One of my favorite books of all time. I love the rich detail and color the author has, and especially that it's a Southern novel. Love it, love it, loOne of my favorite books of all time. I love the rich detail and color the author has, and especially that it's a Southern novel. Love it, love it, love it....more
I recently reread this book for the second time, after seeing the musical of it last spring (which I loved) and reading Son of a Witch a year or two aI recently reread this book for the second time, after seeing the musical of it last spring (which I loved) and reading Son of a Witch a year or two ago.
I loved this book the first time I read it. Really enjoyed the twists and reinterpretations of the classic story (or I suppose I should say, my memory of the *movie*, as I've never read Baum's Oz books). I tried reading one or two other Maguire books--Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was the main one--but they were horridly slow and dull, and I never finished the books, opting to return them to the library with only 50-100 pages read rather than renewing and forcing myself through them.
Son of a Witch was better--I finished it, at least--but it was slow and I had to force myself to work to read it. It didn't match up to the magic of Wicked, but it was decent, or maybe just okay. But I enjoyed getting a bit more "historical" background and depth about Oz.
Perhaps my tainted experiences with Maguire's works since first reading Wicked influenced my opinion on my second read of Wicked, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first time. I caught more details and ties to subsequent books the second time around, but it just wasn't quite as magical. I debated knocking my rating down (if only mentally) to 3 or 3 1/2 stars, but I've opted to leave it for now.
I have friends who've loved Wicked, and some who thought it was hideously slow and boring and never finished it. By far it's the best of Maguire's books so far. I'm just starting the 3rd Wizard of Oz book, A Lion Among Men, and I'm reserving judgment on how it measures up among the lackluster quality of most of Maguire's books, aside from Wicked....more
I first read the second book in this trilogy, The Passion of Mary Magdalen, three years ago. I LOVED that book and was curious to read how the story bI first read the second book in this trilogy, The Passion of Mary Magdalen, three years ago. I LOVED that book and was curious to read how the story began. Turns out that the things I enjoyed about the second book held true for the first one as well: Cunningham's creativity in winding the traditional Jesus-Mary Madgalene story around other historical venues and cultures; the details of the historical setting; how she makes the characters come alive; the poetry of some of her descriptions; the "bawdy," somewhat crass (and definitely nontraditional) nature of Mary.
That being said, I didn't enjoy this first book quite as much as the second, which I gave four stars. Maybe it's just because the druids and Celtic culture were more opaque, dense, and unfamiliar (and uninteresting to me) than the Roman and "Gentile" settings in the second book...but it could also be because Maeve and Esus--as they're called in this section of the story--are younger and dumber, without the richer depth and wisdom they seemed to gain by the end of the second book. In one pivotal scene toward the end of the book, I especially enjoyed where Maeve experiences the new restraint that comes from "wisdom" and age; it helped to temper some of the impatience I had at times with her unbelievable impetuousness earlier in the story.
Would this book alone have compelled me to immediately go, buy, and read the subsequent installments in the trilogy? I'm not sure. But based on the strength of the next, second book, it was enough to make me want to read the other two books, to see how it all began and how it will end. But I'm also glad I read this first book as a library book--good enough to read and remember as an introduction to the narrative arc of the rest of the story (or storIES), but not quite good enough to go and buy my own copy, to keep on my bookshelf for future rereading.
I picked up my 9yo nephew's copy of this book and started reading it, after hearing my nephew and brother-in-law reading it together. I'd never heardI picked up my 9yo nephew's copy of this book and started reading it, after hearing my nephew and brother-in-law reading it together. I'd never heard of this book before seeing trailers for the movie that came out recently, so I was curious. I don't read too many children's books in general, and I found the first 100 pages or so entertaining and funny enough to go buy my own copy when I left my nephew's house, just to see how it ends.
Comparisons to Harry Potter are going to be pretty automatic. A 6th-grade boy (just like Harry at the outset of J.K. Rowling's series), who's had a moderately miserable, troubled life where weird, inexplicable things happen to him until he finds out What He Really Is. A group of kids with special talents. Three friends--the Harry-esque "troublemaker" and protagonist, Percy; a smart, clever girl, Annabeth; and a slightly loser(ish) friend, Grover--that embark on a dangerous quest, surrounded by monsters and magic. The first book in a series that apparently will cover Percy through several years to follow--swapping school years at Hogwarts for summers spent at a summer camp called Camp Half-Blood--as he, his friends, and other combatants battle a great, growing evil.
Sound familiar at all?
(On a side note, I'm relieved to see, in the synopsis of book #5, that the series supposedly ends with five books; I'd have been especially annoyed to see if the author tried to follow the same formula as Harry Potter and striven for 7 books. But I digress.)
