It has been entirely too long since a book has made me feel this way. Like everything in me is weeping, every emotion wrung out and exposed. Stunning...moreIt has been entirely too long since a book has made me feel this way. Like everything in me is weeping, every emotion wrung out and exposed. Stunning characters, beautiful writing, and a desperate, haunting story. I absolutely loved this book.
If you loved The Book Thief, you MUST read Code Name Verity. (less)
This book killed me dead. What a haunting, heart wrenching, beautiful tale of love and loss. This story confronts the deepest, darkest fears of your h...moreThis book killed me dead. What a haunting, heart wrenching, beautiful tale of love and loss. This story confronts the deepest, darkest fears of your heart and forces you to see them and claim them as your own. My chest is still aching from how deeply this story affected me. (less)
My God. This book completely ripped my heart out. This is a romance unlike any other, beautiful and raw and achingly tender. A story of war and life a...moreMy God. This book completely ripped my heart out. This is a romance unlike any other, beautiful and raw and achingly tender. A story of war and life and brutal, relentless need. About family, and the unbreakable power of love. The writing took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. I want to curl up in a ball and sob until the hurt goes away. I want to hug this book to my chest and memorize the passages and the poetry and never, ever forget the way I felt when I turned the last page.
I LIVE for books like this. Books that NAIL what life is really about. Books that make you feel grateful for every single breath you take.
I'm not even playing, you guys. The character development in this book is unreal - after one book, these characters feel like family to me. The love story will torment you and then make your heart soar; you will want to pull your hair out and then dance around in circles. This book is about life. I don't know if I'm even really expressing what is so wonderful about this book. The writing is just incredible - lyrical and honest. It is heartbreaking and bittersweet. It is a golden summer afternoon and a burning winter chill. War Romance at its absolute best.
If you can't tell, I highly recommend this book. Please go read it. You will not regret it. (less)
I LOVED Feed. It was unlike anything I've ever read before, zombie or not. In Feed , the world has been plagued by an infection brought on by the comb...moreI LOVED Feed. It was unlike anything I've ever read before, zombie or not. In Feed , the world has been plagued by an infection brought on by the combination of untested cures for the common cold and cancer. The illness turned its victims into zombies and the ensuing madness and resultant reorganization of society and government is what this book is about.
Feed follows the story of a trio of young journalists who blog about their experiences in the zombie-infested world (hence the title), and begins when they are selected to follow and report on the campaign of a much beloved presidential candidate.
Crazy things start to happen while they're on the campaign trail that forces them to try and uncover a huge political conspiracy and who is behind it. The story is fast-driven and suspenseful, with plenty of great characters to root for and villains to despise. And on a personal note, as a poli-sci major, this book was absolutely fascinating for me to read. Mira Grant took the current American political process and placed it in a dystopian setting, AND IT STILL WORKS. I was totally floored by this. Kudos to you, Ms. Grant.
Not only is the plot and timing perfection, but the characters - the characters are SO wonderful. The interaction between Georgia, the narrator, and her brother Shaun makes the whole book worthwhile alone. My only tiny, baby complaint is that at times the safety procedure descriptions were a little long and repetitive - I get why they are necessary, but after a while I got tired of reading about the same process over and over again.
And, I will admit it, I actually teared up at the end of this book. At the END OF A ZOMBIE BOOK, you guys! The character development was THAT good.
Highly recommend to anyone who likes fiction. (less)
I heard about this book on an internet forum. Various posters raved about it, so I decided since I had some extra time on a long car ride yesterday that I’d give it a whirl.
I am SO glad that I did. This book was EXCELLENT. And while it falls into the “Young Adult” category, I really believe that this book would appeal to readers of all ages. It’s the story of a high-school aged girl who has just lost her sister, her idol, and in the process of grieving is discovering her identity and falling in love. I normally wouldn’t pick up a book that sounds so transparently sappy – but this book was so much more than that. The elements that made up the story were so rich, so real. Not sappy in the least, but sparkling with characters that felt like home, people who you could almost see and hear.
