“It was kind of romantic. Catastrophically romantic.”
With those two sentences, Nick Dunne aptly sums up the relationship he has with his wife, rife wi...more“It was kind of romantic. Catastrophically romantic.”
With those two sentences, Nick Dunne aptly sums up the relationship he has with his wife, rife with false personalities, resentment, the thirst for approval, the desire to be better for one another and a begrudging sort of admiration, even love.
Nick and Amy’s marriage is in rocky waters when Amy goes missing on the morning of their fifth anniversary. The novel is told through alternating chapters from Nick, beginning on the morning of Amy’s disappearance, and from Amy’s diary, beginning back when she met Nick up until shortly before the “event.”
As the investigation progresses, Nick’s lies pile up, the evidence mounts against him and the reader relives how Amy and Nick fell out of love.
At first glance,Gone Girl is a simple mystery, well written, but initially nothing special; however, halfway through the novel takes a sharp and drastic turn. This run-of-the-mill mystery becomes so much more, and I couldn’t put it down at that point. For me the first half is a 3.5-4 stars, but the second half is a solid 5; you just need to power through and get to the good stuff.
Gone Girl is not the sort of book I would normally pick up, but the hype around it was so strong, and it ended up on so many "best of" lists from 2012, that my husband and I had to give it a try. He read it first and couldn't stop raving about it, but couldn't tell me too much about it. And now I know how he felt. It's really the sort of book you need to read all the way through to understand why it's so good, because you can't discuss anything from the second half of the book without ruining it all.(less)
While I didn't feel Insurgent lived up to the first book in the series, there was a lot that I liked here, and overall, it was still a really good boo...moreWhile I didn't feel Insurgent lived up to the first book in the series, there was a lot that I liked here, and overall, it was still a really good book.
For one, the body count is high. I enjoyed that characters from the first book were just as in peril as brand new characters clearly added as cannon fodder. Also, I liked the storyline because it furthered the concept of the first book that despite the general idea of splitting the population into factions based on five main personality traits, each person is layered, and so are their desires and goals. There were many points where you won't be entirely sure where certain characters' loyalties lie. And despite the fact that I knew where the overall story was going (view spoiler)[they are being isolated in a city and there's a lot more world outside that they've been cut off from (hide spoiler)], I was happy about the twist end.
What I did not like was how the romance between Tris and Four — which I enjoyed in the first book — became torturous. For two people who claim to love one another so much, they really don't trust one another at all, which just led to a lot of cyclical conversations and accusations. Also, I felt Tris had a major case of stupidity this book. She just made one stupid decision after another all while suffering from PTSD and getting mired in guilt and depression.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
And All the Stars is more than just a sort of post-apocalyptic story about teenagers surviving and being really smart and resourceful and amazing, in...moreAnd All the Stars is more than just a sort of post-apocalyptic story about teenagers surviving and being really smart and resourceful and amazing, in the aftermath of an alien occupation of earth. The story is about classes and social work and an individual being more than the generalization of his or her society.
This book was a really great read. I loved having the characters realistically discuss what to do next, seeing the occupation and changes to society take place over time. I always find it frustrating when a novel or a movie establishes some event is taking place (alien invasion, virus release, zombies, etc.) and then jumps ahead some how (character gets injured, usually) without showing the transition. And All the Stars is all about the transition.
But just as much as the actual story, I loved how diverse the characters were. There's a straight boy who doesn't confirm to hetero norms and has a gay best friend who he's super close to and he doesn't mind when people assume they might be a couple. There are people of other religions, people from multiple ethnicities. And even one male who dresses feminine with makeup and traditionally female clothes despite definitely identifying as male.
My only complaint has to do with the end: (view spoiler)[the big final battle is skipped over ala The Hunger Games where Katniss would always wake up later to someone explaining how things finished. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Here's the obligatory warning that I'm in love with these books and they can do no wrong in my eyes.
All of the previous books in the Emperor’s Edge se...moreHere's the obligatory warning that I'm in love with these books and they can do no wrong in my eyes.
All of the previous books in the Emperor’s Edge series have been leading up to this book, in a way. The lines of the Forge storyline become completely clear, and by the end of the book it is understood that the events to follow will forever change the world of the Emperor’s Edge books.
