This is the first book in a long time that has made me cry. In fact, the last book to do so was also called "The Disappeared"(*) and told about motherThis is the first book in a long time that has made me cry. In fact, the last book to do so was also called "The Disappeared"(*) and told about mothers losing their sons in Argentina under General Vidal. Most of this book takes place half a continent away, in Cambodia during and after the regime of Pol Pot, but the emotions are the same, the people suffer the same, and it is difficult to understand the cruelty that happened.
Kim Echlin chooses a Canadian protagonist, a young girl with European heritage, a thirst for life and a love for music and words. This makes it easier for other readers unfamiliar with Cambodian culture to understand what is happening. Anne is openminded and strong, and yet she struggles to understand the mindset of people who have been hurt so often and so deeply. She meets mentors along the way, people who can try to show her what life as a Cambodian means, and this is a way for the reader to try to a bit of it as well. When Anne meets Serey, she is young and careless and perhaps a bit too self-absorbed, but when she follows him to his home country ten years after she has lost him, she has grown as a person and is ready to lose and find herself again in a world that has to become her own. I have read a lot of books that have included Ruth's words to Naomi, some successfully, some less so, but never have they rung more true than here, where Anne has seen the chaos and the terror around her, has known the loneliness and learned to find a way in a foreign country and finally finds Serey again.
"Where you go, I will go. [...] Where you lodge, I will lodge. [...] Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. [...] And your people shall be my people, and your God, my God."
This book is about 230 pages long, with 78 chapters and without direct speech. It seems like a long stream of consciousness, and that means it is easy to read in one sitting. However I would not recommend that you do that. It is emotionally draining, and even when Anne feels like she is flying, you can sense the danger looming over her.
It is a good book to learn about Cambodia's recent history, the author even offers some other book titles in the acknowledgements. I have learned a lot, and I feel as though I have lived Anne's story myself. But it is not a happy book.
Für alle, die bereits mit Pierre Grimberts Erzählungen rund um das Geheimnis der Insel Ji vertraut sind, setzt sich mit diesem Buch eine der tollstenFür alle, die bereits mit Pierre Grimberts Erzählungen rund um das Geheimnis der Insel Ji vertraut sind, setzt sich mit diesem Buch eine der tollsten französischen Serien endlich fort - mit der nächsten Generation der Erben. Als Leser wartet man natürlich auf Informationen zu den älteren Erben, und während man liest und hofft, bald etwas zu erfahren, schließt man unmerklich die neue Generation ebenfalls ins Herz. Die Veränderungen, die die Erben über die Jahre hin bewirkt haben, sind beeindruckend, und auch die Charaktere aus dem allerersten Buch noch so schlüssig wie zu Beginn. Man lernt die Welt mit jedem Buch immer wieder ein bisschen besser kennnen - und das zugehörige Lexikon ist immer noch so "grandios" [Ironie aus] auf den Inhalt des Buches zugeschnitten wie schon in den neun vergangenen Büchern. Das Ende ist auch von der Art wie immer, will heißen die Wartezeit auf Teil 2 ist mal wieder viel zu lang (und das wird mit 100%iger Sicherheit auch bei den folgenden Teilen nicht anders werden). Der wunderschöne Sprachstil, das Talent für ruhige und auch action-reiche Szenen und die mangelnde Länge des Buches sind hier ebenso vorhanden wie bei den bisherigen Büchern. Also, neue Charaktere, neue Abenteuer, aber alles Gute beibehalten - und so auch die fünf Sterne!
Wer neu in die Serie einsteigt, bekommt zwar am Anfang eine Kurzzusammenfassung geliefert und hin und wieder auch Hintergrundinformationen, sollte sich aber mindestens auf den Stammbaum im Anhang stützen, und am Besten ohnehin mit "Die Magier: Gefährten des Lichts" anfangen, denn wofür sich solch tolle Abenteuer entgehen lassen?...more
... just one thing up front - in case you actually haven't read the previous two titles, don't read this one, you'll end up with as much headache as M... just one thing up front - in case you actually haven't read the previous two titles, don't read this one, you'll end up with as much headache as Max trying to understand philosopher's logic ;).
