Four or five? FOUR OR FIVE? FOUR OR FIVE? Let's see how I'm feeling by the end of the review.
Okay, this book kinda takes place where the last one lefFour or five? FOUR OR FIVE? FOUR OR FIVE? Let's see how I'm feeling by the end of the review.
Okay, this book kinda takes place where the last one left off. Give or take twenty to thirty years. Instead of the lovely Mary, the narrator this time is Mary's daughter, Gabry. Now, I understand most of you are like "OMG, who's the father?" I know I was. But I can't say for threat of being flagged as a spoiler.
Anyway, Gabry has a very different upbringing from her mother. She lives in a lighthouse on the outskirts of a little town called Vista. She has a best friend and a crush on her best friend's brother. But most of all, she grows up safe and secure, without all that moaning in the background. But then, of course, it all goes wrong......dun dun DUN. Gabry and her friends take a little midnight hike over the Barrier and zombie hell breaks loose. The night ends with death, betrayals, and with half of her generation gone or imprisoned, life will never be the same for poor, sweet Gabry.
I have to say, this was a hell of a sequel. I thought it was actually much better than The Forest of Hands and Teeth aaaaaand all my questions were answered (well, about 88%). There were even some guest appearances and moments when I felt smarter than the narrator because I knew what something was and she didn't. What more can I gall ask for?
The writing was very much the same. It was beautiful in places, mostly sad, but hope shined through. I managed to read this in a period of 24 hours, which is no small feat when you have school and homework and yada yada yada. My point is that it's compelling and unputdownable (which is officially a word).
The world that Ryan sets up is just incredible, honestly. I find it completely convincing. It's mysterious and dark and scary. Just normal life with fewer good parts....and it has zombies.
I found Gabry more likable than her predecessor, but I don't feel fair comparing the two because they have totally different personalities.
Once again, the weakest part for me was the love triangle. I'm sick of those things. I always choose the wrong guy, then have a grudge against the author for having different taste in men. But this time I think I routing for the right guy.....I think. I have to wait and see if he dies first. Even though Gabry bounced back and forth between the two contestants, she never seemed ho-ish. Just confused.
But once again I could never tell if the couple was kissing. Does that make me weird, or does anyone else have that problem with these books? I don't know, there would be pages of getting close and comfy with one of her man-friends then they would get pissed or something, storm off, and Gabry would try to relive their "almost-kiss". And I would be like "Man, I though for SURE they were lipsmacking that time!"
Overall, I really liked this book. And if you want this book to be a stand-alone, go ahead. This book could do well without it's predecessor, although it's cliffhanger ending may be too much for someone with poor will power (aka me). I recommend this book to everyone, except those who like fairy-tale endings, "perfect" narrators, or can't handle flesh-eating corpses.
Sixteen year old Naomi is given the chance that hardly any of us have. With her recent bout of amnesia, she is now able to re-evaluate her life from aSixteen year old Naomi is given the chance that hardly any of us have. With her recent bout of amnesia, she is now able to re-evaluate her life from an objective point of view. But this oppurtunity does not come without it's burdens. She can't remember her friends, her parents' divorce and their respective new partners, her boyfriend, French class, why she likes yearbook so much, why she has birth control pills, or even how to drive a car. Naomi must decide whether or not to try to relive her old life, or to reinvent a new one.
This memory loss occurs right in the middle of high school, where people try so hard to fit in, not that Naomi remembers anything beyond sixth grade. Naomi seems to be popular- or at least her tennis-playing boyfriend is. She seems to be well-involved with the school- she is co-editor-in-chief at the school yearbook committee along with her best friend, Will. She seems to hate her mother for starting a new life with her new family and her father's new fiance. But everything is looking pretty much okay. Then why does it feel so wrong?
Personally, I did not like the narrator one bit. I just didn't "connect" with her, if you will. I had no sympathy. I couldn't care less if she never got her memory back. I thought she was kind of harsh, to be honest. Every now and then she would catch herself being bitchy, but not enough to make up for it. I didn't like James at all. I just wanted him to go crawl back in his emo corner. Usually I'm all for the bad boy type, but James was a whiner who strands his girlfriend at the beach alone, without a cellphone, on the opposite side of the country from home. Not cool dude. Ace wasn't too likable, but I don't think Zevin wanted him to be. Actually, I wanted him to be even meaner. Maybe that would give him some life. Will was probably my favorite. I thought he was cool, yet quirky. A good best friend, if not a boyfriend. The dad was cool too. As for the rest of the characters, Zevin never gave them much personality or page time.
