This book should be the chiz, right? Gorgeous cover, intriguing premise, and interesting title. But no. No. Not at all.
I took me a couple months to re...moreThis book should be the chiz, right? Gorgeous cover, intriguing premise, and interesting title. But no. No. Not at all.
I took me a couple months to read this book. DOS MESES. I had to force myself to read it, and I insisted on finishing it. This book was a test of my endurance, and I was not going to let it win.
This book was just a hunka hot mess. The prose was off and stilted. Mitchell tried to hard to sound like a Bronte or Jane Austen, but it just made the prose convoluted. I had NO IDEA what was happening most of the time, or who was speaking, because the vocabulary and sentence structure would be so jacked up. That is the opposite of what writing should do. I got a bad taste in my mouth from the very first sentence.
And nothing freaking happened in the book! Just Amelia and Zora being all dramatic and giggly. I hate dramatic gigglers. The cover has the girl running from something with this fearful look on her face.....yeah, nothing like that. Like I said, maybe it did, but I couldn't tell because the writing was so effin horrible.
And what was with Nathaniel? He was the wind or something? He was so creepy. He would just pop in, say something dramatic, touch Amelia's face, and then vanish. I don't get the romance.
I really, really, really, don't understand the the point of this novel. The reader knows the ending before hand, which makes the whole thing (why was it so long! It could have been 4 chapters, easy!) doubly pointless. Just a big anti-climax.
HOW THE HECK DOES SHE HAVE HER POWERS ANYWAY? That was barely even touched upon! Amelia was more concerned that some boy passed a freakin pencil to her cousin in school (since when do Victorian age ladies have co-ed classes!?), then these mysterious visions that foretell people's death.
Gah, so histrionic.
Dislike. Dislike. Dislike. If this book comes near me again, I will burn it. That's the most action it will have ever seen. (less)
This book was offered to me free online, and it looked interesting. I've always found slave stories intriguing, if not frightening.
This one follows 14...moreThis book was offered to me free online, and it looked interesting. I've always found slave stories intriguing, if not frightening.
This one follows 14 yr old Ayanna, or Sarah, or Anna (whatever her name is), who has been enslaved since the age of four, on her quest for freedom. So she runs away and settles in a little town, where she sets out to be a teacher.
As you can tell from my rating, I didn't much like this book. I just despised the writing. I couldn't read more than a paragraph without the horrible writing yanking me out of the story. I don't know exactly what I detested. Just somethings about it was some clumsy and the overused adjectives were misplaced. There were too many anachronisms to count. I didn't like the narrator at all. She was stubbornly naive, but the author tried to make her perfect and it just wasn't working. The other characters were bland. Despite the authors extensive research, it just wasn't realistic enough.
It's been done better before, and I'm afraid I can't recommend this one. I really tried to like this one. I read ths book for a month and only got halfwaay through. I couldn't take anymore. (less)
Sixteen-year-old Jessamine lives with her father, an apothecary, in an abandoned church she calls "the cottage". Her father's obsession is a forbidden...moreSixteen-year-old Jessamine lives with her father, an apothecary, in an abandoned church she calls "the cottage". Her father's obsession is a forbidden garden where he keeps deadly and poisonous plants from around the world. Jessamine lives a boring life- taking care of her father and the plants, writing in her journal, doing household chores. Until a stranger shows up at her home with a present for her father. The present is Weed, a strange and introverted boy, whom with Jessamine builds a friendship, and later, a romance. Weed has a secret, though: plants communicate with him, and he is especially wary of the Poison Garden. But when Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, its up to Weed to unlock the secret of the dangerous garden in order to save her life.
When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be good. The premise was unique and the writing was lovely. I really liked Jessamine's journal and how her voice fit the time period. Quickly, though, I got sick of it. The writing soon became (pardon the pun) too flowery, and the beginning was incredibly boring. No conflict was introduced until nearly 50 pages in.
And once Weed was introduced, it was too late. I already had a sour taste in my mouth. Jessamine proved herself to be a weak character. All she did was cook, clean, and then become unconcious. I thought we had gotten past the whole Disney Princess concept. I guess not. And Weed and Jessamine's romance was incredibly awkward. I kept wincing and getting embarrassed for them. Weed would have been interesting if his ability wasn't so silly. He talks to plants, or more correctly, plants talk to him. I kept getting these absurd mental images of flowers with lips, and too soon I was past the point of taking this book seriously.
And the ending was pretty horrible. Once Jessamine got deadly ill, she couldn't very well write in her journal, could she? So Weed had to pick it up. From there, things got even weirder. It would shift between Weed's POV (which was eerily similar to Jessamine's), and these weird tripped out visions which Jessamine had of a Plant Prince or something. It was quite difficult to follow. And of course it ended openly because we can't have a stand-alone now, can we?
*sighs* There are just some books that don't need to be written. (less)
Andi Alpers, a troubled Brooklyn teen, is always one step away from the edge. The only thing keeping her going over is her love of music, but even tha...moreAndi Alpers, a troubled Brooklyn teen, is always one step away from the edge. The only thing keeping her going over is her love of music, but even that doesn't seem enough at times. Two years ago her younger brother, the glue keeping her family together, died. Now her mother, a talented French painter, is suffering from a psychotic break down, and her father, a workaholic scientist, refuses to acknowledge his old family while he lives a new life. Andi is content with flunking out of her prestigious liberal high school, but her father, in a rare burst of parental concern, forces her to come with him to Paris so she can focus on working on a project that might save her grade. Her father is called to Paris because a colleague of his, a famous historian, needs his help in identifying a shriveled up heart encased in crystal that might just belong to the young Louis XVII, the son of King Louis XVI, who was guillotined in the French Revolution. While shifting through some artifacts, Andi discovers the long-hidden journal of Alexandrine, an aspiring actress and companion to young Louis, who is struggling to save herself and her charge. Whilst reading this diary, the fates of the two young women are woven together, and Andi will come to discover that internal revolutions are just as affecting as external ones.