With "The Fiend and the Forge", Henry H. Neff takes the "Tapestry" series even further than he did with book 2. I still remember not liking the fact that the first book in the series, The Hound of Rowan, was being compared to the Harry Potter series, but I guess that's now the problem of all books where children are introduced to magic (not that I don't like ~love~ Harry Potter ^^). I remember thinking that it had a lot of really great ideas and I liked the inclusion of art history, which is rather hard to come by in a young-adult book. With the second book, The Second Siege, and the arrival of all the new fighting techniques, Irish mysteries and the really thoughtful handling of explaining all the different aspects of the siege and the prize of a war, I thought the series took a major leap (albeit a very good one), and was on the verge of not considering it young-adult material anymore. The third book now definitely deserves an age restriction in my opinion, what with Max experiencing the cost of war, being a gladiator, being imprisoned, being tortured.
I'm not sure how much I like the fact that the book isn't all about David. It's a great idea to not actually follow the real hero but rather his protector, it's certainly more interesting to watch Max's adventures than to see David studying all the time and it does help the surprise reveals in the end, but I've grown to love the character of David (a lot) and I think it's sad that he doesn't explain himself or talk to Max as often as he used to in the previous books. Plus, Max can be rather annoying sometimes and not all of his excentricities can be explained away by him having a bad temper, whichever way it might be influenced by his blood or not.
Also, I still have a problem with time frames - from a general point of view of being in one place for three weeks to having been there for months just two pages later, to a sense of wonder how members of orders can just slip away for rescue missions that last a few weeks, down to a question of Max's character because sometimes it's just weird to have him do some things that maybe a man of thirty or forty years would do, but probably not a boy of sixteen. I know that part was explained in book two, but I still have some difficulties grasping the concept (especially when Max experiences one of his flares of temper in between me realizing it^^).
Also I think that despite being quite long this book threw up a lot more questions than answers, so I'm looking forward to No. 4, and am rather hoping it won't take quite as long ;), because it was an interesting and entertaining read, despite the sometimes rather gruesome themes. I loved all the new ideas, but it took some time taking it all in; I'm guessing a re-read of the entire series is in order before the publication of the next book.
I'm naturally hoping for more David in book four, plus a lot of answers to all the questions that have been raised, maybe a visit to the other Kingdoms, and perhaps a glossary for all the species floating around the text, because I had to look up about 70% of them (and most of them didn't get a result on Google ... Do smees actually exist in folk tales or legends?). Plus, I'd love to see more of the teaching and studying, althoug I'm afraid that Max is too old now to still attend classes.
P.S.: Luckily enough for me, there's no love triangle (please keep it that way!). P.P.S.: There's one thing in here that actually made me think of HP7, but in the worst way possible, and I would not have needed that happening! Especially as I couldn't have predicted it and so wasn't prepared for it at all :(. ...more
The Oxford English Dictionary says that "atonement" means "the action of making amends for a wrong or injury".
In the case of this novel, the wrong haThe Oxford English Dictionary says that "atonement" means "the action of making amends for a wrong or injury".
In the case of this novel, the wrong has been committed by Briony, an aspiring writer who was 13 years old at that point and spends the rest of the book trying to make amends for one fateful day. Her sister Cecilia and Cecilia's friend Robbie are the injured parties in this case, and they too spend the remainder of their lives under the shadow of what happened with Briony.
All of these characters are flawed (and their supporting cast is even worse), but all of them slowly grow on the reader. It is easy to misjudge things as a child, it is easy to be pigheaded, it is easy to be wild in your youth and to turn against the people that want to deny your own identity. This makes all three of them relatable, and while a not-so-happy ending is predictable from the start, you want to be a witness to how these lives unfold.
This is helped by an interesting setting - showing times before, during and after WWII -, and great writing. When I open a book to a new chapter and it starts
"In the early evening, high-altitude clouds in the western sky formed a thin yellow wash which became richer over the hour, and then thickened until a filtered orange glow hung above the giant crests of parkland trees; the leaves became nutty brown, the branches glimpsed among the foliage oily blackand the dessicated grasses took on the colour of the sky. A Fauvist dedicated to improbably colour might have imagined a landscape this way [...]"
, then I will be pulled deeply into the story with no chance of resurfacing until I've finished it.
