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)
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)
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 finished the Iron Fey series last week, and was expecting to have to wait to read the next installment in this series until late October this year -...moreI finished the Iron Fey series last week, and was expecting to have to wait to read the next installment in this series until late October this year - so imagine my giddiness when this book popped up on NetGalley late last week! Of course, I immediately requested it. I was ecstatic.
I started it as soon as I got it. Immediately I could tell that I was going to love reading from Ash's perspective. He has always been such a broody character, that I couldn't wait to read what really goes on inside his head. Plus, his interactions with Puck are nothing short of delightful. I found myself laughing out loud at Puck's goofy confidence and Ash's sarcastic one liners. Their friendship is one of my favorite parts of the series. And Grim is haughtier and snarkier than ever in The Iron Knight. As you might have been able to tell from the synopsis, Meghan is not as present in this book as she has been in the past few, since it revolves around Ash's quest, which I will try not to spoil for those of you who haven't read it yet :) But, I didn't miss her. You'll understand why when you read it.
The action starts right away, and I was completely drawn and invested in the story from the first few chapters. Ash's devotion to his cause is heart wrenching and beautiful. I wish more people were so loyal. Kagawa writes his emotions with such honesty and care, and I came to love his relationship with Meghan much, much more in this book, when I realized just how much it would cost him.
Faery is darker, more dangerous and more vividly wild in The Iron Knight than ever before. Kagawa's story twists and turns all the way through, and you'll never stop being surprised. I had NO idea where she was going most of the time. It was a ride through a world unlike any I've ever seen before, and a really, really good time.
The ending was perfect.
You will laugh, cry and be amazed at the power of love. In other words, fans of the Iron Fey series definitely won't be disappointed!
A gorgeous book, luxuriously written and carefully crafted. I expected the plot twists but that didn't make them any less devastating, and the last pa...moreA gorgeous book, luxuriously written and carefully crafted. I expected the plot twists but that didn't make them any less devastating, and the last page left goosebumps running down my arms. As an aside, if Spanish is your second language, like it is mine, I am sure you will find this book even more intoxicating. It has a lilting sort of cadence that can only be found in a romance language, and yet it is perfectly translated and conveyed in English. I can't get over how well done it is. LOVED. (less)