We get some strong development between Sicarius and Amaranthe, plus we get more of Sicarius, Amaranthe and Sespian together for extended periods of time. (view spoiler)[And the truth about Sicarius and Sespian’s relationship finally is revealed! (hide spoiler)]
There are very few love triangles that I can actually stand (let alone like), but the one between Sespian, Amaranthe and Sicarius is one that I actually enjoyed reading and was a little torn up over. (Another was between Jonathan, Alanna and George in Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartetSong of the Lioness quartet.)
It’s clear that the story isn’t done, but Blood and Betrayal isn’t as much of a cliffhanger as the previous book. There’s more that has to happen, but the book tied up most of what started in Conspiracy(view spoiler)[with Sespian getting to do the spying he wanted the team to kidnap him for, the team being reunited and all secrets revealed (hide spoiler)].
In order to hold myself over until Forged in Blood comes out (2013!) I’ll be moving on to Encrypted, which apparently deals with the mysterious alien technology that shows up in both Conspiracy and Blood and Betrayal.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
At the tender age of eight, Rose Edelstein discovers that the taste of food has changed for her. Instead of tasting the final product, she tastes what...moreAt the tender age of eight, Rose Edelstein discovers that the taste of food has changed for her. Instead of tasting the final product, she tastes what went into the food, the emotions of the person who made it. She finds herself overwhelmed by her mother's sadness and depression during home cooked meals and as she grows up she struggles to find food that she can actually eat and she also finds herself unable to connect with people.
Once Rose reaches high school and she experiments with her food-tasting abilities the book begins to really get interesting. Because in addition to understanding more and learning to live with her odd ability, Rose realizes there is something going on with her brother that she doesn't entirely understand. It's very interesting the way the book contrasts Rose's experience with her ability and growing up and trying to find a way to continue living in society with her brother's increasing withdrawal from everyone he knows.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake felt muted for the most part, possibly because Rose spends so much time trying to keep distance from others, or can't seem to understand or figure out the best way to interact with people.
Although there was a lot about this book that I didn't really care for, it's the contrast between Rose and her brother, their relationship and the different choices they make that really grabbed me and will stick with me long after I've read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.(less)
What you should know going into this review, is that I am unabashedly in love with these books.
In a way I sort of dreaded this book because it was the...moreWhat you should know going into this review, is that I am unabashedly in love with these books.
In a way I sort of dreaded this book because it was the one where we get Akstyr’s POV, and he’s always rubbed me the wrong way. As the one member of the group who has always looked out for himself more than the others, I felt like Akstyr was going to harsh my good vibes about the Emperor’s Edge group.
You know it’s the mark of a good author and storyteller when a book focusing on a character you don’t particularly care for is just as enjoyable (possibly more so) than the rest of the series. Buroker had a stroke of genius when she decided to use Akstyr’s POV in a book with the most interesting (so far) storyline.
In this book, the story that began at the end of the previous one (view spoiler)[(Sespian contacting the group to be kidnapped) (hide spoiler)] comes to fruition. Sespian, that kind, young emperor with a bit of a crush on Amaranthe, finally comes back into the picture for an extended time. No longer being drugged into submission, we finally get to see Sespian as he really is.
Of course, nothing goes as planned, and the group discovers that Forge is even more formidable than they initially estimated.
What I really wasn’t expecting was for this book to end with such a cliffhanger. Because Conspiracy is really the first part of this story arc. While the previous three Emperor’s Edge books can stand alone, Conspiracy cannot. In order to finish the story started here, you need to move onto Blood and Betrayal. Which I’m doing right now!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A fantastic book only in the way Neil Gaiman can write. while this is no American Gods or Neverwhere it's still an amazing read with layers and great...moreA fantastic book only in the way Neil Gaiman can write. while this is no American Gods or Neverwhere it's still an amazing read with layers and great lessons for the reader.(less)
This is such a fascinating story and really aptly portrays how even the best of intentions can go wildly astray. There's so much present in this short...moreThis is such a fascinating story and really aptly portrays how even the best of intentions can go wildly astray. There's so much present in this short novel: a down-on-his-luck hero, love, a sick child, a world in peril, a harsh ruling class and a sneaky and crafty villain to despise.
And while the story is finished nicely, I can't help but wish there was more to the characters' stories after the last page. I'm definitely reading the other book in this world (The Executioness).(less)