Awww. This is such a great book about first love and the reality of having really shitty parents when everyone else’s home life seems so “normal”. Whe...moreAwww. This is such a great book about first love and the reality of having really shitty parents when everyone else’s home life seems so “normal”. Where was it when I was fifteen? I would’ve loved and adored it and carried it with me wherever I went. It would’ve made me feel better, given me hope and made me smile when things were so awful I wanted to be anywhere but home. I bought the hardcover for my teen after reading numerous glowing reviews but decided to read it too even though I promised myself I’d stay away from YA after that heart destroying experience that was The Fault In Our Stars. I’m glad I did because even though I’m a few decades older than the target audience I thought it was a lovely story. So far my teen loves it too.
It’s 1986 and Eleanor has recently moved back in with her family after being ousted by her drunken step-father for over a year. There is no room for her, anywhere it seems. She sleeps in a small bedroom with her four younger siblings, doesn’t even have a toothbrush and has to make do with the ill-fitting scraps of clothing her mother brings home from thrift shops. When she steps foot on the school bus everyone notices her but no one makes room to let her sit down. She’s dressed weird, her hair is wild and bright red and Park can hear the snickering all around him. Impulsively he moves over and rudely barks at her to sit down. He instantly regrets it but now she’s sitting there and she’s not all happy about it. Now they’re stuck with each other for the rest of the school year and it changes everything for both of them.
Day after day they ignore each other on the long bus ride. Park is half Korean and, though he’s always lived his entire life with these kids, he’s never felt like he fits in. Befriending Eleanor (Big Red as she’s been dubbed) will instantly make him an outcast. But befriend her he does and it happens so naturally it never feels forced, fake or rushed. Their friendship starts out slowly and is based on their mutual love of his comic books and music (Eleanor owns nothing and he shares). Eleanor is opinionated, funny and sarcastic and he likes being around her. All the time. She likes him too. He’s kind of adorable. Their friendship/love story is awkward and sweet and filled with that angsty, gut-wrenching out of control emotion that first love inevitably brings. It’s also completely believable because of the way it’s told from both of their points of view. Alas, complications arise, as they will when you’re a teen and not at all in control of your life but I won’t give those away. You should read the book if any of this interests you. It’s a really good one!
The version I listened to on audio was read by two narrators who switched off depending on whose point of view was up. I liked this in theory because I never questioned whose head I was in which can be a problem when listening to audio BUT (oh, you just knew that was coming) the female narrator, Rebecca Lowman, has a lifeless delivery that did such a dis-service to an emotional, lively character like Eleanor. The male narrator, Sunil Malhotra, does a better job with Park. His voice is youthful and his take on Park’s Korean mom cracked me up but he tends to get a little monotonous at times too. The narration wasn’t a deal breaker and didn’t by any means ruin the book for me but it could’ve been improved.
Some of my most favorite quotes:
“She never looked nice. She looked like art and art wasn’t supposed to look nice. It was supposed to make you feel something.”
“He’d thought he was over caring about what people thought of him. He’d thought that loving Eleanor proved that. But he kept finding new pockets of shallow inside himself. He kept finding new ways to betray her.”
“I don’t like you. I need you.”
Ahhh, first love! Five stars because I’m feeling easy today and this is one I’ll want to revisit. (less)
I am so frustrated by my own stupidity. After over a decade of listening to audio, I really should know better by now. So I'm on disc 3 and have just...moreI am so frustrated by my own stupidity. After over a decade of listening to audio, I really should know better by now. So I'm on disc 3 and have just realized that this is an abridged version of the novel.
I normally love the way Coben writes. Gone For Good and Drop Shot hooked me on his writing and I'm not even a mystery fan. His characters are usually compelling and a little snarky and the stories are always a little dark. This one just wasn't working for me in any way. It moved way too fast, the characterization was almost non-existent, the story line extremely confusing and difficult to follow and any dash of humor completely missing. Now I know why. They cut it out all out! Why, oh, why?
Does anyone purposely seek out abridgments? They do nothing but aggravate me. What a waste of three hours and it was completely my fault for not checking first. I just saw Scott Brick listed as the narrator and assumed it was the real deal. I'm tossing this one in a Goodwill bin and will search out the real book.
I picked this oldie out of the bag of audios rattling around in my hatch because I wanted something fluff filled for my latest car read and that’s exa...moreI picked this oldie out of the bag of audios rattling around in my hatch because I wanted something fluff filled for my latest car read and that’s exactly what I got. If you’ve read any of her romances you’ll know what I mean. They’re fun while you’re listening but pretty forgettable once finished.
This version is narrated by C.J. Critt who always does such a professional job with Evanovich’s quirky characters. She has a unique voice with a little grit and I always enjoy a book more when she narrates it.
Steve is the program director (or is he the owner? I’m not sure but regardless he’s rich and he's the boss) of a radio station called WZZZ. Daisy has a daily 5 minute spot on the station because she’s kind of popular after writing a book on making dog treats. She’s a woman who has way too many jobs to make ends meet while she works on a degree and attempts to feed her always hungry teenage brother. She’s a likable sort. When she learns that the traffic reporter spot has temporarily opened up she begs for the job even though she has no experience and, wouldn’t you know it, Steve is the one who trains her. Calamity follows. They fall in insta-love, a big lunk of a dog gets adopted, houses and cars are bought and a nutty old lady becomes Daisy’s new bodyguard (don’t ask) when a bad guy starts threatening Daisy’s well-being. That’s about it as far as the plot goes.