There are also storytelling tricks, but since they are used to enhance the story and build the characters rather than for the sake of having them, I actually quite like them. (Plus, there is one huge trick, not one hundred, so it is easy to understand what is happening. It just goes to show that tricks are something for masters to do, otherwise they won't work.)
What is interesting to me is how many English stories I have read in which a mistake in a character's youth (albeit a quite severe one) will define their entire life. I wonder what it is with English novelists and the obsession with constantly having to pay for mistakes and rarely being allowed a fresh start.
Eins möchte ich gleich vorausschicken - das wird nicht das objektiGerman book, German review. For other reviews, see 238 books in 238 days. -----------
Eins möchte ich gleich vorausschicken - das wird nicht das objektivste Review, das ihr jemals gelesen habt. Ich liebe Christoph Marzi, seit meine beste Freundin mir zum ersten Mal Lycidas in die Hand gedrückt hat, und bisher hat mich noch jeder seiner Romane auf seine ganz eigene Art angesprochen. Egal welches Buch, es war noch immer das richtige Buch zur richtigen Zeit und so auch diesmal.
"Bücher haben eine Seele. [...] Keiner muss die Seele eines Buches suchen. Die Seele des Buches findet den Leser. Das tut sie immer."
Faye ist jemand ganz nach meinem Geschmack. Sie ist eigenständig, wenn auch manchmal total verpeilt. Sie liebt Bücher und Musik, und sie liebt es, vor sich hinzuträumen. Sie hasst es zu telefonieren und herumgegängelt zu werden, und bei Leuten, die sie gut kennt, ist sie auch manchmal schon recht vorlaut. Faye nimmt die Welt im Ganzen war, und sie sieht überall Geschichten. Das macht ihre Welt lebendig, und es ist leicht, mit ihr früh zum Buchladen zu eilen und beinahe selbst außer Atem zu geraten.
Als Faye Alex kennenlernt, ist sie sofort von ihm fasziniert - und schon bald entwickeln sich lange geschriebene Unterhaltungen. Oft sieht man nicht viel mehr als die Texte, die sich die beiden schicken, aber das genügt dann auch schon. Man fühlt mit Faye mit und kann sich bald ihre Reaktionen selbst ausmalen. Alex hingegen ist ein Mysterium, nicht nur für Faye sondern auch für den Leser, und tatsächlich habe ich bald ebenso wie sie versucht, hinter sein Geheimnis zu kommen. (Was natürlich Unsinn ist, wenn es so einfach wäre, das ich es hätte sehen können, wäre auch Faye schon eher draufgekommen.)
Mitten durch die Liebesgeschichte fliegen die bunten Herbstblätter in Brooklyn, und New York erblüht auf jeder Seite neu. Auch Filme, Bücher, und - natürlich - Musik finden immer wieder Eingang in die Erzählung, und schon bald hatte ich meine Playlist für den Herbst zusammengestellt.
Ohne das Ende vorausnehmen zu wollen, möchte ich hier mein Faible für in sich abgeschlossene Romane bekunden - die gibt es heutzutage in diesem Genre leider viel zu selten. Dazu ein tolles Setting, Charaktere mit denen ich mich gut identifizieren kann, viel Musik, hin und wieder etwas Humor, und Christoph Marzis unverwechselbarer poetischer Stil - das ist mein Zauberbuch für diesen Herbst, und es wird auf meinem Nachttisch bleiben, bis die Tage so eisig werden, dass "Lycidas" wieder seinen angestammten Platz einnimmt :)....more
Expect spoilers for Earth Girl (#1) and Earth Star (#2).
Having loved Earth Girl, I was really apprehensive about the extra-terrestrial thing and the mExpect spoilers for Earth Girl (#1) and Earth Star (#2).
Having loved Earth Girl, I was really apprehensive about the extra-terrestrial thing and the military when I started Earth Star. But I really liked the second book as well, finally admitting to myself that I actually do have a liking for the military - and for the subtle manipulations used all through the book. Therefore, when I went into book three, I was less apprehensive, because even though I worried a tiny bit about miracle cures and whatnot, I trusted Janet Edwards enough to make the right decisions and don't disappoint me with an awful ending or hideous twists to the story to make it "more exciting".