Lennie, the narrator, leaves lines of poetry scattered everywhere she goes. The lines of poetry usually begin and end every chapter, and so many of these short blurbs literally made me choke back tears, lines of adolescent comings of age, memories of her sister, things she just couldn’t understand. And sometimes there would be these brilliant lines, scattered throughout the book like Lennie's poems - shining gems of English, words arranged so perfectly and enormously that I would just sit and savor them over and over again until I really understood them. This book is what growing up is like.
Never at any point did the story lag or was there anything unnecessary. Everything meant something, a quality that is rare in a book, especially one that is specifically intended for younder readers. Nelson's style is flawless, the writing lyrical, and in spite of the tragedy, almost always hopeful. This book made me want to be seventeen again.
I absolutely adored this book - it was SO unique, absolutely heartwrenching at times and just a really good read. The more I think about it, the more...moreI absolutely adored this book - it was SO unique, absolutely heartwrenching at times and just a really good read. The more I think about it, the more I love it.
It isn't overly dramatic and doesn't take advantage of how emotional a subject like 9/11 is (which is what I was expecting). Instead, it uses the tragedy as a backdrop to point out just how beautiful and fleeting life is, and how important it is to say what you need to say to the people you love while you still can. After that day, so many of us realized how quickly our worlds can be turned upside down - this book examines the lives of several individuals who experienced just that, and how they managed to honor and remember those they'd lost, but found a way to continue living.
It's the story of a quirky, endearing boy who lost the person he loved most in the world and is trying to deal with the grief and guilt. His voice is heartbreakingly honest, so much that so many times I just wanted to just reach through the pages and hug him.
I was really impressed at how well Safran Foer connected with the thoughts of a nine year old. And while it took me a bit to get used to how he handles dialogue, after a while I realized that it was probably because that's how a nine year old translates dialogue and I was even more impressed.
I loved it, but as a disclaimer, I don't think this book is for everyone. I can see how some people might lose interest in the side stories and get frustrated with how Oskar rambles at times. But it didn't bother me at all - I fell in love with the characters and their stories, was anxious for Oskar to have peace, at last. I highly recommend it.
Now, I'll leave you with a few quotes that really touched me.
"I felt, that night, on that stage, under that skull, incredibly close to everything in the universe, but also extremely alone. I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work it took to live. What exactly made it worth it?" * * "Dad didn't have a spirit! He had cells!" "His memory is there." His memory is here," I said, pointing at my head. "Dad had a spirit," she said, like she was rewinding a bit in our conversation. I told her, "He had cells, and now they're on rooftops, and in the river, and in the lungs of millions of people around New York, who breathe him every time they speak!" * * "When I looked at you, my life made sense. Even the bad things made sense. They were necessary to make you possible." * * "It's so beautiful at this hour. The sun is low, the shadows are long, the air is cold and clean. You won't be awake for another five hours, but I can't help feeling that we're sharing this clear and beautiful morning." (less)
My God. I honestly cannot remember the last time a book touched me the way If I Stay did. I'd been hearing positive buzz about this book for quite a w...moreMy God. I honestly cannot remember the last time a book touched me the way If I Stay did. I'd been hearing positive buzz about this book for quite a while, but for some reason or another I hadn't made the time to pick it up. Boy, was I kicking myself for having waited so long to read it.
If I Stay is the story of a young woman who, after a terrible car accident, is abruptly torn from her comfortable, easy life and loving family and forced to make an unbelievably difficult decision - whether she can stay without them. I don't want to tell you too much about the plot, because a.) I don't want to ruin it for you and b.) talking about it makes me cry. I will tell you that this book is so incredibly moving that when I'd finished, I literally put my Nook down and cried for five minutes straight (at least). And man, was it was an ugly cry. If I Stay has a way of making you feel so profoundly grateful for every last moment in your life - it reminded me of my mortality in a subtle, heartbreaking way.
In some way, the feeling I had when I closed the book reminded me a bit of The Book Thief. I wasn't sad about what happened in the story so much as I was moved at how the story made me think of my own life. I found myself constantly thinking about what I'd do if I was ever put in that situation, and God, I don't know if I could be quite as brave as the narrator.