The book moves at a crazed pace and it was finished before it had barely begun. All of the characters are do silly things without thinking anything through. The romance (which is strictly PG-13) moves at the speed of light and there were no angst filled moments or deep emotional connections. It’s fun but at times felt like it was trying a little too hard to be cutesy and it wasn’t exactly original in any way. If you’re expecting reality you will be very disappointed. It wasn’t what I’d consider LMAO funny (nope ass is still there) but it’s pleasant, comfy and has its moments of charm. 3 1/2 stars? Yeah that sounds good to me. (less)
*Please note I read this as an unabridged audio and I may get the spelling of character names incorrect. Details may be sketchy too because I just mig...more*Please note I read this as an unabridged audio and I may get the spelling of character names incorrect. Details may be sketchy too because I just might’ve dozed off here and there.
I guess this is another 50 Shades clone (or so I’ve read) but as I still haven't read that series I can't compare the two. This one gets pretty decent reviews so I wasn’t surprised when I enjoyed the first half (or so) of Bared to You much more than Maya Banks Rush. The writing was better and the characters seemed to be deeper with their damaged pasts. They initially got me all excited thinking I was in for some major emotional angst that would make me feel that ache in the chest but it didn’t happen. Eventually it turned into a sex-fest and I found myself bored. There were also many jealousy and control issues that cropped up which the two would temporarily fix by screwing. I guess these books just aren’t meant for me. I was hoping to care for these two but I just didn’t. I cared more for a messed up secondary character (Cary? The roommate) and that was a problem.
If you don’t already know, this is a contemporary erotic tale featuring two beautiful, wealthy people who meet, fall in lust and enter into a screwed up relationship that somehow works for them. Gideon is 28 and a billionaire who just so happens to own every freaking building Eva frequents. Her place of work, her apartment, restaurants, a gym . . . This allows Gideon access to all of the details about Eva's life that will allow him to casually bump into her and make her go all squirmy with his gorgeous self (I guess an important businessman has nothing better to do). He can have anyone in the whole wide world but when he meets Eva he wants her and he wants her oh-so-bad. He can't stop thinking about F-ing her and tells her so every chance he gets. Yeah, that’s not creepy. He reminds me of a richer, handsomer version of that pervy dude from The Big Bang Theory. Anyway, Eva wants him too but she doesn't sleep with men she doesn't know outside of the bedroom and he is the type who sates his lust and moves on to the next one. For Gideon women are either friends or lovers. They are never both.
But Eva changes all of that.
I liked her for that, I really did. She wasn’t a naïve pushover and had a life and a best friend whom she did not abandon for Gideon. She even calls Gideon out on his "creepiness". He wants to do the "sex is a business deal" crap (but at least he doesn't hand her a contract, LOL) and she won't have any of it. But alas, hormones, his constant close proximity, alpha-ness and his sexy talk wear her down. She puts up a little fight but she wants him as much as he wants her and they get busy soon enough.
Keep looking at me like that Gideon. I'm ready for action.
But somewhere along the way things go start to go awry for me. Eva and Gideon get into this cycle of fighting (usually over their jealousy issues and/or his control issues), she runs off in a huff, he chases her down, they talk (but don’t reveal enough), they have superhotsex and all is good until the next chapter when it starts anew. This was ok the first time or two but eventually I wanted to bang their heads together. I have no patience and this kind of thing makes me crazy. They also fall into crazy lust but mistake it for love. I didn’t see or feel the love between them what with all of the fighting, possessiveness and insecurity going around.
Did I mention they both have messed up pasts? Well, she’s dealt with hers (though she’s still a bit of a mess) and spills all of the ugly details to him and he unfairly keeps his secrets to himself and has closed himself off so much that he believes she knows him better than anyone. She doesn’t. And I don’t either. I listened to this book until the very end and he reveals NOTHING! At least nothing I wanted to know. It just ends. I still don’t know what or who traumatized him so terribly and because of that it was difficult to feel anything for him but frustration. I guess I have to read the next three or four books to find closure and I don’t know if I can bring myself to do that. At least not today.
Narration Notes: The narration of Eva is friendly and breathy when it needs to be without ever jarring me out of the story. Gideon's voice is a bit on the creeper side but I went with it because it sort of suited his personality for a bulk of the story.(less)
This review is based only on a pass through read - I haven't actually knit anything up yet. There are some absolutely beautiful and charming projects...moreThis review is based only on a pass through read - I haven't actually knit anything up yet. There are some absolutely beautiful and charming projects in this book but there's some strange stuff too. But that's always the case with books like these. I can't wait to make the fringed duster and the cabled scarf but I might have to pass on the antler hat and the dragon hood (seriously it's just a hood). Some are good for photos and costume parties or jaunts thru the woods if you're looking for fairies while picking berries but I can't see them being worn daily and I'm too lazy to put that much work into something that my kid will only wear once or twice. There are enough projects in this book that I'm dying to knit up to make the cost of the book a bargain but I'm a bit strange style wise so you need to keep that in mind. I like fringe and flowy, nature inspired styles and this book has plenty of that. Your best bet is going to Ravelry.com (you must be a member but it's free!) and checking out all of the patterns before purchasing. I'll write more when I knit up a few and have access to a real computer. (less)