I was fairly disappointed with this book. It started strong and had promise, but after the second crime it just went downhill and became a chore to re...moreI was fairly disappointed with this book. It started strong and had promise, but after the second crime it just went downhill and became a chore to read. And when the killer was revealed, I totally didn't buy it, which pretty much ruined the entire novel for me. Kind of a bummer, as I really wanted to like it.(less)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a WWII era Romeo & Juliet-esque story. Henry is a 12 year old first generation Chinese boy growing up w...moreHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a WWII era Romeo & Juliet-esque story. Henry is a 12 year old first generation Chinese boy growing up with very conservative parents in Seattle. Keiko is a 12 year old second generation Japanese girl growing up just a couple blocks away. The two are the only non-Caucasians in their elementary school, and the two quickly bond over their similarities rather than their differences while working in the school cafeteria. But it's the time of Japanese internment, and things quickly change, when Keiko and her family are forced to evacuate Seattle. The story jumps between 1942-1943 and "current day" 1986 with Henry and his adult son.
** Plus 5 - Perfect spot-on Seattle details. Much like The Art of Racing in the Rain, it's clear the author lives in Seattle and knows it's history. I love it when someone gets the details right, down to street names, buildings, and local clam chowder.
** Plus 3 - Loved learning about a part of Seattle's history that I really didn't know much about sadly. Makes me wish I could have seen the International District prior to WWII.
** Minus 4 - Gonna be a while before I can go back to the Puyallup Fair. Reminders of its checkered history are tragic and unfortunately true.
** Plus 2 - Positive male role models coming from outside of the home. Henry's relationship with Sheldon really just made me happy that he had such a positive male influence when he had such a strained relationship with his father.
** Minus 3 - The mail clerk thing was kind of lame. So was the old man smoking on the steps at the jazz club. Contrived coincidences are just annoying as a plot point.
** Minus 4 - I don't understand Henry's father's actions towards the end of the novel. But then again, I don't understand the harsh bigotry he shows throughout the book either. It makes me sad that those feelings exist all over the world between countless groups.
** Plus 3 - I love that Sheldon and Henry remain friends throughout their lives. Again, it made me super happy.
** Plus 2 - A really nice love story. At 12 & 13, it's really just puppy love but the way it's portrayed I think is true to any love story at that age.
** Plus 3 - Cheers to hidden heroes. Anything more said, and I give away something, so I'll just leave it at that.
Final tally - Plus 7
Really this was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. It'd make a good accompaniment to The Help, with similar undertones of racism and fighting against it. Definitely recommend this one to anyone. Can't wait to read it again for book club.(less)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a great quick paced novel that just made me happy despite some of the subject matter. It tells the stor...moreMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a great quick paced novel that just made me happy despite some of the subject matter. It tells the story of Jacob, a teenage boy in Florida and his journey to find out the truth of his grandfather. Great quick read and perfect for summer.
It's been a while since I did one of my book reviews, but I'm bored today, so here it goes ... Onto my totally arbitrary point system.
*** I loved all the photos. Parts of it seemed like the book was written based on the photographs the author found, but that didn't detract from the novel. Plus I loved how the letters were shown in written form, rather than typed out for the reader. - Plus 5
*** I understand the narrative reason for having many characters who are uber secretive about telling the main character the full story, but seriously, I wish it wasn't so rampant in this book. - Minus 3
*** Wish I'd known going into it that it'd be continued .... - Minus 2
*** Totally looking forward to the sequel. - Plus 3
*** I sure hope there's a sequel, but what if there's not?!??! - Minus 1
*** Spoiler points - There's some ick factor with the love interest - Minus 3
*** I just read a book that I invested time and energy in to read, and when I finished it, I thought to myself, can't get that time back. Reading this one after was the perfect way to get that book out of my mind. - Plus 4
*** Spoiler points - lame super powers for a certain primary character - Minus 2
*** Liked the bird references. Cute way to distinguish who is who. Apologies for being unspecific, but I don't want to get any more spoilery than I have been in previous passed points. - Plus 3
*** I love the mythology built with this book. It could be quite the beginning for a series of books set in the world this novel creates. - Plus 3
*** Recommending a book midway thru to friends & family is kind of venturing out on a bridge (especially since the previously read book went downhill at the midway point. I'm glad this one totally maintained, I feel more confident in my suggestion. - Plus 3
Final Score ... 10 - definitely worth the investment of 348 pages and then some. Cross your fingers people that the author has a book deal for a second or third or fourth.(less)
I really quite enjoyed this one. I don't tend to read murder mystery type novels, although if they were all like this I think I'd be more inclined to...moreI really quite enjoyed this one. I don't tend to read murder mystery type novels, although if they were all like this I think I'd be more inclined to do so. Definitely a good one to pick up.(less)
I don't know what to say about this book. On the one hand, I pretty much hated every single character in the book. On the other hand, I don't remember...moreI don't know what to say about this book. On the one hand, I pretty much hated every single character in the book. On the other hand, I don't remember the last time I felt this much emotion towards a book; negative or positive. This is a deeply disturbing novel, one I wish to never read again. I don't even want the book in my house again. (less)