If I Stay is a reminder of how short and innately sweet life is, and about how at the end of the day, or at the end of your life, the one thing you are always going to want to hold on to is the cherished memories of the people you love. The people who make life worthwhile. I'm going to cry again just thinking about how this book evoked those memories for me. I called my parents just to tell them I loved them. I made sure to tell my little brothers how much they mean to me. I gave my husband an extra kiss goodnight, and told him how thankful I was for his presence in my life.
Also, the writing is simply lovely. Forman takes teenage love, teenage emotions, teenage dreams and writes about them in a way that is accessible to every age, and is still believable. The language is beautiful, the pacing perfect. It's a short book, (about 200 pages) but I honestly don't know if my heart could have taken any more.
I highly recommend this to anyone who reads to feel something, and not just for entertainment. I loved it and I think you will, too! (less)
I first learned about this book on Goodreads and was almost immediately intrigued by the concept - hist...moreOriginally read March 2010
Re-read January 2014
I first learned about this book on Goodreads and was almost immediately intrigued by the concept - historical romance mixed with science fiction? Yes, please! Hot red-headed Scots in kilts? Why, now that you mention it, I've always loved men in plaid!
Whew, that's better.
I'd been putting Outlander off because it's a monster - more than 800 pages of lengthy prose - but that proved to be one of its virtues. I couldn't get enough! The series is downright steamy, with plenty of lusty, intricately described sex scenes and heated romance, intense fighting and drama, political scheming, and a refreshing view of what it was like to be alive in Scotland in 1743.
Gabaldon's prose is a bit like traveling by bicycle. Sure, you can get to the same place as anywhere you'd normally drive, it just takes you a looot longer to get there and the view is much more scenic. She takes her time describing each particular detail with a rich, loaded vocabulary that always seems appropriate for 18th century Scotland and I did find myself skipping over a few passages I felt were a bit repetitive. But the romance between the lead characters is compelling and heartwrenching, utterly beautiful in its honesty and that is why I absolutely inhaled the 700+ pages in two sittings and dashed to the bookstore to purchase the next book in the series, "Dragonfly in Amber." It's the kind of book you think about long after you've put it back on the shelf.(less)
This book kept popping up on all of the forums I browse through for book titles and so a few months ago, I picked it up at the book store. I actually started it a few weeks ago, but this was another one of those books that took forever to get through. It's not that it wasn't good or too difficult - no, this book was incredible. It took me so long to get through because the only time I've had to read as of late is during my lunch break, and really this is the kind of book you should read in one sitting to fully appreciate its emotional value. I highly recommend that you read this book alone, with a box of tissues, and only if you have a good chunk of time to get through it.
I was truly moved and heartbroken by the themes and stories in The Book Thief, and by the overwhelming beauty of its most important message: that while humans are violent creatures, capable of committing gross atrocities against each other, our innate love and ability to care for one another as humans is what really makes living worthwhile. That while life can be cruel and inexplicably tortuous, there are those brief, shining moments of goodness that can show you the bigger picture. It's set in the Holocaust, so immediately you should know that you're going to be dealing with heavy subject matter, and yet it's seen in the eyes of a child, so what would otherwise be so unimaginably horrendous that it would be nearly impossible to describe, is viewed as a child would see it, in the plainest and simplest of forms, untainted by the justifications or elaborations an adult would add to the story. No - to a child there is only right and wrong and the world should always be as it should be, and not thrown askew by any alterior motives. The book is narrated through Death's perspective, a character as cold and unfeeling as they come, and yet at the end of the story even Death is moved by the crisis this child has suffered. It's not about a book thief, or the Holocaust. What I took away from this book is as simple and complex as morals go. Love. Love each other. Rejoice in the moments you have with the people you care about. Always tell people how you really feel about them. Take care of each other. Things every child knows, but that adults tend to forget.
I cried SO hard at the end. I was so heartbroken and thankful to be alive at once, and grateful for the world we live in now, however horrible it may seem at times. Though I couldn't see through the tears, and the ending was sad (as you can imagine - it's set in the Holocaust) it was a GOOD feeling.