ARGH THAT CLIFFHANGER. THAT WAS A CRUEL, CRUEL WAY TO END THE BOOK.
I just finished it two hours ago. I still have strong feelings.
I love the way all tARGH THAT CLIFFHANGER. THAT WAS A CRUEL, CRUEL WAY TO END THE BOOK.
I just finished it two hours ago. I still have strong feelings.
I love the way all the relationships play out -- how being able to read someone's mind doesn't automatically make you understand what they mean, and all the different secrets people who love each other hide from one another. Kami and Jared's relationship was painfully and believably complicated by what seems to be this gift.
Probably my favorite part, though, was the friendship between Kami, Angela, and Holly. It would have been very easy for Kami's other relationships to get neglected in favor of her all-consuming thing with Jared, but Angela's friendship was just as important, and I loved watching her friendship develop with Holly. (Holly and Angela were also really, really sweet and parts involving them tended to be my favorite.)
THAT CLIFF-HANGER, THOUGH. ARGH. It's one thing to have a cliff-hanger like that when it's a tv show and you know you're just going to have to wait a week. But a year? That's just cruel....more
After some debate, I'm not giving this book any stars because I think I was the wrong audience for it. Seven out of the ten stories left me feeling: "After some debate, I'm not giving this book any stars because I think I was the wrong audience for it. Seven out of the ten stories left me feeling: "...your point?" The overall effect was dark and moody but with nothing in particular to say. This works for some people. Just not for me.
I will say that, with some exceptions, I was really disappointed with the treatment of women. Most of the female characters were either flat or only ever seen through the eyes of male characters. The inclusion of queer romances would also have been appreciated.
Breaking it down by story:
THE FINE ART OF FORTUNE TELLING - I really enjoyed this one. While I didn't entirely understand what was going on, it left me intrigued and wanting to reread.
TIES - I felt like the writing was strong, but the concept was pretty slightly cliche, though with a few interesting twists. The world-building really bothered me, though. WHY is it different for necromancers to bring their loved ones back to life than it is to bring other people's loved ones back to life? Without some kind of explanation - even something as simple as "emotion pollutes the spell" - it felt to me like a pointless morality tale with an element of "Because I said so, that's why."
DEAR DIARY - I found this one just...odd. It felt more like a joke than a story. There's enough character and setting to lead up to a punchline, but not enough to build a world.
CLOTHO - Again, odd. I feel like it's supposed to be mysterious, but mostly I was just confused. The rules of that particular world were incredibly important to the characters, but I could not figure out what they were.
POOF, JUST LIKE THAT - I loved the characters and the awkward awful complexity of their relationship. And then the story just...ended. It doesn't have any kind of arc; the ending is essentially "Well. That happened." It left me very disappointed.
STOP ERRORS: I LOVED this one. The sci-fi premise was eerie, with just enough world-building to hold everything together without bogging the story down, and I loved the ending. It was twisted and wistful.
QUASI-STELLAR: Mostly, this story just made me really uncomfortable, which was probably its intention, but that doesn't make me like it any better. The relationship creeped me out and the ending confused me.
THE PRISONER: This story came so close to working for me, but the ending just baffled me. Even if the ending hadn't, though, I feel like the premise deserves a novel to really explore the story.
ORACLE: I did not like this story at all. The concept is cliche and the characters felt very two dimensional. At no point did it do anything unexpected.
I PROMISE THE SUN SHALL RISE: I did really like this one. The dialogue can be painfully cheesy, but the story itself - the idea, the heart, the structure, and the narrative language - are just gorgeous....more
**spoiler alert** I preordered the hardcover, but since I'm not at the address where it was delivered right now, I ended up buying the ebook just so I**spoiler alert** I preordered the hardcover, but since I'm not at the address where it was delivered right now, I ended up buying the ebook just so I could read it today.
It was worth ever single penny.
This book has so much heart. It pokes fun at Twilight, but not in a mean way. Every character has their own perspective on issues and events and choices, but none of them are wrong. The only "come to Jesus" moment is Mel realizing that everyone has to make their own decisions. Learning to respect someone's decision without agreeing with it.
It was hilarious and heartfelt and a book I plan on reading many, many times....more
This book is full of messy, complicated, wonderful relationships. Yes, it's a love story, but it's not *just* a love story and that's my favorite partThis book is full of messy, complicated, wonderful relationships. Yes, it's a love story, but it's not *just* a love story and that's my favorite part. It is just as much about friendship, how important it is, how to put it back together when it breaks. It's about grieving a parent and dealing with class differences.
Van is an unreliable narrator in the same way we're all unreliable narrators of our own lives. We're led into impressions and judgements of the characters around her based on her own memories, and then we are confronted with a different point of view, with *their* perspective on events. It made everything seem more real.
This is a full, rich, wonderful book that I can't recommend enough....more
This is probably the scariest book I've ever read. Definitely NOT a book you want to read at night with a creepy jack-o-lantern light. Just saying.
AsThis is probably the scariest book I've ever read. Definitely NOT a book you want to read at night with a creepy jack-o-lantern light. Just saying.
As a romance, I didn't really care for it. I don't really like "We just had this connection!" romances; I would've preferred more interaction and development between Anna and Cas. I'm also really, really sick of the "Geek with a heart of gold has been pining after popular girl forever and she finally gives him a chance" trope. I liked Thomas; I loved Carmel, but this idea that she *should* go out with him because he's such a Nice Guy! And Likes Her So Much! pisses me off.
There were some other things that made me uncomfortable, but I don't know enough about the subjects to talk about them in this review.
Despite all this, it was a difficult book to put down. Exciting, terrifying, and engagingly written. I'm looking forward to the sequel....more
It's an intriguing concept, and Kostova has a lovely writing style, but I never found myself connecting with the never-named heroine. I also felt veryIt's an intriguing concept, and Kostova has a lovely writing style, but I never found myself connecting with the never-named heroine. I also felt very detached from the conflict and the characters' feelings; why, for example, did her father get so upset simply relating a story that his mentor had related to him?
It's not a bad book by any means, but life is short and my stack of books to read is high....more
Hanna is not an easy heroine to like. She does certain things that people may find unforgivable, or at least wish she had paid a greater consequence fHanna is not an easy heroine to like. She does certain things that people may find unforgivable, or at least wish she had paid a greater consequence for. I know some people who also think that the book perpetuates stereotypes about the violence and promiscuity of the mentally ill and young black women.
I definitely see where these people are coming from, but for me, Hanna's violence and unashamed sexuality are separate, if still somewhat linked, to her identities as a young woman with bipolar and a black woman. And I loved her. I loved having a heroine who suffers from mental illness, who saves the day neither in spite of nor because her condition. I love the fact that there wasn't a supernatural explanation for her condition, unlike many contemporary fantasy/paranormal novels where the character's mental illness is revealed to be some kind of supernatural power. I loved the painful, fraught relationship she had with her mother, and how that was the primary driving relationship in the story, despite the romance.
Bleeding Violet is not a book for everyone. But if you don't mind violence and are interested in spunky, kick-ass heroines who deal with mental illness in a creepy, fantastic setting, I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot....more
If I could buy a copy for everyone I know, I would. Serano's theory of gender makes the most sense of everything I've read, and her account of the hisIf I could buy a copy for everyone I know, I would. Serano's theory of gender makes the most sense of everything I've read, and her account of the history of oppositional sexism and transmisogyny in the feminist and LGB movements is fascinating. I cannot recommend it highly enough....more