjoyable and well-written (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Tamora Pierce, etc.) but more often than not do I pick them up with a bit of hope, and set them down with more than a bit of boredom. The writing is all at about the same standards; cliche's are thrown about every other sentence; and the characters...I mean, isn't it always the nerdy, plain-looking girl and that unbelievably gorgeous guy? I find that I would have enjoyed this series so much more had Jace been dull looking, and not so characteristicly cocky--but rather, a realistic teenager. Is that so much to ask, so I don't have to plow my way through long descriptioins on his breath-taking chest and golden hair?
Like many others, I hadn't even known this book was in the making, having ended the last one with the thought that the series was finished; it was time to move on. All good things--and even things not so good--must come to an end at a certain point, and forgive me for saying this, but it just seems she's pushing them out for the sake of money at this point. If she writes another one in the series; I will most certainly not read it. Finishing this, I had to force myself through the last hundred pages or so, because the hissy voices, cutting your palm to pour blood into a 'sacrad cup', the drawn-out action scenes...etc. I can only take so much of it before feeling like I've read that same section in the story twenty other times. What's happened to creativity? Your audience may be mainly teenagers, but that doesn't mean you need to water-down your writing to fifth-grade standards and use the same plot-style over and over again.
Now, for my last point: Clary. Ah...Clary. Upon begining the series, I was okay with her; she was neither terribly interesting, nor terribly horrible, and I read through the book with a luke-warm feeling about her. The hate didn't truely begin until this book. Her loyalty towards her annoying mother no matter what happens; her clinginess to Jace and obnoxious hate for Sebastian...it all got to me. In fact, (nobody send me mean messages for this, please) Sebastian's ended up being my favorite character, him and Magnus. Why? They have at least a bit of depth to them, and I would almost rather Clary end up with Sebastian than I would with Jace. Yes, yes, brother-sister...ick, but whatever. I found myself more interested in their personalities than any of the other one-dimensional characters.
I have to be honest, I was expecting more from Stephen King. I've read several of his books, and while they seem to vary heavily from dull and disappo...moreI have to be honest, I was expecting more from Stephen King. I've read several of his books, and while they seem to vary heavily from dull and disappointing to absolutely wonderful, for some reason I honestly thought this would be my next favorite. A part of me was expecting something in the tradition of The Stand (my favorite of his), not just from the length of this novel alone, yet I found that the story was slightly one-dimensional and not very in-depth for being over seven-hundred meaty pages.
The general idea of the story is interesting enough, and I found myself plenty intrigued and having no problem reading through it quickly...One of Stephen King's many talents is his capability of entirely wrapping your mind around his stories, creating a sort of comfort-food joy from delving into another one of his works, and while this book was fun enough to be given two stars, certain elements to it weighed in my mind.
Climaxes are normally the shortest part of books; that moment of realization, of epic-excitement, blah blah blah, yet for some reason, he enjoys writing full two hundred/three hundred page climaxes. While the first bit you're entirely wrapped up in it and delighted, after a while it just seems to lag on. And it's not just a climax filled with fighting and such, it's rather moving from perspective to perspective with all of their terrified stream-of-conscious. I could only handle so much of it before I started skim-reading, just wanting desperately to be finished with it.
Also, I won't get into it, but I'm sure most people who have read Stephen King books understand what I mean: there is just a certain point when things can get slightly absurd and silly, rather than the epic intent they're made for. By the last one-hundred pages or so (even before that perhaps) everything seemed funny to me rather than scary or exciting.
Would I call this book awful and deem it trash? No, of course not, but for the amount of pages in it, you're better off suited reading The Stand, longer but much, much better, or one of his other heavy little paperbacks that has the true spirit and genius of him amidst the pages. (less)
I picked this book up entirely on a whim while roaming about the bookstore. There was nothing I had come specifically for, and nothing seemed to quite...moreI picked this book up entirely on a whim while roaming about the bookstore. There was nothing I had come specifically for, and nothing seemed to quite catching my attention, so I started up the process of picking random things from the shelves and glancing over them for any sort of potential...and then I came across this.
The cover seemed intriguing enough, and upon reading the back of it(yes, I do judge by that) it seemed it could be either wonderful or terrible, and I chose to be a little optimistic and get it. I'm normally not the type to read humorous/dark comedies, they just don't appeal to me on the whole, but by the first chapter or so I managed to shrug past it and decide it may surprise me by being quite enjoyable. I was sadly mistaken.
The writing is fine enough, though it all sems like a sort of cliche college or high-school story, in which many of the 'funny' bits, sort of just fell flat into a mass of sarcasm and puns, none of which amusing me that much, but as I said: I'm not normally into this stuff anyway, so don't expect too much from my opinion of this book.