I did however have to find myself the right time to read this at though, because the prologue screamed at me to put the book down and come back later when I would be able to finish it in one sitting. I managed that (almost), and finally found some quiet time to dive back in.
Jarra's general grumpiness, which just switches its target from time to time, is still there, as is her tendency to think that everything that happens is because of her. (This is also the expectation one has as a reader, even though "Earth Star" has told us that there is deviancy in the higher ranks of the military, assholery in bureocracy, and we all know that Lecturer Playdon knows fully well what he's doing at all times.) Fian is as helpful and understanding as ever, and there is still no triangle (THANK YOU!).
The alien thing is sitting there, waiting, and tbh, I kinda lost interest. Which is not due to faults in plotting, but rather down to me and my love for politics. And there is A LOT of politics in this book. The reader learns more and more about the world, especially about Jarra's heritage in Beta sector. And there is a lot of political intrigue, and when Jarra mentioned that she had completely forgotten about the alien box, I had as well. Then something happened with the alien thing, and more politics in between, and then there's the ending; final and well-rounded, but also open to the future, and I like it. I like imagining what might happen next.
But mostly I just really loved the politics :)....more
This is part of my "238 books in 238 days"-challenge. You can follow my progress here. --------
Two years ago I've first read a book by William Trevor.This is part of my "238 books in 238 days"-challenge. You can follow my progress here. --------
Two years ago I've first read a book by William Trevor. It was called "Love And Summer", and I was rather bored while reading it, as you can see from my review here. I also gave it five stars. I've reread that book a lot since then, and I've slowly come to love William Trevor's gift for precise sentences, unhurried storytelling and taking a story all the way to its conclusion. These traits are at work in "Two Lives" as well; I have felt at home from the moment I started reading it. (And I haven't been bored; I guess I've grown up a little.)
Reading Turgenev In contrast to "Love and Summer", where a young woman has an affair that goes nowhere, Mary's courtship in this "novella" is much more adult, and the results are much more complex. It isn't hard to see why Trevor's characters would read Russian literature with an emphasis on nature and rural living, considering their own background. It's easy to assume that big problems only arise when there is something big at stake, but here love and life are enough to risk sanity for. The structure of the book, which combines two narrative threads, is confusing at first, but works out beautifully in the end, and I am sure I will enjoy it a lot when I re-read this story.
My House in Umbria I've recently read Aravind Adiga's "The White Tiger" (2*), and, like this novella, it features someone describing him-/herself as uneducated telling the story of his/her life. Both characters make their own sarcastic observations about their lives, both are unapologetic for what has happened. The only difference is that one of them (this one) is well exectuted. The other isn't. Mrs Delahunty is a believable character even when her imaginations take over, and her struggles are understandable and real. Moreover her own comments have an impact on the story and the reader. Independant of that, the subject matter is quite interesting as well and, as this is the first of Trevor's stories that I've read that isn't set entirely in rural Ireland, I was also intrigued to see whether he could write about another country as well as about his own. He can....more
Having bought the book for the retelling of "The Beauty and the Beast", I was very pleasantly surprised with the Dystopian setting. I do have a thingHaving bought the book for the retelling of "The Beauty and the Beast", I was very pleasantly surprised with the Dystopian setting. I do have a thing for Dystopia, and somehow even more so when it comes in unexpected guises.
"Of Beast and Beauty" comes with original ideas (Can I just say that I love how the rose was used in this version?), great writing and a (relatively) fast-paced plot, so the read was over much quicker than I anticipated.
I loved Isra's voice, I loved the other voice, I just had some trouble with Gem. He feels much younger than he is supposed to be, especially considering his background. I had to remind myself sometimes how much he had been through, because he seems a bit child-like at times. Nevertheless, this is a great pairing (and no doubt who is the decisive one in this), and I kept rooting for it until the end, which is all I ask of a romance novel :).