But I never saw why Naomi hated her mom so much. Yes, she is allowed to be angry (her mom did cheat on her dad afterall), but not speaking to her mother or little sister who is completely innocent in the situation (and completely adorable)? I thought that was harsh. I also didn't understand many of Naomi's decisions, but hey, I'm not a amnesiac now, am I?
They way it was written was okay, I guess. I had a hard time pinning down the tone. In the beginning, it was humorous. In the middle, it was all angsty. By the end, it tried to get all philosophical on me.
The ending wasn't too good. Nothing really happened to conclude the book. Zevin just kinda decided to make a touchy-feely scene, plot be damned. To me, it made the rest of the book pretty pointless. I didn't see much of a difference between recent-amnesia Naomi and post-amnesia Naomi. Truth be told, I never felt compltely convinced of Naomi's amnesia to begin with. Yes, I understood she couldn't remember her friends and stuff, but besides that, she never felt that scared or helpless, like I imagine an amnesiac would feel.
Overall, it was kind of a miss for me, which is a shame because I really liked Elsewhere by the same author. I would rate it 2.5 stars....more
Ivy's life is far from picturesque. Orphaned at a young age, she moves in with her in-laws, a poor family of scoundrels. At the age of five, she runsIvy's life is far from picturesque. Orphaned at a young age, she moves in with her in-laws, a poor family of scoundrels. At the age of five, she runs away and finds herself an addition to a troupe of thieves, in particular, the "skinner" Carroty Kate. In order to silence Ivy's screams in the middle of the night caused by nightmares, Kate starts giving Ivy laudanum, one drop at time.
Eleven years later Ivy is back home with her family, when her bright red hair and pale beauty catches the eye of a pre-Raphaelite painter, who wants her as his muse and model. Ivy is forced into an arrangement with the artist, Oscar Aretino Frosdick, by her bullying Cousin Jared and her "invalid" aunt, who desperately want the money. But not everyone is happy with this, including Ivy who escapes through her addiction and Frosdick's jealous mother. Ivy must now decide what she wants from her life, only made more difficult when her past comes back to haunt her.
I really enjoyed this book. I love books set in London, particularly the Victorian-era, so this book definitely was a treat. I loved how this book was romantic, but not in the traditional "girl-loves-boy" kind of way. The intentionally anachronistic writing oozed charm and humor, and the chapter headings were great. An example is "Chapter Twenty-five: In Which Oscar's Physical Well-Being Is Once Again at Risk."
The plot was very Dickensian, and I couldn't help comparing it to Oliver Twist in my mind. The characters were quirky, and Ivy was a good protagonist. She had flaws and strengths. I liked how despite everything she has been through, she still maintained a childlike fascination with animals.
I do recommend this book and it's beautiful cover art. I went in expecting some typical rags-to-riches romance, but was pleasantly surprised. ...more
Plum-Ucci has a way of mixing teen problems with almost-supernatural mysteries. I've long ceased expecting any definite conclusions to come from her work. While there was A LOT of talking in this book, I give props to the characters. The characters in this book, particularly Grey, and complex and endearing. The plot was a little slow, and I wasn't at the edge of my seat, but by the end of the book I was certainly absored. And I still have oh so many questions.
If you liked other books by the author, than you will like this one....more
This book follows Albom in his interaction with two "Men of God". His childhood Rabbi who has asked him to do his eulogy, and Pastor Covington, a reformed drug dealer who is struggling to keep his decaying church afloat. Both men teach him profound things about life, love, and faith.
This book claimed it would inspire me, and it did. It is a quick read, but it has a lot to say. Some of the writing was downright beautiful, and there are quite a few memorable quotes. My favorite was this: "The story of my recent life. I like that phrase. It makes more sense than the story of my life, because we get so many lives between birth and death. A life to be a child. A life to come of age. A life to wander, to settle, to fall in love, to parent, to test our promise, to realize our mortality- and in some lucky cases, to do something after that realization." This book was just filled with little moments that shine, and the characters are so exuberant, I wish I could meet them.