I loved this book. It was lovely. The writing was beautiful, lyrical, and intricate. Andi was intriguing and relatable. Sometimes her constant negative attitude, especially towards the beginning, could become bothersome, but she was extremely interesting. Her sarcastic comments were often funny, and she had a lot going on underneath the surface. Her feelings, as well as her love for music, seemed to transcend the page. I loved Alexandrine too. Although she was in the book less than Andi, her role in it was just as vital. One thing I loved about this story was how everything connected. I could mentally see the puzzle pieces coming together, and it was a thrill to watch everything unfold. Also, I learned a buttload about the French Revolution, but it never seemed like I was reading a text book. I can tell Ms. Donnelly did her research, and it was very in-depth and well-done.
The only thing I did not like were the hints of the supernatural. To explain myself without giving away to much of the plot, I will say that this book is a lot like the movie Happy Feet. I do not mean to allude that there were dancing penguins in the streets of Paris. But, you know how towards the end of the movie, the plot does a complete 360, and the film is no longer about cute tap-dancing birds, but rather some heavy-handed environmental message? This book is kind of like that. Towards the end, it took a really sharp turn, and I'm not sure whether what happened was real or not. I mean, I guess it worked, but it shook me out of the story for a little bit. That's what kept me from giving this novel 5 stars.
Anyway, I recommend this book. I recommend it to fans of A Northern Light. I recommend it to fans of historical-fiction. I recommend it to those interested in a more personal look at the French Revolution. I recommend it to music lovers. And I recommend it for anyone looking for a satisfying, thought-provoking read.
An awesome read that will stay with me. I have a feeling it will help me when my history class studies the French Revolution next month. (less)
Laurie Halse Anderson is the bees knees. I love her. Every single novel of hers that I've read is powerful and well-well written. Her historical ficti...moreLaurie Halse Anderson is the bees knees. I love her. Every single novel of hers that I've read is powerful and well-well written. Her historical fiction books are no different.
This book is about 13 yr old Isabel, who is a slave during the time of the American Revolution. Following her mistress's death, she and her 5 year old sister, Ruth, are wrongfully sold to the Locktons. The Locktons are an influential Tory family living in New York city, which is divided amongst the Patriots and those still loyal to the King. Isabel meets a young slave boy named Curzon, who is owned by Patriot leader, and is coerced into reporting information about the Locktons. She was hesitant to do this until the Locktons sell Ruth, and Isabel realizes she would be willing to do anything for her freedom so she can be reunited with her sister.
I love YA historical fiction that isn't about scandalous socialites and steamy romances. It's fresh and smart, and I'm so thankful for books like this when I've had it up to here *raises hand up to eye level* with dumb YA paranormals. This isn't the first book I've read that was narrated by a slave during the revolution (The Pox Party) but it certainly was the most relatable.
I like how the book concluded nicely, but still leaves the reader in anticipation of a sequel. I also like the hints of a romance ("He's my brother" my ass). I'm certainly looking forward to reading Forge. I always thought the American Revolution was a boring war (which it kinda is), but its more interesting, I think, form a slaves perspective. That is when you understand the irony of a nation fighting for its freedom when some of its own people were still in chains.
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 runs...moreIvy'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. (less)
Easily the most beautiful, moving novel I have ever read. I dare you to read this book without having to sit back in your chair to just soak up the pu...moreEasily the most beautiful, moving novel I have ever read. I dare you to read this book without having to sit back in your chair to just soak up the pure emotion you just read. This book is an accurate portrayal of both the best and worst of human nature, which is ironic because its narrator isn't human at all. By far one of the best, most original books I have ever read.
I wouldn't have read this book if I hadn't won an advanced copy, and I kind of wish I hadn't won it.
This book was very, very muddled. I wish it just f...moreI wouldn't have read this book if I hadn't won an advanced copy, and I kind of wish I hadn't won it.
This book was very, very muddled. I wish it just focused on one damn thing, but nnoooooo, it had to try to do it all, and it failed. The whole mystery/thriller part of it absolutely drowned in all the war details and boring characters. A good 3/4 of this book was just talking about bombings and airplanes and guns and other things that were just not interesting. And there was waaaayyy too many characters that still remain undistinguished in my mind. And I was neary half-way into the book before I realized that every other chapter switched the subject of the narrative. Once I figured this out, the novel made much more sense, but I just wish it had been made clearer. Very little of this book was spent on the actual murder investigation, and it was pretty slow-moving until the last couple of chapters. One thing this novel had going for it was that I did not guess the killer, which is always a plus. I was not pleased with this book, and will not be reading it again. (less)
Excellent novel. It used great imagery and an interesting plot. But I still thought something was missing. There was something preventing it from bei...more Excellent novel. It used great imagery and an interesting plot. But I still thought something was missing. There was something preventing it from being extraordinary. Maybe it was the last page, which dissatisfied me.(less)