The setting and style of writing keep "Of Beast and Beauty" a notch above almost all other retellings - except for For Darkness Shows the Stars. Hence it's 4.5 stars, and I'm a bit undecided. Feeling generous though, and I will definitely read the next thing Stacey Jay writes, so there we go. 5 stars. ...more
I enjoyed the "real-ness" of the emotions in this book. While it is certainly interesting to see two people, who've never met before, fall in love, itI enjoyed the "real-ness" of the emotions in this book. While it is certainly interesting to see two people, who've never met before, fall in love, it is much more fascinating to watch a no-longer-couple try to stay away from each other. This book felt more slow-paced than Austen's other books, but also more focused on thinking about actions and reactions, discovering and hiding emotions, and believing in yourself. Probably my favourite book by Jane Austen. Granted, mostly because "Northanger Abbey" is unreadable as a book and only watchable as a movie, but still. Close second :)....more
Every now and then, I happen upon a book that turns out to be totally different than I expected. "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" looked huge
Every now and then, I happen upon a book that turns out to be totally different than I expected. "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" looked huge when it was standing on my bookyhelf waiting to be read. I thought it would be a story with a broad scope, multiple characters and slow storytelling. I got a chick lit book instead. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
The flowery page design (beautiful!) and large font of my edition should have been a hint, but this was one of the quickest reads I've ever had. Despite Japanese and Chinese names and belief systems, there is no complicated prose or stylized language containing life advice. Instead there is a focus on the characters. The history behind this book - clashes between Japanese and Chinese, WWII, America's treatment of foreigners - is described accurately, but the story never pretends to be high-level historical fiction. It is used as a backdrop for the romance. On another day this might annoy me (especially if I hadn't thought that it would turn out to be this way), but today it was the right kind of book for me.
The romance largely depends on the reader's compassion for the couple, and Jamie Ford's talent for precise observations and the painting of iconic images certainly helps his cause. Without wanting to spoil anything, I can also say that I quite liked the ending. It fit the book and the characters, and when reading a story with an underlying romance, this is really important to me.
I'd recommend this story to you as a summer - or winter - read. It is perfect for spending a little bit of time just transporting yourself to another world. You might learn a little bit, but it should not be your main concern when picking up this book. It offers a lot of comfort without being preachy, and this fact alone warrants five stars from me. It caught me at exactly the right moment, and the fact that I will remember when I read this is enough for me.
I wasn't too sure about wanting to read the second book in the "Earth Girl" series. I'd loved Earth GiNote: Review contains spoilers about Earth Girl.
I wasn't too sure about wanting to read the second book in the "Earth Girl" series. I'd loved Earth Girl (see my review), and I've had quite a few series in the past where I'd loved the first books but not the follow-ups. Then came the pink cover and the aliens in the description, and I was even more sceptical. What I loved about Earth Girl was the history, the different cultures, Jarra's military "experiment". I was sure that this would be lost in the second book. And I was happy to see that I was wrong :).
There are some difficulties in the first chapter - mostly due to the most unfitting recaps since the explanation of Quidditch in every Harry Potter book, but once the story got going, that was out of the way. Jarra gets drafted into the military - and as it turns out, there are a lot of good reasons for her superiors to do so. Those lines on the book cover might tell you the usual thing about Jarra being the one and whatnot, but luckily there are really good explanations for why she is chosen to do what she has to do. That she then does a good job of it is another matter - I was afraid there would be no real reason for her to get the power that she does. There is.
There's also something missing that is currently used in basically every young adult trilogy - the third guy. Fian and Jarra are a couple with a load of problems, and they show us that they try to work through them as the adults they are becoming. Jarra's faced with a lot of new problems, some her own fault, some way out of her control, and once she opens up, she learns that she can rely on Fian and her ever-widening circle of friends and extended family. There's some side character development as well, though not as deep as Jarra's or Fian's.
In the last book I could really identify with Jarra - once I got over all the teen reactions and the hero worship of the hot dude -, this time I've found something where we differ. Jarra doesn't like maths or science. I do. And luckily for me, Fian knows something about this as well. And what with Jarra being interested in everthing about Fian, she listens to scientific conversations just because he takes part in them. She may not be fascinated by all that stuff, but I am, and I'm happy that it's all conceivable and doesn't sound fake to me.
We get to see more of the changes that have happened since our own time - Jarra gets to go around Earth, delves into abandoned projects and other people's perceptions. Thankfully there is no wonder cure (yet), so we can still explore society's reaction to Jarra and her handicap. I wonder about the next book though.