I couldn't even get to page one-hundred, honestly. I don't like to force myself through books that I don't feel I have any hope of enjoying, and I don't feel much regret or guilt upon setting it away...I've done it to enough, anyway. This was no different. It's not terrible, and if I really tried I could have finished, I suppose I just didn't feel any real interest in the story or the characters, and the writing and 'humour' wasn't enough to keep me around. Maybe one day I'll try to read it again, but it will most likely end up dusty and neglected in my shelves for years to come.(less)
Sigh. I don't know what I have to say on this one--I don't even know why I gave it five stars. It's an instinctive response, I believe, to how I react...moreSigh. I don't know what I have to say on this one--I don't even know why I gave it five stars. It's an instinctive response, I believe, to how I react towards these books. When I was strolling along Barnes and Nobles and came across this little wonder, I thought I had discovered something rare, something shocking...The lost novel of Jace and Clary, and I was the only one to have it. Turns out, it was just the last copy of the fourth book in what I believed was a trilogy. No doubt, I was ecstatic, tears filled my eyes at once, and I was flipping through the pages before I'd even gotten into the car...Yet a day or so later, I felt only mild bitterness.
There is something so...perfect about Jace and Clary. Yeah, I'm falling for the whole tragic-love sort of thing, but I can't help it, and with each book, I can't help but feel the tears forming. I love their relationship. I loved it to begin with, shaky and just forming, then painful and sharp, fighting at what they knew they needed. But I didn't know how much further it could go on like this...At a certain point, they need to just be comfortable and happy together, even if that would be less heart-breaking and more boring.
Surprise? Not really.
They weren't...Not at all. Jace has to go into a rampage of how he's evil and it must get fixed for them to be together, and the dreams, the dreams...And poor, short Clary always jumping into love headlong, willing to wait through however many books she has to suffer to finally get Jace. I mean it, it's getting ridiculous. Part of me is ready for them to just be happy but the other part knows their romance is partly built upon there struggle, and no one would love their relationship as much if we didn't have to get through all the icky, painful bits. (less)
I was drawn to this book by the dark, hauntingly sad, and beautiful cover; reading the back, however, I knew not to except too much other than the ave...moreI was drawn to this book by the dark, hauntingly sad, and beautiful cover; reading the back, however, I knew not to except too much other than the average teenage love story. Well, it was merely the average teenage love story, though still fun and fast and enjoyable while it lasted. Lauren Kate wrote one of those swoony books that a young girl pores over, gasps over, and gets a good giggle out of. The characters, however, I found to be lacking, as well as the plot. I found that the reader got a certain ignorance along with the book, a slow trickle of knowledge. I'm not one of those people that only likes dense, full-to-bursting showers of information poured down on them, but I do like a story to come at an even pace of intrigue, instead of suddenly jumping right in 3/4 of the way through. Oh, and the main character, Luce! Awful, yes? She seemed kind of interesting in the beginning: edgy, mysterious. But then she became over-obsessive, annoying, and utterly stalker-ish as it went along. You would expect my rating to be lower, with these faults in mind, yet again: I wasn't expecting much, and it gave me a bit of fun for a while. I will read the next books, and I won't regret reading them, so I'll settle for 3 stars. (less)
I began this book warily, memories of the Gemma Doyle trilogy still fresh in my mind. Yes, well, take all the warmth, all the dreamy-fantasy and swoon...moreI began this book warily, memories of the Gemma Doyle trilogy still fresh in my mind. Yes, well, take all the warmth, all the dreamy-fantasy and swooning sprinklings of romance from Gemma Doyle, and just forget it, because Going Bovine is nothing like that. A subtle mix of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy/and Alice in Wonderland. Remember that I said subtle because this is one of those books that simply cannot be boxed up as this or that.
Going Bovine is the story of a teen struggling with mad cow disease...indeed, I did say mad cow disease, and yet that's not all the struggle he goes through. To me, it was more a progression of his character, a changing of his ways, than a struggle of his disease. He began as the rude, selfish teen slacker who couldn't care less about school, and life in general. This was what made him so appealing and fun a character, realistic and though sometimes hate-able, also often seeming connectible and real for readers.
Open your mind, friends, and read Going Bovine. Despite its humor and light surface, once you allow yourself to delve in, you'll find a sometimes tragic, hopeless, and deep story that will make you laugh, cry, and smile throughout the day. (less)
Beastly is one of those simple, fun, fast reads, that I seem addicted to. As a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast (my least favorite of the Disn...moreBeastly is one of those simple, fun, fast reads, that I seem addicted to. As a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast (my least favorite of the Disney stories) I was unsure, but it ended up just swell. I read it in practically one sitting, smiling at how neat and perfect it was. A little too perfect, I'll admit. That was one of the things that annoyed me. I felt like everything was ridiculously overblown. The beginning was nearly excruciating with how unrealistically cruel and shallow the main character, Kyle, was. No teenager I know, not even the most hateful of the jerks, would ever talk the way he talked. The dialogue throughout the book, in fact, was awful. Not awful enough to make me dislike the book, but enough to annoy me. And I hated Lindy (belle) terribly. The was one of those overexcited, squealing girls, who throughout the book would continue saying on how 'she'd never done that before' 'she'd never been on a sled' 'she'd never been carried' 'she'd never been given a flower' 'she'd never been'--Okay, I could continue on all day. I'm simply saying, I hated everyone in the book. So, you ask, why did you give it three stars? Well, it was merely for the fact that it was hard to set down, and addictingly fun. And for that reason, I'll probably end up reading more of her books...(less)