While The Lightning Thief was too predictable to be suspenseful and author Rick Riordan lacks the deft intricacies of J.K., Rowling, I still found the book a fun, quick, juicy little read. (For an adult sneaking a read of a children's book, that is.) And even if it did annoyingly smack of a Harry Potter Wannabe at times, I found it to be a cheeky, irreverent, younger first cousin--similar enough to find some irritating family quirks and episodes of flagrant, "I wanna be like you" older-sibling/cousin mimicry--but...well...cheekier. Pieces of The Lightning Thief were absolutely brilliant. Some of the little one-liners that the author slips in, the ways he inserts humor: there are tidbits for adults (or more refined younger readers) to cackle in glee over.
On the whole, it was fun, entertaining, and a clever way to reinvent Greek and Roman myths for a current young audience...and good enough to make me want to keep reading book #2. And even if it did remind me a lot of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Rick Riordan can still find their places as a brash, American cousin. But take this for what it is: an adult's thoughts on a children's book. I'm sure kids--particularly older boys, like my nephew--will eat it up.
I'd actually rate it just a notch below 4 stars, in comparison to the other books I've given 4 stars. I really enjoyed this novel and the writing (andI'd actually rate it just a notch below 4 stars, in comparison to the other books I've given 4 stars. I really enjoyed this novel and the writing (and read it in about a day or two, which says something; usually I don't finish many books, much less read them quickly), but it didn't totally "wow" me like many of my other 4-star picks. Loved the Southern setting and bits of history from Savannah in the 1930s. ...more
If I could give half-stars, I'd give this a 3.5. Much more entertaining than the typical chick-lit tome. I read it in one long sitting, because it actIf I could give half-stars, I'd give this a 3.5. Much more entertaining than the typical chick-lit tome. I read it in one long sitting, because it actually held my attention for long enough and made me want to continue reading just to find out what happened to the characters. Still a fluffy read, but better than most....more
I suppose I should have realized this book was a YA book from the outset--a moody teenager protagonist should have been an instant giveaway--but I didI suppose I should have realized this book was a YA book from the outset--a moody teenager protagonist should have been an instant giveaway--but I didn't. I was looking for a new book to read, perused the Popular list here in Goodreads, and saw this one; the title was intriguing, the description had potential, and, courtesy of my Kindle, the first chapter free.
I enjoyed the book quite a bit. It was a quick, entertaining, interesting story--although I can definitely see how the lower-rated reviews are right, too. It even felt pretty original until I realized it was YA fiction and an awful lot like Percy Jackson in many ways. But even still, it's better all the way around than the Percy Jackson books, better written than the Twilight series, but nowhere near as good as The Hunger Games trilogy or Harry Potter. Cinder felt better fleshed out, too.
Until I was thinking how Miss Peregine's compared to other books I've read lately, I didn't realize that I've been reading so many YA books in the last year or two. I suppose it's because they're shorter, faster, easier reads--easier for a mom of a younger kid to work into her daily schedule and finish.
This wasn't on par with many of my other four-star adult novels, but for a YA work, I liked it a lot. Hard to say if I'll read book #2 when it comes out, though....more
I haven't enjoyed and liked more recent Jodi Picoult books nearly as much as her earlier ones, after The Pact and others after it. Perhaps it's becausI haven't enjoyed and liked more recent Jodi Picoult books nearly as much as her earlier ones, after The Pact and others after it. Perhaps it's because I enjoy the suspense of plots centered around criminal trials instead of lawsuits, but regardless, Handle with Care was still a solid Jodi Picoult book. I didn't like the ending, though, and felt it was too similar to what she's done in some of her other books; I wanted something different, more original. But it was still a quick, enjoyable read....more
The copyediting and proofreading were appalling ("it's" when it should be "its"??), the writing only so-so, and it's irritating that the story line isThe copyediting and proofreading were appalling ("it's" when it should be "its"??), the writing only so-so, and it's irritating that the story line is stretched out for HOW many books? If I have to read "you don't want to know what's there" or variations on "they could not fail this time; Flamel was his" a dozen more times, I'll scream. Yet I keep reading because they're library books and free, and I'm curious how on earth the series will end. Wish there was a Cliff's Notes version to speedread, though....more
This wasn't anywhere near as good as Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but it was better than Little Altars Everywhere. I give it 3 stars becausThis wasn't anywhere near as good as Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, but it was better than Little Altars Everywhere. I give it 3 stars because I really like the author's style (and because I LOVED Divine Secrets), but otherwise it was just okay...for this author, that is. ...more
This was terrible. I couldn't keep track who the heck all the people were, and I didn't really get the ending. The blurbs and reviews on the book (altThis was terrible. I couldn't keep track who the heck all the people were, and I didn't really get the ending. The blurbs and reviews on the book (although maybe I shouldn't trust those so much??) made it sound like it should have been good...but it was AWFUL. The whole thing just seemed rather wandering and pointless....more