What with this being a trilogy, there is one thing I worry about, and that is the fact that I have yet to see a satisfying ending that doesn't leave out half of the interesting reactions to the previous climax. In the first book I just missed something, here I seriously thought the ending was quite abrupt - I wonder how it will work out in the third book, when there's no follow-up in which the author can show flashbacks to the previous book. But this is still a year away - in the meantime I'll enjoy re-reading the first two books and spending time communicating with aliens in my mind :).
Like many others, I stumbled upon this book when someone sent me the book trailer. I've always had a policy of looking for pretty book covers, becauseLike many others, I stumbled upon this book when someone sent me the book trailer. I've always had a policy of looking for pretty book covers, because to me they signal that someone cares about the book in question. And when the publisher cares enough to create such a beautiful trailer, then I should surely be in for a treat.
The trailer reminded me of a Tim Burton movie, and this shaped my expectations a lot. And as it turns out, that was a good conclusion to jump to. Because "The School for Good and Evil" is a fairytale - with all the fun and magic, but even more so also with all the strangeness and brutality that go with it. It has always been fascinating to me that children like fairytales so much when they're so extremely scary, and "The School for Good and Evil" fits right in.
The book starts out on a humorous note. Our two main characters - pretty Sophie and outcast Agatha - are introduced. Both are slightly over the top, as are the town's other inhabitants, and this makes the beginning a lot of fun to read. Take this random quote for example:
Agatha: "If you say anything smug or stuck-up or shallow, I'll have Reaper follow you home." Sophie: "But then I can't talk!"
It is obvious from the beginning that Sophie has no chance in hell to end up in the School for Good, and so the next few chapters when the two of them are taken and discover their schools are a fun exploration of Chainani's incredibly creative ideas. What with Agatha's lack of belief in the reality of fairytales and the sarcastic comments on some of the more famous stories ("These are prince and princess [...]. They died of starvation on their honeymoon because they didn't pay attention in classes."), it is obvious that the author has a lot of love for fairytales, but also sees the funny side.
When the first really scary thing happens and the two friends try to find their way back home, things take a turn for the worse. The last third more or less reads like a nightmare. It's a trainwreck and you can't help but keep reading and hoping everything turns out fine in the end. Using a random quote to illustrate this as well:
"Do you know how I know?" Her face darkened with sadness. "Because I'll only be happy when you're dead."
Agatha and Sophie are both affected by their schools and what happens around them. Agatha is built to be the sympathetic character, but somehow I love Sophie's Evil-ness as well. The supporting characters are almost always likeable and very individual as well, which makes it easier to keep track of them, because there's quite a lot going on for a middle grade book.
Although I could guess parts of the plot early on, there were quite a few things about the ending that managed to surprise me (or break my heart). And happily, this book actually has an ending. You can read this as a standalone and won't miss a thing. (You probably won't, because you liked it so much that you will read the next one, but still. You could. Theoretically.)
What with the publication of the second book only happening next year, and the film being planned for the year after that, you could kill some of the time on your hands by visiting the book's official website and finding out which school you would belong to. I am apparently 73% Evil and proud of it. (I'm also 100% Slyth, so you might have guessed that.)
"The Final Empire" tells the story of how a rebellious group of thieves and 'magicians' (Allomancers) takes on the task of overthrowing the tyrannous"The Final Empire" tells the story of how a rebellious group of thieves and 'magicians' (Allomancers) takes on the task of overthrowing the tyrannous Lord Ruler and throwing the land into chaos, to bring on a new rule, that will be more fair to all people, especially the ones that have been supressed under the old rules. It (mostly) follows Vin, a young street thief, while she discovers her strong Allomantic powers, receives her training, and has to help overthrowing the Lord Ruler all at once.
As I've come to expect from a Brandon Sanderson book, "The Final Empire" shows a highly interesting magical system, this time based upon metals (and using the power within them to enhance your own abilities). It's not about being able to do everything one would like to do, and there are strict rules that have to be followed, thus making for pretty thrilling action sequences. And they require a lot of explanation, but I think it's handled quite good since the information isnÄt all in one monologue, but rather scattered over a lot of chapters, depending on Vin learning about a particular subject. Plus, there's a glossary at the end for easier understanding (which I actually didn't really need).