If you ever feel the need to be spiritual, to feel better about yourself, this book will give you the opportunity. ...more
I do not understand this book. I do not understand the writing style. I do not understand the plot. And I sure as hell do not understand the appeal.
EI do not understand this book. I do not understand the writing style. I do not understand the plot. And I sure as hell do not understand the appeal.
Everything about this book was choppy, weird, and over in a blink of an eye. Come to think of it, it was reminiscent of a dream, the foggy kind you forget immediately upon waking.
The writing was unnecessarily blunt and in the 3rd person, both of which I consider poor writing decisions. I felt alienated from the story, and I never understood who was acting or who was speaking.
Janie and Cabel were both hot messes. One minute, they were giving each other longing glances, and the next they would huffily avoid each other. Their romance was just too immediate , and I wasn’t really invested in either of the characters enough to feel the sparks fly. McMann tried to make them deep with backstories that just made me go, “huh?”
And the plot. I do not even know what to think. Props for McMann for being original, I guess, but at least a formulaic plot is comprehensible. McMann’s plot was thin and rather ridiculous and it didn’t even BEGIN to answer any of my questions. Seriously, all it did was confuse me, and if the book wasn’t so quick to read, I wouldn’t have made it through.
I’ll read the sequels because they are right here in front of me. But I don't expect to enjoy them. ...more
Okay, I was never expecting much from this book, especially after I saw that it had been optioned for a film by Disney. But I was hoping for some JameOkay, I was never expecting much from this book, especially after I saw that it had been optioned for a film by Disney. But I was hoping for some James Bond/Cody Banks/Spy Kids action.
This book is about Cammie Morgan, a student at the elite Gallagher Academy, which is essentially an all-girl school for spies. Cammie is a pretty normal student at Gallagher, besides the fact that her mother is the headmistress, and she has a reputation for being "the Chameleon." Cammie knows fourteen languages and how to kill a man with a piece of uncooked spaghetti, but when it comes to boys, she's clueless. However, some boy advice will come in handy when she starts up a secret relationship with a normal boy- who thinks she is just a normal girl.
This book was cute. Nothing more than that. It had some humor, not enough to make me laugh out loud, but enough to keep the mood light. That's the thing, I thought this book was TOO light. I never really bought in to any conflict. Don't you think in a book about spies, there should be some bad guys? Essentially, this book is about a girl who meets a boy. The spy stuff is just kind of tacked on. Cammie seemed more like a normal girl than a genius. But she did have a level head on her shoulders. But of course, all her friends wer super-model gorgeous while she is average looking. And she is the one with the boyfriend. Right. The characters and plot were all just a bit bland for me. Not much action to speak of. That was a tad disappointing. But there was some genuine guy advice, which readers will appreciate.
I don't know. It's cute, light, and I'm sure tweenage girls will eat it up. I won't read the sequels though unless they fall into my hands. ...more
I was really excited when I won this book on Firstreads because it looked absolutely adorable.
Living in a small town in 1955, 10-yr-old Teaspoon someI was really excited when I won this book on Firstreads because it looked absolutely adorable.
Living in a small town in 1955, 10-yr-old Teaspoon sometimes seems larger than life. She fights, fibs, talks too much, and has a passion for singing. But Teaspoon wants to change in order to be "respectable" for Teddy, the boyfriend that her mom abandoned her with 5 years ago. So Teaspoon joins the Sunshine Sisters, a mentoring program, and her Big Sister is none other than Brenda Bloom, the daughter to the richest and most respectable family in town.
I greatly enjoyed this books cast. All the characters are well-drawn with big personalities, the biggest belonging to the narrator. Teaspoon is delightfully naive and very funny, even when she doesn't intend to be. However her voice did waver on the thin line bewteen charming and irritating, as all ten year olds sometimes do. The plot was good, if somewhat predictable.
I did enjoy this book, and I wish I could give it 3.5 stars. I feel it would make a really good movie one day. I'll be smiling about Teaspoon's summer for a while, but if I never hear the words "affliction" or "respectable" again, it will be too soon. ...more