The Characters are extremely likeable, funnily enough, since I very rarely enjoy all the "good" people that are introduced in the course of one book. There are backstories given for all the major characters, so one can understand their motifs quite good.
My favourite character is Sazed, who - among other things - has a large knowledge about all kinds of religions, and constantly tries to convince the others to convert to one of them. He - and another guy who loves to talk about philosophical questions - help to keep this book something extraordinary, more than just a simple tale of a rebellion. Their constant questioning of the crew's - and the general people's - knowledge lift this book up to a standard comparable works don't show. Also, they put a lot of questions into one's head, that remain long after the read is over.
Coupled with Brandon's beautiful use of the English language, "The Final Empire" makes for a very enjoyable read, that probably gives its reader more than just a few hours of happiness for having read a really good book. Plus, in case you have the UK Edition, because of the gorgeous cover art it looks very nice on your shelf :).
PS: For all the German readers: Wenn ihr genug Verständnis für das Englische habt - und das müsst ihr jetzt, sonst hättet ihr diese Rezension nicht überlebt ;) - dann würde ich dringend empfehlen, die englische Ausgabe zu lesen. Die deutsche Übersetzung ist GRU-SE-LIG (schon alleine die Tatsache, dass ein Teil der Namen mit übersetzt (oder geändert) wurde. Bis hin zu der unschönen Übertragung eines Dialektes. Scheinbar ins Plattdeutsche...)!!!...more
I have watched "Bridge to Terabithia" in the mpvie theater when it came out, and was expecting - despite the awful marketing - a thoughtful, beautifulI have watched "Bridge to Terabithia" in the mpvie theater when it came out, and was expecting - despite the awful marketing - a thoughtful, beautiful, and inspiring movie. This was exactly what I got, and it remains one of my favourite movies to date.
When I decided to finally read the book that this movie was based on, I did so with some apprehensions. For once, the book did not appear on lists like "The book was better than the movie" (a very rare occurence for anything other than the Lord of the Rings), and there where some underwhelming reviews, especially from friends on Goodreads. I was starting to talk myself out of it this morning again, but then I took the plunge and thought I would just see what would happen.
To get the bad thing out of the way first - I'm nowhere near to being in love with the writing. That being said, it was not enough to put me off the book, and therefore I'm going to rate the story instead of the writing.
I enjoyed reading the emotional story I had seen in the movie, but while the focus there was on the friendship between Jess and Leslie and, despite the marketing catastrophe, not that much "fantasy" happened, a good part of the book actually deals with Jess' and Leslie's imaginations. It describes not only how they explore their fantasy land, but it shows in a really good way how they can see something special in ordinary things around them as well. I remember some scenes in the movie, where that didn't come across as good as it could have, and I remember thinking how much easier that would be in a book as opposed to a movie, and I was right.
I saw scenes from the movie in my head while I read this, and it really helped me picturing some things (got me over the writing, most likely). But if you can look past that, it is an amazing story about a kid growing up, suffering from loneliness, loss, and being an outsider, but also experiencing the joys of friendship, imagination and inspiration. Some of the best things to learn in life....more
I remember seeing Vermeer's painting in the gallery, and not liking it a lot, but nonetheless being a bit intrigued by the girl's look - more so than with the famous Mona Lisa at least. I actually like the painting more after having read the book - not so much because of the story the auther imagined, but for the descriptions of all the work and thinking that went into one single painting. When we stand in a gallery, we rarely think about that, but Tracy Chevalier describes every process and shows just how difficult and tiring the work can be. Apart from that, she has also done a lot of research, and her beautiful language brings 17th century Delft to life. The city feels like a character itself, and Chevalier's words don't leave the readers to imagine everything alone, but rather put them in a world where they can imagine how it would be to live there themselves.
I have to say that, despite there being an interesting plot and well-written characters, I read on for the beautiful writing alone; and while I remember the characters and the story well, the conjured images made more of an impression in my mind.
Painting-wise - well, Chevalier's interpretation is one of many, and certainly a well-written one. You don't have to accept it as real afterwards. But you get the sense of just how much history might lie behing a simple portrait.
(In case you didn't note, I loved the writing. This means it makes 5 stars ;).)...more